Sorry… long text incoming…
Join the server I’m on at the moment: Clan Wars.
Yes, they wipe if player count is down to like 20 which may take two or three weeks after a wipe. Very few clans stay on a server once defeated but they come back when the next wipe hits (70 players). You’ll find the PVP community there that will put you to the test. 10x XP 5x Harvest let’s you jump into the PVP action quickly. Admins are good and very active. Overly toxic people and exploiters get banned. You can trade in level IV thralls and legendary weapons you’ve farmed… all that kind of stuff that helps you play the (PVP-)game in a way you prefer much quicker.
I also like building and we do have a massive base on an official server but you know the situation. Being the alpha clan and noone joining. Joining a private server that focuses way more on PVP taught me a lot. I’ve seen many former alpha clans joining the server just to get crushed. Alpha doesn’t equal alpha. As long as we don’t have another way to meet going private is the thing to do. All the isolated alphas miss out on the fun and the opportunity to learn from each other (and also fill up their ranks for later projects e.g.).
You can only benefit from it if you’re really interested in a competition and becoming a better player overall. This counts for PVP and building stable bases that work even without avatar defense. Atm I like it much, especially if you don’t want to build a “raid-proof” base with a bubble, on top of something and claim 2500 square kilometers around it.
This is actually how Conan Exiles should be imho -> no base should ever be 100% safe from attacks. It’s one reason for empty servers, either because the alphas can’t be wiped or several clans can’t be attacked/wiped and stare at each other. And then the rather low harvest rates let’s people obviously become greedy when it comes to investing explosives and gear. As a matter of fact the harvest rate is the balance key to control the amount of PVP and raiding (in other words: fun) happening on a server. People might argue with me on that but until today I was mostly able to “out-build” aggressors. The longer the period of time the more unrealistic it gets that someone is willing to pick up the challenge.
And in my opinion the discussion about getting to level 60 doesn’t cover the entire process that make people not join a server. If you’re, let’s say a PVP player, being level 60 is mandatory, sure. But the real grind is to farm the level IV armorers and all the gear, weapons and equipment necessary to finance an all out war. And then there are still the builders in clans that always want to build a big and strong base. That takes a lot of farming.
From my observation people who leave a server or lose stuff due to exploiters don’t mention the amount of T3 bricks they have lost but they count their losses in hours aka time invested into the game. Think about it.
I know… people will say: ‘That’s the nature of survival games.’
And I’ll say: That’s a concept that can be embraced but it could also be questioned. Imho you have to find the right balance between investments. And with investment I mean both parties. Aggressor’s and defender’s efforts need to be in a certain relation. I’ll give you the most extreme example I know where the balance was not given, resulting in massive player losses: browsergames. I’ve played some years ago. You would, for example, build up for six months and then lose everything within two days of getting attacked. This ratio wasn’t acceptable and got rejected by the player base.
tl;dr/summary: Getting to level 60 fast or transferring a level 60 character to another server will not help much in this case. Conan Exiles should not become a Battle Royale style game or shooter with quick deathmatch respawn timer but if you want more “player on player interactions”, like I call them, you might want to think of making the game less grindy or somehow take care of the balance. The last thing you want to do (speaking of PVP servers) is to extend the period of time people need to start PVP.