It’s obvious none of you have actually played on a competitive server with pickup mod where you could pick up your followers. This is not as powerful as you think it is.
Let’s assume you want to “exploit” this to the fullest. How would that go? We can imagine an attack on an enemy base or as biggcane55 suggests, door camping.
How many do you pick up at the same time, 5? 10? 20? You would have to have all of their gear on you as well. Then place them down one at a time, in hostile territory, and then gear them up. One. At. A. Time. All the while risking that an enemy player will come at you, kill you, and steal all of the picked up thralls and their gear. It’s for sure you need to have encumbrance build if you are picking up more than 2-3 so you are easy pickings for anyone that has decent gear and a horse.
Where would you place the thralls if you attack an enemy base? You have to place them a good distance away because the land is claimed. So it’s obvious you can’t use them for offense, but you can use them as a fallback position. Meanwhile your enemy, who can also pick up thralls, could do the same and place their thralls around your raid base. It’s risky of course because you could kill said enemy and take those thralls. But if it’s an actual raid base the land is claimed and your enemy can’t place it’s thralls close enough for a thrall war. In any case you don’t want to place a thrall close because at placement the thrall is naked and you have to stand there and gear the thrall up, all the while that thrall might run off naked and try to punch an enemy. You might also be under fire, poison arrows, acid arrows etc.
I’ve been on a highly competitive PvP server with the pickup mod (this was back in 2019) and everyone tried to exploit anything as much as possible. All thralls had throwing axes and could kill you in two swings. Even then, being able to pick up thralls had very little effect. Nobody would bring more than 2-4 thralls with them in a raid. It was pointless because the extra thralls are only for defense.
With the recent changes thralls do 50% less damage to players AND you have to actually level each thrall up for it to be any good. Back then you just collected the Captain or Berserkers and they were good to go.
Door camping? Please. If it’s raid time I’ll kill all your thralls, just pick them off at a distance. If it’s not raid time I’ll just walk past them. The time it takes me to kill one of your thralls is a tiny fraction of the time you spent building that thrall up. No matter what kind of thrall or what kind of gear they have.
Exploitable? I think not.
PS. the inventory only has 200 slots and you need 7 slots for each follower (follower x1, weapon x1 and armor x5). So you could only pick up 28 at the same time + their gear. If you had the time to convert, train (level) and gear up that many thralls AND the balls to actually carry them all with you knowing that somebody could steal them off you. Then you deserve to reap the rewards from the damage they cause!!!