I prefer official PVE-C, on PC.
Why PVE-C? I’d love to try PVP, but I really don’t want to find myself losing everything overnight. There’s no way to keep at least one base safe on PVP. And you always have to be ready to defend it during certain hours. No matter what those hours are, I can’t (and don’t want to) schedule my day around a video game. Games, for me, are like a party or like a walk in the park, not an appointment I have to keep. Besides, I keep hearing about cheaters and exploiters, and also about immature players with surfeit of testosterone and deficit of decency… no, thanks.
Between PVE and PVE-C, the differences are minimal. Sure, in theory there should be conflict, but I’ve yet to see one PVE-C server with lots of that. Usually it’s friendly sparring. And now that we have battle standards, the lines are so blurred that there’s almost no difference. The most important difference I can think of, at the moment, is that if I lose connection during PVP hours on a PVE-C server and find myself unable to reconnect, I can still message a friend over Steam or Discord and ask them to loot my stuff and store it somewhere.
First of all, I dislike most mods and hate AoC (Age of Calamitous) with a passion. I like Conan Exiles for many reasons, but one of those is that it’s Conan Exiles, not “generic LotR-derivative fantasy RPG Exiles”. And every time there’s an update, there’s a risk of things getting catastrophically broken because of mods.
Second, many servers have weird multipliers that break the game balance. I’ve seen servers with 6x or even 10x harvesting multiplier, or servers with sprinting stamina cost set to 0.
Last, but not least, you can never truly know when a private server might run out of funding or when an admin might decide to abuse their power. I haven’t had either happen to me, but I’ve played with a whole bunch of people I liked on an official server and they decided to make their private server. Never have I ever witnessed so much drama in a video game, and that’s without even going to their server. This stuff puts Latin American telenovelas to shame.
Those are my reasons. I won’t pretend they’re objective and the One And Only Truth, but they make sense to me