My personal observations of the typical survival game pvp servers is they quickly become an environment that is in fact NOT pvp. Players have the ability to raid each others bases but unless they are the servers largest tribe, often will not do so. Killing other players, let alone raiding their bases often ignites hated on the chat channels and the end result is usually the offending tribe being raided while they're offline.
In addition, raided tribes generally will not rebuild. They're either unable to as their enemy continues to harass them, or they see the loss of items/loot/damage to the base as being too much to bother repairing/re-gathering and instead leave.
It is normal then for these 'pvp' servers to be littered with empty bases and little to no actual combat.
There are a lot of possible explanations for why these games tend to devolve into these scenarios but i suspect the biggest issue is one of human nature. Players spend a lot of time building their bases, building up their equipment and stockpiling the harder to get resources. More often than not they never end up using the base for anything more than a storehouse, and often stockpile weapons never to use them for fear of repercussion. Generally, a tribe will only raid another if they are so powerful they dont believe the other tribe can counter-attack, and in most cases the raided tribe will simply leave as they're left in a state so far behind the aggressor that it's pointless to try and claim revenge.
So I ask you guys – what are some ways that Funcom can add features to the game that promotes a healthy, back and forth environment in regards to player vs player combat. It's clear that Funcom is exploring this as evidenced by external factors damaging bases (ie animals), and the summoning of avatars (which i dont believe will cut it in the long run as it's an extremely cheap way to have your base taken out).
Consider things like:
What could encourage a raided base to be rebuilt/repaired rather than abandoned?
What could be implemented to encourage players to attack other players without fear of losing everything?
What would you like to see as the 'perfect world/environment' for a pvp server? Dont be constrained by technical limitations – drop some ideas.
Please feel free to share any ideas/thoughts on this topic.