A lot of them have tried it sure, the majority haven't and sure there are a lot not interested but that doesn't change the misconceptions and far-fetched exaggerations based on flat out lies or very poor exaggerated second hand information i see when I ask people about it, or occasionally see crop up in GL-Freedom. Some of it so bad to the point I cringe, because nothing about it has anything to do with truth. It's the worst when others also agree about it, and none of them have ever even attempted trying out a PvP server, nor know anyone that has, and spread misinformation like that.
It's harmful to the playerbase, and I'll be the first one to tell you that PvP in this game is extremely lackluster, but it is unique and that makes it fun to a lot of people. This goes doubly for a lot of people on Freedom. Every single person who has played exclusively on a PvE server to try PvP, has gone to completely playing on a PvP server within a month. Could i be looking at a particular group of people? Maybe people who were already interested? Sure. Doesn't change the fact that these people made the change and increased the PvP population for the long term. Clearing up misconceptions is healthy for the game.
The fighting is very boring for just about everyone, its the adrenaline rush from it being full loot that attracts many people, plus the community element is much much much much stronger on the PvP servers than it is on the PvE servers, simply for the reason it's because people need to band together to survive and succeed, if you don't you wont make it past the door.
As for gearing, nobody gears up alone. I can only speak for the kingdoms ive been a part of and doubly so for the ones ive founded, but, people generally go out of their way to help you. Drake is given out like candy to those who actively contribute, Scale is given out to usually more high profile, experienced and active players. Some people purchase this stuff sure, but, at least for my community, its a very small minority. Almost nobody makes all their own gear here either, you can pretty much post in discord and get 10 people giving you 10 different things, and for the most part we have kingdom bicycles and priests to help with the process too.
The Money/Fun ratio does suck, but, again, more insider information here. If you are spending more on the game than you are getting out of it, you are setting yourself up for failure. That's why the kingdoms that buy everyone accounts, drake, scale, and pay out of pocket for 10-20 deeds don't succeed. If you are playing the game properly, you shouldn't be investing any more than your premium time and a couple silvers, and i am being dead serious when i say -everything is free-. Speaking for TC, you get 90ql 90 enchanted tools, FOR FREE, you get your res stones FOR FREE, you get your armor and weapons made, imped, enchanted, FOR FREE, you get moonmetal FOR FREE. I also know that we are not and have not ever been the only people to do that.
I guess free isn't free if you consider playing the game and working on a project or two payment, but yes.
Also, i'd like to say publicly what i told Mizova many months ago. Every PvP kingdom on chaos is different. Each one has different standards, different expectations, different groups of people, different mentalities and approaches to the game. Ive seen many people try out PvP, join a group they didn't really mesh with, and never gave another one a chance because they assumed they were all the same. They're not. Most people need to try a few before they find a community they really enjoy, some people don't and thats ok too. I'd also like to say nobody will have a problem with anyone joining and leaving a kingdom as long as it is done respectfully and with minimal drama.