@Zatarga - I think the type of gamer that would enjoy that sort of gameplay already plays games like Rust either in addition to or (more likely) instead of Ryzom.
I gotta agree with Gidget ... Having started playing 15 years ago ... it was an era when WoW was the dominant force in the MMO arena and folks played Ryzom because "It was not WoW". When PvP was 1st introduced we immediately lost a a huge % of our player base (I have been tracking no of subs long time). The server ate my 1st toon and I was locked out of Ryzome for a few months ... Ya think I named my toon FF ? That was more of a gentle dig to the staff "Hey fix my main toon so i can get him back in game and get rid of this silly name".
There came a time when the player base on Ari decided with no change in game mechanics, that they were going to allow each player to play their own game.
Everybody knew each other and there wee xxx people who PvP'd and yyy people who didn't and zzz people who flip flopped back and forth. This period is where Ryzom peaked subs wise.
So lets say we have xx players why want all out PvP and yy players who want no part of it. If the model is everybody gets to play like Brad Marchan, then the yy players are gone. (If ya don't know who BM is watch the video.
If the model is everyone has to be a care bear, then ya gonna lose xx.
Okay, it took me a while to get here but here's the point. Lets say that one of those is 40% of the total and the other is 60% ... and the game mechanics are changed to favor the 60 %. Can the game sustain itself with just 350 subscriptions ? ... that's my concern. If ya like it here and ya want Atys to exist, I don't see how reducing the population is conducive to that goal.
And frankly. getting back to what Gidget said ... there's a lotta games out there that do the PvP thing that are "fresher" (came out in this decade)and have a better hold on that market segment.