CoA has alot of conflict that is for the sake of conflict. I have found many conflicts to be completely arbitrary and made up. I would guess that the vast majority of conflict I have witnessed was simply to make waves and attract DM attention.
I believe in IC Actions = IC Consequences. I also believe that this is occasionally used to justify what might otherwise be unjustifiable. Arabel caters to a wide variety of people, including Carebears (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Care%20Bear) and People who Pwn (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pwn) This represents two totally different playstyles, one which stresses cooperation, and the other which stresses competition, which almost always resolves itself violently on Arabel.
For the Carebear, the disadvantage is obvious. Geared and built to fight in PvE, they are easily massacred by the People Who Pwn, who train, gear, and build for PvP. This breeds resentment and anger, and often very public departures from CoA.
I reference the Battle of Crag where the Red Hart and 20+ Carebear PCs were killed by a handful of People Who Pwn (not to mention stupidly OP gear which still pisses me off more than 1 year later) I was not there, so I can only infer, but the end result was that a large chunk of players, seeing weeks and months of work destroyed, simply left the server, some banded together to form a new server.