Unfortunately, as mentioned, havoc can put stress on the servers if not done correctly. HOWEVER, this idea gave me a different idea that I may try as an admin at some point when I hash out some details to make it more viable and not destroy our servers
But I do believe it is true, havoc was fun for many. The serious players didn't care about it because they put their work in. They were done. So havoc was free reign for the newbies to run around and, simply put, have fun. The majority of the big dogs were away now and without them holding everything down, the newbie can now experience a very different game. And just feeling the short exhilaration of beating things and having a larger army go around decimating others makes people excited and start logging more. With it, they learn a few things they couldn't experience before. Ion Cannons aren't used often during normal era. They usually can't afford to build up 15-20 squads without being killed prior. They don't realize the usefulness of spams until they run their 15-20 squads into someone else's 30-40 squads because they didn't scan or gather intel before not realizing the importance. They finally see big battles and how each unit type really affects it.
The things we take as common knowledge aren't common to newbies who never get the chance to build in the first place. Experienced players hunt new players down to farm their armies for xp currently.