I want to make an online game with a leaderboard. A player should be able to gather tools/resources to continue exploring/harvesting. The problem I want to solve is that someone can find a way to harvest things like money, food, ammo, crafting resources, etc. infinitely but I don't want it to happen, because: 1) it can potentially ruin the leaderboard 2) it potentially disconnects old players from new players because they become interested in different things having nothing to talk about to share the gaming experience. The player should sometimes to be forced to go back to start but it should be still fun.
For example, games about zombies. AFAIK, the game Project Zomboid had zombies amount growing and resouces were limited in such way that you was losing in any way. Why would it be still fun? Because there is a challenge in how many days you can survive.
Another example -- Realm of the Mad God. There you get into the leaderboard only when you die. So once you reach the goal you start from the level 1 again. You can't be in the leaderboard and keep progressing. Why doesn't it ruin the fun? Maybe because you don't lose the loot that you've saved in a "vault" and while you are now level 1 and can't use most of your loot immediatelly it's still there, not lost.
Rogue games like Nethack, Stone Soup, Cogmind -- basically the world has limited size and once you clean the level you have nothing else to do other than go to the next level. It's still fun because once you master your skills in the game the competition changes from maximizing your progress to minimizing steps you've used to reach the end goal. Like spent steps, time, abilities used, etc.
Rust -- in this one players are playing against each other and you lose almost everything when your base is raided. The base is an object in 3d world and to raid it the opponent have to make nearly a straight hole to the center. So the amount of resources you have to spend on armoring your base is X^3 where X is amount of resources needed to raid you. This makes it impossible to infinitely armor yourself and so finally you get raided anyway. Why is it still fun? Maybe because everything gets wiped once in few weeks and there are game updates that make it not boring to start again because the game will be a bit different.
There is a game mechanic in The Elder Scrolls Online that prevents trading guilds becoming infinitely rich as I understand. I'm not the guild owner and so I can be wrong but every week there is a bidding that forces guilds to pay as much as they can to win a bid to, simply saying, have a benefit during the week. AFAIK all the bids are gone and this is how the amount of money the guilds have in the MMO game with no wipes is limited.
I want my game to have some sort of "death" that would reset the progress to effectively keep players away from having infinitely large base, amount of money, etc. while still being fun to start again. What are some other game mechanics for this that I missed?