It has gotten too easy / tedious to achieve stuff. Combined with there not being leaderships in most nations. Bad mix. Because when a new player hits Rear Admiral he thinks hes done with the game. Whereas back in my day when I got to the max rank (was the 2nd brit to reach it on PvP 2), conquest / rvr was booming - not because the ports were needed but because both sides were enjoying it. Now it seems like most of the RvR vets, after 100s or 1000s of hours of doing the same over and over again got bored. Cant blame them, really. And new, capable nation leaders dont fall from the sky
It seems like most vets now have shifted towards a more Privateery / OW PvP oriented game preference. This can be confusing to newer players - they dont have a clue about what happened in this games 2 years EA stage, rvr wise. Nobody tells them why there is no active conquest going on.
I think fixing patrol zones to a reasonable RoE combined with making safezones safe again and advertising (after UI) could help; "growing" the playerbase ans attracting more RvR interested players maybe even capable of leading a nation. Fresh blood is needed