This map is too large for what this game is trying to accomplish. I'm guessing, but I bet at least 80% of the ports see very little to zero traffic. Reducing the size of the map and the number of ports by half might help. In the meantime, of course PvPers go to capitals. To PvP you have to go where players are. But now those areas are off limits leaving PvPers nowhere to go unless they have a large group or disposable ship (Patrol Zone).
This game was founded on the premise of unrestricted open-world PvP. And this game was far better two years ago when it was just that. All of the