Ask for a team
Ask for a duel
Solicit private match
suggest people to join the public queue as it requires x players to launch
Announce assembly of a full team premade rdy
look for a premade fight
try for a big game pvp with all levels and mixed sides (my favorite)
talk about pvp
learn about pvp
copy and paste your insane combat log of 1 billion damage from turret
boast graciously of your true win
post youtube videos
ask where sulu is
ask anything about pve or anything related
look for stf groups (sorry no)
beg for handouts/ try to sell/buy items
brag about pve item finds (really...unless tribble pile comes back)
copy and paste any other chats or private messages/zone
So at any given hour of the day, there's somewhere between 1-8 klingons, and 4-25 feds available for PvP. Across a 24 hour span that averages out to something like 150 people total. There's usually a dozen instances open for the PvE maps so that's probably another daily average of a little under ten thousand. Most people don't play every single day admittedly, but the daily low is what you want to base quotas on to stay on the safe side, because that's what people are going to perceive. These numbers aren't official, I know, but it's what's observable.While it used to be true that there were huindreds of people doing PvP all at the same time back in the heyday, the argument against rennovating the PvP system was "PvE has more customers, and is where the game's future will be made."
This didn't take into account the fact that a strong large fleet takes about 15 PvE types to support one PvP team member infrastructurally. It also doesn't take into account that a fleet which is going to be gearing and practicing a team of five needs a backup team and possibly a third string for replacements, meaning at least fifteen PvPers, and therefore 225 PvE types, all of these people active daily, to maintain one strong fleet with a cohesive community and enough redundancy and overlap to stay together.
STO itself has another problem on top of all this, retention for this game is amongst the worst in the industry. One in three people sticks around longer than a month. One in five of those longer than three months. So for every 15 recruits, you get one that sticks around. That means you need to recruit around 2,500 people to your fleet in a three month period in order to sustain community development towards a sustainable PvP team.
What's happened instead is that there are a handfull of PvP-only fleets that have all traded the same fity people around and around and around in order to make it look like there's more of an active community than really exists. It's functional to the extent that there is still PvP happening during most hours of the day, but do understand that it's the same fifty people all the time, and they have become so insanely good at it that there's not a snowball's chance on the solar surface of a new player even pretending to put up a fight against them for their first twenty or thirty matches.
STO is poorly socially engineered. It's set up like a Corporate Office, and I think Cryptic would do well to hire a sociologist before releasing future products. Their marketting team clearly hasn't got the right ideas.
Atari, if you're listening, consider the potential here. Eve has aged to the point of silliness, and there's no other space-PvP games worth twenty bucks on the market right now. You could inject a lot of life into STO by remarketting the PvP structure. You'll just have to give it one first, because the 2-map-queue while they are amazing maps and I have had weeks upon weeks upon weeks of active playtime fun in them... are not enough to draw a PvP crowd.
I have it on good authority that political landscapes such as are available in the defunct PvP game "Shadowbane" suck people in so much they're still handling their in-game politics two and a half years after the game shuts down, in communities numbering around ten thousand people. Something similar is true of the SWG(pre-CU) millions, who will all happily describe a rich political landscape game that was ripped apart in front of their eyes and they still despise Sony for it half a decade later.