To start, I still consider myself to be a highsec merc at heart. I spent time with Marmite, Complaints Department (when they were around), and a short stint with I Know Right. At some point I would like to return to highsec and continue living out that lifestyle.
These alliances all operated in different sects of highsec, which should, theoretically, imply varying types of content. However, unfortunately, (especially after the removal of the watchlist mechanic) it eventually just turns into the same. I don’t mean to say that it isn’t fun, because I still enjoyed myself, but it gets very repetitive.
I have always wanted to join VMG because I know without a doubt that they get the most content out of the english-speaking merc groups. A lot of times I will look at their killboard and see these glorious freighter/JF kills in the most random of systems. This tells me immediately that, even after the changes, they still have dedicated groups of content hunters. Yes, they do in a lot of ways ‘control’ the Jita region, but no one does anything about it. Why? Because, frankly, no one cares about highsec except newbros (and rightly so, so they may learn the game) and the mercenary/pirate crowd. Why does no one care? Because, as stated by many aforementioned posts, highsec really doesn’t have a lot of meaning.
To me, it really doesn’t make a lot of sense. A group like Goons or any of the other nullsec alliances could easily bring great fights to VMG or any of the other merc groups if they wanted to. The higher-ups in the nullsec alliances, however, clearly don’t care about the many losses incurred by these wars.
So, really, the solution to the problem is not to fix the merc groups, the people in them, or wardec mechanics. Nor is the solution fixing nullsec alliances and the people in them. The solution is bringing value to highsec other than trade and mission hubs, or at least give more capabilities to find pvp in highsec. If nullsec groups actually had something to lose in highsec from the wars, they might care about them and bring the fights that many people, including mercs, want.
I myself am going to try out wormholes for a while after I return to the US and have a solid internet connection. Wormholes provide a level of unpredictability and also a reasonable certainty of content, win or lose. However, I almost certainly will return to highsec at some point, hopefully when CCP finally realizes how important it is.