I want to say before anything else, I'm just looking for more player interaction. Doesn't have to be pvp, doesn't have to be peaceful either.
I'm a new player, and I don't know how the game has changed since the forum posts I've seen complaining about it. Someone said the problem with powerplay (I don't play PP, but I hold this opinion about semi-multiplayer games in general) is that PVPers want everyone in open so they have targets, while traders want to stay in solo because they don't want to be targets. Honestly, that's perfectly fair on both sides.
So…what about a risk and reward system? You CAN trade in Solo, but there are some missions only available in Open that give quite a bit more profit. Furthermore, they're recommended to be done as a wing. Structured in such a way that it's not more efficient for every member to be a sitting duck freighter. For instance, assign a role to each wing member, and only cargo delivered by the Freighter counts, but the Bodyguard gets the same reward upon completion.
PvPers would think twice about assaulting an armed convoy, and such a convoy would have a reason to exist. Again, all I want is more player interaction, both peaceful and violent. In my personal opinion, this would make the galaxy feel more alive.
I don't want to force anybody into open like so many people do. But I think peaceful players are being forced into solo just because there's no benefit in being in open.
Edit: Or better yet (but harder to pull off), give those more profitable missions to single ships as well, but somehow make it worth their while to put on big guns, armour reinforcements, shield boosters, etc. NPCs aren't enough of a threat to require that. Maybe make the mission giver require a minimum armour/damage stat to keep the cargo safe