I was going to transfer to ship 3 but saw it’s just as bad there so now considering ships 1 or 2.
Ships 1 and 3 were very close for months, but as of sometime in early 2021 Ship 3 is finally starting to fall behind a bit.
Considering all the stories I've heard of people moving from 3 to 1 "because everyone keeps saying 3 is dead" (paraphrased reasoning), I'm really getting the impression the long-held myth of Ship 3 being empty and the fantasies people have had of the grass being greener are slowly becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy - one that never would have happened if people stopped believing others who at the time had no idea what they were talking about.
Which makes me a little mad honestly. I still think Ship 3 has plenty of people - thanks to its unique block 42 often being at least half full, it's not as bad as it first looks that block 1 isn't full most of the time - but to think a constantly-repeated falsehood has been slowly draining the ship is quite annoying. Perhaps this would have been averted if there was a total number of players online in the ship selection screen between June and December so people would have stopped repeating a lie.
As for everyone's idea of merging ships, this would not be easy.
I once had an alt in Ship 1 that only ever existed to fetch beta items that never appeared on the Ship 3 market. But the existence of that character means I technically had ship-bound data on Ship 1 like a (never used) personal quarters, a tiny amount of casino coins and so on. If they merged Ship 3 (my main) into Ship 1 (which I haven't had a character on in over 6 months), would I just lose everything from my Ship 3 ship data, including registered SG scratch music discs? That would just be wrong, IMO.
And there are almost certainly players who have a fully established presence on multiple ships; fully and separately decorated personal quarters in particular. Even if players were given a choice about which ship-bound data to preserve during a merge, players that use the data on both ships would be forced to choose one of them to be destroyed and could never have both concurrently again beyond that point. Which again would be seriously unfair.