@gambler: I think the activity is solid right now. Especially because a lot of it is the newer players, and they're the future of the Vine as always. So the nU itself is trending in the right direction, with the addition of players like Pyro who are highly active and new.
The 'concepts' are where things are lacking. There's excitement when a driving personality does something that attracts or effects everyone. Big storylines that draw in large numbers of players and MOST IMPORTANTLY effect large numbers of threads. The HFC thing didn't suddenly effect fewer people, it just was forced into one single slow moving thread. So the excitement was gone, people weren't getting ambushed in one thread, making alliances in another thread, betraying one another in yet another thread, prepping in a base thread, and so forth.
And things are kinda boring right now, but I don't wanna say that's bad on a macro level. There's going to be times when a driving personality has the right kind of idea at the right time and things go big. And there's also going to be dry spells.