I admit I’m a PVP fanatic. Not really in a one-on-one sense, though I do enjoy that when an opportunity presents. But I do greatly enjoy group PVP, so I’m a big fan of open-world and instanced PVP in small to large group settings. My fondest memory of PVP in any MMO I’ve played remains from my old Star Wars Galaxies days, where I spent countless hours either attacking enemy bases, or defending our own from attack. Those large pitched battles gave life to STAR WARS so naturally PVP was one of the key areas of SWTOR I was most anticipating. I was a bit saddened when I learned open-world PVP would likely be a minority activity, if for no other reason than the sharding that segments and distributes players. Instead, real-world PVP will be small scale 1-on-1 or other random small scale engagements against outposts on a single shard. Sadly it appears Capital city raids are completely out of the picture as players can’t visit the opposite factions capital city.
Instead Bioware opted to focus PVP in instanced battlefields, and opted for a single, combined queue system in which all characters from level 10 to level 50 participate in. On the one hand I suspect one of the design considerations was to minimize PVP queue times by mixing everyone together. Especially in that the battlegrounds are not cross server and therefore very real population issues could arise otherwise. But on the other hand a single combined queue system creates imbalances in PVP that are in no way addressed by the stats bolstering that occurs on lower level characters. Even with stats bolstering lower level characters remain at a disadvantage against higher level characters because they lack the offensive/defensive capabilities, and damage output those higher level characters have. As an example, I watched six lower level characters try to stop a single level 50 who was trying to cap the ball in Huttball last night. Despite CC and six players attacking that level 50 was still able to cross the goal line without other assistance. And to add insult, was able to escape without being killed.
Say what you want about those six players, but that example is as apt an example as any other of the current state of PVP in my observation. During the first few days after release it wasn’t often you would see many level 50’s in matches, but after nearly two weeks level 50’s are commonplace. And level 50 characters, more often than not, determine the outcome of matches. I love the fact that I’m able to PVP at will, with short queue times but hate the fact I often feel so impotent against anyone more than a handful of levels higher than me. It’s a tough issue to crack and one I’m not sure there is an easy answer for, but clearly stats bolstering isn’t enough to make a combined queue system fair to all participants. Especially in a combat system where virtually everyone has CC. For now, simply know that your value as a low level player will be greatest in acting in concert with others against a single target. And that your ability to afflict your will on any level 50 – especially by yourself — is likely to be minimal.