Star Wars: The Old Republic Interview

There's certainly no shortage of coverage for the upcoming Bioware's MMO lately and GameRevolution is the latest to join the fray with an interview with associate lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi. Here's a sampling:
GR: Do you have plans for PvP arenas?

EL: Well.we have plans for a lot of things. I can't comment on that, but it sounds like a great idea. I think every game should have that!

GR: Fair enough. As for PvP rewards I've noticed personally that, taking World of Warcraft as an example, over the course of its lifetime the PvP rewards went from having stats that are not PvP specific to being completely segregated from the PvE content. What kind of approach are you taking to PvP vs. PvE gear?

EL: That's a great question, and before you reach max level there isn't as much of a difference. You can do a lot of PvP and get really good gear and have it carry you through your quests. When you reach max level there's definitely a shift where people start doing other activities like raiding and really going after gear, and we've struggled with that question. What's the right thing to do in the interest of fairness?

There's a tendency for MMO players to always go for the most efficient route to the goals they set for themselves, even if that route isn't fun. So we considered having no difference between the gear, and whatever you do you'd be rewarded with the same kind of stuff. Unfortunately we realized that mathematically there would always be a way that's faster than the others no matter how we balance it. And then you'd have a certain number of people doing an activity they don't want to let's say, the raiders doing PvP because that's just the best way to acquire this piece of loot. We also don't really want to have a person who's dedicated themselves to PvP, only to have someone else come along who's dedicated to something else and have better gear.

So for all those reasons we decided to have a PvP stat on max level equipment. We're trying to do it in a way we think is fair, that will affect all the classes like healers and defensive characters. But we don't want to make it a barrier to entry if you've raided for a while and want to try PvP, you won't get annihilated in seconds. You'll have a fighting chance, but you won't be as good as an equally skilled player who's been putting in the PvP hours. It's a difficult balance but we feel that we made the right decisions, and of course the players will let us know.