Star Wars: The Old Republic PvP Interview

There's another interview with Star Wars: The Old Republic's Dallas Dickinson up at Ten Ton Hammer, with this particular Q&A zeroing in on the game's PvP mechanics and what the team's plans are for future competitive content.
Swtorhub: New MMO launches are kind of like the Wild West when it comes to players staking a claim on specific servers where their main characters will live over a longer period. For players who may be unsure of what server type to select, or are interested in the idea of PvP servers but might not know what that entails, could you give our readers a quick look at what they can expect if they decide to roll on a PvP server?

Dallas: The core difference is one that I think you'll find really in any MMO. On a PvE server, you will never participate in PvP if you don't intend to do so. You either have to go into a warzone which you queued up for, or you have to go to very specific areas. For instance, the planet Ilum is very much the endgame and you have to go to these open PvP areas there in order to participate in the battle of Ilum.

So, on a PvE server it is fully your choice. There is no way that someone might show up when you're just trying to do your personal class quests, or you're crafting or whatever.

On a PvP server, that is not wholly the case. There still are areas that are designated as sanctuaries where no one could ever PvP you no matter what. There are also flagging systems, whereby if I put a buff on you, and you're a player on my faction, I am actually flagging myself temporarily for PvP. So there are some zones where you must be flagged, and if you're flagged, you're fair game. But if you aren't flagged, you're not fair game.

I'm simplifying a little bit, but those are essentially the three different types of areas. There are the totally safe areas where I may be a Republic player, and there will never be an Imperial player there, or if there is one, they cannot attack me. There are places where if I'm flagged I'm fair game. And then there are places where it's a free-for-all, and just by entering the area you are flagged for PvP.

For players who really like PvP, they want that sense of danger. They want to feel like, if they're on the side of the Empire and go someplace where the Republic might be, it's a scary thing. Someone might disrupt my personal gameplay and that's why I'm playing on a PvP server. So you still have knowledge of what might happen to you in any given area, but if you make the choice to go out into a bit of a no man's land you could be attacked at any second, and you could be attacked by someone who is a way higher level than you.