Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Illum Problem

IGN has penned an article to explain the problems with one of Star Wars: The Old Republic's PvP-focused locations, Illum, and recap the way BioWare iterated in their attempt to solve them. All in all, the writer doesn't seem impressed by what the developers have done:
Now Ilum stands in PvP limbo. Camping hasn't exactly vanished, it's just shifted to immediately outside a faction's base. Rather than an overwhelming bombardment of Force powers and missiles over the spawn point, there's an almost-constant, uneasy standoff just on the border of the instant-kill line. It's an improvement, certainly, but it's still not fun. Ilum as it stands currently discourages aggression, because pushing the enemy into their base means you will get fewer kills. So instead of an all-out war, players tend to wait in specific locations, kill each other until one side has been pushed back a certain distance, then stop the advancement and let them regroup. It's functionally not so different from Ilum's original iteration.

But BioWare seems to be pretty happy with it anyway. "We've closely monitored Valor gains in Ilum post patch 1.1a." Amatangelo says. "The average player [Valor gained per second] is very close between factions and between time spent in content (Warzones vs Ilum)." The reason they don't mind is because their intention doesn't match up with what players want or expect. According to Amatangelo, "Ilum was never meant to be more than a raw open world PvP 'lake' with some bonus objectives."

Which brings us back to the reward system. Every Tuesday, players get access to their refreshed weekly PvP quests in addition to a new quest every day. There are weekly and daily quests for both the Ilum PvP zone, and the Warzones, and they both give identical rewards. If Ilum is just a supplemental zone meant to fill a small PvP niche, it shouldn't be rewarded as evenly as highly-structured, much more dynamic PvP Warzones. But the rewards are so powerful that you need to participate to stay competitive. A full set of the current lowest tier of level 50 PvP gear makes you deal approximately 10% more damage to players, and take approximately 10% less damage from players, compared to those without a PvP set. It's incredibly difficult for players who have just hit the level cap to be effective in PvP as a result, though there is an introductory level 50 PvP set on the way which should hopefully close the gap.