Star Wars: The Old Republic Interview

A short but dense article-style interview on Star Wars: The Old Republic is available at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, in which lead designer Daniel Erickson talks about the game's active population, the plans for future updates and more. Here's a generous excerpt:
(Although the Internet loves to pronounce the doom of all things, what we're seeing is a huge increase in activity with [update] 1.2 as people return to see all of the new content,) said Erickson. (The community has generally been excited about the direction the game is going as we finish up our last must-have quality of life features (group finder, etc) and can start concentrating full-time on creative things like the world events.)

The recent, almost completely out-of-the-blue Rakghoul Outbreak world event is the first product of that, Erickson noted, and many more are on the way. Quite obviously inspired by World of Warcraft's (largely accidental) Corrupted Blood Plague from 2005, the Rakghoul virus spread from player-to-player by making them, er, explode. As such, it came as a rather large mid-storyline surprise in more ways than one.

(Part of the magic of doing something like this is that it feels organic and gives you a sense that the world is changing,) Erickson enthused. (A surprise you're warned about ahead of time isn't much of a surprise.)

(We definitely learned a lot of cautionary lessons [from World of Warcraft] about what to watch out for and protect against if you let your players loose with a contagion. We had a pretty good idea players would spread it no matter how hard we tried to stop them, so instead we encouraged it with rewards and quests and then ran every possible scenario we could think of to make sure it didn't create any unintended consequences.)