this past weekend (monday included), everyone who's anyone got to test the current version of Star Wars: The Old Republic. i spent the entire time on my sith juggernaut, which i will make my main character once the game comes out. as i have previously stated, my plan is to build a main-tank for raiding with my friends, so all of my experience in the game thus far is based around running flashpoints, pvping, and questing with a purely pve tank build. it's also worth mentioning that once i had my impression of the class storyline, i stopped paying attention to quest dialogue because i plan on fully enjoying everything once the game goes live and didn't want to feel like i was going through things again.
i'll start with my general observations of the warzones i experienced, keeping in mind that it was still BETA and many things are subject to change. the stand-out problem with pvp in testing was the level brackets. there were literally level 30 players in matches with level 10 players. now, lower level players did get a "bolstered" buff, and i'm not completely sure exactly how much that affected a player's stats - but the main issue is the fact that a level 30 player has 20 levels worth of skills and talents, on top of two or three planets worth of quest/instance gear. this is an enormous advantage in any game, and i'm hoping they make the brackets more reasonable. i do understand that the brackets promote faster queue times, but waiting an extra minute or two is typically better than having people in the game that can completely dictate the flow of a battle based solely on their level and not their ability.
the warzones themselves are nice once you understand your way around. like any other mmo, when you're pug'ing it (pug = pick-up-group, random group, non-premade, etc.), it really just boils down to which team has the fewest idiots. the resource-node based Alderaan is the classic example: winning is a matter of capturing a majority of nodes (in this case it's two out of the three) and defending those nodes until the scoreboard pops up at the end with "Victory" written across the top. the fewer people - whether they are genuinely clueless, don't care about winning, or just trolling - you have running around pointlessly, failing to contribute anything but points to the other team, the better.
i don't feel like there's really anything notable about Voidstar, it was a standard conquest map where you're either attacking or defending, blah blah blah.
HuttBall was definitely my favorite, in no small part due to the fact that once i got some levels under my belt i was pretty tanky. the most intriguing aspect of the warzone was definitely the layout: with all of the bridges and their fiery sections, the acid pits on either end, and the air-geysers (for lack of a better term), it really let players use their abilities in different ways. one example is the fact that a sith inquisitor standing on a bridge is absolutely devastating, regardless of the advance class - an aoe knock-back and a sprint, on top of being able to either stealth or dish out huge damage from range. me and my buddy played one game of HuttBall where the entire other team was a premade mixture of sith sorcerors and assassins - yes, it sounds just as scary and ridiculous as it actually was. another example of an interesting player ability coming into play in the warzone was a bounty hunter standing on the very edge of one of the fire elements, pulling a player to him, and stunning that player in the fire. this is a particularly effective method of fighting because it requires no gear, and fire burns.
the only problem i had with HuttBall was regarding the air-geysers. i'm not sure if it was just the lag, but they seemed a little RNG-ish when it came down to the speed and direction you were going pre-airblast, and where the geyser actually sent you.
in most other games, a raid-tanking, pve spec'd tank has very limited use (if any at all) in a pvp environment. for the most part, you either cc or ignore him until there's no one else to kill. SWTOR changes this in a great way, with abilities like Guard, Taunt, and Threatening Scream (basically an aoe Taunt). there were many games where i got seven-plus medals simply because i always had guard on the person being focused, and i always had a presence in a fight. taking 50% of player damage off of a person is huge, and reducing damage dealt by enemy players to the person you have guarded (or a healer) is just icing on the cake. it sort of gives you an idea of why HuttBall was my favorite warzone - i either babysat the ball carrier until they scored, or i waltzed in to score myself because no one could really take me down when i blew my tanking cooldowns.
i will work on my BETA pve review to release in the near future, but right now i'm letting my pvp review suffice.