(For those who don't want to read the whole thing, I have highlighted my ideas in a different color so you can find them quickly.)
Before I start, I would just like to thank you for the efforts you have made to bring us an enjoyable game set in the Star Wars universe. Though it has it's problems like any other MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic has thoroughly entertained me with it's storylines and gameplay.
However, as a person who cut her teeth in MMO's on the pvp-centric Dark Age of Camelot, playing for many hardcore eight versus eight RvR guilds, the main enjoyment I get out of any MMO is from player versus player combat. Though I find the pvp in SW:ToR to be more balanced than the pvp in World of Warcraft, there is a problem which is plaguing level 50 warzones, and to an extent their lower-level counterparts.
That problem is cheating and hacking. While I have always disliked MMO players who "cry hacks" every time they lose, the issue has become so rampant that most anyone other than those who willingly turn a blind eye can see it. Speedhacking, teleport hacking/map hacks, invisibility, and short-term invulnerability are all things that I have personally witnessed on multiple occasions. This may not even cover the whole gamut of hacks available.
I know that some players have been banned, but this has not served to discourage other players from following in their footsteps. I therefore propose the following actions which may help to lower the overall instances of cheating while at the same time causing would-be cheaters to think twice before they do.
1) Once a week or once a month, depending on the amount of cheaters banned, publicly post a "Cheater/Hacker Report." This would be a forum post which tells us the number of cheaters who have been ejected from the game in the past week or month. Understandably, privacy concerns and game policies prevent you from telling us who they are, but you could still tell us how many have been banned. This would let us know that you are actively policing the game - something many MMO's fail to do, which then causes people to wonder if Game Masters are policing it at all, or if all their tickets are just ignored.
2) Have a GM or two enter random warzones and actively monitor for cheating. If they choose warzones entirely at random, at random times and intervals, players will never know when the warzone they are in also contains a Game Master. These warzone monitors, however, should make their presence known once every great while so that players are aware that the possibility exists. This will help to "nip it in the bud" - players will be far less likely to cheat when they know that there could be somebody watching who could take all of their characters away.
3) When banning a player for cheating in pvp, ban them permanently. Show no mercy, give no quarter. These people are making your game less enjoyable for your legitimate players who are looking to have a good time. Even players on the same side as the cheaters feel a little miffed - their wins mean nothing because they were gotten via cheating. Don't just ban an account name, either. Ban their credit card, too. Ban anyone with that address or phone number. Show no mercy.
In closing, I would just like to reiterate once more that I am grateful that SW:ToR exists, as it has let me explore my favorite fantasy universe and walk in the heavy boots of a Mandalorian warrior. I have been able to explore the dry wastes of Tatooine and tread upon the soil of Alderaan. I love this game, and as a player who will be eternally grateful to have been able to experience it, I plead with you - please do something
about all the cheating in warzones.
An MMO Veteran since 2003
PS - Trolls will not be fed.