2) The balance for this class versus melee is your range. Yes, this game is very melee heavy. You should be engaging melee targets in PvP who are busy fighting other melee. Your biggest asset is AoE + range, and this is easy to pull of in any match as long as you let those front line classes do their job. Stay close to LOS objects, and don't be out in the open where you can be an easy target.
I am so sick of hearing the trash. Get a clue.
RANGE IS NOT A DEFENSE!
Every class has a counter to completely ignore our "range is a defense" power.
Operatives, Scoundrels, Assassins, and Shadows get stealth. Range is not a defense from them.
Marauders, Juggernauts, Sentinels, and Guardians get the flying monkey jump. Range is not a defense from them.
Powertech and Vanguard get Harpoon and or Jet Leap; and have some ranged attack to use while closeing if needed. Range is not a defense from them.
Snipers, Gunfighters, Mercs, Commandos, Sorceress, and Sages, are ranged fighters. Range is not a defense from them.
Where is this all powerful "ranged is a defense" power you speak of?
I'll tell you what, you give me a power that lets me ignore 80% of my opponents defenses, like all of my opponents ignore my mythical "range is defense" power and I will agree that range is a defense.