In the discussion, Rick had this to say...
"But perhaps the main thing that is different from us versus the WoW/EQ level model is that your level doesn't appear anywhere in the combat equations. A level 50 in the same ship at the same range with the same ammo has the same chance to hit as a level 10. Now they may have some skills that they can call upon to improve their chances, but the fact is that a level 10 can *hit* a level 50, and even defeat them. Try that in WoW and see how far it gets you."Tell me you wouldn't like to be able to hop right into massive battles in WoW at level 5 and stand a chance against a level 70 and I'll call you a liar. One of the biggest things going against open player versus player competition in WoW is its high dependency on gear and player level. it segregates players immensely.
And while PotBS has levels, said levels don't factor as much into the combat between players as they have in games like WoW, DAoC, or other games of that ilk. Instead, the main advantage of a level 50 player over a level 10 player in PotBS will be the level 50 player's hotbar skills and likely the ships he has access to, neither of which spell "win" for the level 50 accoding to Rick. The devs at FLS still are of the mind that a skilled level 10 player could easily take out a level 50 player with less skill on the open sea or in avatar combat.
I know, I know, I said I'd not hype too much about games still more than three months away, but Pirates opens for pre-orders in just over two months, so I'm still keeping my side of the deal. So, given this design decision, does it seem that other games could just as easily implement it? Maybe not NOW, 3 years into Azeroth's gait, but the games of the future. If PotBS' PvP (or NvN) is generally given praise when the NDA drops and the game is released, do you think any other game makers will take notice and stop limiting the interactions between players on the competitive level?
Time will tell. But until it does, I'll be practicing my broadside dodging on the open seas.