This is closer to the truth for our current state of priorities. We intend to make PvP a larger focus in the future, but for now we're just fixing/tuning things as they crop up on our immediate radar.
My personal design motivation: For PvP to be a balanced and fun experience that offers rewarding gameplay for both long-term experts, and brand new players.
But that's just me. That's not an executive mandate or anything.
Thanks for sharing your not executively mandated views with us anyway.
The learning curve is steep, and to be honest, ppl shying away from learning are not going to make PvP their primary gaming mode. For the record, blowing up newbs, or feeling tempted to rightfully tell your teammates to stop re-spawning because your team has a better chance of winning with one man down instead of with them isn't fun for anybody.
The following would all help to lessen the learning curve, but require different degrees of Dev time.
I agree with most in here, that better designed NPCs are the first step for making PvP a more rewarding experience for the beginner. Using the foundry seems like such a win-win proposal that i cannot imagine you guys having discussed this already. In case I'm wrong, I suggest a staff meeting
Another thing that needs to happen is having some kind of practice ground for new builds, with a meaning full log parser output. Ideally you could free style allocate your SP in this simulator. Once you leave the simulator your SP will be whatever they were before you entered. Some kind of simple holodeck simulation on the academies or starbases, with an accolade for ranking up X amount of DMG and Healing. Having some meaningful data of a simple combat situation to compare build performances in game would go a long way. 500Z per respec is simple too expensive for the intensive iterations a beginner is going to have to make, to try out different things.
The reputation system seems like a good way to reward PvPing, I doubt that there will be a pvp component at release though, see FM for pvp being under review for how long?
The two biggest unfuns in pvp are stun-locks and one shoots. Next up is the inability to tell if my heals, CC, weapons actually contributed to my team or not. Since stun-locks have been overnerfed (with the rest of science) one shoots seem next in line. Rebalance shields healing should help to bring the necessity of insane burst to score a kill somewhat down. Displaying shield resists, and energy levels in the UI would help to show the effects of CC abilities more.
Finally, the current leveling curve has completely taken learning to pvp while leveling away. Lower lvl pvp is great for learning counters and the effects of individual skills, while resist stacking is under control. Dan once talked about new tech that would allow us to save a standard small craft to switch to easily. Please consider using that tech for use in pvp, by giving VA's the ability to also select a standard lvl10,20, and 30 ship and layout, if you can restrict the available cpt powers to those of that level. You would have the best pvp training crowd for beginners, and something new and fun to do for vets.