Compare EQN, or any pvp focus MMO and swtor would be as if RPing pvp in the open world with costumes with lightsabers/guns and imaginary reasons and rewards for pvp.
For some that is enough with a Star wars skin/story/pve focus with raids/gear grind/WoW style combat... for others, not so much.
I do not like to do gear grinds, so swtor really does feel draining with alts not being rewarded well enough at end game ( same end game with the same long gear grind). So, for me, the only reason to play is for the story atm. Ill be back for that... or actual pvp updates like you are looking for.
And pvp updates which are good enough can vary person to person. Since they do have 'events' and when they are in the open world, it makes the game have pve content that also has pvp. This can be fun, but keep in mind, all the gear grind that has to be done to successfully pvp 1vs1, unless you can form groups and gear does not matter... but that kind of takes away from the whole MMO, and achievement... which is unfortunate that open world pvp does not progress the characters...
A long reply... but since you have friends playing... you might want to look at what strengths there are in the game, and join every once in a while to have fun in pvp, or exp weekends to get a lvl 55. Maybe in the future, open world pvp will get pvp gear. That would be nice... and of course no gear grinds for alts... or a lot less of it.