"Eight unique classes" is a statement BioWare often repeats in multiple interviews, as it illustrates the solid theme they are using to approach designing the combat of the classes of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
This very clear statement is starting to get muddied when speculating upon how the various classes will specialize themselves and work together in a group.
As someone who traditionally plays the oft-pressured role of support in most MMOs, I've been watching news about those sorts of roles as they will pan out in Star Wars: The Old Republic. We've heard precious little about anything regarding healing, except for the fact that there will apparently be an out-of-combat healing ability that all classes will get. But does the lack of information regarding healing and support in the game point to an indicator of these types of classes not being ready for prime time, or is Bioware looking to go in a different direction when it comes to support with their new title?Let's play a little Sherlock Holmes and see if we can't examine some of the evidence that's out there, shall we boys and girls?
We all know what armor is for in reality, but how will it function here? If you go by the Star Wars movies, the original Trilogy especially, you will find that it is more for looks than for function. After all, if a Stormtrooper's armor cant defend against a pointed rock tied to a stick, what good is it for? (I should watch Return of the Jedi more for fun rather than to poke at all the details, oh well)
This is one problem presented by Star Wars: The Old Republic. It has been stated many times that Bioware is trying to make our characters similar to iconic heroes (and villains) from the movies. Will we inherit the same weaknesses as the movies, or was the fact that the armor made the stormtroopers anonymous henchmen the thing that killed them, rather than the weakness of the armor itself?
Another problem I can see form with armor is the continuation of the trilogy with a "Tank" to get the most armor on and just stand still while a Rancor will crush him into the ground for ten minutes. Along with the extra mitigation it provides, it will also make balancing for pvp more difficult. Will it make the wearer slower than if he wore cloth, because it would be a huge burden on the classes that need armor to function while making an advantage for faster people. Who knows the answers to all of these, perhaps we may get answers next week from Germany. As far as where my bets are going, it will likely be similar to the armor classes in KotOR as well as WoW, yet with more focus on trying not to get hit in the first place.