Zhao has publicly mentioned here and there that the next step will be PVP ground-based testing; he wanted to set up some PVP planets where players can meet up and fight each other down to 1 HP.
Obviously after the testing phase it will be lethal, but the rationale here is that it would really suck if players started getting killed off because of bugs or if further changes prove to be necessary to the current set of combat equations, and what better way to test this than some free-for-all PVP. :p
Edit/note to self: hopefully some armor + shield functionalities can be better implemented before that point as well.
Edited By: Syn on Year 13 Day 334 21:07 ____________