Instead of making Ord Mantell an Empire controlled planet with Republic rebels attempting to overthrow it, the development team went the other direction, sort of. They made the choice of keeping the planet under Republic control, but making many of the leaders less-than-honorable types. The locale has also been malnourished by its caretakers, as the Republic is seemingly only concerned with Coruscant after the war.
Thus, things are not so very clear as to who has the planet's best interests in mind. And though the Empire may not be altrustic in their desires, they would at least be able to support Ord Mantell properly. Thus, the quests for this wartorn planet involve the little guy, according to Star Wars: The Old Republic writer Rebecca Harwick. "The refugee, the low-ranking soldier faced with a tough moral dilemma, the hungry child, the war protester, the merchant who's lost his business to the war or the doctor trying to decide between his duty to the people and his duty to the military, the little guy is at the heart of Ord Mantell." says Harwick.
It's a very promising start and while much is left for us to wonder, it does set our mind reeling with wonder to what BioWare has in store for their very first MMORPG.