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Regarding the chests thingie, Gearbox can implement instanced dungeons so everytime you enter dungeon the chests are refreshed and closed for you to open again.
They don't even need to go that far... They can just make them respawn every x minutes based off how many players are in the area when it's opened. They should probably also make the loot of a little higher quality though to account for the number of people that may be in an area at one time. Or give one or two chests great loot with longer respawns and the rest respawn quick with poorer loot.
I would not play a Borderlands MMO, but it has nothing to do with design ideas, balancing, or complications that may come up with this game in particular. I simply dislike that type of game. I loved the KOTOR games - played them each half a dozen times at least and prayed for a true third game in the series - but I haven't touched TOR even though it is totally free. I love The Elder Scrolls games but I guarantee I will never even try the MMO they are making.