I interpret "safe zones" the same way they were interpreted in early WoW on PvP servers. As far as I can recall, there were friendly, contested, and hostile, zones. In friendly zones no one could attack you first unless you flagged yourself for pvp. In contested zones you could attack first as everyone was flagged for pvp. In hostile zones you could not attack first unless they were flagged for pvp. I don't think they mean anything like FFA when they are talking about the PvP ruleset. We'll still probably have an arrangement similar to WoW's PvP ruleset.