Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Game on

So, Alliance Tournament X starts this weekend.  And if you look closely at the Rote Kapelle squad on Sunday, you might notice someone familiar flying with them.  I'm a bit nervous, but it's the good pre-conflict nervous that settles down into focus once the game starts.  I flew with the Rote team all through the "Syndicate Alliance Tournament" back in February without screwing up.  So hopefully I won't make too many mistakes...  ;-)

As I've mentioned a couple of times, blog posting has been down around here a bit because of all the time I've put into our AT practice sessions in various ways.  One of those ways was analysis of last year's results, so I'll start sharing some of that work here as the tournament progresses.  I'm not much of a theory-crafter myself, but I've got pretty good skills in terms of fitting and comp "autopsies" to tell you what works and doesn't work.  It's sort of reverse theory-crafting.

We're told the CSM helped with the random draw for the pre-qualifying matches during the May/June Summit.  Unfortunately, CCP only saw fit to release the first weekend's schedule so far so we don't know what the second weekend is going to look like yet.  Still, there should be some interesting fights during this first weekend.

These are some particular ones I myself am looking forward to, with who I think will win them in bold.

On Day 1 (June 30):
  • 15:20 Solar Fleet vs. Dead Terrorists.  Dead Terrorists were clearly at their peak in 2010, when they were an annoyance to Against ALL Authorities and various Russians.  Last year, the alliance seemed to fail-cascade, but they've reincorporated this year, focusing more on low-sec small gang fights.  It'll be interesting to see how they do.
  • 16:20 Hun Reloaded vs. Perihelion Alliance.  This one promises to just be goofy.  Perihelion never seems to bring a normal comp if they can bring something off-the-wall instead.
  • 16:40 Babylon 5.. vs. Nulli Secunda.  Should be a curb-stomp.  But should also be a fun-to-watch curb-stomp.
  • 18:40 Darkside vs. RAZOR Alliance.  This will easily be the best fight of the first weekend.  Both Darkside and RAZOR made the semi-finals last year (they were in fact the two teams facing Hydra and... er... Hydra).  Darkside is scarier than they seem to get credit for.  They were the true second-place finishers in AT9 as far as I'm concerned.
  • 20:00 Goonswarm Federation vs. Brick Squad.  It'll be very interesting to see if Brick brings some variation of their vaunted Oracle gang to this match, perhaps three Oracles and three tackle frigs, or two Oracles and an Oneiros with the frigates?  Brick are pretty damn good in small set-piece battles so I think they have the advantage here regardless.

On Day 2 (July 1):
  • 16:00 Dystopia Alliance vs. Pandemic Legion.  Should be another curb-stomp.  But it will be interesting to see if PL brings something straight-forward, if they try to "wow the crowd" (and throw off analysis) a bit with something unusual.  They might very well hold back a bit.
  • 17:00 The RONIN vs. Dirt Nap Squad.  This one should be entertainingly bad, sort of like a girl-on-girl slap-fight in a bad reality show or 80s movie.  Both of these alliances have definitely over-estimated their own competence.(1)  The loss-mails should be a wonder to behold, particularly on the DNS side.
  • 18:40 Rote Kapelle vs PERCUSSIVE PIZZA TIME DIPLOMACY.  OK, maybe this one's only interesting to me.  ;-)
  • 20:40 The G0dfathers vs. Test Alliance Please Ignore.  I expect this to be the most one-sided match of the first weekend, likely surpassing even the PL match above.

A few general comments are in order, too.

The new six-person matches allow up to four ships of a give type.  I think this was probably a mistake, but it's a mistake that's going to be taken advantage of by a lot of teams.  Expect to see a lot of homogenous fleet make-ups.  Probably, we'll see larger groups of smaller ships such as Assault Ships (which don't cost enough points this year, IMO).  Tier 3 BCs with their heavy DPS will also be very big.

On the reverse side, though, expect to see a lot of use of the new Ancillary Shield Booster mod.  This first iteration of it is clearly over-powered.(2)  A lot of teams will be taking advantage of that.  So this is going to be the "shield AT" with many fewer armor-based set-ups than last year.  That's kind of fitting, considering the prizes are Caldari ships.  But one result of this in the six-man matches is that they might be a little bit dull to watch.  There may not be enough DPS on some teams to crack ASB tanks, particularly ASB tanks supplemented by a Scimitar.

Expect to see a lot of qualifying matches go the full ten minutes for this reason.  Expect to see a surprising number of matches end with a lot of ships still on the field for this reason.  But it ironically won't be as big of a deal in the 12-man matches, because 12 ships put out a hell of a lot more DPS than six.  The ASBs won't be as big of a factor because of that.  But CCP might see the impact of the ASBs in the qualifiers, over-react, and ban them in the group stage.  I hope not, but they might.

Finally, hopefully this will be the last year that cruisers are less-than-useful in the AT.  A choice between four Cyclones or Feroxes for 40 points or five T1 cruisers for 40 points is no choice at all.  Even though five T1 cruisers plus one tier 1 BC with a link is a natural six-man, 50-point team, don't expect to see any such teams.  Or if you do see them, expect them to lose pretty badly.  Hopefully, the re-balancing of cruisers will take care of this for AT11.

Here's to some good fights and some good fun!

(1) I say that with all love, Trebor.  <3  ;-)
(2) Yes it is.  When you have to compare a T1 module to a dead-space module to find something comparable, it's over-powered.


  1. Karbox DelacroixJune 29, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Instead of "Bones" we should call you: "Wrecks" because the kill reports tell all.

  2. I just figured the results from the first round would effect the second round match ups and that was why they hadn't announced anything. Not that I know much about alliance tournaments.

  3. I'd like to point out the reason only the first weekend is available, is because the second weekend match ups is determined by ranking the first weekend.

  4. Did you mean "daunting" oracles? or perhaps "vaunted"? or was it, after all, an intentional portmanteau?

  5. There was an AT where Hydra killed all but one opposing ship in the 1st qualifier, then self-destructed all their remaining ships.

    They knew that by doing so they would get an easier opponent on the next round. Now, if the schedule were unknown they probably wouldn't do that.

  6. You know The R0nin (primarily Chon corporation) is a twice silver medailist from AT? :)

  7. Jester I don't think your statement that ASB's are over powered is correct.

    They are balanced when you compare them against popular armor active rep and shield/armor buffer fits. They have essentially made shield tanking in pvp viable again (outside of semi-ridiculous pimp fits).

    Triple Rep Myrm (180mm, T2 fit, dual injected)
    Tanks: 666 dps (continuous)
    DPS: 510 dps
    Neut resistant (dual boosters), Scram/Web


    Dual LASB Cyclone (180mm, T2 fit, 2x LASB)
    Tanks: 394 dps (sustained alternating boosters) or 754 dps burst (but 60 second reload will likely kill you)
    DPS: 502
    Neut resistant (ASB/Nos), Scram, Neut/Nos

    A T2 Maelstrom XLASB vs. a Triple Rep Hyperion has a similar comparison to the Myrm/Cyclone match up.

    Do the same match up again with the Hawk vs. the Vengeance and you will see the same results.

    Against buffer fits the XLASB can be consider a big shield extender pushing the Cyclone's tank into the same range as the Drake or plated harb/cane.

    Prior to the introduction of the ASB these comparisons were woefully slanted towards armor.

    1. The problem with ASBs is simple: You can't neut a tank to death (ignore buffer tanks, obviously).

      With a regular cap injector you can either out neut it, or time your neuts to making boosting a real pain; no such ability with an ASB.

    2. And I don't think you know what you're talking about. Considering you can tank 7.2k dps in a minitar t2 command ship???????

    3. @Khalia you are correct they are more neut resistant but they are still susceptible to cap warfare (turn off the hardeners) and they often lack the slots/cpu/grid to fit a nos/injector.

      @Carmelos Yes - with links, pimp fittings you can burst tank a ridiculous amount but..

      1. After 40-50 seconds you die (60 second reload)
      2. You basically only function as bait (I was able to get a scram, 1 link, and 230 dps on a Claymore (2xXLASB, 2xinvuln, SBA, t2 resist rigs)
      3. While I have not flow the Claymore with this setup I have flown the Cyclone (dual LASB) and when taking fire near the limits of you tank you are likely to over boost/bleed through because of cycle time/lag/reaction time. So the actual dps tanked I would expect to be lower (or you run the risk of bleeding right into your pod with that level of incoming dps).
      4. Compare this vs. a Damnation - 1 reload on the XLASBs gives you ~350k EHP before links/blue pill/Crystals which is comparable to T2 fit Damnation (and the Damnation can fit 3 links...)

      I am not saying this isn't an incredible tank but it is not unbalanced when you look at other ships (armor) in similar roles.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.