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...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Is tournament play EVE?

It's funny that I've never thought to write a blog post about this. I'm one of the few EVE bloggers that even covers tournament play. And I tend to write about "big picture" issues when I can. So why not cover this big picture question about tournaments? So here goes.

Disinterest about tournament play in EVE takes many forms. Most commonly, this is associated with simple apathy or lack of interest in the topic. Many EVE players aren't PvPers or don't have much interest in EVE PvP and as a result they do not watch EVE tournament play that focuses on PvP. After apathy or disinterest usually comes lack of knowledge of tournament play and/or an inability or unwillingness to commit the time needed to watch and learn about it. But all of these reasons associated with disinterest are pretty passive, all in all.

That said, from time to time, I run into EVE players that are actively disinterested or actively against tournament play in EVE. And these objections usually come in two forms:
  1. Tournaments are "not EVE" because EVE should not include fair, pre-scheduled battles with "rules."
  2. Tournaments are against the spirit of EVE because CCP violates the sandbox by running them.
So let's look at each in turn.

For the first, I think it will be fun to drag in a little history to explain my perspective.

I'm an American, and patriotic. That means from time to time I enjoy pointing at activities that Americans are good at. ;-) One of the things that America is good at that bears on this conversation is war. My country was founded in war and has involved itself in a major war every 15 years or so of its existence. One of the innovations that America has brought to this field is the concept of the full-size military exercise between two powers, usually referred to as "war games."

Military exercises and military simulations have been a part of war since the Napoleonic era. Prussia and their innovation of the career General Staff is generally credited with creating the first modern military simulations and exercises. They were playing war-games in the early 1800s, and military exercises quickly followed in every major country thereafter. This later expanded to the creation and use of "war plans." These were, quite frankly, plans that could be put into place at a moment's notice were it necessary to invade or conquer a neighbor and were updated frequently based on simulations carried out in the "war colleges" of various countries. America had a whole series of these built around the same time.

For instance, the U.S. Naval War College (NWC) conducted military simulations which culminated in various war plans developed prior to and used in World War II. Prior to that war, the U.S. had held a number of NWC simulations fighting the Pacific war or aspects thereof with "blue" (the U.S.) fighting against "orange" (the Japanese)... and usually losing. These were large table-top exercises with two sides, dice to introduce random chance (usually referred to as "friction"), and umpires to judge results. The simulations were remarkably accurate and correctly predicted a lot of the challenges the U.S. would face in WWII and as a result, war plans were made to address these challenges.

In a few cases, the models were so accurate that their information was -- amusingly enough -- not believed. Persistent rumor surrounds a NWC exercise one year that simulated what for all intents and purposes was the Battle of Midway, years before it took place. In the exercise, "blue" carriers managed a series of lucky circumstances that resulted in heavy damage to and sinking of "orange" aircraft carriers. Rumor has it (the exercises were classified) that the umpires judged this result unlikely and one or more of the "sunk" aircraft carriers were "resurrected" and allowed to fight on. Except that when the real Battle of Midway was fought, luck did indeed play a major role!

But these cases did show the dice as a means of introducing less-than-ideal circumstances into the simulation -- weather, morale, supply problems, communication problems, et cetera -- were themselves often less-than-ideal.

So the innovation America brought to the table was reducing the roles of dice and umpires... and running military simulations with real military troops and hardware, often as full scale military exercises with one group of soldiers facing off against other in simulated warfare. This started en masse during World War II and by the post-war years had developed into a number of large scale joint exercises between the U.S. and allied nations. The most famous of these periodic exercises are probably RIMPAC, held every other year in the waters off Hawaii.

To use one example: one of the jobs of escort destroyers around U.S. carriers is to prevent a missile-carrying ship or boat from penetrating the screen and getting line-of-sight on the carrier to launch a missile. One RIMPAC exercise centers on destroyer captains actually using their ships to simulate this play of attack and defense. An allied destroyer or smaller ship "plays" a missile-firing ship. A U.S. destroyer tries to block. Sure, an umpire can decide whether a red missile is successfully launched against a blue carrier in a smoky room on a sand table somewhere. Dice can decide whether a theoretical destroyer does the job. But isn't it more fun and worthwhile for everyone involved to see if the actual destroyer captains involved can actually carry out these missions under simulated wartime conditions with the actual hardware and crews?

Anyway, I think you can see where I'm going with all this: if tournament play didn't exist in EVE, it would be necessary to invent it... and someone would. ;-) There's nothing wrong with simulated military exercises taking place in the sandbox.

Which brings me to the second objection, that tournament play involves CCP violating the sandbox. And here we're on somewhat shakier ground, I must admit. I myself have been known to complain about this aspect of the tournament. For instance, the introduction of prizes impacts the sandbox. For the AT in particular, there are only two winning teams, often out of dozens of competing teams. Given EVE player's tendency to balance investment, risk, and reward, this has created a situation where it is in the best interests of EVE players to join winning teams rather than to try to create winning teams themselves. That, combined with the scarcity of the prizes and the increasing influence of ISK on the process, has resulted in those winnings being concentrated on a small number of teams.

This raises various types of conscientious objectors to CCP's involvement in tournament play:
  • purists who feel that CCP shouldn't be involved at all in the internal workings of the sandbox;(1)
  • people who are concerned that CCP's marketing of tournament play sells a game that isn't EVE to new players; and,
  • people who like tournaments but are concerned about smaller impacts, like distribution of prize ships and movement of players or corps to tournament success teams.
Now the first one I have to admit I don't have much sympathy toward. New Eden has never and will never be any sort of "pure" sandbox. Controls and inputs exist all along its outer edge and this is just one. But the other two do deserve scrutiny.

The idea that tournaments and CCP's marketing of tournaments sells a game that has no relation to EVE is a valid concern. Various people including myself have been raising the idea of "arena EVE" for years and years; I don't think it will ever happen. Unironically marketing EVE to tournament viewers is something CCP Soundwave did seamlessly but I noted with interest that CCP Bro only brought up the subject once during the second New Eden Open. And this topic came up in spades at the eSports Round Table at Fanfest. You could try to start playing EVE with the intent of being a tournament player... but the lack of guideposts will soon frustrate you. The overall argument is that since tournaments don't exist by and large inside New Eden, CCP is doing itself a disservice by marketing them "as EVE" or vice versa.

The third point is a lot more fluid, subtle, and harder to argue, but there's no question that every tournament has an impact on the sandbox, with players and corps changing hands, as well as billions of ISK in PLEXes and tournament ships. The ultimate argument here is that changes to the sandbox are happening because of CCP-initiated actions instead of player-initiated ones. That drives the argument back to the central core: does CCP have the right to interfere in how the sandbox operates? Again, there's no such thing as a pure sandbox, but where are the borders when it comes to this issue?

Start arguing too strenuously that CCP has the right to play in their own sandbox and pretty soon you have to contend with the specter of favoritism. I've been slightly concerned about that once or twice myself when it came to CCP devs...

All that said, I don't consider myself a sandbox "purist" and while I've been concerned with the more minor issues tournament play has on player movement within the game, I'm not sure these objections qualify as major issues sufficient to stop tournament play. So overall, I haven't shared the concern that CCP is somehow violating the sandbox by running tournaments.

What say you, Dear Readers? Is tournament play EVE? Does it violate the sandbox?


(1) This group also objects to CCP giving prize ships to community fan sites, CCP dev roams, and usually to live events as well. See this quite good article from Brendan Drain.

51 comments:

  1. I think we should resign ourselves to having to live with the largest gaming universe there is, with perhaps more modes of play than any other will ever offer, and not try to insist that the experience be entirely one thing--not even a sandbox--and not another.

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  2. I'm not much into PVP and neither is my husband, but we *love* EVE tournaments. Kind of funny, because we're not sports spectators. :-)

    Maybe CCP could do more to bring in some world-building, which would make the tournaments better integrated into the environment from an in-character perspective.

    You mention a concern that marketing EVE this way sets an expectation that can lead to disappointment for new players who envision tournaments as a career path. I think there's a larger problem with expectations, actually. People read about EVE in the gaming news and come in thinking they'll be in some huge crazy battle almost right away, when in fact it may take a long time or never happen at all.

    I'd be in favor of more guidance in career paths, and if one of those paths is the New Eden equivalent of a professional athlete or even a gladiator, cool.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. The proper response to those two objections is to dismiss them. That goes for any self-proclaimed purist who turns up his nose at any form of play that doesn't conform to his notion of "what Eve is about."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. But, see, even if you are not a "sandbox purist" you still need to consider a rephrased version of that second objection: how much should devs meddle in the game?

      To me, clearly the answer cannot be 0%, nor 100%. It may be the case that there is no sole definition that can properly answer it.

      Delete
  5. I've enjoyed tournaments since they started, and will probably continue to do so.

    That said, I fall partly into category 3 and also into category 4. Category 4 being the fact that I don't like the fact that these tournament setups/opportunities/gameplay/ect are limited to only a few select groups/people.

    Tournament play is essentially arena type play. IF CCP are going to have tournaments that are outside the sandbox like they have been (not in terms of loss of ships, but in terms of being not interferable/staged), then CCP should let everyone have that opportunity. Create an Arena mode so that any group of players can challenge another to PvP with whatever restrictions the players set.

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  6. It's not that tourney-play has not interested me, its just that for all practical purposes it is literally the furthest thing away from the reality of the game. You mention war games and training, show me where in Null-Doctrines where you can put together kitchen-sink fleets as a doctrine then go fly them.

    Add to the ridiculous price for admissions, the amount of training involved, the cost of the ships etc and what you have is basically falconry, a sport for the very wealthy and elites only.

    TL/DR..competitive dick-wagging is boring to the masses...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. ..competitive dick-wagging is boring to the masses... really?
      Watched any football (US or European) lately? Competitive 'dick-wagging', as you put it, is a multi-billion dollar/euro industry my friend...

      Delete
    2. Yes, it sure is TurAmarth...and more than likely in 50 years American Football will be history due to all the brain injuries.

      Your analogy fails on many parts, number one being not since the XFL (ugh) did we have the faceless masses be able to compete instead of the pros. Additionally those sports have entire supported leagues and genuine effort placed into them by the NFL. EvE is nothing like that.

      But it being a multi-billion industry is true...esp when you consider that the NFL franchise owners pay dick for taxes on all that money they make...and I'm sure that it all goes to the players right?

      Delete
    3. Right... and may I ask, where do you think all those billions they pay dick for taxes on come from? Ticket sales... to hundreds of thousands of fans.
      And nope... barely a few millions go the players...

      (Just so it's real clear, I have no interest in football, American or European... Cops n teachers should be millionaires... footballers and movie stars should have middle class incomes... at best)

      Delete
  7. Tournaments are not 'playing' the game, but they are a 'part' of the sandbox, and hence do not 'violate' anything anymore than the Indy 500 is not your daily commute... but it is cars being driven on pavement.

    If it was true that the CCP created and run Tournaments violate the sandbox, then it would also be true that CCP could never re-balance any ship, add anything or change 'anything' without also 'violating' the sandbox.

    For me, what it all it boils down to is this... it's CCPs sandbox, they OWN it, lock, stock, code and server... and irregardless of what any player or player group says or wants, CCP can do whatever they want to, or better yet, whatever they feels is best to do with it.

    The playerbase can lobby (forums, CSM, etc.) for and against things, they can argue for and against this and that, but in the end, CCP are the people who define what the sandbox is and as such they cannot 'violate' their own game, and the EULA, ToS and copyright laws back me up on this.

    Any further argument is moot and a waste of words.

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    Replies
    1. That admission, I believe, is Jester's point. The realization that tournaments don't violate anything would defang the but-sandboxers. It's a nicely executed take-down, too, because what's more EVE than the Alliance Tournament?

      Delete
    2. @Tur 7:59PM. -- Public Service Announcement: 'irregardless' is not a word.

      Delete
    3. @Tiye Q-

      Sadly, in the vernacular, 'irregardless' has been used so commonplace for regardless that it now has been recognized as a word meaning the same thing as regardless. #englishisbroken

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/irregardless?s=t&path=/

      Delete
    4. @Tiye Q 7:37 AM -- Private Can You Google Announcement:
      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irregardless

      Uh yea... it is.

      Delete
  8. the whole game is marketed as something that it is not. have they ever really tried to capitalise on the massive spite factor that this the primary motivator of conflict. its all about the tears isn't it?

    [trailer] hulk in a belt with lasers active. text highlights over the hull, pointing the cost and performance of various modules. Mozart's Clarinet Concerto Movt 2 plays over this serene vista. Flick to an in-warp catalyst; text highlight on this - sharp as a razor and just as disposable. Catalyst lands on grid and then blows the hulk away. camera to the string of rage from the miner pilot in chat that rapidly pops up.

    1. cost of the miner, in the hundreds of millions
    2. cost of the kill, about 10 million
    3. tears, priceless

    camera pans back to the rest of the belt - with multiple oblivious assorted mining barges. What are you waiting for; your career in spreading grief awaits.

    oh yeah - that would be seller.

    *===========

    how are CCP not involved in the inner workings of the game, when they set the rules? the game is full of conditions which are set the by programmers. the recent directives behind the industry updates are intended to follow a set of guidelines.

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    1. UH... no. It's all about tears to YOU but not to everyone. I do not like, at all, when something I do in the game actually upsets another player so I do not take part in those kinds of activities. And the few times I have been involved in a kill where the other player felt victimized, the worst I could have been accused of is seeming indifference. I was paid to do a job, and I did it for the ISK... lots of ISK... but not for any kind of sophomoric 'tears'.

      This is one of the reasons I live in Anoikis. You can't 'accidentally' jump into W-space... if you are there, it is because you wanted to, and did the work necessary to be there, then there is a safe assumption that in doing so you understood just how deadly players are IN W-space.

      This assumption has proven true in my years in holes... players there expect to be attacked, without quarter, at any time. As there is NO expectation of any safety, I have never once heard a miner or hauler or any player cry after a fight in a wormhole.... no tears.

      I can't stand the concept of 'tears, priceless'... to me, that signifies someone who derives enjoyment from intentionally upsetting other people... IE (yep, I'm gonna say the "B" word...) a bully plain and simple. Someone who LIKES making other people cry.

      And the reason CCP doesn't, and will never, do any marketing the way YOU would like is because it would lose them more potential players than any other marketing strategy could... and they are not that stupid.

      Delete
    2. Awww there is bullys in eve. Damn I sure wish i didnt have tons of experience dealing with that in the real world already at least in eve i can u know kill them. That said if you don't think that eve isnt a simulation of capitalism gone wild you have little or no idea what you are talking about. PPL only give you tears cuz it takes some form of time/money to get anything in the game. And that hits on why eve isnt a good candidate for esports. The time and money u need to put in to become competitive isnt worth the prizes unless you are already an eve player. No one in their right mind is going to spend all year getting ready for the NEO for a chance to win $10,000. they could have been in multiple LOL SC2 and DOTA2 tourneys for a chance at millions.

      Delete
    3. sorry TurAmarth, I should have added a sarcasm tag.

      during the recent E1 episode, supporters of this ... person - directed attention to the "be the villain" tagline that CCP used in recent adverts. of course I could direct to butterfly effect trail; where the miner is actually rescued - wait who does that?!

      I can single out a irregular comment by Rammstein in one last weeks Jester articles. "eve is all about spaceship explosions". only person's perception - but I doubt it is isolated belief. but wait, for the release of the Gecko heavy drone; the competition contain three prongs. amount of ore mined, mission bounty and ship destruction. or should I direct to formerly issued QENS which published across multiple disciplines in Eve. harvesting, the market, bounties and destruction? I could keep going; just pointing out how wrong is "eve is all about spaceship explosions" - but I don't think anybody would be swayed.

      hence my shot at an "honest" eve trailer.

      Delete
  9. Living as I do in a GMT+12 timezone (GMT+13 from October to March) the Alliance tourneys were always at a sufficiently irritating time that I never watched more than a couple of matches live, and never participated, despite being in an alliance that got in a few times and was asking for pilots.

    My lack of interest was probably at least partially sour grapes, but given that, I found it hard to get excited about it.

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  10. What is the point of this blog?

    To demonstrate that CCP caters to the "elite" of their community, where hundreds of players (which represents 0.05 percent of their player base, at best) are watched by one percent of the player base, who spend more money today than many alliances 3 years ago could ever hope to amass, to earn trillions in prizes?

    I don't care about the bullshit of "does it break the sandbox?". The community can't even come to a consensus on what that idiot term means (though I am sure oh so many will enlighten us with their opinion on what it means).

    Does any one care if it represents PvP in Eve? Is using the Eve tourney as a marketing tool saying "this is Eve" any less fraudulent that using the B-R fight as a marketing tool stating that is what Eve PvP is like?

    If the uber-elite wants to spend multi-billions, and meta game each other on Sisi, and a bunch if their sycophants want to watch, wonderful. I would suggest the vast majority of Eve subscribers don't even know the AT exists, let alone care. This is one event that truly has zero impact on the average player, unlike the predations on high sec by the CSM and their dev lackeys.

    So I ask again, what is the point of this blog? If the null sec dev's want to group masturbate once a year with the null sec cartels in some tourney that has no impact the the vast vast vast majority of the player base, great. The more time they waste on this thing, the less time they spend on wrecking the game.

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    1. Maybe I would use less colourful wording, but that's what I feel. AT is on the top 10 in a list of things I don't care to know about EVE.

      Delete
    2. no u see dis they all missed the e-sports boat. They want this to draw players and professional gamers to eve. the problem is EvE isnt designed for this. I think if they want more ppl in eve tourneys they need to have more on the test server. TQ is great for the AT cuz its an Alliance tourney its ment to be the top meta gaming the top and some of us watching thats it purpose. But thats not the purpose of esports. As it is now the barrier of entry is far to high for anyone just getting into the game. If u wanted to spend no money on plex it would take u like 2 years to become competitive and then u wouldnt have the plex to get an entry in NEO. It pretty simple really, I can go play DOTA2 and hell just by loging on im at the same level as a professional in game. The only difference is our skill and isnt that what sports is ment to be a level playing field for teams to see who has more skill? EvE tourneys on TQ WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO DO THIS.

      Delete
  11. I have a major sin to confess:

    In all of my years of playing EVE, I have never once given a fuck about any tournament in EVE. Not a single AT or NEO match has been something I cared enough to pay attention to.

    I'm totally uninvested in tourney play and if people enjoy it, more power to them.

    I just don't give a flying fuck and I find it boring to watch.

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  12. Actually would the Tornament be on the Testserver with everybody having All V Chars .. yeah would be interested .. because then the meta would win .. but now it is just who has the most isk ??

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    1. Agreed. I (and many of my alliance mates) would live to join in the tourney. We have a small alliance, but we are willing to plex our way in. That said, we could actually afford to compete with larger alliances throughout if it weren't for the possible need to switch from slaves to crystals, and things like that. When we decided not to compete, it was mostly the cost of the AT matches, not the buy - in that kept us from trying. Test server could help solve that issue for smaller alliances, and bring new blood into the tourney. I'm sure there would be some other pros and cons to it, but those are my thoughts.

      Yak

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    2. Yak

      CCP does not allow any implants beyond attribute implants, so no Slaves and such.

      In addition they changed the rules so no hardwirings above 3% are allowed ether.

      Both of these changes have made the tourney far more affordable for participants. I spent 100 million ISK on 3% hardwirings (I think) and about 20 million ISK on ships for the last NEO. Only flew Herons (Only have Caldari Frig L1 hahah). So I did not even bother to ask for reimbursement. I have donated about 10 billion ISK into the team fund.

      They only spendy part is if you fully utilize the flagship with officer mods. Then again you don't have to field one or you can fit it with faction.

      Ashina Sito

      Delete
  13. WELCOME to www.cheese-rolling.co.uk where “twenty young men chase a cheese off a cliff and tumble 200 yards to the bottom, where they are scraped up by paramedics and packed off to hospital”. It's a tradition, It is entirely real, but it is not typical of the rest of of Britain. Fun tho.
    The tourneys aren’t typical of the rest of EVE, but they are made of the same stuff and are now officially Tradition: “First time's a fluke; second time's a coincidence, third time's tradition”
    If I have any concern it is that CCP has Not Done Enough to integrate the events into the lore of EVE.

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  14. Tournaments aren't war simulations because they restrict the No1 and No2 aspects of EVE PvP: numbers and surprise (gank).

    You can't bring more pilots than your enemy, nor can you catch them while traveling, ratting or when their Sov is dropped by a spy.

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    Replies
    1. They aren't war simulations, no - but I think they make for good battle simulations.

      Think of the battle room from Ender's Game (under normal conditions not the ones towards the end of the book). Those are not real combat conditions either. But they allow you to learn and practice movement, coordination, maneuvers and small scale tactics in a competitive and challenging environment.
      And even if some of those tactics make little sense under 'real' conditions, the process of coming up with them, executing them and learning from mistakes in them improves the pilots.

      Delete
    2. its ment to be a sport not a war u dumb ass goblin. Actually the things u said they cant do is what attracts players to these things. And i assure u plenty of spying goes on. But id expect a low skilled wow player to think numbers and surprise are the only ways to win a fight. out here in new edan the rest of us are getting into outnumbered fights and winning all the time. I wouldnt expect a WoW AH hugging carebear to understand this but get the fuck out of high sec. go to low not null. this is where ppl like u can actually have influence, or u can keep throwing isk at the goons and continue to let us all laugh at u while u make the same noob mistakes the rest of us did while u blog about how superior you are cuz u can station trade. You know the rest of us can do math too we just think its boring and got better ways to make isk.

      Delete
  15. I'm not surprised you haven't written this piece before now Jester. It is aimed at a select few who lack a basic understanding of English (or French).

    The word tournament comes from medieval France where they held... wait for it... tournaments for knights etc. in which a "level playing field" was created where individuals could display and compare their talents, sans influential external factors (as much as possible anyway). Hence why jousting tournaments didn't have flanks of archers on one side trying to kill one of the knights.

    Quite a simple concept really.

    The people complaining about tournaments in EvE not being "sandboxy" enough and being too "fair" are presumably people who order a cheeseburger and complain that it has cheese in it. The clue is in the name.

    Cheeseburger > contains cheese.
    Tournament > controlled environment for competition.

    I'm sure those people in medieval France who complained about not being able to bring in an army to slaughter one knight during the tournament were told to "fermer la bouche, imb├ęcile". We should probably continue in this vein.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Jamie,

      I would not dare type anything about EVE tournaments because I would not know anything about them.

      But if you followed Jester's posts on the topic, it seems like EVE tourneys are anything but a 'Level Playing Field'.

      The whole 'why is there so few teams?' thread would indicate that meta-gaming has crushed any bit of 'comparing talents' left in the endeavour and replaced it with 'comparing sponsors'.

      I dunno about "Is EVE a tournament game?" but maybe a better question would be: "Are EVE tournaments actually tournaments?".

      That could explain why so few people are even remotely interested in EVE tournaments. Hard to feel involved when it's impossible to practice the sport as an amateur.

      I personally fit straight into the 'extreme apathy' crew.
      In my years of EVE, I never felt the impetus to check if tournaments existed, let alone watch them.

      Delete
  16. Maybe watching hitpoint-bars just isnt that interesting?
    Seriously, the main screen could as well be a hangar-ship-spin-on-a-loop.
    80% of whats on screen just doesnt convey any information at all.
    The time ratio between match-action and mostly uninteresting studio talk is also pretty bad.
    ISK and skillpooints totally defeat the point of "controlled environment for competition".

    Go watch a Starcraft tournament instead to see how its done right

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the bars are bad and sometimes even the commentators get locked in watching the bars, missing important other info. It is terrible. I once said a in-game spectator client could help, but after thinking about it a bit longer, it's probably still way too abstract for most people to enjoy the experience.

      So, my own main driver for watching the AT is the expectation of some super-shiny ships from past tournys getting blown up and I have a hunch there are many more who are just like me in that regard.

      Delete
  17. I won eve about 8 months after I started. That was 3 years ago. I still enjoy reading about the meta game and even watching the tournaments (not on terrible twitch but once they are posted on youtube).

    I think two things might make them more accessible. Playing them on SiSi and making them 40 vs 40 or similar.

    I think CCP uses the data when considering ship balance. I think the meta evolves much more quickly than during wars on the live server and therefore CCP gains a perspective that is otherwise unobtainable. So its probably a net gain for the game.

    I also considered there may be room for tournaments for other styles of play. I think a botting tournament would be entertaining and might allow CCP to develop better tools for catching bots on tranquillity. But then the second thing I did after starting eve was write a bot to have my trial osprey account mine for 23 hours a day.

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  18. I wonder if it'd work to have different tiers for SP levels. That'd give newer players an easier way to get their feet wet with tournament play.

    I know that optimizing fleet comp is part of the tournament process, but it'd be fun to have a variant where each side picks from, say, one of four predetermined fleet setups, maybe even something fairly low end. And then you duel in your rent-a-ships.

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  19. I'd like to point out that while the Alliance tournament is the flagship and the NEO is a ship of the line, there are many, many other less formal tournament style mini-games held all over eve, constantly.

    Our corp alone has one such event this year, and is planning a second. Are they part of normal eve play? Nope. Do they use EvE ships to go out and be entertained? Yup. Wait, playing a game for entertainment - Isn't that the whole damn point ?

    Does it represent EvE gameplay? Not truly. Does the British Open represent normal golf play? Not truly. But it doesn't matter.

    Do I worry that the in-game rewards given to pilots are game changing and/or unfair ? Well, the ships themselves are very much OP. My own suggestion to that, is that tournament prize ships are INELIGIBLE for tournament play. You win them, go lose them in regular EvE play. I don't want to ever watch an Alliance tournament where one team fields a squad where the majority of ships are prize ships. Unless the prize ships are properly represented with point values appropriate to their OP nature, they have no business in the tournament.

    However, I will say I cheer loudly when one is popped.

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  20. I would care a lot more about the tournament if it was something that was more reasonable for me to participate in. My corp is not in an alliance and fielding twelve pilots is asking too much. 5-7 pilots would be much more within reach. As it is it seems more like dancing horses or sailboat races than a sport which I can relate to.

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  21. If CCP really wants into esports they are going to have to do more stuff on the test server. TBH even that is gonna be iffy cuz a lot of pro gamers wont put the time in to get sp. At least if its on the test server they only need isk for toons then they are competitive. Needing isk for toons + stupid amounts of expensive equipment is gonna be too much for a pro gamer to do tbh. and for what a shot at $10k in the NEO.....Or they could just keep playing dota or lol and have multiple shots at a million. I think the AT and NEO should stay on tq but a few more tourneys need to be added to test server maybe even a league/ladder. Short of that eve will remain very small in the esports community as it is a real MMORPG and not a MOBA. In MOBA u play for a week (if that) and u have everything u need to compete (and if its not LOL it didnt cost u a dime) in a tourny. good luck doin that in eve.

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  22. I think the war games analogy is insightful. The sandbox has created tournaments on its own. RvB is probably the best example. It is basically an ongoing tournament for the purpose of live PvP training. The same is true of the small tournaments that corps and alliances run for their members. I've always seen these events as similar to the jousting tounrnaments of the past. They are not exactly like war but they simulate it enough to be useful. I do, however, see increasing issues with the giving of fabulous prizes to the winners by CCP. I say keep the tournaments, but make them more inclusive. Use only T1 ships and modules and give ship skins or little trophies to put in your hanger as prizes. Keep the positive aspects of theory crafting and combat practice, but remove the prizes that effect game balance.

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  23. "Disinterest about tournament play in EVE takes many forms. Most commonly, this is associated with simple apathy or lack of interest in the topic."

    That's about as far as I read, as I am apathetic to and have no interest in the topic. I just thought you should know. Feel free to use this anecdotal evidence to illustrate for or against whatever conclusions you made regarding this subject.

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  24. The current tournaments are like dog shows, beauty pagents and corsage. Sure they are fine contests for societies elite, but it won't appeal to the rest of us because it's not a sport we play. If ccp wants it to be big they need to change the format to be accessible to smaller less well financed groups.

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  25. A point of order - escorts are not there to prevent enemy ships and aircraft from getting LOS to the carrier. Modern antiship missiles have ranges far longer than visual or horizon range. The escorts are on layer of the overall defense. Submarines with torpedoes are mch more likely to try to penetrate the escort screen.

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    1. This exercise is to practice against small boats with men armed with RPGs that are decidedly LOS, plus the practice helps defend against a USS Cole situation against the carrier.

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  26. Maybe if I could just torrent all of the video for the tournaments daily instead of needing to stream it. And it is commonly streaming outside of my timezone. I do enjoy the decisions that the teams need to make; which ships and how they are fitted. Plus unlike just about most meta in Eve - it is the more often the victory which is dissected and praised; instead of usually "lolz alod fail" tripe I find so inane.

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  27. Couple of reasons why I really like tourney play:

    1/. Gives you a chance to quickly try and ascertain the ships in use, how they are potentially configured, and how they're likely to be flown. Good skills for an FC/target calling/tactical awareness and response.

    2/. Seeing green and covered with blasters annihilating the opposition :)

    And frankly, where two teams are relatively evenly matched as far as ships and fittings goes, watching some sublime flying that affects the outcome is always a pleasure.

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  28. The only objection I had to tournaments was MBIII, aka Dolan. Now that he has been kicked out of CCP, perhaps tournaments will be fun to watch again.

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  29. I was running Corp cruiser tourneys in 2004/2005.
    Corpses got the chance to win isk, a bling end ship n whatever mods were dropped plus mucho kudos!
    So they are definately part of EvE.

    Regards
    Jai Kedrick

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