One of the most brilliant aspects of Eve is the number of player run organizations that transcend typical MMO life.
- Eve Online Hold'em poker
- Interstellar Racing Championship
- BIG Lottery along with many other lotteries including ones done by Chribba (THE Eve Celebrity)
- EVE Bank
And those were just the big ones off the top of my head. Many hundreds of smaller initiatives exist and add to the tapestry that is the Eve experience. One of the more recent has been the Eve Celebrity Death Match duels of Nashh Kadavr and various Eve bloggers and personalities (myself included).
Its common to see outside of major trading hub stations to see people battling it out in consensual PvP, usually 1v1. One player drops an item in a jet can, the other picks it up to become hostile to the former, the former aggros the lattter, and then they start fighting to the death.
Sometimes friends will seek each other out for duels in a less structured manner than Nashh has done, and Corporations and alliances will sometimes have tournaments with cheap frigates. There are even full blown Eve PvP Tournaments run by players, and Massively ran an article on how to organize your own.
But at the top of the heap is the Developer organized and run Alliance Tournaments such as the 7th iteration that finished last weekend. It has huge entry fees but even larger rewards such as unique faction ships and billions of ISK.
Its a fact: People want the option of fair equal fights.
I'm not saying the whole game needs to be centred around this concept, but its obvious that people want the option to fight someone in fight where both sides come prepared, equipped with relatively the same class of gear, and fight to the structure/ship destruction.
While its great that there are many player initiatives to fill this need, I think that demand outpaces supply. Or more accurately, players need more tools in which to allow them to self-organize consensual PvP.
Eve needs arenas.
Whoa! Did you feel the knee jerk reaction of Eve players everywhere preparing to tell me to shove off? Fortunately, I am prepared to push forward.
What we need is the simple ability to arrange duels of 1v1, 3v3, 5v5, and 10v10 that have all the trappings of the alliance tournaments: massive warp bubble to keep ships in the area and kill them if they stray beyond the bounds of the zone, point system for selecting ships into the duels, non-interference from other non-dueling pilots (especially remote repping!), and a mechanic for time limiting the fight, counting points, and awarding/recording the win.
Although a lot of this can be done by player effort and agreeable participants, it would be far more accessible to the playerbase if the mechanics were built into the game. It would free up organizers to do more in the way of advertising and organizing tournaments, it would allow for players to have quick one off duels without large amounts of paperwork and communication, and it would add another layer of PvP to the game without detracting from actual PvP in low sec, war decs, and null sec sov wars.
Come on CCP, give the players what they want. Give them the chance to fight in battles like the Alliance Tournament without the billion ISK entry fee (or the skills ;) ).