Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Does Eve Need Arenas?

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 ;) ).


  1. It could be as simple as a contract, which when both parties agree removes any concord action or security hit taken against the two parties involved when they fight each other, but adds concord action to anyone who interferes, and the contract ends when one leaves the grid the fight started on.

  2. Good idea! I second the suggestion that this be possible through a contract. That would allow the matches to be set up anywhere. Of course you also need a leaderboard and tracking system to rank the best players/corps/alliances! If this facilitates more ship destruction, industrialists will benefit too!

  3. One more thing! There should be an option to allow spectators to patch into camera drones and watch the matches live. (guild wars uses a similar process with their 8v8 competitions.)

  4. I would like it, but there should be the option to set up your own ruleset as well. So that it could be used for both personal vendettas but also for practice.

  5. Anonymous10:15 am

    I think this would be a great idea as long as CCP has the willpower to not let it bleed into and interfere with every other part of the game, as arena's have with World of Warcraft (and I have little doubt that CCP is more resilient to this kind of thing than Blizzard).

    I just say this because at first arena matches were casual and fun in WoW. It had ranking systems for the hardcore, but mostly it was just a fast way to get your pvp kicks out. But it wasn't long before, to the detriment pve, battlegrounds, etc etc, Blizzard began using the arenas as the standard for class rebalancing. Truly, I got so infuriated that it was nearly every 2 weeks, for a time, that i'd have to entirely relearn my hunter's spell because of hotpatches to "correct" arena.. something I never had interest in participating in.

    Anyway, not saying this would happen in EVE by any stretch (really just felt like telling a story :P) but if CCP were to go ahead with this, I'd hope they keep it simple, stable, and focused on fun.

  6. Anonymous12:46 pm

    Dunno..initially I thought hell no...but I like the contract system setup preferably. 3v3 contract all parties join the contract which means that such individuals can fight in any given space once all 6 are on the grid maybe?

  7. Anonymous4:31 pm

    I have no problem with the idea except the bit that says people from the outside can't interfere. If you're doing it in high sec, then the interference available to others should be the same as anyone else in high sec.

    If you want to do something about external parties, make it part of the final "result" that all can see. Let people looking at the result see that a third party was involved and who they damaged/repped.

  8. Does Eve Need Arenas? Kirith Kodachi thinks it does. He lists both the reasons (give the players the option to self-organize consensual pvp) and the tools (similar to those currently used in Alliance tournaments).

  9. belamar makes a significant point here---under the contract system as written, you could "duel" your buddy to make yourself invincible to your war targets.

  10. This is the beauty of EVE, its many forms of PvP. There's room for solo griefing in a belt, small skirmish roams, gate camp, station camps, remote-rep gangs, siege warfare, etc. I think there would be room for arena-style combat and finding a way to make it count; not just yelling "1v1?" in Local Jita or Rens, with the only purpose being to find out if a tank is good, or DPS is good.

    Personally I'm starting to look into EVE's racing leagues, as it not only involves some PvP but also getting from A to B as fast as possible. Hey, I'm a speed freak and pretty much everyone knows it :)