Proposition: The alliance tournament prize ships should be distribute to more than just top two teams. Discuss.I got a couple responses:
Allow me to expand on my thoughts more.
Pandemic Legion just won their fifth alliance tournament which is a remarkable testament to their skill, no doubt about it. Other recent tournament winners, Hydra Reloaded and Verge of Collapse, both did well getting to the final four with Hydra being the team PL beat to win the big prize. In fact, it is my opinion that all of the teams to get to the quarter finals did it on skill and blood and sweat and tears. Congrats to you all.
But how much money did it cost to get that far? A team can easily spend a billion in ships and modules in a match, if not much more. Implants for each pilot (even limited to only +3% or lower) can be hundreds of millions or more each. In double elimination if you fall into the losers bracket you have to get ships for extra matches too.
And then consider some of the compositions we see as the tournament goes on. Not only do we see faction and tech II ships galore but even previous tournament frigates and cruisers come out to play. As Mynnna said in a response to a twitter question of mine:
"Some spend hundreds of billions of isk."
WOW. And outside of the top two teams the rewards are essentially nil. The third place team in previous tournaments may have got a handful of PLEX or straight up 20-25 billion ISK, but compared to the possible hundreds of billions of ISK invested it is a drop in the bucket. And if you don't spend hundreds of billions of ISK to compete, your chances of advancing far are limited at best.
To be fair, not all teams that advanced far had massive budgets.
So it is possible to compete and advance far in the tournament without a massive budget, but just like a professional sports team, its a lot harder. And outside of the top two teams, the tangible rewards are nil.
But for the top two teams, the rewards are massive.
The second place team gets 10 blueprint copies with 5 runs each of a unique tournament prize frigate which are often more powerful than most other frigates in the game and which cost virtually nothing to build but sell for 20 billion ISK each. This Cambion BPC goes for 60 billion last week but does not mention the number of runs. Even assuming a base sell price of 20 billion each you have a winning prize estimated at 500 billion ISK.
The winning team gets 50 runs of a unique prize cruiser. Its hard to get a firm price fix on these as they don't get sold very often. Eve kill estimated the Etana kill at 50 billion, here's someone trying to sell an Adestria last year for 60 billion. Let's use round numbers and say 50 billion as a base price to sell a tournament cruiser. That means the winning team effectively won 2.5 trillion ISK in the tournament.
|I was a little surprised too.|
The winners of the alliance tournament are not just making a profit, they are making a massive profit which they can then turn around and use to their advantage in the next tournament, either for funding the best compositions money can buy for every match in every round, or using the powerful but cheap points-wise tournament ships in the compositions themselves.
Previous winners Pandemic Legion, Hydra Reloaded, and Verge of Collapse were in the quarter finals because they are excellent teams but I think that they have an advantage from previous winnings and second place finishes. A huge advantage? No, but one that increases every time they win either of those massive prize packages. For everyone else, the alliance tournament can be a huge money sink making it more difficult to compete year upon year. The gap increases every year.
I have a proposal to float of course, a simple one that can help alleviate this power creep for future tournaments.
I like the idea of a unique limited number of tournament cruisers and frigates being prizes, but I think we should reward more than just the top two teams (with token cash thrown at the third place). Here is my prize structure:
1st place: 25 runs of tournament Cruiser and 25 runs of tournament frigate
2nd place: 15 runs of tournament Cruiser and 15 runs of tournament frigate
3rd place: 10 runs of tournament Cruiser and 10 runs of tournament frigate
4th place: 5 runs of tournament Cruiser and 5 runs of tournament frigate.
What good will this do? Well, there is still a large payout for the winners (down from estimated 2.5 trillion to 1.750 trillion) but a doubling for second place (up from estimated 500 billion to about 1 trillion) and a a huge payout to third and fourth place (estimated 700 million and 350 million respectively). This also has the effect of ensuring that any overpowered ships are not concentrated and hoarded in a single alliance (perhaps depressing the price of said ships a bit but I suspect that they will always command huge sums being unique, and I don't think that is necessarily bad anyways) and allows a better chance for reward for teams that make it into the semifinals. I'm not opposed to giving tens of billions of ISK to the other four quarter finalist teams either.
By flattening the spike of rewards at the top of the tier you give more resources to more teams to have resources to draw upon for the next tournament. And since there are more "reward spots" you have more chance for a "dark horse" team doing well one year and earning the financial wherewithal for a better run the next.
Ultimately the goal should be reward the winners handsomely while still avoiding or limiting a self-reinforcing cycle where only the top two winning teams get advantages for the next tournament. Spreading the rewards is the best thing to do to fight this.