Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Missed Opportunity

Last week on twitter I speculated on how the Command Destroyers and their Micro Jump Field Generators were going to impact the next alliance tournament to which CCP Fozzie replied:
Currently we plan to disallow the MJFG module for CCP-run tournaments.
He followed up with:
If you or others want to argue in favour of us leaving it in I'd be very willing to consider your/their points.
And later in response to questions:
 The interaction between the MJFG and arena boundary are the issue. The ability to launch people outside the arena.
I've been mulling that over ever since and I want to respond.

This is a missed opportunity to shake up the alliance tournament format and breath some new life into the current tiers of teams.

There has always been a tenuous connection between the PvP that happens in space all the time and the PvP we see in the arenas during tournaments, but at least the arena size was roughly equivalent to the typical grid dimensions of your average fight and the activities that happen therein. The Micro Jump Drive of battleships and battlecruisers started to impact that dynamic a little but it was minor and localized on the pilot in the ship and had no dramatic affect on arena combat.

The MJFG of Command Destroyers has far more reaching implications since it impacts all ships in the area of effect and I can see why the initial reaction of CCP is to simply disallow it. But combat has changed a lot in space and we have larger grid sizes and the MJFG has expanded combat on the new grids in dynamic and sometimes hilarious ways.

So why leave the arena size at 250 km? What's so special about that size anymore?

I can see when the tournament first started years and years ago that a size of 250 km would be more than enough for combat of that era, containing all possible activities a fleet could do without including warpin/outs from off grid, but the reality has changed and I think the alliance tournament should change to reflect that.

I think CCP should consider increasing grid sizes to at least 3 times if not 10 times larger. Encourage less in your face brawling and more tactical maneuvering. Discourage ties via some mechanics tweaking, maybe add some warpable objects to encourage movement, but let's see what a larger arena combat including MJFG Destroyers looks like. It may still not be the same as random PvP you see in real space, but it would be closer.


  1. "What's so special about that size anymore?"

    When arena sizes get larger, any attraction that the AT ever had beyond a group of tourney nerds is lost. Like it or not, the 'cool visuals' are the only thing which might ever attract non-nerds to play the game. The further, and longer you remained zoomed out, the lesser the appeal of the AT.

    Which is why the fact that the AT in its current form will continue puzzles me. I don't believe we've ever seen the positive monetary impact of the AT quantified. In a time of decreasing PCUs, I can't see the worth of it economically, considering the repeated corruption scandals. If they continue to host it, I can only ascribe their decision to pandering.

    When CCP publishes Eve Valkyrie, do they want the ball-and-chain of corruption to be tied around their legs? Valkyrie has the potential to be the next big E-sport. VR is untapped, unclaimed ground, and E-sports VR will be a multi-billion dollar market.

    If CCP continues to support the AT, then I think that the issues CCP has with respectability will cripple their VR strategy. I think that CCP Denebola and the other EA devs are too clever to indulge this strange pandering to the players.

    1. Just to support the first point, even on the current AT grid I can barely see what is going on with the ships or even the ship status chart they display, so it ends up being a few people describing a great fight I can't quite see. At that point I stop caring and go elsewhere unless somebody I know is on a team.

      Maybe the new in-game camera will make this better?

  2. The AT tournament has value - to EvE player retention. The corruption issues stem 100% from eve players simply being eve players, the min/max attitude of winning at all costs. The corruption is directly related to the in-game value of the prizes. Simply put, the prices should not provide tournament play benefits or even eve pvp benefits.