I was back from my vacation in the Canadian Wilderness last night and ran a very enjoyable fleet in EVE, followed by a quick game of Overwatch before bed. I bring that up because I've been thinking about the two games a lot recently.
I picked up a single Overwatch podcast to listen to, Overchat, and I enjoy it even though it spends a lot of time talking about the E-sports scene and the teams that compete. Meanwhile in EVE podcasts there have been discussions about the upcoming alliance tournament and the teams and rule sets and etc... and I couldn't care less.
"What's wrong with me?" I asked. My casual play in both games means I will never participate at the level of either the Alliance tournament in EVE or Overwatch tournaments, yet discussions of the former bores me to tears while the latter I can enjoy.
After some pondering I hit upon the answer.
In the Overwatch if someone describes a high level competitive match to me I know what they are talking about because although I play the same game at a lower casual level it has overall the same basic mechanics and strategies for the most part. I can never be that good but I can appreciate what they are doing that is so good.
In EVE, the Alliance tournament is divorced from the gameplay we experience on a daily basis. In almost 10 years of playing I've never encountered a perfectly balanced 10 v 10 battle with matching ship points and restrictions and bans and an equal start with opponents that don't try to flee. The Alliance tournament setup is not EVE, its an arena game using EVE mechanics. Since I don't have personal experience with that gameplay, I have trouble following its descriptions in podcasts and visualizing it and thus caring about it. On the other hand, someone describing an normal engagement is far more enjoyable because I've been in plenty of small and medium and large scale combat.
Since the tournament use CCP only tools and environments, players can only approximate the tournaments themselves and then only with large amounts of effort. Because of this, I'll probably never get to dip my toe in and a facet of EVE gameplay is lost to me and others like me.
I've argued for CCP developing some sort of arena gameplay for EVE in the past and I still think its true, but I understand this is my problem with interest in the Alliance Tournament and CCP has decided to not pursue that avenue.