CrazyKinux, aka the Eve Blogfather, has left the stage. He left behind him two great legacies: the Eve Blog Pack and the Blog Banters. Rixx Javix of EVEOGANDA stepped up and took over the Blog Pack. He also, in my opinion, accidentally kicked off the first new Blog Banter, though it was accidental and unstructured (see Feudal Eve: An Introduction for more on that).
Twitter the last couple of days has been all aflutter with Freebooted and Arydanika’s push to relaunch Blog Banters a bit more formally, and they latched on to a post by Kirith Kodachi mulling over how successful a “combat arena” mode would work to drive the discussion.
Kirith Kodachi recently discussed the idea of what a World of Tanks style quick-match element would bring to EVE Online. Would the opportunity for a quick combat interest you? How could it be implemented? Could it be done without having a negative impact on existing gameplay elements? Or does such a concept have no place in EVE?
This led to numerous insightful posts by others, including Rixx Javix highlighting a longstanding proposal of his to do “Thunderdome” 1 v 1 combats (again showing his Gooder Eve pioneering cred), Freebooted suggesting these could be done virtually (this is hugely appealing to me because I am dirt poor in ISK terms – and I think it solves a number of issues related to control and management), Arydanika suggesting it could be part of lowsec revitalization (and it needs it), and Drakarn pointing out the numerous things that could spring up around it (I am a particularly big fan of the gambling and spectating suggestions).
I really like the full-on gladiatorial combat idea, complete with spectators and betting, hosted in lowsec with virtual ships – meaning the best pilot, not the best ISK-farmer or oldest character – could win. Sure, you could do a matching service as suggested by Harrigan Vonstudly.
It’s all great. Except for one thing: I’m a fleet combat guy. I also am partial to complexity (it’s one of the reasons I play this game). I’d rather watch a game of (American) football than a 1v1 basketball game. I certainly would rather play it.
So let’s further this proposal to add a strategic/tactical element.
The New Eden Combat League
I really paid attention to the Alliance Tournament for the first time this year. A number of things stuck with me, and not in a good way:
- A bunch of teams that were likely qualified and capable never made it in, for no real good reason.
- An awful lot of the teams seemed to be from the same political blocs.
- The ship balance was done by an arcane point value system that led to near-identical “Winmatar” setups.
- The final match was thrown because the two teams were effectively one team.
So what if we took the Gladiatorial Arena idea, with all that the others in the blog banter suggest, and also made it the method by which Alliance Tournament teams are chosen? I’ll plant a few ideas for people to beat up.
League Overview, 1-on-1 and Team Arena Classes
- Will be composed of teams with identical ISK-value fleets, number to be set by CCP. Yes, this means you might have 1 Carrier against 500 Rifters, or something equally crazy. There will be three classes of play:
- 1-on-1. Pretty self-explanatory. Small ISK level. The winner can pretty well claim the undisputed heavyweight title.
- Team Arena. Same thing, but bigger space, bigger ISK level. This is roughly similar to today’s AT, but based on merit from the ground up – which should also encourage teams who are hungry to win, not hungry to throw the fight to their “A Team” cousins.
- Fleet Arena. Totally different – see below.
- Each win counts for 1 point toward tournament qualification.
- Will run a three-month season ending with the Alliance Tournament. This will ensure that teams have the same time period in mind with which to gain points. Prizes and betting and all the ideas above apply.
- The 16 teams in each class with the highest point total at the end of regular season will be entered into the tournament, and bracketed per class much like the US NCAA basketball tournament. CCP may continue to issue byes for past champions for the first round.
The Fleet Arena Class
What all of these proposals – and AT – lack is an in-combat strategic element (yes, I suppose you could say the metagame aspect of AT is strategic, but – feh). So I propose a third class: Fleet Arena. This would take place within a mostly-closed but highly-connected pocket of systems, like Ani in Metropolis (not saying this should be done in highsec, just using it as an illustration). The two fleets start on opposite ends of the space. Wormhole usage is fair game. Fight to the finish.
This brings a whole new element of command capability and reconnaissance to the table that nothing else does … except for flying in Eve itself. But here it is a “fair” fight, and can truly show who the best Fleet Commander is in Eve.