I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of the annual EVE Online Alliance Tournament for various reasons.
It happens outside the game, which is not good thing for a single shard sandbox game to my mind, and all the more so since the special rewards come back into the game. (Though that you have to supply ships from the game for the tournament, and if you lose them they’re gone, does redeem that some. Especially when a tournament reward ship blows up.)
Also, as with a lot of video game tournaments, seeing it online involves watching action on camera that wavers between being too distant to tell what is going on or too close to understand the context, making the commentary pretty much vital. And the commentary can be… uneven. You all aren’t Elise Randolph I’m afraid.
In addition, the skill needed to participate doesn’t translate through the screen very well. If I watch a StarCraft tournament I know enough to appreciate some fine unit handling and situational awareness. With the AT you can be left wondering if one side was really better or if somebody just picked the right/wrong fleet composition for that round.
So, on any given year I might watch two or three of the matches. I get more excited seeing a Drake in the mix than I do over any particular team winning or losing.
Still, I get that it is important to some people. That it isn’t my thing doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a thing. There are groups out there that take this annual event very seriously. As the joke that isn’t really a joke goes, if you want to do something in null sec without Pandemic Legion dropping on you, you doing during the ramp up to the AT because a lot of their key players will be busy with practice for that.
And I do enjoy hearing those involved talk about the AT. More than anything else, stories are the essence of EVE Online to me. The game is objectively not that good. You wouldn’t play it solo. Well, somebody would, but most wouldn’t see the point. I wouldn’t see the point.
But the stories it produces, the tales of how things ended up coming to pass or how a given strategy came about or just the behind the scenes reactions to changes or unexpected turns of events are the secret sauce that allows EVE Online to transcend its obtuse UI and unwieldy mechanics.
And the AT produces stories, which is enough for me to support it as an ongoing event. I’ll read or listen to those stories so long as somebody wants to tell them.
So I was a bit disappointed to see that CCP has decided not to hold the Alliance Tournament in 2019. I am not even sure I get the reason why. How do you go from saying the AT is a huge aspect of the game’s heritage and a big part of the annual game calendar to it being a good idea to take a break?
I mean, it doesn’t impact me directly, but it will be a hit to some, a kick in the nuts to their morale, a reason to take a break or not come back from one.
Meanwhile, as I wrap this up I see that Rixx Javix is going further in asking what it really means when CCP decides to give this event a miss. Is this really just an opportunity to reflect or concentrate on other tasks? Is there a bigger agenda here that we ought to know about?
I’m still digesting the rather grim view for Blizzard and now this.