Blog Banter 40: Blood Sports

There is no finer spectacle in the universe of EVE Online than the explosive dance of weapon-laden spaceships in combat. The yearly Alliance Tournament is the jewel in EVE Online’s eSports crown and the upcoming New Eden Open should deliver the same gladiatorial entertainment showcase.

Given the scope of the sandbox, what part should eSports play in EVE Online and what other formats could provide internet spaceship entertainment for spectators and participants alike?

Leave it to me to be late to the party. I do like to make an entrance after all.

ROC

And people think I’m vain, I thought to myself. Capsuleers, the select few of the universe blessed with the gift of immortality. We shape the universe, we control the stars, we mold the economies of countless worlds. Why do we feel the need to resort to lowering ourselves to gladiatorial combat? As a slave, it was something I was forced to do. There was never a winner when fighting to the death. I lost many friends in that era, many to my own bloodied hands.

Let the common folk dream of rising to a higher plane of existence. Give those that struggle every day the opportunity for glory and a better life. We are capsuleers. Do our egos truly know no end that we are compelled to swing our genitals around amongst ourselves to establish supremacy in a contrived and meaningless display of vanity?

I shook my head.

No wonder we were becoming an increasingly self-absorbed bunch of sycophants.

NOT ROC

Back in the days of Capsuleer, PyjamaSam and I approached CCP about live streaming the yearly Alliance tournament through the iPhone. “Oh, it would require too much effort.” was the reply. The irony of course is that we already had a fully functioning version running, feeding from a stored copyof the previous year’s tournament on our server. All that was required from CCP was hosting the files so it didn’t kill our bandwidth. They weren’t willing. That was strike one to me.

Strike two is the fact that there are so many more important things that could be focused on within our game. Who really gets excited about the Alliance Tournament? Well, obviously the Alliances. Special ships as prizes that will never be undocked, the ability to boast about how you are the best. Honestly, it sickens me as much as those players with the mindset that believe they are special because of the number of kills on their killboard. That mentality just doesn’t apply to total numbers. It applies to kill/loss ratio, total ISK destroyed, etc, etc as well.

The greater irony to me is that it’s always nullsec Alliance pilots whining about carebears and their pursuit of safety in highsec, yet where is the tournament held? A controlled and safe environment. Pot, meet kettle.

Sure, the tournament is a big deal to a few. Sure, it’s good fun and very cool that CCP does it. I wouldn’t want to see it end.

How would I improve it? More direct interaction with the spectators. Dedicated Twitter Hashtag, Facebook page, IRC channel or some type of chat room, more immersion via “stadium vendors”. Instead of hot dogs, for the next five minutes, or the next 50 people, can buy PLEX for half price, or some other crazy nonsense. Ingame wagering. The list is limitless really.

As it stands, it’s an elitist event that appeals to only a small portion of the population. The New Eden Open is another great idea, but still caters to the elite. The more CCP does this, the more they risk alienating the rest of us that may not feel up to that level of competition, or simply not feel it’s worth our time.

Perhaps as Walking in Stations rolls out something actually useful to do, we’ll see more multiplayer interactive scenarios that meet these criteria.

In the meantime, Roc has his bear races and Blood Bowl to keep him busy.

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