Friday, July 20, 2012

An Argument Against Arenas

Tomorrow, Capital Punishment. will go into our fifth round of fighting. We need a series of somewhat hopeful, possibly magical events to happen in a precise order to go into the finals. They may or they may not. Everything is as it is now. We've not been paid off or paid anyone off to do anything. Our advancement has been a good moral booster for the alliance. Word of next year is already in the air. I've heard my name mentioned already.

Sigh.

I give mad props to Pandemic Legion for bringing out their shinies that last round. It was nice to see their AT prizes used out on the field. I didn't watch the round but I heard about it and if nothing else had made me truly smile during this thing, that did.

The Alliance Tournament is what it is. It is also a big advertisement for CCP to throw out there about the cool things that happen in Eve. But Eve is a breathing, living, hissing world of its own, inside of CCPs servers and life inside of that world is not the Alliance Tournament all day, every day.

One of the side effects I have noticed from the Alliance Tournament, is a reinsurance of cries for an arena based combat system. This may happen every year. I don't know. It is my first Alliance Tournament.

There is resistance to the idea. I pondered it a bit and decided that I was on the side of resistance.

I feel an arena will detract from the game, not add to it.

"Sugar, You run around and violence internet spaceships as part of your game play, of course you don't want an arena. What about the rest of us?"

Well the thing is, Eve is not exclusive. It is inclusive. Eve, as it is structured is made for players to violence other players internet spaceships. Sometimes both sides are into the violancing of said spaceships and other times they are not.

The thing is, it does not matter what they want. An arena system would violate Eve's base principle of no personal sessions. Right now, two parties can decide to have a 1v1 PvP match. This is an agreement of 'honor'.

One party may decide to dishonor the agreement. A third party may decide to drop in and join in, uninvited. The two may have their 1v1 and bow to each other with respect. The thing is, any of the possibilities can happen. To have an arena with personal sessions is to remove the ability for the third, fourth, fifth and so on parties to come and interrupt. That interruption is part of what makes Eve so good.

"Sugar, moar people would PvP if they had honorable PvP."

PvP in Eve is not about honor. It is rich and gritty and raw and full of spaceship violence. Ganking is a valid form of game play. People who gank are not griefers because Eve does disallow the violancing of the nonconsensual. And while gate camps are a terribly, scary thing to some, they are also a valid form of the game.

To create honorable PvP would be to separate PvP into levels. Forced separation by CCP would be a bad thing. If one wishes to role-play their honor, good for them. There are antipirate corporations that run around and shoot at their definition of pirates.

"Sugar, I just want to have fun without the jerks getting in the way."

CCP did not make a jerk free server. They made one server, dumped all of us into it, and locked us in. We don't all get along. We won't all get along. What that has created is the very game that we all love to play. To remove it would create stagnancy. Eve's very pulse is conflict.

"Tournaments would be cool! We'd have leader boards and everything!"

That can be generated by players and has been created by players. CCP has said again and again that they have avoided making a CCP run killboard, despite the many, many requests for them. If they do not wish to make their own, CCP run killboard after 9 years, I can only hope that they do not trip over themselves to make an arena killboard.

Plus, if one needs some type of leaderboard eve-kill and battleclinic.

If they are not to your liking, create your own. Stop asking CCP to only pick PvP by your rules and regulations. Don't want high sec gankers and Gate campers? Create a new type of killboard.

"MOAR people would try to PvP if it was safe to try!"

Just saying the word safe in Eve is enough reason to smack yourself. High Sec should not be safe. Low Sec should not be safe. Null Sec should not be safe. If a player is "safe" it should be the results of a player created situation and nothing else. If that safety comes from CCP and not player effort, negotiations, diplomacy, or decision making it will eat at the core of Eve's raw, harsh world.

'Safe' PvP in an arena would also breed poor habits. People would become used to timed systems, no one intruding, not having to watch for themselves, dictated ranges, rules, fouls, reimbursements, awards. They'd not be out there, not knowing if and when something was going to happen but accepting that it might and moving from there.

Bad habits would pour over into the rest of the game. For some, they would be elite in the Arena and ganktastic in the real game. It would create a false sense of ability because they were training in restricted conditions.

"Sugar, you believe in Elite PvP!"

No. An Arena would create a concept of Elite PvP. I believe in PvP. Good, bad, fun, hated I don't care. As long as it is real and touchable, done to spaceships longing for it or trying to avoid it, it is good PvP. I don't care if it's a gank, a newbie managing to nab a flashy red pod, a camp, or a massive alliance war. PvP needs to happen out in the wild, spontaneous and uncontrolled or formed by anyone but the people participating in it.

Now to walk the other direction.

If Eve were to have Arenas, and it is something that I could the slippery slope of sense for, I could only hope that it was open to the same risks of regular game play. If there was to be an Arena it would need to be invadeable by outside players and spectators. Let players create an enforcement project to protect their gladiators. Let an entire type of profession and sub-profession grow out of it.

Eve's Players have been released to create their game play. With a few moments of searching I got the below events, services, and games. There are thousands more. These are some of the bigger and more successful ones. CCP has given creative freedom by not sticking their finger into the pot of content. For everything that CCP adds, they take away the creativity that the player would bring. On top of that, there is flexibility. The Eve Online Holdem Poker might not be your type of poker but might encourage someone to make another type to suit their own tastes and the tastes of others like them.

If Eve had CCP Holdem Poker, everyone would play that and nothing else because it was game endorsed. What a waste of in game talent.

Player Held Events

Hulkageddon 1-5

Frigate Races

New Years Laser Shows

Tengugeddon

Player Run Games

Somer Blink

Eve Online Holdem

Player Services

Mercinaryies

Freighters

Jump Clones

Third Party Secured Services

Only a few minutes of searching and this much creativity and energy poured into the game. Why take such things away and replace with the stagnancy of game dependent mechanics where none are needed?

3 comments:

  1. "Let players create an enforcement project to protect their gladiators. Let an entire type of profession and sub-profession grow out of it."

    ^^ _Actually_, make CONCORD/DED a playable faction... complete with dirty cops. Now THAT would be fun. :-D

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  2. I think CCP should introduce permadeath in Eve: when you get podded, your character becomes dust and you can start another one. Now that would be interesting. I'm sure the people arguing Eve is just like real life will support this.

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    Replies
    1. EVE isn't "just like real life", derp. ;-) Obviously the only spaceships we have can't even make it past the moon (the manned ones anyways), let alone _fight_.

      What EVE should have, and really kinda doesn't, is a cogent "backstory" for why things are the way they are, and how exactly everything works.
      EVE's game mechanics, and thus the "reality" of its world, is often self-contradictory and is subject to the whims of its developers and GMs, who themselves are often contrary among their own number.

      Lacking a solid, cogent foundation of backstory, "prime fiction", whatever you want to call it, EVE doesn't resemble reality at all... on the other hand, nor does it really resemble true science fiction. :-/

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