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Thread: Some thoughts about AT XIV Rules

  1. #1
    Suleiman Shouaa's Avatar
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    Some thoughts about AT XIV Rules

    CCP is expected to announce the rules for Alliance Tournament 14 within the next couple weeks, and I've recently given some thought into how rules can be adjusted to make ATXIV more interesting for viewers and participants (not much else to do atm with EVE NT over). There are seven topics that I believe need some thought or attention, and it would be great to hear some other AT teams' captains / participants' views regarding the rule set.

    1. Entry & Seeding

    One thing that is clear from last year is that CCP needs to open up more slots to the PLEX bidding process. Only 4 slots were available last year, and teams had to bid more than 50 PLEX in order to get one of these slots. Some teams who are traditionally rather strong (like Red vs Blue) missed out on the tournament altogher because of this. The four teams who did win the PLEX bid were then rewarded with the worst bracket positions: having to face each other in round 1, and then either Camel Empire or Nulli Secunda (the AT12 1&2 teams) in round 2. This needs to be fixed.

    Seeding the top teams from the previous tournament is a great step towards having a balanced bracket. Unfortunately, some of these alliances have either disbanded (e.g. Nulli), or splintered into new entities (e.g. Triumvirate / Volta) and presumably won't be seeded in the top 16 despite being essentially the same team as before. I don't know if there is any fair way for CCP to handle this, but I'd like to see teams with the same captain/players seeded in the same position.

    Proposal:

    -Extend an invite to the top 16 eligible teams from last year with the 1-16 seeds
    -Fill 32 slots with a lottery
    -Fill the final 16 slots using the PLEX bidding process
    -Once the last 48 teams are determined, randomize their position in the bracket


    2. Drones

    In AT13 DPS drones were restricted to the T1 version only, which can be understood as a reaction against the dominance of drone ships in AT11 and AT12. This essentially made drone ships very weak in comparison to alternatives, and made repair drones and ECM drones an easy choice in ships which have utility drone bays.

    Allowing mobile T2 drones to return will go a long way towards making DPS drones viable again. Mobile drones are still very vulnerable to battleships with smartbombs, which were quite common in AT13 as well as having damage application issues in general (drone AI & speed) compared to sentries.

    Geckos and Augmented drones are a step up from T2 drones (similar to going from T1 to T2 drones) as they have better speed, better application and better damage. They also directly benefit the teams with the deepest wallets as they are the only ones who can afford always having them. For example in AT12 Tuskers ran Augmented drones at up to 250M a pop in the majority of our matches. This added up to a bill of 10-15B just for drones, which newer teams may struggle to afford.

    T2 sentry drones dominated AT12 for reasons mentioned above and are much harder to counter (much more EHP, no drone travel time and much better range) so I would suggest removing them.

    With this change, a return to an AT12 meta (which had near 100% usage of drone ships) would be somewhat unlikely.


    Proposal:

    -Allow T2 & Faction Mobile DPS Drones
    -Ban Augmented Drones & Geckos
    -Ban T2 & faction sentry drones (allow T1 sentry drones only)


    3. Scripted E-war

    Prior to the ban of scripted damps in AT13, virtually every comp had a few Mauluses in it as they were too good for the points value. If Mauluses were banned, teams would run Celestis or Keres instead. Also, teams ran at least unbonused damps (e.g. damp Merlins). This was because when boosted by command ship links and heated, bonused & scripted damps are overpowered within a tournament format, and are capable of reducing a ship's lock range to <10 km rather easily without being counterable with sensor boosters. Similarly, scripted disruptors have a similar strength. With scripts, a single Crucifier can reduce a ship's weapon's range by nearly 90%; or even more with information links.

    The ban on scripted ewar introduced in AT13 had very positive effects on the meta and made damps useful in niche use cases but not oppressively powerful as they were in AT12. It's likely that the sebo tiericide (combining sebos & eccm into one module) will make damps even less useful than they were in AT13, but I think most people probably don't want to go back to the way things were.

    Proposal:

    - Remain as is for AT13 (ban scripts for damps, tracking disruptors, and guidance disruptors)



    4. Tinkers

    Tinkers are very unpopular. In particular, tinker vs. tinker matches are generally regarded as being very boring to watch, with matches often decided when one team runs out of cap boosters after the match has gone to reverse ti-di. I agree that this specific scenario should ideally be avoided somehow.

    Some suggestions that I've seen before are:
    -Complete ban of all cap transfers
    -Ban remote repair mods from T3 cruisers
    -Enforce a minimum ship count for each team (usually cited as somewhere around 10-12).

    To address these in order:

    Despite their unpopularity, tinkers do have a legimitimate purpose, and do keep setups based on extreme control & kiting from dominating all other setups. A broad cap transfer ban would have also implications on more conventional mobile setups. For example: I think it's perfectly reasonable to allow a cap transfer to be put on a Guardian to feed cap to your other ships.

    If the goal is to restrict the tank of the most powerful tinkers, then this can be accomplished by removing remote reps from the Tengu and the Loki. The Basilisk & Proteus tank significantly less well, as do setups based around cap-transferring battleships with local tanks.

    Enforcing a ship limit just feels artificial, and could prevent a lot of smaller teams from competing.

    Proposal:

    -Allow 1 cap transfer per ship (same rule as always)
    -Ban remote repair modules on T3 cruisers



    5. AT Ships & Other Uniques

    This is a controversial topic, which received quite a bit of attention as the tournament came to a close last year. The arguments for & against are summarized below:

    Arguments in favour of allowing AT ships:
    -It's fun watching them in action. These ships are seldom undocked on TQ (although there is evidence to the contrary in the last month). Also gives their owners a "fair" arena to use their uniques.
    -Technically speaking, the ships are accessible to every team who has sufficient motivation to acquire them. A quick glance at the forums shows that even the more rare/useful ones change hands very often.
    -Many AT ships aren't good at all (Freki, Utu), or are only marginally better than non-unique alternatives (e.g. Chremoas). There is no real need to ban every unique out there.

    Arguments against AT ships:
    -A few of the AT ships are very strong in the AT format (Malice, Etana, etc), although my belief is that the strength of AT ships is probably overrated by most (Cambions are not "Drakes with frigate speed"!)
    -Large number of these ships are held by a very small number of teams
    -Ship are not seeded on sisi, so it's impossible for most teams to practice against them

    Options for rule modification:

    -Allow unique ships without restriction (no change from years past)
    -Increase point cost of unique ships by 1 point.
    -Allow only 1 AT ship hull in any given composition. A team could bring 1 Etana or 2 Cambions for example, but not both ship hulls within the same setup. This will restrict an excessively wealthy team from building one setup that's so powerful that no team could ever hope to match it by fielding multiple AT/unique ships in the same comp.
    -Restrict them in some other way (allow them only on the final day of the tournament or something)
    -Ban the use of all AT ships

    I don't know what the best solution is, but I like seeing the ships in action and I lean towards being less restrictive. A 1 point increase is reasonable, although with even that change might be significant enough to eliminate all but perhaps the Etana from ever being fielded.

    Proposal:

    -Increase the point cost of all AT/Unique ships by 1 point



    6. Misc Modules (Bastion, HIC point, MJFG)

    Several unique modules released probably necessitate special rules for this tournament: the Bastion Module, Warp Disruption Field Generator (aka the 37.5km scram), and the Command Destroyer Micro Jump Field Generator.

    My opinion: The Bastion Module and MJFG need to be banned simply because I don't think they can be balanced in a tournament format – the Bastion module makes a Marauder excessively tanky in a 12vs12 sub-cap format and the MJFG could easily allow a skilled team to win a match even from the jaws of defeat with a single good jump. On the other hand, the changes to HICs might actually make the ship viable in a tournament format, thus I believe it's reasonable to allow one WDFG to be fitted per HIC. A concern if they are allowed without restriction is that they could be too powerful within a tinker setup, essentially capable of stopping all bump attempts by itself.

    Proposal:

    -Ban Bastion module
    -Allow one WDFG per HIC
    -Ban micro jump field generator



    7. Ship Points

    This is one area that could use quite a bit of adjustment. Frankly, a lot of ships are not very strong or useful in the AT, and a big reason for this is that the point cost for many ships is far too high for the value they provide. This is a proposal for ship point costs (if the value is different from what was used in AT13, I put the AT13 point cost in parenthesis).

    Battleship, Pirate Faction – 19
    Marauder - 18 (19)
    Battleship, Navy Faction - 17
    Black Ops Battleship - 17
    Battleship - 16
    Command Ship - 16
    Strategic Cruiser - 13/16 (16) - 13 if remote reps are banned on T3s, otherwise 16
    Logistics Cruiser - 13
    Recon Ship - 12 (13)
    Battlecruiser, Navy Faction – 12
    Heavy Assault Cruiser - 11 (12)
    Battlecruiser (including the Gnosis) - 11
    Cruiser, Pirate Faction - 11
    Heavy Interdictor - 11
    Tech 1 Support Cruiser - 9 (10)
    Cruiser, Navy Faction - 8 (9)
    Tactical Destroyer - 6
    Command Destroyer - 5
    Cruiser - 5 (6)
    Electronic Attack Frigate - 5
    Logistics Frigate - 4
    Frigate, Pirate Faction - 4
    Assault Frigate - 4
    Interdictor – 4
    Covert Ops Ship - 3 (4)
    Frigate, Navy Faction - 3 (Includes Navy e-war frigates)
    Tech 1 Disruption Frigate – 3
    Stealth Bomber - 3
    Interceptor - 3
    Destroyer - 2 (3)
    Tech 1 Industrial Ships - 2
    Frigate - 2
    Rookie Ship, Pirate Faction - 2
    Rookie Ship - 1

    Notes:

    BCs and HICs: These ships have been buffed considerably since the last AT, but they were also rarely used at all, and thus should keep the same point cost.

    Recons, HACs, T1 Cruisers: Get a point reduction because these ships have almost never been used in previous ATs despite class buffs. Recons in particular could even be lowered to 11 possibly. These ships potentially open up a lot of new interesting setups, but the point value has always been way too high to facilitate this in the past.

    Command Destroyers: 5 points is appropriate. As DPS / tackle ships, they are more much similar to assault frigates than T3Ds, but have the benefit of carrying a link which is certainly worth 1 point (considering they have a sig of a Destroyer).

    T2 Logi Frigs: Frigate logi in general is kind of in a bad place, so these need to be 3 or 4 points. More than this means they will never be used.

    Anyway, just some thoughts..
    Last edited by Suleiman Shouaa; May 8 2016 at 10:56:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Duckslayer's Avatar
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    uh hu hu hu that nice nigga but the fundamental flaw to all these ideas to make the tournament more fun to watch is that its Eve online and it makes for a pretty shit show even for those heavily invested in it. Add to the terrible production values and the cringeworthy presenter, with much regression from the soundwave era. I mean the commentators are a bit better now i suppose but its still an 8 hour a day show with about 10 minutes of slow shitly filmed poorly understood and explained action per hour

    What you actually did was talk about how to make the tournament more fun to participate in.
    Last edited by Duckslayer; May 9 2016 at 10:24:18 AM.
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    Duckslayer's Avatar
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    I meani have no solutions to the shitness of eve as a spectator sport because i dont think there are any other than making it a larger participation thing. Year round player wide involvement rather than a select few massive autists who collude to win every year, or the autist programmers who construct data gathering tools to mine for the best strategy.
    "Teachers are teachers because they are pedos. Thats why they want to work in a job around children, its a well known fact." #Nonsesense

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    Specially featured on French wikipedia today : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prise_...ith%C3%A9rapie
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    War is good, war is the heart of Eve, in this distant futur there's only War. Let's make a foreverwar! (By the way i belong to TGRAD/Init./Imperium, whatever i say is the reflect of my personnal view and my affiliation are in no way responsible for my shitposting)
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    Not sure which AT(s) Duckslayer watched, but a) I enjoyed all of em' (not every match, mind you, but overall they entertained me well) and b) last year's AT was one of the best ever, especially from the presentation/production point of view.

    As for the rules - I'm a terrible fitting noob, so I leave the nittpicking commenting to the experts. Overall most if it sounds sane to me.

  6. #6
    Duckslayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hel OWeen View Post
    Not sure which AT(s) Duckslayer watched, but a) I enjoyed all of em' (not every match, mind you, but overall they entertained me well) and b) last year's AT was one of the best ever, especially from the presentation/production point of view.

    As for the rules - I'm a terrible fitting noob, so I leave the nittpicking commenting to the experts. Overall most if it sounds sane to me.
    "Teachers are teachers because they are pedos. Thats why they want to work in a job around children, its a well known fact." #Nonsesense

  7. #7
    W0lf Crendraven's Avatar
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    From a esports pov as long as people have to pay to compete and the tourney is not on the test server its a shit esports. Its like formula 1, pay a shiton of money to compete, win cause you payed a shitton of money, get a ton of money, pay more money to win again... and in the end you have 4 or 5 teams woth mentioning and the rest are all pointless cause they cant build good enough cars (comps).


    Put the thing on a new server, seed everything, everyone gets all V and then start with balancing stuff. The issue is not some point differences or if t2 or t1 drones are the ones to be used, its that theres at most 8 teams or so that can really compete and the rest just cannot largely due to the absurd investements you have to put into it.
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    While there is a point in the "Alliance Tournament" reflecting in-game strength of various "Alliances" and all the stuff that goes with running things on TQ, from a competitive standpoint I find myself reluctantly agreeing with W0lf. The largest investment is still in time, but levelling the rest would definitely make for a better e-sport overall, if that is your goal.

  9. #9
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    I'm going to go out and say that the AT won't ever truly be a 'widespread' spectator sport, even in the Eve community, because Eve PvP just isn't really fun to watch. There's nothing that really stands out to excite spectators, as most things are pretty slow and it's a small event. While I know that turning one module on at the right time or overheating at the right seconds can make or break a match, 95% of viewers don't really see that part of PvP or don't understand it completely.

    Look at other popular 'esport' games that are fun to watch. Games like LoL or DOTA have so much uniqueness between everything and such a huge possibility for 'huge plays'. "So-and-so OH'd their shield booster and tanked for an extra 10 seconds and managed to survive that onslaught!" isn't as fun to watch as "So-and-so activated cyclone and forced all the enemies to be stunned for 10 seconds so the team could eat them apart!" In reality, allowing things like the MJFG would be the biggest benefit to the game, as it really is something that can be seen to make or break a team.

    Eve isn't a fast paced game with 'unique' PvP, so it just won't be fun for viewers to watch regardless, whether they play eve or not. That's not to say that people don't enjoy watching it, some people are completely focused around the AT format of PvP in Eve and love to see it in action, but i'd wager that ~85% of the viewers are just there because it's a 'big event' for Eve and so they can shitpost about it first on Reddit.


    In terms of rules and whatnot, I'm personally of the mindset that there shouldn't be any restrictions. Sure there can be a lot of unfair setups, but everyone is available to get them, even moreso if done on a non-TQ server with seeded items and SP. 80% of PvP is based around knowing how to fit to optimize your ship, restricting what people can and cannot fit kinda limits that.

    FWIW, I'd personally like to see the AT become a much bigger event. Make it last for months or even the year with tons of alliances able to join in, not just 64. Could become a weekend streaming event for CCP, like the LoL qualifiers or whatever. Have some kind of deadline in which your alliance must be made, restrict pilots that are allowed to participate in the AT with that alliance based on the roster for the deadline, and let alliances duke it out single elimination style to thin out the brackets. That way it really becomes a part of Eve, instead of just being "Well the 3 or 4 biggest alliances paid to enter in 12 teams total, so let me watch them fight eachother for a few weeks".
    Hi


  10. #10
    Keckers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Quaan View Post
    While there is a point in the "Alliance Tournament" reflecting in-game strength of various "Alliances" and all the stuff that goes with running things on TQ, from a competitive standpoint I find myself reluctantly agreeing with W0lf. The largest investment is still in time, but levelling the rest would definitely make for a better e-sport overall, if that is your goal.
    I thought that was why the new eden open existed?
      Spoiler:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keckers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Quaan View Post
    While there is a point in the "Alliance Tournament" reflecting in-game strength of various "Alliances" and all the stuff that goes with running things on TQ, from a competitive standpoint I find myself reluctantly agreeing with W0lf. The largest investment is still in time, but levelling the rest would definitely make for a better e-sport overall, if that is your goal.
    I thought that was why the new eden open existed?
    Well, NEO was still on TQ and used "real" assets. What W0lf is proposing is essentially that we use this new tournament server and just give everyone maxed skills and seeded items. That way you remove the inherent advantage of established alliances with deep wallets. My argument is that this is something different than the "Alliance Tournament" where those things should probably be reflected, but if you want to transition into an e-sport that is a necessary step.

    To some extent EVE_NT is geared towards the latter. You still use your real char, but at least the stuff is free and available to everyone. What CCP wants is anyone's guess at this point.

  12. #12
    W0lf Crendraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Quaan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Keckers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Quaan View Post
    While there is a point in the "Alliance Tournament" reflecting in-game strength of various "Alliances" and all the stuff that goes with running things on TQ, from a competitive standpoint I find myself reluctantly agreeing with W0lf. The largest investment is still in time, but levelling the rest would definitely make for a better e-sport overall, if that is your goal.
    I thought that was why the new eden open existed?
    Well, NEO was still on TQ and used "real" assets. What W0lf is proposing is essentially that we use this new tournament server and just give everyone maxed skills and seeded items. That way you remove the inherent advantage of established alliances with deep wallets. My argument is that this is something different than the "Alliance Tournament" where those things should probably be reflected, but if you want to transition into an e-sport that is a necessary step.

    To some extent EVE_NT is geared towards the latter. You still use your real char, but at least the stuff is free and available to everyone. What CCP wants is anyone's guess at this point.
    Everyone had everyone in corp/alts etc extract sp on sisi for EVE_NT (+ afaik /copy skills) so everyone was at all V there anyways. But yeah, if you want to make eve a viewers sport (which imo it cant really be) you keep the isk in so expensive explosion happen, or if you want to actually make it competetive you give everyone the same to start with and only skill decides and the wallet doesnt win matches anymore.

    Imagine playing lol and cs:go and to be able to compete in any way youd have to drop 8k+ euros just to buy the gear etc to compete at the highest possible level - that would never take off, you have matches where almost a trillion isk die in the AT, and at roughly 1 bil for 10 euros or so you can do the math yourself.

    I mean, even rich alliances on tq would think twice about putting in trillions just to be able to have a chance at winning.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suleiman Shouaa View Post
    CCP is expected to announce the rules for Alliance Tournament 14 within the next couple weeks
    random fact - when we asked Fozzie about 2016 AT at evesterdam he was p. evasive

  14. #14
    Duckslayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n0th View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Suleiman Shouaa View Post
    CCP is expected to announce the rules for Alliance Tournament 14 within the next couple weeks
    random fact - when we asked Fozzie about 2016 AT at evesterdam he was p. evasive
    evasive? Or stoned as fuck?
    "Teachers are teachers because they are pedos. Thats why they want to work in a job around children, its a well known fact." #Nonsesense

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    From tweetfleet slack:




    Oh well.

  16. #16

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    He's either trolling hard or CCP will give the AT a pass this year. It's been very quite on the AT news front until now ...

  17. #17
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    At is dead and you know exactly who killed it.

  18. #18
    Duckslayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varcaus View Post
    At is dead and you know exactly who killed it.
    His name was Bob Shaftoes
    "Teachers are teachers because they are pedos. Thats why they want to work in a job around children, its a well known fact." #Nonsesense

  19. #19
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    Shaft Bobtoes - Who was in Rote Kapelle. And Rote is pretty much fhc. In that sense FHC killed AT.
    The Rapier is my love boat
    ~lowsec smallscale pvp 'n stuff~

  20. #20
    Duckslayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    Shaft Bobtoes - Who was in Rote Kapelle. And Rote is pretty much fhc. In that sense FHC killed AT.
    nice try cheater
    "Teachers are teachers because they are pedos. Thats why they want to work in a job around children, its a well known fact." #Nonsesense

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