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Bob’s Corner: AT Practice, 2 steps forward, 1 step back

July 28, 2015

The Alliance Tournament is around the corner, with only a couple weeks left before the first teams enter the battlefield to fight over the AT XII championship title. I personally have friends on different teams. All of them are practicing extremely intensively in order to show the best of themselves on the field. I love the AT, so I asked a few of them how practice is going. Sadly, some have stated to be quite upset with the lack of support by CCP Games.

Dez Affinity, A long time member of the Pandemic Legion AT Team, who have won 4 out of 12 tournaments stated his frustrations in a post he wrote on the EVE-O Forums. In his post, he points out issues and solutions which are easily understood when you realize how stressful practicing can be for the AT. Let’s dive right into them and see what the problems are!

New Patches

In the months before the AT we have seen 2 releases, which also included a new branch of ships, the Tactical Destroyers. We already had the Confessor and the Svipvul. However the problem started with the Hecate, which didn’t have its skillbook seeded for multiple days after it was planned to be released. Last year we saw that a good support wing can be key to secure a win. Not allowing teams to test it as soon as possible can hurt practice significantly.

The problem is bigger then just this example, Ships get changed while teams are practicing, forcing teams to keep track of their comps to ensure that changes don’t affect their test results. In other ”Esports” (tournament) environments we see that teams simply stick to a certain patch, so that they can focus on performance and not on changes that they have no control over.

No Personal Practice Area

In the past few Tournaments, teams got a personal system which they could use to practice without being interrupted by potential enemies. This was an amazing addition to the AT because teams could now safely practice and try out different type of tactics without others knowing. This allowed enemies to keep certain tactics hidden to surprise their enemy on match day.  This helped both small and big teams, because before this was introduced, CCP Fozzie (back when he was still a player) was known for scouting out competitors and monitoring their practice. Remember, information is power, especially in the AT situation.

I know CCP Logibro, made a forum post regarding this, however, I feel that these issues could have been spotted earlier. Even before they announced this year’s Alliance Tournament. There is always another solution to a problem, and I think all teams would have to understand that remaking the system would not be possible, However, solutions such as giving teams a locked system (maybe in Jove space) would already have been sufficient.

Dez Affinity even suggest the following solution to the practice area problem:

“You could have even tried tor a “gentleman’s honour code” on Duality. Tell people to leave other teams be or face repercussions to their team. But that’s not possible without a willingness to seed ships and modules on there.”

As a solution, CCP Logibro posted about a deployable unit that could be used for practice, however Dez Affinity pointed out that this was also released very late, resulting in teams already finding other solutions to fix the problem.

Teams seem to have resorted to using SiSi, however this brings a heap of other problems. These problems range from bugs such as, not being able to import fits from clipboard, Probing not working correctly, client crashes that effect 50% of people on grid and finally the server is down a fair bit.

Priorities

I also asked Bluemelon, a member and theory crafter from the Warlords of the Deep team (also known as the Hydra reloaded team), his responds was as following:

“the CCP Tournament Team seems to be doing everything that it can to help us, but CCP as a company doesn’t seem to have the AT as a priority.”

I think this is the underpinning truth behind some of the issues we are seeing, EVE Online is in a state of change meaning that there are a lot of priorities queued up to ”better” the games future, therefore the AT is simply less important.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I think we can safely say that it’s a shame that teams have to experience these problems. I’m sure that the Tournament Team at CCP very much understands the problems and hopes to solve them for future tournaments.  At the end of the day, teams found a way to work around the problems and I think we can all prepare ourselves for yet another awesome tournament.

@BobmonEVE

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