Daily Archives: May 26, 2012

Alliance Tournament Flap

Lots of people have weighed in on this, but perhaps unsurprisingly no one seems to have anything to say to defend Hydra and Outbreak.  I don’t give a rats ass about either of them.  I don’t have a dog in the hunt, no horse in the race, whatever.  However what I’m seeing seems like a bunch of people ganging up on someone and doing it using some somewhat disingenuous methods.

First let’s talk about Hydra and Outbreak’s history.  We get that these alliances are closely aligned.  They are hardly the only alliances like that in EvE.  Nearly every alliance in the game has connections with some other alliance.  They are closer than many, and they understand this.  Last year the openly colluded and threw the finals match which had to be humiliating for CCP during such a highly publicized event.  It was also an awesome demonstration of the power of the EvE metagame.  The biggest difference between that scam and the average scam in Jita was the victim.  To CCP I say the same thing I say to anyone who gets scammed in Jita.  HTFU.

This year they took additional steps to protect themselves.  They e-mailed and petition CCP for clarifications on rulings.  CCP either refused to answer or gave them the go ahead.  Now I am going to talk a bit about the responsibilities of a company and it’s official representatives.  I am going to make this point from the point of view of someone who has extensive knowledge about how important proper dissemination of information is.  When a CCP Employee makes an official policy statement using official channels it has to be upheld.  If for whatever reason it can’t be the reasons should be absolutely open and transparent.  This didn’t happen.  Sreegs removes two alliances from the tournament.  Two very successful alliances.  They worsened the competition.  They say they did it because

 Unfortunately Hydra and Outbreak are working from the same playbook as last year, practicing together in a single corporation on the test server in a single wormhole. We view them as they represent themselves, which mirrors how they represented themselves last year, as a single entity. For that reason they are barred from competition having entered the tournament masquerading as two units while functioning in reality as one.

Apparently Sreegs has decided to draw the line with them being in a single corporation.  Fine.  What’s the difference between that and just being in the same wormhole at other ends?  From what I see other posters saying that’s the Goons/Test method.  Let’s see what the official rules are regarding B teams.  From the Dev Blog Post:

We will be actively removing those alliances that try and add a ‘B’ or ‘C’ team. We want everyone to have a fair chance but stacking the deck in this manner will not be permitted. This removal will also include the main alliance if we detect anyone trying to field more than one team.

Well glad we could clear that up.  That certainly leaves no room for error on what criteria are being used to judge what a ‘B’ team is.  Realizing that this “definition” of ‘B’ or ‘C’ teams was beyond vague, and very sensitive after his recent tangles with CCP, Garmon took the step of asking for clarification through official channels.  CCP’s representative responded with an answer.  On the basis of that answer, Hydra and Outbreak proceeded as planned.  Then Sreegs stepped in.  Ignoring the already in place GM response, he banned both teams, and went ahead and banned one team out of the PL/Your Votes Don’t Count duo.  Here again we see some interesting decisions being made.  CCP is throwing their own employee under the bus, saying we can’t trust GMs.  @ArnarHrafn recently asked:

How do you think we compare to other MMO’s when it comes to handling petitions #tweetfleet

At the time I responded with “My Logs Show Nothing” and generally going on to state that I had little trust in the sytem.  Arnar responded that they had updated it and I would see it was much better if I used it.  Arnar:  Seems to me like nothing really changed.  GMs are still untrustworthy because they either don’t know what TO say or don’t know what they CAN say.  If we are to trust any CCP representative we have to have some level of trust for all of them.  If a GM can be overruled with this level of finality, why should ANYONE use the petition system?  If anyone in the game has a question CCP clearly doesn’t trust it’s GMs enough to answer these issues so we should just flood the forums and look for Dev responses.

Now let’s look at PL and Your Votes Don’t Count.  Again quoting the rules:

This removal will also include the main alliance if we detect anyone trying to field more than one team.

So why is PL still in?  If Your Votes Don’t Count was considered a ‘B’ team, then PL should go too.  This is actually the one part of the rule I’d consider clear.  If you remove one you remove both right?  Of course expecting consistency from CCP is like expecting consistency from Springtime weather at this point.

Now let’s look at the player response.  I’m going to focus mostly on one guy.  Ripard Teg.  Had he posted this as “Garth” I might have given him a pass.  However he did it under his “own” name and he accuses Outbreak/Hydra of using childish tactics.  Going to mommy when daddy doesn’t give them the answer they wanted.  Daddy didn’t give an answer.  Mommy gave one then Daddy punished anyway.  Of course he goes to great length to build and strengthen his argument.  He goes too far.  Here’s a quote:

However we are very concerned that we might be breaking CCP’s interpretations of certain rules without being aware of it.

We are very concerned that we might be breaking certain rules.

We are breaking rules.

Frankly that’s rank amateur, headline grabbing, grandstanding bullshit.  That is literally changing the facts of the case to fit your argument.  I understand that Garmon’s credibility right now is at a low point, but this is a knife in the back even by those standards.  What Garmon said:

we are very concerned that we might be breaking CCP’s interpretations of certain rules without being aware of it.

doesn’t mean:

We are breaking rules.

It means:

Hey what the hell are the rules exactly?  What is the line between collusion, cooperation, and what exactly defines a farm team?

but that doesn’t sound nearly so scandalous so we’ll go ahead and change it right Ripard?

Finally Ripard compares Hydra/Outbreak to Aperture Harmonics.  I might have a bit of an advantage on him.  I wrote for EvE-Tribune here and talked to both sides.   Got their stories and information.  AHARM asked if things were working as intended in Nova.  They provided no information what might NOT be working, they were not asking for a rules clarification, they just asked a GM if things were ok.  Hydra/Outbreak asked a specific question, and got a specific answer.  That’s a BIG difference.

CCP could and should have handled this differently.  If they wanted to ban Hydra and Outbreak because of what happened last year, they should have done it.  It’s their game and if they are going to be “unfair” about it they don’t need to sneak around.  They can just say “Fine, well played.  See you again never,” or some such.  By letting them get this far, put in the effort they already put in and THEN pulling the rug out from them under some legalistic equivocation they look more like a deranged Grand Vizier pulling strings behind their own curtain.  Then CCP goes and breaks their own rule by dropping Your Votes Don’t Count and keeping PL.  Clear, concise rules, with consistent enforcement.  It’s a simple goal.  CCP dropped the ball and the community is cheering them on for it.  As for Sreegs outro:

With all that said we’re looking forward to moving on and making Alliance Tournament X the best and most competitive tournament ever so enjoy the rest of your evening!

Hydra won 9, and came in 2nd in 8, the only reason the insane finals match happened in 9 was that Hydra and Outbreak both won through against each other.  If CCP wants to eliminate ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams, have them face each other in the first elimination round.  Don’t throw your employees under the bus with bad rulings.

I’m using it every time I can

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