Blog Banter 40: Why I am not Around Much
So yeah, it’s been a minute. A lot of things have gone on, both good and bad, in real life. The short short version is I’ve unsubscribed for a short list of reasons, but believe me I’ll be watching EvE and rejoining the Greatest Gaming Community at some point in the future.
On to the Banter
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?
eSports is one of those fads that looks to be hanging around. Frankly I think it’s GREAT for gaming as a whole. EvE Online is not gaming as a whole. EvE Online is such a Balkanized, Byzantine mess of politics and backstabbing that, frankly, I think EvE-like should replace both of those adjectives. This doesn’t mix well with eSports. The greatest alliance tournament matches for most of the community to watch were things like Star Fraction disassembling BOB, the last match at AT IX, the games where the meta game didn’t so much peek through as much as it came SCREAMING TO THE FOREFRONT with the presumptive level playing field crying limply from the meta games’ bloody jaws.
The problem is if you want to attract sponsors they want to know things are above board. They want a presumption of fairness and equality. They don’t want EvE, they want EvE-light. They want a clean, pure version of a game that revels in muck and wallows in filth. EvE isn’t about what happens in space ships. It’s about what happens in smokey (chat) rooms, it’s about what happens between the lines, in E-mails and EvE mails, in skype calls and phone calls, on TS and Vent, battles are won and lost in-game. Wars are won offline. In tournaments individual matches CAN be won in-game, but most were decided long before the ships start moving.
Now I’m not saying EvE doesn’t need some sort of Arena, but I am saying that creating one and holding it up as “THIS is EVE ONLINE!” is disingenuous at best, and even misses the point of the game; although it certainly would be interesting to see a rise of currently unaffiliated “factions” all about battling it out in a “meta-enabled” gladiatorial arena, this approach seems to not be held in favor by CCP, likely as they feel it would not be nearly as appealing to sponsors. Because surely there’s never been a major arena based organization with blatantly unfair matches, frequently scripted events and stoylines so complex the writers from Dallas started taking notes.
Wait, what’s that? It’s the Undertaker’s music!
Wouldn’t it be great to have arena matches that represented EvE? Not some idealized version of the same system. Actual EvE. Backstabbing, plotting, treachery and sudden swift strikes completely upsetting the carefully prepared odds books? I’d love it.
P.S. I will be posting more here, about gaming in general, both table top and online.
P.P.S. Orakkus and James 315 better be getting spots on the blog pack soon. Sadly it looks like there will soon be quite a few openings.
P.P.P.S. congrats to Roc for getting EvE and gaming in general some great press. I may not like his blog too much and have even attacked him a time or two, but credit where it is due, he has made EvE look better this week.