The Alliance Tournament: The Reaction

2021-07-15

Header art by Elthar Nox

Thousands of EVE players flocked to CCP’s Youtube channel today, hyping themselves into a frenzy over the well-publicized “announcement” trailer. For days speculation was rife. The stage was set, the curtain closed; what could be so important that CCP decide to break with tradition and deliver a grandiose unveiling? Could it (finally) be the end of scarcity? Maybe they had listened to consistent cries from r/EVE about the mundane nature of PvE. What about the New Player Experience we know they are working on? The lights turned on and it was revealed: the Alliance Tournament returns in November.

The First Stage: Denial

The initial reaction across various Discord channels was one of stunned silence. Expecting shockwave of detail or a full announcement, players instead were given a 30-second video and . . . then the show stopped.

“What?”

“Is that it?”

“Is that a joke?”

Immediately a flood of anguish fell, like a drunk football fan through the pub doors, and landed with a thud onto Reddit.

Being disappointed about a new feature is no strange feeling to EVE players, or developers. Like the England Football Team, the fans live in hope that one day, the devs will make them happy again. “After 18 years of hurt, you’ll never stop me dreaming,” they shout through a fountain of tears. Yet, it appears that this time the fans came to see a victory, but would be left still waiting for the win they so desperately wanted.

The Second Stage: Anger

Is that f****** it?” was one of first posts created. Followed swiftly by “Are you f****** kidding me?” and “WHAT THE ACTUAL F*** IS THAT?” Once again the players’ initial reaction was one of anger and crushing disappointment. They were hyped for something enormous and the trailer did not deliver. A following wave of posts followed, citing the lowering player numbers and how the Alliance Tournament was not the way to fix it. There were calls for some answers on scarcity – when would it end? But mostly, and most poignantly, the players wanted some communication.

Many thought that CCP had missed the mark with their delivery. The community hadn’t seen a 24hr hype-announcement for sometime and it is only natural for the player base to believe that whatever requires such hype must be, well, hype-worthy. The repeated rhetoric throughout the community slowly shifted from bewilderment, to outrage, then to a sorrowful plea: “Why won’t they just tell us what is going on?”

The Third and Fourth Stages: Bargaining and Depression

As the dust started to clear, glimmers of hope and optimism emerged through the clouds. Maybe this was a good announcement? The players had been requesting the return of the Alliance Tournament since its closure in 2019. “Being thrilled about the AT being back, and upset about the state of the game don’t have to be mutually exclusive feelings,” stated one reddit poster, highlighting that this announcement was something players had wanted for a while. This was echoed throughout many Discord channels, as those who remembered the AT fondly came through, pleased with this release.

“I’m really excited about the alliance tournament coming back. It’s good news that it will also be back for multiple years to come,” Suitonia, newly elected CSM16 member, told INN. “A lot of people in the small gang communities that I’m part of are resubbing just for the alliance tournament, and they’re really excited for it.”

Others joined this sentiment, with more posts backing the return, “I’m genuinely thrilled that the Alliance Tournament is back” was accompanied by a few others, even some memes supporting the move.

It appeared that, over time, the player base was warming to the concept; but, unfortunately it was the communication that had failed. “The way this AT was announced is a perfect example of how tone deaf CCP is in their handling of the game and the community surrounding it,” TNT CEO Wibla stated, referring to the pleas of the player base for open communication about the serious issues impacting their enjoyment.

“What the player base at large needs to be hearing from CCP at this moment in time is an articulate and comprehensive vision for the direction of EVE Online, ” said Dirk Stetille, one of INN’s editors. “I can only hope that we see this level of understanding from CCP as a whole soon, because CCP and the players exist together in EVE.”

The Fifth Stage: Acceptance

As the feelings began to calm, the players generally reflected that this was a positive step. It was not the answers they were after, or a change they had imagined, but the Alliance Tournament is a change for the better. “I’ve already begun talking to old members of the Goonswarm tournament group,” continued Stetille. “I’m so glad to see that the AT has been resurrected and I have to give a ton of credit to CCP Aurora for being a massive supporter of the EVE tournament community in general.”

INN reached out to CCP Aurora, the project lead for the Alliance Tournament, who very kindly gave her thoughts on the announcement and the reaction. “I’ve been working up towards the Alliance Tournament for over a year now and I’m really excited to finally be able to announce it. With respect to today’s announcement, we definitely underestimated the level of excitement the blank premiere would generate. We wanted to underplay this announcement, but the speculation spun up much faster and heavier than we expected. A lot of players projected some very high hopes onto it and were let down when it aired. In hindsight I would have opted for a much shorter run-up for this particular announcement. There is a lot of latent desire in the community for more information on the gameplay side of things, which we recognize and are working to get more information out on soon – things like the ecosystem, ESS reserve banks, and discussions surrounding the PCU. But those discussions don’t preclude us from also hosting fun events such as the AT at the same time. The response, then, from the tournament community has been really great and the AT Discord is now full of players who are excited about the event, which is really good to see.”

Further information on the Alliance Tournament can be found here.

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Comments

  • William Doe

    I don’t even play the game, but I actually browsed reddit the day before and saw the hype for the announcement. When it was revealed to be an alliance tournament, it made be both laugh and let out a facepalm. Even as a complete outsider to EVE, that’s a pretty tone-deaf response to the myriad of other issues for the game.

    July 15, 2021 at 9:12 AM
    • Garreth Vlox William Doe

      It just feels like the whole company is drunk at this point and just staggering around doing random shit to see what works, not realizing that this type of random bullshit is the whole problem.

      July 15, 2021 at 6:32 PM
  • Ambladier

    I never progressed beyond the apathy stage.

    July 15, 2021 at 1:05 PM
  • Guilford Australis

    Literally dozens of players will be thrilled by this news. A new AT might even put Pandemic Legion back on the map. The possibilities are endless… for the handful of players who actually care about the micro-boutique AT.

    July 15, 2021 at 1:19 PM
  • J Moravia

    Literally only two of the groups that have ever won an AT (PL and Tuskers) are still active in the game. Who exactly is CCP trying to court here?

    July 15, 2021 at 4:00 PM
  • Garreth Vlox

    Don’t forget the part where it’s been rigged and thrown several times by the same well funded teams.

    July 15, 2021 at 6:31 PM
  • Moomin Amatin

    Who remembers this from Falcon, “…make sure we’re fully focused on improving quality of life in New Eden, working on balance concerns that have been highlighted by the community and delivering awesome new content for capsuleers across the cluster to enjoy”?

    Or perhaps Elise Randolphn stating that the AT income is a nice income boost for Pandemic Legion.

    Read the whole thing for youself if you wish here ( https://imperium.news/ccp-cancelled-the-alliance-tournament-whats-the-big-deal/ ).

    July 15, 2021 at 7:02 PM
  • Brian Martin

    I am surprised at a lot of the opinions players seem to have about the announcement. I think it is awesome news! I have not been in the AT myself but I have watched them all and was disappointed when it was stopped. I don’t understand all the negative comments. I mean come on…. Its the AT without it we don’t get to find and blow up those bad ass AT prize ships.

    July 16, 2021 at 12:15 AM
    • Moomin Amatin Brian Martin

      CCP cancelled the AT to focus developers on improving the game. Well the AT is back now so the question that is on everyone’s lips is “is the game fixed?”.

      This stinks of CCP piggy-backing on the efforts of those involved in the Anger Games for an “easy community win”.

      July 16, 2021 at 6:59 AM
  • mbox

    I’m convinced that ccp isn’t tone deaf about scarcity or how they handled AT announcement. Csm widely warned them it wouldn’t set well at this time. So my theory:

    Ccp is no longer focused on the player base of the old, bitter vets that cry over ANYTHING ccp does and then screams, “I’ll stop paying for all my accounts if they don’t see it my way!”

    Because at the end of the business day, they’re losing $130 in a year of omega time but gaining traction for micro transactions that cost $230 in one shot. And they’re showing no signs of stopping so whales can whale away. Imagine one of those packs per month. That would amount to $2760 a year. How many accounts would you need to close to offset one whale? Nearly 22 accounts..

    So maybe r/Eve should stop acting like salty b**hes and act like rational adults and maybe ccp would let up on scarcity. If you haven’t made the connection then let me spell it out:

    Ccp is starving the decrepit, whining player base of the old, and replacing with a fresh, micro transaction base using scarcity and purposeful AT announcement that further angered ONLY the old player base. So get on board with the new wave or get out, because ccp has a plan and it’s finally their turn to harvest our salty tears..

    July 16, 2021 at 7:44 PM
    • Garreth Vlox mbox

      There’s only one problem with this theory, and it’s that CCP’s own numbers on new players sticking around and playing long term don’t support your conclusions. So if you are in fact correct, then CCP being in full possession of the facts is intentionally betting on what they know is a losing horse, because they still think that just one more revisions of the NPE will save the day. Which sounds like exactly the kind of idiot thinking that would make CCP believe that whales will continue to be whales in a game where they are the only players left because everyone else quit…

      July 17, 2021 at 3:15 AM
  • Frankie Diaz

    I love the English language. Where else can you describe so many things with a single letter and at least three asterisks? Well, break’s over, back to the salt mines. F***.

    July 19, 2021 at 1:03 AM