Summer is always a time of low activity in Eve, especially where nullsec campaigns are concerned. For Pandemic Legion however this is the best time of the year, at least for a few dozen chosen pilots. On Wednesday CCP released the long awaited devblog on the upcoming 12th Alliance Tournament. This is my personal highlight of the year, especially after ATXI. As mentioned in Crossing Zebras Episode 40 I will dig into the tournament meta and spend nearly all of my available time in Pandemic Legion’s tournament channels discussing various topics and test setups.
As Pandemic Legion started to fill the team with the ‘olde guarde’, new blood steps in to add more human resources to the long, laborious process that must now begin. Most likely we will test five days each week for at least three hours minimum with double sessions on weekend. The workload is shared between guys doing all the logistics, setups, EFTing,
scouting and piloting. For some individuals however the to take part in the Alliance Tournament has already passed, either by being in only a corp and not in an alliance or by missing the cutoff date – April 24th. As seen in ATXI, CCP chose to focus on alliances as teams instead of superteams formed of tournament veterans that were common in previous tournaments. NEO2 is for superstar teams; the Alliance Tournament belongs to the alliances.
The ruleset for ATXII has seen onlu minor changes from ATXI and NEO2, to keep the meta evolving and balance issues that we saw last year. The point system has some surprises however. As the meta of ATXI was sentry-based, both the Dominix and the Isthar receive a point penalty. The Dominix has 20 points compared to the 17 points of all other battleships, putting it at the same level of Pirate Faction Battleships. The Ishtar gets 14 points, two points more than all the other Heavy Assault Cruisers. Surprisingly the Recons remain at 14 points, even though they were barely used in ATXI and NEO2. This hints at Recons getting their rebalancing pass before the tournament starts, most likely in the Crius expansion. Personally I would have liked to see Electronic Attack Frigates with five points, but currently they are worth as much as Cruisers at 6.
The largest impact on matches in ATXII will be the new arena, which CCP has altered this year:
The arena contains nine Mobile Micro Jump Unit structures, one placed in the center and eight placed 87km away from the center in the direction of each of the eight team beacons. These outer structures form a cube around the center of the arena with sides approximately 100km in length. These Mobile Micro Jump Units are indestructible and usable by all.
This new arena will need some practice and the discussion within the esports community has started as whether or not CCP will open up Duality as a testing server for teams again. These MMJUs will allow options to counter various different playstyles, however recreating he arena will create issues and take time to prepare for training sessions. As long as this happens on Singularity spies can easily infiltrate the systems with testing teams easily found. If teams don’t get the chance to train this system properly we will see many fights ending with ships being destroyed by CCP Veritas due to boundary violation. Apparently CCP has no time to do the code changes needed to open Duality immediately. Hopefully it will be opened to teams to train on after the signups have closed. Over the years the competition has got harder and PL isn’t the only team dependent on vast quantities of testing. Locked systems allowed more teams to exist on a competitive level, with more interesting fights to watch and a greater level of competition for the older alliances.
So for me this is the season of incredible EVE activity – just not on Tranquility! I only get my news from Pandemic Legion’s IRC and the staff of Crossing Zebras, so please – don’t start any new wars! And to the all tournament addicts I say – see you in PE1-R1!
Tags: ATXII, esport, forlorn, PL, pvp