Saturday, 26 May 2012

Spirit vs. Letter

Last year was the first time I watched an Alliance Tournament.  I picked the loser in almost every match I tried to guess but I have to admit the competition really sparked my interest in small group warfare.  Not that Eve ever really has combat on such a scale, but it's nice to theorycraft.  I also liked how the smallest details meant success or failure.  Sadly the final battle was a complete letdown, but the rest of the tournament was superb.

This year the Alliance Tournament is already off to a rocky start and the first match has not even happened yet.   The two teams that won last year have been banned for practicing together, against each other, and in the same corp on the test server.   The rules this year were changed to prevent one alliance from entering two teams but Hydra and Outbreak were clearly two alliances working as one team.

Breaking the spirit of the rules if not the letter of the law.

CCP acted on this and banned both teams despite the fact both teams are from two separate alliances and thus could not enter a "B" or "C" team.  They were two "A" teams working together.

The next part of the drama was the claim by CCP that Pandemic Legion (PL) and one of it's feeder corps had at least on member, if not several, switching back and forth between corps on test.  CCP then banned the feeder corp while allowing PL to continue in the tournament despite the rules stating the main Alliance would be banned along with the "B" team.

In this case we see an example of CCP pointing out a violation of the letter of the law but bending the rules because CCP felt the spirit was adhered to.

Confused yet?  If so you wouldn't be the only one.

Added to all of the drama is the protest that emails were sent to the AT dev team with no response.  GM's were also contacted and finally approval was given stating Hydra and Outbreak could fight against each other on test server.  The correspondence with the GM's was brought up, after the ban occurred,on the forums but the AT Dev team said their ruling was final regardless of any "permission" that might have been received by a GM.

In the end it appears that PL will be allowed to participate, Hydra and Outbreak are SOL, and CCP once again proves it's unable to clearly communicate with it's customer base.

The rules regarding what Alliances were able to do with or against each other in preparation for the tournament were vague when you consider the ban's that occurred.  The enforcement of the rules seems rather pick and choose based on how the Dev team feels about your Alliance (or perhaps it's the 50+ plex bid PL used in the auction to secure a spot in the tournament).

The rules need to be defined to state exactly what is allowed and what is not allowed to prepare for the tournament.  This has to include how alliances and corporation changes on test server will be considered.  Finally, CCP should ensure they enforce the rules they make otherwise their actions look petulant and vindictive for past actions. 

At this point I'm not looking forward to this years tournament.  The whole thing feels as tainted as Mark McGuire's home run record.  Neither of the champs are returning, PL is allowed to fight after CCP said PL broke the rules, and several other teams have done the same or similar training as the two teams that got hit by the ban-hammer.

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