Alliance Tournament 8 has been announced. Actually announced a week ago, but as I won’t be taking part, I hadn’t had a chance to read the updates and forums on the rules until now. This is the dev blog announcing the tourney, by CCP Claw, and here are the alliance tourney forums , with a lot more info on rules changes and clarifications.
Overall it looks to me like they’re going with what worked well, and just making some tweaks to keep things fresh – Alliance Tournament VII was excellent, imho. Biggest changes look like:
1) Flagships – 0.o shiney faction fit goodness. Coupled with the faction ship upgrades, this could be interesting. They’ve restricted the tanking mods, which is a darn good thing. I’m very curious to see how this works out. The obvious guess is a lot of tank stalemates between rattlesnakes, but we’ll see. There are some very crafty dudes out there who I’m sure will come up with fascinating flagships, and since their fits are published, we can all see them. Calling it now, GHSC will field a battle iteron flagship.
2) Increase identical ship limit from 2 to 3. Not a particularly big deal, less diversity, but more tactically concentrated options.
3) Improving the selection process from reserved slots from previous years plus random drawing, to reserved, auction and random. Of course accompanied by whines of ‘but people shouldn’t be able to just buy their way in’ – why not? The big guys should be in this tourney, not the random ‘look at me, I have an alliance you’ve never heard of too’. That said, I do think they should try to move away from random altogether. Maybe move toward a qualification round – have reserved slots, auctioned slots, and then a single elimination play-in weekend 2-4 weeks in advance of the main tourney for all others. This will bias toward the better PVP entities – which is the exact point.
Regardless of changes, last year’s tourney was a lot of fun to watch and I’m very much looking forward to this year’s. Its always fun watching the best and brightest PVPers match wits and skill on a level playing field. PL has dominated the last two years – let’s see if they can defend their crown. AT8 is slated for June 5-6, 12-13, and 19-20.