17 October 2009


First off, I need to help promote The Epic Celebrity Death Match. It will be a two-on-two featuring Nashh Kadavr and Mynxee against Luminus Aardokay and Quivering Palm of Planet Risk.

Teadaze has put up a teaser. The match has already taken place, but it will be one of the main events at the upcoming Hellcats Party.

I know no one will miss me, but I would like to be there. I would even fly into Evati just for the party. But alas, I won't be there.

Now, announcing all of that isn't really the reason behind this blog. I've just been working on this blog for a little while now, and I figure all of this is a nice lead into my thoughts on dueling.

I've been following Nashh's Celebrity Death Matches, and I've been poking at the idea of joining Eve Arena (since I don't have a chance for PvP at the moment), but I do have a slight complaint about both of these. This complaint extends really to all arranged 1-on-1 matches, and is the biggest reason I've never bothered going to Evati and challenging anyone in the Hellcats Pub channel to a duel.

It always seems that the duels have to have some rules laid out before hand. The two most common are no warping away and no ECM. I do understand why people ask for such restrictions, but to me, they are artificial ways of nerfing aspect that don't seem to need a nerf through out the rest of New Eden. They also remove abilities or cripple ships that usually shine, and they remove, to me, the biggest part of any engagement, the part that requires the most skill.

Take for example the Rifter and the Punisher. I've seen enough evidence that on paper, I would argue that a Punisher is tougher, stronger, and more deadly than a Rifter. Recently, there was even a duel between Sage and Spectre to stress this point.

However, I would always opt to pilot the Rifter. The reason being is simple, the Rifter has more speed. The Rifter has the option to disengage. The Punisher doesn't. Once these two ships commit to a fight with each other, the Punisher has to stick it out to the end.

The Punisher pilot has to hope that all the work he did before the engagement can carry him through the engagement. After all, as long as the two pilots do their jobs nearly equally, the deciding factors are the ship fittings and the influencing skills (and implants/boosters) of the pilots. It doesn't matter how good a pilot one is, if they don't have the skills to mount a better fit, or have a ship that isn't adequately fit for the circumstances, chances of surviving are dramatically lowered.

I'm not saying the Punisher is a bad ship, but the Rifter is chosen by low sec capsuleers much more often for a very good reason: The Rifter can evade that which it can not destroy outright.

The no warping away rule puts a Rifter in an artificial position. Now, knowing that, I would opt for a Punisher in a frigate duel. The idea there is bring the right tool for the job. But I think the duel would promote a tool that wouldn't have quite the same real world application.

I think Nashh's range-tanking Kestrel is a good idea of this, too. If the Kestrel wants to stay at range, then he runs the risk of his adversary warping away, only to return at a more advantageous range.

The no ECM rule is similar, but in the opposite direction. It might imply that certain ships are less successful in the real world.

The other thing these rules do is avoid the biggest part of the engagement. Selecting a target, electing where to engage, and sometimes chasing or letting them chase are all part of the tactics that happen before an engagement. These will often play a bigger role in fleet versus fleet engagements, where sometimes your goal is too pick off stragglers and use herding techniques to cut the other fleet into manageable portions, but it has its place in one-on-one engagements.

I've not had much time soloing. That was the point behind my A-Riftering project, but what I have learned, or what I think I've learned is, two things: The outcome is decided before the ships open fire, and don't panic.

I still panic, so I'm no good at these things, yet, but everything that goes into training skills, fitting ships, and choosing when and where to attack affect the outcome of the attack more so than what one does during the engagement.

The question is, how does one fix the dueling problem (assuming they recognize a dueling problem)? I don't have a good answer. I have some ideas, but I think they are are lacking.

Simply requiring combatants to bring tackle gear isn't enough. Even with the appropriate webifiers and warp disruptors, the Rifter could still outpace and eventually evade the Punisher.

One idea is simply don't duel. Instead, people who agree to a duel should simply agree that they will make an effort to hunt each other. Who ever gets the first kill, or gets the most kills in a certain time period, wins the duel. This isn't as dramatic. It is long and drawn out. This type of duel would also require some war declarations or be limited to low/null sec. Also, good capsuleers are not alone. They have friends. This style of duel would require some weird workings with friends. This duel wouldn't need any restrictions, though.

An idea that I like better is to simply broaden the borders of the duel. Instead of limiting the duel to one scanner grid, limit it to one planetary system or one solar system. Combatants may warp between the moons and asteroid belts of a given planet, or within a given system. This would require that the combatants don't use safe spots or cloaks.

A last idea is to set a third target where the combatants play a game of assault. One capsuleer would have to defend a hauler or can or structure while the other would be tasked to destroy it. Either one could warp away, but they would be forced to return if they wanted to be successful. This would require multiple rounds since the defender should have a slight advantage. This would require some set up since the target would have to be made ready. This idea could be adapted to be one camps a gate/system that the other must pass through.

1 comment:

  1. Having done quite a few arranged and impromptu 1v1s, I'll say I prefer impromptu engagements. It's just more exciting when there is less knowledge about your opponent and less planning having gone into stacking the deck in your favor after investigating their most typical fits. But regardless, I love 1v1s in both flavors.

    Your suggestion of a third target makes it more like a competitive event than a fight...but it's interesting.

    Haven't tried EVE Arena yet...but want to.