Saturday, November 24, 2012
New Eden Open - Week Two
My problem with the tournament isn't the format. The format is similar enough to the Alliance Tournament. And I downright loved the Alliance Tournament. I think my problem with the New Eden Open is entirely with presentation.
First, the teams. I don't know who these teams are. And I can't be bothered trying to figure out who they are. At least with the Alliance Tournament, there's name recognition. I'm familiar, to some degree, with 90% of the teams. I have favourites going in. There are underdogs. There are teams I want to see fail. There's a lot of reputation in the Alliance Tournament that bleeds in straight from the game and its politics. Not so much, actually not at all, in the New Eden Open.
Some have said, "Wait until next year, you'll be more familiar with the teams." I'm not even sure that is true, or that it's something a viewer can count on. I would suspect that come next year (if the New Eden Open is repeated), that I'll see a couple of teams retain their name, but I'll mostly just be presented with another 25 new team names that I cannot connect with, and that I'm not going to be bothered investigating more deeply. I would be surprised if there's any permanence to the majority of these teams year-to-year.
A high-level of permanence and familiarity are hallmarks of the Alliance Tournament for us EVE players. The New Eden Open, I'm willing to bet, will lack that going forward, and that's a failing for the tournament.
The info graphics, I find, are weaker time around. Those three new bars, what are they? Defense, attack and control? Interesting idea, but fails due to obfuscation. I only have a vague idea how those bars are generated on the backend. Seems subjective on the face of it. And being subjective, they are more distracting than useful.
We need more meters that show actual stats. Why not a bar that shows each ships remaining capacitor? That would be an exceptionally useful stat to watch during the fight. Since we mainly watch the stat bars during an EVE fight (spreadsheets online, after all), more stat bars that have to do with actual ship statistics, less bars that deal in obfuscation and magic algorithms, the better. Maybe even lines that connect players on one team to players on the other team, to show who is the primary for each player. (I suppose some of those lines would twist-around to connect to teammates, where logistics are involved.)
More straight up objective information is needed. Less of the subjective, please.
The commentating. There's little to say about Fozzie. The guy is a pro and he knows his ships. He was always my favourite commentator during the Alliance Tournament. Dudes that know their shit like Fozzie knows his shit, always impressive.
Dolan, on the other hand. Hmm. I'm sure when he's relaxed, in a regular environment, he's a funny and genial guy. But I think for these tournaments, he knows he's supposed to be the funny dude to Fozzie's straight guy. And knowing that, he tries so damned hard to be the guy that makes people laugh that he ends up being the joke himself. He needs to be less what's expected of him, and more just being himself. I think he'd be a better commentator if he'd just stop trying so hard. There are times when Dolan isn't hyped and ramped up that I find him entertaining and observant. But mostly he's become a huge distraction to matches he's commentating (which for this tournament is all of them.) (Take that coin flipping thing he was doing to decide his pick for each match? Whut? What does that say about the game? And your ability to analyze it? Not much.)
I'd say, overall, the only reason I'm not watching is because of the lack of familiarity and permanence in this tournament. The graphics and the commentating? Those wouldn't keep me from watching were I feeling at all invested in these teams. I put up with the graphics and the commentating during the Alliance Tournament and still enjoyed the hell out of it.
I'll probably watch next week, but mainly because I want to get a refresher on the upcoming Retribution release, the Retribtution trailer will likely be premiered, and to hear some chatter about plans for next year (I'd be surprised if they did not toss out a couple of 2013 nuggets.)