I'll be the first to admit I am not by any means a master of PvP (so you can quit your laughing over there before your sides split), but both the announcement and the message itself brought a smile to my face and more hope to my heart. Heck, I may even have more spring in my step! Why? I'll tell you why! Join me as we check out this battle royal where the Daevas of Tiamat duke it out until there's only one standing as well as what an event such as this means for Aion.
First, the event itself demonstrates that a game doesn't have to have a ton of sandboxy tools in order for PGC to become a part of the experience. Aion is definitely light on tools to facilitate player-generated content, but that's no reason to think it can't be done; creative players will do it anyway. In this particular case, the content is actually something that fits right in to the theme of the game as a whole.
Why should we care about the prevalence of player-created events in a game? Because it increases player involvement, and more involvement means more personal investment in the game, which in turn translates into better retention. More players are always a good thing! And along those lines, by streaming the event (and over 1,500 folks tuned in), Aion gets more exposure, which can turn into still more players. Secondly, finding the event so prominently advertised in the official news shows NCsoft's support for a player-run event. Sometimes the success of an event hinges on having enough participation, and getting the word out via an official channel certainly increases participation. I know I wouldn't have known about the tournament otherwise and would have missed it entirely. The tournament also received in-game support from the community team, including making the arenas private to the event and teleporting contestants back and forth.
How does this benefit the rest of us? Now folks know that if they plan out an event, they too might get some official support, be it advertising or perhaps even more. All they need to do is ask. Don't let the fact that your group isn't as large as Epidemic Gaming deter you!
The main event
Now we know why the event is good, so let's talk about the nitty-gritty of the event itself. The tournament is a best-of event where 64 total participants were paired off and whittled down by half each round until one single victor emerged. In rounds one and two, the winners were determined by the best out of three matches. The next three rounds consisted of five matches each. The final remaining round was a grueling best-of-seven battle royal.
A few other notes about the contest. There were potting rules, rules for delay of game, and rules to prevent the matches from drawing out inordinately long. Also, AP was on the line; anyone who lost AP due to death from the opposing faction lost it permanently. The fights took place in the cordoned off arenas in the capital cities. The entire affair was streamed live, as spectators were not allowed in the arena areas.
On to the show!
Woo hoo! It's show time! While obviously lacking the necessary skill in PvP to get far in the contest itself (I am still an insanely low level on that server), I aim to support the community. Not only that, but I enjoy basking in the original content and interactions that come out of events. So of course I went to watch and cheer on the contestants. Sadly, I learned that general spectators were not allowed in-game (apparently there were issues with spectators last time that interfered with a previous event). Luckily, I got a key to the special press box where I could watch the event unfold to share with you.
As with many larger scale things that involves coordination of many different components, the actual event got off to a late start (partly due to the interference of players not in the event). Then after such a long wait, the first match went by in a blink. In fact, many of the matches went pretty quickly and didn't need anywhere near the full 10 minutes allotted.
The entire event was streamed live, with Zeromi and Infliction commentating. For those who were watching via livestream, the commentators called out what skills were used and the effects of those moves on the fight. The coverage bounced from Pandaemonium to Sanctum and back again as each pair fought for the right to move on to the next round. Contestants waiting their turn watched from the stands.
And that, my friends, is a wrap. The Tiamat PvP Tournament is over, but word has it that Israphel can request one, so be on the look out for another in the future. Thanks to Epidemic Gaming for organizing and putting on this event, and thanks to NCsoft for giving so much GM support. It was a nice change of pace from the daily ins and outs of Daeva life in Aion.
Soaring through the Aionosphere, MJ Guthrie touches down biweekly to bring you Wings Over Atreia. Featuring tips, guides, and general snippets of life in Aion, the column is better than Tutty-on-a-stick, ackackackackackack! Have a suggestion to share? No need to bribe a Shugo -- just send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.