You need an EVE-Sport. Read on.
It's a strange boiling pot of creativity, comedy and plagiarism that brings about good ideas and the Old Pond Pub provides just such a boiling pot of strangeness. Several conversations have taken place over the last couple of weeks that have led me to write this post, so all due credit to the contributions of the Old Pond Think Tank. Basically, I was looking for a way to make PvP an attractive proposition to combat-shy or new players and I also wanted to organise a bit of local fun.
This essentially spawned into two concepts; Rookie-ship Bushkazi and The Indy Cannonball Run. I'll be covering Rookie-ship Bushkazi in this post and will save The Indy Cannonball Run for a later blogpost.
First of all, credit for the original inspiration must go to Flashfresh, Persephone Astrid, The Bastards and apparently Afghanistan. What follows are rules adapted from The Bastards' original concept as detailed on Flashfresh - The Pirate's blog. They are essentially a simplified, (mostly) non-lethal interpretation of the original rules. The twist comes from Kinroi Alari's peculiar obsession with using Rookie-ships in every aspect of EVE.
In an nutshell, Rookie-ship Bushkazi is a non-lethal EVE-sport wherein competitors vie to tractor a cargo container into their goal-zone. It should be good fun and gives players an opportunity to experiment with player-versus-player combat mechanics without too much fear (this is EVE - there's no such thing as a safe lunch...or something).
The following set of rules is just a guideline and obviously can be changed by mutual agreement to suit all competitors.
ROOKIE-SHIP BUSHKAZI RULES & GUIDELINES
1. SHIPS AND TEAMS
- Each team comprises 3 pilots, each in a suitably fitted rookie ship (ie. an Ibis, an Impairor, a Reaper or a Velator).
- No team may have more than one of each ship type.
- Each pilot may have an unlimited number of rookie ships prepared in accordance with the fitting guidelines.
- Each ship may be only fitted with Meta 0 or civilian modules.
- Offensive weaponry modules are not permitted (meaning: turrets, launchers and smartbombs).
- Drones are permitted (tech I only) and are the only permitted means of inflicting damage.
- Use of tractor beams, webifiers/scramblers and Electronic Warfare is encouraged.
- It is advisable to have a referee to assist with the selection and preparation of a location and to adjudicate the match when in progress.
- The referee can be in any ship he/she deems to be appropriate to the task and has no fitting restrictions (recommended: a fast sniper-fit ship ranged to cover the arena length, with ECM, web/scram, tractor and weapons to control play and administer penalties).
- Three secure cargo containers should be deployed (requires skill: Anchoring 1) in a straight line with 50km spacing.
- The central container should be named 'Centre Spot' and is accessible only to the referee. This container can be used to store items to be used as the 'ball'. Use of items that are impossible for competitors to store in their cargo is advisable to deter cheating.
- The two remaining containers are 'goal' containers and should be named and passworded by the competing teams. The containers are used to store 'ball' items that have been successfully recovered.
- Each container should be passworded by the appropriate team to prevent the illegal removal of goal items by opponents.
- The referee should be informed of the passwords (via EVEmail or private conversation).
- The referee initiates 'kick-off' by ejecting an item selected from the Centre-Spot container. It's appearance on the field of play signifies that the round is in session.
- The competing teams must use tractor beams to move the 'ball' container from the centre of the field to within transferrable distance of their team's 'goal' container. Successful transfer of the 'ball' into the 'goal' ends the round and players must assemble for a subsequent 'kick-off'.
- Play continues for 15 minutes, until one side is depleted of eligible ships or until aggression timers expire. In high-sec, CONCORD may assist in bring play to an end.
- Drones may be used to attack and destroy ships and other drones, but drones may not be used to attack pods or containers.
- Pilots whose ships have been destroyed may return to the field as soon as they are in an eligible ship.
- Play continues irrespective of ship destruction.
- Recommended penalty for transgressions: destruction of offenders ship and automatic 'ball' possession given to other side in a 10km safety zone.
- The final score is confirmed by the referee determining the number of 'balls' successfully recovered to the team 'goal' containers.
There are four possible locations in which a match can be conducted; Null-sec, Wormhole space, Low-sec and High-sec. The potential hazards differ in each location These should be considered in choosing a location and appropriate steps should be taken.
Null-Sec: This presents a travel risk for those not already situated in an appropriate null-sec system. The logistics of access to appropriate ships and equipment may be difficult. There is a risk of 'pitch-invasion' from uninvited guests.
The arena location should be selected and prepared with caution and the referee should be prepared to make use of the directional scanner throughout proceedings.
Wormhole-Space: Similar risks to null-sec, but reduced travel/logistical concerns. Risk of poorly-timed wormhole collapse.
Low-sec: Low-sec may easier for many high-sec inhabitants to travel to, but many of the null-sec risks still apply. Participation without 'can-flipping' (see high-sec advice below) will result in loss of security standings.
Hi-sec: CONCORD does not sanction any aggressive actions in high security space, including Electronic Warfare. Therefore in order to avoid CONCORD intervention, all competitors must 'can-flip'. This is an unfortunate and complicated necessity of playing Rookie-ship Bushkazi in high-security space. In order to avoid confusion, the following method is recommended:
- Each competitor carries in his cargo a stack of a low-value, low-volume items (minimum of one per competitor) ideally separated into stacks of 1.
- Immediately prior to the commencement of a match, the referee will prompt the participants gather at the centre-spot and eject their items.
- Each participant should take one item from each of 5 ejected containers (excluding their own). This will create a 15 minute aggression timer, preventing CONCORD intervention.
- All competitors should ensure that every participant is now aggressed (flashing red in overview).
- The referee should get confirmation that aggression is active from all participants before commencing play.
These rules are a work in progress, but are a flexible enough framework for people to amend them according to their needs. The advantage is that the costs for entry are so low, everyone can have a go.
The only preparation required is the gathering of the Rookie-ships, which can be done easily enough by docking with any station in your pod. Obviously access to an industrial ship would aid in transporting your ships to the agreed arena system. Also a stockpile of low-cost modules and drones is a bit of a requirement.
I understand that The Bastards aim to host competitions in the future, so this 'Rookie-ship class' will be good practice for getting teams together for entry into their their high-end 'Formula 1' Bushkazi (they use frigates, destroyers and cruisers).
We'll be organising a few play-testing sessions in the OLD POND PUB in the near future, so we'll be generating stacks of Rookie-ships for that purpose. If anyone else tries these rules out, I'd be grateful for some feedback.