Even though I have yet to participate in any 1v1 PvP, I’m getting comfortable enough with the game (and built up enough ISK) that I’m willing to start trying it out. Hell, I talked to a guy last night in null who was looking for a fight, and might have even given him one if my Vexor hadn’t been A: fit for PvE, and B: the only cruiser I had for nearly thirty jumps in any direction. As it stands, I’ll probably go asking for a duel over there when I log on this weekend.
However, even if the both of us go into the fight honorably and don’t pull any tricks, that’s not something that we can guarantee will happen every time. Also, since it’s nullsec there is always the risk of some douchebags just looking to ruin our fun or legit pirates seeing easy prey dropping in and killing the both of us while we duel.
This, to me, is a problem in need of a solution, and I’ve got some ideas on how to fix it. I’m under no illusions that I’m the first person to propose ideas like this, but I can at least do my best to contribute to the community in a constructive manner.
First, set up a simulator option with limits for players to test out ships and fits against rats or other players. It would only allow basic subcapital hulls and T1 modules, with no navy, pirate, or any meta but civilian tech available to fit. This would give new players a general idea of what to expect if they take a ship out against certain rats or another player without letting them get a taste of too much power; if they want to see how their expensive meta/faction/storyline/deadspace/officer module fares in combat then they’re going to have to risk getting it blown up.
Next - and I’m not sure how much work this or the next idea would be or if they’re even feasible, so if a dev wants to chime in please do so - set up arenas in certain lowsec systems where players can go to find secure 1v1 matches and small fleet brawls with any subcapital ships they own. Each side would be able to see what ships the other is bringing and maybe what they’ve been fit with, so as to avoid completely one-sided fights (or not, if that’s just how you roll) and “battles” where neither side can possibly hurt the other, like a frigate vs. battleship match where the one side can’t hit their opponent and the other side can’t hurt their opponent.
Finally, there would be thunderdomes. These would be the nullsec areas where players who want to get fights where capital and supercapital ships can participate, but with no guarantee that their opponents would bring anything they could take. Once the fight started it would be impossible to leave the grid until one side was victorious, so that would lower the need for things like interdictors and warp disruptors to prevent your enemy escaping.
In both the arenas and thunderdomes there would be public records of who fought whom and what each side was flying, so if one side is filled with sore losers who drop fifty capitals into the fight when it looks like they’re going to lose, everyone would know about it. Naturally, it would be up to players and corporations/alliances they’re a part of to keep each other (relatively) honest and spread the word about groups that exhibit poor sportsmanship. There might even be ways to officially punish groups who consistently break the spirit of the fights, possibly by siccing the Triglavians on them if CCP decides to use Trig-organized provings as the lore explanation for thunderdomes.
Naturally, there will also be players who record or stream their fights, but that’s a limited view from a single perspective that watchers would have no control over. CCP could possibly add another source of revenue by implementing a way for other players to watch these fights from their own “omniscient” POV without any UI clutter, and anyone who wants to watch/re-watch fights in this manner would be able to pay a small fee via cash or PLEX to subscribe to this service for a period of time.
I’m quite aware there are probably dozens of ways to game this system or certain parts of it that a naive little newbro like myself hasn’t thought of, and I welcome anyone who would take the time and effort to explain what they are. I would be even more grateful if that person explained how these exploits might be countered. I’m willing to take constructive criticism about my ideas, because even if I’m naive and uninformed about the game in comparison to veterans I still like EvE and want to help improve it in any way I can, no matter how small my contribution might be.