Thoughts on the 1v1 T3 Cruiser Proving Grounds

This was a straight up 1v1 with T3 Cruisers. If this event showed one thing, than that the ship-class is not very well balanced against each other. Additional some “buffs” where distributed around the arena one could collect to improve your ships performance. That was somewhat critical in the overall event.

DISCLAIMER: I could not play for the first ~8 hours of the event, which might have made me miss several fun shifts of the meta, and might have increased or decreased my win-rate. But after several hours, the meta was pretty much established.

Unsurprisingly the Loki dominated the abyss this time. But not quite as hard as I would have expected it to. A perfectly well flown Legion seemingly was a worthy opponent to it.

Most matches looked like this: One Loki- or Legion-pilot would heat sooner than the other or had more or better drug rolls than the other and just overwhelmed the opponent like that [Video of Suitonas Stream on Twitch]. Very quick and very brutal.
Sometimes you would see a Rapid Light Missile-Tengu trying to clip through his opponent before they could heat their modules. If that would not work, they’d run and try to stay alive until their second clip was loaded. Pilots who entered the arena with a Proteus where almost always doomed.

Overall, I’m not sure if I liked this format. My win-rate was 4-5-0 at the end. Maybe that could have been better if I had had the time to jump in right at the beginning. Three of my four wins where due to flying the Meta-Loki with dual-webs. One was with a Legion against another Legion that did slightly worse on their cap-management. Or did pick up one buff less than me. Fights could be very close or a very quick dunk if one of the two players did not heat quick enough. Speaking of it: There was lots of heating and module management, which is pretty cool and fun in most cases.

Even people with only one win managed to stay in the top 100 until the end. What that means is open for interpretation. But to me that looks like the broad majority could not be motivated to jump the fray very often. That may be due to many reasons. T3 Cruisers are rather skill intensive, they also are quite an investment, even with fitting restriction to T2 modules you will be looking at around 400 million per fitted ship. And that does not include implants and drugs which will add another 100-200 million. Yes, you would get 150 million back when dealing 7.000 dps in the arena, but even that was not guaranteed as you might have seen in the linked clip above.
I believe I managed to get out of the event without a loss, looking at wins, losses, and loot alone. With the market games I played before and during the event, I even made a bit of a plus.

Getting a buff was almost mandatory for a win.

Having to collect the buffs was weird… they gave a random set of buffs, no debuffs this time. That extra 33% cap regeneration could help out a lot in a neuting-fight or change dynamics when people burn different directions to collect a buff, effectively ending a brawl. Not to speak about the flat out 33% damage. Again I’m not sure if I liked it. It could kind of add to the game play when things had the chance to get stale, in a way. But at the same time it could just make the dunk harder, if you get what I mean by that.

CCP suggesting the Proteus for the Proving Grounds. lol, good one.

Dislike With Passion 👎

What I still dislike with a passion are the event-drugs messing things up – again – and in this case making other weapon systems than missiles basically not viable. It also ads this component that feels like “pay 2 win” to me.
150 million ISK in drugs for the chance to be competitive. That will always be a ‘yikes’ in my book. Just like implants, it punishes the losers beyond losing the hull and adds that extra paywall that can be very demotivating.

What would you lose if you remove implants and drugs from the equation? A bit less depth in the theory-crafting aspect. You would have a smaller list of stuff to re-buy after a lost round.
People would not have to re-roll drugs after getting a bad effect. Because nobody will go in with a bad roll or take boosters after entering the arena. Not if they are given the choice.

One can get a good impression of how strong the Loki where in this format by watching Jaruselka Thornes video:

What are your thoughts? Did you fly in this iteration of the Abyssal Proving Grounds? Did you get jebaited by CCPs tweet and actually tried the Proteus? Let me know in the comments!

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