The Debut of Tournaments
Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Editor's note: This article has been corrected on the following errors: Goofed ended up being 2nd place, not third. Aestrus - as 3rd place - received 2,500 gems in prize money, not 2,000.
In the wee hours of the morning on Friday, September 11th, Atlas quietly enabled a new feature, still in testing: tournament combat. The new form of voluntary combat was developed in only a few weeks, chiefly by Tyrriel, with frequent input from several Morvians.
The reason for Morvians' involvement was their position as would-be testers of the tournaments, for they had scheduled a large PvP tournament at their capital, New Efros, for September 12th. The intricacies of tournaments are still somewhat shrouded in mystery, as the update has yet to be officially announced, but the general idea is clear: they are voluntary, zero-risk combat with much more customizability than Duels. An instance of combat may be set up with any number of teams, and any number of players may be invited to join the teams, who will then be able to fight one another, with their health bars visible to all spectators nearby.
This basic information on tournaments was learned through observation, as New Efros's large-scale use of it put the new code to the test repeatedly, in front of tens of spectators. The tournament's format was simple: a knockout bracket, where each pair of combatants would fight one another with the same gear until one of them won two matches. Two Elders, Ajaxan and Tyrriel, oversaw the event (and provided barrier blocks for its arena). The sixteen combatants who signed up would engage in a total of 37 different fights across 16 different pairings (including the third-place fight) in the following bracket:
However, the two-hour event at New Efros was hardly as uneventful as the above summary suggests. September 12th's tournament was afflicted by mischief and misfortune even before it commenced, when local goofball LittleTengu executed a medium-scale egging operation on New Efros hours before the event began. However, in spite of issues with custom shops, the tournament, and the new code running it, started off smoothly. The enclosed, indoor arena was even able to proceed with the tournament in spite of the appearance of a Frost Lich (a world boss) outside of New Efros, though some attendees elected to slay it anyway (with one casualty - Shinki_).
However, the near-flawless execution of the tournament came to a sudden halt at the beginning of Round 3, specifically during the match between Aestrus_ and Goofed. Spectators' first sign that something was amiss was when neither combatant attacked the other after Aestrus_'s first few shots at Goofed; their second sign was when both combatants declared that Goofed was incapable of being damaged by Aestrus_. When attendees began likening the issue to a similar combat issue experienced at Wraithhall's August feast, Tyrriel exclaimed, "WAIT, ANTI-RAID". Indeed, the issue was the same: "anti-raid", a feature that gives members of a nation a combat advantage when within their nation's towns, was still active, months after it should have been removed. Though this sparked widespread concern about the integrity of the entire tournament's results (especially given that no Morvian had been knocked out by a non-Morvian), it was soon learned that "anti-raid" had only just turned on. However, as Atlas's developers could not remove the feature on such short order, Ajaxan announced that any Morvian who wished to compete in the tournament from then on needed to leave Morvia temporarily. All competing Morvians complied, resulting in Goofed, Lostnation, and _ItzJordy_ all becoming nationless for a short while.
In the end, the results of the tournament were:
The only non-Morvian who took home prize money from New Efros's PvP bracket was Aestrus, who got 2500g for third place. The two-hour Grand Feast ended almost exactly with the combat tournament.
After the PvP was over, attendees who wished to stay at New Efros for more than two hours moved on to spleef, a game wherein combatants armed only with a shovel fight atop a platform of snow to cause opponents to fall. This game was less serious and far more chaotic (Morvia even sold 150g "Chaos Tickets" that let spectators remotely attack the arena with potions, arrows, and snowballs via dispenser arrays). _ItzChris_ won the spleef tournament.
Overall, the event was a success. Though the tournament suffered its fair share of issues and interruptions, it was seen through to its end regardless, and the tournament code itself largely held up. Morvians once again dominated their own event, an observation to which Ajaxan replied, "y'all need to practice more". With tournaments now having been proven to work, Atlas is likely to see many more of them in the near future.