The news that several community CCP staff would be leaving CCP hit the tournament community hard because of the exceptional work that CCP Logibro had been doing on our behalf. Not least was the Thunderdome server - a test server with special features designed to support the special needs of tournament players. These are:
- protection from spies. Practices take place in a special arena that can't be accessed by third parties. Spying is still possible if you can get a character into an opponent's tournament practice squad but you can't simply take a cov ops and watch other teams practice.
- refereeing tool. The captain of a side has access to a special tool that allows him to teleport teams to the arena and which checks that fits are legal.
- restricted entry. Only people designated by their team captains have access, usually a tournament squad of around 15-50 people. This is reset from time to time. It was last reset after AT XV.
- all skills at V.
- all ships and modules available at nomimal costs (except titans I believe).
With the loss of Logibro it's been a bit up in the air what the future of this server is. Few tournament players want to go back to practicing on sisi. The loss of Thunderdome has also hurt player-run tournaments with the Anger Games being cancelled recently for this reason disappointing everyone involved.
I asked for access so that I can play with my new alliance (A Band Apart) and received some quite positive news from CCP Falcon.