Tournaments are contests of skill between players usually held in The Crossing Cemetery found on RanikMap7b. In a basic tournament, two teams fight in the three designated areas of the cemetery until one team kills all the members of the opposing team.
Crossing Cemetery Tourney Rules
- Violation of any rule means consent to be hunted by any other tourneyer.
- Don't leave the three rooms (North, middle, South) once the fight starts. Doing so is automatic disqualification/death.
- Don't cast anything during the fight that effectively nerfs an area of combat entirely (like Banner of Truce).
- Don't use items or abilities that mimics the same (no Fortress of Ice houses or crystal sanctuaries where you generate a temporary room to just hide out).
- No interference in the fight by anyone dead once or outside the list, and no stealing gear. Doing so is immediate consent for anyone and everyone to kill you and everyone you know.
- Don't rob or otherwise hinder triage.
- Leave IN CHARACTER DRAMA AT THE GATE-TOURNEYS WILL HAVE OOC CHATTER AND ARE GENERALLY CONSIDERED OOC. Brush this off as everyone needs to train to kill even with enemies, just like hunting grounds.
- Uninvited interruption of a tourney is considered bad form and consent for anyone and everyone to kill you when they want.
Cemetery tournaments are generally run through the first three rooms, South to North, beginning just inside the gate to Crossing cemetery out the Northeast Gate. Directions from NE gate are: move East, move path, move North, move gate. That's currently room #404 in Genie. That's the South room, the one above it is "mid" and the one above that is "North." You'll know you found "mid" because there's a very old sign that came up when there used to be a lockout room for killing too many people in too short of a time:
A huge **WARNING** sign reads: Notice to tournament combatants -- Judgement and punishment of those indulging in excessive killing has been changed!
A "list keeper" or organizer typically recruits all willing fighters that show up in the cemetery. The list keeper will periodically recite the full list so that everyone knows who is currently in for the next round. Ideally "brackets" for rounds are measured by approximate skill. In a team fight, every single person has a way to contribute, regardless of skill (via buffs or in fight tactics like dragging or being bait, see below) but it's obviously more fun for people when they're in a relatively close group. There is almost always at least one "ALL OUT" round with no restrictions on skill/circle. These are the best. I've seen 20th Empaths MVP rounds with 150 cannons.
Once a list is established, generally the top two characters are "captains." The captains move with the list keeper to a room that is separate from the horde of fighters and triage (usually NW of the North fighting room). Captains ROSHAMBO. The winner can pick the first ONE teammate, but after that all picks are by TWOS. Thus the winning captain can choose to pick ONE, knowing the other picks the next TWO, or can defer and let the losing captain pick first and winning captain gets the first TWO pick. All picks are two at a time after the first. The list keeper is responsible for tracking each team and has to keep the captains updated as they pick. It's important that the list keeper is able to return to the horde and recite something like:
NORTH: Ataelos Traim Rekon Zehira Agalea
SOUTH: Raikage Mevilan Totenus Rifkinn Heartsfyre
It's important that the list keeper maintain that list because IT'S VERY IMPORTANT YOU HIGHLIGHT YOUR TEAM AND THE OPPOSITE TEAM. When the captains and list keeper come back from picking, the fighters need to be able to immediately highlight bad guys and good guys. Then we proceed to countdown.
NOTE: PvP team highlighting scripts can be found for Genie and StormFront on the Scripts page.
Generally the organizer will call out the teams and also call out a time until GO. North team goes to North room, South room goes to South room. A "counter" stands in the mid room and yells periodic points about the countdown. I like a 5-6 minute countdown with the counter yelling a warning at each minute mark then "10" "9" "8" "7" etc down to "GO."
Why is that important you ask? It's important because of what is happening during the countdown. During the countdown, each team needs to buff up personally and to your teammates and come up with a plan of attack/defense. Many teams lose because they're not ready on "GO" and the other team came in ready with AOE (area of effect abilities) and a plan. Preparation and pre-fight strategy is probably 85% of winning if the teams are close to evenly matched.
Team fights are much, much different from any spar or general 1v1 fight. It changes your entire approach to a fight. The biggest early mistake a tourneyer makes is to think about it like a 1v1 fight. For instance, a thief might usually love to use backstab in a 1v1 fight but maybe it's better to use ambush slash to leave an important target in the open for your more durable teammates instead of backstabbing against a warded opponent. Moon Mages, rend is a good early option to strip bad guys and let your teammate cannons clean up after that. WMs and Clerics make great anti-magic bait tanks. Necromancers, pets can be the best bait. Empaths, you can single-handedly win fights by baiting, tanking, buffing, and saving your big hitters. These are just ideas to explain thinking outside the 1v1 box.
Why bother with all this?: Team fights in DR are a very good opportunity to have some fun, get used to death in a larger conflictual setting, and (at least for me) they're the most challenging part of the game that actually values player knowledge and planning/strategy as much as numbers. Remember, all the characters die, but can you die helping your team win?
Tournaments in DragonRealms started sometime in the late 1990s. Players would frequently use The Cemetery as an ideal spot for PvP as it was conveniently located right outside of town. Groups of players would often gather there for spars and other types of PvP challenges such as "King of the Hill". Tournaments were a logical progression once large crowds of eager players were gathered. During the peak of DragonRealms, tournaments were held almost daily for several hours at a time; there was no need for special announcements or days in advance planning. The popularity of them increased as players formed websites where logs of tournaments were posted and the losers ridiculed. Most popular of these websites was the infamous House of Ownzing
With the release of DragonRealms: The Fallen many of the frequent tournament participants migrated to the new game, which lead to the steady decline in activity in Prime Tournaments. Other factors contributed to this decline and soon The Crossing Cemetery became desolate.
It wasn't until a group of players associated with the Smelly Cat Forums started scheduling and hosting tournaments that the contests started to regain some of their popularity.