I said before... and I mean it... that you can only have sport if you have the same access to the same equipment at the same time for the same price.
This is one reason why I've said I think pre-mades or tournaments featuring specially balanced ships could rightly be labeled as eSport in a game where you have different access to different ships at wildly different prices. You can perhaps have approximate balance within 10-20%. Maybe 5% if the game had a bigger systems team and weekly balance patches.
But the only way it really makes sense to me as true, pure sport is if, say:
You introduce PvP Escort, PvP Cruiser, PvP Science. (Maybe PvP Destroyer and PvP Carrier.) These are actually balanced. There is a PvP gear vendor that sells PvP versions of gear for these ships.
You have tournaments/rated matches that only these ships can queue for. (Instances have to be setup for ships to queue for them anyway, which is why the escort carrier couldn't do STFs.) For fun's sake, maybe these ships can take on the look of any ship of their class. I'd be inclined to say to let these ships work for missions. The prize is a ship that is 5% more effective with an exotic look.
Then, every 4-6 months, introduce a new PvP tournament with a new wave of PvP ships that have stats 5% higher... and allow people to also queue using their prize ships from the previous season since they are balanced against the new ships. Effectively waiving the entry fee for the last tournament's top 10% or so of performers.
If these ships start dramatically outtuning PvE ships, it might be wise to ban them from non-PvP queued events. In fact, that might be a smart proviso from the beginning to get people used to it and also account for the fact that these ships don't "look right" for their capabilities. But, hey, let people do missions in their PvP ships!
The idea is, really, pay a flat fee on a ship purchase, get balanced PvP with great prizes. Repeat a few times a year.
Maybe investigate doing the same with ground kits once the ground kit system is more stabilized.
Do it like Guild Wars 2. When you do PvE content youre restricted to PvE gear. When youre in PvP, youre restricted to PvP gear. It creates balance and its fair for all, with no advantage for the rich and fair for all people. Then its all about skill and not the size of your wallet that counts.
One does not become a better pvpr due to p2w consoles. One becomes a good pvpr when he/she can use the skills she is given on an equal basis like all others.
Co-founder of The Spanish Inquisition TSI - Cause no one expects it!
PaxOttomana: gawd mirror event is like fighting a tsi premade, they keep comin and comin!