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Thread: Making paintball more fun for veterans and newbies alike

  1. #1
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    Making paintball more fun for veterans and newbies alike

    Given that the...other thread...was a complete nonstarter, I thought I'd try again for what that thread should have been. There were some great points sprinkled in, but I think the signal to noise ratio became untenable. I want to frame this thread right off the bat with one thought:

    Paintball is a game.

    If paintball is a game, then it is imperative that me maximize the amount of fun people are having. This has all sorts of lovely effects for the industry since our player retention will be higher and there will be more participation.

    Point 1: The gear we play paintball with has been formed largely due to evolutionary path dependency - loaders are on top chiefly because better loaders kept compatibility with gravity loaders, and adoption is more difficult as solutions become more entrenched. Leaving the ammunition alone for a minute, is there a FORM FACTOR that would be more beneficial to paintball than what we have now. The fundamental assumption here is that we're shooting 10bps+ of .68 caliber paint, which necessitates a rather large on gun volume. I looked extremely hard at shifting around the positioning of the loader, but the truth is the hopper on top method, while not ideal, is not completely awful.


    Point 2: Ramping is a result of cheating. I think a rational Rate of Fire discussion is warranted.

    High ROF:
    + Adrenaline in speedball
    + Margins for fields who sell lots of paint (a bad business model, I'd argue)
    + Integral to strategy of speedball as currently constructed

    - Discourages movement in speedball
    - Discourages new players (fear factor)
    - Increases costs to players

    This is obviously not a complete list, but ROF is pretty foundational to the state of the game today. New players need to be nurtured, not scared away. That brings us to the next issue.


    Point 3: The rounds (no pun intended)
    There was a lively discussion around this topic, and I think it behooves us to consider a few major factors:

    Fun/Range/Accuracy - shooting ball paint is not at all fun - you can't score eliminations you feel you deserve - if a guy is hanging half his body out from 40 feet, I should be able to easily eliminate him. A hopper from 30 feet should take a reasonable number of shots to score an elimination, etc. When paint is completely scattershot (and today, it often is) it really affects my enjoyment of the game. However, I'm not sure First Strike rounds would be significantly more fun than paintballs. A better tool? Certainly. Given a belt fed DAM and a few grand worth of FSR to burn through at a Big Game, you could score HUNDREDS of eliminations, no problem. But, whether those result in more fun (as someone said, the range of FSR makes for kills you can barely SEE!) is questionable. I think for speedball, While FSR would still be an advantage to someone using them over current paintballs, I'm unsure if the industry as a whole would derive benefit.

    I should note that if we were building paintball as a SPORT, FSRs are a logical choice, since to separate skilled players out, the stochastic forces such as ball inaccuracy should really be minimized.

    b. Cost - FSRs are expensive. Anything requiring hard fins rapidly becomes prohibitively expensive. It's interesting to think about "footballs" or "teardrops" or other such shapes that could still be molded, but given the tumble drying process etc, I'm not sure we ever get away from balls reasonably. Hydrotec appeared to be a tray molded PLA solution, which would enable high quality shells in a variety of geometries, but the fill is prohibitively lacking in density, which gives a poor ballistic coefficient. Something like a Hydrotec FSR in 50 caliber would, perhaps, have a balance of accuracy, payload, and cost. I would also recommend they orient the seam along the front of the ball rather than their current top and fin motif - the breakage from a lighter round would be improved significantly with a seam always hitting first.



    Point 4: The format(s)
    Does the 'sport' of speedball need to be tuned for spectators? For Players? Our own vijil has posited an interesting concept:
    http://kiwigat.blogspot.com/2011/10/vball-pt-2.html

    What are your thoughts on this and other "non-intuitive" game formats?

    Cockerpunk also has mused about mixed technology formats - imagine a game in which you can have some combination of 43-50 caliber pistols (of high quality), 'normal' 68cal ramping pb guns, and pumps with FSRs. That feels inherently difficult to police, but I think his original point was that we are a group of smart guys, let's not "see things how they are and ask why"; let's "see things as they could be, and ask why not"!

    Ryan





    I fear I got ramble-y somewhere along this line.

  2. #2
    Our field has been gravity feed only on Saturday's for...two, maybe three years now, and the general response has been great! It slows down everyone's speed, makes it a lot more fun for newer players and rentals, and really encourages people to try pumps or something besides speedball guns. Almost all our younger players got pumps this year for Christmas, and a lot of them have been checking out different mech's as well after seeing some of us older guys with the mags and cockers

    Mind you we're pretty much just a woodsball field with a rec player base, so we don't have to worry about the tourney guys complaining or anything. We push our higher-end paint more because of it too, with most of our regulars shooting Redemption and some graffiti. The lower-end paint (name escapes me) is pretty much just for our rentals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurker27 View Post
    b. Cost - FSRs are expensive. Anything requiring hard fins rapidly becomes prohibitively expensive. It's interesting to think about "footballs" or "teardrops" or other such shapes that could still be molded, but given the tumble drying process etc, I'm not sure we ever get away from balls reasonably. Hydrotec appeared to be a tray molded PLA solution, which would enable high quality shells in a variety of geometries, but the fill is prohibitively lacking in density, which gives a poor ballistic coefficient. Something like a Hydrotec FSR in 50 caliber would, perhaps, have a balance of accuracy, payload, and cost. I would also recommend they orient the seam along the front of the ball rather than their current top and fin motif - the breakage from a lighter round would be improved significantly with a seam always hitting first.
    I had some success with glue-on teardrop tails made via vacuum forming last year - might help in doing it cheaply. Also got a hold of a few hundred scenario dreams rounds to compare them (and FS) a few months ago, too.

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    I think the UWL is doing the gun regulation to an extent and I think it is a smart way to do it. Different players get different gun limits. I believe that is a fun way to allow or possibly handicap some players. We did that often at the field, making the really good players use rentals or even pumps when they went against the newbies, and tranversely, handing some big fast gun to the newbies.

    I like, for newbies and goofing, the concept of .50 paint. I am really interested in playing around with the JT format .50 paintballs. That might be a really fun market just because it is so much less painful. I have 5 daughters, so if they can play and it hurts less at first, I can pull them in easy.

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    Just read the vBall link - I like it, quite a bit. Would be FUN to watch.

  6. #6
    you are just stealing my idea to stroke your ego

  7. #7
    After reading the vball link and the ideas on how to stop people from shooting after a point has been made why not use the rofi chips as kill switches? Place a transmitter on the gun, hopper, barrel whatever. If it crosses the goal line then it activates the kill code and everyone stops shooting. We used a similar system for lap times in racing. A transponder was attached to the steering column and when we drove over the time it triggered the next lap to start recording. I made and didn't make races by .001 seconds so it can deff be accurate enough. An interesting game concept none the less.

    50cal deff has a few advantages but to make it more acceptable you would have to do away with 80% of the padding currently used in paintball soft goods. Full field someone wearing typical speedball gear would get nothing but bounces. O yea don't try putting splatmaster 50cal thru a 50cal spyder, its wayyyy to brittle. Keeping the shot capacity up with magfed 50cal could be easily attainable. Do something similar to the windup or powered air soft mags.

    O look a customer just walked in, man its been slow this afternoon....

  8. #8
    pewpewpew vijil's Avatar
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    Hah, thanks for the vball plug - I'd love to see it tried, but "a prophet is always rejected in their homeland" - to me it seems pretty straightforward and logical unlike most other alternative speedball formats, and the response has been surprisingly positive. If anyone does try it out please let me know (and show me the video)!

    Yes there are some questions with how to detect certain things while reffing, but I don't think they're at all worse than the current issues we face. At the very least it could be good for a laugh.

    ++++++++++

    Rather than high rof being a result of cheating in the sport version of the game I think it may be more a result of inaccuracy. A high ROF means that you are likely to hit that half exposed player (thus nullifying the randomness factor a bit), and he will find it harder to cheat. Modern field designs and ROF limits are encouraging movement a bit more, especially with the PSP shrinking things back down and moving to a 12.5 limit rather than 15. Also, high accuracy would make for some very cagy firefights without a lot of movement, creating the same problem you have with high ROF. So I don't think the sport is all that broken at a high level in terms of tech even if I find the formats wanting.

    At a rec and scenario level I definitely agree that lower ROFs and higher accuracy over range can be more fun. .50 cal at a much higher FPS would work for me, but insurance companies seem to hate that. That said rec players don't find getting picked off at range without even seeing the shooter all that much fun either - causing another version of the same problem.
    Last edited by vijil; 01-16-2013 at 10:16 PM.
    https://www.instagram.com/vijil/
    I draw guns and spaceships and bunnies

  9. #9
    vijil, you brought up an excellent point. if the accuracy goes way up, where that 1" exposed has a high probability of actually getting hit, then movement will go down. people won't move because if they aren't perfectly hidden, there is no way they will take chances making that gutsy move down field, or even just sitting waiting for a target to expose themselves. the inaccuracy of paint allows people to push up the field, and if they expose themselves, and you miss them, then a new area of engagement will happen. that is where the excitement comes from and many people not believing that they couldn't hit someone that close, or having total surprise.

  10. #10
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    Although paint is inaccurate, skill is definitely still emphasized with less than perfectly accurate paint. Not so much in terms of gunplay, but those who move up and get that angle are rewarded. I honestly would not want to play a game where my foot can be hit from 40' in a shot or two. Yeah it'd be cool to hit the other guy, but that means he can hit you too.
    Last edited by PBSteve; 01-17-2013 at 01:54 AM.

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