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Old 12-31-2013, 01:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by esperto96 View Post
I don't think the equipment should necessarily change between divisions. Soccer/Football is played with the same shoes, shorts, and ball regardless of whether it's a pickup match at the local park or FIFA World Cup.

Having different formats is fine. Have local, regional, national pump events. Have local, regional, national semi events. Even though they're both "paintball", Nascar isn't Formula-One isn't WRX isn't Midget Racing. They each have their place in auto racing. Same for the different flavors of paintball.
Agreed. The lower divisions should basically be the same game, played with the same equipment but played at a less intense level. The obvious way to do that in paintball is to lower the ROF and lower the amount of paintballs used (lowering the fps would also decrease intensity, but then you also changing the game considerably - could be done if you don't change the fps very much, but I don't really see the point to this if you lower bps and limit ammo).
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
There is a huge challenge in human nature

Competitive drive can be many things - in some it is a drive to be the best and compete with the best. In others it can drive them to take every possible advantage to be the best even when those advantages are neither fair nor right. There is also a full gamut in between the extremes.

Human nature is such that quantifying these things in a way that is acceptable to all is impossible - even to a majority is difficult.

How do you quantify skill, drive, experience, ability? Our sport is very physical and some who once were highly competitive may now be hyper relaxed through age, injury, inactivity. Does one arbitrarily choose when to drop or advance? how do you balance this?

I have seen competition bring out champions, monsters, build friendships, destroy them.

and to be honest with you - I see no easy balance or fix

I hope they find a good way to level the playing field for those who seek to compete

But I find solace in that there is a field - for those of us who simply wish to enjoy

=P
If you follow the OP there is a national ranking system through APPA that assigns you points as you and your team progress through the season. If the league you are playing in is an APPA affiliate you must be registered with them and your local tournaments go into their national ranking system.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by No Have MSG View Post
The base problem that is in my area is 90% of the players are D4. We use APPA ranking but only have 6 events a year in the series so it takes a good team 2 seasons to move up in class, and a average to sub-average team a LOT longer. And thats if teams stay together that long and players don't drop for 3 years and loose their ranking and start over at the bottom. Not that I have a problem with it but everyone would be playing pump.

I think that asking rookie to play stock class is a little on the extreme side as it does require more and skill awareness to play pump.
I'm biased, but also all in favor of everyone playing pump.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lohman446 View Post
I always felt that divisions should be something more than just experience. I agree that the prize money in the lowest divisions should be minimal or non-existent. I would much rather play in a tournament where prizes were determined by drawing with every team having a chance for prizes and PERHAPS the teams who did the best having a better chance (think more ping-pong balls in the drawing machine for more wins). How well you do should not directly impact your prizes except in the highest divisions.

Why is it that D4 is playing with the same equipment as D1? If I go watch my local car races these guys are not running NASCAR vehicles. IIRC even the Nationwide series (or whatever it is) does not run the same equipment as NASCAR. I may be off in these examples as I am not really a fan of auto racing but I think my point is made. I would love it if D4 were a pump (perhaps going as far as stock class or limited paint) division with virtually no prizes

My "ideal" set-up

D4: Stock class (however it ends up defined) with limited paint - no prizes or random draw prizes. Fields could make some attempt to limit team experience and prevent stacking.

D3: Open class pump limited paint - no prizes or random draw prizes Fields could make some attempt to limit team experience and prevent stacking

D2: Semi-only unlimited paint - minimal prizes - at least under 50% of prizes offered in D1 if not even lower

D1: Ramping unlimited paint

You could even sneak in more divisions such as mech only. At the end of the day the top one or two teams from each division could participate in a round robin "bragging rights" playoff that did not effect prizes.

Of course this would require enough participation.

For the record: ever try to ref a low level tournament with ramping? The refs take a lot of shots.
agreed. 100%

ramping should only be used in elite divisions where people have trigger control.

Start from SC play (I'd say define it as any pump gun using stick feeds and 10rd tubes not A/T) and move up from there.
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Pump paintball is cheaper than any drug habit I've ever heard of.
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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indeed No Have MSG

and part of his original post talks about some of the challenges within that system with sandbagging etc

what I speak to is that no system currently known is perfect - nor can any such system exist while human nature is so varied

we can only do the best we can

or - as some of us do - we do our best to enjoy what we have =)
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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A lot of people seem to be blaming the problem on equipment or on ramping, which is to be expected on here. People are afraid that the arms race has grown out of control. I think the opposite: its more even than ever before.

If someone is playing tournament ball, on an entry level, they're either a working adult or a kid whose parents will help front the bill. You pay an average of 50+ dollars for entrance to a tournament these days, and that might be only for a trophy or something. Paint is going to cost 60+ bucks a case, plus misc expenses. You're looking at a 150 dollar per event minimum cost. Saving a few hundred dollars on equipment at the end of the day is really a drop in the bucket for people.

If someone starting out really wanted to cheap out, that can get a blowback marker that has PSP mode, a used or entry level electronic loader, and a 30 dollar steel HPA tank. They pretty much have the same rate of fire capability as anyone else, because the rate of fire is capped. The problem of the "good ol days" was that while uncapped semi rewarded fast finger (and I am a huge fan of semi), there was very little way to regulate 'cheater settings' on boards or even control legitimately unintentional aspects of electronic and mechanical bounce, or how one manufacturer sets their algorithm to interpret cycle input differently so they can say its the "fastest board". Kids shoot a lot of paint while ramping, sure, but they shot just as much paint on 15+ BPS semi. They do the same things: sit in a bunker and shoot a lot at nothing. That has not changed and it will not change.

Equipment based divisions do not work. I've talked about this before. Gear restrictions NEVER WORK because they AREN'T FUN to the majority of people. Paintball is hard for a lot of people. Winning a local D5 tournament is hard enough, but to do it with a Tippmann, or a pump gun, or a stock class pistol seems to be impossible. The pump division on the national level is dead, let's not kid ourselves. If pump can't survive, there's little chance for any sort of retro or mechanical only division to survive (Unless someone wants to front up and offer awesome prizes). The same goes for woodsball, sorry, 10 teams at UWL or whatever it's called doesn't count as a major event, even if it is called a 'national" event. I'd love to see that stuff, and maybe it'll work when the economy turns around: I think a mechanical gun only division would be EXTREMELY fun to watch. PSP in particular has tweaked gameplay aspects, supposedly for players, and sometimes for the audience. That was the whole supposed appeal of X Ball to begin with: faster pace for the players and more excitement for the audience. I don't see how it's any different than the old 7 man format: you sit on a stand and watch people shoot at each other. If you aren't into it, it's not really exciting. If it's on TV, there has to be some cool camera angles and editing or else it's not going to look fun.

Unfortunately, I think the results have been taken down, but Kingman ran their "Spyder Cup" 3 man series awhile back and offered the choice of 50,000 bucks I think, or three brand new cars to the winners. If I recall, a Dynasty branded team won. There were regional events as qualifiers to the bigger events. As I recall, the turnout wasn't amazingly huge and the series itself was novelty: there were some dumb rules, you had to use a Spyder, and you had to play on these ridiculous Walmart bunkers that weren't big enough to hide a normal size person. Still, I guarantee more people played a tournament with a Spyder that year than the prior few years.

If you look at past successful events, I think there's another reason that teams stuck around to play: entertainment value. At any given competition, there are people participating who are not going to even have a chance at making the podium, at any level. These people are important: they drive the sport, they are the majority of consumers.

Old speedball tournaments frequently had a theme: there might be a large field with interesting bunkers, like the original hyperball concept, or later on with airball bunkers that were unique to certain events and brands: (the Diablo "Mouth", the Pirahna "Fish", the giant JT Pyramid in 10 man, and eventually by 2003, the X-Ball "X"). Some events combined the chance to play on multiple fields: games were held in villages, traditional airball and hyperball fields, wood bunker fields, and even wooded fields. There were also a lot of vendors, since there was financial justification for them to come.

The entertainment value is important because the consumer base for tournament paintball was and remains middle and upper class males with disposable income. (You can talk about how poor you are but if you can afford to buy a glorified BB gun for a few hundred bucks, you aren't destitute). Today, you only really see a vendor presence at big tournaments and scenario games.

Some of you guys hit on an important point, especially Horizon: there is a major disparity between individual skill and team skill. There is a pretty significant turnover of players in paintball, even at the professional level. It's not unusual to see established teams suffer a 30% or more turnover in player base every two years. Houston Heat (Professional, PSP) recently made a bunch of significant roster changes.

Ultimately, there's a difficult balance to achieve. Most players need to be ENTERTAINED. This means great venues, professional staff, cool concept fields, etc. If the casual and developing players drop out, there's no money. But the people that should really benefit in terms of prizes are the ones competing at the top. For some players, the two go hand in hand - look how many people spend hundreds of dollars just for a goggle strap or a jersey worn by a professional paintball player. Getting to play on the same field as and to watch pro players is a major incentive for a lot of people to go play big events like PSP World Cup. They want to say "Hey, I did something significant, I was there." This shouldn't be ignored: everyone should have the chance to enjoy themselves if they're going to drop serious dough on an event. But the purse for that event should be significant enough to make people want to play.

The final irony is that it's probably more difficult to place in D4 or D3 national events than in a higher rank. With one bajillion teams per event, you pretty much have to have a perfect record or win/loss ratio (or point spread for X Ball) to move on. In the old NPPL scoring system, you could conceivably win EVERY GAME and still not make the playoff cut.

I hate to sound dumb and grassroots but the emphasis needs to return to the local levels. Paintball has ceased to be accessible on the national level to a lot of people. This is just numbers.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Ninja Edit: For you guys that don't play any tournaments, say I held an event at a field. You know 100% that you are going to get destroyed, you are going to lose all of your games. In this fictional world however, the fields would be a TON of fun to play (dynamic layouts, interesting bunkers), the format would be fun (different from the usual "team death match") and the referee staff and level of sportsmanship from fellow competitors would be top notch. Would you make the investment to play?

Rhetorical question, I'm not a millionaire.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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A lot of people seem to be blaming the problem on equipment or on ramping, which is to be expected on here. People are afraid that the arms race has grown out of control. I think the opposite: its more even than ever before.
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I mostly agree with this. I just think they need to tone down the way guns ramp a little bit. PSP 3 shot is just easy mode. But I do believe it equalizes the abilitiy to shoot the same speed. It reminds me of racing MX in the mud. Didn't matter as much how much horsepower you had. No one was clearing the bigger jumps and driving out of the corners well anyway.

Otherwise you end up with two right handed snake players and one is at a complete advantage gunbattleing the other. People can say "learn to shoot both handed" all they want, it is still not the same as using your dominate hand.

Quote:
ramping should only be used in elite divisions where people have trigger control.
If people are playing airball and don't expect to get shot 5-8 times at a time minimum then I think they should get off the field. Especially at the tournament level. I mean this in the nicest way but if you are playing tourny's even on a lover division you've just got to expect that. I know plenty of guys who played long before ramping in the early 2000's that tell you it was no different. Young guns is a whole other story but otherwise its just something you deal with.

I could care less win or loose. Its all about being competitive.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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"Otherwise you end up with two right handed snake players and one is at a complete advantage gunbattleing the other. People can say "learn to shoot both handed" all they want, it is still not the same as using your dominate hand."

I'm confused, you said it's all about being competitive but then you said it's not fair that people will have to shoot with their non-dominate hand? That doesn't make sense to me. If someone is willing to invest 1,000+ dollars a year to play tournaments (even playing small locals will do this to you, considering travel costs) and they AREN'T willing to learn how to be competitive paintball players, then they fall within the 'social player' realm I mentioned. They're failure is inevitable by their own decision and their financial contribution should be forwarded to entice actual competitors.

Also, it really is the same as using your dominant hand if you keep doing it. It comes down to how many repetitions you do. There's a few books out there for other, non paintball sports that discus the importance of practice repetitions and the ability to press something into the subconscious mind. If you play any basic team on team format in the NPPL or PSP/Millenium style, you will 100% encounter weak hand shooting.

As far as ramping causing bonus balling, people always cry about that. People cry about getting shot three times. I've had people legitimately complain that I bonus balled them while playing pump, they're (censored plural word here that insults a male player's masculinity). I think your friend is right, if someone wants to consciously bonus ball someone, it's going to happen. When does it happen the most? When a team is clearing the field. If you're stuck alone in a bunker or with a buddy and your opponent is up bodies, you are going to wear it, even if everyone had a Spyder.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:59 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The problem is not with ranking systems, it's with the game. Machine gun shooters blasting each other on a tiny field with only a few bunkers sucks. It's played out. It's not fun for the players or the spectators.
Improvements: larger fields, more interesting bunkers (how about bunkers tall enough to allow people older than 18 years old to be competitive?), more bunkers, lower ROF.
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