Dear Experienced Players:
Here are some thoughts Iíve been kicking around for a while, but I just got around to formalizing them a bit in a coherent way. This is related to what happened in my last FPS video
, but Iíve been thinking along these lines for years.
If you are an experienced player, you should be playing pump in recball. Thatís the simplified, one-sentence version of the argument. Read on for the long version.
If you don't feel like reading, here's the video version
Make recball enjoyable for everyone who participates, regardless of experience level.
1. New/young players getting lit up is bad for paintball.
They are less likely to play again, and are more likely to discourage others from playing.
2. Relatively few players can be trusted to not use their equipment to its fullest legal capacity, or nearly so.
Generally, if a players has the ability to shoot 8, 10, 12bps, they will do so at some point on the field, even if they donít intend to. Purposefully limiting yourself is not easy, especially when the paint is flying and adrenaline pumping.
Following the logic of those points, new players getting lit up by experienced players, even if they donít intend to do so, is inevitable. Players that have the ability to shoot a lot of paint will do so, and that paint will at some point find a new player. Consequently, those new players are less likely to play again, and more likely to discourage other people from playing. In the long term, this can lead to significantly fewer people playing paintball.
Itís worth noting at this point that the vast majority of paintball players are relatively inexperienced. They play maybe once or twice a year, and most rent. If they own their own gear at all, they have a Tippmann in a closet. These are the players at risk of being discouraged by experienced players if the experienced players use their equipment to its fullest legal capabilities, as they inevitably do. Since this is the largest group of players, threats to their participation are, not to be dramatic, existential threats to the viability of paintball as a whole.
Given a certain set of conditions, you should be technologically handicapping yourself when playing recball. Here are those conditions:
1. You are an experienced player. By this I mean youíve been playing for at least a couple of years, you own your own gear, which is significantly ďbetter,Ē for lack of a more precise term, than rental gear, and you have played at the same field a sufficient number of times to be familiar enough with it that you know ďhow to play it,Ē or have an idea of how you like to play it. Basically, if youíre reading this, you are probably sufficiently experienced that it applies to you.
2. You are playing mixed recball. By this I mean it is a walk-on game, and new players and experienced players in the same group. Some fields split up groups, either renters and non-renters, electros and everyone else. If thatís the case, this doesnít apply. But if the field doesnít do that, or there are too few people to have two groups, thatís where this applies.
If you meet both of those criteria, experienced player in a mixed group, you should be playing at some technological disadvantage, or at the very least not have a technological advantage.
In a perfect world, I think this means every experienced player would play pump in mixed walk-on games. But I wonít even go that far. Play pump, pistol, magfed, limited paint, hopperball (it feels great to drop the pod pack), even just throw a gravity hopper on your normal setup, literally anything to technologically limit the amount of paint you can throw. EDIT: Someone pointed out setting a low BPS cap on electros would work, too. Indeed it would.
Before I continue, I want to point out that there are a bunch of situations and groups to which this does not apply: Private groups, scenarios/big games, tournaments/practice/scrimmage/etc, speedball groups (streetball, etc). So if thatís your bag, disregard what Iím saying, doesnít apply to you.
There are other reasons, beyond ďdonít drive the new players awayĒ that experienced players should be doing this anyway. You already know how to move, use cover, snap shoot, aim, you know the fields, etc. You shouldnít also have a technological advantage. But those are besides the point.
Some of these I have heard/read frequently, some infrequently, but I have encountered each of these points in some form.
I can use whatever I want/I paid for it, I can use it.
Yes you can, just donít be a jerk.
Iím practicing for a tournament, so I have to use the same setup/modes/etc.
No youíre not. Go play airball if youíre practicing, theyíre running 5-man games right now. If youíre playing with the mostly-renting rec group, youíre not practicing.
As long as itís within the rules, I can play however I want.
Technically yes, but you should not be playing in such a way that is detrimental to the experiences of the other players. To paraphraseÖsomeone (itís unclear exactly who), your right to swing your fist ends where the other guyís nose begins. Do what you want, until it negatively impacts other people.
Something may very well be within the rules, but that doesnít mean it is acceptable in a mixed walk-on game. Shooting an electronic marker at new players at or near the maximum allowed ROF is one of those things. Youíre allowed to do it, but youíre a jerk if you do. So donít do it.
Iím not saying electros should be banned from recball.
Iím calling on experienced players to be considerate of the vast majority of players who play occasionally and either rent or own a simple mech. These players make up the bulk of paintballers, and alienating them is bad for paintball.
The easiest, most reliable way to do that is to use gear that doesnít allow you to play in a abusive way. Yes, you can still ruin someoneís day with a pump, but Iíve never seen it happen. By voluntarily limiting the amount of paint you can sling, youíre making the field a friendlier place, and helping paintball grow.
Thanks for reading this far.