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Old 04-05-2015, 10:39 PM #1
MConti
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Thoughts on limited paint format

Hey guys,

So in the NXL news thread there was a big debate started about NCPA and limited paint, since that obviously wasn’t the best forum to be having that discussion I thought I would move it here. It’s obvious from posts in that forum that Chris and the guys running the NCPA are considering switching to a limited paint format, so for you guys that play college ball what are your thoughts on this? That way Chris and the NCPA guys can see what we really think about this before they make any decisions.

My 2 cents: I run the Clemson team and my guys are firmly against it. Simply put, we don’t want to be told how to play. If we want to run 12 pods a player and chill in the back, we should be able to. If we want to run 50 bunkers off break and only shoot 500 paintballs, we should be able to. But that should be our decision, not the leagues. Also the field has to make money, and if they aren’t making as much money selling paint, then they will raise the cost of entry to cover that loss. IE. Even if you limit paint events will still end up costing about the same. From running my team I can tell you the biggest factor in determining how much we spend is the distance traveled and the layout. I’ve spent $400-$500 less for my team on the two events that were closer and had more aggressive layouts, compared to farther away events with more back-center layouts. So if you are really trying to save money, I believe regulating layouts would accomplish this much better than limited paint.

Now again that is all just my 2 cents, but I would really like to see the rest of the leagues thoughts on this, so we can have the organizers see what we really think.
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Old 04-06-2015, 12:43 AM #2
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I've played both divisions in the NCPA. I don't think this should be on the table for 5-man (AA) at all as the paint bill is usually quite manageable unless - as you mentioned - the layout encourages teams to sit on the back line and wait for someone to make a mistake. Fast layouts keep that under control.

As far as xball is concerned, I don't think the paint bill is the problem at the conference level. When I first joined the league the conferences were going well and the model worked. As the economy put the damper on regional Class A events it became clear that teams have a hard time affording the events. Most decide to simply forgo Class A during the regular season and save up to play at nationals. I see entry fees as a larger, and more importantly, solvable problem. I haven't followed conferences outside the midwest but to give you an example, it was something like $1300 for us to play a conference event in class A this semester. That was for a single event - not multiple events throughout the fall/spring. I think there may have been some sort of nationals credit that comes with it but the point is that before we've paid for travel, paint, or any other related playing costs, we have to lay out over $100 per player for entry around the same time we're trying to pay for World Cup (or in the spring, nationals). Alternatively, we can play a regional feeder series like CPL or MSXL - both a great value - and more or less get a miniature PSP experience for half the cost of a single NCPA conference event. Yes, there are differences in format and field time, but the bottom line is that we can afford one and not the other.

On a practical level, I think the class A entry fee can be reduced - operating under the assumption that the NCPA does not have to earmark some of the local entry fees to help keep costs down for teams attending nationals. When I ran a warmup event for the midwest conference, the cost was only $500 per team. It wasn't the most glamorous setup and it wasn't what you'd get for $1300, but the point is that teams got to play class A for a price equal to or cheaper than the competing regional leagues. Is that possible in every region? Not necessarily. To be fair, operating expenses may have gone up since that event. I have no doubt that Chris, Joe, and all the conference directors are working hard to keep things as affordable as possible. If they weren't, we wouldn't be having this conversation right now about a format intended to reduce costs.

I think that Chris' logic is sound in advocating a limited paint format and he's absolutely right that the real problem is that players who have played without limitations aren't interested in switching over. The way I see it, if I'm going to miss class to drive across the country and spend hundreds of dollars to play an event, I don't want to have a diluted experience to save a portion of that money. Obviously it's a matter of opinion whether limited paint constitutes a diluted experience.

In my many years spent in this league, especially those managing a team, I've learned that the most committed players will always find a way to make things work, and those who flake out weren't willing to do what it takes to make it to the field. There was a time when I went out of my way to get the less committed players to come to events. I would try to raise extra money to subsidize events, I would set up their rides - a lot of hand holding in hindsight. In the end, it wasn't worth it. They always left as soon as things stopped being convenient or cheap. That being said, when I pull the trigger, I expect a paintball to leave the barrel. I don't want someone telling me I can't enjoy that standard because the guy on the other side of the field would rather spend his paint money on alcohol. If he never had the money for either to begin with, I would expect that the best financial decision for him is to stop playing tournament paintball - an incredibly expensive luxury sport - and start paying his student loans. That may not be best for the industry (or the league) but honestly that's probably the most responsible decision to make.
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Old 04-06-2015, 07:54 PM #3
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I would like to see Class A left alone. Perhaps offer AA as normal RT2 and AAA as a limited paint format? Or give AA conferences the option to vote at the start of the season?
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:36 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MConti View Post
Simply put, we don’t want to be told how to play. If we want to run 12 pods a player and chill in the back, we should be able to. If we want to run 50 bunkers off break and only shoot 500 paintballs, we should be able to. But that should be our decision, not the leagues.
This is exactly how I feel. Our playing style shouldn't be affected by the league. We should be able to play as we feel fit, whether or not we want to adapt a strategy that is more expensive should be up to us.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:04 AM #5
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This is exactly how I feel. Our playing style shouldn't be affected by the league.
Newflash: Your playing style is already determined by the league. It is unavoidable.

Right now the league rule is unlimited paint.

That rule FORCES every team to use an unlimited paint playing style.

Changing to limited paint does not, in any way, change how much the league affects team choices, it just changes the set of choices available.

To ones that are far less expensive for everybody.


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Old 04-08-2015, 12:03 PM #6
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By having no restrictions on paint usage, you do not determine playing style. That is left up to the team. Whether, as Mconti has said, we want to load up the back bunkers and dump pod after pod, or if we want to be conservative and use as little paint as possible, that is up to the team. Changing to limited paint gets rid of options that involve higher paint usage.
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:44 PM #7
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What do we consider "limited paint" and how does one reach a definitive number? I hear 500 a lot, a hopper and 2 pods roughly. What if this limited paint was say a hopper and 4 pods. Technically it is limited, but not too limited. It would at least cut down on the paint consumed by simply lane-ing. It might not DRASTICALLY reduce paint costs but it would make it more fair for those teams that can't pay to lane and just constantly fling paint. It would prevent someone from dumping all 9+ pods they can carry and shoot from a tall temple.

I'm sure Chris will have a reason why a hopper and 4 pods is too many but, let me have it, I'm curious as to why 500 is the limit that is often times talked about.

However, I prefer the current way we play. Shoot however much paint we want. I just figured I might as well throw in my thoughts on the limited paint if it HAD to happen or for sure was happening.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:09 PM #8
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By having no restrictions on paint usage, you do not determine playing style.
Of course you do. Nobody is going to choose to play hopperball if the rules are unlimited paint, any more than someone is going to choose to enter a NASCAR stock car into an F1 race.

An unlimited paint rule forces teams to shoot lots of paint to compete. It is no less restrictive on choice than a limited paint rule that prohibits shooting lots of paint to compete.

A limited paint rule may actually increase choice, by making more strategies than just "shoot lots of paint" viable.


There is no doubt that, everything else equal, shooting more paintballs has a competitive advantage over shooting less paintballs. I personally feel that who the best team is should depend a lot less on who can afford to buy the most paintballs.

If everyone has the same amount of paintballs to shoot, then by definition winning is a lot more about the athletic talents of the players and a lot less about who has the bigger paint budget.


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Old 04-08-2015, 02:10 PM #9
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The problem I see with limited paint format is we are separating ourselves from the rest of tournament paintball. No league has limited paint, millenium is experimenting with it but it is not a real format yet. Playing with limited paint changes the way you have to play and I don't think we should be making a transition from college ball to any other tournament harder. We should try to stay with the norm. Anyways thats my 2 cents
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:12 PM #10
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It's coming. Limited paint is the future of tournament paintball. Someone has to be on the cutting edge, the first to make the full switch.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:45 AM #11
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if the goal is to decrease paint consumption, I would rather see that done via layouts that promote aggressive play instead of limiting paint. I would even be open to using true semi before limiting paint. If my 3 best players are good enough to pull off a 3 on 5, they shouldn't have their hands tied behind their back with limited paint. there are gonna be times where teams can get up on bodies and just sit while the other team shoots all their paint. I can confidently say that's not a direction I want the sport to go
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:10 AM #12
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i just want to shoot 15 pods at people.... :p
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:48 AM #13
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if the goal is to decrease paint consumption, I would rather see that done via layouts that promote aggressive play instead of limiting paint. I would even be open to using true semi before limiting paint. If my 3 best players are good enough to pull off a 3 on 5, they shouldn't have their hands tied behind their back with limited paint. there are gonna be times where teams can get up on bodies and just sit while the other team shoots all their paint. I can confidently say that's not a direction I want the sport to go
All of this!!!
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:16 AM #14
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if the goal is to decrease paint consumption, I would rather see that done via layouts that promote aggressive play instead of limiting paint. I would even be open to using true semi before limiting paint.
None of that really makes a significant dent on pait costs.

Quote:
If my 3 best players are good enough to pull off a 3 on 5, they shouldn't have their hands tied behind their back with limited paint.
Why would their hands be tied behind their backs? The opponents have limited paint too.

Quote:
there are gonna be times where teams can get up on bodies and just sit while the other team shoots all their paint.
I don't see how amount of paint available changes anything here either - if you're in a situation where one team is down bodies and is willing to let the other team just sit there, and the other team IS going to just sit there, then everyone is going to just sit there anyway.

Quote:
I can confidently say that's not a direction I want the sport to go
As opposed to... players sitting behind bunkers just constantly shooting paint for minutes at a time? That's the direction you prefer?


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Old 04-09-2015, 10:33 AM #15
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nvm. wrong forum.

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Old 04-09-2015, 12:30 PM #16
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None of that really makes a significant dent on pait costs.

Dave Painter said his team shot significantly less in Dallas.

Why would their hands be tied behind their backs? The opponents have limited paint too.

Because the team of 5 isn't going to run out of paint nearly as quickly as the team of 3?

I don't see how amount of paint available changes anything here either - if you're in a situation where one team is down bodies and is willing to let the other team just sit there, and the other team IS going to just sit there, then everyone is going to just sit there anyway.

have you played modern competitive paintball? Really I don't mean that as an insult, but basic strategy in a down body situation is usually to stay on your guns and hope the other team makes some mistakes and you can even it up.

As opposed to... players sitting behind bunkers just constantly shooting paint for minutes at a time? That's the direction you prefer?

that is heavily dependent on the layout. last years dallas layout was a prime example of an exciting and aggressive layout. the Mao layout was garbage in comparison. I don't want to play the type of paintball that the mao layout requires but I also don't think I should have to forego shooting for a sliver of someone's pack just because I only have a hopper and pod and might waste 100 balls on it. I also don't want to be at the mercy of losing a pod on the break or having my one pod ruined by a broken ball.

-
I also want to say that this seems like a solution to a problem that is rare if not nonexistent. how many teams are actually losing because they can't afford to buy as much paint as other teams? I've literally never heard of that happening in my 8 years of tournament paintball. All I see from limited paint is the game becoming exceedingly frustrating.
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:31 PM #17
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Chris, if the league was to switch to a limited paint format, how much would players be limited to?
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:46 PM #18
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If it were limited paint I'd think that it should be pods rather than a count (with some sort of guideline as to what pod is acceptable). Personally I think 4 per player is perfect. I've graduated a little bit ago but I wanted to chime in anyways
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:22 PM #19
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I also want to say that this seems like a solution to a problem that is rare if not nonexistent. how many teams are actually losing because they can't afford to buy as much paint as other teams? I've literally never heard of that happening in my 8 years of tournament paintball. All I see from limited paint is the game becoming exceedingly frustrating.
The question isn't how many of our current teams would lose games because they can't afford paint, it's how many teams have not attended events because they can't afford paint? The answer is more than you think - I've interacted with more teams than I care to remember who can't make events because their budget simply won't allow it.

Even your point about using true semi - that was quite a hot topic among pros that played Dallas with it, as well as thousands of players online who all had an opinion about it. What was the outcome? I'd argue, and you can go back and watch, that the games were much more exciting, moves were much more aggressive, and teams' paint bills went down a significant percentage, because there was much less paint being consumed. Limited paint is a simple way for us to cater to existing *and* future players by directly reducing costs, while having a solution that doesn't require thousands of guns to be re-flashed with new software.

Edit: Looking at limited paint not from a gameplay view, but from a planner's view, it also makes events easier to budget for. You know that the maximum amount of paint you would need to budget for, based on 12 prelim games, plus a pre-determined amount of playoff games. That's currently an unknown number and varies widely from event to event, layout to layout.

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Old 04-09-2015, 02:53 PM #20
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That's a valid argument Joe, but I guess it comes down to a philosophical question at that point: Is increasing affordability worth potentially (read probably) watering down the game? I think for class A, the answer is a strong no. I say that based on the fact that most class A players are somewhat experienced players that are also comfortable with the cost of playing and would not be willing to water it down just to save money. However for class AA, the answer is a maybe. I can appreciate the benefits more in a division like that where many players are totally new to tournament paintball and there are many other college activities competing for their money.
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:51 PM #21
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I think it depends on if teams playing the limited paint format will be playing more games or not.

If each player is carrying two pods, I don't see many points lasting over two minutes. Without having real stats to look at, I'd guess that the average AA game runs around 3.5 minutes. To me, limited paint would not be worth it unless the entry fees also reflected the reduced playing time. Traveling to an event and sleeping in a hotel for even less paintball than a typical AA team gets anyway would be too large of a time commitment for my return. (With these estimates, a team getting knocked out in the prelims may only play ~20 minutes of actual paintball for the event.)

As mentioned above though, I think a four pod per player system would be fine. I'd like even more a 20 pod limit per team that they are able to distribute however they see fit. I think that would feel a lot like the 'unlimited paint' format while still maintaining the game at a point near what we are accustomed to.
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