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Thread: What Markers Changed the Game?

  1. #1
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    Post What Markers Changed the Game?

    I was thinking about this recently.

    Obviously, if we go back to the "old days", we'll get to the first ever paintball marker, etc...

    But since YOU HAVE BEEN PLAYING....what markers have really changed the game (for better or worse)???

    For example, since I've been playing (1999), I'd say the battle is between:

    • Tippmann 98 Custom
    • Smart Parts Ion
    • Tippmann A5


    And I gotta say the 98C wins....they probably are in the order I have them listed.

    I mean, the 98C changed the game by making reliable, CO2 powered, easily upgradeable markers available for right $110 new. That was a huge deal. Before that, you'd have to buy Brass Eagle markers if you wanted to spend any less than $160...and those were mostly junk and hardly upgradeable.

    So...what do you guys think? Marker, when you started playing, and why...

  2. #2
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    In order...

    Nelspot 707

    NSG Splatmaster

    Sheridan PG/P (and variants)

    CCI Phantom

    WGP Autococker

    Tippmann 68 Special

    Sheridan VM68

    AGD Automag

    F1 Illustrator

    Kingman Spyder (and variants)

    WDP Angel / PVI Shocker (not gonna fight about dates & patents; they're equally important)

    Tippmann M98 (and variants)

    Bob Long Intimidator

    Airtech/Diablo Matrix

    Smart Parts ION

    Planet Eclipse Ego

    Invert Mini

    DLX Luxe

    ?


    Those, in my opinion, were the game changers. I find these to be the most influential because of cost, availability, popularity, functionality, evolutionary leaps in technology, trendsetting, and various other factors that can't be summed up in one word or two. Granted, some are functionally very similar, and most were cloned and cloned again to be released under different names.

    These are not my favorite markers, most are actually very low on my list of preferences; they're just the ones that have made very visible and tangible changes to the sport in my paintball career (with the exception of markers 1-4, which were released before I started playing). I realize there were a lot of cool markers out there that aren't on this list, but none so "big" in my eyes when it comes to their effects on the sport.

  3. #3
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    For markers that TRULY changed the game (for better or worse)

    My list is short:

    Line SI Bushmaster - took 007 mods out of the garage and put it into a slick package with a quick change CO2.

    CCI Phantom - Ditto but an under cocker

    Tippmann 68 Special - First dependable semiauto marker

    AGD 68 Automag - DUH, do I REALLY need to explain this one on THIS forum....

    WGP Autococker - Proved that advanced plumbing, could produce a dependable winning package. And due to it's hulking weight and ugliness brought about the aftermarket machine parts and customization market.

    Smart Parts "Shoe Box" Shocker - First "electro-pneumatic" marker......
    Last edited by Silverback; 03-03-2012 at 11:02 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverback
    Smart Parts "Shoe Box" Shocker - First "electro-pneumatic" marker......
    I've seen paperwork to state otherwise, but let's call it a tie with the V6.

  5. #5
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    I started playing in 98' so my list looks like....

    1) Tippman 98: Rock solid. Low priced, pretty quick (for the time), pretty efficient, ran CO2 great, and is high quality. Perfect starting marker for a great price. The T98 opened the door to lots of people and really made it's mark on the scenario/rec side. 14 Years later and you'll still see them scattered across almost any rec field.

    2) Angel: I don't remember the exact year the angel was intro'd, but I know they were really making the rounds at around this time. To a new player like myself with a spyder compact 2000, an Angel was the last gun you wanted to see on the field. I know other electros came out before the Angel, but the only one I heard people talking about was the Angel. The Angel really set the bar for what was expected for the high end $1000+ market, and in the long run, created the competitive conditions for the much cheaper electros we have today

    3) Tie: SP Impulse/Bushmaster 2000: I never liked the Impulse, but both of these guns were the first successful "low priced" budget electros and they really established the beach head for that market. They were the poor man's Angel for a mere $400-450. In a way, they helped create the environment that led to the creation of other good budget electros like the Ions and Invert Minis.

    4) SP Ion: This gun (for the fields I went to), sortof heralded the end of the mechanical age of paintball. It was a very low priced electro with solid all around performance, eyes, lightweight, a small profile. In the past, newer players would gravitate toward spyders or T98's; after the arrival of the Ion, new players were starting off with tourney level firepower. A few months after this marker was introduced, I saw a very noticable change to how games were being played. There was a lot more spraying and praying going on and not as much movement as I was used to. After this marker was introduced, I've seen the technology sortof stagnant with minor tweaks here and there, but nothing game changing.

    It's a short list, but these are the guns that, for me, really altered how the game was approached, marketed and played.
    Last edited by dahoeb; 03-04-2012 at 12:49 AM.
    HARDY HAR HAR!

    And we're just gonna put a happy little bush in the corner right there, and it'll be our little secret. AND IF YOU TELL ANYONE! THAT, THAT BUSH IS THERE! I WILL COME TO YOUR HOUSE! AND I WILL CUT YOU!

  6. #6
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    Nelspot 007

    NSG Splatmaster

    Sheridan PG/P (and variants)

    Tippmann 68 Special

    Sheridan VM68

    AGD Automag...Emag...Xmag

    Invert Mini

    3357 spotmarker

    Tippmann SMG-60

    the WGP Sniper (as well as the WGP Ranger *pump gun*) and all the nifty aftermarket autococking add-on systems.

    Line SI Bushmaster

    And yes...these were all commonly available new in the time I have been playing.

  7. #7
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    I would say the one I think changed things was the Ion.

    Before that a gun that performed like it was expensive thus limitting there use, after the ion everyone coould afford something with that performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cougar20th
    I would say the one I think changed things was the Ion.

    Before that a gun that performed like it was expensive thus limitting there use, after the ion everyone coould afford something with that performance.

    To add to that it also killed the value of every other gun on the market and changed how the entire financial landscape of paintball worked.

  9. #9
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    Post Ion

    I had the Ion #2 on my list behind the 98C just because the Ion didn't have the longevity of the 98C as was eluded to in another post; you can still see 98Cs EVERYWHERE on rec fields and scenario fields. By adding the response trigger, that marker went from being a step towards an A5 or X7....and became a force in and of itself.

    I'll also add that is NOT my list of favorite markers. I HATE Tippmanns....and an Ion owner is one half step higher than a Cocker owner in arrogance and idiocy.

    BUT....those markers changed the game like nothing ever has. The flood of participation in the 90s and early 2000s was almost entirely due to the popularity of the 98C and Ion.

    I added the A5 because that marker "may" have saved paintball by expanding the mil sim market. Speedball is dieting. It's too expensive, a bad spectator sport, ramped with cheating, and the developmental leagues are chaotic. Rec players that want more are starting to actually "play war" again...and as the Afghan and Iraqi soldiers return....that's only going to increase in popularity. More magazines and vendors are focusing on mil-sim....and the A5 started that where the 98C left off. The speed, the cyclone feed, the cosmetic upgrades...that marker became a standard that other markers that followed would be compared to.

    As for my "favorite" markers...I LOVE MAGS!! I don't think there is a better made marker on the planet. The technology and amazing performance...all packed into that valve...it's just a work of art. Cockers aren't just ugly....they are 200 moving parts...one away from breaking down. The mag can be thrown out of a tree and still have above average performance. I wish the Tac One would have made the Mag more of a player in the mil sim market...but it just couldn't compete with Tippmann's cost ratio.

  10. #10
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    Smile yup

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniper Steve
    To add to that it also killed the value of every other gun on the market and changed how the entire financial landscape of paintball worked.
    I actually LOVE this because I could have never afforded a Mag, or Matrix, or Minion if it wasn't for this. I'd still be shooting a Spyder.

  11. #11
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    Tippmann 68 Special

    Spyder/Autococker/Automag (good old days)

    Angel/Shocker

    Tippmann 98

    ION

    Nothing revolutionary has come out since I would say but higher BPS and shooting modes.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ando
    Nothing revolutionary has come out since I would say but higher BPS and shooting modes.
    Agreed.

    The extra stuff on my list was added for factors like being most widely available (Catalogs and Big-Box stores all stock Spyder, then Tippmann), having an enormous following with allegiance and owners pride battles (Angel vs Shocker, Timmy vs Angel, DM vs Ego, etc), inspiring widespread design changes and trends (NXT/SFT die, LUXE shows up now there are tons of high-end low-profile BOB'ed spoolies), and inspiring clones and imitations (F1 clones, VM clones, etc), and being the first mass marketed paintball-as-sport markers (PGP and Splatty). Also, Phantoms for being one of the first factory customizable mass market Nelson clones and the only Nelson clone to truly survive from the good old days. And Inverts for providing an all-metal low-end electro that isn't a sear tripper and features "high-end" features like macroless design, BOB, and industry standard threading and soft parts all around.

  13. #13
    2) Angel: I don't remember the exact year the angel was intro'd, but I know they were really making the rounds at around this time. To a new player like myself with a spyder compact 2000, an Angel was the last gun you wanted to see on the field. I know other electros came out before the Angel, but the only one I heard people talking about was the Angel. The Angel really set the bar for what was expected for the high end $1000+ market, and in the long run, created the competitive conditions for the much cheaper electros we have today
    My first marker was an automag. Man that was really something over the 68 specials and stingrays. This was back in 1994your and I get remember advertisements for an angel back then. I thought it was sovereign that was making them not sure. Definetly the first electro I remember. I embraced the elect
    tos as it seems paint pri.ces dropped as well

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fierymartel
    My first marker was an automag. Man that was really something over the 68 specials and stingrays. This was back in 1994your and I get remember advertisements for an angel back then. I thought it was sovereign that was making them not sure. Definetly the first electro I remember. I embraced the elect
    tos as it seems paint pri.ces dropped as well
    The V6 was shooting while the C9000 was still on paper at PneuVentures. The Shocker beat the Angel to the US market and consumers. The production Angel with the LED board was introduced to the US using BE as a distributor and being sold as the 1455 Angel Semi-Auto. There were quite a few full color ads with real high quality photographs in mags and pro shops in late '96, early '97. I'd say it was the only ad I DIDN'T see in grainy black and white, ever, unless it was a small retailer ad in the back pages. WDP took over US distribution quickly and changed the model over a few years to include a less finicky regulator, and eventually a crackpipe with traditional threading as well as a few other functional upgrades.

    I owned the original, but sadly I modified the crap out of it in my garage and then sold it. I now only have a late '97 model that I picked up second hand. I will never forget the day I showed up at the field with the BE-distributed marker... Some guy had been making the rounds with a potentially home-brew semi-electronic autococker "thing" and the Angel was so much more clean and perfect.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sniper Steve
    To add to that it also killed the value of every other gun on the market and changed how the entire financial landscape of paintball worked.
    I loved that part. Alteast the first half. Cant believe I forgot about that. I went on a very serious & expensive buying spree when the prices tanked thank to the Ion. Loved watching prices get cut in half or more on guns I wanted.

  16. #16
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    Quick 2 cents,

    IN the beginning there was the Nelspot and Splatmaster.

    Then the age of Snipers and Bushmaster +clones.

    Then the Autococker and Automag (The Tippmann 68 special was a gas hog that only ran on liquid and broke paint so it did not change the game IMO other than getting to light up people when the bottle ran down and the sear would no longer catch it added nothing).

    Next we had more blowbacks join the fray, Illustrators, VM68 and SI Promasters.

    Then there was the Angel...

    <took a break here>

    Came back to Electros and you all know what happened there ...... F the Ion BTW.

  17. #17
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    The Automag put ROF on the map. It also religated pumps to a nitch market instead of them being mainstream like they were prior to the automag.

  18. #18
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    i'd add the carter comp. gun and the grey ghost.

  19. #19
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    I can really only think of two that really had any effect on the game itself. And even then its not really specific guns themselves, more a change in type.

    When semis appeared on my local fields, how we all played changed. The game itself changed. Much less sneaking, hiding, and stealth and a lot more movement and shooting. In my little corner of central Maine, games were getting shorter and more action packed. This was a very good time for the average player in my area.

    And then when the electros started to show on the field. The game changed again. In my area, it was the start of dark days. Angels flooded the fields just as soon as the ads started running in APG. High ROF and bonus balling became an every game thing. Teenagers with electros started overshooting folks to the point of injuries and the field owners wouldnt stop it because they bought 3-4 cases a day of $150 a case proball. This was a great day for owners, because 4 guys with electros would buy more paint than the 20 usuals that showed up every sunday. Its good thing they did, because us 20 regulars got sick of it and built a series of outlaw fields we rotated to each sunday from then on out.

    So, now that I've rambled like an old man on a bus bench, let me just say. The semi changed the game (VM-68s mostly in my area) and electros changed the game (mostly angels in my area). I really can't think of anything else that changed paintball like that except professional play. But thats a rant for another morning post.

  20. #20
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    The original nelspot based markers were the start. Almost all original pump markers were derivatives of this design.

    The quality of construction and success of the Line SI Bushmaster made it a favorite for tournament teams and pushed other manufacturers to follow suit. For that reason, I think it deserves acknowledgement in the category of game changers. I know the phantom also came at around the same time and had a lot of support, but the Bushmaster hit the market slightly ahead of it and garnished most of the fame due to its use by the top tournament teams. It was that fame that pushed other manufactures and changed the game.

    Glenn Palmers Hurricane deserves mention. It was the first really successful pneumatic semiautomatic paintball gun. The autococker almost deserves mention. It is the semi-auto marker that most people know from the early semi-auto years. But, the autococker is only a modified version of the original Bud Orr Sniper with added pneumatics. Guess what? The pneumatic design was a copy of those done by Glenn Palmer. For that reason, I think that Palmers guns deserve mention as ones that changed the game.

    The Automag is another early semi-auto marker that changed the game. It was so much faster than any other semi on the market when it came out, that it took over as the marker of choice at most of the tournament series. It was the gun that started the rate of fire arms race. If it had been introduced with a level 10 bolt system at that time, I doubt anyone today would even know what an autococker was.

    The Spyder was a game changer because it introduced a reliable low cost semi-auto marker to the masses. The Spyder was based on the common stack tubed blow-back design. It wasn't a high performance gun, but it satisfied a market for casual users that allowed them to play with semi-auto markers at a price often less than that of a pump marker.

    The Shocker was a game changer as it introduced electronic control to semi-auto markers. This started a whole new arms race because it allowed operators to fire guns faster than they could pull the trigger without actually firing fully automatic, which was illegal in most tournaments.

    The Angel deserved mention because it introduced quality construction for electronic semi-auto markers. It was the first really fast electronic marker and set the bar that others tried to match, although the high price kept it as a high end gun that only serious players could afford. Even though people used other markers, they really wanted the Angel.

    The Ion deserves mention because it, like the Spyder, introduced a low cost electronic marker to the masses and forced other manufacturers to lower their price point to compete.

    There are other nice markers out there that have been around for a long time and are well known. It could be argued that they are game changers, but most are copies of other designs and didn't really influence or change the sport of paintball.
    Except for the Automag in front, its usually the man behind the equipment that counts.

  21. #21
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    I really like threads like this. I have only been seriuosly around paintball for a few years and find the history very interesting. I always knew that peple often times replaced their AC pnues with Palmers, but didnt realize that Palmers actually introduced them if I am getting the above post correct.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPBN
    I really like threads like this. I have only been seriuosly around paintball for a few years and find the history very interesting. I always knew that peple often times replaced their AC pnues with Palmers, but didnt realize that Palmers actually introduced them if I am getting the above post correct.
    I tend to agree. These thread give me some prospective. What part of Ohio are you shooting in sir? I don't think I have EVER seen another mag on the field unless our field owner plays.

  23. #23
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    Blow back semi-autos. These are the lifeblood of the rental market. No rentals=no fields=no paintball. You can argue all you want about tournament guns, but cheap reliable semi auto markers have been the only thing that keeps fields in business.
    ----A.H.----

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carnage reigns
    I tend to agree. These thread give me some prospective. What part of Ohio are you shooting in sir? I don't think I have EVER seen another mag on the field unless our field owner plays.
    I am outside of Lima Ohio which sits between Dayton and Toledo.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPBN
    I am outside of Lima Ohio which sits between Dayton and Toledo.
    I know where that's at. A little 2 far north. I'm by cincy.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPBN
    I am outside of Lima Ohio which sits between Dayton and Toledo.
    I know where that's at. A little 2 far north. I'm by cincy.

  27. #27
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    carter comp>line si bushmaster
    colin comp(aka grey ghost) dito
    if you have to ask or google, you were'nt there...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter100
    Blow back semi-autos. These are the lifeblood of the rental market. No rentals=no fields=no paintball. You can argue all you want about tournament guns, but cheap reliable semi auto markers have been the only thing that keeps fields in business.
    Absolutely! But the need for reliable semis for rentals was driven by development of fast guns for tournament use. Many of these tournament guns were used by rental players and were out of their price range for the majority. This meant that the majority of the players couldn't compete with the firepower of a few of the walk-on players until the low cost blowback markers were introduced and got into the rental armory.

    The innovations developed for high end equipment often end up in the designs for the lower end equipment. We see these innovations more often in the lower end equipment and most often associate it with them. We all want the Ferrari but often settle for the Camaro.

  29. #29
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    i owned a '75 camaro

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old School 626
    Quick 2 cents,

    (The Tippmann 68 special was a gas hog that only ran on liquid and broke paint so it did not change the game IMO other than getting to light up people when the bottle ran down and the sear would no longer catch it added nothing).

    ...... F the Ion BTW.
    If we expanded the topic to include all paintball items/actions...then I'd have to add:

    • Brass Eagle- Ya hate them because they were so blatently cheap…but how many players playing today would there be if it not for the Talon, Tiger Shark, Stingray, and Raptor?? Not to mention all those cheap masks, paint, squeegies, elbows, etc...
    • Thermal Lenses: Back in the day, the worst part of paintball wasn't getting hit, it was your goggles fogging up…which they would all eventually do no matter what anti-fog/dishwasher detergent you wiped on them.
    • Smart Parts suing AGD: I don't have all the history, most of us Mag lovers perfer to just pretend it never existed…and hate till the cows come home…but the bottom line is that had Smart Parts not stopped the X-Mag…I gotta think AGD quality would have lured many players…and AGD would still be a profitable giant.
    • If we're talking about mags…the Level 10 takes the cake. The Shoebox has a chance, but not if it stays $550… But the Level 10…that made Mags shootable at high ROF without chopping and without eyes…that's complete genius and was an influx of life to Mag owners everywhere.

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