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Thread: The lost decade of Paintball

  1. #31
    We're getting into a lot of personal preference now. The idea of a half hour + single game sounds like a nightmare to me. I can't imagine new players would enjoy sneaking around for 20 minutes then getting one balled by a guy they never saw would be more fun than being out early in a 10 minute game, then getting to play again very soon.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    Speedball was what we were told we needed - but it frankly it never served anyone other than short sighted, greedy manufacturers and field owners with no business acumen or vision. It is obvious that speedball wasn't what was needed nor what sold (at least sustainability) - as this fact can be observed by the current miserable, static state of the industry.

    I started in paintball literally around the time organized, legitimate fields first started opening on the east coast. There were 3 guns in those days - Nelspots, Splatmasters, and PGPs. Pumps were a relatively *new* thing and premium "stock class" markers (Like Bushmasters) were still a few years away. I saw walk-on crowds just as big, just as excited and just as *potentially* profitable then as any other time in the history of the sport.

    The issue is that very few men like Tom Kaye (who brought HPA to the sport, then gave it away in "open source" fashion - for the betterment and growth of the industry) had any sort of vision about the future and most only were reaping what they could in the moment - usually at the expense of everyone else. Field owners were no better. Instead of creating awesome fields with amenities that drew players back, and charging for EXPERIENCE, they instead went the easy route and tried to make profits solely off of paint sales. It was OBIVIOUS over the years, as fields shrank (from acres to yards), game time limits became fractions of hours (from over an hour or more to 15 minutes or less...) that it all was a contrived effort only to induce more paint sales. The manufacturers whole heartedly threw into this paradigm, and created silly "air games" around the sole principal of generating the most volume of paint use possible.

    If paintball had stayed true to its roots (the present game formats resemble NOTHING of what the first 10 years did, nor the direction...) and business men with vision had led things, we 'd have amazing fields that, just like other places we pay lots of money to visit, we'd be happy to pay a profitable field fee to play. Instead things got off to slow but steady start, then the entire playing format was changed (not evolved - but literally replaced) with a version to support revenue and nothing more. Now all are reaping the logical repercussions of poor strategic planning and vision.

    Don't even get me started on the "it needs to be in a format that can be on TV" - the manufacturers drove this silliness too. There are a TON of sports that sell LOTS and LOTS of very expensive equipment that is not on TV at all, or only in a very limited , not very exciting format. Two that easily come to mind are cycling and golf - both are *extremely* equipment driven and both are horrible to watch on TV yet have outstanding participation regardless. NO ONE would suggest watching golf is interesting - yet its sales of equipment crushes paintball. Why? They don't charge by the stroke, or spend all their energy developing equipment that is LESS efficient (ie requires MORE stokes to achieve the same result) they do the opposite and create equipment that *works better* and they charge the participant for the EXPERINCE, not for their handicap.

    First strike and other ACCURATE shaped projectiles are the future of the sport, along with the experience associated milsim games. The days of running around on AstroTurf, dressed like a clown, dumping a half a case of paint or more per elimination are dead, they just haven't stopped twitching yet. If manufacturers had spent the last 20 years or so going the original direction, I think they'd be much further ahead. Instead the pie must now be split with airsoft and other emerging competitors...

    It will be interesting to see where things go, but right now it is not looking good. There seems to be a doubling down on paint sales as the life blood of the sport - leading the incestuous industry to attempt through multiple means (insurance, producing non-FSR compatible markers) to quash what is likely the only avenue forward if paintball is to exist in 10 more years.

    -Calvin

    POW!

    ..and there we have the end of the thread right there.

    Besides, anyone who really was into the game other than trying to fleece people out of money would never have lost an entire decade of playing. "Players" come and go all the time. It's the industry people who have FUBAR'd the game. From the manufacturers to incompetent field owners who can't draw new customers or keep the ones they do.

  3. #33
    Looking at it from a slightly different perspective, there is a case to be made that the fields, players, and manufacturers are all the victims of poor game design. In game development there's a 'Twinkie' known as 'single best strategy'. The most commonly used example is pistol sniping in HALO. It's a way of playing so effective that the only options are to use it, or lose and ***** about it. The strategy employed in speed-ball is the logical outcome of the rules of single elimination center flag. The equipment evolved to best serve that strategy. The field type almost doesn't matter. If there is a single best strategy the players will always find it.

    The fields also followed suit. 'Cheep to come, expensive to compete' is definitely short sighted, but getting businesses to value what is best for an industry over the long haul vs what is best for themselves right now is a tough sell.

  4. #34
    I have to respectfully agree and disagree with this. [Disagree] Paintball always has been, and (absent shaped projectiles) always will be a sub-50 yard game. With 3 gram roundball projectiles, at =>300 FPS - the maximum effective range will always be ~30 yards. This is less HALO and more muskets on the village green :-) It the old days, players moved while other players pumped. Now, players move when the other player reloads. The game hasn't really changed, only the volume of paint shot before reloading (permitting movement) has changed. So, to be truthful, evolution has occurred to serve a different purpose - selling more paint, not to advance the game. [Players did not "find" best style - they were given something not discernably different then it had ever been, just more efficient at wasting paint)

    On the other side [Agree] Until tech comes along that doesn't more entrench the present playing style, one which opens up movement or/and engagement distances (without changing the limitations of 3 grams at ~300fps), paintball is exactly the same game that simple wastes more paint. The game format is stale and boring. it has no "game" to it and is about nothing more than twitchy fingers and how fast markers can be shot and how fast they can then be reloaded. The game is constrained by the equipment, not by how fast it shoots, but by what it shoots and the fact that for the most part all guns and players are equal leading to enormous games of "tic-tac-toe" - in other words, games of perpetual stalemates - at least until a chance elimination, or someone runs out of paint... The ONLY thing that can change this is disparity in equipment. Shaped projectiles are expensive, markers are generally slower, and hold much lower volumes of ammo before requiring reload. This leads to low ROF, with high accuracy. Engagement distances are also opened up. Roundball guns we already understand. mixing both would provide a randomness dynamic that would breath life into the sport. [New game design]

    -Calvin

    Quote Originally Posted by Patron God of Pirates View Post
    Looking at it from a slightly different perspective, there is a case to be made that the fields, players, and manufacturers are all the victims of poor game design. In game development there's a 'Twinkie' known as 'single best strategy'. The most commonly used example is pistol sniping in HALO. It's a way of playing so effective that the only options are to use it, or lose and ***** about it. The strategy employed in speed-ball is the logical outcome of the rules of single elimination center flag. The equipment evolved to best serve that strategy. The field type almost doesn't matter. If there is a single best strategy the players will always find it.

    The fields also followed suit. 'Cheep to come, expensive to compete' is definitely short sighted, but getting businesses to value what is best for an industry over the long haul vs what is best for themselves right now is a tough sell.
    Last edited by cledford; 10-31-2017 at 07:08 PM.
    From a poster at PB Nation:

    ""Jim, back to your cave. Bob Long is on the batphone..."

    MY FEEDBACK

  5. #35
    Good points. Additional variables would add more dynamism to the game. If first strike and technologies like it ever make significant inroads, how long before we see fast feeding FS loaders? I also doubt those inroads will materialize unless/until the average player starts seeing the FS player as having a gross advantage. Like how they assume they are losing to the space guns because of their RoF. "If I had that, I could win too".

    I'm hoping to be proven wrong, but my suspicion is that FS will remain a novelty enjoyed by a minority of diehards just like the Flatline and Apex barrels. Which I find rather funny because new players often buy mil-sim markers on the basis that they look like they have greater range.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    Speedball was what we were told we needed - but it frankly it never served anyone other than short sighted, greedy manufacturers and field owners with no business acumen or vision. It is obvious that speedball wasn't what was needed nor what sold (at least sustainability) - as this fact can be observed by the current miserable, static state of the industry.
    No one in my area told me what to play. I did tournaments and back some 16 years ago, doing big games with my team. The speedball was a personal choice, and the big games because of my friends at the time, because it was an event for me. Anyway, maybe i was ina better area, maybe i happened upon great fields, cause it seemed that you had horrible fields. But the horrible fields that i went to, i onky went once. And when i found my good fields, i stuck to them.

    But, what speedball represented is a format that you didn't need acres of space, (space that costs money). It also allowed quick turnaround of games, it allowed lower overhead costs for staff, and easier containment of the players.

    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    I started in paintball literally around the time organized, legitimate fields first started opening on the east coast. There were 3 guns in those days - Nelspots, Splatmasters, and PGPs. Pumps were a relatively *new* thing and premium "stock class" markers (Like Bushmasters) were still a few years away. I saw walk-on crowds just as big, just as excited and just as *potentially* profitable then as any other time in the history of the sport.
    I started 20 years ago. Electro guns were just coming in and the revy was still king of the loader. But no matter what the time, paintball always allows you to play your style. You want to take a SC gun with you 10x 10rnd tubes and 12vies on the field as a i have an penumag. Perfectly acceptable in an open play game. But each and every period shows that, potential. It boomed more on the fact that people had disposable income and people were buying. You can not fault the aport for trying to cash in, its just those people who only wanted to make a buck are truly bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    The issue is that very few men like Tom Kaye (who brought HPA to the sport, then gave it away in "open source" fashion - for the betterment and growth of the industry) had any sort of vision about the future and most only were reaping what they could in the moment - usually at the expense of everyone else. Field owners were no better. Instead of creating awesome fields with amenities that drew players back, and charging for EXPERIENCE, they instead went the easy route and tried to make profits solely off of paint sales. It was OBIVIOUS over the years, as fields shrank (from acres to yards), game time limits became fractions of hours (from over an hour or more to 15 minutes or less...) that it all was a contrived effort only to induce more paint sales. The manufacturers whole heartedly threw into this paradigm, and created silly "air games" around the sole principal of generating the most volume of paint use possible.
    TK was great, he gave away lots of ideas for the betterment of paintball. He is poorer for that and we thank him for it. The difference is that you don't need to bleed every last drop of money from the people, á lá SP. But you can charge $30 for entrance fee, yet how many cases can you sell a person?

    Also, look at the guns, even before the electros. You had your pumps, and then semis. Why, cause you can shoot faster and easier. Even with pumps, the benefit of Nelsons over Sheridans is Nelsons had the autotrigger. Why, because you can put paint out easier. Its up to the player to choose, not join the masses like a lemming.

    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    If paintball had stayed true to its roots (the present game formats resemble NOTHING of what the first 10 years did, nor the direction...) and business men with vision had led things, we 'd have amazing fields that, just like other places we pay lots of money to visit, we'd be happy to pay a profitable field fee to play. Instead things got off to slow but steady start, then the entire playing format was changed (not evolved - but literally replaced) with a version to support revenue and nothing more. Now all are reaping the logical repercussions of poor strategic planning and vision.
    The field did evolve. Tournaments were played in the woods, they were played with pumps. The players wanted more, the players brought change to it. I do not know where you are at, but i am kinda in a hub. 4-6 hours i can be at EMR for the castle games. 4-6 hours i can be at Skirmish for their big game. In 2 hrs i can be at Top Gun for my home field. All of those fields are in the woods, but when the time comes will host speedball. Again, there is no basis for your accusations.

    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    Don't even get me started on the "it needs to be in a format that can be on TV" - the manufacturers drove this silliness too. There are a TON of sports that sell LOTS and LOTS of very expensive equipment that is not on TV at all, or only in a very limited , not very exciting format. Two that easily come to mind are cycling and golf - both are *extremely* equipment driven and both are horrible to watch on TV yet have outstanding participation regardless. NO ONE would suggest watching golf is interesting - yet its sales of equipment crushes paintball. Why? They don't charge by the stroke, or spend all their energy developing equipment that is LESS efficient (ie requires MORE stokes to achieve the same result) they do the opposite and create equipment that *works better* and they charge the participant for the EXPERINCE, not for their handicap.
    Ok, there is an entire CHANNEL dedicated to golf. It is boring to watch, if you don't play golf. I can't swing a dead cat for 10 miles without hitting 8 golf courses one even hosting a LPGA event i believe. And you can go out and play on the weekend and not be sore from running, or bruised from getting hit. But the golf and cycling industry has plenty of dedicated clothing lines (you have to look the part) and you can do it by yourself or as a group. But the key to those sports compared to paintball is, you can watch and know who is winning, you can see the person with the yellow or red jersey (in the Tour de France) or in golf, how the cameras focus in on that player playing a round that is moving them up the leader board. Paintball is way to fast and frentic for that.

    But your logic is flawed, as TV would give legitimacy in the world, when compared to things like skateboarding. Which went from weird flatlander competitions to vert ramp and street type courses in the late 70s to the 80s. But even Skateboarding can focus on one individual, who is the focus, not a team of 5-7 going against a like team.

    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    First strike and other ACCURATE shaped projectiles are the future of the sport, along with the experience associated milsim games. The days of running around on AstroTurf, dressed like a clown, dumping a half a case of paint or more per elimination are dead, they just haven't stopped twitching yet. If manufacturers had spent the last 20 years or so going the original direction, I think they'd be much further ahead. Instead the pie must now be split with airsoft and other emerging competitors...
    Never saw the appeal of airsoft, but i can see the advantages. But you again failed to see the big picture. Tppmann made forays into tournament style but never could shake the stigma of low end, woods ball beginner equipment. CCI Phantom in some 30 years only ever made slight changes. The pump market is as strong as it has ever been, even Inception Designs has made a dead gun cool again with the Ressurection and cocker parts and guns. I see more of those in the woods and big games than tournaments, but even mech only tournaments are trying to get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    It will be interesting to see where things go, but right now it is not looking good. There seems to be a doubling down on paint sales as the life blood of the sport - leading the incestuous industry to attempt through multiple means (insurance, producing non-FSR compatible markers) to quash what is likely the only avenue forward if paintball is to exist in 10 more years.

    -Calvin
    No one ever tells you how to play paintball. You want to shoot a pump, go ahead. You want to dump 3 cases on a walk on day, be my guest. You want to shoot 20 year old mags, go for it. But i for one, won't stop playing. I love shooting people.i enjoy talking about paintball with friends. The game has changed because of technology (the semi, HPA, FSR-when you can use them), geographically, format (woods to hyperball, to airball, to buildings/castles), to however you want to play (pump, pistol, semi, electro). It is only up to you on whether the game changes with you or you change with the game. Don't like the field prices, go to a different field. Don't kike the field's refs, go some place else. Work with paintball, do not sit back and moan about ilthe "good ole'days".

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    uv_halo: i only stress to protect the walkons in that, when you have a birthday partt group or some preteens that have rentals and a hopper, they need protection from those that will dump half a case a game. No one wants that or needs to bunker a kid in a pickup game for nothing more than saying they did that. So yes, they need protecting because if you leave it up to the players, then you will have rental players not ahowing up because they will get murdered. Constantly slaughtering them does not foster an atmosphere of nurturing development in the sport. Picking on 12y/o children is not fun, and it should be up to the field to make sure they come back again, not only for their financial benefit but to build upon their player base.

    Now, you must understand that in the 90s, paintball as a sport, wanted to get mainatream, to get into the realm of X-games. You can not do that in the woods. How else can you bring the sport to the spectator? You need to get out of the woods for that. You need to be able to present the game to the viewer. Being held in the woods, though part of where the game started l, does not lend itself to that. Remote woods means its hard to get to. So they did need to do speedball.

    Also, speedball is what sold. Whether it was the Rate of Fire wars, where everyone was trying to hold the fastest gun, or the simple fact. In that era, you had guns of the month, proshops having the latest and greatest new guns, some by manufacturer, some by what was hot. Why, because that is what sold.by selling someone a $1200 gun, you know they where going to spend money on new packs, loaders barrels, etc. With that, they were good for cases of paint. You can only, normally sell one gun to a person, but you can sell hundreds of cases of paint to that 1 person. The faster the gun was , the more paint he ahot, the more money you make. Paintball economics.

    Now, you did have a movement away from mil-sim in the beginning. It only made sense. Even if the field banned camo, it was because they wanted to sell you something. Do you realize why camo was used because it was cheap and it worked well in the woods. So, why not look like a paintballer? Its not a bad thing, becUse that proshop, that field want to make money off you.
    See we disagree just like I predicted- It is my opinion that we simply do not need kids on the field with adults. Fortunately, there is a venue for them now- low impact paintball, and laser tag. And no, I absolutely do not condone or otherwise tolerate picking on kids (or picking on anyone for that matter).
    Sure you could say that any game would want to go mainstream. I believe they all reach a point where they say, “you know, we could be bigger if we did ….”. The paintball industry chose poorly when they decided that speedball would be the way to do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by BigEvil View Post
    Speedball is not what was, or what is selling now.
    If I’m understanding you correctly, you are asserting that recreational woodsball is (and has been) selling more than speedball. I would agree but, I believe that the recreational woodsball experience most players have is actually just speedball in the woods (short time limits, small fields, bunkers every 15ft).
    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    Speedball was what we were told we needed - but it frankly it never served anyone other than short sighted, greedy manufacturers and field owners with no business acumen or vision. It is obvious that speedball wasn't what was needed nor what sold (at least sustainability) - as this fact can be observed by the current miserable, static state of the industry…
    I agree!
    Quote Originally Posted by Patron God of Pirates View Post
    We're getting into a lot of personal preference now. The idea of a half hour + single game sounds like a nightmare to me. I can't imagine new players would enjoy sneaking around for 20 minutes then getting one balled by a guy they never saw would be more fun than being out early in a 10 minute game, then getting to play again very soon.
    I admit that this is quite a bit personal preference. However, I do believe that most newcomers to the sport expect something other than speedball or speedball in the woods- This is often even what’s depicted in television shows (with no face masks of course). In the early days, that’s how my games went- it was very exciting to not know where the enemy is, hearing a firefight break out and being unsure as to whether or not to approach it, etc. I get it that this isn’t the same for everyone- the more aggressive folks who love to shoot and be shot at, go straight for the firefight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patron God of Pirates View Post
    Looking at it from a slightly different perspective, there is a case to be made that the fields, players, and manufacturers are all the victims of poor game design. In game development there's a 'Twinkie' known as 'single best strategy'. The most commonly used example is pistol sniping in HALO. It's a way of playing so effective that the only options are to use it, or lose and ***** about it. The strategy employed in speed-ball is the logical outcome of the rules of single elimination center flag. The equipment evolved to best serve that strategy. The field type almost doesn't matter. If there is a single best strategy the players will always find it.

    The fields also followed suit. 'Cheep to come, expensive to compete' is definitely short sighted, but getting businesses to value what is best for an industry over the long haul vs what is best for themselves right now is a tough sell.
    Actually, it’s not just the format of center flag paintball. It’s a combination of everyone using the same projectile (with the same accuracy and range characteristics), the desire for symmetrical field layouts, smaller fields (to allow for more games simultaneously), and shorter time limits (for more games per hour), and more cover (to encourage laning and snapshooting). These all have these respective consequences: higher ROF is favorable, the same/or similar strategy can be applied from either end of the field, it’s easier for everyone to keep track of the opposition making firefights more likely) and more.
    When we have varied projectiles on the field, longer game formats, longer time limits and varied objectives, there will be a lot more solutions to the puzzle, and this will increase the replay value significantly.
    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    … On the other side [Agree] Until tech comes along that doesn't more entrench the present playing style, one which opens up movement or/and engagement distances (without changing the limitations of 3 grams at ~300fps), paintball is exactly the same game that simple wastes more paint. …
    Roundball guns we already understand. mixing both would provide a randomness dynamic that would breath life into the sport. [New game design]
    Again, I agree!

    Quote Originally Posted by Patron God of Pirates View Post
    Good points. Additional variables would add more dynamism to the game. If first strike and technologies like it ever make significant inroads, how long before we see fast feeding FS loaders? I also doubt those inroads will materialize unless/until the average player starts seeing the FS player as having a gross advantage. Like how they assume they are losing to the space guns because of their RoF. "If I had that, I could win too".

    I'm hoping to be proven wrong, but my suspicion is that FS will remain a novelty enjoyed by a minority of diehards just like the Flatline and Apex barrels. Which I find rather funny because new players often buy mil-sim markers on the basis that they look like they have greater range.
    We’re in agreement it seems. However, while I am a huge FS (and by extension shaped projectile) advocate, I really hope that they never get to fast feeding (high capacity) loading systems. I theorize that the existing tactics (fire for suppression, snapshooting) will simply extend to a longer range than we currently see with roundball. If the rounds stay pricey, and the gear doesn’t get to high capacity, we won’t see this happen and they will remain a niche within paintball. Personally, I think this is a good thing as it allows for a greater variety of tactics, in what I use, as well as the targets I face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    No one in my area told me what to play. I did tournaments and back some 16 years ago, doing big games with my team. The speedball was a personal choice, and the big games because of my friends at the time, because it was an event for me. Anyway, maybe i was ina better area, maybe i happened upon great fields, cause it seemed that you had horrible fields. But the horrible fields that i went to, i onky went once. And when i found my good fields, i stuck to them.

    But, what speedball represented is a format that you didn't need acres of space, (space that costs money). It also allowed quick turnaround of games, it allowed lower overhead costs for staff, and easier containment of the players.
    You’ve been illustrating the business benefits of speedball but, what we’re talking about are the problems it presents to the community. The industry (to include, tournament heavies, and the media) moved towards speedball primarily motivated by the bottom line when they moved paintball out of the woods, and onto fields with artificial structures (to increase player sponsorship visibility, to make the game easier to view on TV, and to make the game more intense for viewers).

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    I started 20 years ago. Electro guns were just coming in and the revy was still king of the loader. But no matter what the time, paintball always allows you to play your style. You want to take a SC gun with you 10x 10rnd tubes and 12vies on the field as a i have an penumag. Perfectly acceptable in an open play game. But each and every period shows that, potential. It boomed more on the fact that people had disposable income and people were buying. You can not fault the aport for trying to cash in, its just those people who only wanted to make a buck are truly bad.

    TK was great, he gave away lots of ideas for the betterment of paintball. He is poorer for that and we thank him for it. The difference is that you don't need to bleed every last drop of money from the people, á lá SP. But you can charge $30 for entrance fee, yet how many cases can you sell a person?

    Also, look at the guns, even before the electros. You had your pumps, and then semis. Why, cause you can shoot faster and easier. Even with pumps, the benefit of Nelsons over Sheridans is Nelsons had the autotrigger. Why, because you can put paint out easier. Its up to the player to choose, not join the masses like a lemming.
    From the sound of it, you seem to have come in just as the ‘speedballification’ of paintball fields was happening. I started in 89-90 and the field formats were vastly different. I remember in that season, at Fields of Honor, the staff introducing us walk-ons to” Speedball” as a different field and concept. I joined the Navy shortly afterwards and fields were relatively the same (aside from an indoor field which was mostly speedball aside from the three level structure in the center of it) when I was stationed in California 94-96 and by the time I came back from overseas in 2000, things were very different.


    Changing your gun, without changing the projectile does not necessitate a change in actual playing style or tactics. The tactics of roundball are largely the same between stock, pump, semi and electro. Sure nobody can effectively lane with a stock class but, it’s still possible to suppress the average recreational player’s movement or shooting. In general moving up in ROF makes some things more difficult or easier depending on which end of the gun you’re talking about but, it doesn’t make anything impossible and doesn’t give the ability to do something you couldn’t do before.

    Edit: Speedball is so entrenched into the mindset of the playing base, when TK first mentioned First Strike rounds here, on this forum people were resisting the idea to the point where he had to say this:

    Unfortunately all of you have played the one "speedball" game of paintball for so long you can't conceive of other ways to do this and hence any new ideas seem stupid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    The field did evolve. Tournaments were played in the woods, they were played with pumps. The players wanted more, the players brought change to it. I do not know where you are at, but i am kinda in a hub. 4-6 hours i can be at EMR for the castle games. 4-6 hours i can be at Skirmish for their big game. In 2 hrs i can be at Top Gun for my home field. All of those fields are in the woods, but when the time comes will host speedball. Again, there is no basis for your accusations.

    Ok, there is an entire CHANNEL dedicated to golf. It is boring to watch, if you don't play golf. I can't swing a dead cat for 10 miles without hitting 8 golf courses one even hosting a LPGA event i believe. And you can go out and play on the weekend and not be sore from running, or bruised from getting hit. But the golf and cycling industry has plenty of dedicated clothing lines (you have to look the part) and you can do it by yourself or as a group. But the key to those sports compared to paintball is, you can watch and know who is winning, you can see the person with the yellow or red jersey (in the Tour de France) or in golf, how the cameras focus in on that player playing a round that is moving them up the leader board. Paintball is way to fast and frentic for that.

    But your logic is flawed, as TV would give legitimacy in the world, when compared to things like skateboarding. Which went from weird flatlander competitions to vert ramp and street type courses in the late 70s to the 80s. But even Skateboarding can focus on one individual, who is the focus, not a team of 5-7 going against a like team.
    As I’ve said before, speedball went into the woods. The media led the push, when they started running articles and editorials on the speedball (I remember that first APG issue that had the neon JTUSA motocross outfit on the cover) and how it would be the future. The manufactures started running ads on the shiny guns, players started demanding shiny guns and flashy outfits that tournament players had, and field operators bought into speedball as a business model. Then, you contrast this with what the average newcomer expects when they told their going to play a game where they go into the woods and shoot and be shot it. They fully expect snipers, and ‘guns’ and camo, and bushes, and big ungroomed areas, they wonder about grenades, and generally expect that rifles are more powerful than pistols. Not some cleared field with artificial structures and shiny guns with double finger triggers that shoot way faster than their rental. We’ve had this market model for well over 20yrs and look where that has gotten us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    Never saw the appeal of airsoft, but i can see the advantages. But you again failed to see the big picture. Tppmann made forays into tournament style but never could shake the stigma of low end, woods ball beginner equipment. CCI Phantom in some 30 years only ever made slight changes. The pump market is as strong as it has ever been, even Inception Designs has made a dead gun cool again with the Ressurection and cocker parts and guns. I see more of those in the woods and big games than tournaments, but even mech only tournaments are trying to get started.



    No one ever tells you how to play paintball. You want to shoot a pump, go ahead. You want to dump 3 cases on a walk on day, be my guest. You want to shoot 20 year old mags, go for it. But i for one, won't stop playing. I love shooting people.i enjoy talking about paintball with friends. The game has changed because of technology (the semi, HPA, FSR-when you can use them), geographically, format (woods to hyperball, to airball, to buildings/castles), to however you want to play (pump, pistol, semi, electro). It is only up to you on whether the game changes with you or you change with the game. Don't like the field prices, go to a different field. Don't kike the field's refs, go some place else. Work with paintball, do not sit back and moan about ilthe "good ole'days".
    If paintball hadn’t driven away folks with a more ‘tactical’ interest, airsoft would have never gotten a foothold here in the U.S. It’s getting all of those folks who want CoD as a fun game in real life. Tippmann only made half-hearted attempts to get into the tournament scene because they knew that wasn’t where the vast majority of their revenue came from. Yes, a bunch of their revenue came from rental sales. The rest came from new players looking to buy something that ‘looked’ like it would shoot farther (i.e. more like a rifle) and for those niches that suited woodsball and more tactically minded players (i.e. the flatline, the A5, the phenom, the U.S. Army editions, etc).

    As far as anyone telling anyone else how to play paintball, you are dead wrong. Field operators put new players into speedball (in the woods, as well as on the turf) without even telling them. They get a bonus when they say semi-auto only but then let double finger trigger shooters go beyond 6-8BPS (this starts the arms race). Over the last 15yrs we’ve seen plenty of hate on ‘milsim’ guns with ‘useless bolt ons’ and how there was ‘no such thing as a sniper, they’re all just camping, waiting to die’, and no value in camo, etc. The manufacturers are telling you that you need the latest Dye or Planet eclipse guns where were clearly designed for speedball. Sometimes it’s been overt, often it’s subtle but it’s always been there.

    As for working with paintball- I did my part, I joined the ASTM and voted on shaped projectiles and other standards. Even behind the scenes there are folks demonstrating their entrenchment in the speedball business model. Fortunately, there were just enough folks involved to get a consensus on the notion that shaped projectiles will be a good thing for the game.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    But your logic is flawed, as TV would give legitimacy in the world, when compared to things like skateboarding
    Ironic! This is EXACTLY what the manufacturers said – word for word! How’d it work out for them? They’ve had over 20 years and it is imploding. Two decades is A LONG TIME. If it can’t be pulled off in 20 years – it ain’t going to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    Ok, there is an entire CHANNEL dedicated to golf. It is boring to watch, if you don't play golf. I can't swing a dead cat for 10 miles without hitting 8 golf courses one even hosting a LPGA event i believe. And you can go out and play on the weekend and not be sore from running, or bruised from getting hit. But the golf and cycling industry has plenty of dedicated clothing lines (you have to look the part) and you can do it by yourself or as a group. But the key to those sports compared to paintball is, you can watch and know who is winning, you can see the person with the yellow or red jersey (in the Tour de France) or in golf, how the cameras focus in on that player playing a round that is moving them up the leader board. Paintball is way to fast and frentic for that.
    But your logic is flawed, as TV would give legitimacy in the world, when compared to things like skateboarding. Which went from weird flatlander competitions to vert ramp and street type courses in the late 70s to the 80s. But even Skateboarding can focus on one individual, who is the focus, not a team of 5-7 going against a like team.
    Just because, in a world where we now have 24 hour TV programming and hundreds of channels that have to be filled with something all the time does not mean people watch golf on TV. I know *many* (many, many, many) golfers - almost none watch golf on TV - aside from random sports highlights. You know who watches golf religiously? My 89 year old grandmother. The Tour de France comes on once a year. My cyclist friends watch it, then go back to doing what they had been - cycling. If there were MORE cycling on TV, you know what they'd be doing? Not watching TV - cycling... Both sports, and many others (bowling/pool/shooting-sports/ I could go on and on...) are saturated with participants with little to no dedicated programing and when there is, little viewership. ALL boast outstanding sales of equipment and participation compared to paintball. All of these sports, along with others that unfortunately "evolved" are about the *participation,* not the watching. Motorcross, Skateboarding, and other extreme sports have gone the other way. They had to be completely reformatted from what they started as to be viewer friendly" (sold their souls) because now there is great viewership - because for most people participation is simply not achievable or reasonable! "Average"people do not possess the skill, nor can take on the risk of injury. If it were not for corporate sponsorship these "sports" would die altogether. They are simply "circus" entertainment - something people watch to marvel at but cannot (and should not) attempt. That doesn't really sell much - aside from cans of RedBull.

    Viewable paintball was the dream of the manufacturers, they saw it as the golden ticket to endless riches. History proves my point, they were wrong. Motorcross could make the switch because people could and did/do use the bikes and equipment in most part for many completely unrelated (to what is shown on TV) purposes. Paintball guns have one purpose. The manufacturers went all in on something they didn't truly understand and lost big. Just because motorcross or skateboarding pulled it off doesn't mean that it is repeatable - and heck, every skate-part I drive past is empty - so maybe even they didn't... To be clear, I’m alleging that the manufacturers reformatted the game to be more “viewer” friendly, with the acquiescence of the field owners who made their profits off of paint sales, and litterlly painted themselves into a corner. They tried to be an "extreme sport", complete with reformatting the game to suit, and it has failed.

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo
    I admit that this is quite a bit personal preference. However, I do believe that most newcomers to the sport expect something other than speedball or speedball in the woods- This is often even what’s depicted in television shows (with no face masks of course). In the early days, that’s how my games went- it was very exciting to not know where the enemy is, hearing a firefight break out and being unsure as to whether or not to approach it, etc. I get it that this isn’t the same for everyone- the more aggressive folks who love to shoot and be shot at, go straight for the firefight.
    BINGO!

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo
    We’re in agreement it seems. However, while I am a huge FS (and by extension shaped projectile) advocate, I really hope that they never get to fast feeding (high capacity) loading systems. I theorize that the existing tactics (fire for suppression, snapshooting) will simply extend to a longer range than we currently see with roundball. If the rounds stay pricey, and the gear doesn’t get to high capacity, we won’t see this happen and they will remain a niche within paintball. Personally, I think this is a good thing as it allows for a greater variety of tactics, in what I use, as well as the targets I face.
    I'm using term "first strike" to mean all shaped projectiles. I agree with you and hope that they never create a high-volume/speed loader. I also thing ROF for shaped could be capped for the games sake. The best two years (golden age you might say) for me in PB was in the days of the SMG-60 (unimagined ROF at the time, but limited range due to .62 cal projectile), and when semis *first* came on the scene. The semi's were temperamental, finicky, and often suddenly went down. Both types of markers could be game changers, but were limited by their own technical issues, and to be effectively deployed in a team format, had to surrounded by friendly pump players - the bulk of the players. This led to *tactics*, planning, adjustments to random events, it led to a true game. Today’s equipment essentially all being the same (with regard to range & accuracy - the two constants that cannot be modified, and ROF which is essentially the same despite what is theoretically achievable with a given marker) paintball games ALWAYS devolve to not much but paint spraying until the last 60 seconds before (when people are FORCED to move) the whistle. We'd be far better to make all games one minute (!) but then the paint volume sales would drop...

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo
    As I’ve said before, speedball went into the woods. The media led the push, when they started running articles and editorials on the speedball (I remember that first APG issue that had the neon JTUSA motocross outfit on the cover) and how it would be the future. The manufactures started running ads on the shiny guns, players started demanding shiny guns and flashy outfits that tournament players had, and field operators bought into speedball as a business model. Then, you contrast this with what the average newcomer expects when they told their going to play a game where they go into the woods and shoot and be shot it. They fully expect snipers, and ‘guns’ and camo, and bushes, and big ungroomed areas, they wonder about grenades, and generally expect that rifles are more powerful than pistols. Not some cleared field with artificial structures and shiny guns with double finger triggers that shoot way faster than their rental. We’ve had this market model for well over 20yrs and look where that has gotten us.
    Perfectly stated!!!!

    (and I remember that issue too!)

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo
    As for working with paintball- I did my part, I joined the ASTM and voted on shaped projectiles and other standards. Even behind the scenes there are folks demonstrating their entrenchment in the speedball business model. Fortunately, there were just enough folks involved to get a consensus on the notion that shaped projectiles will be a good thing for the game.
    Thank you for your efforts on this - I think they will pay off!

    PS. Just noticed we both own FN303s :-)

  9. #39
    One good wall of text deserves another.

    Calvin,

    Your length of time in the sport and thoughtfulness here are well and good, but your posts make a number of questionable assumptions.

    1. First, you seem to assume that paintball has had plenty of time to get its act together, as though 20 or 30 years is anything. It isn't. We are still spanking new, and there is plenty of settling yet to do before we even properly begin as a sport.

    2. Second, you seem to assume that the modern format is just manufacturer driven, and it isn't, entirely. yes, they have a hand, but they also have to have something in hand.

    Case in point: I absolute despise woodsball, in all of its forms, and always have. I hated it back in the 90s when I played competitively in the woods, and I will always hate it, because it is (to me) irritating and inferior in every respect.

    No one plays golf, or tennis, or football, or soccer, or baseball, or most any other sport in the woods, because the trees get in the way. They make horrible bunkers, more horrible obstacles, and represent tripping hazards and all manner of other irritants.

    The first time I played speedball I thought I'd died and gone to heaven, and I knew someone, somewhere, had finally begun to be rational about paintball.

    3. Third, you assume that paintball needs to get back to its roots, as though that is somehow more pure or superior to the modern format. The roots of paintball are both unknown and irrelevant to almost every player on planet earth, as well they should be.

    I'd bet money that less than a percent of a percent of people even know the roots of paintball, and less than a percent of that fraction care.

    Twelve guys settling a city boy v. country boy bet with lousy equipment, silly objectives, and unsafe conditions doesn't sound like a good time, or anything noble to which to aspire.

    And speaking of the roots of paintball, how 'bout that gear? You talk of modern gear as clownish, which is your taste-claim. You are welcome to it.

    For my part, I think wearing camo and doing anything remotely milsim is clownish. I want to die, or weep, of pity and embarrassment every time I see anyone wearing camo, or sporting anything remotely military-seeming, because it is both silly to look at (opinion) and demonstrably wretched in terms of every measurable performance aspect on the paintball field (fact).

    It gives me the shivers, and I say that as someone who used to wear (and hate) that junk back when it was the fashion of the day.

    I like clown ball gear, because it is more comfortable and weather-friendly, infinitely more durable, it actually improves play, doesn't take itself seriously, and it doesn't pretend to be something it isn't.

    We are shooting bath beads at one another in a glorified children's game of tag. That's it. Nothing more. It's pretty silly and undignified when you think about it, and that's a good thing.

    It isn't war, it isn't a blood sport, it's just fun, even when it is competitive.

    4. Fourth, you assume that manufacturers wanted viewable ball simply to make money. To a degree, of course. What else is there? Every manufacturer had better want to make money, or get out of business. But that isn't why they did it. They did it because they wanted the sport to grow (more money and fun for everyone), and as I'm sure you remember, paintball had a huge public image problem because of the assumption that it was a bunch of idiot hayseed paramilitary wannabes.

    In other words, mil-sim was bad for the sport.

    Bringing it out into the open did more than just make it watchable for entertainment. It made it more visible to scrutiny and hence more respectable.

    And in my opinion, it made it a billion times more fun to play than it had ever been in those wretched woods.

    Finally, you assume that shaped projectiles are the way of the future, or that people should use them, simply because they make 'better' projectiles. Shaped projectiles are fine, if that's what you like to shoot. Go in peace, and shoot all you like.

    Tom Kaye recognized and voiced many of the points you've already made about shaped projectiles, yet also pointed out that they are completely impractical and it's a lot more fun to just dump pods and shoot lots of paint at people.

    He was a 'spray and pray', 'accuracy by volume' kind of guy, and I agree.

    That's part of the reason why he developed the automag, and then updated it to be able to shoot even faster.

  10. #40
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    I started in 97. I wished i started earlier, but i am glad i didn't. There was infinitely more exposure 10 years later than you started and 10 years more development. That 10 years went from 12vies to constant air and the burgeoning of HPA. Akd guns went from oure 9umps, to semi-auto conversion kits to workable semis to electros.

    Anyway, this is a womderful discussion. I am thoroughly enjoying this. I may be a bit harsh, but that is to understating what i see is a naivete when looking at the big picture. Not that i have done huge amounts, but i have played for 20 years, tried to run a proshop and help a friend in the industry.

    Anyway, any business needs to make money. That is a point of a business, unless you are independently wealthy and want the tax loss because you don't care about anything other than doing what you want, damned the cost. Yes, fields will take the short side on making a quick buck or trying to sustain longevity. Because there is a huge list of proshops that come and gone, fields too. So most owners look to take a short lost the 1st year, break even the 2nd and if the profits and shop/field isn't growing, to pull up stakes before it becomes a huge financial burden. Sometimes that is within the first 2 years of not less. I don't see any problems with them making money as long as the product is there. Paintball is a repeat business.

    Now i am of the (many) opinions, that it is up to the players to help those kids that come out and for the field to not expose them to potential horror stories that can happen in paintball. If a younger group comea to play, you put away the electro, go down to a semi or even pump. You can still play at your level but you won't kill the kids. Hell, i have even taken a couple hits because that kid will then come away with a great story and confidence. But not everyone does that and not every field will hold off feeding the lambs to the slaughter.

    Now, you are a fool of you think that the gun you are ahooting does not effect style of play. Yes, you can't lane with a SC gun, but you can keep them honest. But you also can not shoot your way into position either. Fighting a 3v1 against is nearly impossible with a SC gun and it still takes skill with a semi or even an electro.

    Totally agree that there are way to many campers but again, that is how they learn the game. It is again up to you the player to show them how movement will defeat superior equipment, how making a minor move can break the game wide open and how to not just be aggressive but to get the most out of the game. I tell people the first 4 letters in paintball are "pain", which is true, but it also tells you to not get hit. Which movement mitigates.

    You totally missed the point on why most smaller fields do speedball. It cost much less to have an acre or 2 for speedball, than it is to have 10-30 acres for speedball. Not to mention that some states, counties, areas may have pohibitions on even clearing the underbrush. It costs huge amounts of money to start a field. Count in the actual land, air compressors, co2 supplies, insurance, safety netting for some areas, bathroom/porta potty maintainence, electric, staff, rental equipment, clothing, pods, storage facilities, building to have a shop. Do i need to go on? Cause i do not begrudge a field for having speedball, nor charging fair prices for that. If i do not like it, i just don't go there.

    Paintball on TV will never happen. I merely used skateboarding as a logical "extreme sport" that was looked upon in the same light that did go mainstream. But, the one reason why paintball has not made it on TV is that in comparison to all other sports, there is no clear, singular focal point for the action. Tiny balls show up poorly on most cameras. Because paintball is also a 360° sport, where do you put the cameras? I have no answers to this. Better and worse people have tried and failed at this, but at least they are trying. That was what the X-ball was attempting to do.

    But the real key to TV, not only to garner bigger exposure, but to bring in other avenues of capital. Look at all the sponsors in auto racing, pro fishing, ahooting competitions, baseball, basketball, hockey, cycling. Other than inner industry sponsorships, there is no outside exposure to paintball. Its rather insular in that reapect.

    Oh, another great reason for speedball. I know where the other team is. I don't have to walk a mile to the fight, up a hill, through ankle breaking terrain, just to shoot half a hopper to then walk back out. A speedball game can be done in a short distance, with great turnaround, and quick games. Some of us like the quick action, some like the tactics, some of us to just shoot people.

    And maybe, just maybe in all my opinions and qalking the path least travelled that i just don't listen to people when tbey say i have to do something that they want. Maybe i recognise it early, maybe i wait to formulate all the information i can and then make a clear informed decision. Just lime allbthe different guns i have, i use them as i want. If yiu want to play qith the latest and greatest (costing) gun, be my guest. I know for a fact that, at the same velocity, both with shoot at the same distance. The only difference is how well it shoots, quality of the piece and if you care about how it looks. A B2K that is nearing 20 years old can shoot just as well as anything new. Hell, the $400 Axe was shooting better than guns that were 3x as expensive, which is why ot became very popular.

    So, if you are susceptible to marketing schemes and you can not turn away any opinion, then that is your problem, not the sport. Because i see it as they want your money. Sometimes for altruistic reasons, sometimes nefarious. But without money, the game we all love and play will die. we are the life blood, if we stop, the whole entity will die. So make it qhat you want, within the game.

  11. #41
    A lot of this is still a discussion of personal preference. When I was younger I fell in love with speed ball mostly because most of my friends tried to play 'sniper' 'camper' style in the woods and I rolled them easily on an air field. Now I'm pushing 40 and I prefer to have a lot of different field types to mix things up. The only game types I don't enjoy are respawns or attack/defend games where movement is limited for one team. I'll play pump most days unless the competition level is high (or I had a crap week and just need a few cathartic games of squid farming).

    The point of all of this is that this thread has drifted from OP's point. I'm wondering if anyone has any data to back up or disprove the assertion that paintball did have a lost decade. Sure lots of companies went under or were bought out, but that doesn't necessarily mean poor growth overall. What metric should we be using? Do we have any data that's non anecdotal?

  12. #42
    First, I want to say I appreciate the civil discourse. Second, in the hopes of reducing walls of text, I’m not going to reply point by point but rather cover some themes that I see as key.

    I can’t speak for Calvin but, when I say Industry I’m not talking strictly about manufacturers. They had a part to play but, the bigger problem were the tournament promoters and the media types.

    I’m not against speedball- what I’m getting at is that when paintball distilled itself down to the point of where nearly every game is speedball, it became unsustainable. It’s what keeps most folks from continuing to play after their first couple outtings- it doesn’t take very long before they realize that it’s all the same, they get bored, and they quit. Some folks really like the format- they appreciate the subtleties in gameplay but, PGOP put it well when he talked about ‘single best strategy’ as it pertains to speedball.

    I’m not looking at paintball (as it exists today) and saying that I wish it was like the old days. What I’m really getting at re-aligning the game to the new players expectations (like it or not, they are thinking of a more combat-tilted activity than ‘long range tag’) and that the industry took a big wrong turn towards speedball and that an alternative path could have been taken and it should be considered now. IMHO, fields should really focus on providing an experience bigger than ‘long range tag’.

    As for clothing quality it is entirely driven by where the money is expected to come from. Special Ops paintball produced excellent woodsball clothing and effectively opened the market for quality, durable camo playing gear. Speedball gear got a jump start as tournament players needed something to play in when they banned camo, and the manufacturers and media types figured they could leverage tournament player usage in advertising.

    As for a type of roundball gun necessitating a certain change of style- I would argue that any such change of tactics associated with a gun (stock class, pump, semi, full) are much more subtler than when you change projectiles in a mixed-projectile environment. The way I played did not significantly change from when I was playing pump, to semi, to full auto. When I started shooting First Strikes at $.75 a shot out of an 8rd mag on fields verses double-finger semi, and full auto, I had to change drastically to have the same/similar success ratio without spending excessive amounts of money.

    The final theme that I’ve noticed is that several folksarguing for speedball refer to paintball as a sport. This could be a fundamental source of disagreement. I don’t think paintball is really a sport like the NFL, NBA, or even Dodgeball or Kickball. It’s a game certainly but, I think the industry (again to include the media and others) turned to speedball, they were also pushing for this to be a sport and they made changes to the game to make it more sports like. Again, I think this was misguided. If paintball was a sport, I imagine that it would be more like a First Person Shooter in e-sports. It’s too hard to run that (scoring, reffing, etc) in real life though without a serious technological investment. Imagine what it would take to start with a modern simunition activity (force on force encounter in the woods or, a building clearing scenario) and turning that into a competitive sports league. It’d be very, very strange in my opinion if it’d be possible at all.

    As for the OP’s post. I would say no, there is no evidence that significant numbers of folks stopped coming when SP started enforcing its patents. In my observations, the tournament scene imploded well after this largely because the limits of the game (technological and game format) were reached and the economy turned downwards.

  13. #43
    +1 comment concerning the tone of civil discourse. There have been a lot of experienced individuals chime in where I feel they carry reputable stock in their comments. Interesting to hear the comments and encouraging more. Overall, I thing many can smile with the short evolution and adaptability the sport has sustained and mutated into for the sake of survival and prosperity. I was hooked back in the early nineties when the PMI tracer came out. Its funny to see the industry's perception when i got into in comparison to now. I've been trying to dig up my distribution catalogs, this is where I convinced my family to setup a dealers account and provide their FFL # so Davison and PMI would wholesale paintball items to their business. I pushed hard with my family since it was very hard paying $10 for 100 paintballs in a plastic ziplock bag from Pegleg.
    Last edited by barkingspider; 11-01-2017 at 03:57 PM.

  14. #44
    Outstanding post! One comment, which is more of a nit-pic...

    I made reference in an earlier post to the "incestuous" nature of the industry. Most of the manufacturers were/are also the tournament promoters. (if not officially, which often was the case too, even when unofficially they were still the main source of the funding and therefore had enormous influence) Heck most of the "manufacturers" started off as or became players and many also owned league teams! This influence also extended to the paintball "media". APG and the other sport rags existing not on sales/subscriptions, rather on advertising revenue. Considering that, who led who on the trends that steered things to the final destination?

    Otherwise I agree with everything stated!

    -Calvin


    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    First, I want to say I appreciate the civil discourse. Second, in the hopes of reducing walls of text, I’m not going to reply point by point but rather cover some themes that I see as key.

    I can’t speak for Calvin but, when I say Industry I’m not talking strictly about manufacturers. They had a part to play but, the bigger problem were the tournament promoters and the media types.

    I’m not against speedball- what I’m getting at is that when paintball distilled itself down to the point of where nearly every game is speedball, it became unsustainable. It’s what keeps most folks from continuing to play after their first couple outtings- it doesn’t take very long before they realize that it’s all the same, they get bored, and they quit. Some folks really like the format- they appreciate the subtleties in gameplay but, PGOP put it well when he talked about ‘single best strategy’ as it pertains to speedball.

    I’m not looking at paintball (as it exists today) and saying that I wish it was like the old days. What I’m really getting at re-aligning the game to the new players expectations (like it or not, they are thinking of a more combat-tilted activity than ‘long range tag’) and that the industry took a big wrong turn towards speedball and that an alternative path could have been taken and it should be considered now. IMHO, fields should really focus on providing an experience bigger than ‘long range tag’.

    As for clothing quality it is entirely driven by where the money is expected to come from. Special Ops paintball produced excellent woodsball clothing and effectively opened the market for quality, durable camo playing gear. Speedball gear got a jump start as tournament players needed something to play in when they banned camo, and the manufacturers and media types figured they could leverage tournament player usage in advertising.

    As for a type of roundball gun necessitating a certain change of style- I would argue that any such change of tactics associated with a gun (stock class, pump, semi, full) are much more subtler than when you change projectiles in a mixed-projectile environment. The way I played did not significantly change from when I was playing pump, to semi, to full auto. When I started shooting First Strikes at $.75 a shot out of an 8rd mag on fields verses double-finger semi, and full auto, I had to change drastically to have the same/similar success ratio without spending excessive amounts of money.

    The final theme that I’ve noticed is that several folksarguing for speedball refer to paintball as a sport. This could be a fundamental source of disagreement. I don’t think paintball is really a sport like the NFL, NBA, or even Dodgeball or Kickball. It’s a game certainly but, I think the industry (again to include the media and others) turned to speedball, they were also pushing for this to be a sport and they made changes to the game to make it more sports like. Again, I think this was misguided. If paintball was a sport, I imagine that it would be more like a First Person Shooter in e-sports. It’s too hard to run that (scoring, reffing, etc) in real life though without a serious technological investment. Imagine what it would take to start with a modern simunition activity (force on force encounter in the woods or, a building clearing scenario) and turning that into a competitive sports league. It’d be very, very strange in my opinion if it’d be possible at all.

    As for the OP’s post. I would say no, there is no evidence that significant numbers of folks stopped coming when SP started enforcing its patents. In my observations, the tournament scene imploded well after this largely because the limits of the game (technological and game format) were reached and the economy turned downwards.
    Last edited by cledford; 11-01-2017 at 03:51 PM.

  15. #45
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  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by cledford View Post
    Outstanding post! One comment, which is more of a nit-pic...

    I made reference in an earlier post to the "incestuous" nature of the industry. Most of the manufacturers were/are also the tournament promoters. (if not officially, which often was the case too, even when unofficially they were still the main source of the funding and therefore had enormous influence) Heck most of the "manufacturers" started off as or became players and many also owned league teams! This influence also extended to the paintball "media". APG and the other sport rags existing not on sales/subscriptions, rather on advertising revenue. Considering that, who led who on the trends that steered things to the final destination?

    Otherwise I agree with everything stated!

    -Calvin
    And their is the crux. You have people through contacts back them to do these things because you want to showcase your talent, your product, your wears. Regardless if you carried for tourney paintball, seeing other teams use the same gun made everything relevant, because it would promote sales (hopefully), which means the business glcan grow, and even expand. 20 years ago, the businesses were specific. AGD made guns, aair America made tanks, a lot of people made barrels.

    So again, what is the best best way to show off paintball was the speedball game. Lots of people, real prizes, organized teams, the whole image. Yes, camo was looked down upon, especially coming out of the 80s and the look of paramilitary. So teams wanting to stand out, to get exposure went to motorcross for jerseys, pants and gloves (JT USA and Scott both started in motorcross) because there was nothing else. Then in the past 20 years, the players saw what wprked and didn't and hoped to impliment new paintball specific products to address what was missing or to improve upon an idea. Cause who is better at judging what wprls, a person in an office that never played pr a player that is out there? But i diegress...

    And again, if you want to change how the game is evolved with the younger, next generation players. Take them under your wing. Spend a day with them, play games with them, lend them a mag and use their rental or even use a rental yourself and show them first hand, how to play, how to act, how to move. You get 2 kids doing that, and then they get 2 each and you have a pyramid effect of better play.

    And here is were speedball is a benefit. It is in an enclosed area, you can be on the sideline, telling your players directly what to do so they can learn. Run 2 games of 5 man ball with you coaching both teams, you truly effected 10 people in about 20min. And if one or 2 kids take that advice and start to do better, it will cascade down. Monkey see monkey do.

    But again, playing speedball and ahowing Speedball are 2 totally different things. Televising paintball was a pipe dream to legitimacy on the grand scale, to be equals with everyone else. The little kid trying to be like the big kids. Everyone does it, nothing wrong with thst. Its just paintball as a whole needs to decide where it wants to be. Yes, woods ball will forever be a part of the game, but that is not the only way. Till someone has a brainstorm on a new concept for the game, different that air or woods ball, those are the 2 styles we have.

    As for being lost? Every business, every sport, every concept goes through expansion and contraction. Pro sports looses teams (or did, now they just pull up tents and relocate to a new city), popularity waxes and wains and interests come and go. The good thing is that the companies that are still around had enough good products to keep in business. Companies that were only in it for a quick buck quickly lost out and folded. The bad is that a lot of good companies did fold and are no longer around, which did provide competition, spurring the need to never keep static and to keep pushing forward.

    So we all have to go play. Support the good fields, tell those good fields what keeps you coming back there. Hell, even work with the foeld in starting up a mini game, like rental day (1/2 prices for rentals, where you are playing, teaching them to get more involved in the game). Not only can you bring in new blood to yiur field, but also get in good with field.

    Paintball is what you make of it, whether it is the guns, the style, the clothing, the game or whatever. You get as much as you put into it.

  17. #47
    You are so firmly entrenched in the tournament / speedball scene that you see the entirety of paintball through it. My point is that for every benefit you claim that speedball brought to paintball, I can point out a negative aspect that has had an impact on the players on the recreational field.

    Speedball and the tournament scene drove the BPS/ROF war. This led to recreational fields covered with double finger electros that easily (and often do) shoot faster than the guns used by renters and new players, all of this contributing to the fallacy of the “Semi Auto Only” rule*.

    You make the assumption that paintball needed to be shown off when you assert that speedball and the tournament scene did this. For all of the visibility- even after 20yrs, the vast majority of non-paintball players don’t expect folks running around on astroturf into inflatable geometric shapes. And the bad- it glamorized bunkering and overshooting to younger, more impressionable, attractees and justified bad behavior for those old enough to know better.

    As for ‘players’ driving growth- yes, look at all of the products that were specifically developed for one particular niche in paintball (that while smaller, they were certainly more vocal). The vast majority of them released over the last 30yrs were all about giving players the ability to shoot more paint, faster and to make you ‘look good’ while doing it. Very few products were about allowing players to have more fun (a notable exception, SpecOps Paintball products never improved the performance of any gun, they changed the look and feel of the guns). MagFed paintball was all about having more fun (since before FS came around, they were definitely not giving themselves a performance improvement).

    You’re statement about changing the game and kids is true for all varieties of paintball so, I won’t address that. To be clear, I'm not against kids in paintball- I'm against changing the game to accommodate them but rather, bringing them into a game played by, and for adults.

    Speedball formats that allow for sideline coaching contribute to reduced tactical thinking/awareness of the players, seriously encourages direct, head-on firefighting (which raises the cost of play), and makes the game less about a players ability to communicate and work with their teammates, and more about their ability to move and shoot as directed. Speedball formats in general (and tournaments especially) do not allow for tactical variety, encourage more shooting, encourage the use of full body padding (i.e. bounce shirts, bounce hats, padded jerseys and pants plus shin and forearm pads), and for players to keep shooting until a ref pulls them in the hopes of a 1 for 1.

    You might say, in pursuit of the pipedream, paintball was changed, and as I illustrate above, it was not for the better. I argue that if speedball hadn’t been so aggressively pushed, the paintball game experienced by most players (i.e. recreational first timers) today would be a lot different. We would probably see more scenarios (meaning more ‘mission’-based games, but not necessarily military/tactical nor big), and we would have seen more MagFed and MilSim products (and even further evolved than what we have now) and even a successful shaped projectile at least a decade earlier (that's really where my interest lies). We very well could see fewer paintball fields due to geography but, I would argue that the remaining fields would be a lot better at providing an experience. Also, the age demographic would shift to a somewhat older (i.e. disposable income) group.

  18. #48
    Run for President of anything and you've got my vote! Seriously, another great post.

    -Calvin

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    You are so firmly entrenched in the tournament / speedball scene that you see the entirety of paintball through it. My point is that for every benefit you claim that speedball brought to paintball, I can point out a negative aspect that has had an impact on the players on the recreational field.

    Speedball and the tournament scene drove the BPS/ROF war. This led to recreational fields covered with double finger electros that easily (and often do) shoot faster than the guns used by renters and new players, all of this contributing to the fallacy of the “Semi Auto Only” rule*.

    You make the assumption that paintball needed to be shown off when you assert that speedball and the tournament scene did this. For all of the visibility- even after 20yrs, the vast majority of non-paintball players don’t expect folks running around on astroturf into inflatable geometric shapes. And the bad- it glamorized bunkering and overshooting to younger, more impressionable, attractees and justified bad behavior for those old enough to know better.

    As for ‘players’ driving growth- yes, look at all of the products that were specifically developed for one particular niche in paintball (that while smaller, they were certainly more vocal). The vast majority of them released over the last 30yrs were all about giving players the ability to shoot more paint, faster and to make you ‘look good’ while doing it. Very few products were about allowing players to have more fun (a notable exception, SpecOps Paintball products never improved the performance of any gun, they changed the look and feel of the guns). MagFed paintball was all about having more fun (since before FS came around, they were definitely not giving themselves a performance improvement).

    You’re statement about changing the game and kids is true for all varieties of paintball so, I won’t address that. To be clear, I'm not against kids in paintball- I'm against changing the game to accommodate them but rather, bringing them into a game played by, and for adults.

    Speedball formats that allow for sideline coaching contribute to reduced tactical thinking/awareness of the players, seriously encourages direct, head-on firefighting (which raises the cost of play), and makes the game less about a players ability to communicate and work with their teammates, and more about their ability to move and shoot as directed. Speedball formats in general (and tournaments especially) do not allow for tactical variety, encourage more shooting, encourage the use of full body padding (i.e. bounce shirts, bounce hats, padded jerseys and pants plus shin and forearm pads), and for players to keep shooting until a ref pulls them in the hopes of a 1 for 1.

    You might say, in pursuit of the pipedream, paintball was changed, and as I illustrate above, it was not for the better. I argue that if speedball hadn’t been so aggressively pushed, the paintball game experienced by most players (i.e. recreational first timers) today would be a lot different. We would probably see more scenarios (meaning more ‘mission’-based games, but not necessarily military/tactical nor big), and we would have seen more MagFed and MilSim products (and even further evolved than what we have now) and even a successful shaped projectile at least a decade earlier (that's really where my interest lies). We very well could see fewer paintball fields due to geography but, I would argue that the remaining fields would be a lot better at providing an experience. Also, the age demographic would shift to a somewhat older (i.e. disposable income) group.

  19. #49
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    Wow, you totally misread everything i have wrote...

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    You are so firmly entrenched in the tournament / speedball scene that you see the entirety of paintball through it. My point is that for every benefit you claim that speedball brought to paintball, I can point out a negative aspect that has had an impact on the players on the recreational field.
    I like speedball and the last tournament i played in was like in 2003, 3 man. Every game i have played since then has been in the woods. And i am not saying it is a golden child with no faults, aside from opinions, but there is a majority that do only speedball.

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    Speedball and the tournament scene drove the BPS/ROF war. This led to recreational fields covered with double finger electros that easily (and often do) shoot faster than the guns used by renters and new players, all of this contributing to the fallacy of the “Semi Auto Only” rule*.
    Faster guns, shoot more paint, the quicker you go through your paint, the more paint you will need. When the RoF wars were happening, the entire industry went headlong into it. Faster (albeit more consistent) guns, better packs and of course better loaders to keep up with those guns. Anyone can shoot 40bpz, but feeding that fast needs another piece. And with the RoF, paint sales is what fields got money from and rightly so. You can't play paintball without it, its in the name. And at least now with harder rules and better tech to catch people going above 13.3 or lesser RoF, where do you see the speed at? In the woods...

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    You make the assumption that paintball needed to be shown off when you assert that speedball and the tournament scene did this. For all of the visibility- even after 20yrs, the vast majority of non-paintball players don’t expect folks running around on astroturf into inflatable geometric shapes. And the bad- it glamorized bunkering and overshooting to younger, more impressionable, attractees and justified bad behavior for those old enough to know better.
    Yes, at the time where it was trying to break through to mainstream, it needed the push. Hindsight says it was stupid, but you don't learn if you don't try. But, is it the game that did the bunkerings or was it the people who did those heinous acts? But also, in any of the televised games, how many vicious bunkersing or even older players bunkering kids are shown? None, cause in a tournament, you wont just have lambs for the slaughtering. Again it is the fields, and their job to separate the wheat from the chaff and the refs to see that players doing a move on a unprotected kid for his and everyone's safety.

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    As for ‘players’ driving growth- yes, look at all of the products that were specifically developed for one particular niche in paintball (that while smaller, they were certainly more vocal). The vast majority of them released over the last 30yrs were all about giving players the ability to shoot more paint, faster and to make you ‘look good’ while doing it. Very few products were about allowing players to have more fun (a notable exception, SpecOps Paintball products never improved the performance of any gun, they changed the look and feel of the guns). MagFed paintball was all about having more fun (since before FS came around, they were definitely not giving themselves a performance improvement)
    .

    Speedball dominated the culture in way of sales. Look at the Tac-one from AGD or the WGP tactical cocmer, or more recently, the Blast G6 tactical. How many of them do you see? On big games i see all sorts of guns, mostly speedball guns and pumps, but there are some around, just way in the majority. I see speedball type guns because of better efficiency, better shot and faster. I am one to not dictate what someone should use in any game, cause for myself, i may want to use my Axe, or my Ego06, DM4, B2K or for the hell of it classic mag that day. Do not try to fit people i to what you perceive as to what they should use or buy.

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    You’re statement about changing the game and kids is true for all varieties of paintball so, I won’t address that. To be clear, I'm not against kids in paintball- I'm against changing the game to accommodate them but rather, bringing them into a game played by, and for adults
    Why not? They are smaller, not as strong, not as smart (how many times must you tell them to keep a mask down, but on a barrel sock, etc), but without them, the sport won't grow. You need to start the seed, grow the seed, then you can reap the seed. But the key is for you or anyone to not look upon them like targets, but to show them how fun it is and to keep them coming back.

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    Speedball formats that allow for sideline coaching contribute to reduced tactical thinking/awareness of the players, seriously encourages direct, head-on firefighting (which raises the cost of play), and makes the game less about a players ability to communicate and work with their teammates, and more about their ability to move and shoot as directed. Speedball formats in general (and tournaments especially) do not allow for tactical variety, encourage more shooting, encourage the use of full body padding (i.e. bounce shirts, bounce hats, padded jerseys and pants plus shin and forearm pads), and for players to keep shooting until a ref pulls them in the hopes of a 1 for 1.
    I am talking about coaching, not hand holding them so where they do not learn. Tell them what to look for and encourage free thought on what and how to look. It takes someone years to understand it, but if you want movement and headsup awareness, then you must teach it, you must explain what and how. Hell, i can tell you at my size(6'1", 280lbs+) that i will move quick and up the field, generally breaking the back of the opposingteam. I can not tell you how i do it, but its understanding the moment. That can not be taught, but you can with after talks and coaching from a game, on how you need to think multiple moves ahead. That is coaching.

    And you are a fool to think that there is no movement in speedball. From the horn, you hqve both teams fanning out trying to get angles. The problem is, and it has been shown many times of playera just blasting away for no reason at each other's bunkers. That is wrong and stupid. They have not been coached well. To only rely upon your gun to get them in or out is poor play. You need to teach players situational awareness, how to get out of a bad spot and what to do when you are being targeted. Again teaching not just letting the run game after game.

    In soeedbqll, you should have snap shooting drills, target acquisition drills, movement drills, breakout drills and running 5v3, 4v2, and 2v1 games all before they play together as a team. If you donnot instill understanding how movement is important, then you lost the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    You might say, in pursuit of the pipedream, paintball was changed, and as I illustrate above, it was not for the better. I argue that if speedball hadn’t been so aggressively pushed, the paintball game experienced by most players (i.e. recreational first timers) today would be a lot different. We would probably see more scenarios (meaning more ‘mission’-based games, but not necessarily military/tactical nor big), and we would have seen more MagFed and MilSim products (and even further evolved than what we have now) and even a successful shaped projectile at least a decade earlier (that's really where my interest lies). We very well could see fewer paintball fields due to geography but, I would argue that the remaining fields would be a lot better at providing an experience. Also, the age demographic would shift to a somewhat older (i.e. disposable income) group.
    Well, i played in the era of 24hr games, scenerio and big games. They are not always fun. You can and do have teams that love it, but you also have teams that come and go shoot people. The biggest problems are, having talent for writing the script, gaining interest to play, but more importantly having the right time to do it. You have to commit a weekend, get with your friends and balance all those schedules. And in the era of social media, you have to literally skate your claim on a date and hope that no other event happens near there to get the people. Have it to close to huge events like Living Legends, no one shows. Hqve it too early in the year, the weather is bad. Too late, schools are in, vacations and holidays are booked. Hell, i would love to get up to Reaperball, but something always comes up with work, injuries or sickness.

    But what i am getting at is more to the fact that, with all your disdain towards speedball, i am not hearing anything about supporting new players or more and better woods ball events. When my friend's tell me of a game that i should go out to to help support it i do. I try to make a positive contribution. Yes, i have opinions (do not get me started on Living Legends), if asked i will give them, but i work within the sport in whatever capacity i can. So i show up, offer to ref or be staff when my field needs bodies or just play.

  20. #50
    LOL, Smart Parts created a small disturbance, hardly a blip.
    You guys really think the decade decline in paintball is really over a speedball versus woodsball battle? Hmm...interesting...
    Good to get perspective on what the consumers are thinking. An interesting read.
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  21. #51
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    Honestly, i think any decline was more to the fact that the weekend warriors that had surplus cash went away. As they grew up and became reaponsible (through families, new jobs, or new fads) and the one thing that they could drop was paintball. Paintball has always been a friend sport/game. Without friends, paintball is boring and only dedicated people still play. I went through that when my first team and friends moved away from paintball, and my closest field shut down because he had to go back to a real job.

    Through the game, people will find their niche on what they like and what they play. Whether it is pumps, semi, electro; whether it is walk on, big game/scenario or speedball; whether it is individual, friends or a team. Everyone will go through a period where paintball isn't as important as it once was. Life does get in the way. Have a baby, that case of paint turns into a case of diapers. Saving up for the latest and greatest gun you want, turns into saving up for that ring or house. That is life.

    The biggest thung we as a community, not just here in this forum, but as a whole is to support the game we still love and play. To a point, as long as you are playing paintball, that is the only thing that matters. When i see a teenager with a box store, bubble pack paintball set, i will try to help themb whether it is orings, tech help or just taking them under my wing and show them that if you spend more wisely on a better mask, you can see better, if you spend on a barrel, you can shoot straigher or if you want to go deeper, that box store special is not the greatest and to get a better quality gun. I don't make fun of those people, they are the future. I want to make sure that that future stays playing. Paintball without friends is boring, but paintball without players is dead.

    And it being lost? No, paintball was never lost, it just needs to adjust to the times and of the modern player. Paintball has always changed, albeit slowly or reluctantly from 1989 to 1999 to 2009 to today. You just hqve to be accepting of the change.

  22. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    … I like speedball and the last tournament i played in was like in 2003, 3 man. Every game i have played since then has been in the woods. …but there is a majority that do only speedball.
    This is exactly my point- Most people who play paintball today, are actually playing speedball, just on surfaces other than astroturf. Even in the majority of ‘woodsball’ fields where there are bunkers every 15ish feet, with small field sizes, short time limits, and limited end goals (i.e. only capture the flag, or elimination), the game is still effectively speedball.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    …And with the RoF, paint sales is what fields got money from and rightly so. You can't play paintball without it, its in the name. And at least now with harder rules and better tech to catch people going above 13.3 or lesser RoF, where do you see the speed at? In the woods...
    The problem isn’t really about ROF (my favorite games were on a field that allowed uncapped full auto). It’s more about how the industry allowed and encouraged higher rates of fire while hiding behind the “Semi Auto Only” rule. The tournament scene drove the ROF up all the way until they had to start pulling it back in an attempt to keep people in it. Before the tournament scene even reached this point, when the fields switched to speedball (incl. speedball in the woods), it only made sense for folks to bring those speedball innovations onto the recreational field. The fields allowed it even as they made the playing areas smaller, and increasing the number of bunkers. This all while renting out guns with 6-8BPS and, including in the safety brief “semi-auto only” and then letting them run against someone laying a rope.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    … But, is it the game that did the bunkerings or was it the people who did those heinous acts?
    Here is why I say the game is at least complicit: The speedball format was specifically designed to allow for more close range interactions (because it’s more entertaining to watch). When the locations of the opposition is known, and all of the structures are within 10-20ft, this allows for one to close before making a dash on a player before anyone else can effectively stop it (given reaction and paintball flight times). In a natural environment, this rarely happens because the cover is not distributed evenly. Also, I’m fairly certain the term originated in the tournament scene and, over the years I’ve seen dozens if not hundreds of video clips of tourney players getting bunkered- this isn’t something happening just to new, ‘lambs to the slaughter’ players. When these field formats migrated to the woods, this tactic came with them. This drove some fields to implement the awkward (at best) 20ft rule in response.



    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    Speedball dominated the culture in way of sales....
    This is simply as inaccurate as all get out. It’s common knowledge that in terms of sales, Tippmann has dominated the market in sales volume, and I’m not even including the rental fleets. However, even though the guns work fine, folks often move up in the performance/price index if they stick around. The number one motivation is for ROF (lightweight , double finger trigger) which on the speedball field (incl. those in the woods) makes sense (good for laning/suppression), then comes size/weight (good for getting in tight to a bunker and, good for sprinting), then comes efficiency (to support the ROF). All of these choices make perfect sense for the given field format but, make some, but less sense for other formats.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    Why not? They are smaller, not as strong, not as smart (how many times must you tell them to keep a mask down, but on a barrel sock, etc), but without them, the sport won't grow. You need to start the seed, grow the seed, then you can reap the seed. But the key is for you or anyone to not look upon them like targets, but to show them how fun it is and to keep them coming back.
    Why? Generally, their interest is fickle, they don’t have the maturity, and they are relying on their parents/guardians for funding and, they are subject to their parents opinions (i.e. poor Johnny tried to rush across an open field with seven people shooting at him, Mommy doesn’t like those bruises, regardless of what Johnny thinks). I’m not saying they should be banned from the field (there are those who the previous generalities don’t apply and should be welcomed) but, rather the game should be focused on those who are 18+, and parents shouldn't be using the field as their daycare (dropping the kids off for the staff and other patrons to deal with).

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    I am talking about coaching, not hand holding them so where they do not learn
    You’re talking about idealized, virtuous coaching, that you claim to do, I’m talking about what is typically seen. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard the sidelines yelling “Snake” because some player got in there and started moving up the field without the opposition noticing. That's not about 'training' that's about winning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    And you are a fool to think that there is no movement in speedball….
    I never, ever said once that there is no movement in speedball. It’s precisely the opposite as I illustrated above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    Well, i played in the era of 24hr games, scenerio and big games. They are not always fun…
    I’m not advocating that every game should be any of those game types. What I’m talking about is a recball day that is more about the experience rather than the shooting. In discussions of 'old school' I'm not saying we need to reproduce that experience but rather, evolve it and put more effort into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    But what i am getting at is more to the fact that, with all your disdain towards speedball, i am not hearing anything about supporting new players or more and better woods ball events...
    I haven't discussed it for several reasons- one, those things are true no matter which format or variety of paintball we're talking about. At my local fields, I often dispelled myths, gave advice, and I often gave new players the lay of the land. Even though I rarely have pictures of me taken at the field, here's a picture of me doing just this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I advocated for shaped projectiles as they bring a new dimension to woodsball both at the ASTM and, at every field within a 50mi radius of myself, and I did this entirely out of my own pocket. On the field, I pointed out that while I had increased range and accuracy, I had limited ammo and, I'm actually at a disadvantage at close range. I published my ballistics data for the entire internet to see, dispelling myths and providing folks with tangible information to improve their game, especially with first strike rounds.

    I'm not in a position financially, or temporally to run an event. I was largely voting with my dollars when Cossio and other insurance groups banned first strike rounds. I'm glad to say that the tide is finally turning and I look to get back to the field soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman View Post
    LOL, Smart Parts created a small disturbance, hardly a blip.

    You guys really think the decade decline in paintball is really over a speedball versus woodsball battle? Hmm...interesting...

    Good to get perspective on what the consumers are thinking. An interesting read.
    I don't believe that it's the whole story but it is a significant component, especially when I saw the growth of airsoft, the decline of tournament ball, and the more recent growth in MagFed paintball (outside of shaped projectiles).

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    Honestly, i think any decline was more to the fact that the weekend warriors that had surplus cash went away. As they grew up and became reaponsible (through families, new jobs, or new fads) and the one thing that they could drop was paintball. Paintball has always been a friend sport/game. Without friends, paintball is boring and only dedicated people still play.
    The economic downturn has had an impact on all recreational activities- this doesn't account for Airsoft's growth in the same timeframe though.

    I think you hit it right on the head (and I've known plenty of folks my age who have quit over the years for precisely this reason): Paintball (as in it' s current, speedball dominant format) is boring. Just as PGOP put it- poor game design leads to “single best strategy” which I contend, ultimately leads to boredom.
    Last edited by uv_halo; 11-15-2017 at 12:25 AM. Reason: inserted photo properly

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    If I’m understanding you correctly, you are asserting that recreational woodsball is (and has been) selling more than speedball. I would agree but, I believe that the recreational woodsball experience most players have is actually just speedball in the woods (short time limits, small fields, bunkers every 15ft).
    i would argue that this is what paintball is. its not speedball, its paintball. the effective range of a big, light, ball are such that the effective range is only 50 feet with any accuracy, and beyond that its a volume game. in that way actually the electronic marker has actually INCREASED effective range, and anyone playing with a pump versus electros in the woods knows what im talking about. the volume a modern electro can spit out increases effective range dramatically compared to the effective range of a pump gun.

    anyway, i mean look back to woodsball before there was "speedball" ... it was just speedball in the woods. look at the torunaments of the 1990s, just "speedball in the woods" .... which is what paintball just is.

    the change came when we were freed of the round ball.

    then paintball could evolve into more than just paintball. sadly, normal paintball is expensive enough as is, tripling or more the cost of each shot fired doesn't seem to help that, even if that is only a perception difference.
    "because every vengeful cop with a lesbian daughter, is having a bad day, and looking for someone to blame"

  24. #54
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    back when i started in the early 90's it was woods ball and woods ball with structures at our only field. games were 15 minutes because the field owner wanted to get his rental people in as many games as possible in their 4 hour session and he also stated it was better for rental players and newbies that were shot out early if they did not have to sit around for 25 to 30 minutes waiting on the next game. i have never played "true" speedball and never wanted to it just is not my thing. i was out of paintball by the time of the sp patent fiasco and missed that and the whole rof wars and the intro of electronic markers. i have not played walk on games since i have been back so i really don't know how they are running things these days around here. i will say that having taken an fs round to the head i don't think they should be allowed on the field with rentals and really don't like them at all. i want to play round ball not long range tag.

  25. #55
    I'm inclined to agree with CP here. I think it was the nature of the ball shaped the nature of the game. Speedball tactics are still the best strategy in the woods once the shooting starts. I haven't played with or against FS rounds, but I'm thinking the increase in accuracy at range would have to be pretty damned dramatic for it to have any real impact on how the game is played. Accuracy by volume and accuracy by proximity > accuracy by aiming. I'm also not sure it would make the game more fun. I'd personally rather get bunkered with a chance to wheel on somebody then get long balled from deepest darkest nowhere.

    Again, back on the theme of personal preference. I do hope that FS rounds make inroads to the point where it's a variable that you have to worry about "where is that guy with the long gun?" before making a move. What I'd hate to see is those guys all over fields with little cover playing camp and plink.

  26. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
    i would argue that this is what paintball is. its not speedball, its paintball. the effective range of a big, light, ball are such that the effective range is only 50 feet with any accuracy, and beyond that its a volume game. in that way actually the electronic marker has actually INCREASED effective range, and anyone playing with a pump versus electros in the woods knows what im talking about. the volume a modern electro can spit out increases effective range dramatically compared to the effective range of a pump gun.

    anyway, i mean look back to woodsball before there was "speedball" ... it was just speedball in the woods. look at the torunaments of the 1990s, just "speedball in the woods" .... which is what paintball just is.

    the change came when we were freed of the round ball.

    then paintball could evolve into more than just paintball. sadly, normal paintball is expensive enough as is, tripling or more the cost of each shot fired doesn't seem to help that, even if that is only a perception difference.
    Damnit- I had a fairly lengthy post that got deleted because the forum auto-logged me off (WTH is up with that?). That being said, let's see if I can summarize:

    Yes, the vast majority of paintball today is 'speedball in the woods'.

    No, I don't think it's just the projectile. The game format changed and had a foothoold before it's first televised game in 1991.

    The game format I'm talking about here is:
    Small field sizes (often small enough to clearly see the opposition before the start but, nearly always small/clear enough to prevent concealed flanking)
    Short game times (15-20min tops)
    Bunkers every 10-20ft
    Limited win solutions (i.e. elimination, CTF, etc)

    These changes were largely driven by the paintball media and industry types by telling players that the 'end game' was on the tournament field, and telling owners that they could make more money in paint sales. Sure it works but, it restricts the game to the act of shooting which, isn't sustainable. The vast majority of folks get bored with it and move on. Most of us here are the exceptions (with myself nearly quitting and selling me gear 2x already).

    Quote Originally Posted by Patron God of Pirates View Post
    I'm inclined to agree with CP here. I think it was the nature of the ball shaped the nature of the game. Speedball tactics are still the best strategy in the woods once the shooting starts. I haven't played with or against FS rounds, but I'm thinking the increase in accuracy at range would have to be pretty damned dramatic for it to have any real impact on how the game is played. Accuracy by volume and accuracy by proximity > accuracy by aiming. I'm also not sure it would make the game more fun. I'd personally rather get bunkered with a chance to wheel on somebody then get long balled from deepest darkest nowhere.

    Again, back on the theme of personal preference. I do hope that FS rounds make inroads to the point where it's a variable that you have to worry about "where is that guy with the long gun?" before making a move. What I'd hate to see is those guys all over fields with little cover playing camp and plink.
    At the individual level, yes, speedball tactics work but what I'm talking about is how the game format itself was changed to get the most profit out of the projectile. In other words, focus the game on the shooting and, encourage lots of it.

    As for FS rounds- I would like to see a game that would include them but, not require them (either explicitely or, having them as the single best solution). The absolute worst scenario in my mind is simply a larger speedball field with everyone laning, snapshooting, and using accuracy by volume at the longer ranges that FS afford.

    In my opinion, fields need to stop looking to paint sales as their primary revenue, and to provide players with an experience through better game design. I think there are several approaches to this. Some of the stuff I've seen at one of my local fields has almost been like mini-scenario games in 30min- i.e. capture the defenders flag but it must only be brought back via the bridge and, there are re-spawns (every 4min for the defenders, and 2min for the attackers). That's not a whole lot different but, it's quite a bit more fun to play.

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    Damnit- I had a fairly lengthy post that got deleted because the forum auto-logged me off (WTH is up with that?). That being said, let's see if I can summarize:

    Yes, the vast majority of paintball today is 'speedball in the woods'.

    No, I don't think it's just the projectile. The game format changed and had a foothoold before it's first televised game in 1991.

    The game format I'm talking about here is:
    Small field sizes (often small enough to clearly see the opposition before the start but, nearly always small/clear enough to prevent concealed flanking)
    Short game times (15-20min tops)
    Bunkers every 10-20ft
    Limited win solutions (i.e. elimination, CTF, etc)

    These changes were largely driven by the paintball media and industry types by telling players that the 'end game' was on the tournament field, and telling owners that they could make more money in paint sales. Sure it works but, it restricts the game to the act of shooting which, isn't sustainable. The vast majority of folks get bored with it and move on. Most of us here are the exceptions (with myself nearly quitting and selling me gear 2x already).
    i think that rather well proves my point, it wasnt speedball that changed the game to that format, it has been that format since long before speedball was ever a thing. frankly, the early 1990s is pretty much the start of the whole thing (i know not strictly speaking, but broadly speaking).

    maybe you would have enjoyed the survival game more than paintball?

  28. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
    i think that rather well proves my point, it wasnt speedball that changed the game to that format, it has been that format since long before speedball was ever a thing. frankly, the early 1990s is pretty much the start of the whole thing (i know not strictly speaking, but broadly speaking).

    maybe you would have enjoyed the survival game more than paintball?
    So, I dug into the first two APGs I ever owned ( July, and October 89, I had to re-purchase them a few years ago) as I remembered reading articles that simply don't make sense if they were written with today's 'speedball in the woods fields'. I found them. Articles describing allowing a team to pass you so you could backshoot. Another talking about a team moving in a V formation 20yds across before spreading to a line 100yds across. One article, referencing a "downed pilot" game, and finally, the benefits of having folks in reserve.

    More interestingly, in my October 89 issue, there's an article by Russel Maynard, titled "The Premier Speedball Tourney... Paintball Becomes a Spectator Sport". It hypes up what speedball is and talks about how it is 'better' than paintball in the woods. The article goes on to state that speedball's origins date back the “fall of '87” when the staff at SC Village were looking for a way to stage paintball for TV coverage. They eventually got their field setup, and had their first event in the spring of 89 (without TV coverage though). The article describes an oval playing arena roughly 30 by 50yds, and obstacles that offer minimal protection of the players but maximizes the view of the audience.

    Now for my personal experience-. I started playing 'outlaw' as my friends and I had limited means to get across the valley to a commercial field. I joined the navy, went through boot camp, and got some time to go home in the summer of '92. During this outing, a friend and myself went to one of the local fields that had been around a few years- “Fields of Honor”. We played several large format games during the day(which were big enough that I never even saw the opposition's starting areas). At the end of the day, the staff introduced those who remained (about 30 total) to their “new speedball” field. It was a flat, non-wooded piece of terrain with a bunch of pallets on end surrounded by a low ridge on three sides. They set everyone up on opposing ends of the field and had everyone go at it.

    So, you could say that speedball has been around almost as long as the game itself. However, it would be more accurate to say that speedball came along as a competing format that eventually became dominant. I watched as every field I came across become more and more 'speedball' like. I watched larger playing areas going un-used as the staff pushed more players into smaller playing areas, saving the large fields for really big turnouts. I watched the time limits shrink. I watched the media focus more and more on the speedball and tournament scene. This trajectory was so far along that Specops Paintball was seemingly coming out of left field when they started pitching this idea of 'tactical woodsball' in 2004. So far along that when Tom started pitching ideas of how FS rounds could be used in a more tactically oriented game, folks here couldn't get it.
    Last edited by uv_halo; 11-20-2017 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Typo on the year I experienced speedball.

  29. #59
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    If everyone spent as much time playing paintball as bull****ting about paintball...

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigEvil View Post
    If everyone spent as much time playing paintball as bull****ting about paintball...
    True dat! True dat....

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