Friday, December 26, 2008

Dropping Faster Than The ROF

I am of course referring to the I.Q. of those foolish enough to be reading and/or participating in the various threads over at PBN regarding the future ROF in the PSP. If paintball forums are any indication literacy is at greater risk than the future of competitive paintball. It's one thing to not be the sharpest tool in the drawer and another altogether to proudly, loudly and repeatedly proclaim how dull you are.
Even so, there are a couple of interesting aspects of this whole ROF brouhaha that weren't addressed in the previous posts on the topic. Will the lower division teams that could benefit actually benefit from a lowered ROF? It seems to me (with no supporting evidence or any attempt at real analysis) that the better lower division teams are those that already play the game the "right way." That is, they know and understand the fundamentals and do their best to implement them. The lower ROF should unleash those teams. As for some percentage of the rest they have been competing on the basis of their firepower and less on their knowledge and skill and this change will be a serious wake-up call for them. The question is: How will they respond? Short term within the divisions I think we will see a suddenly wider gap between the good teams and the not-so-good teams. Hopefully it will prove to be more instructive than it is demoralizing. Longer term, assuming some degree of continuity, it will make more players better players. (By my definition of better, anyway.) [And a related question: How do players and teams actually learn and improve? The lower ROF will provide a more conducive environment but ... ]
Another marginally interesting item is how graduated rates of fire might impact practices. There is apparently some concern from the Big Love families of teams because they have teams operating across multiple divisions and some lesser measure of concern from lower division teams perhaps wondering what happens when practicing higher division teams. My experience with this situation is limited to pro team(s) practicing with D1 sister team(s) so I won't speak to how it might affect the lower divisions & mixed ROF, which is a looming complication. Beyond that, as a general rule I do not approve of scheduled practice time being used scrimmaging (or even running interactive drills) against lower division opponents. As a rule it is insufficiently productive given the limited amount of practice time available and it is important to actively limit the deleterious effects. But in the case where it's a necessity (my experience) the greater risk is to the higher level team. The lower level team risks mental fatigue and discouragement but is pushed to build a competitive skill level. The higher level teams risks losing precision and focus. Every team's personality is different and so poses different challenges but my point, such as it is, is that there are perhaps bigger issues to mixed division practice than ROF and maybe this will push those who need to, to reconsider how they prepare. (Or not.)
Lastly, there is the curious position this puts some of the aftermarket manufacturers in. What purpose does a sophisticated software package serve when nearly any level marker can perform to international tourney standards? I mention it because if I don't somebody will. Of course the same could be said of high end guns, too. I'm not suggesting a particular nook in the industry deserves to survive simply because it exists--only that the measures taken that may harm it are being taken by folks with so many diverse (and possibly conflicting) interests that that narrative will resonate in some quarters. Just saying.

UPDATE: Special instant VFTD translation: When a league, predominantly owned by big hitters in PBIndustry, makes decisions that could hammer smaller members of the industry it doesn't look good and could be seen as an abuse of power. (Particularly if the PSTA turns out to be an exclusive club.) Just saying.

For future reference VFTD will be welcoming new enlistments to the Deadbox Puppet Army on Fridays only. With the numbers changing almost daily lately I am concerned about publishing too many posts that are not necessarily of general interest and I don't want the blog to become cluttered. Fortuitously today is Friday so I'm allowed to offer a greeting to sf5c (Bilgisayar) who joins the DPA from Ankara, Turkey. (hmm, turkey)


tcerruti said...

I am personally glad to see these insightful posts, because the paintball community needs to take a step back from their own personal view points and take a look at the bigger picture. I only hope more and more people will begin reading this blog.

Baca Loco said...

Thanks. Tell a friend. Twist an arm.

tcerruti said...

o i will :)

bronc said...

Dye shows their Rotor on a DM9 shooting 40bps in their marketing video.

That marker costs $1400 and the hopper is $150.

Then you play in a league partially owned by Dye, and you're stuck at what, maybe 8bps?

I'd feel robbed I paid all that money for something the manufacturer then told me I couldn't use.

Chris said...

"What purpose does a sophisticated software package serve when nearly any level marker can perform to international tourney standards?"

That's not really much different from 12 or 13bps is it? All of the sudden now that the ROF is a little lower the board is some how unnecessary? As though you couldn't pick up a Spyder and get it to shoot 13bps 2 years ago?

Have you taken a look at the new Virtue OLED (disclaimer: me=virtue)? Its much more than just modes... easier to use, drilling modes that you can use to benchmark your improvements, etc. And some manufacturers who will go un-named still do a crappy job of implementing their psp mode. Not to mention that some other companies (aftermarket and oem) perform erratically at lower rates of fire.

There will still be a place for experts who know some of the intricacies of electronic mechanical/pneumatical design for quite some time yet in paintball.

Baca Loco said...

I hear you, Chris. I'm not arguing one way or the other--simply pointing out I've heard some of this this kinda talk for a while now. Perhaps more when it comes to hopper aftermarket electronics but maybe it resonates more for me 'cus I'm one of those just-give-me-a-gun-that-works guys. Glad to have you make the case.