In the comments section of 'Random Thoughts on the PSP & ROF' Raehl posed the following questions:
1) Honest question: Will someone please tell me what the skill is when moving under higher rates of fire? Is there some talent or skill players develop to get through tighter lanes of paint? Isn't the whole point of the 'lane' of paint that a player CAN'T get through it?
2. And even if there is such a skill, isn't any loss of the "move through high rates of fire" skill balanced out by the introduction of the "hit moving targets" skill?
Beginning with Q2 the simple answer is no. It's no for two reasons: one) it's not one or the other. There is nothing precluding the use of (or theoretical value of) a "hit moving targets" skill as the game is played now. [Feel free to argue that the "hit moving targets" skill will increase in value but realize that argument hinges on ROF not movement.] Two) Movement isn't about moving through lanes held by high ROF. [I do understand how, particularly at the lower levels, it may seem that way largely because that is how it is usually played at that level.]
Elsewhere Chris equated "hit moving targets" with leading the target so I am taking that as his meaning. If that is correct let's look at skeet which, I think it's fair to say, is exemplary of a shooting sport where the primary skill is to "hit moving targets." How do they do it? By judging the trajectory of a projectile that has known and consistent speed and flight characteristics–and shooting through a spot so that the clay and shotgun pellets arrive at that spot at the same time. So the real difference between leading your target and ROF is the ability to put a projectile through the spot more than once. Of course leading the target also implies being able to make a calculated judgment about where the target is going in order to decide when and where to shoot. Now if you will humor me for a minute try to recollect your favorite xball field. Now "look" at the spaces between bunkers. Now estimate the time it will take to move between various bunkers consistent with the play of a point. Odds are you know most of the time where that player is trying to go so you don't even need to make that calculation. All you have to do is put a ball (or two) in the right spot at the right time–but if you are making that determination AFTER a player begins moving 9 times out of 10 you missed not because you can't hit that spot but because it was already too late.
Given the current standard playing field there is no leading the target (or so little as to be inconsequential)–there is spot shooting aimed at eliminating moving players and there is lane shooting which inhibits movement. (There are, of course, other aspects of shooting; snap, gun-fighting and so on but they aren't directly relevant to this discussion.)
Additionally, the idea of one skill simply replacing another skill is not one to accept without serious thought in part because the use of these "skills" do not occur in isolation to the rest of the game. And in this case because the the "leading the target" skill is irrelevant.
Okay, but what is the relationship between ROF and movement? Part 2 will address Raehl's first question–and I'll try and put it all in a larger context.