Friday, December 12, 2008

Random Thoughts on the PSP & ROF

I'm gonna wait until the official announcements before posting anymore on the coming changes to the PSP. Once the announcement(s) are made I'll be breaking them down in detail. The good, the bad and the ugly. It won't be long now.
Okay, just this one thing first. My largest concern going in was that decisions would be made in this period of economic tightening that would, given the apparent push toward a world standard, lock us into a survival mode version of the game. I no longer have that concern as I am convinced that no decisions were made that would put the PSP and/or the MS in that position. It kinda sucks to deal with change after change but given the current situation I'll take the uncertainty as long as there remains some flexibility--and there does. It also seems there is the basis for a good foundation going forward. (Yeah, I know. What does that mean? How 'bout some specifics?) I'm not Deep Throat--just trying to be encouraging. Hey, made me feel better.

A word or two (or a hundred) about ROF. ROF is not a single or isolated issue. It impacts play of the game, player development and paint consumption. And of course the playing experience. While radical differences in ROF will have an obvious impact on paint consumption the regulating factor is duration; the amount of time playing the game, or games. (More on this another time as there are some complicating factors that make it difficult to prove one point of view over another.) When I use 'play of the game' I'm talking about skill and proficiency and in that context ROF is one of the determinative factors of skill & proficiency. The skill required to play effectively at 10 bps is less than at 15 bps. If that is correct then a regulated range of bps should lower the threshold skill demand of the competitive game on developing players. Basically it should be easier for more players to be competitive at the lower ROF. And isn't that what the lower divisions are for? Lastly there's 'player experience' which isn't so much about the competitive environment as it is the more inclusive recreational environment and the mismatched diversity of player skills and equipment. But here, just as in the competition environment, there is no excuse for a lack of regulation. Sure, ROF is a potential problem but it only goes from potential to real problem when field operators let it.

13 comments:

chad said...

Greg Pauley (however you spell it) made a comment suggesting...

first 5 seconds = fast (13, 15 bps)
after that = slow (10 or whatever)

what do you think? would that "keep the skill in the game?" (obviously so people can lane other people)comment however you like, of course.

Baca Loco said...

If ROF was about trying to save paint while changing the game as it's currently played as little as possible then... maybe. However, since I'm convinced that ROF plays a role in differentiating skill levels I wouldn't favor the reduction at the higher levels of play. But I don't have any real objections to lower ROF at lower levels of play. Although I suspect if anyone tries to track paint usage it won't change it much.
As for 'the skill in the game' I'm inclined to think Greg has it backwards. Higher ROF for laning otb requires less skill while moving effectively under a higher ROF requires more. Last year in the NXL there was a noticeable difference in shooting otb in the drop from 15 to 13.
Of course it would also be possible to affect paint usage, play of the game, etc. with field design too.

goose.vzla said...

The regulation in my opinion is something that should exist and has a positive effect (with moderation) BUT IF it is announced that the diferent divisions will have diferent ROF's I would think it is an overcomplicated solution.

Works ok at the tournament where you play your division but once you back to practicing you will be playing higher divisions ( if you want to improve) Then you choose between practicing with the disadvantage of lower ROF, or bumping up and learning at a ROF you wont be using when it really matters.

Thats just one of the things that goes through my mind when I think of what PSP might announce.

Forgive my gramar guys. my spell check is in spanish

chad said...

@baca

yeah, greg meant that shooting dudes otb = shooting less paint/event... I guess I took it out of context a little. But your point that making a bunker (otb and any other time in a game)is harder at a higher rof = more skill required to move is 100% correct.(And was the point I was(poorly)trying to make).

I keep hearing the argument that high rof slows the game down... b.s. It just means that it takes more skill to make a move. Players still move... it's like everyone forgot that x-ball points are over very quickly...

raehl said...

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?

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?

Anonymous said...

people were laning and hitting players on the run long before electric cars are around, it is much easier with a high rof, games would be much more exciting if players werent laned so often.

chad said...

@chris

the answer is obvious: more balls coming at you mean you have a better chance of getting hit when on the move or in a gunfight. Thus, very logically it will take more Skill to get there (or not to get your face blasted off in a gunfight).

Let's look at "Skill"

Skill can be and is applied in a variety of ways to "overcome" the paint coming at you at given points during the game (which will clearly be harder to do if balls are coming at a higher rate (with more chances of being hit) (with more chances to break).

Now, the [I]faster[/I] a player is, the better chance he has to get through a rope of paint, assuming there is a rope. If you slow the ROF down, the less quick this guy has to make it through. So really, we're keeping a high standard when keeping a high ROF.

Let's look at a specific situation. Maybe you see a player moving across field. You can tell he's going from somewhere like back center to the corner. You shoot off a quick burst to try to "lane" him...

@15 bps, you: get, say, one second to hit this guy. remember, you see him move and you've got a split second to react. So you shoot 15 balls in this one second window you have.
@10 bps, you: shoot 10 balls in the 1 sec widow.
Stay with me...
Paintballs are not lazers. If, say, paintballs flew perfectly direct and straight, like a lazer and busted every time, you are probably going to kill this guy. You saw him take the chance to move, and you countered it in the nick of time. [I]Shouldn't[/I] you be rewarded for this? But you don't have a perfect shooting lazer, you have a paintball gun. So the more balls you shoot, the more you are rewarded for being [I]precise[/I] in general and in this 1 second window in the scenario. See, you pointed the gun exactly where is should be, but paintballs are inaccurate and don't always break, so the less paint you get out of your gun, the less chance you have of being rewarded for "being a good shot." Hmm, not just spraying paint, but a quick precise reaction that should be rewarded.

Let's look at another in-gamer - Say you're running and gunning to a bunker- obviously, running and shooting is hard, so it is a skill that must be learned. If you learn to be a good shot while running and shooting, shouldn't you be rewarded for being accurate? The more balls you put on the spot you're shooting, the more chance of hitting and breaking... so at 15 bps you've got a higher chance of being rewarded with a kill for your good run 'n' gun skills... and that would mean that at 10 bps you are being "handicapped" in the sense that you've got a much less chance of being rewarded for your run and gun skills. (Or maybe you still hit him- but only once and it bounces, when at a higher ROF you could have hit them a couple times...more chance to break...yada-yada).

@anonymous

hmm...so the games will end up 5 v 5 more of the time? where's the fun when 10 players make their bunkers and lock up lanes... hmm neither tape or team has an advantage (dropping a baddie or 2 off the break) so the players will just sit there and shoot at the full line on the other side... more live players = more slow games... how is a game more exciting if it is played slower? Obviously if you shoot a player or two off the break the game will go more quickly...more cool, no, exciting stuff like run throughs off the break, happen at a higher ROF. If you G 3 dudes otb you can just run through... so the more % of the time people are getting G'd otb, the more often you'll see cool stuff like that happen. And the quicker games will go. 5 vs. 5 of f the break means a slower, more drawn out game opposed to 5 vs. 4 or 4 vs. 4 or any combination...

In addition, G.P. already has argued and proved (I wouldn't call or think him a liar) that they shot more paint/event at 13 than they did at 15 because they G'd people otb more. Based on this, lowing the ROF means less G's otb and less G's in general because it's harder to kill someone at a slower ROF. Meaning more paint shot... even if it is shot slower, more is shot overall.

Phew...

chad said...

*because they [used to] G people otb more

Baca Loco said...

A lot of interesting stuff here. GP's opinion first. If you've accurately summarized his view I think there is some merit to it because I'm more or less convinced that effective laning was reduced in the NXL too. Of course this is NOT exclusively a function of ROF.

One thing I will be interested to see is if the lower division players actually take advantage of the reduced ROF (should they occur.)

I'd like to spend some time on this so I'll have to come back to it. More in a while.

raehl said...

@chad:

So the skill is that faster players have a greater chance at not getting shot than slower players do?

That doesn't do anything to support higher rates of fire. A player that's twice as fast as another player will have half the chance of getting hit when going through a lane - whether that's a 8 bps lane or 15 bps. Or, put another way, if you're shooting 8 bps, it's still going to be a lot easier to shoot a slow player than a fast one.

So I don't see how fast rate of fire rewards speed any more than slow rate of fire does.

Same deal with running and gunning - in fact, I'd go the opposite. If you're BAD at running and gunning, but get to spray 15 balls a second down-field, isn't it much more likely that you get a lucky elimination than if you're bad at running and gunning and only get to spray 8 paintballs downfield?

I just don't see the skill argument - whether it's 15 bps or pump, people with better aim will have the advantage, and people who move faster will have the advantage.

raehl said...

Also, Greg's data sucks. His team changed from D2 to D1, which itself makes a huge difference on paint consumption. Isn't it possible that they were shooting less people off the break because the D1 players they were shooting at 13 bps are harder to shoot off the break than the D2 players they were shooting at 15 bps?

But here's where Greg's argument really fails:

It's not possible to make the game slower! You play for 15 minutes. So even if more people get shot off the break at 15 bps, that just means you play more points, have more breakouts, and shoot more paint. And going 15 bps to 10 bps - basic math here - in order to shoot MORE paint at 10 bps, you would have to have players on the field for 50% more time. That MIGHT be possible if you're comparing point to point, but it's simply not possible comparing match to match.


Anyway, point is, GP doesn't have valid data - it's only for one team, and it's for a team that changed divisions, on top of the layout changes, and with a rate of fire that was only 12% lower (i.e., easy to overwhelm with other factors).

Baca Loco said...

The place where the arguments and reasons are breaking down--or at least not convincing anybody--is in the effort to directly quantify a "skill" vis-a-vis ROF. The problem is that ROF can't be isolated from a number of other factors so ROF vs. movement (which is a better calculation) is a more complex problem than the shorthand we've been kinda using fully expresses.
I'll review in a new post.
Regarding Chris's last argument opposing GP's position--that argument only works if one assumes that guns are shooting ALL the time the game clock is running and that is obviously incorrect. All that needs to happen for 10 bps to shoot as much or more paint than 15 bps is for fingers to be pulling triggers 50% more of the available time. Now somebody could try and argue that there wasn't 50% more trigger time available but that's not a believable argument to anyone actively involved in the game.
Btw, that doesn't mean I'm supporting GP's claims.

chad said...

"So the skill is that faster players have a greater chance at not getting shot than slower players do?"

Yes...physical ability/fitness/stamina should be a part of the sport if we're going to act like it's one... but I'm just throwing these ideas out there. I really dislike arguing on the internet but I'm considering your points and I hope you're considering mine. Now on to Baca's "ROF effect" post....