As I'm enjoying the format discussion instead of adding comments I'm going to focus on a couple of items of interest and see about extending the dialogue with some additional related posts. This will, once again, delay the regularly scheduled posts including the series posts you may or may not have given up any hope of ever seeing. I haven't forgotten them--I've gone high tech with Post-It notes. So as long as the adhesive lasts I'll have colorful reminders decorating my computer.
While I'm all for talking new formats and debating ways to "fix" or "improve" the existing game but no change occurs in isolation and every change needs to be examined with respect to the other parameters of the game. The idea of a "tipping point" suggests there is a harmony or balance in the status quo (otherwise it would be in a state of constant flux) and the tipping point is reached when some aspect of the existing balance or harmony shifts sufficiently to change the status quo. Fo purposes of this post and in a game application the Tipping Point is reached when a change, any change or series of changes sufficiently alters the nature of the game so that the game itself becomes something different. I bring it up because one tangent in the comments is discussing the various virtues of Hopperball and/or other measures of limited paint. (Of course the current game also uses limited paint but what the restrictionista mean is even less paint. And along with the cost savings being promoted less paint will mean more movement--both of which are viewed as good things.
Since VFTD long ago pointed out the correlation between ROF (volume of paint) and the potential for movement I have no objection to the concept. Same goes for cost savings. (Who would oppose making the game more affordable?) But--
It's more complex than that. The current relationship between ROF & movement as the game is played now is a function of field dimensions (and field dimensions are tied to effective marker range, more or less.) Imagine a field three times the current xball dimensions with everything else being the same. In the game on phase movement isn't inhibited at all and that doesn't change (much) until the proximity between players closes to ranges within our current field size. And now you may have the issue of bunker relationships--did we begin with the same number on a larger field?--how close together or far apart are they? Too far apart on the same dimensions we currently play and we've altered (again) the balance between ROF and movement.
Once upon a time (I think I've used this illustration before but I like it so you're getting it again) at team practice we decided to play 5 on 5 on a speedball field with pump guns instead of our regular markers because, you guessed it, we wanted to limit our paint usage, save some money, focus on accurate shooting and so on. However, our best laid plans didn't survive the second game as the team that lost the first game realized a couple of things and thought they could take advantage. The first thing they realized was that OTB everyone took up primary positions that covered lanes but also restricted visibility. The other thing they realized was that the dimensions of the field in play meant that a pump's ROF was too slow to control movement. (Given they were old field rentals.) With the next game on one team broke out normally--given they way they were thinking about playing the game--and the other team simply ran them down using speed to counter the pumps ROF and the other team's conception of the type of game they were playing. Once it became clear that the size of the field created an insurmountable imbalance between pump guns versus foot speed the plan for practice fell apart.
The rather long-winded point is twofold; sometimes there's no telling exactly where the tipping point is until you experience the result and when you start making changes in the parameters of the game they cannot be made in isolation without risking running full speed ahead into the nearest tipping point--and who knows how many unintended consequences. By all means let's keep the dialogue going but maybe try to keep the Big Picture clearly in sight during the process. (Of course, the notion of new formats at a minimum implies new, or at least different games from the one(s) we play now.