Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The raehl Solution

Or perhaps the off the raehl solution would be a better title. I'll let you decide. Related to this week's Monday Poll I want to take a minute to comment on raehl's preferred "fix" as expressed (many times in many places) but most recently in the thread hijack over in the PBN News section. (See Monday Poll post reference for Jan 23)
Before I start let me surprise a few of you (and bore the long time regulars) by stating (again) I am not opposed to limited paint in every possible competitive scenario. In fact, I think it's not only a viable option in certain circumstances but a desirable one as well. More on that later.
I do however think that 'limited paint' is a misnomer. All competitive paintball games/matches are played with limited paint--each team is limited to the paint they bring onto the field. (If raehl's notion of "wasted" paint were in fact correct there would be teams that chose to compete using much less paint but it isn't--and they don't.) And, of course there is no rule that requires teams or players to match another team's paint totals. What 'The raehl Solution' advocates is restricted paint; a set amount per team per point/game.
What is the point of restricted paint? To achieve a substantially reduced, nearly fixed cost for paint in a competitive scenario. The claimed benefit is to make the game more affordable and therefore more attractive to more players. Which is a worthwhile goal but there are other consequences of making such a change.
When he first began advocating his restricted paint idea he did so without qualification. It appears he may have learned something over time--see example in this post, Movement vs ROF,--as he has qualified his restricted paint proposal with a spacing change between props--in the PBN thread hijack. It's "growth" but it's also insufficient. Change doesn't occur in a vacuum--as raehl acknowledges when suggests he'd also space the props differently.
I'm not going to break this down in great detail--it would be a much longer and considerably more tedious post than it's already going to be. My objective here is to simply make it clear that restricting paint isn't so much an "answer" as it is the beginning of a whole different set of issues that would also need to be resolved.
So why would the props be spaced differently? Because as the game is presently played it is ROF and volume of paint that inhibits free movement. Take that away and you must open the space in order to try and regain a neutral balance. (Assuming such exists today. And it does at some levels of play.)
Slightly O/T this is the core of the problem with Brockdorff's solution and desire for a universal game. His notion of something like a standardized ROF at 6 bps is swell for lower division play but completely impossible for pro level competition.
Going back to the raehl solution: If the spacing is opened up all of a sudden we no longer have room for all our props and at a minimum the result would further limit the number of choices for placement of transitional (or insert) props. So, if it is necessary to reconsider spacing the game either loses some number of props or the field dimensions need to be adjusted too. But there's a problem with that as well. It seems the raehl solution is okay with more or less whatever ROF and ramping or uncapped semi etc. [Because the paint sum is so restrictive careful consideration must be given to its consumption.] However, once the spacing has been adapted some gaps will become virtually insurmountable and if I, as the player, have a high expectation of getting an elimination even if it costs a quarter of my paint then I'll do it. Which leads us inevitably to the conservation of that limited supply of paint. Each paintball becomes more valuable but only so long as it remains unshot. Consequently by its very nature heavily restricted paint games become defensive in that there are very good reasons to not shoot your gun.
At this point raehl, he of 'The raehl Solution,' will say, "Perfect!" as that will free up more movement and create a more free flowing game blah blah blah. [Which it would likely do for beginners and those just getting involved in tourney type play assuming all the other conditions were modified harmoniously. And this is why I think there's a place for restricted paint--but that's as far as it goes unless the end goal is to play a different sort of game.] For experienced players the results would be dramatically different because the risk/reward values will be dramatically different. Assume for a moment a player with superior gun skills. What is his motivation to move? Every move puts him at risk and the closer he comes to his opponent the less effective his relative skills differential becomes. (Just like now for many low division teams where ROF and their lack of skill & training produce a greater risk in movement than there is reward for moving--hence the tendency to spray & pray in their primaries.)
This is where Mr. Peabody & his boy Sherman give raehl a ride in the Wayback Machine to say, 1997 and he can revisit what his version of the game would look like--300 foot long fields & 25 minute games--except of course they were even then playing with as much paint as they chose to carry.

Next time, 'The Brockdorff Fallacy.'


raehl said...

I'm pretty sure those 300 foot fields also had 20 people on them. And trees. And guns that topped out at 8 bps.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows Raehl is a big mouth and a blow hard who brow beats and tries to intimidate people over the internet to get his way. Otherwise he cries and takes his toys and goes home.

On that note, *lets the players dictate the game*. Go to a local field you morons and see what it is people enjoy playing - don't try and PUSH a format down upon them.

Man, so many people who can't see the forrest for the trees. It's sad.

Anonymous said...

You have in the states a serious issue with the paint consumption which is affecting the development of the sports.
I made some serious study and for example in pro psp category, players are using around 700 balls per point which is twice used in Europe in the Millennium in Pro.
Mainly due to the layout and ROF.
2bps differencee is nearly 23% paint more use in the states than in Europe.
To limit the amount of paint per point per player is a very clever idea which will bring a lot to the game. Combined to dropping the ROF, it could save 50% of paint expenses to teams. It will brink bakc for sure more skill in the game. will oblige players to be more accurate especially with their first shots. we will see more moves and talented players will get a serious advantage.
i have a big list of advantages but before Americans understand most of it, you will have lost 10% more teams...

Baca Loco said...

Anon #3
Your big list of advantages isn't much help if we don't see it and you remain anonymous. So far you haven't offered anything new--or anything anybody will play.

Mark said...

Let every player carry as much paint as they want, plus one squad buster.

Anonymous said...

The concept is quite simple.
limited paint per point per player
each player go on the field with maximum 3 pots of 140 balls and a loader of 200 balls.
on the base players can give swith pots depedning the tactics they have .example. front player can give paint to back player.
the goal is to limit to 3100 balls per point per team.
by doing this system and it has been tested in Europe during 2 tournaments, it will decrease the paint consomption by 2 in the states.
for europe it does not change anything at all because the average players are using is 350 ball per player per point. of course ROF need to be also drop at 10 balls.
average paint in Europe for R5 in CPL is 7 boxes for a team.
right now in the states for R7 (like in Orlando) is 20 cases!
For R5 it is in the states (PSP) is 14 boxes!!

J. Stein said...

Where is your data coming from?
How do you know the average paint consumption for R7 in the US versus R5 in CPL?

Paint vendor or making it up?

Anonymous said...

ROF 10, and 5 pods each one plus 1 pods to put in loader to start.

Nick Brockdorff said...

While I have no way of veryfying this guys data, my feeling is a case a point is about right, in the top 3 divisions in the Millennium Series.

Consumption increases when you get into the finals, where people tend to play little more conservatively, upto around 1.5 case a point

Nick Brockdorff said...

However, I don't really see the need to restrict paint, when the consumption is low already.... maybe it's more question of the PSP adopting the Millennium Rules, as a first step.

Would be interesting, if someone asked the Dynasty guys how they feel about the 2 different formats, since they have played both for 2 years running.

And yes, I won't bore you with lowered ROF this time around, I don't think anyone is in doubt about my position on that issue anymore :D

Anonymous said...

The data is coming from a study that i did with several people by checking how many box have been used during a complete game. we did in the states and in Europe. we deduct the paint left after the last point to be the most accurate possible.
we also double check with most of the paint supplier.

Anonymous said...

Like Nick precise, for Europe to limit at 3 pots plus a loader per point does not change anything.we just did test with 2 tournaments in Europe. a 12 teams and 18 teams tournament and it did not affect at all the game.
However, in the states the affect will be significant.

Anonymous said...

Is this discussion related to lower costs for the players?
If so, I would like to hear comments and perspective on the other costs that prevent many teams from playing the PSP and other major events.

How about a discussion on reducing entry fee's? Prize packages, ID cards? etc. The small increases we've had over the years have had their effect on the capability of lower division teams to be able to play national events.

I look forward to hearing your opinions.

Baca Loco said...

Last Anon,
Yes & no. raehl's prime directive is reduced, fixed cost by restricting paint to make competitive paintball potentially more appealing.
Nick countered that reduced ROF was a better overall solution and could/would achieve similar results.
While I don't object to restricted paint in introductory formats ROF changes is better in terms of maintaining the character of the game as it is currently played.
And my interest is in not screwing the game up in the name of "fixing" it.

Regarding your questions I'm not gonna much help. I think the best way for the lower divisions to compete for national titles is in regional series where they earn the right to compete in a national title event like World Cup. At the same time I remember the days of paying a couple thousand for 6 prelim games and $80-$100 for a case of paint with events lasting days longer than they do today. In general the top leagues are worlds better than they were. But you're right that things like meaningless ID cards (NPPL, MS) are simply adjunct revenue streams. Still, it's hard for me to get too worked up about it. And of course anything short of free is too expensive for somebody but I don't see any way around that.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Paintball is special, in the sense that anyone can compete at nationals, irrespective of their skill.

Personally, I like that community feeling and how paintball is all inclusive.

However, in terms of being a sport, it might be better if - at national level - you had to qualify, through locals and regionals?

Quite possibly, the best thing for paintball would be a mix:

A pro division with relegation to SemiPro

SemiPro with relegation to Div. 1 and promotion to Pro

Div. 1 which you qualify to via regionals (which also means last years relegated semi-pros, would need to go back to their regional qualifier the next season)

Regionals you qualify to locally, or by being relegated nationally.

- I know the whole concept of promotion and relegation is alien to most american sports.... but as long as our sport is not financed well enough to have franchises and fully paid professionals playing - you need some organised way of teams being able to get themselves to the Pro level.

At least if you subscribe to changing the way it is done today, where anyone can call themselves pro, if they are prepared to pay the Pro entry fee.