Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Latest On Not So Semi-Auto

Geez Louise. Busy day. 2015 PSP schedule released. Check. Website updated. Check. (Love the nearly illegible new font choice!) Got those covered in the day's first post. And now word that the pros have been given a "semi-auto" mode--as of last weekend--to try out. (See this PBN thread for a heaping help of the usual fare.) The first thing to keep in mind when trying to decipher this change is that it has zip zero nada to do with whatever rationale the league offered up for public consumption. Some drivel about player skills and so on iirc. The objective here (along with the no coaching change and no early layout release) is a desperate attempt to give the webcast more universal appeal by altering the risk/reward characteristics of the pro game, ie; they want to speed up play and generate more action. And since they've discovered manipulating layout design doesn't deliver any guarantees this is the next step. Well, that and a pressing desire to give away less paint. If you keep the Big Picture in mind it all makes a certain kind of sense.
Regarding this latest "semi-auto" effort apparently uncapped is out. At least for now. (And probably for good as I suggested when the original announcement was made back in December.) It's now capped at 12.5 bps--what divisional used to shoot--and the new PSP standard software requirement eliminates shot stacking. It not only eliminates shot stacking (or queuing) it also eliminates any shots for trigger pulls that may occur in less than 80 millisecond increments. (A trigger pull every 80 ms would result in a ROF of 12.5 bps.) Without shot stacking the gun will (theoretically) only fire a shot as the result of a recognized trigger pull. I say recognized because in this current configuration it won't recognize any trigger pulls that occur within the 80 ms window. The result is you could pull the trigger 14 times and discharge fewer actual shots. (There's a decent graph explaining this characteristic at the front of the PBN thread.) So while the league is still advertising semi-auto as one pull one shot this particular version isn't anymore semi-auto--by that simple definition--than the ramping guns were.
What the cap and the 80 ms gap do is allow for easy enforcement as the league's hand-held chronographs can enforce that standard. So no need for expensive high speed camera equipment that was never going to work anyway. Is there some wiggle room in this "semi-auto" formulation? Yes, there is but even with the requirement all pro boards be factory standard issue if they can be flashed externally potential problems remain. And the higher the cap the greater the enticement to find ways to shoot faster. In fact with the given rules its possible to cheat the intent and remain legal--which may be why the league has implied it has a variety of enforcement methods available. Time will tell.
In the meantime enjoy the spectacle and when the details make your head hurt remember the Big Picture.  


Anonymous said...

As a spectator, the cap at 12.5 is a relief :)

Anonymous said...

They can't have any buffering (registering shots before 80ms and waiting to fire them) or the high speed camera will not work. It has to look like you pull, then it fires. If the loader hiccups or if you fire to fast and the board levels it out, it will not look right in slow mo. If you can just shoot 13+ and the gun levels it out to 12.5, it opens up the grey area of bounce and removes the skill of consistency under pressure.

This IS true semi. If anything this adds more skill (being able to simply reach 12.5 is just part one. Now you have to actually control your speed)

Mark said...


In an attempt to make pro's look like ninja's on the webcast, they enact rules assuming players would accept them as robots, and not be sneaky like ninja's wishing to return to robots. So they introduce software hoping to change the robot back into a ninja.

And to post this reply I have to prove I'm not a robot.


MikeM said...

While better than a throwback uncapped semi-auto debacle, this still does not properly address "the problem" of field movement.

In semi and in whatever this is, stationary players will have a distinct ROF advantage from moving players. Thus this ROF change may put weight in the opposite direction as intended further regulating the dynamic into a shoot off the break and contain game than movement and angles game.

If the idea is to reduce the number of paintballs in the air, I suppose they've accomplished that, but I thought they already did this last season with 10.2.

Also, with so many changes made at once. Even if games are to have increased field movement. We wouldn't know what to attribute that to: the layout? the layout release at event? the ROF? no coaching?

Much like how decreased paint usage in 2009 is attributed by some to be the 10.5/12.5 ROF changes. 2009 was also the year they switched Pro from halves to Race-to-7 and reduced D1/D2 from Race-To-7 to 5 and D3/4 from Race-to-5 to 4.

Baca Loco said...

You are exactly correct and I intend to address that issue once the "true" semi-auto debate settles down.

NewPro said...

Did someone actually shoot a gun on this setting before deciding on the rule?

Baca Loco said...

Did anyone attempt to police uncapped semi with a high speed camera before making that announcement?
There is a difference though. My guess is this time they talked to someone who understood the issue and supplied a workable option given the PSP requirements.

NewPro said...

Ok coach, with your best guess, what was/is the end goal for this ROF?

Anonymous said...

I don't think this gives the advantage to a sitter. You can battle a person back into his bunker when they are laning a constant 10.5bps. You can do it even more so when they are struggling to keep up.

In fact, if anything this post proves that Baca's death of the snapshot epitaph from a few months back was a bit too soon. If one technique comes back into fashion with this rule, it's the snapshot. Because no matter how "fast" you're shooting at me, the stream is inconsistent with this new mode, and I can come out and place 1-2 shots right into you -- if I'm good enough. Which generally, I'm not. But other people can!

Baca Loco said...

2 goals. Reduce sponsorship costs and alter the balance between ROF and movement.

737 Anon
True dat but whether we're snap shooting or gun-fighting the critical issue has been and remains accuracy.

Unknown said...

For fun they should have an unlimited mode at Chicago or other event and let people see what would happen if there were no engineered controls to ROF. Of course this would require additional safety considerations but perhaps it would finally put to rest the debate that unlimited anything is best for the sport. Just for some extreme contrast and entertainment value. Let's see what the true limitations are and what the consequences would be on the field.

Baca Loco said...

By Chicago everyone will be cheating the system anyway and everyone will say how well it's working.

Unknown said...

Haha Baca, Touche.