Monday, March 2, 2015

"True" Semi Revisited

I spent much of this past weekend hanging out with Dave Painter and the Upton 187 Crew here in Florida. The guys got to experience a typical winter monsoon on Saturday but were rewarded on Sunday with sunshine and temperatures around 80 while the northeast got some more snow to go with their frigid temps and, er, more snow. Damage came out to play and it was good to see those guys too as they have a 'second' chance to keep competing and keep the team together.
After watching the teams go at it for a couple of days I've also had the chance to observe the PSP's "True" Semi in action. If the "true" purpose, as has been rumored, was to save the paint sponsors some cheddar by reducing sponsored paint usage--it's working. For right now. I have no doubt that paint usage among the pro teams will be down in Dallas. That might change some during the season if and when the players become more accustomed to shooting the mode and continue to improve. Even so I expect overall usage will decline season-over-season from last year to this year. One of the other things I was curious about was how different brands of markers might perform. Would one gun be easier to shoot fast or sustain a ROF simply because of ergonomics, some quirk of design or software or the reverse, would any be noticeably harder to shoot. The jury is still out on that one--at least for me--as the sample over the weekend was MacDev and Planet Eclipse and the most readily apparent factor remains the individual player. Otherwise some of the guys could approach what sounded like about 10 or 11 bps for brief periods with 7 or 8 being closer to the norm. (Actual ROF may prove to be different but I'm confident my guesstimate is ballpark.) At this stage the biggest difference is handedness--which hand a player is shooting with, his dominant hand or off hand and more practice is going to be required to get everyone up to speed. Or at least what constitutes speed in the new mode.
The other and certainly more important question is whether or not the new mode will open up play and create more excitement and interest among a paintball audience. This past weekend the teams were playing the divisional layout for Dallas. The answer is maybe. As previously suggested here it will depend primarily on the teams and the layout. The current divisional layout creates some opportunities for creative players in the mid-game and close out phases of play but whether or not that carries over to the pros competition layout in Dallas and matches where the score matters remains to be seen. At this stage I still expect to see mostly the kind of ball we're used to with the possible exception that the pace across the board will accelerate and broadly become more aggressive. This could happen because the risk/reward balance has been altered by the new mode but still requires the right kind of layout to encourage taking advantage of the potential the new mode makes possible. A couple of weeks and we'll all know more.
UPDATE: Left Coast sources are of the opinion that both Dye and Empire guns are easier to shoot faster in "True" Semi than their Planet equivalent. Will be interesting to hear more on the subject from the players.


Bruce Anderson said...

Interesting on the dye/empire vs. PE.

I always felt that the trigger setup of egos didn't work nearly as well for my hand as did a matrix. It felt... flatter.

Anonymous said...

Dye guns can't actually be set to true semi based on the hardware they use, but whose counting those milliseconds anyway... Oh wait.

Bruce Anderson said...