Events - April 4-5 Paintball Charleston

This was my first time down to this field. We had some good times and some bad times. The field itself is amazing. The terrain is varied and allows the big game to flow nicely over different sections of the park. Attendance was lower than expected at maybe 300 players. With this limited amount, it made the gunfights flow nicely. When in doubt, just go around the group ahead of you.

Bad times arose from the lack of rules being followed. The normal response is to bash the integrity of the players. This time I think it is better to place the blame on those running the event. In an open letter to the paintball community I addressed the issues in the following points:

1. Rule Issues. Rules were distributed with the registration packets and then at the initial briefing, they were tossed out the window.

a. Registration packets said marker speed was 280. The chrono area, which never had any refs present, had large signs stating 285. During the initial briefing Ben emphasized it was 280 and that speed would be checked at each HQ. Well, at the start of the game, we were not at HQ, so no one got checked. Later in the day, Chronos were present, but no ref asked anyone to check. Some shots seemed hot, but even with lack of any policed speed, the majority (not all) players seemed to be playing legal – under 280 speeds.

b. Reinsertion area. Rules read players must go to a designated reinsertion area and then go back on the field every 20 minutes. During briefing this was changed to walk off the field and then return to CP. This was later adjusted to tag the tree of life, just off the main insert area, then go back to CP. Many players from both teams just walked back to CP. I discussed this with players from both teams – even with refs present and got little enthusiasm for adjusting their ways. Later a ref commented on “they were working on correcting this situation.”

c. Helicopters – boy this was a mess. Rules of play state players on a helicopter must have a barrel cover on. This never happened and was never enforced. It really prevented the players from flat out dropping the rope and directly firing. So many other issues with Helicopters and refs just going with what ever seemed to work at the time to cause the least amount of work for them.

d. Semi only? Rules state guns must be semi auto mode only. Nothing about bps caps. In the morning briefing on Sat, Ben(MPP) stated that guns could ramp, just make sure it does not cross 15 bps. It appeared people just shot what they wanted and let anything go.

2. High cost of play. So why did I pay $75 to walk on a field to get mediocre service? Many other 24 games charge about $50-$60. Premium games such as Waynes World or Living legends charge this as they bring in Lords of Discipline for Refs or offer amazing prize packages. It should be a payment for services. It just kills me when we bitch about the quality of service and the response from the staff is hey, the refs/staffs/workers are just volunteers. Where is my payment going to if not to the employees? It just seems that this is so like a typical GM/Ford deal. Line workers (refs) doing the back braking work and management taking all the cash. I can see why the refs seem very non-motivated to do much or enforce the rules. Pay me nothing and see how hard I work. IF I ever get a retort to this, I am sure that it will be mentioned that I have no idea how expensive it is to get a big game up and running. To that I say Bullshit!

3. Game Times. I had several discussions with other campers as to game begin or end times. No one really knew for sure. Nothing was really set in stone talking with refs or field employees. According to one field employee “Ben tends to run long, so game may end at 1, or it may go longer.” Also Sunday, field store/air opens a little after 8am with game on at 9? Really? At 9am on Sunday how many players were on the field? Night play only lasted until 11pm. Why do they advertise 24 hour games when no one ever allows play to go even close to that?

4. Game tags. Were we ever supposed to have people look at out game tags? By Sunday some people had just stopped carrying them. No one checked them, punched them or asked to see them. Wait why did I pay $75 for a tag – couldn’t I just walk on for free? I saw many players with tags that looked brand new on Sunday afternoon. Not a single hole in it, not a mark on it.


My team-mate Severe also had a nice write on this event - without his permission, I am copying his text

I loved the Paintball Charleston field and we had some amazing firefights all over the field. I had a great time running alongside of Destro from the Carolina Sabers, KShammer from Adventure Beach & Shadow Group, the guys from Port City Militia, the many members of Clan Necro, our General, Suicide, and the rest of the North Korean forces. I've read unconfirmed reports that the game ended in a tie but it seemed like we gave better than we got for the bulk of the game. We definitely seemed to be completing the missions more.
All of that being said, the game left me with a mixed bag of emotions as there were a multitude of problems. Many of which RP has already touched upon. Although, it's not Festivus, I think it's time for the, "The Airing of Grievances."
Rules: I struggle to understand why rules can be published permanently on web pages, distributed as documents in a registration packet and then changed at the morning player briefing. Why is it that a simple addendum can't be printed on the back of your map and each player and Ref be required to have it on them at all times? Sure some rules will change or be modified to fit the specific game story but those should be printed out per my above statement. The rules for each specific role should be printed on the back of their specialty card. Can you imagine how many arguments and debates would be quelled when the ref shows up and says, "OK, lets each of take out our rules and read them aloud together....shall we?" How long have these producers been doing games!? Couldn't this be one thing that was fleshed out by now? In so far as this game, MPP is solely responsible for the breakdown in rules. There are far too many ways to make sure that rules are correctly distributed to all participants for there to be so much debate 20 minutes prior to game on. And even then, things were purposely vague enough to leave room for player interpretation. Examples...
*cough* Ramping *cough*. Don't say one thing and then imply another. Feel free to quote me on this one: "All modes up to 15bps are allowed and your max chrono speed is 280 FPS for day and 250 for night." Feel free to modify the max/min FPS accordingly.
Over-shooting/4 Hit rule. I completely understand not condoning overshooting, however a 4-hit rule is ridiculous in a game where large groups clash with markers throwing 15bps each.
Helo rules; flight time, passenger communication, ground forces communication, landing procedures. For all of the above, see my rant on Rules.
Refs: Some highs and lows there. I ended up in 4 discussions/debates with refs over rules or player conduct; I went 2/2 . Some refs were patient and willing to confirm/explain rules, others were all to quick to send you off the field or call a 'neutral zone' which lead to further confusion. WTF!? I know that reffing is an under appreciated job and I do appreciate those of you who set aside your time to do it.
Please see my comments on rules. Refs should have a laminated copy of the established rules on them at all times and a radio to contact the head ref if something falls outside the printed set. Players should have access to a printed version of the rules which is accurate.
Thank you to Team Omni Force for providing the volunteer reffing staff for this event!
Cost: RP has said pretty much everything that needs to be said. We, as players, are consumers! Don't settle for paying for a sub-standard service. I'm just speculating but perhaps players did this this past weekend. Hmmm...lets see; perfect weather, great field, LOWEST player turn out for an MPP game ever at PBC. Yes, times are tough. How about considering that when you charge $75 to walk on the field not including paint using volunteer refs. To be fair, the paint was great and the prices were very fair. Considering the field owned it's own air filling equipment I don't fully understand why I had to pay $15 for weekend air...but it was good fills. I had 4K+ every time I went up which was nice.
Chrono'ing: Chrono'ing was a complete joke. Many players, including several of the RATS, never did get a ref punch to show they had chrono'd for ANY segment of the game. With humidity having it's way with our paint, it's hardly a wonder I look like I was attacked by a 600 lbs. octopus. Then again, I do like to close with my targets. Spot checks at the CP might have caught a few hot markers, but it was all too easy for players to circumvent that.
Schedule: Did this even exist? How about the use of air horns or bird bangers? These really aren't new concepts. It's entirely possible that I missed all the announcements on the schedule but it would have been nice to have something published that was adhered to.
Player Integrity: Only one place to put this blame...on the players. If any player, regardless of team, intentionally overshot, illegally inserted, moved props, wiped, cheated or otherwise intentionally broke the rules then you hurt the game.
I thoroughly enjoyed laying in ambush about 60 yards from the Red base listening to them have full firefights with each other and not a single person calling out. Not to mention the 7 players that walked up with within 10 yards of Vicious and I that we destroyed. Again, no one called out. Either you're the worst bunch of marksmen ever, or you have no freaking integrity. It's not looking good either way.
This obviously doesn't apply to everyone or even a small percentage of the players. But as every paintball player can attest, it only takes a very few to sour the experience. I saw some excellent examples of impeccable integrity and sportsmanship out there. Thanks to those players for give me/us a stand up fight...whether won or lost. Cause, that's all I/we really want.
OK, so I obviously failed at keeping this short. Sorry for the extended rant but I actually had a ton more running through my head. Did I have fun? Yes. However, as a scenario/big game consumer who is spending my time and money to buy a product for my enjoyment, I expect a higher quality product than what MPP provided. The venue was amazing and I definitely want to play there again.

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