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A parting shot, Part 2

Posted 08-28-2017 at 03:58 PM by Jonezy
Updated 08-29-2017 at 09:44 AM by Jonezy
Threads were being posted all over about PolarStars shooting "bricks" and there was a heated discussion here about what to do about all of it. There was no shortage of completely idiotic ways to fix the problem. They ranged from forcing users to use the highest regulator pressure at the lowest rated nozzle in order to get under the 400 FPS limit, which would've been extremely wasteful of air on an already relatively inefficient platform. For airsoft, AEG batteries have much more energy density (power per unit volume and mass or how many shots you could get out of how much of a power source). It would have crippled anyone's ability to compete when using a PolarStar platform and I argued against it. There was talk about forcing PolarStar users to use 0.43g BBs at chrono and making them shoot less than 1.5J. That would've only been fair if they then used 0.43g BBs for the rest of the day. If they switched to a lower BB mass, they would've lost muzzle energy and not have been able to shoot as far or punch through brush as well as the AEGs. It put the PolarStars at a disadvantage and I argued against it. Blade even wanted to ban heavy BBs outright. The only way to treat everyone the same would be to chrono guns as fielded, with the hopup adjusted to where people would be using them throughout the day and with the same BBs they would be using for the game. This was met with distrust that the participants wouldn't tell the truth about what BBs they were going to be using or bringing low-mass BBs to the chrono, etc. etc. etc. We trust people to be honest about calling hits without having a referee hovering over them, so why can't we trust already scrutinized players to help improve their image? The whole argument didn't make sense to me. It seemed like the "old guard" was on the attack against anyone not using a PTW or a Tokyo Marui and didn't care about trying to fix the problem. They just wanted to ban things until it went away without any regard to what effect it would have on the players or the community. The whole mess seemed more and more like people were looking for justification to support a witch hunt against anyone that ever touched a PolarStar. It was a drama-filled all or nothing battle between people resisting any kind of change, people who legitimately hated PolarStars, people who were sincere in trying to help, idiots who had no clue what they were reading or talking about, and people who were trying to find the most reasonable solution for everyone involved. Cooler heads did not prevail.

Eventually, it became the norm to chrono PolarStars and sometimes other gas platforms by muzzle energy and everyone else gets chronographed with the old standard of 400 FPS with a 0.20g BB. It still doesn't make sense to me because you can build any AEG with a short barrel and a full cylinder and get ridiculous muzzle energy boosts by switching to higher mass ammo, but it beats the hell out of the other ideas. People being charged with making decisions and not making the most sensible decisions would turn into a recurring theme throughout the next few years as I started into my career.

Along the same line of discussion about PolarStars came the discussion about full auto. The argument was framed that since full auto is rarely used in real-world engagements, full auto shouldn't be used in milsim and doesn't contribute to a milsim environment. Therefore, almost all true milsim events should only allow full auto for support guns. This supposed to encourage movement and squad tactics. What it completely ignored was that we are shooting BB guns and they travel slow and short. Full auto helps hit distant targets in the world of airsoft where there is no recoil. It helps punch through foliage and brush that would otherwise block semi-spam. It helps level the playing field for the kid that survived the ambush and has to shoot back against multiple targets. It's also a double-edged sword, because when you start panic blasting away in full auto, you burn through ammo faster. Balancing the need to stay in the fight against having to reload more often and only being able to carry so many mags added a special sort of a pressure to the experience and made intense firefights rewarding. When you start forcing things on people by banning full auto outright for anyone without a SAW, it takes away one of the most unique and enjoyable dimensions of the game...for me. I enjoyed being able to flip the switch to AUTO in the middle of a sh*tstorm and engage the distant aggressors and the targets behind the brush line without getting carpal tunnel in the process. It was never about hosing people with 5,000+ rounds per second or causing pain for me. I had my HK416 DSG and there was a bit of a giggle factor with that, but you never saw me hosing down kids with it. It was used on semi-auto so much that the cutoff lever was completely worn out when I sold it two days ago. The same goes for my PolarStar. It's not that I enjoyed going full auto all the time, it's that I enjoyed having the option to use it when I needed it. I think I used it more or less appropriately when I did use it.

I witnessed something while I had a dead rag on at that one Crucible event that was held at Hidden Spring Ranch when Jonah and Tokey had some sort of falling out, or something. a group of about 6 guys were sitting around a fire in the early morning and talking about something related to "dank reeds." Out of nowhere, BigAltes and his squad busted out of the treeline and slaughtered the guys sitting around the campfire. They hit all but one guy, who proceeded to pull an RPK out of nowhere and fired back at the squad, killing all of them. They must have thought he was out but he never called out and never was hit from the initial attack. BigAltes and his guys let their guard down too early and paid the price. Instead of doing some self-reflection on the events leading up to them getting shot by the lone guy they missed, BigAltes' answer was to yell at the guy with the RPK and tell him to "maybe try a little semi-auto for the realism. It had nothing to do with the "realism" but it had everything to do with getting mad about getting pasted because they let their guard down. For myself and anyone that got into this game along with me back in 2009, we would've treated this as a good learning experience and thought twice about letting our guard down the next time we were in a similar situation. We wouldn't use it as an excuse to b*tch and whine about how everyone should be using semi-auto for the "realism." I'm left to wonder how many other situations have played out like this that I wasn't a witness to and I wonder what the real reasons behind banning full auto are.

I'm breaking a promise I made to myself eight years ago by doing this. I promised myself that I would never get out of airsoft. I had so much fun in the early days that I never wanted to be without it in some way or another. It became so much of who I was and had such a big part in my life. Everything from playing at events, to working on my guns, and even working on others' guns. It was my number one hobby and leading interest for the better part of eight years. Airsoft was a thoroughly rewarding experience for myself and the people around me. Now that I'm over a year and a half out of college, working full-time in my field, earning decent pay, and having spare time to dedicate to hobbies like airsoft, I can't enjoy it anymore. A good friend of mine who I met through airsoft found a new team after NWOA splintered. They hosted a game at Riverbottom earlier this year and I attended. I was so happy to be able to get out and play again. I ran into some of the guys from the university team and we had a good time catching up with each other after the years we'd been apart. The game was billed as a milsim event and full auto was reserved for support gunners. I went along with it and tried my best to recreate the good times I had at that field years ago.

Something about it didn't click for me. Something was missing. The team charged $40 and ran it as poorly as I have ever seen. Some sort of a pistols only contest took nearly an hour while everyone else stood around waiting in the staging area. There were 30 and 45-minute breaks between games throughout the morning and into the afternoon. It simply wasn't enjoyable for me, so I left. It just wasn't fun anymore, even with a Dboys AK and a Russian loadout. I had the same overall feeling coming home from a Crucible game in West Virginia in 2015. Something was missing from the experience that was there in 2009 and 2010. As of April 2017, it was still missing for me. I don't think banning full auto, at the most well-attended events, is doing anything to help that along. So, I quit. I listed my stuff for sale through local channels and the rest went off to [an auction outlet]. Maybe I'll rent a table at the next gun show and off whatever gear and other stuff I can't get rid of any other way. It has been an enjoyable experience for me in the best of ways. Airsoft helped me grow and become a little bit of a better person. I have no shortage of good memories from events past and plenty of laughs to share with friends in the years ahead. It seems like I'm one of the last to hang it up from the original high school group. I thought I could ride out the bad times and come back when people had come to their senses a bit and stopped trying to make airsoft into something itís not. I tried to fight it. I tried to fix it. I tried to live with it, but it's not working for me anymore. Time to put it behind me and move on to bigger and better things.

The answer to new ideas and new technology coming in to any hobby should never be to ban things willy-nilly. Eventually, you end up banning people from having fun. Airsoft has become less of a challenge and more of a chore with the restrictions and all anyone seems to talk about is how to add more.
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  1. Old
    Blade's Avatar
    For the record, I never said I should ban heavy bbs at all. My problem was never about the bb weight, it was about staying inside safe boundaries. HPA came in and flipped the whole sport around. MOSFET came in and flipped the whole sport around once more.

    This community was ALWAYS about safety and overall enjoyment and then, suddenly, players show up with 30-50rps guns, boosted their air pressure on the fly (and yes, it was not the majority but it was enough to create a very bad reputation). We then argued about being selective as the PTW users could quick change their cylinder but never got finger pointed. As far as I knew back then, the cylinder swapping was not a known issue in the community as a whole. It was not even comparable to HPA. Players were cheating, gun tech were cheating and even field EO would let it happen. That is all why it went out of control.

    After all the discussions we had, the vast majority of the community decided that chronoing with 0.30g bbs would be an happy medium. We stopped using FPS to chrono and went with Joules instead....as you, HPA owners, requested.

    As far as the full auto goes. AS an EO, I must make sure nobody will jump at someone's throat. Justified or not. So in the FA case, getting shot, while part of the game, was getting definitely more painful at 30rps than 15rps for the simple fact that one BB feels better on contact than 20 in a row. Even if the shooting player only had 300 rounds available, it was still very painful and very frustrating to get shot by it. Now, me getting shot by a full auto gun? I don't mind. It is when I get shot by a minigun everytime I make a mistake that get frustrating.

    As far as the milsim and realism argument goes, I would say that allowing high FPS/Joule or high RPS guns were simply killing the other gun platform. Why running a SAW when an MP5K with HPA can shoot as much and as fast as the SAW? Why running a bolt action at 600fps when a 1.5J HPA gun can reach the same distance on semi or even FA ?!

    Simply said, allowing HPA to the same level than regular guns or allowing higher RPS would have forced the whole community to pad up more, which would have been much more difficult than simply not flipping the selector switch or not touching the regulator.

    I can't say what really happened in the last few years but one thing is sure; before the HPA and before the high RPS guns, we did not have that much problem and the community was flourishing. Not so much anymore....

    PS: The big fuss back then is because I wanted to have HPA users with a tournament lock.
    Posted 09-07-2017 at 09:30 PM by Blade Blade is offline
    Updated 09-07-2017 at 09:50 PM by Blade
  2. Old
    Jonezy's Avatar
    You offered it up as a suggestion.

    I have no doubt you had the best of intentions in mind, Blade. I didn't know there was such a problem with players getting so upset over getting lit up or that it was happening that often, or on an increasing basis.

    There were accusations being thrown around up in my neck of the woods that the NWOA guys were swapping cylinders and such. It was all a load of BS.

    Yeah, the PolarStar did turn everything on its head. It was so consistent that it could make any gun more accurate and make shots more consistent. Before, you had to have some serious know-how and some serious cash to squeeze that kind of performance out of an AEG. The PolarStar just put it within reach for a larger market.

    To answer your question about the MP5K vs. the SAW, the SAW can keep shooting while the MP5K guy has to reload. Many times, the SAW guy doesn't even need to change mags. He can just pour more BBs in. People can carry a staggering amount of MP5 mags, though. Just ask that one guy on STAT.

    The point of all this is that I've tried the whole semi only milsim thing several times and I don't care for it at all. Restricting/limiting ammo is bananas and if that's where we're headed with the whole milsim concept, I'm GLADLY out.

    I still miss the sh*t out of Blind Fury 7, 8, and 9.
    Posted 09-13-2017 at 03:50 PM by Jonezy Jonezy is offline
 

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