Sunday, November 21, 2004

Kick it old school part 2

Well, expect to hear more of this throughout the week. It's on my mind because of the war on Saturday and I'll be sure to give you some post damage reports. To get some insight on the inspiration of this article, hit up the comments made at the bottom of my last article. The idea was posed that I could use a PVC modded Nitefinder instead of the crossbow and wield similar results. While I will not comment on the validity of this accusation, I'm glad it came up, because it's another step in the "Old School" philosophy. I'm sure a PVC Nitefinder could outgun the crossbow if modded properly, but the point is not to use modded guns that are similar in firing strength, but simply to use guns with certain attributes that make them feel more like unmodded guns.

I was talking to OMC last night for a while, expecting my good friend to tell me how much of a fag I am for having this brilliant idea, but surprisingly, he was behind it. Most of the motivation behind this will come in more detail later (perhaps today, depending on how much real work there is to be done here), but most of it can be attributed to brass weapons finally showing up on the NJ scene. I know the Cali guys embraced micro firing weapons, because the ammo and modifications used for micros are clearly superior. From what I've seen of the place they used to play at, I'd probably have done the same thing. Their school area is similar to the place we play in DC and I don't think I'd ever be able to get away with old school there, sadly. As I was talking to The Fish, he mentioned that he's been talking up a similar idea, and that he plans on never using brass. We didn't dive into that much, but I knew exactly why and I'm going to take the liberty to explain the comment.

Uber firing weapons seem to kill, or slowly are killing the a few of the key aspects which makes Nerf unique over other mock war games ( although I hate having to class Nerf as a war game ). A few things that guys who play Nerf seriously (with unmodded weapons) and stuck with it were once easily defined. First off, you can dodge. This is even cooler after seeing movies like The Matrix. I'm not saying we do Jon Woo moves (other then Death), or anything of that nature, but I've literally seen guys (Evil Angel) go into rounds with two LnL's and on dodging alone, never get hit and making loads of kills (Reckoning 2k4, otherwise known as Halo lan party). This is a forte of the Horsemen. It's really hard to hit them, and can dominate a round with pistols. And if anyone is responsible for sparking the "old school" idea, it's them. All of them use the original barrel on their crossbows, in one way or another, and LnL's with the original barrels, and tend to rarely lose rounds. Brassed weapons and other hunting powered Nerf guns are becoming harder and harder to dodge. It's still Nerf-like, being that it's not like paintball where your squeezing off a huge number of shots in a small amount of time. But you can't dodge a paintball, and the closer we get to guns shooting like this, the harder it becomes to dodge. The human body, even at it's peak performance level, is only able to accomplish so much. The uber-blasters are sucking the dodging aspect out of Nerf very slowly.

The second thing that made Nerf unique is that you had to get into the other persons grill. In paintball or airsoft, if you've seen the person whose shot you, they probably could have done a little bit better of a job, but Nerf, there's no hiding, every kill is personal. Again, Reckoning 2k4, Wee Man takes his PVC modded Maxshot, arcs it into the air, pulls the trigger and gets at least 75 foot head shot. That's the farthest away I've ever seen a shot land, and the guy who got hit knew who did it, and realized that it was a hell of a shot. What was even cooler is that he reloaded and did it again. I was thoroughly impressed with him. While yes it cool to be able to nail someone from that far off, it wouldn't have been impressive had he done it with a heavier modified gun. To get back on topic, Nerf almost has a hand to hand combat feel to it. The fact that I could at any point deal a melee shot Halo style to anyone, just makes the game more exciting. With uber weapons, this is starting to be lost. I will never understand the fun that goes along with hiding behind hard stuff and shooting people. It's far superior to be fighting at close range where you can practically punch your opponent. Good luck with that happening in paintball, someone will be on the ground.

So this brings me to the comment made by Langley. "I'm saying with the 'Level 2' crossbow mod, you may as well use a PVC Nitefinder for your primary." I felt it was important to address this in a new article, because my response is long and is important enough that I think everyone should read it. First off, to break down this comment, a level 2 (I can't believe that caught!) crossbow mod is a weaker weapon and a PVC Nitefinder is a well modded weapon that may shoot similar. So to rephrase this in broader terms, what's being said is literally, 'I'm saying with a weaker weapon, you may as well use a well modded weapon that may shoot similar.' I will acknowledge that he may also be alluding to the fact that the Nitefinder is more compact, easier to acquire and a cheaper weapon. I'm not telling everyone to run out and buy a crossbow, but I understand his point that if your going to spend that much on a gun, you might as well trick it out, and use something else with a similar shot. This is a good point, but it's still missing the point.

I guess it's time to point out somethings I've personally defined as "Old School Nerf".

Old School Nerf is an attempt to make the competitive and hobby side of the game feel more like a unmodified game, while still requiring you to engineer your weapons and maintain their performance, which are important characteristics of the hobby, at the same time promoting an attitude that may be more characteristic of unmodified game.

1. Modifications

- Any modification can be done to the gun as long as it resembles it's original state in some way or form. No casing modification can be made that will in some way ruin the original intent it was used for (no hacking up a crossbow to remove the stock or putting other guns into the shell, such as with Groove's original Guru). Removing, moving or modifying parts is perfectly acceptable such as with the removing of the cocking slide from the LnL or barrel relocation on the crossbow.

- Banding, spring modification/replacement, re-enforcement or anything that may aid the performance of the gun is acceptable. For pump guns, it's perfectly ok to do a pump plug to enhance the air volume.

- Barrel replacement is not acceptable. The barrel must house the dart or have the dart actually pass through the barrel at some point. This means jamming brass down the stock barrel of the LnL is not old school. Barrel extentions, or other modifications to improve the stock barrel, including taping holes and things of that nature, are acceptable. However, barrel replacements will be aloud if a gun is not able to fire homemade ammunition. Most airguns, such as the 1500 may use replaced barrels, but they must use the turret, and preferably be at least close to the size of the original barrels. As a side note, any use of an Airtech is not old school, ever, unless you plan on not plugging the pump or can somehow make it fire like a reasonable weapon. I've had ideas to make a pistolized AT2k, that would actually fire like a pistol, but still keep the rate of fire, making it a simple upgrade of the original design. The 3k, well I'm not sure what you could do with this, because I've never seen one. If you can somehow find a way to increase it's stock performance without just flat out modding it, I guess it would be ok, but it would be a challenge.

2. Integrations

- Integrations are fine, but they are not to violate any of the above rules. Therefore if you want to integrate a 1500 onto your crossbow, you better find a way for me to look at the gun and see a full 1500. However, slapping pistols on the side, or making holsters on your guns (Such as OMC's bow, or many of the Horsemens guns) to fit other guns in are fine.

3. Ammo
- Homemade ammo is perfectly legal. Part of Old School is making darts that will fire well out of your guns. This may mean that if your using a crossbow and a Nitefinder, that you have to make two types of darts. You must engineer and test the darts to perform well in your gun.

- You want your gun to fire the size it intended. So no making the crossbow fire micro's. The only exception I'll make to this is the arrowstorm. Firing Mega homemade darts out of the arrowstorm is perfectly acceptable.

4. Weapon Types
- In general, the less modifications you do to the gun the better. Barrels are key here. Even if you choose to use an air gun such as the 1500 and replace the barrel, make sure you can get the dart in properly without having your finger encompassed, or having to use a ramrod. I won't completely ban airguns because if someone were to use a 5k with the stock barrel and did some mods to make it shoot better, that would be ok. In general, if a gun needs to have it's barrels removed to fire homemade darts, it's better to avoid using the weapon or just use the stock darts.

- New guns are more then ok, in fact I encourage their use. The N strike is one of the big proponents to my recent desire to define old school Nerf. Fully auto and semi auto weapons are really cool guns. I like them a lot, and hate that they don't have a better use in modified Nerf. They take a lot to have to compensate against other weapons, when it should be vice versa. Those auto and semi auto guns ought to be controlling the field. And the N strike...well it's such a cool gun. If I had had that back in the day, it would have dominated the field, unmercifully. Hands down the best unmodded weapon ever made.

- The Titan. This is important. This gun and other large air output, missile firing weapons must shoot missiles. No making it shoot mega's. Doing so violates one of the ammo rules anyway, but I wanted to make sure this was crystal clear. In unmodded, this would have been a sniper rifle believe it or not.

5. Clothing
- No camo. It's not old school and your taking yourself too seriously. Black is good, but I would shy away from military style dress. If your playing in the woods, I'll give on the fact BDU's are very durable and will protect you from brush, so in this case I'll give a little on the use of BDU's, but make sure only one part is military style and preferably not in a camouflaged pattern. So if your wearing a pair of military BDU pants, wear a normal shirt. If you must wear camo patterns, and this is only to be done if nothing else is available, make sure you'll be playing in a non-public area. This isn't milsim, your just playing a game. I used to have a pair of camo BDU's I wore when we went into the woods, but I know if your playing and people see you wearing camo while shooting your buddy in the mouth, they'll be a little more frightened then if you were wearing a pair jeans or cargo pants.

- Shoes. Boots are fine. I say this because I know for a fact that people like me who have the ankles of a ten year old girl have to wear boots to protect us from injury. It's important to wear what's comfortable and safe for your style of play. Yes, this is just a game, and shouldn't be taken super seriously, but your going to be active and it's important to make sure you treat your body the same way an athlete would before a big game, or a long day of activity. If you like to run, and don't have special problems with your feet like me, sneakers are great. If your playing in the woods, boots are a better idea. It's important to dress to suit the environment.

6. Sportsmanship
- The golden rule and the honor system. This is important. If you don't plan to follow this section of rules to the T, close the window, give up on the idea, sell your guns, and then go kill yourself. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you like to trash talk, make sure you keep it good natured. I like getting trashed talked almost more then participating myself, but some guys aren't funny in the slightest and just come off mean. Use your best judgment. If someone is obviously starting to feel shitty because you just said their mothers vagina tastes good with a little whipped cream on top, you probably want to reel it in a bit. Also, treat other peoples calls the way you would expect them to.

- Shooter calls hit. This is hard for new players to grasp, and is impossible to enforce. If you get shot, call yourself out. If someone says they hit you, take the hit, unless you specifically saw the dart land ten feet away from you, take it. If you ever use the words "I didn't feel anything", or "That was just my shirt", leave the field and never come back. This is the honor system. It's a game and part of being a good sportsman is acknowledging when you've been defeated. Also, be honest about your hits. I know sometimes it's hard. There are times when I could swear I saw something land that after a little investigation, clearly didn't. Avoid arguments, and remember, your still in the game. There is no time out. If you want to argue a hit, your going to have to compensate for that and the fact that the shooter may be still firing at you. Don't be a whinny prick and expect for everyone to stop because you have a problem with another player. Honesty is so important, it hurts. This is just a game, and the reason it stays together and remains fun is not because you were super successful or only took this number of hits. It's because you had a good time playing a game you love. Nerf wars suck when people cheat.

- Have fun. Remember, this is just a game, and not one that is sanctioned. Sometimes doing retarded stuff is funny, but don't be stupid about it. Good example is the story of Evil Angel, jumping in the creek at Millcreek park with the Horsemen flag, and wading back to his side. Yeah, sure he was out of bounds, but it's funny, so it's ok in this case. Lunges and backsprings and goofy stuff makes Nerf unique and are perfectly ok, just don't be an idiot about it. Have a good time, make everyone laugh, make sure you laugh at least 40 times the entire day, and have done at least one or two completely stupid things that were funny. If no one is laughing, stop, because that means your not funny, and in that case, just enjoy what the other people are doing. Either way, make sure you are having a good time, and what your doing is not hindering other people from having a good time. Winning is not what Nerf is about.

So there you have it, the impromptu guide to Old School Nerf. Hopefully this addresses Langleys comments. Yes I could use a PVC modded Nitefinder, but PVC just doesn't feel like Nerf. Stock barrels are what Nerf is about, and making darts that will fire well out of the guns you plan on using is a proponent to that. It's not about making your guns super powerful, it's making you guns shoot a little better and keeping the same feel of them. Using a PVC modded Nitefinder would feel to me like going with a pistol in a modified Nerf war, rather then playing with lesser weapons that would have more characteristics and skills needed of unmodified guns. Yes, you are right, I could use a Nitefinder and get similar results, but that's missing the point entirely. Perhaps if you don't understand, you never will.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

[uriel]I think that establishing these rules only makes it harder ffor people to participate. People are going to have a hard time getting an "old school" gun capable of competing with your crossbow. We here in Mi like to play "pistol" wars, which consist entirely of springer pistols. This gives the same "old school game" feel, that allows for tricked out blasters. No NF will be able to beat a good player, you can always dodge, no matter how powerful you make it.[/uriel]

12:14 PM  
Blogger Talio said...

Yeah, they're called pistol rounds, and they really won't improve your skill. I'm not telling people to do this for an entire day, I'm merely stating that using these weapons will give you an advantage later when you pick up a fully modded weapon. And saying this will stop new players is rediculous, because it will allow certian guns, such as the Hornet or the entire N strike, to become competitive. Is it easy? No. It's not meant to be, but for new players I would stress these rules even harder. The point is when your routed in skills needed to effectly play in unmodded, modded becomes a peice of cake.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to say that Talio you aren't completely right about pistol rounds not improving your skill. I thought they helped me work on dodging shots and charging in for the kill and I got so use to it I just decided to go with pistols the rest of the time. If you use pistols during all wars then pistol rounds can help you out and using pistols in a real war seems to be just as hard as "kickin it old school", now Talio you probably know me not to be one of those people that go crazy about modding guns I mean my max shot may barely reach 80 feet on a good day. When I was using my nitefinders at gnomefest I felt that I was using tactics with you and OMC even though we were up against the super powerful Philly AT2ks. I think you don't need to just leave your guns almost completely untouched to get the full tactical experiance, I think you just need to really want it.
OK end of rant
~The Nuts

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice job Talio. I think this play style may actually be good for people who cant make it to the big nerf wars and have to play in a park or something. My team and I are just starting and have a limited number of guns, so I'd rather not risk modding them right now,plus it also is more practical. If you were a policeman called down to the park to remove some nerfer, would you be more susupicous of the kids with unmodded nerf guns or the kids holding pieces of PVC duct taped together? Especially when your in central texas where Potato Guns sell better than Nerf.

I know that wasnt the point of the artice ( I agreed with the other points though) but thats my two cents.

Ace Rimmer

9:03 AM  

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