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Old 08-13-2011, 09:52 PM   #1
atvan
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Default The Future

What would all of you like to see in the next year happen in the water warfare community. Please be realistic, no, "I want it to become as popular as Nerfhaven," type answers. Do you want more articles, more promotion, more flash doodads on the sites, more contests, what? I hope that maybe the joint efforts of can come together and make things happen if we really try. </motivationalspeach>


Personally, I would like to see more contests, whether it be concepts, homemades, or something else. Even prizeless contests are fun, and get people thinking. Of course, if you want to offer prizes, that is fun too.
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Future

I want to us become more popular than Nerfhaven...
It's possible, it'll just take a lot of work and a good publicist, but that's an optimistic thought as you said.

I would like more interaction between the companies and the community. We already have some from BBT, iSoaker is contacted by Big Bee somewhat frequently, Big Bee drops by the forums occasionally (I know he's taken suggestions from Ben about the firing mechanism or something like that, and the original Splat Blaster was dreamt up by the online community). I want this and more, I want to see a number of creative soaker concepts put up (nothing that resembles the old CPSs too much or is unrealistic), and I want to see the good ones become Water Warriors soakers the following year.

Otherwise, general development in all areas. We could write articles, become more n00b friendly, improve our tech, do a bit of advertising, etc.

Last edited by mr. dude : 08-14-2011 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Future

I want to see more community wars and get-togethers. Even if we only get a dozen at next week's war, it's a start. Nerf's Apoc was small in its early years, my first one had turnout of just 16 (now it routinely draws 80+). I get most of my enjoyment in this hobby out of actually doing it. There's only so much to talk about after all - the war part of water wars is still very underutilized and underdeveloped. More big wars with people from around the community could go a long way in establishing more interest in picking up a water gun and soaking people.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Future

Good point. The problem with starting water wars is that currently lack the enthusiast base to have large scale wars among us. Nerf may have not had members as open to wars at first, but they had the base to make it happen if they so chose. We are almost the opposite, in that many would like to participate, but it is unfeasible, for a variety of reasons, resulting in a low turnout.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:44 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Future

I'd agree with the above and say that increased interaction between the community and production companies would be my greatest hope.
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Future

More water wars being hosted and community-company interaction are 2 top priorities for me.
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Future

Yeah, I agree. We should definitely have like some kind of annual community war; we could all take turns hosting it. If everything goes well next weekend, maybe more people will be interested in coming. Trouble is, most of the people on here are under 18, and still have to rely on their parents to drive them anywhere.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Future

I'm all for trying to get wider exposure and better, more positive coverage of water fights and water wars (not just the random soakfests that sometimes make news, but are not always seen in a positive light). Need to have positive stories to promote a wider acceptance of water warfare to people of all ages.

As for community-company interactions; I do not foresee significant improvement on that horizon until the consumer base shows a marked increase. All things considered, we're doing decently well as there have been several recently developments as a direct or indirect result of community thoughts.

That said, the likelihood of company-sponsored events is not likely in the near future. As for water blaster technology developments, it all ends up depending on costs and potential revenues; namely whether the initial costs are likely to yield better revenues for a company. Let's face it; a company needs to make money or it ends up no more. If less potent, but cheaper-to-make water blasters sell well, they have less incentive to spend more time and money on making better things. This ties back to getting the general consumer base to want and appreciate the better performing water blasters. We cannot and should not judge the market based on what we see in the community since most here are well versed in how well a good water blaster can perform. Instead, we need to be educating those who are casual or even n00bie water blaster users, showing them not just what a good water blaster can do, but how much fun one can have in water wars and how better blasters can make for better games.

Me, I'll keep plugging away in the means that seem to be having the most effect which have worked out relatively well so far. I think the area that I'd love to have more help in would be promotion of water warfare through the major social media realms, most notably Facebook. Anyone here willing and able to help promote (or run) the Water Fight/Water Warfare Facebook community?

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Old 08-15-2011, 10:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by isoaker_com
Let's face it; a company needs to make money or it ends up no more. If less potent, but cheaper-to-make water blasters sell well, they have less incentive to spend more time and money on making better things.


See, this is where I am most confused: I cannot imagine that a Tornado Strike or Thunderstorm or Hydro Cannon is any cheaper to produce that an XP 150. Older air pressure Super Soakers were much simpler in their internal design and constructed out of pretty flimsy plastic, single-dyed plastic. I feel like the effect of market research on what kids do or don't like has affected Hasbro's development strategy more than the "build it cheap sell it fast" mentality.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again: The marketing and production decisions of the Super Soaker brand are not under as an intense selective pressure as we like to believe. We have seen huge fluctuations every year since 2002, not only in price and performance, but also in style and marketing. In the 90s there was a very consistent advertisement strategy, and each year the blasters that were released seemed like evolved and improved versions of the ones released before. That sense of design continuity, both on a product level and a brand level, seems to have gone missing during the last ten years.

This must mean that Hasbro is experimenting with different things, trying to find that "sweet spot" again where Super Soaker was the number one seasonal toy brand. We've had two years of "Nerf" affiliation and I think the next two or three years will be very telling as to the long term fate of the Super Soaker brand. In the mean time, I am very optimistic about the Water Warriors brand, as they have proven that they are not afraid to make and market powerful water guns even at the expense of big market opportunities. They have shown that, at least on a small scale, a "performance first" mentality can be economically feasible.

I would love to see some revenue numbers from Hasbro and Buzz Bee so we can get a sense of how many water guns they have sold over the years, and how the customer demographic has changed.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Future

Quote:
See, this is where I am most confused: I cannot imagine that a Tornado Strike or Thunderstorm or Hydro Cannon is any cheaper to produce that an XP 150. Older air pressure Super Soakers were much simpler in their internal design and constructed out of pretty flimsy plastic, single-dyed plastic. I feel like the effect of market research on what kids do or don't like has affected Hasbro's development strategy more than the "build it cheap sell it fast" mentality.
Hasbro is milking the "Super Soaker brand name" as much as it can. Thanks to the success of the first (and second; first being the original and second being the CPS series) generations of Super Soakers, many consumers are just comfortable with the name and believe that the name and peak performance go hand-in-hand, not realizing that current blaster performance under the Super Soaker brand is falling behind those of their competitors, namely, the Water Warriors brand. That said, Hasbro also manages to keep brand recognition alive by having larger advertising campaigns and promotional items (e.g. the Super Soaker Burger King collectibles this year). Buzz Bee Toys, being a much smaller company, currently cannot compete in the advertising realm and are really more relying on performance and word-of-mouth to promote their products more than commercials and promos. To complicate matters, increased production costs and the CPS-injunction have pushed back some of their developments. Other competitors like X-stream, Banzai, etc. have a smaller part of the limited market share, but BBT's biggest challenge is getting better brand recognition from Joe/Jill-average consumer.

Nevertheless, things are changing. I would guess the Super Soaker brand demand has been diminishing in the more recent years which would explain why it ended up being merged into the Nerf line (and with the blasters getting styled more like Nerf guns at the cost of actual water blaster performance). Again, Hasbro is currently getting away with these more expensive, lower performing (but more solidly built) blasters thanks to brand recognition, but I do not believe it shall continue indefinitely. Water Warriors brand products have typically been sold cheaper, but also do not have the same sort of feel as the Super Soaker brand items. While the Water Warriors blasters may be performing better, in a store, Jill/Joe-consumer go by look and feel and the Super Soaker products tend to look better and of a brand most immediately recognize.

I think things are changing, but will take a little more time to see how things play out. I would love to see better Super Soaker brand products released in the future while also seeing improved Water Warriors brand items to truly push forward competition and yielding better products to us consumers, but time shall tell.

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Old 08-18-2011, 05:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Future

Quote:
Originally Posted by isoaker_com
That said, the likelihood of company-sponsored events is not likely in the near future.

Unfortunately, it makes sense from a business perspective. It is smarter for Super Soaker to host water wars at universities etc. than to sponsor our battles at this time. This year, Super Soaker, hosted a big battle at Florida State University. Not only are there way more people at FSU, etc. than actively involved in our community, but they are not nearly as picky as we are, and there isn't as much competition (mods, other brands, ebay, etc.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by wetmonkey442
See, this is where I am most confused: I cannot imagine that a Tornado Strike or Thunderstorm or Hydro Cannon is any cheaper to produce that an XP 150.

I doubt that the 2011 line is cheaper to produce than, say, the 1994 line; but if they sell at a much higher # then they will more than make up for the cost of production.

Lifestyles have changed much much more over the past 15 years than they did in the 30 years previous to that (1980 - 1995). Everything is centered around technology. Atvan just told me that at his school they are about to give out ipads to all the students???? Ok, back to my point! Traditional toy sales are down from what they used to be. Lego, a very traditional toy, has had to invest in videogames to keep up with the changing times. That investment has really payed off, since not only are the video games selling extremely well, but they are creating more interest in traditional Lego.

Super Soaker's current lineup mimics something you'd see in Halo, or another space shooting videogame. I honestly like it, and I like the way they feel, and the durability of the external plastic shells. There was a time when xneverfacedefeatx and a few other people wrote articles on how Super Soaker was going the way of the buffalo because designs like the CPS 2700, CPS 1-3-5, XP Backfire, etc. were much less ergonomically designed than previous guns. The designs he drew up looked surprisingly like what we are currently seeing, and yet the irony is that actual performance is now horribly low.

With that being said, however, I have a lot of optimism for the future. I'll start with the guns, since that's what I left off with. Water Warriors is producing guns that perform well. Not amazingly, but good. As long as that is constant (and we have spray paint and ebay) our situation with guns is good. However, I'm even more excited about where things are going with our actual community. The war this weekend is going to be groundbreaking. I hope that we can repeat it annually. Home made technology is continuing to improve, with new APHs and DX's new bike pump free WBL. Modding has taken a step up, and I have to give a big nod to GJIV's 15k mod. He did some groundbreaking things there that I believe will influence us in the future. Durability mods are much more prevalent than they ever were, improving the life of our guns, and I feel like our current community understands blaster care better than any of the previous groups did. Lastly, there are more websites, and plans for new websites, than ever before. Our general community is a lot more educated than in the past, so I don't think websites are as necisarry as they once were in educating people on different guns and waterwarfare basics - but that means that websites (or blogs like atvans) can push into deeper, more revolutionary territory, and I always like seeing different people's perspectives on things.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:01 AM   #12
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Default Re: The Future

I dunno. The future? I don't know what we could honestly ask for and expect to have.

Even if Hasbro were to tweak the lineup they have- Like the Splashzooka or whatever the heck the new big one (Oh, Hydro Cannon) were to be reworked- say, selectable nozzles with a big hole to keep the standard FF-style blast it has now but also work with with, say 1x and 2x and the like nozzles. Maybe a CPS chamber instead of the AP chamber it has now.

For honestly not that much more money, they could build a far superior soaker that would sell a lot better to the die-hards like us. Having done industrial design before (was a Mech E student for a while) I can say that changes that seem pretty drastic can actually make something cheaper to make and perform better. I'd be getting 10% bonuses out the ying with some of my ideas...
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:22 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Future

The HC is CPS, thought the bladder is really tiny. Also, this is the community forum, and is about the future of us. Most of us gave up on hasbro a while ago.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:27 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Future

Woah, it is?

Even better. Enlarge the bladder, give us selectable nozzles, and charge another $10. I'd pay $30 for a blaster that looks that neat and is built to those specs.

I was entirely unaware that it's a CPS blaster.


Edit: And don't take me wrong. I've given up on Hasbro too- though their older AP blasters make great Nerf conversions...
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Future

So I'm working on some concept art for a SS, possibly internal diagrams if school doesnt omnom my life again. Hopefully gonna post this within the next week.
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