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Old 06-28-2011, 11:13 PM   #16
C-A_99
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Default Re: Water Wars getting bad image by press.

The water warfare community is far smaller and slightly less organized than the NIC. The NIC does not count 12 year olds with stock Longshots, and likewise, the water warfare community does not count 12 year olds who play soakfests with piston pumpers and don't allow those refilling to be shot at. (Even though there are a lot fewer Nerfers who allow players to be invincible just because they're reloading.)

Likewise, a 3000-player water balloon event is no more part of the water warfare community than Nerf Dart Tag League.

The water warfare community's small size is what causes the slight disorganization of game rules. Rules are always localized; I play one hit elimination and CTF games in my backyard with hoses and shields, and others play in the woods with their own one hit scoring rules. The hit rules themselves are different, few or nobody does the "3/15" rule common to the NIC, and everyone plays their own way. (This is what makes all wargames amazing; the sheer number of possibilities of playing them.)

That said, most of our own wars feature much of what you mentioned: attacking non-participants is prohibited, playing field boundaries are drafted, and practical water warfare almost never has equipment safety concerns (to be explained shortly). As for playing areas, I've heard stories about Nerfers kicking people off of the playground, and places that aren't well organized. It can happen anywhere to anyone, but the nature of Nerf makes it imperative that non-combatants are nowhere near the action. Water warfare does not have that problem.

Water warfare equipment has heavy limits on cost and practicality. The most dangerous equipment the average warrior has is a pneumatic water balloon launcher or high powered cannons, but those are rare amongst the community. They are often better for recreational uses than for games because of how difficult they are and how long they take to reload. A launcher will pull off one shot every minute if a good crew of 2 is using it. Elastic launchers are more common, but they seem more common amongst the non-community public than amongst us. (I don't have one myself.) Launchers are almost never used for games (I've never used either of mine for games yet) and for those people who do use them, they have strict rules governing their use.

Aside from launchers and cannons, which people either never use, or use sparingly with strict regulations (launchers are extremely difficult to get kills with), everything else is completely safe. Modded water blasters, unlike modded Nerf blasters, don't boost range that much and the difference between stock and modded poses a far smaller gameplay disadvantage than for Nerf. Eye protection is not present simply because there is zero need for it. I run wars with high powered hoses and I can safely say that the probability of someone getting their eye shot out with it is close enough to zero that the hassle of coordinating eye protection to everyone is not worth the hassle.

That said, universal regulations may not be a bad idea, but I contend that at the current state of the community, they are not necessary. Very few people, if any at all, who have involvement with large events have any connection with the community, and small events are very well regulated amongst the community. However, the NIC could not have stopped the aforementioned disaster from happening if it happened with Nerf blasters anymore than we can as it was/is.

Such disconnects amongst the community and the fringes of those who utilize the same or similar equipment to said community are not just limited to the NIC nor to water warfare. People have done stupid things with airsoft and paintball guns whom have no association with any online communities, and your average school shooter has nothing to do with your average firearm enthusiast online forum.
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