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Power Trip

How much is too much?

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#1 Pineapple

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 01:28 AM

"Power Trip", an article from the "ProjectNerf" series @ NerfHaven 2005
(edited for current times)


It's always been the desire of the hard core Nerf fanatic to extract the maximum amount of power from their plastic toy weapons, increasing range beyond the 10-20 feet that most Nerf blasters produce out of the box.

But where does it stop?

Many organized wars place limitations on power, and usually the SM5000s, Titans, SuperSoakers modified to shoot Nerf darts, and overpowered PVC and brass homemades are relegated to the 'penalty pile', bringing up the question, "Why even bother if it won't be allowed in a war?"

To try to justify the exponentially increased power and subsequent domination over the other weapons produced with pseudo-macho talk like "live with it", or "what's a welt or two?", is the very kind of behavior and attitude that makes wary parents back off from a hobby that has the potential to be more socially acceptable than paintball or airsoft.

How about allowing me to use a 1 1/2" diameter, 3 foot long PVC bat covered in foam as a hand-to-hand combat device--though with my strength level I could probably inflict some damage, "but hey, what's a few minor bruises and hairline fractures?" The absurdity of allowing ridiculously overpowered blasters in an organized war is quite obvious.


Now my rant would be pointless and useless if I didn't offer an option or a solution to the dilemma of overpowered Nerf blasters in wars. In fact, I have two suggestions...


How about a standardized class of blaster, one (obviously) commonly available, modifyable with readily available materials, and with no alteration to the spring propusion or air delivery system, relying on barrel dynamics to give performance increases. This would minimize any overt performance advantage of one blaster over another, which is always debatable (i.e., ranges of AT2ks/ 3ks, X-bows, BBBs, Max Shots, LBBs, and 1500s are pretty similar to within 20-30 feet).

The blaster I would standardize is the old trusty AT 2000. Still easily available and very affordable, and with little more than a barrel replacement (no pump modification) can consistently shoot 50-60 feet. Single barreled 2ks are easy as pie to modify, and turret modified 2ks allow four-shot firepower, allowing combatants to depend on ROF and movement instead of sheer power to win.

2007 Edit; I really like how the Big Blast, in the modification style of CaptainSlug, seems to have similar potential, and the blasters could be pre-modded, minus the pump plugging, to ensure fairness all around.


Another ideal standardized blaster would be the NiteFinder. Spring powered, affordable, and easy to modify with a barrel replacement, and yielding honest 40-50 foot ranges without any spring modifications or banding. Almost everyone does 'pistol-only' rounds at wars anyway, so this point may be moot to begin with, but if you're not doing pistolas, maybe it's the time to start! And I don't mean someone bringing out their Secret Shot 2 with 12" of brass and saying, "here's my pistol!"



The other alternative would borrow from the paintball world, where they chronograph markers for velocity limitations. A standardized range mark could be established and blasters fired; any blaster shooting 10 feet beyond the range marker would have to be de-powered (if banded, bands could be removed; or air powered blasters could have barrel length limitations), or taken off the active field. This would encourage the mainstream modifiers to keep their modified blasters within the measured threshold (say, 90 feet), and the reduction in power would, in this Nerfer's opinion, promote longer life for the blasters from stress-induced breakage and leakage. Not to mention the ability to use their 'beloved' Titan or SM5000! Everybody wins!


As conditions allow for clans and Nerfers to begin to attend and participate in wars with each other, as well as have and organize wars on their own 'home front', the standardizing and regulating of Nerf blasters will allow the most level playing field, preventing boring standoffs, unfair domination by the one with the 'biggest gun', and unnecessary disputes; and overall making skill, not power, as the factor in winning rounds in a well organized war.



-Piney-, 2005 NerfHaven
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<!--quoteo(post=209846:date=Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM:name=boom)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(boom @ Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM) View Post</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
It's to bad you live in hawaii I bet there are not many wars there.Wait what am I saying<b> you live in hawaii you lucky bastard.</b>
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#2 sporkboyofjustice

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 10:20 AM

Granted for organized play the ideal situation is to have everything standardized and I like the class system that you proposed. Equipment wise everyone would be on an even playing field and true skill in combat would prove to be the deciding factor. There are of course things to overcome with this, for example: are we organized enough to pull this kind of thing off?

Frankly I don't think that there's a wide enough audience for this to happen but I am quite isolated where I am. They do have regulations for dodgeball after all so there may be hope yet.

Back to your question though. Why bother modding a toy that you can't use in a war? I look at it as an engineering challenge. If you regulate what people can and can't do on the modification front people loose their creativity a little. Who was the first one to mod Nerf? What went through their mind?

I'd like to think that it was to squeeze the most power out of the gun as possible. Pushing the given design to the breaking point can be greatly rewarding. The process itself may be its own end for some, not what you ultimately do with it.

Of course within your constraints of organized play there could always be an exhibition class. This would cover things like distance and accuracy shooting of non human targets.
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#3 Langley

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 01:09 PM

I'd like to think that it was to squeeze the most power out of the gun as possible. Pushing the given design to the breaking point can be greatly rewarding. The process itself may be its own end for some, not what you ultimately do with it.


Modding isn't just about range though. Now that we've hit the range ceiling and we've surpassed the limits of what's safe, modders should be more focused on getting better overall performance out of their guns. Durability, ease of reloading, accuracy, and rate of fire are the next steps in modding.

These enhancements don't have an easily quantifiable advantage. There is no analog to the tape measure for those who would brag about their reloading mechanism or their reinforced shell. Additionally, an improvement that works for one nerfer may not be comfortable or appropriate for another. Since modding skill and play style are so important when making these changes, and because the advantages are more subtle than a 20' range increase, modders can continue to tinker without disrupting the game.
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#4 Pineapple

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 01:20 AM

If you would allow me to elaborate on this if I may, sporkboy.

Project Nerf was as you may have guessed, a project launched in 2005 as a promotional tool to encourage Nerfers to, quite frankly, "Get out and Nerf". It was to foster an espirit des corps amongst Nerfers who hosted and attended organized Nerf wars with regularity, and to encourage new Nerfers to do the OMC, Groove, and Kuhlschrank thing and go places to Nerf (besides one's own backyard).

The subject matter in the articles written (in our own PN forum) varied greatly, and you will see them being published from time to time by TIS, or myself in this case.

Alas, life and scheduleing caught up, and PN became more of a back-burner project. The proliferation of Nerf wars on both coasts nowadays is indicative that Nerf warring is alive and well as far as our little niche market goes.

Thusly, this article is geared up towards the ones who prepare and attend the more organized war, and have to deal on both the banning, and the banned, regarding overpowered Nerf weaponry.

I myself will always like to see how far I can take a pet project or two, but since most of our Nerf time involves many new and uninitiated first-timers, my high-powered Nerf R & D is all but on it's own "back burner". Most of my time with Nerf now involves repair and mild (barrel mods only) modification of my "rental fleet"; four Mavericks, six Nite Finders, and two AT2000 single barreled "loser" guns. Once I get my mitts on some Big Blasts and Tech Target Pistols (old), the fleet will get a bit bigger.

I hope that clears up any misunderstandings regarding this article. Langley pretty much hit it, but I wanted to reiterate my points, and bump this topic up in front of that atrocious PB vs. N article (or more specifically, it's feedback).



-Piney-
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<!--quoteo(post=209846:date=Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM:name=boom)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(boom @ Feb 5 2009, 06:27 PM) View Post</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
It's to bad you live in hawaii I bet there are not many wars there.Wait what am I saying<b> you live in hawaii you lucky bastard.</b>
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

#5 shadowkid33

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 12:26 PM

I like the standardized range idea Piney. The fact it would keep all guns on par with eachother while allowing for adjustable ranges (via. rubber bands and such) is a great idea. That should be a standard thing used in large wars like Armageddon and Apoc.
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#6 Carrtoon

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 01:36 PM

Personally, I've never really seen the need for these gun restrictions. Yes, I'm a new nerfer, but I've been to 3 wars in the past year and we don't limit what guns we can use. All of us at the MN wars are mature enough to know when a powerful weapon is too close to use.

That being said, these powerful weapons can give you the upper hand in a long range fight without hurting anyone. At the war on Saturday, a titan, sm5k, and my rocket man shooter were all used. All are very powerful, but became useless in everything but tower rounds. Their slow reload time and bulky size made them ineffective. Basically, all I'm trying to say is that I was hit by Ryan's titan and Hilt's at2k and the welts were barely noticeable the day after.

Oh, and one more thing. I joked around with the guys at the war about initiating a tazer rule. If you want to use the gun, you have to be shot by it. That may deter some from using very powerful guns.

Just ideas from a humble nerfer...
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#7 Quilan Fett

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 03:29 PM

That being said, these powerful weapons can give you the upper hand in a long range fight without hurting anyone. At the war on Saturday, a titan, sm5k, and my rocket man shooter were all used.

Can you tell us what a rocket man shooter is?
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QUOTE(pokemaster @ Mar 3 2009, 04:18 PM) View Post

hasbro in a nerf war!!!!! dude the will cancel it and confinscate are guns

#8 sam

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 03:20 PM

Carrtoon: The restrictions are not because guns are too powerful, it is to help level the playing field. If everyone's blasters are the same then then the winner is that with the best skill(z), not just the one who can shoot a bit farther or can shoot more darts at once.

Qui'lan Fett- It's a pump gun that use to shoot a rocket up in the air, now it shoots darts.

I've been thinking about these kind of limits for a while now, creating some sort of stock class Nerfing. It will definitely be something I try out when I go out to Colorado for college.

Edited by sam, 12 July 2007 - 09:51 AM.

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#9 VACC

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:40 PM

I completely disagree, we have used restrictions for quite some time at our wars and honestly have never had any complaints. The simple rule is this, any weapon that does not use an original nerf (obviously pre-nerf larami, and lanard follow the same rule) air chamber is not allowed. Honestly, I have played in large scale wars where homemades were allowed and sm5ks were prevalent and they generally slow down play and create long range stand-offs.

Now that's not to say I think our rules should be adopted universally. If you enjoy using homemades and other very-long range weapons knock yourself out. I just feel what attracted me to nerf in the first place (aside from the obvious economic factors for a 10 year old kid) was the fact that it wasn't about having the best gun, but being able to jump into a war any time with what you had in your basement/trunk/whatever. If I want to depend on superior weaponry I'll play paintball.

Anyway, those are my feelings on it.

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