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Mod Difficulty

Standardization

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#26 frost vectron

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 12:13 AM

I fear that the rating criteria would be ignored by most new members, much like the Code of Conduct.

There will be many people asking, "What does a 5 mean? Is that hard?" It's a lot of work, and I'm not so sure people would appreciate all the effort that goes into such a system. If there are energetic people about it, then power to you guys.

Still though, I think such a system just might finally get rid of all the threads asking how difficult the AR removal on a longshot is. Seriously, people.
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#27 Rambo

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 12:16 AM

That is a good point, but if you saw in the post "Mod Rating: 5 - (linked)What is a mod rating?(/linked)" and you wondered what a mod rating was, most people would read the link rather than posting. I mean, you don't get poeple asking, "What's the Code of Conduct?" do you?

I was kind of inspired by that one "Is this mod hard?" thread, this would seem like a viable alternative once tweaked(and I am, by no means, qualified to do the tweaking).
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#28 Gengar003

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 12:47 AM

I think some of you have a weird idea... that there'd be one person whose job it was to rate each new modification.

While that'd be nice, it's not sustainable - people inevitably lose interest, don't have time, or something else. What we (or at least I) am "shooting" for (heh), is a system by which modders can come up with a number describing the difficulty of their modification, so others have some idea of what to expect.

every 7 should be just as hard(for the most part) for them.

That's the primary goal, in my opinion - for there to be a relative frame of reference between modifications that enables the "I did this, so I can do that" chain of thought.

Edited by Gengar003, 13 July 2007 - 12:50 AM.

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#29 Rambo

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 01:23 AM

I suppose you're right, but developing a "scoring card" will prove much more difficult.
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#30 baseballnolan5

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 10:27 AM

This would be a major help to the newer modders IF we could determine an overall standardization. I think determining an overall ranking for ALL the guns would be very hard. Mod difficulty ranking for individual guns would be much easier. Granted you could probabally(sp?) translate the mod difficulty from some guns to others but not from a NF to a LS or something like that. It would be a good stepping stone to new modders if we could determine an overall standardization so they could say "I can do a level 5 mod!" or whatever level it is. I think if it requires some tool that not many people have the difficulty would be harder because you may not be able to do the mod as easy. Just my 2 cents.

P.S. Thanks angel now I'm not gonna be sleeping until I see what your ultimate project is.

Edited by baseballnolan5, 13 July 2007 - 10:27 AM.

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#31 Gengar003

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 04:32 PM

Okay, I've come up with a system... now I need feedback.

I've got five categories... Tools, Materials, Barrels, Actions, and Time. In Tools, Materials, and Barrels, I've tried to list every common modification item. "Actions" is for more difficult, specific actions - like cutting metal plates, or having to extensivley cut away at the shell of a gun. "Time" is how long the modification took to do.

Each item in the categories has an assosciated difficulty level. Currently they range from 1-5, roughly according to this:

1: probably already have lying around the house
2: probably could easily buy from local store
3: More expensive, and/or difficult to find
4: Very expensive or difficult
5: Only used for mods that take more than 24 hours

So you figure out what you're using in each category. To calculate a modification's difficulty level, you:

-Remove the highest difficulty item from each category. (Ignore categories with no items chosen)
-Average the remaining items in each category.
-Average that average with the removed item for each categoy. Now you have each category's score.
-Add all the scores for each category up (remembering to ignore categories with nothing marked), and divide by the # of categories you used.
-Multiply the result by 2.

This leads to a THEORETICAL range of 2 - 10 difficulty points for each modification, though 2-6 is more realistic. (Subtract 1 from the score, and you've got a 1-5 scale. Should I do that? Let me know.)

Here's the list of categories, items, and their difficulties (you can skip ahead if you want):

Tools
Scissors,1,0
Hacksaw,2,0
Dremel,3
Drill,2
Razor,2
Hot Glue Gun,1
Screwdriver,1
Clamp,1
Drill Press,4
Needlenose Pliers,2
Pliers,2
Pipe Cutters,2

Materials
Spring,2
Foam Backer Rod,2
Rubber Bands,1
Electrical Tape,2
Metal Plating,3
Plumber's Goop,2
Epoxy,2
Duct Tape,1
Zip Ties,2
Bolts/Screws,2
Wood,2
Bungees,2
O-Rings,2
Silicone Lubricant,2
Spray paint,2
Sandpaper,1
Bicycle Pump,2
Vinyl Tubing,2
Hose fittings,3

Barrels
Crayola Barrel,1
CPVC or PVC,2
Brass,3
PETG,3

Actions
Cut breech - PVC or Crayola,2
Cut breech - Brass or PETG,3
Dremel out shell,3 (like Angel's magstrike or BBB, most integrations)
Cut metal sheet,3
Cut open air tank,2
Rig a trigger,3 (commonly done to AT2ks when integrated)
Heavy shell modification,2 (Like the Brute shot, or a LS front gun integration).
Heavy original construction,3 (Angels' BBB barrel/breech system, any homemade)

Time taken
1 hour or less,1
1-2 hours,2
2-5 hours,3
5+ hours,4
More than a day of work,5


Looks a bit daunting, yes, but not to worry! I took the liberty ('twas fun, really) of writing a Java Applet that does all the math and choosing and sorting for you; all YOU have to do is check boxes next to all the items you used, and it will calculate the overall rating and the score for each category.

It is currently located here

The method of rating was a bit arbitrary, but it worked the best of any of the systems I tried out. I meandered through the modification directory and the recently posted modifications, and ran them through this rating system. Here's the results.


My modifications:
Shotgun Titan: 4.1
Clean Coupler'd NF: 3.2
CPVC SSPB: 3.2
(no writeup posted) My Longshot: 5.3

Other's Modifications:
Angel's Longshot: 6.0
Angel's BBB (deodorant clip): 5.0
Haggar: 4.2
Stinger: 3.8
XXL Bazooka: 3.6
Brute Shot: 5.3

Ideas
"Level 2" Crossbow: 3.5
"Level 4" Crossbow: 5.3
Crayola'd NF: 2.2
SNAP: 5.1-5.5 (I haven't done any homemades, so I had to guess a lot).


I think it nicely produces "Level" 2, 3, 4, and 5 modifications with consistent similarities in difficulty in levels, and consistent differences between them.

If anyone has any other ideas for modification rating systems, please, do share, so we can compare results.

Finally, the applet uses a text file (see it here) to tell it what items to list - so IF this catches on, and IF someone other than me would be better to host the applet, they don't have to know java or anything to add, remove, or customize items - just edit a text file.

Now, if you actually read all that, give yourself a HUGE pat on the back, and post some of those thoughts that are no doubt rocketing around your brain as a result.

To get you started, I'm looking for
-Materials missing from the list
-A better way to calculate ratings
-Anything else you think

If you skipped ALL the way down... well, just go here. And please, don't quote this whole post.

Edited by Gengar003, 13 July 2007 - 04:35 PM.

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#32 nerfer34

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 04:48 PM

SWEET.

That Java thing you made is really cool! I'd throw up a big link to that somewhere, where it can be easily accessed.

System looks great to me.

But how is cutting a breech only 2? Don't you need a dremel(which I don't have :D ), which is a 3?

edit- Also, I'm not quite sure about the time rank.... I mean Boom13 said it took him 90! hours. It really depends on how fast people work. I personally am a very fast worker, and nothing takes me over an hour. I'd balance the time rating out a little more fairly. But great job!

edit again- I have found another problem I was randomly selecting stuff on tyhe java thing and it came out to a 6.1. Then I went back and added a PVC barrel and it went down to 5.9. I understand why this happened, but should it? I mean thats just making the mod more difficult, not less.

third edit- I also think you should add what type of barrel system the mod uses. Like
-turrets
-breech
-RSCB clip
-homeade clip
-LS clip
-coupler system
-telescoping barrel
-nested
-etc

This is just my constructive crit. Thanks

Edited by nerfer34, 13 July 2007 - 04:59 PM.

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#33 sam

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 05:03 PM

You should change something up about cosmetic mods (possibly have two scores if applicable), for instance, the brute shot is awesome, but the performance aspect of the mod isn't very hard, it's the cosmetic aspect that adds to the difficulty of the mod.
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#34 nerfer34

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 05:08 PM

I COMPELETLY agree with Sam. But you can't make a gun rate high ONLY because of cosmetics....

But The Brute Shot scored higher than FA's Angels BBB..... So I think you also need to factor in originality. No offense to the Brute shot, but the ABBB is harder to make in my opinion.
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#35 DX-Robert

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 12:14 AM

I don't think an objective system works for something as totally subjective as modding, unless every variable can be struck out. How can time be rated on a scale for example, when one modder does something in 4 hours and another in 6 and another in 15? Simple errors may tack on ungodly amounts of time, and some people simply work at different paces. This system also does not take into account availability of tools and materials by local region. Foam Backer Rod, for example, is given a 2. FBR is not available everywhere, as are other items, especially so outside of the continental 48. In a populated industrial area [take northern NJ], you can't not find FBR. In a very rural country area [take northern CT] you might never see it.

I do like this approach though. "Difficulty" is subjective by nature, therefore making this a good challenge. The more objective the components of the system are, the more smoothly it will work. There are still serious loopholes in the rating, though. It needs more balance between usability and comprehensiveness. Just look at the formula for the difficulty points! It appears overly complicated.

So I think you also need to factor in originality


"Originality" is a strictly subjective concept, it cannot function in an objective system. No two people have the exact same take on what thing is "more original" than another thing, and why. The very fact that Nerfer34 used the phrase "I think" indicates how point values assigned here could mis-represent the concept. There cannot be "I think". That is the mark of user subjectivity. The components to focus on MUST be as objective as possible, you can tell when an opinion is not applicable. A certain mod requires a certain tool. That does not change from person to person. A certain action must be taken with a certain tool during a certain mod. Those are facts which are not affected by opinions, therefore they are good to use.

I only say these things because I attempted to create an objective system for a concept and it failed, much in part to its confusing degree of complexity, in addition to poor coverage or no coverage of other variables. That topic may be found Here if you'd like to see the flaws in such a point system.

Don't get me wrong though - a point system for Nerf modding can physically work, though I don't agree that it could ever cover every variable, as there are some which affect mod difficulty that are beyond our control.
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#36 Gengar003

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 05:05 PM

But how is cutting a breech only 2? Don't you need a dremel(which I don't have :blush: ), which is a 3?

I have cut at least 3 breeches using nothing but a hacksaw. This works okay for plastic and PVC, but not so much on brass; a dremel is so much better... which is why cutting a breech in brass is a 3.

edit- Also, I'm not quite sure about the time rank.... I mean Boom13 said it took him 90! hours. It really depends on how fast people work. I personally am a very fast worker, and nothing takes me over an hour. I'd balance the time rating out a little more fairly.

What would you suggest? The time divisions were more completely arbitrary and random than anything else - since there's no readily available data on how long all the modifications that have been done take, I had no idea of the distribution of times, so I just guessed based on my personal experience.

edit again- I have found another problem I was randomly selecting stuff on tyhe java thing and it came out to a 6.1. Then I went back and added a PVC barrel and it went down to 5.9. I understand why this happened, but should it? I mean thats just making the mod more difficult, not less.

Is it? Adding PVC means that some part of the mod will be done with PVC. If the only barrel materials were brass, you'd have to be doing that part with brass, which is harder to work with.

third edit- I also think you should add what type of barrel system the mod uses. Like
-turrets
-breech
-RSCB clip
-homeade clip
-LS clip
-coupler system
-telescoping barrel
-nested
-etc

Why? How does the type of barrel SYSTEM factor into modification difficulty? For that matter, you've thrown clip/magazines/loading systems in with turrets and barrels... two separate things.

I don't see how these affect difficulty - some may be harder to work on than the others, but that's usually due to the complexity of the gun (and, consequently, of the modification skill required) than the actual system - the longshot clip doesn't make things difficult, it's creating/working with the breech system... maybe cutting a breech out of brass or PETG... you see?

You should change something up about cosmetic mods (possibly have two scores if applicable), for instance, the brute shot is awesome, but the performance aspect of the mod isn't very hard, it's the cosmetic aspect that adds to the difficulty of the mod.

I disagree. Think to yourself what it'd be like if you wanted to duplicate the Brute Shot for yourself. All that's really been done is re-barreling a titan and plugging the pump. That ain't hard at all. But it's the whole package, cosmetics included, that make the mod, and as such, I think they should be counted as part of the whole mod's difficulty. Because if someone decides to make a Brute Shot, they're not doing it for the rebarreled, pump-plugged titan. They're doing it 'cause they want a Halo 2 weapon.


I COMPELETLY agree with Sam. But you can't make a gun rate high ONLY because of cosmetics....

Why not? Cosmetic modifications, though rarer than performance-enhancing ones range from simple (minimization) to complex (see "M-14 Nitefinder customization"), and use many of the same tools. We're shooting for "standardization" here, so I'd like a system that can cover both technical and cosmetic mods.

How can time be rated on a scale for example, when one modder does something in 4 hours and another in 6 and another in 15? Simple errors may tack on ungodly amounts of time, and some people simply work at different paces. This system also does not take into account availability of tools and materials by local region. Foam Backer Rod, for example, is given a 2. FBR is not available everywhere, as are other items, especially so outside of the continental 48. In a populated industrial area [take northern NJ], you can't not find FBR. In a very rural country area [take northern CT] you might never see it.

Time: Yes, I mentioned earlier that my divisions were arbitrary, and would love to hear some suggestions for alternate divisions.

I am aware that not everyone modifies at the same speed, and, as you say, one modder's 4 hour mod could be another's 15-hour oddyssey.

I think if, when figuring the time, people discard time spent waiting for things like plumber's goop/epoxy to dry, and discard time spent fixing their mistakes, that is, if people count only the time spent working toward the end goal, and NOT the elapsed time, that'll be as close as we can get to a standard time rating... unless y'all have some other ideas?

Materials: I hadn't thought of regional differences. I thought of Home improvent stores (lowe's/home depot for the "continental 48") and hardware stores (Ace/etc) in the generic sense for "can probably find at a store." If you live in civilization, there's probably a store like one of those near enough so you can get there, somehow.

But we can all get great FBR from Forsaken_Angel...

Any specific suggestions?

-----

I'm perfectly willing, in fact, I'm hoping to, change the "times," to something based on experiences other than mine. Either post what you think they should be, or (preferably), post how long your past several modifications have taken you.
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#37 Prometheus

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 06:45 AM

I`m for the idea. I like Gengar003`s idea. Also, If we are having others rate the mods, I think it should be people who are prominent figures here, such as contributors, and other people who are recommended by them. After all, how did they get so high up there? They modded, built stuff, and experimented. They know what the stuff is really all about.
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#38 Grenada

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 04:52 PM

I was calculating one of my mods, when I found you have two actions missing. remove air restrictors using pliers and Remove air restrictors using dremel. In my opinion those should be rated 2 and 3 respectivly. Also you are missing rubber bands on your materials list

Edited by Grenada, 19 July 2007 - 04:55 PM.

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#39 monkey with a nf

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 05:41 PM

I like this idea a lot, and it should really help people gauge difficulty. The applet is a nice touch, especially due to the rather complex averaging.

I do think that AR removal should be covered, but instead given a 1 for easy (MS), 2 for somewhat hard (NF), and 3 for hard (LS). This seems to rate it much better than pliers and dremel as designations, especially because I've never heard of a gun that required a dremel for AR removal.
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#40 Gengar003

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 06:07 PM

Also you are missing rubber bands on your materials list

Naw, they're on there, right below Plumber's goop, and above sandpaper.


especially because I've never heard of a gun that required a dremel for AR removal.

Hornet and Crossfire, though the CF only needs one if you want to keep the stock barrel. It's rare that a gun requires the use of a dremel to remove the air restrictors.

With respect to air restrictor removal: I tried to keep the "actions" list limited to only the more complex, notable actions - things that really did add a significant level of difficulty to the modification. As such, a "basic air restrictor removal," I think, shouldn't go on there, but something akin to "Bastardly Air Restrictor Removal" (hornet, etc) would.

Reason being, there are many, many more specific actions that modifications require; including them all would make a daunting list indeed, and dilute the overall relevance of that category.

However, there will undoubtedly be other, similar things that might be added... I think, perhaps, I could get them all in one fell swoop by changing "dremel out shell" to "Complex" or "advanced" dremelling. This would take care of shell dremelling, those resilient air restrictors, and mastery of the dremel tool in general.

Whatcha think: Add a thing for air restrictors, or group dremelling together?
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#41 Grenada

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 06:33 PM

Genger: Sorry. I didn't see that. -_-

Monkey etc.:Your right. I was thinking about the plungers stops on the nf and bbb. You need a dremel to remove those.
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#42 Carbon

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 09:03 PM

SNAP: 5.1-5.5 (I haven't done any homemades, so I had to guess a lot).

Based on the choices available, I came up with a 4.9-5.2...so you're pretty close.

This is pretty cool..it's geared more towards mods (of course), so it's missing some more of the specific elements for homemades (PVC fittings, rods, stuff like that)...but overall, it works really well.
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