Monday, April 19, 2010

The Monday Poll

Tomorrow in the MLP weekly update I'm gonna spend some time on a NPPL/PSP comparo and I want to get a head start with this week's Monday Poll. I'm going to keep it simple: All I want to know is which version of 5-man you'd rather play, NPPL 5-man or PSP Race 2-2. Keep in mind the differences in the field layouts, the gun rules, the scoring etc. You may even consider the venues in the case of the competing Chitown events coming up. Whatever your reason which one will you (or would you) spend your hard earned cash on?

Why 5-man? Because I think there's a fair chance it will be the 5-man competitors who are the deciding factor between profit and loss, failure and success, for both leagues. And the NPPL seems to be at a disadvantage in every category except venue--and perhaps timing, as it comes before Badlandz but leaves a smaller window for registration and payment.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Number of prelim games:

NPPL: 8
PSP: 8-12

Gun rules:
PSP: 12.5 ramping
NPPL: Whatever you can get by Dan Perez; add 5 bps if it's a Bob Long gun.

Price:
NPPL: $1200 to $1450
PSP: $1100

Layout:
NPPL: 7-man field
PSP: 5-man field

Venue:
PSP: Grass with parking shuttle to paved parking in BFE location
NPPL: Paved parking; playing surface depends on where at CPX the fields are set up, in BFE location.

SSRoman said...

PSP, but I'm biased :)

D said...

NPPL is a 7Man league using 5Man as its cash cow.
PSP is a true 5Man league, always been, always will.

To be completely honest, I do thank the split NPPL/PSP and the NPPL for raising the bar. That has brought events organization to a much higher/better standard.
But that's all I can thank them for. 7Man is dead, Dan Perez a joke, locations... mmm remember the Bills Stadium, the dump (sorry, the fair ground), the NJ event...?!? all they got is HB.
Guns & rules (what rulebook?), see Anon comment above.

PSP (finally) uses true feeder Series, which leads to more local events (helping local businesses).
The refs (not saying they are perfect) are much better, as well as the Ultimates.
Locations... Phoenix, nice. World Cup, very nice. MAO, got to love that park, even if it's in the middle of nowhere. Chicago WAS great. Badlandz... C- in my book.
Guns and rules. fair and square. Still no perfection but light years ahead of NPPL.

To add to Anon comment above:
Price:
NPPL:
D3: $1450.00
D4: $1200.00
PSP:
D3 or D4: $1100

Prizes:
NPPL:
D3: $1885(1st), $945(2nd)
D4: $900(1st), $450(2nd)
PSP:
D3: $1100(1st), $550(2nd)
D4: $0

In both leagues, your chance to get your money back is close to none (only 1st in D3, both leagues, pays back).
The "investment" is a bit less at PSP. Now, it would come down to the paint shot and $/case.

My vote on the PSP.

Frank said...

I like PSP 5man better. It doesn't suck up your whole day because you play your games in a 3hour window on the same field and the bracket play where if you lose your first game against a team you can still come back.

BUT and this is a huge but. PSP treats the lower division 5man teams like shit. When I was playing D4 5 man you'd always get the shittiest time slots. Sunday you didn't get any info until 3-4am which is good because games didn't start until 6am.... then if you moved on it is a race back to score tent to hurry up and wait to find out where they were sending you next.

Missy Q said...

to D,
You're leaving out some venues dude.

NPPL
Boston Venue - sweet
Denver venue - sweet
Vegas venue (x2) - both sweet
SD Venue - Sweet
Tampa - Sweet
OC - Sweet
Miami Venue - Pretty Sweet

The NPPL venues were always better, and HB wasn't all they had. Apart from that you're also mostly wrong, and even on the points you have traction in, your partizan attitude makes them count for nothing.
Basically, if you can't give an accurate overveiw for comparison, and you weigh one sides plus's against another sides weaknesses, then sure, you can reach thge conclusion you reached.

Anonymous said...

Missy,

Seems you're talking about a company that went bankrupt. The NPPL that is currently operating has locations at HB, CPX, Pevs, and Vegas.

Even if they were the same, many would question the value of playing on carpet rolled out on pavement just because the pavement is next to an empty stadium. No one has ever shown any evidence that those "grand venues" ever did anything for paintball.

D said...

@Missy,
You are right, I'm bias.
You cannot count Vegas 09 as sweet. Parking lot behind an hotel... Strip or not, that's still a bad location. Convenient, I agree. But cannot be part of the good ones.
True about the OC Fair, true about Tampa. Never been a fan of SD nor the Gillette Stadium.
Denver... I'll give it a sweet-ish.

I'm bias but you cannot tell me the NPPL didn't take 5Man just for the money. It has been a war of formats since the split. All of a sudden, 5Man is part of the 7Man league. The NPPL logo even shows a huge 7, not a 5!
You cannot tell me neither than Dan is the Man, that the registration system is better than APPA, nor that the NPPL has a 2010 rulebook (based on the website that shows the '09 version).

PSP does have a smaller, less appealing tradeshow, doesn't have fruits&drinks given away to the players (not sure if the NPPL still does).

To me, fair game, good ground, paint at a decent price and ease of access are the key.

I admit I now prefer the PSP. I also admit the NPPL ruled when the Brits were running it and I would love to see them back.
til some changes, I will give my money to the PSP to play 5Man.

Don Saavedra said...

There is, of course, a variable unaccounted for: one's personal desire to play RaceTo or 7man. Since 5man in both leagues is meant as a stepping stone to what the league truly offers, one can't account for someone having more fun playing one over the other.

Missy Q said...

Anon,
Technically I was talking about a company that sold a league to a company that went bankrupt. More specifically I was discussing venues of the opposing leagues, and their relative (and comparative) sweetness. I think overall the NPPL venues have been considerably sweeter than the PSP ones. I like Pheonix (a lot), I liked Bollingbrook. WC Aviation-place is OK.

D,
I get ya. I don't disagree with many of your other points, especially not the one about the brits. I just like to see a rounded argument rather than letting one league get the crap kicked out of it because no-one was around to defend it when the info projected is inaccurate/slanted.
Personally I don't like seeing 5-man at the NPPL events anyway, although I understand why they did it.

Anonymous said...

Missy,

I guess I just don't know why you'd even bring up NPPL locations from 2003-2008. It's clear that those locations were booked by an entirely different company and there is no expectation of having those locations again in the near future so with regards to the question at hand - play NPPL or PSP 5-man - NPPL venues in '03 to '08 is completely irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Having visited last years PSP World Cup and comparing it to the '06 and '07 @ Disney I don't think that the venue is "sweet"...It's in the middle of nowhere, no attractions nearby, no hotels, not even a decent selection of food vendors nearby (I tried Arby's and it sucks) and everyone was spread all over, some in Lakeland, others in Kissimmeee... I long for the old World Cups.

Anonymous said...

PSP 5-man for Chicago is also a 2-day affair while NPPL spreads it over 3 days.

anonachris said...

World Cup anywhere in Orlando area is sweet.
Super7 Events were in sweet locations, with the occasional compromise.
PSP Events were/are in compromise locations with the occasional sweet location.

Chasing ever increasing crappy locations for the PSP (and NPPL I guess too) is hurting it.

I would love to see the PSP grow to a point with its feeder series that each of the 4 PSP events can be at a feeder series field in the future--IF that field is in a reasonably accessible place. Challenge Park = decent location, Badlandz = huge compromise location. But still I think it's acceptable if they can built up world class tourney infrastructure there. The feeder series fields would have to get their infrastructure built up for sure.

But what would you prefer? The PSP dumps 50k in setup, leasing, etc. (number made up) fees every single event that does nothing for the sport of paintball and just pads the bank account of some venue/city partk? Or the PSP and regional fields jointly invest the money into building up the infrastructure of paintball in that area.

In one example you have an unsustainable model that's bleeding money and chasing around locations. In the other you are building paintball up at the local level while establishing a strong foundation for the PSP locations.

I hope this is what the PSP wants to work to with the feeder series. For the amount of money the leagues have spent on locations 5 world class field facilities could have been built that would serve as permanent tournament locations and also be the foundation for growing paintball in that region.

Missy Q said...

What if the fancy location offers itself for free?
What if the city hosting the event pay for the location?
This was often the case with the old NPPL. No 50k needed. In fact, the most expensive location was always HB, which of course is the one event no-one would want to see disappear, and everyone would slam the league if they gave that venue up, even if it were to save money and to become more viable.

Missy Q said...

anyway, as far as I'm concerned, PSP is 5-man, NPPL is 7 man. If I were playing 5-man and prefered that format, I would prefer to play PSP.

anonachris said...

So MissyQ would claim the several hundred thousand dollars the NPPL invested into locations and infrastructure (same with the PSP) over the years has been a wise use of resources that is still generating a return on investment.

What return are we getting out of it now that it's gone? Happy memories of fleeting legitmacy? Or was it just a one time zinger like a shot of heroin? It was a fun ride, we got to feel like rock stars but we didn't plan for the future.

The sad thing is the WDP-NPPL were the real visionaries, it's just unfortunate their vision didn't include "if you build it they will come", but was rather, "If we hype it, they will come to the thing which isn't built yet."

All the promotion in the world won't change that having a huge event in a region of crappy fields won't help sustain the fires of paintball's growth. Build up some sweet fields, in great locations (I can dream can't I) and then not only will you have a place to come back to every year, but your spectators will have a place to play at next weekend.

Anonymous said...

NPPL has had the same problem since 2004. For all the hype, it's nearly always been a crappy league for PLAYING paintball. The reffing has nearly always been crappy, the playing surface has nearly always been crappy, the organization has nearly always been crappy, the classifications has nearly always been crappy, and the price to play has nearly always been crappy.

NPPL keeps failing because NPPL keeps failing to provide a good on-field experience. Yeah, there are some people who will keep going anyway if you spend enough money on the icing, but if you've got no cake, you better have some real nice icing.

Problem is NPPL 4.0 can't afford icing anymore.

anonachris said...

You're too hard on the NPPL Anony.

Playing paintball in the NPPL hasn't always been crappy because people came back to it for years. Plenty of repeat customers would seem to deflate that argument. People enjoyed playing it. Maybe you didn't. And maybe the people who thought the NPPL refs sucked because they got their asses kicked by 7 alive and it was all pinned on that "blind stupid ref" or something... ya...

The NPPL organization was always top notch. There were obviously issues with people that were power hungry, and authority issues, favoritism, etc. No one is perfect and people hold grudges...what can you say.

But they put on a well organized event and pulled it off coordinating a small army of staff. They were certainly organized.

The problem is not that the NPPL 4.0 can't afford the icing. It's that over time the organization has gradually erroded away, and they're left with nothing but an empty shell and can't even buy some make up to dress it up.

But it's still paintball and if you can still dominate on the field you can win there. If you're mediocre, or just barely better or worse than the other team you'll have a hard time like always.

That's life.

Missy Q said...

Annonachris,
No, Missy would claim that, in most cases, the 'several hundred thousand dollars' was actually fictional, as in, you imagined it, but it wasn't really real.
What Missy is also claiming is that some of those venues came for free, and in other cases there was actually revenue generated from those venues. In which case there wouldn't be a return on investment anonochris, because there was no investment. Unless you count getting paid to be there as a return?

As for Anonymous, well I hope where you are playing now has everything perfect for you. You really sound like the worst kind of customer for a league to deal with. Alternatively, you're just so anti-NPPL that no reasoning or fact-based contradiction to your argument will make any difference to you. You think NPPL is and always has been crappy, in all things, and in every way. You're wrong, but me telling you how obviously wrong you are isn't going to make any difference, right?

anonachris said...

I was not aware of this. So the previous Super 7 spent nothing to have a setup from HB to Tampa to Denver to NY, to OC, etc?

All the NPPL expenses were for payroll only?

Take all that money the NPPL and the PSP have had to spend as a result of having transient venues and dump it into a fixed location. World class facility that serves a purpose beyond 1 weekend a year.

Missy Q said...

Anonachris,
we having a problem with reading comprehension today?

anonachris said...

I don't buy it that the NPPL only paid the following:
payroll
transportation of staff
logding
food

I suppose it's possible and if so, they're brilliant and it explains how they pulled it off for so long before they finally broke the bank.

But I'd assume the league spent money setting up venues. You corrected me on information no one is privy to that outside of HB the league didn't pay for a venue. Please list which ones actually if you want to continue to assert that.

But apparently your accounting comprehension isn't that good, because paying a "Vending fee" to show up at a location is only one part of the expense of having to come to a location and build everything from scratch 5 times a year several years in a row.

Missy Q said...

Anonochris,
I'm not going to list. Partially because I feel the info is too valuable to give away, and partly because I'm not 100% certain which deals applied to which locations, and I don't want to mislead anyone or be less than accurate. It would be inaccurate to say that outside of HB all the venues were free. Not all the locations were free, (SD wasn't, as I remember), but as with the PSP's Fantasy of Flight location - where Polk County actually offered incentives for the WC to be hosted there - many venues want the warm bodies and their townships/cities/counties are prepared to negotiate to provide hotel/restuarant/entertainment dollars to their constituants.
Of course they spent money at each location to set up the event. Everyone has to do this.

anonachris said...

Too valuable is a bit of a laugh.

It wouldn't be hard for the new NPPL or the PSP to go and call up each of the 10 different venues the PPP crew used and ask if they'd be interested in tournament paintball showing up.

I still maintain that the cost of bouncing from place to place, building improvements, renting equipment, paying the occaisonal vending fee, etc. probably amounts to a few hundred thousand dollars which could have instead been invested in fields which would serve as a great return venue, plus generate revenue the rest of the year, not to mention help actually grow paintball in that area.

Missy Q said...

I don't totally disgree with your utopian idea's anonochris, and as the figure of 'a few hundred thousand dollars' seems to be an integral part of your theory, sure, why not, thats what it costs...

I always found the flights, hotels and wages to be the ares that becomes a real issue. You can get the flights & hotals at a good rate, or you could get end up getting screwed.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say NPPL was bad at everything. I said they were bad at everything that had to do with actually playing paintball (since 2004).

Playing surface? Bad. Reffing? Bad. Entry fees? Bad. Gun rules? Bad. Classifications? Bad.

The parties, atmosphere, VIP areas, free fruit, bands playing, stadium locations, all great.

They just had nothing to do with the on-field experience being good.


Repeat customers only shows that there is a segment of customers more interested in the things that NPPL was good at than the things they were not.