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The B Word (BF4 Themed Games)

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Old November 18th, 2014, 23:47   #1
Flaming Salami
 
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The B Word (BF4 Themed Games)

After four years of playing airsoft casually, I started hosting/reffing skirmishes at my local field. I was asked at some points to come up with new ideas for games, so I started drawing from the milsim scene. Now when I look at the casual, everyday airsofter I see one thing in common with them all: they play video games. My conclusion then was, if I want to introduce milsim style scenarios to the casual player maybe I should base my games off of game types in video games. Why might I do this? The thinking was that, for example, if the rules/objectives seemed too complicated, then I could just say "it's like rush from BF4" and every one would say "oh, now I get it"!

Well this is where I ran into a big problem. "Apparently" the milsim community hates when their games are compared to video games. The "B" word (BF4) and the C word (COD) are strictly forbidden when making scenarios. "This is a military simulation not a video game".

Sorry, but I have news for you, it is not a "military simulation". In fact, being in the military is nothing like airsoft. Most of the equipment people spend thousands of dollars on is used to make themselves look like a character model from BF4. So why do they get offended when I compare airsoft to a video game? Maybe because they know it is true and don't want to admit it. I have seen first hand what milsim looks like. I have also seen first hand what the actual military looks like. Sure, maybe the guns look the same and your equipment makes you look like a SEAL, but face it, this isn't the military.

I hate to go on rants about airsoft (I enjoy the game, I really do) but these kinds of people make me sick. Who cares if I called you out because you dress up like a video game character? It's the truth! I do not care how much "tactical operator" tactics you know. So what if you can reload in 1.5 seconds and do some crazy shooting stances and weapon swaps. If you cannot keep a simple 5 meter spacing, watch a basic arc, perform an advance to contact, or walk in any sort of discernible tactical formation (other than the breaching stacks) are you really simulating military tactics. The answer is NO.

Don't get me wrong, I love airsoft and most of the community (including the milsim guys); but realizing when enough is enough is essential. Cut the crap. It's a game so treat it like it is one. I 100% agree there are some really good airsoft players out there, but that does not make them on par with any military force. There is a fine line between them both and it seems to constantly be blurred.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 00:37   #2
Drake
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I think part of the problem is nothing you described is actually "milsim."

And that's really not your fault, lately there have been a lot of games trying to label themselves as "milsim" when they really, really aren't (and that's probably a whole other discussion all by itself).

There's nothing wrong with the BF/COD games; in fact, the largest game in the country for the past several years has been a BF2 -inspired event in Quebec City (attracting over 500 participants), complete with timers to capture objectives and track points based on how long the objective was held and everything.

I don't feel like getting into a protracted discussion about this because it's been brought up so many times before, so I'll oversimplify to illustrate the point: most video games (COD, BF2) are action packed and if your airsoft game resembles that in any way its really not milsim in the strictest sense of the term. Which isn't to say a regular game can't borrow some ideas for more realism or whatever. But just like throwing a spoiler on the back of a car doesn't make it a sportscar, running real caps and spacing and formations and gear impressions doesn't make a milsim.

Milsim isn't action-packed. Milsim is outright boring to those who don't enjoy milsim. Milsim has you guarding something all day which may never come under threat, not because its fun but because that's your job. Milsim has you humping 30 lbs of stuff for the day on a patrol that may never encounter anyone. Milsim punishes you for messing up and dying rather than recycling you back into the action with a quick respawn. And above all, milsim is a mindset, the idea that its not "just a game" and you should treat what's happening as real (which includes not Leroy Jenkins-ing around the field in an attempt to "get kills"). And when everyone is playing with that mindset, trust me it makes a hell of a difference.

So again, everyone is fine with COD, BF2, etc. Everyone's fine with all sorts of game play, from super realistic to Terminator-themed games to zombies and post-apocalyptic. What people get annoyed with is terminology being misused/misappropriated.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 13:09   #3
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Great reply Drake.

I am not sure as to your point Flaming Salami; are you just ranting or presenting a solution?

I guess part of the issue is the language used and how games are marketed to players. If we wanna speak in terms of language dressing up with guns and military gear and playing even a disorganized skirmish could be considered a (very basic) "milsim".

I think games are marketed for different reasons. I see what appears to be a lot of games marketed for profit. In the past a lot of quality games I've attended weren't huge and catered to the completion of the mission rather than pure entertainment.

We could compare to other recreational activities/games. A pickup floor hockey game is fun, short and action packed. Something like a spartan race or goruck challenge is less easy fun/entertainment and more about the completion of a challenge, sense of accomplishment and teamwork for the participants.

I think in Airsoft part of the conflict between the genres is the innacurate advertisement and misunderstanding. `Milsim` to me is clearly different than Flaming Salami`s interpretation; but thats ok. We all do this for our own reasons and why voluntarily submit to someone else idea of fun?

People see 'milsim' and that causes them to have expectations and then they draw assumptions about what to expect and then they risk disappointment.

Those who enjoy so continue to attend your battlefield themed games and I will continue to selectively seek games like dead fall. I don't see the problem with people playing games of any type and I encourage them to do as they please for their maximum enjoyment.

Like Drake said this issue comes up a lot and causes needless frustration. If games are marketed in a way that people understand what they are going to be doing for their weekend and don't make assumptions based on the word "milsim" it might cause less friction.

I don't want to show up to a game where I end up assaulting meaningless locations all day with hi-caps(and limiting the same basic idea to realcaps is not gonna fix that) just like someone who expects a full day of "action" wouldn't be happy or equipped to lay in an ambush in the rain for several hours waiting.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 13:51   #4
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I think that the OP was not necessarily about the game type but of the attitude of the "hardcore" milsim players that were offended by basing a "milsim" game on a video game.
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Old November 19th, 2014, 13:53   #5
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Hardly anything is a military simulation, I personally don't like the term milsim because it gets thrown around a lot for everything under the sun. I view games lately as either skirmishes (start/stop) or continous play and then go from there.
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Old November 20th, 2014, 08:03   #6
Mordarski J.A.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
...Milsim isn't action-packed. Milsim is outright boring to those who don't enjoy milsim. Milsim has you guarding something all day which may never come under threat, not because its fun but because that's your job. Milsim has you humping 30 lbs of stuff for the day on a patrol that may never encounter anyone. Milsim punishes you for messing up and dying rather than recycling you back into the action with a quick respawn. And above all, milsim is a mindset, the idea that its not "just a game" and you should treat what's happening as real (which includes not Leroy Jenkins-ing around the field in an attempt to "get kills"). And when everyone is playing with that mindset, trust me it makes a hell of a difference...
Drake, I think this is actually the best description of what "MilSim" really is.

Yes, lots of airsofters play video games (BF4, COD, etc.) and I think their version of "tactics" stems from that. There are players who don't view getting hit as a big deal, and if there is a short respawn time then it really isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But that's the discretion of the game host/organizer - they're the ones who make the rules and set the scenarios. If they want to have a more true to form game, they need to plan for a smaller group as the majority of airsofters don't care for the more realistic type games (or so it seems to me anyway).

But like Drake said....when everyone is playing with the more real "MilSim" mindset, it is an absolute blast! I don't think we have enough of these in Canada.
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Old November 20th, 2014, 11:06   #7
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I think that at this point, part of the issue is the rolling of "MilSim" in with "OPERATOR" culture.

Airsoft is filled with such a diversity of player cultures here in Canada, reasons why people play. Just to name a few, there are collectors, re-enactors, milsimmers, speedballers, skirmishers, etc.

All of these people join in the community together, and sometimes the cultures don't mix so well. Part of the problem with that is the games are often not marketed specifically for one culture, as that could potentially lead to a very lowly populated game.

I've found that in the gigantic, 100+ player games, you have such a mixture of the cultures present (each team represents its own unique reasons for attending), that it is no wonder that these games often disappoint or have some serious player issues. There are only so many milsimmers, skirmishers, speedballers, etc. When you need to fill up large rosters, they are all thrust into the same environment with completely different expectations and requirements to each other, which can cause some serious strife between those communities.

In addition, as you've noted, the "OPERATOR" mindset can cause issues, in the sense where guys will run reloading drills, contact drills, shooting drills incessantly while looking like Navy SEALs, without working on the other skills required (such as advance to contact, or the teamwork skills that could put all of the individual fighting skills to use).

I feel this topic has been beaten to death (again) in the last couple weeks, but it seems as though there is some good conversation arising from it. What I think needs to happen is some serious introspection. If you advertise a game as a "BF4" or "COD" style gameplay and people whinge about it not being "MilSim", remind them that it's a marketing term to appeal to the "OPERATOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" ethos, and has no actual meaning. They are more than welcome to "OPERATE OPERATIONALLY AS OPERATIONAL OPERATORS OPERATING" at your game. Those who are into a realistic military simulation will find their own ways to accomplish this amidst all the debris, should they attend the video-game styled games.
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Old November 24th, 2014, 05:57   #8
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The biggest issue with airsoft is that there are several, very discernibly different, groups doing different things, and they all claim to play airsoft. Go by event description to know what you are walking into. There are reinactors, WWII & Vietnam, etc, there are speedballers & woodsballers, etc, and tactical team or milsimers, etc, three gun/sport shooters, plinkers, collectors, sci-Fi role-players, and apparently it's all airsoft. Depending on what type of event it is, these groups don't always mix. You can't go to an open to all event and be upset that there is a guy dressed like Master Chief, can't go to a milsim and say that the tactical squads take it too seriously. I don't go to WWII events dressed in modern gear, and vice versa. Be prepared appropriately for whichever event you are attending, because other than the presence of airsoft guns, they are not the same thing. Each event, team, field, whatever, tries to set a tone for play type and style. When in Rome people! If you're having a BF/COD style event, then that's what it is. You can't get mad at players working tactically to dominate and applying military style training and equipment, just as they can't get mad at guys who are there for some fun trigger time. When you're in someone else's house, it's their rules, have some respect.

Wether serious or more for fun based, say combat simulation versus capture the flag or whatever, the vast majority of games are based around modern combat and equipment. The specialty groups such as WWII may attract a decent following, but some of the less popular ones don't, abd therefore may lack a player base for their style. In response to this they attend other style of events and try to play their way, which is where the problems usually arise.

There are lots of come one come all games, or specialty games, but you may have to do some driving, depending of course on where you are. When I started we were in a fairly small town. We had our own private field and ran modern, tactical style games, often having other like-minded teams come play. We would meet the odd individual who wanted to go something else, alas there was no other team types in the area. There was three teams there, all modern tactical style, in one way or another. One guy we met wanted to do WWII stuff, but the nearest was hours away and another guy wanted to so a role-playing thing of sorts. I get that you want to dress up like a care bear and run around with a samurai sword with and airsoft gun styled after a pulse rifle, all while pretending to be the savior of some fictitious fantasy land, but then go to the appropriate events. Your welcome at the others of course, but show up game appropriate, gear and mindset.
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