Originally Posted by Ricochet
In essence, it really comes down to the balance between the two aspects, and how it adapts over time. You want the realism, and you need the fun factor.
"fun" means different things to different people... the key is to collect all the right people together and provide that group with their idea of fun.
I had 16 guys at TTAC3 all last weekend for a 2 day CQB training course.. force on force was the last 2 hours of 16 hours of training. there was 14 hours of dry runs, drills, and shooting paper.. There are not very many people that want this kind of experience,and fewer still who will pay for it, but those that do want as much of it as they can get.
Serious players, wanting to learn serious skills.. so that they can dominate regular players in all situations and circumstances.
I have guys who have been investing in training for years, these same people have committed to transforming their bodies and making investments in fitness, specifically to improve their performance and ability in the field. they have invested thousands in the best equipment, and tools to hone their competitive advantage to a keen edge. They systematically knock down barriers to peak performance.
The mind set of these players is distinctly different from most, they play hard, they play to win, they tolerate discomfort, they are aggressive, and unapologetic about it. And more and more, dissatisfied with the opposition they face at public games. Their idea of what is fun is quite different than your typical "Saturday afternoon operator" Often they are accused of cheating, or "bad sportsmanship" by those that are swept aside by them, but the fact is.. they are just that much better, physically, technically and mentally, not because they are somehow, "Superior" but because they have bought and paid for the training, and practice and equipment necessary to get good at the game.
Challenging players like this is not easy from a game host standpoint. maintaining game balance when you mix in all levels of players can be a nightmare of compromise.. often ending up with everyone mildly pissed off.
The fact is a new player, with half a season under their belt has no business being on the same field with such players, That new player is just finding their feet, and figuring out how to play, what works what does not, how to get things done, and what they find fun. Getting slaughtered at every turn can be a real damper to their fun, and it's not much of a challenge to well trained , equipped and motivated players to deal with. putting the two together serves as a disincentive to participation for both.
This is the perennial challenge for game organizers, how do you create an environment where all levels and types of players can get what they want and need from your games. In some cases, it can't be done, and certain games are for certain players and the non focus group has to be excluded.
new players can always benefit from the presence of experienced players, obviously, But the reverse is not always true. This is often why we see long time , and experienced players withdraw from the wider community to enclaves of specialized focus, such as more "reenactment" type activities where new challenges can be met with those assured of being of like mind.