you can't Make
your friends participate at the level you want them to..
Sounds to me like they a perceived as "tourists" by the regular players.
the investment in gear and guns illustrates a commitment to the activity that will win over veteran players.
You are committed.. buying gear and guns and showing up at games with more "stuff" every time you appear.
If you have a bunch of "clearsoft rangers" in tow you will find yourself lumped in with them and written off as "not serious"
This is a game.. and it is a hobby but people take games and hobbies seriously as they spend a lot of time and money - resources on it.
for many... investing in proper gear and weapons is augmented by going to events with like minded persons.
Having a contingent of "tourists" just there to goof around in no gear and crap guns spoils the experience for many. They may have played to all the rules.. taken every shot received... but it still just does not "feel" right.
Every event is not made for every type of player.. i'm sure if you look around you will find groups of less serious players to just have some fun with, where gear and guns are less important.
You should take your friends to those sorts of games.. some of your friends will likely end up committing more resources to gear and guns and in time you will find you "fit in" more with the more committed players.
good guns and good gear so not make a player good... but it does illustrate a commitment that other players recognize in a first impression basis.
CAPS Range Officer
Toronto Downtown Age Verifier
If the tongue could cut as the sword does, the dead would be infinite