To answer the basic question, yes I think the limits of the round ball have been reached.
Just wanted to say that the largest capacity FS compatible magazine would be a Q-Loader with a new screw designed by alpha434. It allows you to hold 80 FS rounds. http://www.mcarterbr...s-like-pro.html
Although I don't think he is making them any more.
He nevery made it past the prototype stage- he has shelved any further work until someone designs a breech that can accept his loader (should it actually work, and not just hold rounds, it is a viable design/concept).
this is because the format of the game was changed to cover up the range/accuracy problems that paintballs had.
you have to get past the number of band-aids that the way we play paintball to cover up the inherent technological issues of the past.
Actually, the format of the game was changed to make it a spectator sport and then, to make field operators more money per player (increased shots per player, increased matches per day)
I honestly don't see them as more than a novelty, even despite the things you list. I mean I think they have a lot of potential but the penetration isn't as universally high as you may be thinking. Now we don't exactly do things quite like everyone else around my neck of the woods but I have yet to see ANYONE using first strikes, other than the people that have brought them down to demo or promote them.
It seems like they are really only anywhere near common on the largest, most popular outdoor venues.
I think this is only viewing it through the lens of '1 projectile for the sport' and that 'one projectile must die for another to thrive'. I welcome the concept of multiple projectiles in the sport, they each have their strengths and weaknesses and good players should adapt to their chosen projectile.
TBH i'm not really even sure paintball SHOULD be encouraging longer engagement ranges. I don't think getting sniped out by someone you can't even see is a great way to promote the game with noobs.
Actually, I play mostly rec-ball with my setup and the 'noobs' react no differently to my gun than they do to my camo. They are interested, they joke about being 'sniped', and by the end of the day- they are having conversations with me about how much it costs, the merits of less shots for the same cost, just how far flying and accurate they are and "wouldn't it be cool if... [insert their own creative take on a fantasy marker]". You're forgetting / ignoring just how ignorant the vast majority of new players are. The entire day is a new experience filled with tons of new information to digest. I've seen newer, articulate grown men say that longer barrels make a difference (while I silently held my tongue until I could interject tactfully).
In my opinion, if you disregard the politically correct, vocal minority, there's historically been nothing that has drawn more folks to the sport than the idea of charging/sneaking around in the woods and getting into firefights. Keeping folks interested has been the challenge and it's due to the limitation of the traditional paintball (in the one-projectile market), and the changes to the game format to accomodate said projectile.
I'm personally a huge proponent of pump play for expanding the new player base, and I know I'm not alone in the industry. The low risk of overshooting, low initial investment and ability to encourage more moving should translate into higher player retention
Actually, with the round projectile, you don't need to even go back to pump. Limited (truly) paint, billy ball, mag fed, games all play very differently.
...IMO successful play first and foremost is about competitive matchups. That and good ref involvement IMO are the keys to successful introductory experiences.
I am a big proponent of one-on-one play for introductory players, having them play one on one with their peers. It rarely happens but IMO that's a really fun way to simplify the game and get EVERYONE several rounds where they can go all out and play rather than catch a random ball early or cower all game from the other team (regardless of firepower).
I agree with this but, I feel that the game is already too 'structured' with it's postage stamp sized fields, bunkers every 15-20 ft, and short time limits.
I see them regularly at the field. The math does start to work out at big event paint prices....
...This argument has come up dozens of times over the years. The fact is that paintball grew UNTIL prices started coming down and ROF went up. The fastest growth in the sport was when paint was relatively expensive and guns were relatively slow. In my opinion high tech loaders and guns and cheap paint are part of what moved paintball in the wrong direction.
I think that intro modes like Billy Ball would really help the sport grow - which is the same as the suggestion to keep pump play growing.
Actually, I got my rounds for $40/100rds and free shipping
but, yeah, I pay roughly the same as I do when shooting regular paint (and employing regular paint tactics).
I'm actually of the mind that most players (to include the silent majority who never visit a paintball forum), think in ways that is bad for the sport. Most players want a higher ROF, larger ammo capacities, more body padding. Personally, I'd like to keep it somewhat 'combat' realistic but, fun like:
Limited Paint / Mag Fed
Unlimited firing modes
Multiple projectiles (.50, .68, FS, Metadyne/Nerf)
When I think about objectives... Why is paintball so sucky in regards to rec-ball game types? I swear most fields I've been to have just "Elimination", 'Attack and Defend', "Capture the Flag" "Center flag", even though the game has been around for two decades. Just a handful of online gaming years has spawned a riduclous number of game types.