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Thursday, March 27, 2014

So Animal has some free time

So reviews are slow right now, and DIY guides for the blog are slow too.  This makes a good moment to just talk, from blogger to readers.  Sort of a Meta blog post.

Some of you might have seen me post on Facebook, when I see an announcement for a new 3rd party product.  The content while not identical always carry the same message:  "How much is it going to cost me to get some for review?"  Not "Can I have one free for review."  There are a couple reasons for this.

First, I won't pretend that CBAS is big enough or popular enough to be a blip on anyone's radar for marketing.  It's practical to assume that we aren't going to get anything for free.  Barring a review going nuclear, not too many makers give a damn what we have to say.  When we get something for review we ALWAYS send feedback to the manufacturer, barring repurposed gear.

Second, I like to buy the gear I review to put the price in perspective.  It can be a little tricky to put aside that I already own a rig when I order one for review, but it helps me decide whether it's worth the price.  I also intend to make a habit of selling off or giving away older gear.

Third, when something is wrong, or sub par, or just not worth the money or effort to get it, I like to use my indignation in the article.  When it's good, there's a real joy with the item that makes it into the text.

Fourth, when I pay for something, I pay more attention to it.  I once won a homemade in a giveaway, and I didn't really give the review and build the attention that it deserved.

So yeah, that's why I try to make a point of paying for my gear.  Sure, I'll review free stuff, but I won't solicit freebies.

Friday, March 14, 2014

On playstyles and gear

Functionality.  It seems like such a simple concept to grasp, but so disagreed upon among the community of folks on the internet.  Recently I posted a poll on this blog with a few open ended questions, asking how players carried their ammo.  We also asked what they thought was practical and tacticool.  We got a wide variety of answers, some well thought out, others just an example of people being dicks.  (It's okay guys, I'm a bit of a misanthrope as well.)

Before going any further I feel I owe the NIC crowd an apology.  I had assumed that more of the dickery submitted to the survey would be from the NIC crowd, and you guys were in general brief but polite.  For underestimating you guys I apologize.

The number of responses to the survey was pretty small, not enough to make any definitive statements about any segment of the community.  I can say some small things, but as no authority on the subject.

- Players that use non-magfed blasters only use no type of specialized load carrying equipment.  No real surprise there.  Pouches of varying descriptions, from left over Crown Royal bags to Belgian Gasmask pouches.  A pouch is a pouch as long as your hand can get into it quickly.

- Players that play HvZ only seem rather split on the use of load carrying equipment, even though usage of magfed blasters is nigh-ubiquitous.  Lots and lots of people carrying mags around in cargo shorts.  This strikes me as less than ideal for QUICKLY grabbing a reload.  A near equal number of respondents who played HvZ have adopted mag carrying equipment.  Whether this is indicative of a trend in that direction, I haven't the foggiest idea.  It could be simply that people who play often enough find it worth their while to invest in gear that makes quick access to mags possible.

- Players of Stock-class wars, predominantly indoor, have the highest adoption rate of load carrying equipment.  While some will go full cosplay military kit, the majority it seems from my limited data-set take a very pragmatic approach to their gear.  If it helps more ammo or make their ammo more quickly available to them, gear has value.  Anything that makes their blasters or ammo more available has value, all else is just frosting and flair.

Of course based on what limited results DID come in, I may ask further questions down the road.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Reader Feedback Time!

Every once in a while I get curious what people think about our articles.  This is not one of those times.  Today, I want to know a little more about you guys, our readers.  What you think, what you like and don't like are valuable information that can help us better write articles pertaining to things you like... or not.  Just a few simple questions for you below the fold!  Answers may be as brief or detailed as you like.


Special Thanks

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