Why skill doesn't win wars
Written by Elliott
Last updated on 2009-07-18
You hear the opposite viewpoint all the time; that skill and experience is what will win you a water war but it's just not that simple. Imagine, if you will, 2 people, with water guns on flat terrain. One is armed with a CPS 2000, one with an XP105, now, without going into any specifics about the range of these two guns (we all know that the CPS far outstrips the XP) you can tell that if the CPS bearer stays out of the XP bearer's range of fire, the CPS user can safely soak the other without any risk of being soaked himself. This is an example of how the weapon can make all the difference in a fight, not the user. Now, the point in this article is not to deny completely that there's no skill involved in a water war – obviously if we had given our two water warriors a CPS 2000 each, the outcome would have been decided purely on skill – it's to teach you to think about your choice of weapon instead of cockily striding into battle hoping to beat your opponents with just your skill and an XP105.
Take, another example, capacity. No matter how water-conscious the warrior is, the bottleneck on how long he can go without refilling is ultimately down to the capacity of his gun – there are certain mods that can change this but since the majority of guns remain unmodified throughout their life-cycle, it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss such mods. Of course, capacity is a consideration that goes hand in hand with gun payload (the amount of water unleashed by a gun in a second or so – for those who are unfamiliar with the term). Put into perspective; the CPS2000 has a healthily sized reservoir but it has an output of nearly 850 ml a second and so it takes less than 4 seconds of actual output to completely drain the tank. To put this into play in a fight; take our CPS2000 and XP105 users again and put them on similar terrain to last time. If neither fighter has side arms to hand, the result of this fight will be decided, mostly, by the merit of these two guns. When people say that the XP105 user will win if he's skilled enough, they're wrong. Nine times out of ten, the only reason the XP105 user will win is because the CPS has only a 1 second shot time for every 25-30 times the gun is pumped and so the XP user will easily enjoy some firing time during re-pumping (which there will be a lot of) and once the CPS wielder has finished the reservoir (which is also bound to happen quickly) the XP user is free to get as close as is necessary to finish the job. As you can see, the outcome of the fight described above was achieved purely through the various features and quirks of the chosen guns. This isn't to say that it could have been toppled either way had the participants been skilled enough but it just illustrates the fact that choice of weapon is just as important, if not more so, than the skill level of the user.
Too many people still hold the opinion that the gun is only as good as the user and this, sadly, is what many water war veterans are all too happy to encourage. It's easy for veterans, when sought after for advice by players of a lower skill level, to claim that they should 'avoid the more powerful guns until they are better' just so that they can be the '1337 0wn4g3' with the only CPS on the whole team (I personally don't see how this advantages your team anyway) because they like the envy and respect they get. The truth is that, in the majority of situations, you can hand a 'noob' a CPS 1500, tell him to aim at a 45° angle and he'll be just as good as anyone else on your team. It is another myth that just because someone is an experienced water 'veteran', he can miraculously take on 4 or 5 people armed similarly to himself. When it comes to winning a water fight, equipment is most important, numbers second and skill comes in last.
Although it's easy to read this article and come away thinking 'I'll just go out and buy the biggest gun I can find, then go pwn some noobs', this wasn't the aim at all. For example, if you have fought in many past water wars then you'll know what works and what doesn't or say, if you are familiar with the type of battlefield (e.g. forest), you'll also have an advantage. Weapon familiarization is very important as well, get to know your choice of weapon and you'll do much better in a fight. As you can see, there are many things that will help you and that do come down to the user as opposed to the weapon so don't feel downhearted by this article and instead take it for what it is; a lesson that gun choice is just as important as skill.