Steroid Chips? Ramping? What's that?
article by Young Choi
The latest term to hit the seen this season was “ramping.” IE an electronic marker that has a shot multiplier that can be programmed to kick in at any time that the user sees fit. If you have not heard of this term, in a nutshell, the gun will receive a certain amount of trigger pulls and the gun will shoot a whole lot more.
Smart Parts were the true pioneers of ramping guns when they released the Shocker Turbo. Back in 1999 no one knew what to make of this. This programming made anyone shoot excessively fast (for the purpose of this article, when I refer to speed or fast I’m referring to the amount of balls per second that a ramped marker is capable of. Balls per second per say).
Fast forward to 2002 when the “debounce” program was introduced. The debounce was a program to eliminate electronic noise that the circuit board may “hear” when a trigger action (pull) was enacted upon the marker. Pre-debounce markers had an affinity to just take off if the trigger pull was too short (and even too long) and the gun would go full-auto from the vibrations on the trigger switch or the excessive electronic noise that occurred during fast firing cycles. From 1999 to present time, the board would scan for trigger pulses faster and faster. Back in 1999 the Turbo board scanned for a trigger action in the thousandths numbers per second (if memory serves right). Now it is common for most any aftermarket board to scan the board in the millionths numbers per second. Debounce was created to turn that down to what ever the user of the gun was comfortable.
|You won't find the ramp|
When debounce was introduced in 2002 for the Intimidator and later for the Matrix, the debounce allowed a user to maximize the union of their fingers to the trigger switch to attain the fastest rates of fire possible. Well naturally, many players realized this, “why turn down the number of times that the board scans for a fire signal when I can turn it up and basically have a full-auto gun?” Players would turn their debounce all the way down to zero eliminated any filtering of the firing pulses that the circuit board may “hear.” In the 2003 season, many players were basically playing with guns that would shoot as fast as the loader would feed the gun. I played 10 man paintball at this time, and I admit it, no one was checking for it (maybe it’s cuz it wasn’t that big of a problem then or it wasn’t an issue yet) I had my Matrix set with the debounce at zero and the rate of fire uncapped. My Matrix was shooting as fast as my Halo could feed it. At the time, I didn’t think of the ramifications that we saw at the beginning of the 2004 season.
|More balls in half the time|
This is when ramping really came into play. The existence of the ramping programs was denied by most of the players then. In the NXL, guns were taking off with unheard of speeds with the crowds just standing there with their mouths wide open as they heard the full throttled markers consuming pods of paint in a short amount of time. Funny thing is that it wasn’t just happening on the NXL fields, it was happening at all the levels of 5, 7, 10 Man, Divisional X Ball, as well as NXL. Ramping was everywhere, it was insane and no one wanted to cough up and admit it.
|This many to the face, is it safe?|
The NPPL tried to combat these “illegal” guns by coming out with a deterrent in their second season, the dreaded “Robot.” This contraption caught a few off guard that second season and the harsh penalty was for your team to pack up cuz it just got DQ’d from the event. Even this deterrent wasn’t all that effective cuz those with the know how or had friends with the ability were now getting access to custom tailored boards that needed a certain sequence to activate. These boards were reprogrammed to only ramp if a certain sequence happened to the marker to make it ramp. Those of you that were gullible enough to think that there was an additional external switch on the gun are fools. These new boards with steroids had no need for a switch as a certain trigger action was all that one would need to activate the code. The code would also turn off with an inactivity of the gun (the time delay it took for the player to hand his gun off) or whatever other cancellation code that the programmer wrote. Last season, a certain player to remain nameless, basically played full-auto at all the NPPL events last season and never got caught with one of these custom tailored boards.
|Getting blasted wasn't much fun|
The PSP went a different route, they just said “fine, we know it exists and we know that you all use it, it (ramping) is legal now.” The PSP made a controversial decision and allowed ramping up to 15 bps. For the whole 2005 season, everyone was allowed to use ramping on their guns as long as it didn’t break 15 bps. This was revolutionary! Protests and praise were all over the internet message boards. Those against ramping felt that the injury rate would climb and that by season’s end that the PSP wouldn’t be able to host events anymore due to the amount of litigations from injured players that would surely be the result of this decision. Of course, those players that were already ramping in hiding took this decision with open arms. Not because they can ramp, but because the PSP was enforcing a bps cap! Before some guns were breaking the 20 to 30 bps barriers before the 15 bps ramp ruling went into effect. It was assumed that everyone was already ramping. The PSP just made a revolutionary wise decision. Check back tomorrow
as to why this decision was so wise.