Standardizing Hits

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Standardizing Hits

Postby SEAL » Sun May 29, 2016 10:38 pm

Good evening everybody. In this thread we are going to be discussing what constitutes a hit in official WWN League-style gameplay. Up to this point the rules are kind of ambiguous, and everyone calls hits a little differently. Veterans are usually stricter, while many newbies/guests are just like "oh, I felt water. I'm out." There were several complaints on this matter at the last war, so I think it should be addressed.

Right now we say something like "majority of a tap shot is a hit," or "hits must be direct." Like how do you even define that? Everyone interprets it differently, and it can be confusing to new players. Also, some people call hits below the knees or waist, while others don't. We need to standardize this as well.

I'm in favor of a more simple approach. That is, if you feel water, it's a hit. (Not counting rain or whatever. It has to be from an enemy weapon, smart-ass.) I know a lot of people won't like that idea, but it's much simpler and easier to explain to people than what we have now. I feel like it'll cut down on hit checks too, which disrupt the flow of gameplay. If you don't like this idea, tell us why, and then tell us why you think your way is better.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby HBWW » Mon May 30, 2016 12:29 am

I think the current standard of majority of tap-shot + fist-sized check works fine. Just feeling water doesn't work since it could just be a single drop of mist which may or may not be noticed under the circumstance.

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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby SSCBen » Mon May 30, 2016 9:44 am

Thanks for posting this SEAL. I had been discussing with marauder about posting a similar topic given the problems at Soakemore.

I think water volume would be the fairest. If it looks like I've been hit by at least 5 mL, no matter how compact it is, I'll count it. It might be that some people completely deny hits after the stream has broken up into droplets, which I think is non-standard and should be recognized as illegitimate. If this were the standard then roughly 75% of the times I've been hit were not legitimate. I'd be okay with counting any amount of water. For the most part, any rule about this is fine as long as it's consistently applied by all of the players.

isoaker posted some photos a while back showing what different shot volumes look like on clothes. I think they were taken down at some point, but I asked him for them:

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What this shows is that how much water is needed to make a visible pattern can vary a lot, depending on the color of the shirt and material. This is why I try to think in terms of water volume. (Originally I had written 20-30 mL, but after looking at the photos again and realizing that I actually think in terms of visible pattern, I reduced the volume to 5 mL.)

As for hits below the knee, I wasn't aware some people didn't count those. I don't see any reason why they shouldn't count. But face hits I would understand. I vaguely recall that the UMD Nerf group had a rule about face shots: If you shoot someone in the face, they survive and you die. I'm not saying that we should implement this rule, just that I think it worked pretty well to avoid face shots. Many of the hits on me at Soakemore were face shots, which I found surprising. In terms of projected area, you'd do better firing at someone's chest.

Anyway, back to what marauder and I discussed. We came to the conclusion that some players consistently denied legitimate hits on themselves. Worse, it seems that some of the newer players noticed this and were very discouraged by it. We want these wars to be enjoyable for everyone involved, so this is definitely unacceptable.

Now, I don't want to shame anyone who did this. I am not pointing at anyone in particularly here. But if you think this might be you, well, you're probably right!

And to be clear, I'm talking about a pattern of denying legitimate hits, not one or two denials. If I think I shot someone once and they deny it, okay, I'll accept that I'm wrong. But if I think I've shot someone many times and the vast majority of the time they deny it, when I've shot others similarly convincingly without denials from them, then it seems the person in question is likely lying about not being hit. Worse, if others complain about the same person, then we have a major problem.

I try to be enormously fair about taking hits. When in doubt, I usually lean towards being hit. If I don't think I've been hit but my opponent insists, I'll usually accept that I was hit. I think this is the attitude players should take.

To get better compliance at wars, I have a few ideas:

At the beginning of the war, let's have a meeting with everyone to discuss the rules, including what counts as a hit.

Another approach would be to basically make a point of taking out anyone who doesn't take legitimate hits. I'm going to say right now that this is probably going to be my policy from here on. If you disagree, you're welcome to convince me this is a bad idea. But here's the idea: If you don't take a legitimate hit from me, either in this battle or the next I'm not interested in winning, just making sure you're taken out. If this system is implemented, I think it will make people who deny legitimate shots realize that it's not going to help them. I encourage others to adopt this solution as well. The disadvantage to this is that it could be considered antisocial, but I think it's much less antisocial than denying legitimate hits.

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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby marauder » Tue May 31, 2016 7:01 am

These are some excellent points. I will go back and respond to everyone after a bit more discussion, but first, to everyone who hasn't responded yet (and if you have, you can reply to these too if you'd like) which of the following do you feel should count as a hit (and feel free to say all or none if that's how you feel)?

Blaster shot?
Foot shot?
Shin shot?
Knee shot?
Thigh shot?
Hand shot?
Forearm shot?
Upper arm shot?
Shoulder shot?
Head/hat shot?
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby SSCBen » Tue May 31, 2016 7:13 am

All of those should count aside from blaster shots and maybe head/hat shots.

Blaster shots shouldn't kill you. Might be interesting to make them disable your blaster for a certain period, though. You could still walk around but could not fire.

I don't think head shots are anywhere near as dangerous here as they are in Nerf, but they still have some risk. I'd be fine either way.

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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby SEAL » Tue May 31, 2016 3:03 pm

Yeah, I'd count all of them except blasters I guess. Though if we aren't counting hits on stuff you're carrying, what of backpacks? As for face-shots, I've never been bothered by them, although some people wear eyeglasses, which does put them at a disadvantage in that regard. Either way, I think most face-shots are accidental. I and I'm sure most others always aim for the torso, because of course it's the biggest target.

I still think that the current hit rules are too ambiguous. We should take out all the "uhh, I'm not really sure if that was a hit or not" scenarios. If you feel any water, it's a hit. It doesn't rely on honor any more than what we currently have. If people are ignoring hits, then they can be thrown from the game if there are enough witnesses. Counting based on volume doesn't really work because most hits aren't even seen coming. And even if you can, how many people know what 5 mL looks like off the top of their head? I know I don't.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby marauder » Tue May 31, 2016 3:14 pm

I think I am in agreement with SEAL. This would also make our battles more dynamic as people would get hit more. If you feel water from someone's gun land on you, you are hit. The problem with counting a specific amount of water is that it's too difficult to measure. We could do something else where if your blaster gets hit the enemy doesn't take a point, but you are down for, say, half the respawn time and can't fire back. That would be interesting.

All in all, this should help newcomers out, even the playing field, and decrease the number of standoffs in our wars.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby DX » Tue May 31, 2016 4:24 pm

The below-the-knees thing stems from how shoes and ankles tend to be already wet from mud, wading, wet plants, morning dew, all manner of nature, and thus virtually impossible to check. Shoe hits are also usually impossible to feel, and neither shooter nor target usually even sees where that water lands. If a hit can't be seen, felt, or checked, it's hard to take. I do take hits in those areas, but at the present time, only if it's an intact or mostly intact stream.

I think most of the issue with hits is not about location or size, but about whether the stream landed intact or all broken up into splatter. I think almost every wet spot pictured is a hit, because they are so concentrated, indicating streams that did not break up. Post splatter pictures, and I think you'd see far more division over which ones are hits. What is "enough" splatter to count? That's the threshold messing us up.

A "one drop" rule would come with benefits and drawbacks.

Pros:
- Less types of hit disputes. Doesn't matter if shot is intact or spatter, large or small, direct or indirect.
- More hits. I'd imagine, LOTS more hits, which leads to crazier action. However, this would require good game design, else see cons list.
- More level playing field. The greenest noob is now very dangerous. It only takes a drop.
- Lower barrier to entry. You no longer need a big CPS, just something with a lot of range. It's easier to explain the hit rules, and they can jump right in and make a difference.
- Light guns are more useful, along with anything with high range with less laminar streams (like K-modded guns). Light primary rounds could become more fun again.

Cons:
- Potentially more hit disputes. A single drop is harder to see, feel, and check. What if the target is in cover? You might "hit" them 10 times before they take one.
- More blaster-block disputes. A lot of people will not take a hit if they block with their blaster, even if much of the stream wraps around it. With droplets mattering, they may not see or feel the ones they don't block successfully.
- Light primaries are less of a downgrade. Your 42ft Outlaw now threatens CPS 2500s. Team balance methods would need to be rethought (this may be a pro, since team balance methods already need to be rethought).
- More defensive / skittish play. People will stay out of range and make fewer risky moves. Potentially less actual fighting done vs maneuvering.
- Honor system shifts from calling hits to counting respawns. Counting in is really easy to cheat on. During some battles, this has actually handicapped me, since I often have a camera running and have the seconds counted for me. When people don't have a means of timing, they tend to count much faster than seconds actually tick, even if they aren't intending to cheat. It's even worse for the 30 second and 1 minute respawns.
- Hit system shifts from target taking hits to shooter calling hits. How do you stop the shooter from calling bogus hits when you can't see, feel, or check what they called?

Personally, I would favor any >1 drop rule over a 1 drop rule, even if it's only like 2 drops. This is simply because a >1 drop situation is more likely to include a lot of drops, and is more likely to be takable. There is also the "CPS 2000" problem. Let's say I shoot at you with a 2000, and the main beam of the stream misses completely, but some droplets of side spray land on you after dodging to the side. Is that really a hit? I totally missed you. This is why, under the current rules, I do not call or argue hits with the 2000 unless the main beam of it gets them in some way. FWIW, the current system has the "XP 150" problem. Let's say I shoot at you with a 150, just a single tap shot, containing 12 or so droplets, and 6 hit you. Is that really a miss? Half the stream totally hit you.

In conclusion, I don't think changing the hit rules is a silver bullet for our problems. It can solve many of them, but presents new problems of its own. It will always be difficult having one consistent set of rules when some guns have <1x output and some have >20x, some guns have streams that break up readily and some have laminar streams, and then the range you're at also determines whether the stream arrives in a concentrated beam or in fragments. I think a one drop rule could work for light primaries and pistols...maybe for medium guns...still unsure about that. It probably won't work very well for anything goes.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby HBWW » Tue May 31, 2016 7:31 pm

The other issue is that droplet sizes still exist; it is still very possible to get hit by droplets ranging from mist to standard-sized droplets. Worst off, it would incentive wearing more clothing. A droplet hitting your face or glasses lens is easy to detect. That same droplet hitting the side of the glasses or a shirt will never be noticed. I also shouldn't need to mention what happens when these rules happen in the rain.

Funny enough, this will give my crazy hair a bit of an advantage.

At the most, I'd favor a 20 droplet approximation, although that'd render many of my dodges completely useless. I often depend on avoiding the center brunt of the stream which still results in some droplet contact but doesn't constitute a hit, since it seems like many others do the same.

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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby marauder » Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:55 am

If it is very faint spray from a 2000 or 2500 I think it would be ok not to call it a hit, but even a sizeable amount from a 2000 should be called a hit. With smaller blasters I do agree with SEAL that anything should be called a hit.

Blocking with a gun should be allowed, but to make it a last resort move I think we should take that gun out of action for a set time, say 30 seconds, if your gun gets hit.

Essentially I am 99% for the one drop counts as a hit rule, with the minor exception being very faint mist.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby SEAL » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:52 pm

Hmm, I think maybe I was misunderstood. I didn't mean that every drop counts; just whatever you can feel. If you get a couple drops on your pants leg and don't feel it, it doesn't count. Obviously people could lie and be like "I didn't feel it," but is that any different than someone saying "you didn't get enough on me"? The only real flaw I can see is that people with heavier clothing have an advantage, but that's also a problem with the current system, and probably just about any reasonable system. (i.e. not like Soaker Tags or something, haha)

In regards to DX's post, my proposed system wouldn't necessarily buff light weapons, as thicker streams have more of a chance of getting water on you. Although it would probably give guns with bad lamination an advantage due to more spread. Quad burst nozzles would be a favorite. And receivers would still call the hit, obviously because it's by feel. I suppose shooters could still call for checks, but I'm not a huge fan of that because again, it disrupts the flow, and you could already have water stains from the environment, your soaker, or an earlier hit.

I definitely like it better than what we have now, although if we try it and it turns out to be a flop, we could always go back. And I suppose faint mist doesn't have to count, although people would have to know what "faint mist" is.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby HBWW » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:17 pm

Taking the blaster out if hit already adds another layer of complexity I think we don't need.

My issue with the 1-droplet rule is that it puts something like short sleeves at a serious disadvantage without stacking more complexity over it. At the current system, it's less of an issue.

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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby marauder » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:13 am

The problem I have with not taking blasters out is that people will instantly go for the blaster block and then say nothing got on them, which I think is kind of cheap. If we are going to count even the smallest amount of water as a hit (well, small enough to tell) I think it would make sense that your equipment would be temporarily effected if it was hit.

We need more than 4 people to weigh in on this though. Text some people to post and weigh in on this.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby Tim » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:36 pm

Just to mix up the conversation...

Could you guys wear white T-shirts and use a different color food-coloring (or Rit Dye) each round? Bring multiple white shirts each so you can cycle through each color multiple times. If the color of that round exists on your shirt at all, you were hit. If you try to block with a blaster, you are automatically out. Leg shots would not likely splatter onto the shirt, but let's face it, you're not really aiming for legs. You are aiming for center mass. Head/face shots would splatter onto the shirt, but you really should be wearing ballistic eyewear anyways. The shirts could be bleached and used again next time (unless you want to treasure the keepsake). Whomever is the primary coordinator of an event could buy some cheap white shirts in bulk and sell them at cost to the people who forget to bring their own. The coordinator or alternate coordinator could purchase all of the dye for a particular event, and everyone pays a modest event fee when they show up to cover the cost of the dye. Concealment may be a little more difficult with a white shirt, but it's not a disadvantage if everyone is wearing the same thing.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby marauder » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:01 am

^Tiffany brought that idea up as well.

The issue with this is that most everyone wears camo and tries to hide. It would drastically change the way we play if we all wore white t shirts.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby SEAL » Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:58 pm

Yeah, it's hard enough to sneak around undetected with camo, let alone with white shirts. Being stealthy is my favorite thing to do in water wars, and without it, the game would be more like a Nerf war and not as much fun. I suppose in an urban environment it could work (although you still can't hide in dark places as well), but also, buying dye and distributing it to everyone at an event would be a hassle and would slow things down.

I forgot to comment on the blaster hit idea. I do kind of like the idea of taking your gun out of the game for like half the respawn time if it's hit, but obviously it would complicate things a bit. Also, it wouldn't really be any different than being hit normally (unless you carry a side-arm) aside from not counting toward the enemy score. I'd say blaster blocking should remain legal, but again, if you feel water, you're out. People may try to cheat, but likely no more than with trees or other pieces of cover. Not many players go for blocking anyway, because dodging is more effective.

HBWW wrote:My issue with the 1-droplet rule is that it puts something like short sleeves at a serious disadvantage without stacking more complexity over it. At the current system, it's less of an issue.


This is true. This as well as the possibility of people playing more cautiously are the biggest downsides that I can see with this system. But I think that the downsides of the current system are worse, at least on paper.

HBWW wrote:I often depend on avoiding the center brunt of the stream which still results in some droplet contact but doesn't constitute a hit, since it seems like many others do the same.


This is what we need to put a stop to. I think it's likely that this was the cause of most of the complaints at Soakemore.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby SSCBen » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:28 pm

I think standardized clothing is worth considering, even if it discourages camouflage. I would be completely fine if everyone used T-shirts chosen so that they dry quickly and contrast well when wet. Personally, I think camouflage is almost useless in water wars. I try to wear dark clothes for these events and I don't think I stand out much more than those in camouflage. Camouflage would be more useful if water blaster range was in the hundreds of feet or more. Right now people are too close to get much benefit, I think.

Here's my suggestion: At another community war try standardized clothing for a round to see how well it works. Design the round such that it would be obvious if you had some stealth disadvantages. And post about the results.

There are certain things other than color which can be standardized, like thickness. If people not feeling a shot is a problem, then we should have rules about how many layers to wear to make sure everyone is at least equally well off.

I also recall people recommending T-shirts with grids in the past. This makes me have an idea: only your torso counts. This would help avoid face shots and make disputes easier. You wouldn't have to check every part of your body, and it should be easier to feel.

What about about tags? Wikipedia mentions using dissolving necklaces. I never heard of this before, but it seems that plenty of people have done it before with alka-seltzer tablets. This is a Boy Scout site which recommends this approach. This approach seems to be reasonably simple to me and is worth considering.

Duxburian wrote:The below-the-knees thing stems from how shoes and ankles tend to be already wet from mud, wading, wet plants, morning dew, all manner of nature, and thus virtually impossible to check. Shoe hits are also usually impossible to feel, and neither shooter nor target usually even sees where that water lands. If a hit can't be seen, felt, or checked, it's hard to take. I do take hits in those areas, but at the present time, only if it's an intact or mostly intact stream.


This makes sense, but given that enough people weren't familiar with this, it needs to be made clear. Otherwise we'd end up with more confusion and discouragement because it seems like people aren't taking hits.

SEAL wrote:This is true. This as well as the possibility of people playing more cautiously are the biggest downsides that I can see with this system.


To be honest, I already play fairly cautiously, and I don't think switching to one-drop would change that appreciably.

SEAL wrote:This is what we need to put a stop to. I think it's likely that this was the cause of most of the complaints at Soakemore.


I'm not sure. The ones I had problems with were generally straight on. Maybe the target was just out of range enough to only get hit by part of the spray and not the center. I try to get people the benefit of the doubt there.

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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby scottthewaterwarrior » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:48 pm

I'm not too keen on any of the ideas put forward so far, though I do agree that we need to come up with a more standardized rule set, in fact the hit rules I use are a different system then what the rest of the community seams to use! I never go by the amount of water that hits me, trying to judge how much hit you by feel is very inaccurate, and adds extra complexity and/or can make things unfair for people with lighter blasters. In my experience it is very difficult to tell from a persons cloths whether they have been hit too, I can feel when I've been hit, and I almost always see the shot before it hits, but when I look down after, I can't tell what is sweat/rain and what is shot.

When deciding if I am hit or not, I judge it based on how much of their shot hit me. No mater the gun, if the majority of their shot hit me, then I call it. This can be done very easily if I see the shot coming (about 95%) of the time, and while feeling an exact amount isn't possible, I can still tell whether the shot hit or skimmed me based on where I felt it and what direction it came from. I call leg shots, and I also feel water land on my shoes, but it is difficult to tell if it is just spray off the ground or their shot, so I usually don't call it unless I see it land. This is the same reason why I don't always call my hands, they are almost always holding my blaster, making it difficult to tell how much is from direct fire and how much is just bouncing off my gun. Blaster blocking is perfectly legal in my book too, very few people do it (HBWW is the only one I have seen be regularly successful at it), and given the amount of confusion we have on spawn times as it is, I don't think we need to add gun spawns to the mix.

I must say though, I have experience far fewer hit disputes in recent wars then in the past. Last major one I remember was at Pandemonium, and that was more a dispute of who hit who first because it was dark and we couldn't see very well. Maybe they just aren't happening to me as much, but I do remember a few double kills getting resolved without argument at Soakemore this year, and I don't remember any major arguments breaking out during games.

I know people don't want to name names, but I'd find it a lot easier with some actual examples, so you have my permission to use examples involving me at least.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby DX » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:40 am

I'm reminded of the old Ridgewood war hit rules a bit here. In those wars, only hits to the shirt counted. A direct stream of any size counted, and splatter covering at least a fist-sized area counted. In the event of a hit dispute, the game was mandatorily paused for everyone. Disputes had the same set of outcomes: A: You're both dead / double kill, B: Neither of you are dead / play on, C: Special 1v1 duel to decide who's dead. Since every dispute forced a stoppage of play, people came to dislike disputes.

I don't think we should use all of this, but maybe we should explore only having shirt/chest/torso hits count, and maybe standardize what to do if there is a hit dispute. Stopping play could help by creating an annoyance. Less people will want to dispute hits if it means halting everything while they argue. I think this is why Sam and Ben typically are able to run up and shoot me in the back while I'm in a dispute...I'm used to play being suspended during that lol. Overall, I have tried to reduce getting into either end of disputes. They are dumb, it ultimately doesn't matter, and they waste time.

Another thing I'd recommend is that we have only 2 sets of respawn times. Maybe 30 sec for the "short" respawn and 1 min for the "long". So, if you declare that the next round is long OHS with short respawns, or VIP with long respawns, everyone knows what that means. KISS would help us a lot.

Camouflage is useful in water wars, but not as much for hiding is it is for resisting thorns, mud, and the such. It *used* to be useful for hiding, but a green or brown shirt would have also sufficed. As far as colors go, white is out. You can spot white from ridiculous distances, and it has poor contrast when wet unless you have some kind of staining hit system. However, I've found that light to medium brown is an ideal color for both hiding and hit detection. Brown shirts get very dark when wet, the wet spots are immediately obvious. Light to medium green also provides good contrast, but it's not as good for hiding in winter.

Another thing to consider with shirts and layers is that it's not always summer. Frozen Fury has been literally frozen, hitting 29 degrees twice. Black jackets were the best in 2013, if someone called a hit check and you saw ice on your jacket, you knew it was a hit! Whatever solution we come up with for hits needs to also work in cold weather...and in caves...and in thick vegetation scenarios like Moab or the old Ridgewood wars.
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Re: Standardizing Hits

Postby HBWW » Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:03 pm

Dyes and other additives are not practical to coordinate with events, but they may warrant experimentation.

Disputes: We already have both players eliminated at the same time if no one can tell who hit who first.

Having players wear destroyable targets is perhaps worth experimenting with, but I see it as a one-off soakfest-ish game variation, not as a replacement to our current style of gameplay.

The reasons for standardized clothing not working have already been covered. I, for one, will never wear only a t-shirt if it's even slightly too cool/cold or if I have to crawl through vegetation. Likewise, I will not be wearing long sleeves in 87 degree DC summer games, and trying to standardize clothing rules by weather is not only too complex, but will place undue advantages/disadvantages to certain players who are more acclimated to certain conditions.


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