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Level Up!

I recently had a chance to try out a few new game features that Laserforce has unveiled and I must say that some of what I learned about is really interesting. If you thought you had ascended as far as you could (which in most arenas is Level 6 - Laser Master) then get ready to level up! There are officially three new levels that have been added. Yes, I realize some arenas have already been using their own customized criteria to create additional levels, but I am more in favor of standardized levels (making comparison more “apples to apples” between sites) and I’m glad to see more of them. Now you can earn a Level 7 (Conqueror), Level 8 (Titan) or Level 9 (Legend) and to do so you are required to play a minimum number of games at each new level before ascending to the next. I like the idea that this will prevent simply jumping the levels.

The one feature that accompanies this expansion to the skill level system that I am most enthused about is the option for battlefield promotion, which I understand will be an option for ZapTag systems (i.e. sites without memberships) and THAT is a real game changer…literally! It allows for leveling up to occur WITHIN A GAME, meaning that if you are at a site where everyone defaults to Level 1, now the more experienced players will advance to more challenging levels during the course of playing the game and that should offer a bit more balance to those games. I hope this will be implemented at some of the non-member sites where I play because I consider this a particularly useful new feature that will help make things more fun for everyone. It will also make a difference at a few member sites too in that it should help to keep experienced members from going through their rolodex of membership cards just to strategically use them (or not use them at all) to farm points on non-members (ahem, *cough*…Cody). It looks like the site will have the option to choose whether leveling up will enable special abilities or not, which may also make things a bit more interesting.

I learned about these new features while playing with a group of members in Syracuse who were on board to try a new game format called “Level Up” for which the objective is to ascend from Level 1 all the way through to Level 9. Everyone starts at Level 1 which is denoted by the pack lighting up red.

As you “level up” your pack changes color. I watched mine go from red to orange to yellow to green, etc. Playing with an experienced group made this an interesting game and I would be curious to see how it goes over with the general public. I think non-members will find acquiring special abilities that they otherwise might not get to try to be a really unique aspect of this game.

And the final thing that I learned about that night was the release of new Gen 8 avatars. To me personally the avatars are not that big of a deal, but seeing the new designs did get some conversations started among the members.

There are some pop culture resemblances that everyone picked up on, but the one my team debated about the most was the guy second in on the top row. I say he’s a dead ringer for Diedrich Bader’s character in Office Space. Everyone else see it now? And I even think I see a player resemblance in the first avatar…but I leave that to you to decide.

All in all, my takeaway after playing is that these new levels will make the biggest difference in making games more enjoyable where there is a wide disparity between player abilities. I think this will help casual players to have a better time and not feel overwhelmed by experienced players (who might not have a member night available right now) and at a time when the laser tag industry is still rebuilding in the wake of the pandemic I think anything that helps all players, regardless of skill level, to enjoy laser tag together is a good thing.

Comments or Questions?


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