By Avina Wyndham (Saria)
Wait, what? Wrestling? In Second Life?
YES. Plenty of options, from the newbie friendly Pro-Ball, to the fetish satisfying pornball, to the advanced HUD system. In this article, I'm going to try to explain these three vastly different systems to clarify it for people, because they all often get confused.
We're going to start with something I do, and used to do a lot more. HUD wrestling. HUD wrestling uses something called Nexgen. It's a complex system with a fairly steep learning curve that uses gesture based animations. While it's VERY intimidating out of the box, it's actually not bad at all. Every fed either has a trainer, or an entire NXT type developmental program. You're paired up with a "Pro", and they will walk you through the system. The HUD system uses various aspects of second life to make it work. A targeting system that "Locks" onto your opponent, allowing you to only do the moves to the, and allowing them to react.
In a HUD system, things are much more intricate and complex, and it's the most "Free" form of wrestling in second life currently. Using gestures and moves, your possibilities of moves are endless. Tie that in with the custom move community, where you can pay animators to design that move you saw in wrestling for yourself. This, literally, makes the move possibilities infinite. There is no end to the customization capabilities of the NexGen system in second life. It is hands down THE most powerful wrestling system in second life currently. Nothing can get near to it in it's freedom. But as said earlier, it's got a steep learning curve. But if you want to put in the time and effort, it can be a lot of fun. I'll list the current feds and contact names at the end of this article. I'll end this section with a quote from Gwenivere Swansong, who was quoted awhile back in another article on SL Wrestling. She was in the new defunct uWs as the Women's Champion, and is a friend of mine from way back "in the day". I asked her what made a good HUD wrestler:
Gwenivere Swansong: "I think what makes you a good hud wrestler is practice and knowing your animations.. My opinion of it is that it is an amazing system, I am in absolute favor of hud over poseball. I think it's more realistic. But again, it's all about the effort you put into it and practicing.The more you practice the easier and smoother it will be. I've seen many wrestlers spend numerous hours practicing alone and with others, the ones who really put in the dedication are the ones who shine the brightest."
(Please note this is only an opinion of one person and does not represent the entire community)
Let's now discuss the other form. Pro-Ball/ vs Catfighting/Pornball
Poseball wrestling is looked down upon by some members of the hud wrestling community (Note, SOME). However, recently a split happened in the pose-community, with Pro-Ball emerging as a rapidly growing trend. Pro-Ball, unlike it's counterpart Catfight, is CLEAN, Professional Wrestling. These wrestlers rely on emote's and description, as well as stringing together a series of moves. A typical match is called a 2-4 YT, where you can take anywhere from 2 moves, to 4, or even more if agreed upon, during your turn. This system is driven by using poseballs, or in the newer "BLD" mats, simply by sitting in the corner.
The need for "Poseballs" is vanishing with this new type of system. However, many mats still require them. Unlike HUD, there are several types of matches and mats, but for pro-ball, the most popular is BLD or Divas ex9. The BLD has become more popular lately due to its 100's of moves and VAST menu system. We'll discuss those in a moment here.
PRO BALL is, as stated earlier, is professional. Many places offer pro- as an option, with only one or two exceptions that I'm aware of. One organization is quickly seperating themselves from the entire poseball "Community", and that is PURE. PURE is as close to HUD as you can get, allowing freedom of weekly storylines, mats that will accept using the NexGen HUD system on them (Only the BLD does not accept the system, but you don't need it).
This organization even has a title belt, which has been defended on several occasions. The storyline's help to add a degree of legitimacy and help blur the line between HUD and POSE, a refreshing change since just 2 short years ago, the pose community was all but shunned by the HUD community, mostly due to our next topic:
I'm not going into detail on this, because there's not much to say. Catfight is what you probably think of when you hear "Poseball". It's not really wrestling (In my PERSONAL opinion), so much as soft, sometimes hard, core pornography. This form of wrestling starts with two scantily clad women facing off, and by the end of the match are completly naked.by the end of the match, and sometimes doing things that should be saved for the bedroom.
HOWEVER, that being said, there are some that make this kind of stuff worth watching, as their skills with words outweigh what's going on in the ring. I recently caught two friends in a match. I almost left, but the way they described the actual moves, you felt like you were front row at a match!
I'm going to end talking about the different types of mats in Pose, at least the ones I'm aware of.
Rumble mat: Basic mat, it has a decent set of animations, good for a beginner, although the mis-labeling of moves is the highest in this mat than any of the others.
Divas EX9: This is my personal favorite. Only one or two mislabeled moves, and quite a few others, gives this mat a great feel. It's robust, but not TOO overwhelming, and the menu system is friendly and easy to use. It has a nice array of moves for both pro-ball and catfighting. Definitely one to learn on.
Catfight Mat: This one has some great moves as well, but it's more designed for...well, catfights, obviously. This mat has more striking moves than the EX 9, however, it also has a whole lot of dirty moves as well.
BLD: This is the biggest, most expensive, most complicated mat out there. With several hundred moves, and several "Expansions", this mat is hands down the most powerful mat in SL wrestling today. It has EVERYTHING you can think of, from a simple hairpull, to a complicated series of moves. The BLD has a steep learning curve compared to the others, but in the end, it's well, well worth it. The combination possibilities if you know this mat well can rival that of a HUD wrestlers. It has one massive downside, however. The moves make you feel like you're going in slow motion. Several attempts by people to speak to the owners to speed up the animations have been met with refusal, so while you look good, you're moving in slow motion while doing so unfortunately.
Every mat has it's pros and cons, feel free to ask a booker like Candee Hannu at Inhibitions if you're interested in a match, or drop me a line, and I'll do my best to help you learn! (This applies to HUD wrestling as well, just don't ask Candee about that :P)
Avina Wyndham is a wrestler for the ACW. Gwenivere was written about in May 2011.