I can’t count how many games of DM I’ve played in tournaments where the results would have been different had I chosen Prison Break (the best scoring potential) over Simon (fixed low scoring). Each mode scores differently and is centered around different types of play. Combined with the different ball feeds @jay mentioned, there’s a lot of strategy beyond just ‘when do I use lock freeze’
My apologies for any losses you’ve had in tournaments that I’ve organized where this specific issue has meant the difference between a win or a loss.
I’ve found that I can typically make up hundreds of millions of points just via combo scoring and computer awards. None of the Claw awards have had much meaning to me in the last ~10 years or so when I’ve been competing on DM with the claw disabled.
I wasn’t aware any of those modes had the scoring potential that would trump just “ramp-center combo all day” if you needed some small-er amount of points.
Technically I feel like ramp center combo all day beats out pretty much every other scoring strategy available if you can figure out how to do it reliably on a given machine, but playing fresh in a tournament situation I don’t want to test it to find out
That’s the problem with BSD: bonus can be huge, especially on later balls with a few bats or rats accumulated. DW isn’t as bad, although the doctor bonus on ball 3 with a multiplier can be pretty decent.
The other thing with the claw is that allowing for claw choices allows someone to build up Bonus without just shooting combos. You can ramp-center and milk the Bonus X with additional Claw collects when the ball decides to go into the pops at any point in the game instead of having to blow Lock Freeze to use that strategy to the best of your ability.