No people should not be used to it. That’s the whole point. Keeping people on their toes as to how the ball moves on each individual machine is an integral part of tournaments.
As for the sponsorship thing, get over it. They made a piece of equipment for a game and they want that equipment to be used. It’s no different than MLB players having different brands of bats and gloves. The player makes the equipment not the other way around.
I think it’s rare to find any competition game that’s set up as released by the factory (6.5 degree slope, outlane posts at medium, software difficulty medium, extra balls enabled, etc). And while one might argue “yes, but those are all adjustments provided by the factory”, by definition there’s really only one configuration that is “the way the game was meant to be played”.
I’m not a particular fan of Pinstadiums myself, but I think something like “Disable Claw” on Demo Man is a much more fundamental change to a game than Pinstadium (and the former is technically provided by the factory). Pinstadium is more like having bright room lighting + antiglare glass.
Sorry, I simply disagree that a “modification” like Pinstadium has a more material impact on play than an “adjustment” like “Disable Claw” or “Install Ex. Hard”. Not saying you can’t find a game modification that has a profound impact, but this ain’t one of them.
My discussion was about the larger topic than simply pinstadium. Example: superbands.
The point about adjustments was not about severity - but to make a distinction to counter your point that games are not setup as ‘factory’ and thus lumping all non-factory things together. Adjustments are things the designers considered and/or included. They are part of the package. Modifications are things the designers did not design and build around.
You said sponsors… whatever… It’s been that way since the beginning. I disagree, and claim that sponsorship was inert in earlier years… and in recent years changed to where sponsors have started to have a visible presence in the events and how the games are being played. For instance the IFPA event in Chicago where the event became all stern titles. Or if all flipper rubber goes superbands… or if the lighting of games significantly changes.
Example… if lights or flashers become blinding… or the inteverse with pinstadium, where gratitus extra light could overpower on PF effects that were intended to make the sequence more difficult (GOT winter is coming for instance). If pinstadium are wired up to be on all the time, lighting in the game changes significantly in some titles. If it’s wired to GI, it can become severely distracting in itself.
It’s almost as if people get stuck on a narrative. Have you even asked why superbands are used? It’s my understanding that superbands last longer and are easier to clean. Also, adjustments versus modifications? Are you serious? Lightning flippers. I have to be honest. I don’t know why this thread is still going.
Your missing the point where things were being added not simply due to operator preference, but because of sponsorship involvement. The point is to illustrate that the competition has not been insulated from sponsorship movements. How material the changes are is subjective - but they are not insulated from each other as some have suggested. I don’t see it as an intentional change, it’s just a change in who/what is in the mix verse the past. The promotion element and showcasing was essentially non existent until more recently.
That may be true, but they do materially change ball physics, at least on every game I’ve ever played with superbands. They don’t bounce as much, they feel “stickier” and exacerbate ball spin. Regardless of why they’re installed, they do affect how the game plays.
Superbands also crack flipper bats, especially if they’re the kind that slip over a shoe. I can’t think of any good reason to use those things (an operator who doesn’t want to service a location isn’t a good reason IMO) and don’t understand why anyone is still buying them when for home use, the silicone rings accomplish the colored rubber look without most of the performance dehancements.
At the Rock Hall where the pins average 1000 plays each week (there are 15 games) superbands are kinda necessary. The games get regular maintenance, but it’s nice to not to have to replace rubbers every other week or risk having a game taken offline because the museum staff can’t fix it.
Personally I’m very used to superbands. They make live catching easier and shots later. Depending on the game they’re put on it can make shots better or worse. Mileage may vary I suppose.
I’ve heard stories from old timers about tournaments that weren’t just a single manufacturer, but a single title. Seems like there was an all Tommy lineup at one. Don’t think IFPA was even formed back then, but manufacturers sponsoring an event is not new.
Other than the Sternament, IFPA is only offering advertisement. No promises to use their products in tournaments. As much as I don’t like certain sponsors, this is a good sign for the sport and hobby overall IMO. Our sport and hobby are growing, and that’s a good thing. If IFPA ever endorses a product and requires events to use said products, I’ll be right there with you complaining.
Besides what others have mentioned, super bands sometimes make post passes impossible on games where they are no problem with natural rubbers. That’s huge. It would be awesome if IFPA encouraged whomever makes silicone or polycarbonate rubbers to come up with a formula that performs more like natural rubbers. They’re all made with a recipe. Colors and fillers are used. No reason someone can’t come up with bling rubbers that play more like natural rubbers. Stern would be wise to get involved in this also. Customers are ripping out the factory rings before a single game is played. Super bands aren’t bouncy enough and Titan’s are too bouncy. There has to be a middle ground.
The expo tournament typically was always the latest title being released… with the manufacturer providing a bank of games for qualifying. That was the norm… know what was also the norm? People weren’t playing diverse ranges of games as part of the competition. The rise of ‘classics’ at PAPA and of course later bowen’s version of pinburgh has really elevated the idea that competition should be across the range of game skill sets… not just the latest DMD, etc.
And while things like the Expo event were largely manufacturer enabled in the past… that is still different from the context of what most competitions are these days. So when the IFPA go and promote some new big format and event… then it turns out everything is filtered to one manufacturer… that is not insignificant compared to the norm and convention around most top level competitions today… which include testing and comparing players on multiple game styles.
Yet that is evolving… and that is where the change is being seen. These hosted events ARE showcasing and pushing the product into the competitions… driven by the partnership.
This already seems to be a large part of the process. When Joe(?) from the pittsburg area came out with the first ones… they all knew they were trying to strike that balance. Then PPS got in the game… and later titan. My guess is the ‘ideal competition’ feel probably fell more to the lower priority as the number of alternatives got into the mix. The topic of bounce, wear, etc… has been rehashed so much over the years by the likes of Clay and others even within the scope of just the rubber suppliers… let alone the new materials.
TL:DR - I think they are already trying to do what you’ve said… but it doesn’t seem to be the market driver for most these days.
The best part of the all Godzilla lineup was that every machine played differently. People would only queue for one or two by the end. There isn’t uniformity in our sport. Even if we set two games the same they’ll fall out of synchronicity pretty quickly. Feeds will change, flipper strength, etc.
The actual pinball competition itself isn’t a market. It’s an aside. Very few organizations exist that purchase machines with the sole purpose of using them in competitions.
So much in this thread is a complaint about how businesses and people transact. In my opinion we’d be better served by more business about pinball than less of it.
I’ve seen complaints here and elsewhere about money taken by organizers, money made through sponsorship, and now the effect that Josh’s flowery language has had on choices made by unknown owners. It’s a bit nonsensical really. If Sternaments drove Stern to make massive profits hooray! Who else mass produced games in the last 17 years? It’s not a knock on JJP, nothing’s stopping them from doing a similar promotion.
Mingling business and pinball isn’t hurting it’s helping.