Merits of custom ROMs vs. original software

Admittedly that was a lazy example and can be replaced with many of the weekly players. That instance was the most recent one and memorable because of how much modern dominance he’s held at Kickback the past few weeks.

The issue with “screwing specific players” is also the forced pressure of having to finish a tournament on schedule. We’ve had to shut down early and not play out the last few rounds before this system was implemented, which in it’s own way screws over players. There’s no way to start earlier at this point, and we’re not forcing anyone to stay late to accommodate.

I think the moral of the story is “there’s not really a good answer to this problem, so figure out the best possible solution.”


We had a trigger at 30 minutes to closing that all games instantly became 1-ball games.

That seemed to expedite the process of finishing the event without any specific games being removed for subjective reasons.


Can you put a score cap on games as a TD. For example: If a player reaches _____ score they automatically win the game and can stop play but If more than one player achieves that score then that player as well will not get a strike, will also get 4, points, etc…

Not ideal but could be another way to speed up tournaments without butchering games that “may” play long if a player gets ahold of it.

I know that’s not ideal but seems like a possibility especially for a local (non-major) type event.

This is where something that a couple of us locally have talked about (mainly when snailman is playing) and that is a mercy rule in the game. If the player blowing up the game is not the last player it would be nice if the game would allow us to skip that players last ball and to only come back for them to play it if their score is surpassed. Maybe something that is activated via competition mode.

A small little local type event called PINBURGH has that provision in their rules at TD discretion.

I’m with the chorus of folks that thinks that custom ROMs for the sake of making a game that is otherwise unfit for tournament play is nifty, but are not especially loving the current trend of custom ROMs that nerf one specific thing on games that are not otherwise problematic.


Keep in mind that mercy rules and switching to 1-ball games impact the TGP of the event, which was raised as one of the reasons for wanting to move things along.

Basically, if there’s a set score for where the mercy rule kicks in, all games played on that machine count for 1/3, regardless if mercied or not. If it’s at the TD’s discretion (à la Pinburgh), it’s just that game. 1- and 2-ball games would count for 1/3 and 2/3 respectively.

See Pinburgh "Exceptionally Good Play" - TGP Question for the previous discussion on the impact. (Link goes directly to the clarification of the mercy rule reduction.)

As for custom ROMs, they definitely have their place. I don’t have a problem with them being used in competition as long as the players are advised of what the changes are. I’ve got the unofficial version of the LAH ROM in my game at home and would actually probably be thrown if I encountered factory code in a tournament!

I appreciate that there are folks who are willing to make changes and share them with the community.


So is progressive jackpot leveling not an improvement in competition?
Or anything that de-randomizes what would be mystery awards?


I couldn’t agree more brother!

I don’t really involve myself too much in the actual tournament aspect of the show but happy to pass on concerns. I will say that Tommy was a problem child all weekend and we would have been better off without it in the tournament.

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Yup, absolutely. @timballs and myself will be taking a close, hard look at code revisions and ROM versions for the games that will be included this year. I don’t believe it was an issue last year, but there was also an AFM that had an old ROM, before Dirty Pool was implemented.

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Not really interested in debating the merits of every single custom ROM. I guess there’s a takeaway from my rant that works with a little common sense on both sides. I won’t complain about a High Speed ROM that gives a 750 jackpot every time. That’s a fun game and if it helps that stay in a tournament, great. But I have a friend with tons of classic old Stern and other early digitals and his place is a basement of custom ROM horrors. Significantly changing rules is not anything I like to see and it’s becoming more common.

Even dropping the zero on a game like Flash or Firepower is obnoxious and unneccesaary. Everybody always wants to get cute!


I’m the friend with the custom ROM horrors. Let’s see:

Black Knight - Non-Random Mystery
Firepower - OK, you got me here. 7 digit scoring. 2x, 3x scoring during multiball
STTNG - Video mode removed
Getaway - All bug fixes, multiball starting during multiball, etc…
Cheetah - One time left lane bonus collect instead of infinite (can be relit of course)
BSD - Tilt warning no bonus bug and random mystery removed. Basically PAPA tournament ROM
Stars - Stock
Nine Ball - Stock
Flash - Stock
Harlem - Stock
F14 - Stock
Big Game - Bonus line collect on all 3 balls (instead of only ball 3 or ball 2 & 3)
Stargazer - Cannot spot Zodiac from star rollovers
Dragonfist - Stock

Are these really horrors??

PS. Currently working on Rollergames ROM that eliminates random sudden death and lock stealing. Oh the horror!!!



Wasn’t there also some bollocks on Quicksilver or was that just a setting?

I don’t even want to get into Ron’s Settings of Horrors!!! (no 100K special on Stars???)

IFPA has said that any such rule will reduce the tournament value of each game by a factor of 3.

Quicksilver was set to reset the bonus multiplier each ball (no multiplier carryover)

Agreed on Stars. The 100K is on now. STTNG was also set too hard.

What other settings where a problem? Always looking to improve my tournaments. Who better to help than a NYCPC organizer!!

Greatest city on earth ;^)

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Whoa whoa, wait a second… was Levi being hyperbolic??


I don’t like this one… just having it light the spinner? I dunno, I feel like a strategy of collecting the rollovers over and over can mostly be bricked by fiddling a little with the game setup.

The real horror in that list is that you have a Dragonfist and I don’t.

Easy there Giz! I’m not here to litigate your entire (fabulous admitedly) basement.

That was just an extreme example, as I emerged emotionally scarred from the ambush of custom ROMs/settings on my trip nearby the second greatest city on Earth (Albany).

I feel like the Custom ROMs are a lot like plastic surgery. Just a nip here…a tuck there…everything’s great. Until the fever grabs you and suddenly the changes accelerate, until you resemble nothing of what was before, causing people to flee in terror from the mutation that no pure soul whishes to behold!


Yuck. That means if I have a big ball one and you don’t, I can plunge my way to 400k on balls 2 and 3. I’d want the bonus to reset each ball too if this setting was on.


Also the game now is less fun.

It’s the Custom ROM way!

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I have the big game and QS roms and both make them better games. The 9 ball rom (2x and 4x scoring) I did not like because it unbalanced everything.

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