New Format - Cumulative Score?

We (Raw Thrills) just announced details behind the new Big Buck software drop coming May 1st, and we’re experimenting with the World Championship qualifying system.

Out of the 64 qualifiers, 28 will qualify through our ‘normal’ process (which is unlimited Herb style pump and dump - your top 5 scores from each of the 9 adventures)

In addition we have 36 Wild Card spots, which is quite simple. Every time you play BBHD your points go into your account. The more you play the more points you score. It accumulates without limit until qualifying ends.

The idea being that these Wild Card spots will build the pot to a much larger total, while the most skilled players can earn their trip to the championship per the normal qualifying procedures.

Thought it would be an interesting spin to have a wild card path specifically designed for people that want to brute Force their way into qualifying if they choose to go deep into their pockets.

I could locations in particular benefiting from something like this for a local event that either spans the whole month/week/etc.

Anyway just saw our Raw announcement today and thought it was interesting…

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Definitely interesting.

I think this is a big reason why people don’t like pump and dumps. It only benefits 1) the very top players, and 2) people who are decent and have deep pockets. Everyone else is left feeling as though they have an even lesser chance than they’d have at another type of format.

Now…if this format is only used very sparingly, as a means to build huge prizepools for the best players (who of course aren’t making a living at this), then I suppose that’s great.


I think this benefits “everyone else” at the expense of group #2 that you mentioned. You can be ‘not even decent’, have deep pockets and have a chance at finding success.

I might give it a chance as part of our Selfie League qualifying for a month, just to see if it has any impact of players chasing that separate cumulative leaderboard. We do top 4 in Selfie qualifying get a 3rd strike for finals night (where other players get 2 strikes). Offering a wild card extra strike spot to the player that has the largest cumulative score for [insert worst earning game here] . . . I’m sure the location that hosts us would be interested in seeing how that impacts coin drop.

People keep saying this about ‘money going to the top’… but isn’t the reality that 90% of the field probably doesn’t have a SOLID chance of winning anyway… yet they still play right?

The “it takes money from me and gives it to someone else” concern is so broke IMO. If the only people that entered were the ones who REALLY thought they were going to win… the field is gonna shrink a ton :slight_smile:

I think the format is one that will just take the money from those willing to spend it… not hurt others.

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How would this work in a tournament with multiple games? One plunge of (eg) Batman Forever would be worth the same as thousands of decent games of an older title.

Game selection would be interesting

I think it’s per game, so if you did ‘best cumulative’ for WOZ vs on GoT then obviously top qualifier on WOZ would probably have a fraction of even the top individual score on GoT

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Yes…from the perspective of sweetening the pot only. But I’m certain that the “everyone else (minus the elite players)” group would prefer to not have the feeling that someone can buy their way into the finals.

I’m 100% sure it will bring in more money. I think having it as a wild card spot makes it a little more palatable.

I agree. I’m not arguing that we should try and kneecap the 10%…just that pump and dump shrinks the odds for that 90% even further. And even if it doesn’t pan out statistically, the perception that it does is certainly there.

But, maybe our ratio of pump and dump isn’t that out of whack. There are thousands of smaller events every year that don’t use it.

My first thought when I read this was “the player with the most time and the deepest pockets is going to get a spot”.

This is similar to unlimited league qualifying. It’s convenient because people can go and qualify when they have time. But, with unlimited entries, both time and money do become an issue, at least for some players. I don’t mind sinking $20 or $40 into a bunch of machines in an afternoon, but there are definitely players in the same league who simply can’t afford that.

You could really do it however you want. For our selfie league I might try “TOTAL POINTS SUBMITTED ACROSS ALL GAMES”. It would just work itself out with minimal Paragon entries versus sayyyyyyy Star Wars submissions :slight_smile:

First crack at this I’ll try one game just to see what it does to earnings of that game for the month.

How would this work for the owner of the establishment/games that also wants to play?

They’ll make themselves rich trying.

The difference between this format and Pump-n-dump:

I KNOW I can finish higher than KME in a Cumulative score event . . . I can just ‘play more’ to do it :slight_smile:

What software are you going to use to track the cumulative score for pinball? Or is this gonna be some manual entry?

New program I’ve been having a ton of luck with … Microsoft Excel :slight_smile:


What about this variation… Cumulative RANKING. Each time you play your score gets ranked against all other score entries, including your own, PAPA style. Then you add up all the ranking points, so if you had first, second, and third, you’d get 50+ 45 + 42 or whatever.

No idea what this does, but is an interesting thought experiment…


If I was the 29th skill based qualifier and 36 other players ended up getting into the finals ahead of me because they literally paid their way in, that would leave a really bad taste in my mouth.

If this was for cash only and had no ranking impact I would have no issue with it, but it’s kind of hard to stomach when you’re essentially handing out non-skill based ranking rewards to players with deep pockets. I already think unlimited qualifying and the previously uncapped SCS qualification are/were awful. The argument that “the same top people qualify and win over and over so it doesn’t really change anything” rings hollow to those people on the bubble who get effectively out-bought instead of outplayed. I get trying to increase the exposure of pinball through big pots, but doing so at the expense of the accuracy of the middle rankings seems like a step in the wrong direction IMO.

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I certainly wouldn’t put the larger number of qualifiers via the Wild Card method, but BBH is also a completely different animal. There’s 2500 games across the globe, all connected with like 8 months of open qualifying. They’ll be 10,000’s of players competing versus a pinball event where 40-100 compete.

This format is actually what I suggested to Stern years ago for their TOPS system. I continue to find the format interesting enough to play around with it a bit.

We’ll see if anyone cares about it in our selfie league for May qualifying. I might throw a separate bounty on that part of qualifying as well. All in good fun for now :slight_smile:

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Isn’t this how WPPRs work?

No, this is how WPPR’s work:

For anyone interested in seeing how this works, we’re trying it for our May selfie qualifying.

The game of the month will be Paragon. Winner gets a 3rd strike for the finals tournament instead of only 2 strikes, and also gets a Big Buck t-shirt courtesy of my office stash :slight_smile:

We’ll see what that does to Paragon’s earnings against the field of other pins next month.

Could do the way we did Flippers in past where it is a percentage basis to the highest score gets 100 points , like calling it the aurcade system