I was watching a bit of footage from IFPA WC and I notised that a lot of the - already pretty difficult setup - games had ball saver turned off. I understand the desire to keep game times as low as necessary to maintain a schedule. But personally I see no ball saver as pretty drastic. And potentially a major influence on the lock/skill balance.
On a game like The Walking Dead I do not like the randomness it adds to a match, that every player is not ensured a reasonable chance of getting the ball on a flipper for every ball. The PAPA final round Cirqus Voltaire game was likewise somewhat anti-climactic to watch for me personally.
Even on a game like The Shadow, that feed plunged balls to a flipper, I like ball saver as it encourages players to a more broad strategy. You know you get a few free chances of game progress towards goals you would otherwise abandon. On The Shadow it could be going for the skill shot or taking a shot at the light lock or the battlefield standup. Ball saver may in fact be the key that allows survival through three light lock shots on a difficult game and a reasonable option to play at least one multiball.
And now for the second part about ball saver that puzzles me. When turned off, as seen on the IFPA footage, I notised that games still utilise ball saver for multiball and such. Isn’t it in fact incorrect, when talking fair competition game and game times, that an adjustment for no ball saver do not cover ball saver in all aspects of the game?
PS. I also notised that IFPA allowed lengthy warm-up time prior to each game. I conscious decision I am sure. Still, lets hear opinions on ball saver or no ball saver.