PAPA 18 Discussion

@sk8ball How the hell did you put up 672 M on Walking Dead???


You beat me to the punch, I was on my way here to post about that.

Answer: I have no idea. He probably found some easily repeatable thing and well, repeated it. A lot.

Funny, I started the same thread on the other site because of the same game! I’m sure he won’t be happy that the rest of the ticket tanked.

New code changes some scoring significantly – most specifically, multi-kill shots are now worth a percentage (5%?) of the total mode shots scored on that ball. It plays a little like Instrument Bonus, except based on the success in modes instead of just finishing them. Elwin got … a few of these. :slight_smile:

Big PAPA news: Karl wore a Pinball Map t-shirt.


So, I’m gonna be that guy here.

If I read your Facebook post on this correctly, PAPA A-bank was the first place anyone would have had a chance to see these code updates for TWD in the wild because the code updates aren’t official yet. The only way anyone would know what the code update actually did would be to be in someone’s inner circle and be told about them.

To me this is unfair in the sense that now some players have machine ruleset knowledge that other players cannot know. That gives them an advantage.

I’ll be suggesting this to the powers that be at PAPA, but I feel that code versions should be published for every machine used, and if that version is unofficial/not publicly available, then a changelist should be published also so that everyone has access to this information.

Congrats to @sk8ball on your 6th (!!!) PAPA title! And happy birthday too :wink:

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I do agree that a published change log should be made available, and I know that I personally have been guilty of forcing something out to PAPA without getting everything to be public knowledge myself sometimes. But it’s a very good and valid point, and I will make sure that in the future the work I do will be documented for everyone.

For the record, PAPA was running WOZ 4.11 which was publicly available and fixed just the one exploit issue.

I have another PAPA issue to bring up though, and this seems ambiguous at best as to what’s going on. I just listened to the Saturday night broadcast, and they were extremely confused as to what was going on as well.

The situation was that Sean Grant had a qualifying run after 4 games. There was no line small enough for him to get in. Here is the questionable part: he was told his ticket HAD TO BE COMPLETED (i.e. 5 games played) in order for it to count. I do not know who told him this, whether it was a scorekeeper or someone higher up in a position to speak authoritatively on it.

So here’s what happened: Damien Charlety volunteered him to play MB (he was in line for funhouse, I was 2nd in line for MB and did not agree to let this happen since obviously time was tight) and tilt out to get the game over fast since he was playing out of turn. This was allowed to happen, and he closed out his ticket.

Now, ultimately it didn’t matter for the following reasons: 1. I did get a chance to play it because they guy in front of me ended with about 2 minutes to spare. 2. If I had 100d the game, I would’ve been short of the cutoff line, but didn’t necessarily know that at the time because who knows what all is going on with last-minute tickets.

So, I guess I am asking for an Official Ruling on whether incomplete live tickets are countable or not. Furthermore, and this seems silly to have to do this, but I think everyone in line waiting to play the game needs to agree to let this happen if in fact they are not allowed. (I honestly do not know why they would not be allowed.)

Edit: Sorry not trying to come off like an ass here. Of course the tournament was a great event, and I’m not super upset about what happened or anything especially given the circumstances. I just think it’s an area that needs clarification since it’s probably not really been considered before. Or, again, is ambiguous. I will state that my reading of the Official Rules would seem to indicate that a run does need to be completed. Perhaps this is for technical reasons as well, and maybe that is something that could be looked into as well.

Also I’ll tag @mhs and @PAPA_Doug

Wish I could’ve stayed on Sunday to watch like I always do, but Christine was sick and I had to get home to help with Katie. See everyone at ReplayFX!

I don’t see why an incomplete ticket can’t just be scored as zeroes for the missing games. There’s really no reason to invalidate 4 completed games just because he didn’t physically play the 5th.

That being said, it does suck that this situation happened. If I thought I had a chance at qualifying I would have done the same as you, and not agreed to let him line jump. On the other hand, I totally get why the play cutoff exists, people are tired and burned out after 3 days and want to go home and rest up for the final rounds. But for the people desperately trying to qualify, that’s a bad stressor.

Instead, I’d offer this suggestion: Let’s flesh out this sentence from the official rules: “Each day of qualifying will have a published cut-off time, beyond which no entry may be started, and a further cut-off time, beyond which no new game may be played.” As far as I know and from looking at the published schedule, there’s a sales cutoff time and a play cutoff time, but no mention of an entry start time. So how about sales cutoff at 11pm, ticket must be started by 11:15pm (started meaning you are punched in for your first game) and you have to have started your 5th game no later than midnight. The lines should be thinning out by then, making machine jumping to finish a ticket less of a problem.

A bit of ambiguity though: I was always under the impression that the midnight play cutoff was a hard cutoff, meaning you had to stop play altogether at midnight. The PAPA rules seem to indicate that as long as you start your game before midnight, you can finish it. Clarification on that please?

Yes, as long as you have pressed start by the stroke of midnight, you get to complete that game. They do not shut the power off on you mid-game at PAPA (although I have heard that some tournaments do this, which is pretty crappy.)

Tournaments have used brand-new machines all the time, including previous PAPA events: PAPA 4/5 finals were on games that were brand new to almost every competitor.

Information about the scoring changes in TWD was made available to all players in two ways – first, a message was placed on the backglass explaining the changes. Second, and more useful, is that players can watch others at any time. Learning how to play unfamiliar machines is a hugely important skill at PAPA. It usually bears out in Classics, but it also bears out in the main tournament. I didn’t know how to play Space Station, and didn’t know the rules about side ramps or letters on Black Rose the way it was set up. But I had opportunity to learn.

The relevant rule about incomplete entries is this: When all games for the entry have been completed, the player must submit the entry by pressing the “COMPLETE/SAVE THIS TICKET” button.

It could be more clear, but players who do not complete all games do not have the opportunity to submit their entry, so they do not go in. There are lots of potential shenanigans that can take place if these entries are submitted, like a player losing 5 points due to attrition from incomplete entries or a player having a monster 4-game run then turtling to stealthily nail a high seed.

I understand your points and mostly agree with them. I guess it seems to me that if someone actively wants their ticket to count who’s obviously trying to get in, they should be allowed to submit as-is. If you wanted, you could put a activity timeout on it - you can only early-submit within 15 minutes or so of last game score - or something to avoid turtling (I’m not sure how much of an issue turtling actually is - and it’s even harder to hide now that PAPA shows active entries).

All games on a ticket need to be played in order for it to count. For a player to score a zero, they need to physically make it to a game in line and score 0 points, as Sean did, otherwise their incomplete entry will be voided.

The queue system at PAPA is self-sorting. There’s not enough staff on hand to be sure everyone stays in line and progresses as they should, and practically speaking it would be impossible for the scorekeepers to both take scores and track all of the lines. So, historically, the players themselves have decided who is next up in line and who has to wait. I can’t say I’ve ever thought about how I would rule if someone blatantly cut line and people behind them were upset about it. It’s never happened to my knowledge, and aside from zeroing out the players score, which was the original intent here anyway, the only other options I can think of would be ejection from the tournament or voiding of the ticket. Personally, I would prefer if players could just stay in line or work out any alterations among themselves, since it’s an area that would be extremely difficult for staff to control, and any “punishments” would likely have to be made based solely on what other competitors claim (a situation with obvious concerns for potential abuse).

Part of the difficulty of PAPA is knowing how to manage your time. Players have three full days of qualifying in which to submit a five game ticket. It’s unfortunate that players don’t always make it in time, or come up just short, but that’s the nature of competition in general rather than a special PAPA-qualifying circumstance. I wouldn’t want to confuse our volunteer scorekeepers with additional last-minute rules that differ from the rest of the tournament. Saturday evening is already stressful for them.

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I understand that and am not advocating stressing anyone out. It was more of “here’s a situation I don’t think has happened in the history of PAPA so let’s talk about it.” I definitely don’t want to make anyone’s job harder.

To me this is unfair in the sense that now some players have machine ruleset knowledge that other players cannot know. That gives them an advantage.

Andre has given me a bit of advice many times, and it’s given to me every time I mention a way I dislike a machine is playing in a tournament: “Everyone’s playing on the same games.”

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There are also few (if any) players who will keep some secret technique or knowledge to themselves. I’ll advise anyone, anytime, on any game, even if that advice is the same as Sean Grant’s advice on playing Ro Go:

“When you’re about to step up to a game of Ro Go, take a few steps to the left or to the right so that you are standing in front of a different machine.”


Oh yeah, I get that. Didn’t mean to insinuate otherwise.

What if rather than creating a different rule for the end of the tournament, we just allowed any ticket to be completed with zeroes at any time throughout the weekend? This way it would be the same for scorekeepers at all times. Players already have the ability to void at any time, so this isn’t all that different, but it would eliminate last-minute shenanigans. Incomplete entries that were abandoned would remain incomplete and become voided. Zeroing a ticket would have to be a deliberate choice by a player, ideally after they had ended one of their games.

The only tricky situation I see is if a player thought they would have enough time to play one final game but does not. Would they get to jump line to the scorekeeper to zero their ticket? I’m curious what others think.

Something I’ve always found awesome about the world of competitive pinball: I can be competing against someone, and they’re still extremely forthcoming with strategy and tips.

This is true, but I still stand by my request that game code versions be published for tournament machines, where feasible (I don’t suppose this matters in Classics, as much). Certainly for newer games like Sterns where it takes 6 or 7 code updates to make the game playable, you want to know what version you’re on. This can be as simple as a little placard in the corner of the backglass, some reference point for players to go by. If that happens, I can instantly know if a code update has happened if I’m expecting one and see another, I can go read the log and be fully up to date, all on my own and be fully prepared before I ever touch a flipper button.

Think of it as a QOL thing for players.