PAPA 19 games have become un-dialed; plus: PAPA 20 games discussion

I’ve been thinking about making a post like this for quite some time, and I I feel it will be constructive so here it goes:

The games at the yearly PAPA World Championship, haven’t been feeling very tight, dialed or generally in top shape. I’m specifically referring to games used in A qualifying and A Finals.

I’ve heard a similar sentiment from a bunch of players privately.

This is a recent change over the last few years imo, with a general downward trend.

I’m noticing a lot more of:

  • Tired weak flippers.
  • Games noticeably out of level.
  • Mechanical assemblies or game features that have critical issues making play difficult. (example the raised insert in the BSD coffin rejecting balls)
  • Sticky flippers on WPC & 95 Era games.
  • Tilt bob issues - way off center etc…

These issues are all noticeable at the start of the event - they aren’t just side effect of lots of play.

It would be awesome to see these categories of game setup hit harder - blanket flipper rebuilds on the A bank seems appropriate for the caliber of event.

I understand many of the complications, the hard work and effort it takes to run an event like this, and there are many things I surely don’t know. All the work is appreciated. The staff and techs are great. I’d just love to see this awesome event get even better.

I’d like to encourage the PAPA team to make an additional push at tuning the games used in the world championships so they play as world class as the event its self.


p.s Throw all the SuperBands in the trash please :wink:

Which A bank games had superbands this year?

I think this has a lot to do with replayFX/Pinburgh - moving the games twice a year doesn’t really help at all. I didn’t play PAPA 2012-2014, but the years before, the games played way better even the settings were a lot harder. Compare f.e. qualifying on Cirqus Voltaire PAPA 10 and 19, at PAPA 10 outlane posts were completly removed and tilt was strict (don’t remember, if there was a ballsaver, but I don’t think so)


Just to note, and I think you are in agreement, I’m not talking about difficulty of games at all. I’m purely talking about how tight the games are mechanically and attention to basic setup.

yes, I’m mixing two things here. What I want to say is, even the games’ difficulty were harder in the past, it’s now not easier to score better because of the machines’ condition - and yes, I agree with you.

To me it seemed a couple of the games suffered from power draw. IJ and Drac played great during the circuit finals. But thurs morning with B C Classics and everything else running hitting the ramp on both games became quite a chore. Not sure there is a solution to that without relocating the event.

1 Like

Was going to post the same comment as @sk8ball. I found Demo Man and Whitewater to be very difficult to shoot ramps in A finals, but then playing Demo Man in IFPA it felt like a completely different game. The power draw of more machines, plus all the additional equipment, is a really tough problem to solve. But I could be hallucinating; I didn’t notice any difference in Tommy, for example.

I am always so impressed with the amount of time and effort that goes into organizing and setting up for PAPA. There’s nothing like that place. For comparisons to previous events, I’m reminded of the Monster Bash set up to center-drain 50%+ from the scoop. Such things are the exceptions, though, it’s interesting to see the ways the games are made difficult but fair enough to be a skillful challenge.

PAPA Road Trip 2017!!

1 Like

Here’s the comparison I’m talking about:

Back then, sure, there was a lame mistake/decision to have a scoop that was all jacked and shooting the ball at the center.

What that MB did have, and the rest of the games of that bank had imo, was fresh snappy flippers, flippers aligned well with the lane guides, flippers hitting the same height at the top of their stroke, opto interrupters that played fresh and allowed small flicks during traps, leveled playfield, dialed tilt bobs, and feeds that rewarded shotmaking and punished poor play. (sure, that last bit is extremely subjective).

tldr: PAPA awesome, more work on game setup appreciated :slight_smile:

I really like this thread as a discussion of what “dialed” means. I felt like the games at IFPA played great, but we turned games off between rounds. As someone who ops games I’m always trying to get them as dialed as possible. It can be a struggle on route but I like to think I get the machines at at least 90% “dialed” I’m always interested in player feedback on my machines, though it does become tiresome when the complaints become about which leg the cupholder is on.

1 Like

Oh, the good old days. When a scoop kickout was tossing SDTM. And Cirqus outlanes was obseenly open.

(Just kidding. I understand the essence of this debate.)

Seen from a distance, PAPA had a pretty rough time this year. Multiple GOT beta code issues, weak WH2O upkicker, LAH phantom slam tilt, BSD ball lock drool (with incorrect end-of-ball), …

Actually. I made my own assumption, that A qualify games was used in the circuit finals, because PAPA pays particular attention to fine tuning them. And reluctant to move them around once being dialed in.

Every single game was shopped out prior to PAPA 19, including flippers. The fact you assume that didn’t happen after this many years is kind of wild to me.

It’s impossible to let 50 people in and test for power draw issues, because then I would have to waste my morning being forwarded posts with the title “PAPA allows practice on the games, unfair!”

We had fewer tech calls this year than ever before. A higher percentage than normal occurred in Division A, but overall calls were down.

SuperBands are here to stay. Play better.

I’ll start reusing the same 20 games every two years and put WCS back in every bank. That way everyone can play the same “dialed” 8 games every other PAPA. Because we all know there never used to be any tech problems in prior years…


Hey I’m down for WCS being in every PAPA bank again :wink:

1 Like

Actually with superbands you need to learn to play worse since they auto-live catch!


I’m with you on the other stuff but please don’t let this be the case. I know my opinion probably matters about .000001% but I can’t think of anything (outside of something tragic) that would be more disappointing than showing up to PAPA/Pinburgh to find superbands on all the games.

Anyone see this in the news recently?

I think Google might have stolen SuperBand 2.0 prototype technology.


On all the games, no. On some games? Yes. I’m not going to eliminate a part from the toolbox because it’s not popular in some circles.


So, is power draw an issue or not? Couldn’t the outlets of the A bank be tested with a multi-meter a couple of times a day and see if this is a real issue or not?

If its a real issue Im sure options are available between the local power company / electrical contractor.

A Kill a Watt on one game per run would make it very easy to monitor power issues. No need to stop playing.

I don’t think it is, but I’ll still bring in an extra 40 or 60 amps from somewhere else in the facility just in case during PAPA 20. It won’t be difficult to offset what the tv’s and cameras use, and there’s some breakers in that facility that are modestly used.

Every two outlets is a new breaker as it is…