Star Wars plunge is horrible pinball design.


Couldn’t this be fixed with a code update (play-field validation for example Congo, Scared Stiff)?

I still agree the plunge is not a great design- any game you cannot reliably get the ball on the flipper can be highly infuriating for new and experienced players alike.


I gave away my replay credit on SW to a regular bargoer, hoping to spread some pinball love. They proclaimed, “I’m over it.” and walked away after ball 2. :laughing:


wish more games had a timed ball save like TNA. Hit 11 switches and drain before the timer runs out? “Your ball is saved” ball drains a 2nd or 3rd time before timer runs out… same deal.

Also I have a SW and I’ve never had these issues. I haven’t adjusted anything either it just worked great out of the box. Not to say I’ve never had a plunge go into the outlane… or an auto plunge feed to the outlane… but heck most games can do that.

I personally think most SW’s on location at setup too steep. I put mine at 7-8 deg and had all sorts of issues. Lowered back to around 6 and it plays perfect. If you want to make it more difficult remove the outlane posts or shorten ball save time. At a lower angle you don’t get half left ramp = death either. Horseshoe is less deadly as well.

The horseshoe is the most annoying way to lose a ball for me. If I rocket one into the death star side (pro) it will frequently go SDTM. This could also be fixed with code.


I’m guessing the solution to this based on some of the responses here is going to be “shoot the horseshoe better” :confused:


As far as I’m aware, TNA kills the ball start ball save as soon as you drain; you don’t get multiple opportunities from that.

I would also point out the JJP games, if the ballsaver is turned on, will NOT cancel the ballsaver on a drain. Just FYI. :wink:


So does the ball save time you have remaining continue to count down when your ball is re-plunged?


Yes, that does happen.


As I’ve mentioned before here, sometimes you have to slightly ‘unlevel’ a game to get it to play properly. If half or more of your shots to the Death Star loop go SDTM, something needs to be adjusted. Adjusting a game 2 or 3 tenths of a degree either way won’t be noticeable to the player. Not saying it’s a sure cure for this or launches that drain, but definitely worth a try if nothing else is working.

My AC/DC pro played fine in my home perfectly level, then started getting lots of SDTM’s out of the pops when I put it on location. Leaned it slightly in one direction and it was fine. No one noticed the slight lean. Every game is different and every floor is different. Desperate times call for desperate measures.


Yeah I think that is valid. There are plenty of games with dangerous shots. You avoid them until the rewards outweigh the risks. And I’d guess less than 1% of my shots to the death star go STDM. So it’s not super dangerous.


I’ll agree with you on principle, while also noting that this can be an indicator of bad design. There’s enough anecdotal evidence here to suggest that SW is very picky about how it’s set up.

I’ve seen similar problems with X-Men. If that game is even barely left-leaning, then balls coming off the Magneto lock can drift SDTM with little you can do about it. I would also call that poor design.


Oh, jeez. I absolutely hate the plunge on Star Wars. I don’t want to get into a rant, so I’ll just leave my comments at that. Worst plunge in a modern game that I can think of.


I’ll still take it over Aerosmith’s :frowning:


Revisiting this topic after listening to @JeffParsons discussion with @JLemire on Pinball Player’s Podcast. They talked about having the SW ball-save logic be similar to Congo’s – where a player can get more than one initial ball-saves based on what’s been hit. This was also suggested in this thread’s original discussion from May’18.

However, I think that the best solution is similar to what @mizary suggested above, in changing the SW initial ball-save to an adjustable timer that will provide unlimited ball-saves during that timer (similar to TNA’s initial ball-save implementation, as well as JJP’s initial ball-save logic) instead of just one ball-save.

The reason why a Congo-style ball-save isn’t the best solution is because any of us who have studied at the Cayle George Institute of Invalid Playfields will find a way to exploit a “minor switch means your PF isn’t valid” logic.

Especially for those of you operating SW and see casual/novice players suffering from death-by-plunge on SW, what say you? Perhaps we can get Dwight (or another Stern programmer to code this in).


I much prefer the glass off ball placement solution from @PinballProfile.

House balls have no place in competitive pinball. Every ball should start with the ball placed on the flipper. Choice of flipper is TD discretion but should be consistent throughout the tournament.

The ability for us to guarantee 100% that the player gets a chance to display their skill every ball of every game is the future . . . it will be the best thing to happen to the sport . . . even better than WPPR’s.


The scope of my concern is specifically for location play, which is dominated by casual/novice players. As well as any league/tourney that is on the casual/novice end of the competitive spectrum.

For high-level competition, while the plunge design of SW still sucks, we all know what we can – and should – do to limit our vulnerability to the poor design.

Of important note: for SW, notice that switch at the exit of the shooter lane: it validates your PF. So with no ball-save, short plunges that you let drain between your flippers will cue your EOB Yoda sequence. Just ask @thechriscompton from his Pin-Masters experience. :frowning:


Perhaps a better solution is player option: try to make a skill shot OR choose to have the ball fed to a flipper. Could be built in via alternate kickout switching, similar to when a ball is released after being locked. Get your ball fed to the plunger lane and take your chances or have it fed to a flipper and go from there; “do you feel lucky”?


I think “breathtaking” is about the best word I can use to describe my reaction. :wink:


I know @gammagoat is going to laugh at me saying this, but my Star Wars autoplunges fine and has since day 1. Maybe I just got the 1 machine from the factory that does this, but it hits the 3 bank to the FORCE targets to a nice live catch on the left flipper ~90% of the time. I don’t get those nasty plunges to the outlanes that you see so common.


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I know my players would appreciate this. Even a power settings adjustment to the autoplunger (a feature on later Sterns but not this one) would really help. For casual players, it just leaves a rotten experience when the “ball save” didn’t really save anything.