I had a thought today, after another tournament with yet another Harlem Globetrotters that was very prone to punish you with a SDTM drain after hitting a drop target. We sometimes take steps to alter machines to make them harder, reduce game times, etc. Should we also take steps to reduce unfair situations? I can handle losing my ball to just about anything, but it really rankles me to successfully make a shot, especially one that you really want to do to score well, and get punished for it.
Before anyone says “use the upper left flipper instead,” yes, I know about that one. I still think it’s unfair to do the right thing and still die from it.
Paragon’s waterfall, if the game isn’t set up correctly, can eject SDTM. You are punished for making a good left spinner -> waterfall combo.
Star Trek/X-Men/similar: Making the Vengeance/center lock/whatever where the ball is trapped is death if the machine leans the wrong way. You are punished for collecting anything on that shot.
Mata Hari, with that saucer kickout. Too often I’ve seen it just kick SDTM. You are punished for trying to build your bonus multipliers, which is huge in that game.
I feel it’s too easy to just conclude “that’s pinball” or “it’s the same for everyone,” etc. That’s a cop-out. Shouldn’t we be making the games hard, but fair?
At PAPA a few years back they totally bastardized T2 in C qualifying. A Hit the Skull lock target = Instant drain. If you tried to save the ball or make it rattle in the lock target area you got a tilt due to it being ultra sensitive. Didn’t matter if you hit target from the left or right flipper you were getting a SDTM from a successful shot.
I do agree, but in your examples these are all due to bad set-ups.
Paragon’s Waterfall - Should catch the tip of the right flipper
Star Trek/X-men - Should always catch the right flipper and X-Men usually the tip.
Mata Hari - Most I’ve played either go to the right flipper or into the pops. I’ve never had a Mata Hari throw it down the center.
I have seen examples of TD’s trying to improve inherent nasty feeds. One that comes to mind is the fatter post rubber on the exit from the pops on TWD. I’ll say this. If I ever use The Beatles in a tourney it’s getting rubbers put on the outlane posts!
For sure, the hardest part of competition pinball is play disciplined, executing the correct shot, and being punished by a drain. Then of course a player who doesn’t play strategically whacks the flippers defensively and somehow lucks into a huge score.
Specifically for Iron Man; in a high score qualifying scenario I think it should be outlane rubbers/posts removed; but for match play I think leaving them in leads to more exciting competitive scenarios. If you leave them in during high score type qualifiers you end up with people chasing ridiculous scores and way too long playing time.