Why has disabling Groot become the norm?

Continuing the discussion from Demolition Man question for TD’s:

I understand a lot of the “disable mechanical featue” choices. I can think of about 4 different justification for disabling Groot and I am curious why this is become the standard setup. I think it is a choice that has large impact to scoring.

One thing I don’t like about Groot is how you can get a single ball MB going when one ball is locked in his mouth. I think disabling him just makes game times shorter.

Same with prison doors on TWD. Very easy to fix the head switch, but I assume most that disable the doors do it to make game times shorter.

The same can be said for the snake in MET but it’s not disabled.

I think the reason for it here with GOTG is because it can create two separate playing situations between players due to how balls are locked. Same as with game like Aerosmith. If a ball is locked already then the next players ball will just hit off the face and lock the ball without that ball getting caught and going into the shooter lane.

I think TD’s try to do everything they can to make play consistent between players and thus why it’s turned off on GOTG.


I hate this as a justification for doing this. In a multiplayer game this adds to the situational strategy. But if this was the justification, someone should lobby stern for a virtual locks option that leaves the mouth in place for super jackpots.

My reason for disabling Groot would be that it is not uncommon for him to trap a ball during cherry bomb or groot super. During cherry bomb this basically ends your mode. It sucks and as I TD I don’t want to make that ruling (physical nature of the game. Sorry.)

How does that kill Cherry bomb? Isn’t that an unlimited balls timed mini wizard mode? Same with groot super jackpot. I don’t recall either of them being available in single ball play so having a ball get hung on the jaw (what it sounds like you are saying) wouldn’t impact either.

I will agree that it adds to situational play. With the current code finishing modes is huge due to it’s bonus. If I’m player 2 and player 1 has 2 balls already locked I will pick an easier mode to complete with a shorter mode timer. If their are not any balls locked then I normally pick one of the longer timer modes so I have enough time to get my groot MB going. Just my personal strategy as after ball 1 I really want at least one mode completed so I’m going for MB fast to help with that.

I personally don’t mind it left on but I do think that is part of the reason behind it as game play on a modern game should be kept as consistent between players as possible.

With a ball in Groot’s mouth it won’t open.

When all 9 flashing shots are completed, shoot the moving-mouth Groot to score a sum-of-jackpots Super Jackpot and re-light all of the flashing shots.

No Super. No re-light.

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Although, I still wonder why Stern won’t just fix this. The motor can be run the other way, it does it in ballsearch. If it hasn’t reached the limit switch in the expected time, why not run it back to the other limit switch. Must be more complicated than I assume.

I don’t know what any of that means! :smiley:


In my view, MET is more difficult+skillful to lock a ball away, and you can only lock one at a time. In GOTG and AS, you can lock away two balls at a time, the method of locking is way easier, and they’re already long-playing. FWIW, I think the Snake ball lock was disabled at NWPC!

I agree, this reasoning always seems lame to me. I mean, if we’re all playing TNA, this is pale in comparison. Make the situations more interesting. Although I’d prefer for things to be weighed in favor of earlier positions!

I know the short plunge / get control players disagree, but I want to be locking to get my Yaka Pops.

So, if you have a ball locked in Groot for the 2x PF and get to a point of the superjackpot and you drain your other ball (down to one ball) shouldn’t that end your chance at a superjackpot as you are now in single ball play?

Or are you saying 2 balls are locked into Groot? If so, and it still does that then yes, I agree that is an issue. Sounds like a bug but I haven’t experienced that one yet so I can’t provide feedback on that situation.

Probably my top reason here.

Getting physical locks kicks ass for an opening strategy because you can play a consistent, super synergistic strategy that is closed off to other players.

At The Amazing Pinball Race, anyone who was eliminated on GotG didn’t use the Yaka lock strategy and had poor games. Yaka lock is a consistent amount of scoring.

The default code setting for a Metallica Pro is to not hold the ball in the snake (but still add a ball obviously).

I didn’t even know you could change the setting for a pro, but apparently you can!


I believe you can. I was thinking or the Prem/LE since I own a Prem and we used it at TPF.

Thx, didn’t know this!!!

Another thing with GOTG MB locks is that you get a short ball saver when the lock expires and the balls are released, which ends up saving non-locked balls fairly often!

You just reminded me of the #1 reason.

Groot Multiball add a ball is busted beyond belief and can be worth +3 to -1 balls added into play if Groot is open. From the time you shoot the add a ball to the time the video for it stops playing, the game doesn’t account for balls locking into Groot as balls in play. It also subtracts any balls shooting out of Groot to the balls that should be in play, so you can LOSE balls with an add a ball:

So for example:

Ball added, net 2 balls locked in Groot between scoop and award = add 3 balls
Ball added, net 1 ball locked in Groot = add 2 balls
Ball added, net 1 ball removed from Groot locks = you get nothing
Ball added, net 2 balls removed from Groot locks = you lose a ball; the game will not return your next ball irregardless of ball save

Thanks for bringing that to mind @mwelsh! Until Stern fixes Groot, any competition at any level should honestly disable Groot to get around this silly bug.


Is that what Ron was saying wasn’t set right for his tournament on his MET?

I don’t know how common this is, but I’ve definitely seen Groot chomp down on a ball during multiball and get stuck.

Time, money, and motivation. Remember all manufacturers of pinballs don’t just release a piece of software without going through a lot of testing and re-testing to make sure its solid. (aka the law of unintended bugs… hey, I changed this ONE thing and now these other things are broken…)

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It’s very common from what I’ve experienced. I think that’s more of a minor factor in the decision to disable the mouth, but it’s definitely an issue.