Quoted from PanzerFreak:
I'm personally in the camp of supporting the way SIM cards are collected as of today. There are 3 wizard modes in the game and only the last requires all of the SIM cards to be collected. I think having to collect all of the SIM cards for the games final wizard mode should be extremely difficult and be something that is only achieved on an incredible game. Reducing the difficulty to achieve the mode would diminish the challenge, and the reward of reaching the games final wizard mode.
Dialed In's final wizard mode is this games Valinor and Somewhere Over the Rainbow super wizard mode where only rarely do you hear of someone reaching it on default settings. It's a mode where as an owner of the game you can try to reach it for years and always have something to go after because of it.
A cousin of mine has had a LOTR since it was released, has played over 5k games on it and just recently reached Valinor. He was blown away that after over 10 years of ownership and 5k games that he still discovered a new mode to play. That's what a super mode like Showdown in Dialed In are for
Agree with this 100% - you are spot on. I've got all factory settings, and have owned it for almost a year now. Have got to Armageddon 4 or 5 times, but my best SIM card collection is 6 out of 8. To me, this is the perfect balance - the final goal is achievable, but i've got have an absolute cracker of a game to get there. The CIQC and Armageddon modes help you feel as though a decent game has been worthwhile, but not achieving the final mode means you need to keep on working. I love ACDC for the same reason - i've kept it all on factory settings, and had Encore lit once, but couldn't make the shot...i pretty much just smiled when i drained as i knew then it was achievable, even though i didn't get it.
Also, i've played a few other Dialed In's recently, and setup is critical for this game. Two were quite flat, played really slowly and it actually made some of the shots harder and less reliable.