Quoted from shaub:
Adjusting physical and software elements is always a part of "dialing in" a machine. But in my opinion, the mods for GB are a step further and more about "correcting" perceived shortcomings of the game.
The center post is intended to prevent "unfair" straight down the middle drains and the outlane rubber posts prevent "unfair" drains from a ball that skips off the rail between the 2 inlanes.
What is fair and unfair is subjective. But ultimately, the most important thing is that people enjoy the game. Whether in your basement or whether its on location.
In my personal opinion, a stock GB is overly unforgiving and I would prefer it to be more enjoyable for ALL skill levels.
I bought mine used and it came with the center post mod and the outlane rubber posts. For a long time I had them both removed but then I decided to try it with center post just to see and I immediately knew that I would be keeping it. Ball times remain low (especially with those crazy outlanes) but SDTM drains out of the pop bumpers are drastically reduced (but not entirely eliminated). It honestly feels like the way the game should have been from factory.
I agree with your points on dialing in a machine, that fair vs unfair is highly subjective, and that the most important thing is that people enjoy the game. Personally, my GB has the deflector, scoleri springs were adjusted, ball launch speed was reduced. These were the physical fixes that to me were necessary to prevent damage to the machine that came with the added benefit of enhanced game play.
The center post and out-lane adjustments to me goes to another level...one that is specifically meant to change the flow of the gameplay. No judgment from me, everyone can do what they want to their own games, my inquiry was based more on the fact that I considered adding these things but I couldn't justify it mentally and wanted to hear what made others make these changes.
The "unfair" center and outer lane drains are very frustrating at times, but I couldn't find a predictable and consistent pattern of such drains. They happened, and they happened often, but I felt most of them could have been prevented if I was a better player. An unfair drain to me is one whereby an event consistently takes place, out of your control, that will always cause the ball to be drained. I haven't observed that situation on my machine...but if I do, I would absolutely correct it.