Designing the rules for a game is a balanced dance for sure. Tournament players definitely know their stuff; they know what makes pinball fun for pinball enthusiasts. And while in reality, tournament players make up a very small percentage of the customer base, the opinions/reviews of tournament players can greatly influence the opinions of the larger customer base. Furthermore, probably half of our customers are operators; they want machines that attract the general public, who probably frankly don't care as much about the fine details; they just want to see really fun and cool stuff happen under the glass.
So when designing the rules, we have to look at what are the really technical risk/reward aspects that tournament players can dig their teeth into. What are some distinct, different strategic pathways we can create. At the same time, on top of the technical gameplay, it has to be generally fun to shoot; we need to structure the flow of rules/gameplay to utilize all of the playfield, including flow shots, toys, stop-and-shoot, upper playfields, (lower playfields??), etc, so whether you care about the technical rules or not, you're still progressing, seeing fun new content, making satisfying advancements in your score, etc. And another level up, we have to have those 'intuitive' rules that allow the average barcade walk-up to shoot for the big flashing thing, and be rewarded with a really kickass lightshow/multiball/soundscape that's so damn fun, it's worth dropping more quarters to experience it again.
It really is like making three different rulesets, with different objectives, but they still have to tie into each other and mesh well, meaning, we can't have all the intricate details tournament players need to know, overwhelming the casual players who just want to see cool stuff happen. And we can't let the cool easy stuff have such a huge impact on score that it's the only thing tournament players want to shoot for anyway. It's 3D chess.