(Topic ID: 251001)

Let's talk about operator responsibility and League play ......


By golfingdad1

7 months ago



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    #1 7 months ago

    If you are an operator and run leagues should it be your responsibility that the games play 100% or is it ok to have the attitude of, everybody's got to play the same game .

    Please , let me know both operators and league players .

    #2 7 months ago

    It's your game and your tournament/league, though, as a player attending a league you'd have the expectation that the game is going to be functioning 100%. The op should make effort to have the game running as good as possible....and that goes regardless of a league taking place or not. If you have better performing games you'll have better attendance.

    That being said every game has it's unique characteristics. If you have to shoot a ball a certain way to make that ramp shot, maybe due to to weak flipper, that's definitely an equalizer for everyone playing the game.

    #3 7 months ago

    It's impossible to get all games to play 100% either on location or home. Stuff breaks. You just have to deal with it and make a call as to how to handle it.

    #4 7 months ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    If you are an operator and run leagues should it be your responsibility that the games play 100% or is it ok to have the attitude of, everybody's got to play the same game .
    Please , let me know both operators and league players .

    I would take my league elsewhere immediately.

    #5 7 months ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    If you are an operator and run leagues should it be your responsibility that the games play 100% or is it ok to have the attitude of, everybody's got to play the same game .
    Please , let me know both operators and league players .

    There has to be a backstory here, and I would like to hear it.
    What happened?

    15
    #6 7 months ago
    Quoted from clg:

    It's impossible to get all games to play 100% either on location or home

    This is 100% untrue. It’s entirely possible. Certain things are okay, but for the most part, any game you use for competition should be 100% working.

    #7 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    This is 100% untrue. It’s entirely possible. Certain things are okay, but for the most part, any game you use for competition should be 100% working.

    Going in yes you should go over them and make sure they are working but things break while being played.

    #8 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    This is 100% untrue. It’s entirely possible. Certain things are okay, but for the most part, any game you use for competition should be 100% working.

    It's actually funny you say it is 100% untrue and then go on to say 'certain things are OK' which seems to contradict your statement about me being 100% untrue.

    #9 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    This is 100% untrue. It’s entirely possible. Certain things are okay, but for the most part, any game you use for competition should be 100% working.

    I would have to agree.

    But let's define our terms from some of the other posters.

    What is 100%? It is true that nothing is going to be perfect/flawless/NIB (or what we dream of as NIB play-ability)

    I would classify 100% as "credit dot free", no resets when you press both your flippers, feature lights work.

    #10 7 months ago

    There is an on/off switch for a reason.

    #11 7 months ago
    Quoted from clg:

    Going in yes you should go over them and make sure they are working but things break while being played.

    Happens all the time, but I’ve ran plenty of tournaments where the games are 100% beginning to end. So not sure where the impossible comment came from.

    #12 7 months ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    If you are an operator and run leagues should it be your responsibility that the games play 100% or is it ok to have the attitude of, everybody's got to play the same game .
    Please , let me know both operators and league players .

    I've been around people that will complain loudly about a game not being 100%, and location games are obviously worse than barely-played home games. I am of the opinion however that all players are affected the same, so if a switch is out, it affects everyone the same and fair game.

    #13 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Happens all the time, but I’ve ran plenty of tournaments where the games are 100% beginning to end. So not sure where the impossible comment came from.

    By 100 percent I assumed that to mean all of the time. It happens sometimes but certainly not always.

    #14 7 months ago

    One of our locations has ninety pins. Maybe of sixty them work well enough to be considered for competition and EVERY week some of them have an issue and have to be swapped out.

    Another location has about eighteen. At least a couple will be down at any given time and during the course of a three+ hour event some will have problems (that are often fixed during the event).

    It's really up to the TD and the player base on how picky they want to be. If you want to use the same five pins for league every week an operator might be happy to make sure they get regular service. If you want to use all ninety for a Stern Pro-Circuit level event weekly I don't think you'll find many operators willing to put in that level of effort.

    #15 7 months ago
    Quoted from clg:

    By 100 percent I assumed that to mean all of the time. It happens sometimes but certainly not always.

    Each tournament is its own data set. That’s where we’re disconnected I think. The point is, no one should have to deal with games for a tournament. They should have quality games, at all times for a tournament.

    #16 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I would take my league elsewhere immediately.

    Sorry , dont understand this . As a player or operator?
    Cant just leave town you live in .

    #17 7 months ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    There has to be a backstory here, and I would like to hear it.
    What happened?

    The games have not played 100% for along time.

    #18 7 months ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    Sorry , dont understand this . As a player or operator?
    Cant just leave town you live in .

    I mean if the location isn’t willing to fix the games, have a league somewhere else. Have a home league where a different person (or the same person) hosts each session.

    #19 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I mean if the location isn’t willing to fix the games, have a league somewhere else. Have a home league where a different person (or the same person) hosts each session.

    We really dont have a choice ,
    The operator is a Great guy.
    I think hes overwhelmed.

    Hes the reason we even have league .
    I'm just frustrated. I play my ass off and something always happens .

    #20 7 months ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    We really dont have a choice ,
    The operator is a Great guy.
    I think hes overwhelmed.
    Hes the reason we even have league .
    I'm just frustrated. I play my ass off and something always happens .

    Why can’t the league members help?

    #21 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Why can’t the league members help?

    Yes, this is what I was just wondering. Some of the league players and/or the league/tournament director should offer to help get the games cleaned, and tuned up & repaired. Help check if games are level and adjust as needed, adjust switches, replace rubber rings, etc. You may find that a few players want to learn more about how the machines work, and how to replace parts, etc.

    #22 7 months ago

    Good players can adapt their play on games that aren't 100%,. Can't make a jackpot on the ramp cause the flipper is too weak? Get into multi and karom a ball up the ramp. Adapt your play to accommodate the shortcomings on the machine. Condition doesn't matter as long as its the same for all players.

    #23 7 months ago
    Quoted from fumbleflippers:

    Good players can adapt their play on games that aren't 100%,. Can't make a jackpot on the ramp cause the flipper is too weak? Get into multi and karom a ball up the ramp. Adapt your play to accommodate the shortcomings on the machine. Condition doesn't matter as long as its the same for all players.

    It most certainly matters when your player base gets turned off to your tournaments because of the condition of the games though. I think that is why this thread was started.

    10
    #24 7 months ago
    Quoted from EJS:

    I would have to agree.
    But let's define our terms from some of the other posters.
    What is 100%? It is true that nothing is going to be perfect/flawless/NIB (or what we dream of as NIB play-ability)
    I would classify 100% as "credit dot free", no resets when you press both your flippers, feature lights work.

    You really can't please them all. Even when every pin is working 100%, clean, level, good flippers, slings and pops firing nicely, not a single switch or bulb out, we still get complaints from certain types.

    "this isn't playing right. Did you do something to it?"

    "The ball came out of the orbit and hit the sling. It's supposed to go to the flipper. You need to fix it." (Variance due to ball velocity)

    "The left flipper is too weak. It's impossible to make the ramp." I test it and proceed to make the ramp 6 times, which I relay to the customer, which is met with a hostile "Are you questioning me? I already told you you need to fix it."

    "This pin plays different than the one at X location. You need to fix it."

    "If you dont take these super bands off I'm not going to play these anymore. I can't play with these. You need to take them off."

    And on and on and on. Too many to list. Hard not to be annoyed sometimes. Some customers all gratitude. Others not so much.

    #25 7 months ago

    I am an operator and league player. I want our games to work 100%. Guess what ? They don’t. If a game has some major issue then we skip it for the night and fix it that week. If a switch is sometimes flaky on a 1970s pin, get used to it. Because once we fix that one you can for sure fine another one on another machine. It’s whack a mole. And at the place we used to play at before I opened my place, we mostly had to play around the many significant errors including the third flipper not working at all. Our league director, tournament director is also our lead repairer. Once you’ve had that dual role you can well appreciate the Herculean task of having a tournament with all 100% working pins. But we try our best. I get the sentiment that in a tournament you want no error games. I just think it’s an unreasonable ask, and so does the rest of our league

    #26 7 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    It most certainly matters when your player base gets turned off to your tournaments because of the condition of the games though. I think that is why this thread was started.

    I make more money on non-pinball people. My locations make more money on non-pinball people. Listen, I love pinball people but they are not an operator’s bread and butter. I’d say a happy medium would be that you address the issues to the op and hope they fix what they can in a timely manner. Generally, we choose the best playing ones and go for it warts and all while appreciating that someone spends the money that they do upfront to bring us a variety of games.

    #27 7 months ago
    Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

    You really can't please them all. Even when every pin is working 100%, clean, level, good flippers, slings and pops firing nicely, not a single switch or bulb out, we still get complaints from certain types.
    "this isn't playing right. Did you do something to it?"
    "The ball came out of the orbit and hit the sling. It's supposed to go to the flipper. You need to fix it." (Variance due to ball velocity)
    "The left flipper is too weak. It's impossible to make the ramp." I test it and proceed to make the ramp 6 times, which I relay to the customer, which is met with a hostile "Are you questioning me? I already told you you need to fix it."
    "This pin plays different than the one at X location. You need to fix it."
    "If you dont take these super bands off I'm not going to play these anymore. I can't play with these. You need to take them off."
    And on and on and on. Too many to list. Hard not to be annoyed sometimes. Some customers all gratitude. Others not so much.

    Agree 100% I got sick of this and stopped operating and organising tournaments. Just enjoying my games now.

    One of the best things ever for me was a very high maintenance customer moving overseas. He always txtd me and most of the time it was fine. A wast of my time checking on them.

    #28 7 months ago
    Quoted from jahbarron:

    I make more money on non-pinball people. My locations make more money on non-pinball people. Listen, I love pinball people but they are not an operator’s bread and butter. I’d say a happy medium would be that you address the issues to the op and hope they fix what they can in a timely manner. Generally, we choose the best playing ones and go for it warts and all.

    THAT ....

    My league contributes $150 each week to the arcade. That would be enough to ... close up shop. We keep our machines in good working order out of pride, most don’t notice. But we do not claim perfection and do not strive for it. And if people get all uppity because some contact wasn’t working that day, we suggest that perhaps there are other locations that can better meet their needs.

    #29 7 months ago

    For those of you wanting perfection try operating for while!

    #30 7 months ago

    I’m also a terrible pinball player who spends most of the time at league drinking and socializing, so take my opinion with that in mind. I pretty much go just for that. I like the flashy lights and flippy flippers and the pretty art; the vibe on a nice night out playing some pinball with others.

    From an operator’s standpoint, though, what I said is true. Competitive pinball players pretty much just clean up on the low replays left in the wake of the thousand crappy players before them. It’s fun to watch but it’s not worth driving yourself to the brink of extinction over.

    #31 7 months ago

    double post

    #32 7 months ago
    Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

    You really can't please them all. Even when every pin is working 100%, clean, level, good flippers, slings and pops firing nicely, not a single switch or bulb out, we still get complaints from certain types.
    "this isn't playing right. Did you do something to it?"
    "The ball came out of the orbit and hit the sling. It's supposed to go to the flipper. You need to fix it." (Variance due to ball velocity)
    "The left flipper is too weak. It's impossible to make the ramp." I test it and proceed to make the ramp 6 times, which I relay to the customer, which is met with a hostile "Are you questioning me? I already told you you need to fix it."
    "This pin plays different than the one at X location. You need to fix it."
    "If you dont take these super bands off I'm not going to play these anymore. I can't play with these. You need to take them off."
    And on and on and on. Too many to list. Hard not to be annoyed sometimes. Some customers all gratitude. Others not so much.

    Thay are right about the super bands, those suck ass you're

    -6
    #33 7 months ago
    Quoted from clg:

    It's impossible to get all games to play 100% either on location or home. Stuff breaks. You just have to deal with it and make a call as to how to handle it.

    Whatchoo talkin’ about? All my machines at home work 100% at all times. Other than the brief time it may take to order a part and repair them.

    #34 7 months ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    If you are an operator and run leagues should it be your responsibility that the games play 100% or is it ok to have the attitude of, everybody's got to play the same game .
    Please , let me know both operators and league players .

    I think if you operate games you have the responsibility to have the games at 100%, regardless if you run tournaments or leagues. Is it easy? No. Stuff breaks while games are being played, so whether or not a game has a part that breaks during league or while a tournament is running is pretty much a matter of chance. I have had a node board failure in the middle of a tournament, new rubbers snap in half, flipper buttons crack in half, a flipper coil stop break at the base--new rubber, buttons, and a coil stop are an easy fix, but that node board had to wait for another day. If a game is beginning to develop a tricky problem that is intermittent, say due to a flaky switch or connection, then you just have to remove it from play until it can be diagnosed and fixed.

    Games with issues before the tournament or league starts? That one is on the operator. Tournament players know which locations keep up their games and which ones don't. It certainly isn't a secret.

    -1
    #35 7 months ago

    As an OP your game should be playing 100% all the time. If an issue happens parts should be ordered and installed ASAP

    #36 7 months ago
    Quoted from V8haha:

    As an OP your game should be playing 100% all the time. If an issue happens parts should be ordered and installed ASAP

    Lol

    #37 7 months ago
    Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

    You really can't please them all. Even when every pin is working 100%, clean, level, good flippers, slings and pops firing nicely, not a single switch or bulb out, we still get complaints from certain types.
    "this isn't playing right. Did you do something to it?"
    "The ball came out of the orbit and hit the sling. It's supposed to go to the flipper. You need to fix it." (Variance due to ball velocity)
    "The left flipper is too weak. It's impossible to make the ramp." I test it and proceed to make the ramp 6 times, which I relay to the customer, which is met with a hostile "Are you questioning me? I already told you you need to fix it."
    "This pin plays different than the one at X location. You need to fix it."
    "If you dont take these super bands off I'm not going to play these anymore. I can't play with these. You need to take them off."
    And on and on and on. Too many to list. Hard not to be annoyed sometimes. Some customers all gratitude. Others not so much.

    Holy crap, I didn't realize there were so many Karen's in pinball.

    #38 7 months ago
    Quoted from BrianBannon:

    If a game is beginning to develop a tricky problem that is intermittent, say due to a flaky switch or connection, then you just have to remove it from play until it can be diagnosed and fixed.

    Oh to have enough games to pull games for a flaky switch/connection.

    #39 7 months ago

    I have 15-20 games at locations at any time (out of 24). The biggest is a bowling alley, where we also hold tournaments. The annual three day competition has 20+ games (some from the community as well). Regular tournaments have my 10-15 games that are located there at the time, available for the event.

    They are all fully functional, level, and playable. If at any point they are not, they are fixed or turned off (or even removed) until they are fixed. Simple as that, it is a matter of pride, and important for Pinball; to ensure new players enjoy their pinball experience, so that they might play again.

    Our Tournaments always begin with Only fully working machines included.

    Some operators certainly run with more sense of pride than others... I go to the city and am horrified at some of the neglected sited machines I find.

    Admittedly, something that probably helps me pull this off is the fact that pinball is not my primary income source... more of a passion (or charity Lol).

    #40 7 months ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    All my machines at home work 100% at all times. Other than the brief time it may take to order a part and repair them.

    They don't work 100% if they need a part to repair them.

    #41 7 months ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    We really dont have a choice ,
    The operator is a Great guy.
    I think hes overwhelmed.
    Hes the reason we even have league .
    I'm just frustrated. I play my ass off and something always happens .

    Since you are frustrated, and the Great Guy seems overwhelmed, you should take it upon yourself to try to “unoverwhelm” him. Start by asking the operator whether (and how) you personally can help. Then see whether others in your league can help lighten the load.

    Depending on the structure of your league play, and on the attitudes of the players, it may make sense to mix business and pleasure and work on machines during your league play time. Otherwise selecting a different weekly occasion might make sense (with a smaller, more motivated group). If you’re not looking at a large, heavily played collection (i.e., home vs. arcade) you could, for example, shoot for one machine repaired and shopped out every week until the whole herd is in order. The group could choose the machine, and list all known issues.

    If the operator knows you, he’ll probably welcome the help. But if he insists on doing everything himself, but doesn’t, you’ll have to decide whether the league play is worth the frustration.

    #42 7 months ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    Whatchoo talkin’ about? All my machines at home work 100% at all times. Other than the brief time it may take to order a part and repair them.

    Two sentences, the second contradicting the first Lol

    No machine will be 100% functional 100% of the time. Or show me this machine that has Never Broken? .... what's that? ... you only look at it and never turn it on? .... ahhh yep, fair enough!

    Anyway, I think it is fair for tournament players to hope that machine owners would strive to provide Fully Functioning games for them to play, and not expect them to play faulty semi-functional games! . 100%

    #43 7 months ago

    I have never operated machines, but I can see that it is hard making sure everything plays well & 100% .
    We do make fixes during league play when needed, but for instance and just an example , flipper gets stuck after play has started , flipper gets fixed , now that flipper can make that shot up the ramp, but when others played the game prior to getting stuck it didnt, but it wasnt broken and you dont get to replay the game .

    #44 7 months ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    I have never operated machines, but I can see that it is hard making sure everything plays well & 100% .
    We do make fixes during league play when needed, but for instance and just an example , flipper gets stuck after play has started , flipper gets fixed , now that flipper can make that shot up the ramp, but when others played the game prior to getting stuck it didnt, but it wasnt broken and you dont get to replay the game .

    Yep that is bad. The "all players have to deal with the same" doesn't hold water in most circumstances (the failure happened or got worse at some point therefore different), and where it does hold water, the game really shouldn't have been in the tournament with the fault to start with. Especially something as critical and basic as Flippers! . If they're bad they can degrade quickly!.

    Especially with something like a high score comp over time, it is extremely unfair to the players whom had to play earlier with a half dead flipper, prior to it being "made good" (after it failed completely). That is unfair advantage. The game should be pulled if it is a high score comp, count pre failure scores only, or everyone starts again....

    I guess fully working machines is a big part of the reason people drive for 2 hours from the city just to play pinball here.

    I check for dots before each event. The credit dots from players not making shots within X number of games are fine! Lol ... but I still check they are not a fault, and clear them. I play in the tourneys too, and playing faulty machines just really s#its me.

    #45 7 months ago
    83670ACD-436E-4A24-9932-3CD0F98FA4AF (resized).png
    #46 7 months ago

    The players - customers can help too.

    It's nice when a location has leagues, tournaments, launch parties, for you.

    But that location is open other days too. Stop in once in awhile and play a few games. Support them. Help them keep pins on location and in good shape. If you only go in when something is going on and the pins stand empty the rest of the time. The operator is going to struggle to keep new games, popular titles, and maintain them. Or the operator will start thinking about replacing the pins with something that does earn.

    LTG : )

    #47 7 months ago

    Huge issue with tourns is 99 percent of the time no one even tells the op they are going to have a tournament. Do the common courtesy of letting people know your going to have a tournament a couple weeks ahead of time and I think you’ll find there’s less issues.

    #48 7 months ago
    Quoted from jackd104:

    Whatchoo talkin’ about? All my machines at home work 100% at all times. Other than the brief time it may take to order a part and repair them.

    LMAO....all my machines work 100% of the time except when they're broken.

    #49 7 months ago
    Quoted from Cruster:

    Huge issue with tourns is 99 percent of the time no one even tells the op they are going to have a tournament. Do the common courtesy of letting people know your going to have a tournament a couple weeks ahead of time and I think you’ll find there’s less issues.

    Hopefully.

    Locally years ago a player went to a location. Talked to them. Found out who the operator was. And played the games and made of list of things not working. Let the location and operator know the day and time they'd be there, gave them plenty of warning.

    The players showed up at the designated time ready to play. And the pins were gone.

    LTG : (

    #50 7 months ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Hopefully.
    Locally years ago a player went to a location. Talked to them. Found out who the operator was. And played the games and made of list of things not working. Let the location and operator know the day and time they'd be there, gave them plenty of warning.
    The players showed up at the designated time ready to play. And the pins were gone.
    LTG : (

    I gotta admit I laughed at this. Sucks for them, but LOL @ the op that goes "More money? Screw that. *YOINK*" over just leaving them in place as they were and hoping they got used anyways. Maybe it was the end of a contractual thing or something.

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