(Topic ID: 100579)

PAPA 17 >> what a blast


By Whysnow

5 years ago



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  • 338 posts
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  • Latest reply 5 years ago by robotronjohn
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    #1 5 years ago

    I am not really suprised to see little discussion about PAPA on Pinside, but still wanted to share.

    I was pretty vocal about some things last year that I felt needed improvement so it is only right that I should share when I feel there were many positives from this year's changes.

    PAPA 17 was a blast and in particular from my perspective the change to put an IFPA limit on those allowed to play in C division (over 400 only for C) was great combined with the decision to allow in 24 to qualifying. It seemed to be a vast improvement from last year and from my analysis of scores and the people playing in each respective division it seemed almost perfect. I did not see any complete blow outs or people that clearly were misalligned in to the dividion they were playing in.

    This is a great thing for competitive pinball and provided a much improved atmosphere and comraderie in C division. I really do think it was anyones tournament to win in C. I saw lots of people with a ticket that was seriously one slightly better game away from making it to qualifying and some great evenly matched competition >> which IMO makes for FUN pinball. These small changes resulted in huge improvements in the competition and experience of many people I spoke with.

    There was a pretty good selection of games this year (I would like to have seen more GTBs in each bank) and that made for a more even qualifying round which allowed someone to always find atleast 1 strength while still challenging C players to strecth their limits/skills.

    There is always room for improvement and if I were to comment on a few things in hopes of continuing the discussion towards future changes then the main thing to me would be to spend a little more time finely tuning the C bank games for greater consistency. PAPA obviously has a phenomenal technical staff so this is not a dig on them. Games were clean but IMO needed a little more attention to detail of ball flow and physics which could result in a more consistently playing game and in particular ball feeds. I think the 5 game ticket format especially needs games that play consistent to reward skill and further decrease random luck.
    Keep in mind that tough-playing is fine and what I am talking about is increasing consistentcy of ball physics and movement. I can give the examples of TAF and AFM which had inconsistent kickouts from scoops; sometimes shooting as far as center drain all the way to sling. This is not just a difficult game to play but what I would call a poorly tuned game. Mostly likely the result of beat up weldmelts as it all too common on these games.

    My other suggestion is to kill the superbands. They are very inconsistent and play poorly. If you must use superbands then pick a single durometer/color and put them on everything. This is just opinion but I find them to be very inconsistent in play depending on the game they are on. My opinion is that a consistent playing game helps to actually allow the best players to rise to the top and removes more randomness.

    Overall PAPA was amazing and I highly suggest that any competitive player make the pilgrimage to Pittsburg to play in the event. Amazing place, great people (even that Bowen guy was pretty cool ), and really fun competition.

    It is a unique experience and if you enjoy playing pinball there is NO better place to be! I am still exhausted from the weekend but looking forward to the next time I can visit.

    #2 5 years ago

    Have to agree on ditching the super bands, but I might point out that what you may view as a weird kickout is possibly intentional in order to make games as hard as possible. Consistent games allow players to get too comfortable and result in marathon games. Check out the A division TZ scores for an example of what happens with consistent "happy" kickouts. You basically needed to hit 900M to not have a bad score, and that was largely due to a slot machine kickout that required zero effort to safely trap on either flipper. Unless the kickouts were literally untouchable (maybe they were on a C bank game; I never got to play those as I was in A), they were quite likely not a result of a lack of consideration. The A division WCS had its Final Draw scoop bent out to the left as far as possible to prevent players from safely backhanding the MB start on that game.

    I had an amazing time at PAPA 17 and it was super fun to hang out with everyone again. I even managed to qualify in A this year (unlike last year where I got knocked out by one point by the last ticket submitted in qualifying), although I completely shit the bed on Sunday losing by 60k on Metallica and failing to advance to the round of 16. Perhaps my only suggestion in the future would be to either pay down to 24th or revert to only taking 16 finalists. I have no real desire to make money playing pinball but when you spend $200 or more throughout the weekend trying to qualify it would sure be nice to get a little of that money back for making the cut regardless of how you do on Sunday. Maybe if I wasn't a broke college student I wouldn't care, but it is slightly weird to make the finals of a "pump and dump" format tournament and not get anything for doing so. Anyway, I really enjoyed myself this year and can't wait to come back for PAPA 18!

    Oh, one other suggestion before I forget: If modifications to game settings or bizarre physical bastardizations are performed, it would be nice if they were listed on a note on the machine. Players weren't told ahead of time about the disabled magnet on TAF or the odd WOZ settings. Kind of lame to walk up to a game and do something you usually do only to have it not work the way you expect it to.

    OK, this post turned out more negative sounding than I meant for it to. PAPA is truly the happiest place on earth and I have no qualms with blowing tons of money to fly all the way from Seattle to Pittsburgh twice a year to visit. I strongly encourage anyone who has the chance to at least come and check out PAPA once, regardless of how much tournament experience they have. It's like nothing else you'll ever see.

    #3 5 years ago

    Who won the A?

    #4 5 years ago

    @SCpins: Cayle George won.

    #5 5 years ago

    Kevin, just to clarify. Intentionally weird kickout is cool, but these were likely not intentional as they were just a very inconsistent kickout. i.e. TAF swamp would kick as far left as an unreasonable SDTM drain to as far right as 1 inch up on sling.

    Again, just to be clear I mean to be positive as PAPA rocked. Just also sharing some feedback on what I have found regarding game setup and that consistent is always best.

    #6 5 years ago

    PAPA really is a blast. For me, I take off Friday from work, bring my oldest son and we just play pinball until our hands hurt. It's one of the few times a year we get to play machines other than our own. We try to play machines that we've never played before, which right now is still a lot of them. It's a great atmosphere with friendly people and a clean restroom . If you've never been you should try to get there at least once.

    #7 5 years ago

    Thanks for the feedback guys! Glad you had a great time.

    Some games are set up a certain way to play more difficult. Also keep in mind that as games get played, the way they play can change significantly. Coils get heated up, games get dirty... etc. We will see significant changes in game play from Thursday morning to Saturday night on some games (see Fish Tales).

    The TAF that was in C division was also the one we used for the A finals. I know we did not touch the scoop on TAF from Saturday night into Sunday morning, so perhaps the kickouts you were seeing were from a tired coil?

    Don't forget it is a mechanical device and such things will occur from time to time no matter how hard we prepare. After all, 'the ball is wild'.

    #8 5 years ago

    Had an amazing time at PAPA - my hats off to all who make this happen.

    Watching the A finals was especially cool and unique - how often are you in a large crowd watching competitive pinball, cheering every multiball activation, oohing and aahing at every wild save?

    I had a couple of thoughts on how to make watching A finals even more awesome and like other big spectator sport events:

    1) A big screen dedicated to the match scores, with the current player highlighted; and another big screen dedicated to just the DMD of the current game (so we can all see the game scores). This would really help give the play more context and drama. I realize the DMD was visible on part of one screen on one side of the bank, but you couldn't really make out the scores unless you were right next to it. I also realize we could look up match scores on our phones. But I think making these details more up-front would really add to the spectator experience.

    2) Maybe even a PA announcement of each player on their turn (they could pick their walk-up music like in baseball...probably too cheesy? )

    3) The audio of the current game piped into speakers and audible to the crowd.

    Thoughts on the feasibility/advisability of these?

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from ninjadoug:

    The TAF that was in C division was also the one we used for the A finals. I know we did not touch the scoop on TAF from Saturday night into Sunday morning, so perhaps the kickouts you were seeing were from a tired coil?

    Don't forget it is a mechanical device and such things will occur from time to time no matter how hard we prepare. After all, 'the ball is wild'.

    On that TAF, this must have been the case. On Sunday, I think every kickout was a simply hold up right flipper for a consistent cradle.

    #10 5 years ago
    Quoted from KevinDDR:

    Oh, one other suggestion before I forget: If modifications to game settings or bizarre physical bastardizations are performed, it would be nice if they were listed on a note on the machine. Players weren't told ahead of time about the disabled magnet on TAF or the odd WOZ settings.

    I can't echo this one enough. I heard from other players -- who weren't even in the first round -- about the TAF disabled magnet... but not until after my second ball of TAF, one of which that I spent much of Seance waiting for the magnet to turn off before shooting at the ramp. It sure would have been nice to know about the disabled magnet, and it seemed that other players were aware of this -- but it certainly wasn't through a posting on the pin's glass or some announcement made to all players.

    #11 5 years ago

    >2) Maybe even a PA announcement of each player on their turn (they could pick their walk-up music like in baseball...probably too cheesy? )

    This is a great idea but probably only for the final final round because other games are happening at the same time

    #12 5 years ago

    I agree that ALL bastardizations (is that a word?) should be clearly labeled for both qualifying and playoff rounds.

    Anything outside of what would be considered "normal" adjustments being clearly listed woudl be great. Preference is for this to be shared in advance. Posting a list by each game would also be good. This has the added benefit of making sure some info is not leaked to select individuals but rather put it up front for all to see.

    One other thing I forgot was to comment on the bounty scores where signs were put up after Thurday with specific target scores to get a $100 cash prize. I would liek to see these either be put up PRIOR to the first game being played on that machine or not used at all. It felt like a slight when I put up a solid score on FutureSpa on Thursday only to see the bounty put up on Friday morning. This provided further incentive for others to play Future Spa and effectively negated any strategy I had developed on Thursday. Changing the incentives midway is bad IMHO.

    #13 5 years ago

    My favorite part about PAPA was that during times when we were not putitng in tickets for C bank we would get 3 or 4 people together and go play mini-competions on the practice games.

    3 rounds, each player picks a game per round, award points for finishing position on each game. The most important rule was NO picking games that you own/are familiar with/ are super popular and easy to find and play in the normal world.

    We played all sorts of games we woudl not normally play and it helped us to actually put in effort to learning new rulesets and designs. We had many hours of laughing and hamming it up with each other. A big highlight of the weekend for me was taking a perfect round with 4 first places. It all cam down to a game on space station and I was in second but then got bonus time and was able to jump to first place. Super thrilling and it is all about the small victories in life

    I also added probably 4 more games to my personal wish list. I determined that without question GTB spinners from the 80s are the best feeling spinner ever made. They sound so nice and play super smooth even after being beat on for years.

    #14 5 years ago

    My only minor critique was that I couldn't hear many of the games. I'm a pinball dum-dum (art/sound/lights) & could care less about competitive play so I was slightly bummed to have traveled 8 hrs + (with that horrible traffic on the way in on Thursday) to walk up to a game of Cyclopes and not be able to hear those charming 80's sounds. Anyone who has been to Logan Arcade in Chicago knows I like my games LOUD (still trying to find the sweet spot in the back room). Anyhow, I was there to play games and drink Straub in the parking lot, both of which I did until I couldn't see straight. With only one small complaint, I left happy and hungover on Saturday afternoon on my way to do some camping in Ohio. I even made my girlfriend listen to the finals on the car radio as I watched on my phone on the way back to Chicago on Sunday. I caught her laughing several times at the commentary and reactions. Great job, broadcast crew!

    I'm sad that PAPA is moving to March as I really enjoy the tailgating and do not enjoy driving in the winter. Looking forward to seeing what Replay will have to offer. At the very least, Pittsburgh is a great town with incredible pancakes (Pamela's/Dor-Stop). That alone will draw me back next summer.

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    #15 5 years ago

    What the hell is that ^

    #16 5 years ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    What the hell is that ^

    Quoted from Barron:

    incredible pancakes (Pamela's/Dor-Stop)

    #17 5 years ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    What the hell is that ^

    Quoted from Barron:

    incredible pancakes (Pamela's/Dor-Stop). That alone will draw me back next summer.

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    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from Blackbeard:

    What the hell is that ^

    Something worth driving 8 hrs for that has nothing to do with pinball and everything to do with Pittsburgh. Here's something to say "what the hell???" to. Ladies and gentlemen, Beto's Pizza...

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    #19 5 years ago

    Wish I had seen you there Barron!

    #20 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Wish I had seen you there Barron!

    Ditto. Not sure how the hell I missed ya! I was the Thursday night, Friday all day, and for a couple hours Saturday afternoon.

    #21 5 years ago

    Yeah, I was there from noon Thursday till 5pm Sunday.

    Amazed and bummed I did not see you.

    #22 5 years ago

    I'm sure there's probably a reason for it, but I was disappointed that none of the qualifying rounds were broadcast. I remember there being a lot more coverage in the past couple years, but maybe I'm thinking of pinburgh..

    I watched pretty much all of the Sunday broadcast (except for a nap), and loved it. It's funny that pinball has risen above baseball as one of my favorite spectator sports..

    #23 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    If you must use superbands then pick a single durometer/color and put them on everything.

    Color of superbands doesn't indicate anything, purely cosmetic, and they don't come in multiple durometers. You're thinking of Saturn Bands, which do. So they should have been consistent from machine to machine.

    #24 5 years ago

    I can't keep all the non-rubber bands straight, but they all provide the same less than desirable result. I have found them all to provide a very inconsistent bounce which does not mimic original black or red rubber.

    I put them on my TAF on location for ease of keeping clean but am not a fan of them for hard core competitive play.
    Preference is always standard black or red rubber (whatever the game was originally designed for). The non-rubber is not as bad on newer Sterns but older rounded flipper games never seem to play like they should.

    Either way, I do not think messing with flippers in ANY way is a good thing for competitive pinball at PAPA (a format which is based on the need to put up a consistent ticket on 5 games). To me it is no different than intentionally misaligning a flipper to change the shot physics and I can't imagine that ever happening.

    The flipper rubber is less important in standard format competition or more casual play. Sometimes it is even fun to play on a new flipper style or rubber. IMHO, just a bad thing for the PAPA format.

    #25 5 years ago

    but inconsistency is the same for all players , not one over the other .

    #26 5 years ago

    The point being that inconsistent playing flippers are something that puts more into the luck category and less in the skill category, regardless of being similarly inconsistent for all players...

    The goal should be to decrease luck and increase skill for any pinball competition.

    #27 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    The point being that inconsistent playing flippers are something that puts more into the luck category and less in the skill category, regardless of being similarly inconsistent for all players...
    The goal should be to decrease luck and increase skill for any pinball competition.

    agreed

    #28 5 years ago

    I watched the finals on Twitch. Wish I was there. Still up in the air on Pinball Expo.

    #29 5 years ago

    Inconsistent flipper feel from game to game means that the results of the tournament are measuring, in part, players' ability to adjust to each game. Sounds fine to me.

    #30 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    The goal should be to decrease luck and increase skill for any pinball competition.

    I don't think luck played much of a factor in deciding the result. Look who qualified and advanced in A division. There were alot of very big names. Are you surprised that Cayle George won? I'm not.

    #31 5 years ago
    Quoted from stevevt:

    Inconsistent flipper feel from game to game means that the results of the tournament are measuring, in part, players' ability to adjust to each game. Sounds fine to me.

    Please make sure you are also accounting for the format of the event. PAPA is an event built on the need to put up 5 consistent games for a single entry. Plenty of challenge to just adjust to 5 differnet games, eras, manufacturers, etc...

    Should we start misalligning flippers to increase the need for players to adjust?
    Maybe a Bananna flipper on the right with a lightning on the left?

    Could be fun for a smaller event but the world championship should strive for a higher standard.

    I also don't think that is a good thing to focus on for an event. Crappers bands are bad for pinball... mmmkay.

    #32 5 years ago
    Quoted from davewtf:

    I don't think luck played much of a factor in deciding the result. Look who qualified and advanced in A division. There were alot of very big names. Are you surprised that Cayle George won? I'm not.

    Talking about C division. I would say ability to adjust on the fly is a very advanced skill and something that is best not selected for at C level. The games should steer to the skills needed.
    That said, I still think standard set flipper rubbers should be the level we strive for. Change anything else in the game as desired but leave the players mode of interaction as standard as possible. This is no different than regulating the requirements for a NFL ball, a MLB bat, and the likes.

    I actually predicted that Cayle would win A before the event even started but was rooting for Josh H. Teh flipper control during multiball is simply amazing to me. His level of composure is also off the charts.

    #33 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Please make sure you are also accounting for the format of the event. PAPA is an event built on the need to put up 5 consistent games for a single entry. Plenty of challenge to just adjust to 5 differnet games, eras, manufacturers, etc...

    Obviously it's a challenging tournament. If you remove some of the challenge, you're removing some of what makes this tournament special. Lightening flippers in place of regular ones? Check. Center posts removed? Check. I'm sure you'd hate those things, too, if you had to deal with them. Yet, the challenge is the same for everyone.

    I really think of it like playing sports in rain/wind/snow. It's easier to win when you remember that both teams have to deal with the conditions, and they don't exist for the sole purpose of putting you at a disadvantage.

    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Should we start misalligning flippers to increase the need for players to adjust?
    Maybe a Bananna flipper on the right with a lightning on the left?

    Probably not. The current level of challenge, as fate would have it, is just about right.

    #34 5 years ago

    I am fine with posts removed and lightning flippers in place of regulars as those are common on other games. Those are also very consistent things. Every lightning fliper I have ever seen is identical in feel and physics (well maybe those bad reproductions were not).

    Flipper rubber is the players direct control/interaction with the game. Make it standard and consistent. I actually think that was the intent of the IFPA when they originally endorsed the one special red durometer super band or saturn band or whatever it was... That seemed to evaporate once peoepl started playing with them and many players did not liek them or find them to provide a desirable of consistent bounce.

    #35 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Talking about C division. I would say ability to adjust on the fly is a very advanced skill and something that is best not selected for at C level. The games should steer to the skills needed.

    I don't think making the games easier will allow for those players to improve to the next level. My opinion doesn't carry as much credibility as I have never been to the event. Just my two cents (possibly less).

    #36 5 years ago

    If anyone has complaints or recommendations, be sure to contact someone at PAPA directly. Posting here doesn't always mean it will be read.

    #37 5 years ago

    NOT easier. MORE consistent flipper bounce it what I think we should strive for.

    Take off the glass and let a ball kick out to a passive bounce on a flipper with a superband and then a regular rubber 100 times.

    You will see that you get a more predictable and consistent result with the regular rubber.

    #38 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I am fine with posts removed and lightning flippers in place of regulars as those are common on other games. Those are also very consistent things. Every lightning fliper I have ever seen is identical in feel and physics (well maybe those bad reproductions were not).
    Flipper rubber is the players direct control/interaction with the game. Make it standard and consistent. I actually think that was the intent of the IFPA when they originally endorsed the one special red durometer super band or saturn band or whatever it was... That seemed to evaporate once peoepl started playing with them and many players did not liek them or find them to provide a desirable of consistent bounce.

    For what it's worth, PAPA won't be standardizing its flipper rubbers anytime soon. Flipper rubbers are a tool in game setup, and standardization would reduce our ability to challenge players in a variety of ways.

    #39 5 years ago

    no worries. Just sharing my thoughts.

    #40 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    no worries. Just sharing my thoughts.

    It's cool. I also respect your opinion and have struggled with this decision several times, but in the end, I prefer to reserve the right to make decisions based on specific games, rather than blanket preferences. I readily admit your argument has its positives, but it's just not something we're prepared to do right now. The other side has positives as well.

    In the end, there were fewer than 7 games out of 75 that had "non-standard" flipper rubbers, so it's not like it's a wide swath of games that got that treatment.

    #41 5 years ago

    I don't find superbands inconsistent personally. Different? Sure. But they play the same every game. It's not like they randomly become harder or softer in between balls.

    #42 5 years ago

    Main point is still that PAPA was amazing! Had a blast and will do it again if my schedule alligns!

    Huge improvements over last year and many noticed the impact.

    #43 5 years ago

    I'd like to know what was up with that TAF in Division C. That "thing" kicked my ass twice, and I bailed on it for my third ticket. I almost always get multiball on that game, but on one game I actually scored just over 3 million...and 2 million of that was a skill shot. I heard a lot of people were having trouble with that machine. Not all, obviously, but a lot.

    I was actually thinking about someone from PAPA saying in this forum that they expected anyone competing in Division C to be able to tour the mansion twice. That simply HAD to be tongue in cheek...

    ...right?

    #44 5 years ago

    Next year they can put a super band on the lower left flipper, a red regular on the upper, and then a 30 year old dried piece on the bottom right. That should provide the "challenging players in many different ways".

    #45 5 years ago

    mhs, is there an email for PAPA I can use? I tried to paste my post on the A Division spectator experience into the contact form but it doesn't nearly fit. Thanks-

    #46 5 years ago

    Just take the flipper rubber off all together, and replace the bats with banana bats.

    Why not?

    #47 5 years ago

    or go really old school , no flippers . just like pinball started out , a pin and a ball

    #48 5 years ago
    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    I was actually thinking about someone from PAPA saying in this forum that they expected anyone competing in Division C to be able to tour the mansion twice. That simply HAD to be tongue in cheek...
    ...right?

    I think it was serious but very off. I am pretty sure nobody came even close to touring the mansion once based on the scores put up in C. The A players did not seem to fair much better with it and it sounds like they had the magnets turned off?

    #49 5 years ago

    Who watched the entire (recorded) Live Stream on twitch only to get Valinor'ed at the end??

    #50 5 years ago

    Speaking of floating grounds (from another post here on the forums), there were 2 machines side by side that give you one hell of a jolt when you touch them at the same time.

    It didn't happen to me myself, but it happened to a friend I was with.

    I'll get the details when I talk to home next.

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