Quoted from pinballcorpse:
One of the misconceptions about EMs in tourneys is that they are often (incorrectly) referred to as "luck boxes".
You are thinking of people calling EMs "slot machines". I will admit, generally speaking there is more luck to an EM and less skill than a SS. That's why the ball times are so short. The skill is still there and it does require a lot of practice to be good at EM machines. It's a different skillset for certain. You are not making post passes, drop catches the same or repeating ramp shots but aiming, flipper strength, tap passes and understand how an EM "instantly tilts" with no warnings are things you have to practice a lot, in order to be great.
Back to OP...
I never really cared for Ems until I stated playing competitively. (Not a recent thing!)
EVERY SINGLE BEST PINBALL MACHINE EVER MADE BEFORE ANY SS MACHINES WAS AN EM!
Think of it this way. Before around 1977-ish, all the top rated machines at that time in pinball were all EMs. So, to discount that specific era of machines and design really says a lot about the person you are talking about. No EM is going to play like Addams or Scared Stiff but it does not mean that at one time, a particular EM was not the best available game for your money. Grand Prix, Jungle Queen, Wizard, Capt. Fant., and Nip It all come to mind here.
The same exact thing happens with rules and strategies these days. Take GOT as an example of many, many different strategies to get big points. Compare that to AFM or Monster Bash or LOTR where there are 2,3 main ways to get big points in competition. It's much less of a chess game than GOT.
That comparison is no different than comparing Captain Fantastic to Addams Family. Both great game designs that hold my attention. But, if you are a player that did not grow up in between the 70 and 90's, the chances that you play and appreciate both of those machines so much that you own them both, is VERY slim.
I NEVER played an EM before I was 24 years old. I have owned around 10 of them over the years. I like a few of them a lot but, because they are not what I grew up around, the ones that I hold in the highest regard and own are those that have great design and risk/reward. It's mainly because I am a competitive player of pinball. I'm not a collector of pinball nor did I grow up in the heyday of Ems.
Another thing, you can't help or force someone to "get it" with EMs. It's like drug additions. You can never help someone that does not first ask for it. If you are the only one making all the effort, the user will likely never be clear of their vice.