(Topic ID: 299309)

Stern Insider Connected

By anathematize

56 days ago

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  • Latest reply 23 minutes ago by bigehrl
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    Post #1031 Notes directly from Stern's presentation to Stern Army members. Posted by chuckwurt (15 days ago)

    Post #1043 Additional notes from the Stern presentation. Posted by Smack (15 days ago)

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    #130 56 days ago

    I remember when my achievements lived only as memories in my head... like turning over Pinbot 5 times, or having a 9.5 billion score on BOP, or that time I double turned over my Central Park. I enjoy having a high score table on my machines, but this system isn't something I need, want, or care to pay for. There was a reason there were so many single player titles back in the day. Pinball is something enjoyed solo by a lot of people.

    #149 56 days ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    How would that be fun?


    Exactly. I see no way to play "Head to Head" across the network except to monitor balls played, score, and achievements completed while simultaneously playing a game. And I agree, standing and looking at the display for a half hour while getting my butt kicked is something I reserve for in-person play on a single machine. If we both have the same machine why would we wait for the other player to play a ball and let one machine sit idle?!? And how much would we care about the outcome if we see we are getting clipped at double our score? I am sure the casual player would just punch up another game and forget he had started a head to head match... so good players would always be seeing <Other player has left the game> Sounds like a blast of fun

    #202 56 days ago
    Quoted from thechakapakuni:

    Are we supposed to be excited about this?

    About as much as a cactus wedgie is for me... I'm what they call an early adopter except when it comes to IoT and pinball... it made sense for operators to get info on their routed machines but I am not a supporter of H2H, or DLC, or achievements, or "certified" location scoring, or sharing my info with anyone unless it is in a hosted tournament but most tournaments are not "Stern Only affairs"... so this doesn't work for that either.

    #409 55 days ago

    I'm waiting for the Pin*Botnets that will spring up after someone hacks how to update all the Sterns with malware... some evil genius will have an army of pinball machines doing their bidding. Or Ransomeware that bricks the machine until you pay the ransom or have to reinstall the software from a clean SD card... or wait, how about the inevitable notification of a security breach at Stern and they have to pay for my fraud protection for a year? Or any other number of other doomsday IT scenarios... yeah, sign me up for that.

    #516 52 days ago

    Haven't been in the market for a Stern for about 2 years... looks like it might be another 2 before I think about another one... hopefully by then they have this tried, delivered, failed to launch, and retired and we can go back to wanting normal things in our pinball machines like toys and targets, and flashers, and lights, and sounds, and bumpers and slings and just about anything else you could want in a coin operated amusement machine designed to be played casually amongst friends in a face to face social gathering. If I want to play head to head or compare dick length achievements, I will ask a couple of friends to come over and play some pinball and then maybe later we can whip out a ruler.

    #573 50 days ago

    Why wouldnt people NOT post their Qr code and let others pay to bump your achievements up? Every play gives you a boost somehow... and Stern couldn't stop you from doing it except to cancel any account where the Qr caode has been published?
    And what if your account unlocks features... people play your code, get farther into game, you reap achievements... seems like a crack in the armor...

    #675 47 days ago

    Ok... let's look at this from a player v.s. owner standpoint. If you make me subscribe to get All Access as a player, then owners should not have to subscribe to get All Access. Period. I've already paid Stern big cash for the right to own and play their damn game. I should NOT have to continue to pay them to get full access to all game features in the damn box. They got my $7000 to $10000 and if that doesn't have enough "profit" built in to last the life of my machine, they can stick their Insider in their insides and preferably the wrong way through a one way orifice. Ownership of a pinball game, historically, has always meant I have full access to it's full capabilities. Not interested in buying a box that requires a subscription just to play it. The Xbox generation may enjoy it, but the Atari 2400 generation does not.

    1 week later
    #777 36 days ago
    Quoted from sataneatscheese:

    In the future, we intend to create exclusive game extensions, such as special access to new modes or new rules and features to increase the All-Access Connected value.

    Ok, let me ask some elephant in the room sized questions. User story: I walk up to a connected machine with my buddy. We want to play doubles. We both log in with our Qr code. I have access to game modes my buddy does not due to my advanced status or even possibly due to my level of subscription. Does the machine use my profile and temporarily give access to the exclusive modes to my buddy, OR does it limit my access to the least common modes available to both players, OR does it limit my buddy but give me the advantage of access to modes he does not, thus allowing me to kick his ass?

    How will this affect head to head play on the machine? Is this a level playfield anymore? Or will we have to agree NOT to login so the machine treats us both the same? If this is true, then how do my achievements accumulate if we are always playing unconnected games? I think we need to see this in the wild, figure out the weak points and see where we end up. Personally I don't play a lot of location pinball, so all of this is moot to me really, but it would be nice to know going forward.

    #804 35 days ago

    I'm ok with anything they want to do for location play, but as a HUO owner of a $7k+ amusement device, I don't think I need to pay anything more to Stern for the right to play the damn thing. Are they going to start holding me at ransom for code updates now as well? If this is the case, then they should offer some kind of long term code maintenance subscription.

    Does anyone remember the old days when your achievement was simply how high a score you got? I remember when the code that was relevant to play the game came WITH the game, not purchased incrementally via DLC.

    This is following the same Apple model they use for iPads... constant flux. Which, from a pinball standpoint, just kind of sucks. I get all the hype behind DLC and added functionality of new modes, new rules, new content to help bring customers back, or allowing a machine to adjust its offerings to lure more coin drop on location, but in a HUO environment, what I want from Stern is a complete machine, all bells and whistles, and not have to jump through setting up wifi and maintaining an account, logging in, and all the added BS hoops. I bought the damn thing, I've paid Stern enough already.

    I want to press Start and start playing a game.

    #809 35 days ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    I pay extra I get a completely different game experience.

    If you own the machine you pay nothing...

    #827 35 days ago

    Here's a question or two that brings both the insider program and machine price hikes into focus...

    Are the Stern price increases, that are putting machines further out of the hands of the common man, making on location play more lucrative to operators?, -and- are operators willing to pay the higher machine prices knowing that it makes it harder to own a machine and more likely the common man will seek out location play as their best bang for the buck? Does the Insider program help operators by making it easier for the common man to afford on location play by providing discounts or loyalty points that can offset the high on-location game pricing that is being used to offset the higher machine costs, or is it more a perception thing, where the player perceives he is getting something for next to nothing?

    $40 bucks a year better get me at least 40 free games somewhere, or at least a fricken t-shirt (preferably one that fits, but most don't print anything bigger than a 3X) because even loot boxes have stuff worth some $$$ inside them. Just offering me "something to be named later", in that I have no idea what I am buying at the time of purchase, seems to be a growing market trend. Caveat Emptor or "buyer beware" is being replaced with "buyer don't care" and they argue the point by saying "it's only $39.95 a year, so why care?

    One thing is absolutely certain in all of this- This is just another scheme of Stern's to put more of your dollars in their pocket, or the pockets of operators, and no offense to operators, but why would they drop $200 per machine unless it has some ROI? And that ROI is actually my wallet goin "CHING!"

    #841 34 days ago

    Flipstream and Blindseer, thanks for answering my questions objectively. This is the kind of feedback I was hoping for.

    3 weeks later
    #1168 13 days ago

    The idea of making some bucks off the ops to retrofit existing spike2 games along with the idea of increasing prices to cover NIB machine inclusion and the addition of a subscription revenue stream coupled with shared operator revenue possibilities was obviously enough revenue enhancement to green light this whole program. They will run with this model until it plays out and move on to the next system, probably ap based.

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