Quoted from Vespula:
Could this possibly imply that the vast majority of people on here don't know the game as well as you do and just play for fun. I know I feel like I'm in that boat. Things click slowly for me .
Plus sometimes there's a feeling of insecurity or embarrassment to talk about things that you might assume everybody already knows. Maybe I'll try making more of an effort posting these types of things.
Yeah, it boggles me, how people will invest so much in the machines and the mods and game room space and everything... and then just blank on understanding the rules of a game beyond shoot the flashing lights. I cringe whenever I see some "woo my best game ever!" post on any machine... and the score is like barely one completed mode and a few jackpots worth. I try to help out the people who are genuinely trying to learn and improve, but it's a surprisingly small percentage of these threads. I think there is indeed some factor of insecurity there, like you can't be blamed for not learning the rules if you never tried, it's easier mentally to just avoid it so people do.
Quoted from lospugs:
Yeah, gameplay would be interesting just in figuring out what scoring hacks people move toward to try and get big points versus what is the thing you can do to make the most progress in the game.
I've never made it to any Cygnus modes, the best game I ever played I finished 5 of the 6 song modes (drained trying to finish LVS). My general move is to try to stack MB with Working Man or Limelight. I can reliably finish Big Money and Spirit of the Radio with a single ball. TS and LVS are crapshoots whether I finish them, though in full disclosure, if I get through the 2 LRs and the Dead End, it's nearly a guarantee that I'll finish.
The best thing you can do to make progress that you're not already doing is The Weapon. I printed out the chart of the album combos from the Tiltforums rulesheet and keep it next to the game when I'm playing. Shoot a lot for the album combos when you're not in a song mode. Learn the best times to use it in each of the songs, including the fact that it goes left-to-right or right-to-left based on the current diverter position. Also *don't* use it on Limelight or Red Barchetta, since those share the same album as Tom Sawyer where it's worth more (the entire third phase.)
The other important bit is the time machine years. It does pay to aim for the 80 million threshold for full time machine years, to get into all the multiball upgrades and eventually the extra ball at 50 years. I try to get the 80 million on every song mode, which usually involves pushing the song multiplier to roughly +40%, and keeping an eye on what shots are lit for 2x (don't do Spirit of Radio without 2x on the dead end, or Working Man without it on the left orbit, or Strangiato on the upper loop.)
I start the game like this: Go for Far Cry multiball first (aim for the lock targets, and if I drain before getting close, I just restart the game), to stack with the first song mode. The point is to get the 10 years from the first song, which upgrades the time machine mbs to 3 balls, do that before the first time machine mb, and stack that with the second song. Later on, pay attention to the Freewill drop targets, when 2 of the instruments are completed make sure you lock in the third one since it's not likely to happen randomly.
As for scoring hacks - you really don't need to worry about it on post 1.10 modern code for Rush. Rush's old code was crazy about scoring hacks - it let you push the song multiplier to +1000% or more since it never reset (this is what everybody saw the expert streamers doing), and multiballs were all about doing it with the 4x rainbow multipliers before those were lost on a drain. On the modern code, draining resets the song multiplier, and the rainbows are only 2x but permanent, so all the scoring is fairly consistent and takes care of itself if you're making progress. Really the only way to blow up a billion besides the wizard modes is the 12-way Strangiato combo.