So, funny story.
Somehow the second driver board blew out (I think because the diodes on the upper left flipper coil separated and took out the driver transistors), so I got a new one and replaced it. Thank heaven it's all standard OTS parts, right?
Anyway, when I got it back together, we twiddled a couple parameters, used it for league night, then put them back at the end. Suddenly everybody was asking what I changed, because the game was a lot easier and more fun all of a sudden.
They noted that the ball gates were much more forgiving and it was easier to get the ball in the upper part. I assumed I just diddled something in the configuration and forgot to put it back, but since people were happy about it, I shrugged and let it go.
Well today it started bugging me so I went and looked... both coils were still soldered on, the driver board's fuse was fine... but on close inspection, I noticed that the pink power connector wasn't actually connected properly. No wonder the gates were more forgiving... they were never being energized!
I put the connector back on correctly and of course the ball gates work again.
Where I'm going with this is that I got a flood of people telling me the game was a lot more fun when the gates weren't functioning. I mean a /lot/ of people. TNA was back on peoples' lists.
Maybe consider adding some kind of mode that makes the gates more forgiving and more frequently open?