(Topic ID: 202129)

TNA - Overreliance on Drop Targets/Multiball?


By IceFang

1 year ago



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  • 43 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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#1 1 year ago

I've been closely following TNA ever since I was awestruck by early whitewood gameplay and its incredible original music. When the artwork came out, my excitement couldn't have been lifted any higher. (For me, artwork has always played a very minor role in my enjoyment of a machine, but this was the first time an art package had actually ENHANCED my impression of a game!)

However, during Dead Flip's streams at Spooky's and then Ed's, I started to notice one core gameplay aspect that concerned me, and more recent streams appear to have confirmed it: If you are not in multiball, there appears to be NO reason you shouldn't immediately trap up, ignore everything else, and make repeated drop target shots (relatively safe and easy) to start a multi-ball. Multiball is very powerful in that it doesn't stop progression through the game, it provides a complete safety net when trying to make difficult shots during what should be tense "destroy the reactor" moments, and it's also the driving force behind scoring. If you fail to hit those reactor shots during multiball, focus back on the drop target lane to restart multiball, and try again.

I fully admit I haven't played the game yet, so maybe I'm over-simplifying the ease of repeated lock shots. However, having watched about five hours of gameplay, it seems more and more apparent. I just feel that there's too much emphasis on the drop targets and starting multiball that it needs to be reigned in a bit or made more special somehow. Perhaps you can't start a fresh multiball when in the "destroy the reactor" phase? ...Perhaps only one multiball per reactor? ...Or perhaps, after a multiball ends, mix things up by having a different (randomized?) target be responsible for reactivating the locks instead of three MORE shots on the drop targets themselves.

I'm not trying to nit-pick... far from it. This game looks and sounds like nothing I've ever experienced in pinball, and I'm SO close to pulling the trigger and buying it. I just don't want every game to devolve into the drop targets always being the clear best choice to shoot for when not in a multiball. I want this game to shine in every way possible!

#2 1 year ago
Quoted from IceFang:

I've been closely following TNA ever since I was awestruck by early whitewood gameplay and its incredible original music. When the artwork came out, my excitement couldn't have been lifted any higher. (For me, artwork has always played a very minor role in my enjoyment of a machine, but this was the first time an art package had actually ENHANCED my impression of a game!)
However, during Dead Flip's streams at Spooky's and then Ed's, I started to notice one core gameplay aspect that concerned me, and more recent streams appear to have confirmed it: If you are not in multiball, there appears to be NO reason you shouldn't immediately trap up, ignore everything else, and make repeated drop target shots (relatively safe and easy) to start a multi-ball. Multiball is very powerful in that it doesn't stop progression through the game, it provides a complete safety net when trying to make difficult shots during what should be tense "destroy the reactor" moments, and it's also the driving force behind scoring. If you fail to hit those reactor shots during multiball, focus back on the drop target lane to restart multiball, and try again.
I fully admit I haven't played the game yet, so maybe I'm over-simplifying the ease of repeated lock shots. However, having watched about five hours of gameplay, it seems more and more apparent. I just feel that there's too much emphasis on the drop targets and starting multiball that it needs to be reigned in a bit or made more special somehow. Perhaps you can't start a fresh multiball when in the "destroy the reactor" phase? ...Perhaps only one multiball per reactor? ...Or perhaps, after a multiball ends, mix things up by having a different (randomized?) target be responsible for reactivating the locks instead of three MORE shots on the drop targets themselves.
I'm not trying to nit-pick... far from it. This game looks and sounds like nothing I've ever experienced in pinball, and I'm SO close to pulling the trigger and buying it. I just don't want every game to devolve into the drop targets always being the clear best choice to shoot for when not in a multiball. I want this game to shine in every way possible!

I don't know about you but I'm nowhere near Jack's skill. He's a top ranked player that makes everything look simple and easy. Maybe you're secretly a top 100 player... otherwise I wouldn't worry too much about it.

#3 1 year ago

Definitely a problem. If you can catch the ball coming down the right orbit from a plunge you can just go straight to backhanding. Apparently there's some options/rules to make MB more difficult though, I've heard you have to bash down all the drops and get the ball in the scoop in back or something? Still the same shot though, and we know how tournament players love a repeatable shot. Requiring a random target, or completing a reactor, or something, to relight locks would be much better. Especially when multiball also gives you the score multiplier...

#6 1 year ago

I think when it comes down to it, unless you’re a player and collector of all eras, this game is just not going to be for you.

I can’t wait to play one of these, and hopefully own one down the road.

#7 1 year ago

Actually you want to strategically avoid multiball also, esp in a multiplayer heads up game.

That is the beauty of TNA in a heads up setting. LOTS of risk v reward with attempting multiball and potentially leaving locked balls on the table for others to steal.

Multiball is extremely well balanced with other features for scoring. Blowing up reactors in the main goal, and to really score well you want to take a multi into a reacotr in order to multiply the value of it. You also need to understand that jackpots in multiball are well balanced based on skill.

Jackpots shots during multiball as single, double, triple, super in order for each of the drop targets going back and finally the scoop. Given the frantic nature of a mutliball and the speed of the game, even double jackpots are rare compared to singles. Triples and Supers rarely happen even with control and skill for the average player. It is important to note that drop targets are on a timer. So hit a single jackpot and a few seconds later if you have not hit the second drop for a double then the first will pop back up and you are back down to single level.

Other important score features are to make out core before destorying, build up X value on bonus, and even to grab RAD mystery awards which can be important and in tournament settings have a set order (pretty sure but not verified yet)

Other important aspect is to learn the hands free skill shot to more quickly progress through reactor start ups. It is genuinely one of the best skill shots I have seen in a long time, creates a sense of anxiety on even the plunge ans sets the pace and intensity of the gameplay right at the start.

You can play the game many differnet ways and I do not think there is any exploit I have seen. In fact I would say I change strategy as I go and need to adjust on the fly rapidly as the state of game changes.

I personally liek to avoid multiball untill I have a recator ready. I then try to blow a reacotr while in 3x pf multiball and then try to get another reactor started.

Default settings are that 1 multiball per ball and then you catually have to hit down all drops and scoop to re-enable the drop locks again on the same ball.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

unless you’re a player and collector of all eras, this game is just not going to be for you.

I think the opposite. On route I am seeing all types of people obsessed with the game.

Collectors, players, casuals, even kids. They are drawn into the game and play it like crazy.

10
#9 1 year ago

If you lock the balls and drain (remember, this game is TOUGH!) you just set up your buddy... if you don't go for ball locks to keep stealing down, destroying reactors isn't going to bring a lot of value.

You also don't want to collect the captive balls BEFORE you're ready to destroy the reactor for max value.

It's all about when / where to grab them. Keypad shots can be dangerous... unlocking makes that safer BUT costs you if you can't keep it going to destroy the reactor.

If someone grabs a good lead, it forces you to take risks to catch up. This can help or backfire quickly.

And don't forget the jackpot shots back at the drops... jackpot, double, triple, super (I've hit the super 1 time). Targets fight back!

Find one and play it with a buddy. That's our recommendation.

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

casuals, even kids

Love all pinball. They are drawn to lights and sounds and simplicity.

What I’m saying was in response to someone that appears to have a concern with this game lasting in their collection. Doesn’t really matter what casuals and kids think in that scenario (assuming that’s the concern)

My point was to simply say if you are a DMD only type collector and don’t like to play older games, this probably won’t be the game for you.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

My point was to simply say if you are a DMD only type collector and don’t like to play older games, this probably won’t be the game for you.

I guess I disagree with that. The game has numeris displays and a full LCD display with animations. It is nothing like an older game.

I guess I could agree with "if you only like games with ramps, then this probably won't be the game for you"

It is by far the most modern feeling game in my entire collection. It is street level with no ramps, but everything else about it is a new feel and perception.

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

My point was to simply say if you are a DMD only type collector and don’t like to play older games, this probably won’t be the game for you.

It's their loss. They don't know what they're missing. I often find I get more enjoyment from a single level, early 80's pin than most modern, complex DMD games. Sometimes you just want to test your pinball skills & rack up some points. Can't wait for my TNA to arrive

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I guess I could agree with "if you only like games with ramps, then this probably won't be the game for you"

Bingo. More junk to shoot at equals better for some.

#14 1 year ago

I wouldn't personally identify TNA as a street level game. Single-level, sure, but street level designs had cost reduction considerations that weren't in play here (going off Premier's experiment and their stated goals for those games).

Anyway, more on topic, I have only have played the whitewood so far. I found ball control quite challenging, and don't think this will be as rinse/repeat easy as, say, Firepower's spinner. Overall, my sense is in single-player games there is probably an ideal path of approach that could be fairly linear but in competitive games you've got strategic decisions to make depending on how the game is going, the quality of your opponent, etc. So I think how you expect to be experiencing the game (alone or with opponents) coupled with your collection's size and goals will be the biggest factors on if TNA makes sense for you.

23
#15 1 year ago

OK, let me chime in a bit on the multiball logic.

So I programmed it so that it would be fairly easy to get multiball going, but pretty damn difficult to relight the locks on the same ball. So here is the sequence of events. On the beginning of your ball, locks are lit. There could potentially be a ball or two already in the lock mechanism. You can lock and cash in a multiball right away. After multiball is over, the drop targets will most likely be all up again, you will need to bash all the way through to the scoop and that will relight your locks. This is easier said than done as there is not pitty ball save when smashing through the drop targets and it is a risky shot with the potential for a center drain.

Also, something kinda neat... During multiball, the jackpots are the drop targets. The first one being a single, the second being a double, the third being a triple, and the scoop being the super (5x). These drop targets will cascade back on you every 5 seconds if you do not achieve the next jackpot. Something to also keep in mind, if you were to be in the process of working your way up the drop targets when you lose multiball, the drops stop resetting and give you a slight advantage to relight your locks by leaving the already down drop targets where they are.

Multiball is of course advantageous to the rest of the game due to the score multiplier (3x or 2x) depending on how many balls you have in play.

Also, the further you are in the game (reactor-wise) all the scoring goes up significantly.

Here is a mathematical situation... The jackpot seed value is 5000 points. If you are on the 2nd reactor with a 3 ball multiball and you slam a super jackpot, that value would be:

5000(jackpot seed value) * 1.5(second reactor multiplier) * 3(multiball multiplier) * 5(super jackpot multiplier) = 112,500 points for that one shot.

Neat huh?

--Scott

#16 1 year ago

Scott, is there a way to turn a 3 ball multi into a 4 ball multi?

I am sure I have done it but not sure how to get the add-a-ball

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Scott, is there a way to turn a 3 ball multi into a 4 ball multi?
I am sure I have done it but not sure how to get the add-a-ball

Quit spoiling my code update surprises!

12
#18 1 year ago
Quoted from DennisK:

street level designs had cost reduction considerations that weren't in play here

Lol.... NAILED IT! Like you have no idea how well.

Bang for your buck, nothing comes close to this game. Said it before and will say it again... this should be a $7,000 game. We ate it to get more out there because it DESERVES to be out there.

Yeah I'm a completely biased Mr. Danesi fan boy, but this is the most original and potentially eye opening game on what pinball can be in ANY configuration in forever. Once you get the rules, you're hooked. Not to mention I can play against my son and not answer customer emails while he's going 5 modes deep on a 20 minute ball.

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from SpookyCharlie:

Mr. Danesi fan boy

I expect to see this on a shirt by the time TPF rolls around...

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from SpookyCharlie:

Lol.... NAILED IT! Like you have no idea how well.
Bang for your buck, nothing comes close to this game. Said it before and will say it again... this should be a $7,000 game. We ate it to get more out there because it DESERVES to be out there.
Yeah I'm a completely biased Mr. Danesi fan boy, but this is the most original and potentially eye opening game on what pinball can be in ANY configuration in forever. Once you get the rules, you're hooked. Not to mention I can play against my son and not answer customer emails while he's going 5 modes deep on a 20 minute ball.

Thanks for that, btw! I don't think I could have swung it for $7K USD. $6K was a big stretch (I generally don't buy games that cost more than my car is worth , but I love what you and Scott are doing and really wanted to support it (and play the heck out of it, of course).

Anyway, quit surfing pinside and get back to building my game! TNA by Xmas or bust!

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from SpookyCharlie:

Lol.... NAILED IT! Like you have no idea how well.

Tony and I just did a big segment on street level (shameless link plug: https://soundcloud.com/user-465086826/episode-47#t=23:17 ) so comparisons are much on my mind lately, and TNA naturally came up in our discussion at the end of that research piece. But much like I noted above (with far more brevity than I do in audio form), there's too much going on with TNA to be in that vein.

I think TNA does invite speculation if the market would have interest in something truly street level, since it does demonstrate demand exists for single-level if done well. But would it still be done well with all the sacrifices you'd have to make to the BoM? That remains an enigma, and outside the scope of this particular thread (though a fascinating discussion... to me at least).

Pivoting all this back towards the original topic, multi-ball is a major element of this game, just like drop targets are a major part of EBD. Is it too much? All comes down to taste. But, I'm not seeing scoring imbalances, so in my opinion I wouldn't consider it there to be any sort of overt reliance due to oversight... merely a feature of this particular game's playstyle.

#22 1 year ago
Quoted from IceFang:

I fully admit I haven't played the game yet

This seems to be the common theme on the game. Some people watch a stream or look at some photos and speculate based on what they see that the game is simpler than it really is.

Others have touched on the multiball points but haven't mentioned the division of the playfield into two smaller areas, both of which play into why TNA is the amazing game it is despite appearances. The lower main playfield area is so tiny, it completely throws your reaction times off and combined with the right side pop, your ball control is really out the window. It's not really as simple as sitting there backhanding the lock shot over and over.

The play mechanics may seem simple but when you stand in front of it, you realize how well it's all balanced out in the software. If multiball were any more difficult it would make the game less fun.

#23 1 year ago

To be fair to the OP, the lock shot is probably the most important shot on the game. I was in the first stream and it was the shot I was shooting for the most often. I'm not a great player and I need to go for multiball to start the reactors. Better players can lock balls but not start multiball until they are ready to destroy the reactor for multibsll.

It's also just fun to steal locked balls in a multiplayer game.

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from lpeters82:

To be fair to the OP, the lock shot is probably the most important shot on the game. I was in the first stream and it was the shot I was shooting for the most often. I'm not a great player and I need to go for multiball to start the reactors. Better players can lock balls but not start multiball until they are ready to destroy the reactor for multibsll.
It's also just fun to steal locked balls in a multiplayer game.

The lock shot is really tier 1 of play strategy (novice) to this game.

For more intermediate and advance strategies you for sure need to be able to no hands plunge, hit key pad (from the correct flipper to avoid drains), hit left scoop, bounce pass, post pass, loop pass, hit orbits, dead catch from either scoop, back hand from both flippers, learn to beat the auto plunge, stage your inlanes to boost ball save level and cash in as needed, build multiplier, and cash in mysteries. Oh yes... you also need to hit more and more shots the further you go in the reactors. I am hoping once you get to 5 reactors that you start having to hit shots in the upper pf area??? (most i have seen is 4 shots needed since only made it to 4 reactors so far)

Reality is the physical game is nearly perfectly balanced with the ruleset already.

It really does a disservice to say it it all about 1 shot because the game is so much more than that.

TBT, the lock shot is just 1 of the many shots on the entire pf and you realy do need to be able to hit them all to get far in the game.

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

The lock shot is really tier 1 of play strategy (novice) to this game.
For more intermediate and advance strategies you for sure need to be able to no hands plunge, hit key pad (from the correct flipper to avoid drains), hit left scoop, bounce pass, post pass, loop pass, hit orbits, dead catch from either scoop, back hand from both flippers, learn to beat the auto plunge, stage your inlanes to boost ball save level and cash in as needed, build multiplier, and cash in mysteries. Oh yes... you also need to hit more and more shots the further you go in the reactors. I am hoping once you get to 5 reactors that you start having to hit shots in the upper pf area??? (most i have seen is 4 shots needed since only made it to 4 reactors so far)
Reality is the physical game is nearly perfectly balanced with the ruleset already.
It really does a disservice to say it it all about 1 shot because the game is so much more than that.
TBT, the lock shot is just 1 of the many shots on the entire pf and you realy do need to be able to hit them all to get far in the game.

But is there any reason not to be making all those other shots when you're already in multiball? I don't see why you wouldn't just cradle up and pick shots off while you've got a spare ball or two waiting (and double scoring to boot)

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

But is there any reason not to be making all those other shots when you're already in multiball? I don't see why you wouldn't just cradle up and pick shots off while you've got a spare ball or two waiting (and double scoring to boot)

easier said than done... I am a pretty decent player and that is very tough to do. Reality is the bottom half of the pf is short, in your face, and punishing. Miss a shot and get ready to try and regain control.

I am sure the top 100 level of players may be able to use that strategy, but shot accuracy and consistency is not something the vast majority are good enough at to take advantage of this game.

I look forward to you getting a bunch of games on 1 and working that. It is a fun way to go about it, but controlled single ball play is a much better shot of making your way through the game (just less chaos for what is actually some tough shots). I mean you can flail around and get lucky in MB. Heck I like to work toward the key pad while in multi.

Play some games on one and get back to us. I am trying to get better at that level of control in MB but with the short pf and punishing misses it is damn tough.

I find that if I can get 2 balls under control and try to pick off shots with the third then I am quickly down to 2. I have better luck in 3 ball of sending 1 to top pf section and then using that time to focus on the 2 balls down below.

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Play some games on one and get back to us. I am trying to get better at that level of control in MB but with the short pf and punishing misses it is damn tough.

I'd love to play one but sadly I don't see one coming to my area any time soon. I'm not good enough to play 2 ball for a long time either, but every video I've seen of Game of Thrones (which has a similarly small lower section and punishes you for missed shots) multiball being played in tournaments involves a lot of controlled play and none of those players seem to have much trouble with it. I'm sure if they could just shoot the middle ramp to light locks as well as collect them they'd loop that ramp all day before taking any other shots. The danger of the green targets relative to the other shots makes that strategy less viable there, but on TnA I don't see the lock shot being any more dangerous than the other shots (in fact I'd imagine especially once you've finished that first drop that it's actually safer than the standups?)

#28 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

It really does a disservice to say it it all about 1 shot because the game is so much more

Since you are quoting me, I just want to be clear that I do not feel that it is all about one shot.

#29 1 year ago

A question for you pinball champs.
For those of you who have played this game and F-14 Tomcat, how do they compare in difficulty? Both games have ball stealing. I ask because I have an F-14 and I think it is hard.

#30 1 year ago
Quoted from StylesBitchly:

A question for you pinball champs.
For those of you who have played this game and F-14 Tomcat, how do they compare in difficulty? Both games have ball stealing. I ask because I have an F-14 and I think it is hard.

F-14 doesn't have lock stealing (unless it's a setting that's always been off when I played)...

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from StylesBitchly:

A question for you pinball champs.
For those of you who have played this game and F-14 Tomcat, how do they compare in difficulty? Both games have ball stealing. I ask because I have an F-14 and I think it is hard.

I also have an F-14 and have been able to play TNA.

I would say TNA while hard and fast can be far more forgiving in some aspects. No ball save till 3rd ball on F-14. Nothing like having the first plunge come down and make its way to the right out lane. Multiball is just as hectic but again ball save in the beginning.

The one more game feeling is very much there with both of them. A few rounds with some sad scoring and all of a sudden you land a breakout game.

To me, they're both hard and fun games, but TNA has a bit of an extra fun factor as you get to harass or be harassed for failing to capitalize on the multiball someone left hanging out there.

#32 1 year ago

This may have been mentioned elsewhere but I can’t find it. How many TNAs will be made?

#33 1 year ago
Quoted from DngrWillRobinson:

This may have been mentioned elsewhere but I can’t find it. How many TNAs will be made?

As many as are purchased (ordered with non-refundable deposit).

#34 1 year ago

Got it, thanks. I just know that up until now all of Spooky’s pins have been real low production numbers which is why I asked.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from schudel5:

#846. Depends on your definition of 'top ranked'...

Top 1000ish players are darn good

#36 1 year ago

Disregard my previous statement.
F-14 does have lock stealing as explained below by barakandl

Added 22 months ago: PAPA dosen't consider this lack stealing though for some reason. It is a form of it though you could say.

#37 1 year ago
Quoted from StylesBitchly:

Oh, my mistake!
I should have said ball Trashing.
Yes, F-14 will kick out your locked ball if another player locks a ball after you on their turn. So this is not ball sealing. This confused my the first time it happened. I thought the game was malfunctioning. LOL!

F-14 is cool though because it will just relock the balls off their plunge, so they don't lose them. Possibly the best physical lock handling I've seen

#38 1 year ago

F14 is not even remotely similar to tna

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from StylesBitchly:

Oh, my mistake!
I should have said ball Trashing.
Yes, F-14 will kick out your locked ball if another player locks a ball after you on their turn. So this is not ball sealing. This confused my the first time it happened. I thought the game was malfunctioning. LOL!

F-14 has ball lock stealing. It's called Ripoff multiball and you start it at the Yagov kicker.

Let the player before you lock 3 balls. Then you qualify all three locks yourself, and then clear the TOM-CAT one more time, ripoff lamp turns on. Yagov kicker starts four ball. You have time with one ball in play to snag a quick jackpot.

The player with the stolen locks gets to reload them on the next play... but he may have to clear the TOM-CAT one more time to get multiball ready at the saucer at that point.

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

F14 is not even remotely similar to tna

No, I would agree!
My concern however, is if it would be a good game to own along side of a F-14, or too difficult. My wife gets pretty annoyed with F-14.

#41 1 year ago

They are very different aside from being fast. I personally think tna is more forgiving and more casuals will like it because of multiball.

My observation on route is all the casuals love tha tna visual of locking the balls and stealing the balls. It is also about 100x better game. F14 is pretty boring wood chopper imo.

#42 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

They are very different aside from being fast. I personally think tna is more forgiving and more casuals will like it because of multiball.
My observation on route is all the casuals love tha tna visual of locking the balls and stealing the balls. It is also about 100x better game. F14 is pretty boring wood chopper imo.

Glad to hear it. So I may buy one after all!
I thought the same about F-14 pins I saw in the wild. They are never dialed in and working right and always have roached playfields. Well, I fully restored one with new repro playfield and rebuilt everything and all LED lighting with OCD led controller and it is no wood chopper. It is an adrenalin rush!
And yes, the light show is spectacular! It is a shame most people will never get to play one in this condition. But ya, the rule set is shallow. Doesn't matter with this game, it's the speed!!

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