Quoted from rosh:
There is clearly a segment of the community that hates randomization (magnets, spinners, etc.). Maybe this is the top players who don't want thing that mess with their hard earned skills. I do laugh, since to me POPs are about to creating some randomness, so should we get rid of pops? Although the way some games are designed, the ball always leaves the pops nice and easy, so they pretty much have removed the randomness of it. At the same time there is a constant call for 'innovation', so how do you balance those things? At the end of the day the designer/programmers have to try to create a fun game and be true to their vision, and try to balance these things, but no matter what you won't make everyone happy. Sometimes I will do something on Houdini and I'll say to myself, some people are not going to like this, and then I say, if they don't like it, f*** them (often followed by 'when they design/code game they can do it the way they want", which is, well, how I got started in this). I've shard this sentiment with Scott on many an occasion.
I think it is more granular than that.
'Predictable' randomness is liked by most pinheads. Knowing there is a magnet that will always pulse during a certain mode and it can be dealt with via skill is cool and fun. A good example of this would be to think of TAF which is one of the best examples of all time. Competitively I know that Seance and Multiball can be dangerous, but I have the option of when and how I go for those modes or avoid them. If I go for them I also know that the game requires a different skill set to play it. Something important to note is that these magnets are also set in a way that you can power a shot through them and also have some time to react based on position in the pf.
An alternative that I know some people dont like would be the magna slings on GBprem. They lack predictability in the implementation and create more variability that is difficult to overcome based on position and how they toss the ball around. They also are in play and cant be strategically avoided or circumnavigated with skill as easily.
Other have suggested altering sling shot power or flipper power randomly. Random unpredictability is often disliked. It would be fine to alter the slingshot power for a mode or after a certain reactor but it should be done in a way that skill is still the majority player in the scenario.
In short, I just think it is a bit more grey rather than black and white and people want randomness but the art is HOW and WHEN and WHY it is implemented. Done well and it will be loved by the majority (and F the rest). Done poorly and you fail in the bigger picture. It is a fine line from a business perspective of figuring out what is fun and how to tweak it to be the right amount of innovation vs pure chaos for the sake of innovation.