(Topic ID: 241075)

What are tournament scores like on modern games?


By harryhoudini

6 months ago



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  • 11 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by NY2Colorado
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    #1 6 months ago

    I've never watched nor played in a tournament. Mostly because I don't really find watching other people exciting and I'm not particularly a great player so I assume it would be a lot of wait around to play a few minutes. I am just wondering, after putting up a nice score on ToM and seeing I was #60 on the list and what the highest scores are like, what are tournament scores like? It seems like 7 billion is the top real score (someone has 111 billion but that seems way crazy), so what are normal tournament scores like? Do they get to be close to top scores on a game? Maybe someone can state a percentage.

    #2 6 months ago

    In general, tournament scores will be MUCH lower than typical "high" scores (at least in major tournaments).

    Some of the many reasons...

    1) No extra balls. Tournaments usually have the machines set for no extra balls (or at least the tourny rules make you plunge them without playing them). Often the "silly" high scores you see are from players that stack up multiple extra balls.

    2) When a game is in tournament mode, many of the rewards/goals are set to be more difficult to achieve.

    3) Often the machines will be set at a higher than normal incline, making it faster. It also can make the ball more difficult to control, and alter the angles to familiar shots.

    4) The stop-n-go effect. You play your 1st ball, and then wait while 3 other players take their turns. By the time it is your turn again, you have "cooled off" and have to get back into the zone.

    5) Additional pressure..."Okay - you're up. You need a GREAT ball here - right now."

    Of course, there is always somebody that does very well even with these conditions, but on average the scores will be lower than "normal".

    #3 6 months ago

    Cool, interesting to hear. Thanks.

    I always knew about "tournament" mode, seeing it on machines I've owned but never really seeing what it does. Interesting to hear about extra balls too as that would definitely make a huge difference and for much longer lasting games. I don't really "like" playing many games so I feel like I wouldn't be interested in tournaments because I don't know many games rules, don't really play many games than what I like, etc. So, playing some random games just doesn't sound fun even though I'd probably like the competition. I might check a local tourney out just to see how it goes.

    #4 6 months ago

    In addition. I wouldn't put much stock in any sort of pinball score ranking lists. There are far too many variables in setup between any two of the same game to really have a truly accurate way to track scores. Including things like code versions on modern games which can VASTLY skew scoring.

    But yes, tournament scores are usually low due to the aforementioned reasons (tilt being set extra tight in tournaments keeps ball times short too). However there are still plenty of times a 'pro' will blow up a machine setup so hard that it would almost seem unplayable to mere mortal pinball players. Pretty amazing to see.

    I'd suggest playing in tournaments - even if you do it casually. Its really the best way to learn new games and you'd be surprised how a game that you initially might not like will start to unfold after you see better players strategies and really start to get it.

    #5 6 months ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    In addition. I wouldn't put much stock in any sort of pinball score ranking lists. There are far too many variables in setup between any two of the same game to really have a truly accurate way to track scores. Including things like code versions on modern games which can VASTLY skew scoring.
    But yes, tournament scores are usually low due to the aforementioned reasons (tilt being set extra tight in tournaments keeps ball times short too). However there are still plenty of times a 'pro' will blow up a machine setup so hard that it would almost seem unplayable to mere mortal pinball players. Pretty amazing to see.
    I'd suggest playing in tournaments - even if you do it casually. Its really the best way to learn new games and you'd be surprised how a game that you initially might not like will start to unfold after you see better players strategies and really start to get it.

    There’s nothing like watching a great player just blow up a tournament machine that’s set to brutal. Amazing.

    #6 6 months ago

    Ah cool, I guess that all makes sense about the score lists. It's nice to sort of know how you are doing against everyone else playing.

    #7 6 months ago

    also physical setups in tournies keeps scores lower and game times down.
    raising or removing out lane posts, red bouncy flipper rubber or using smaller lightning flippers on modern games. No ball savers and now turning off ball savers even on multiballs. fatter rubber on posts (yellow) making ramp shots harder and tighter.
    making sling shots switches very close together so the slings fire at even a ball grazing the sling rubber.

    #8 6 months ago
    Quoted from harryhoudini:

    Ah cool, I guess that all makes sense about the score lists. It's nice to sort of know how you are doing against everyone else playing.

    Yes. They are nice for getting a general idea of what kind of scores people are getting on games but - again - the number of variables that lead to those scores mean that most should be taken with a grain of salt.

    I do think an app like Pindigo is a cool thing and a great way to keep track of personal scores and see how they stack up. Its especially useful for tracking scores against your friends that play on the same machines since you can add a 'location' to each high score that you put up.

    #9 6 months ago

    I watch a lot of streaming pinball (there are dozens of us!). Watching Bowen, Escher, Elwin (etc) at home crush a game is mind blowing. I saw Escher crush BM66 for 11 billion, effortless. Watching them in a tournament where their only goal is to survive and advance is a different game altogether. Those games are set up HARD with extremely tight tilts, no rubbers in the outlanes, steep slopes, no ball save, hard settings etc is a different animal altogether. The games are set up with the intention of shorter ball times. Add to that the physical and mental effort of playing for 4-8 hours in a row where just one or two bad balls ends your night and it's amazing they can still focus.

    I would suggest trying out a tournament, you'll realize right away how big a difference it is.

    #10 6 months ago

    I frequently watch the streams of the larger tourneys and follow along with the DTM software. It shows the scores each round of the finals and I will screenshot those as a reminder of tourney reality. Granted there are sometimes some very impressive scores, but oftentimes the scores are not that high due to the set up. That’s the key: how is it set up?

    Quick personal story: I played a game of TSPP many years ago in a multi-day “Herb style” event (For the newcomer’s benefit: That type of tourney is where only your high score counts on each of say 5 different games-could be more or less. Scores of all players are ranked 100, 95, 90, 89...etc. on each game. Add all of your rankings to make the best score out of 500-assuming 5 games and top 16 advance).

    My philosophy is I always keep my first score as what I call a “planting seed” score, knowing I can probably improve it and make it grow. There’s no harm I keeping it, other than if it stinks, people can see it.

    On my first game, I struggled to score 10MIL (yes ten) and knew it was not that high since I had scored way higher at home, had been close to SDMEWM etc., but it planted a seed and gave me one of my 5 scores I needed. People looking at the leader board were laughing about that score I kept until they played it.

    It held all weekend as the number one score. It was bananas. That game was set up very hard with a hair trigger tilt.

    The point is: don’t look at scores posted online or what someone says they did at home or the local arcade and automatically think that translates to how they will fare at a tourney

    #11 6 months ago

    Tourneys are a whole different beast.

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