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(Topic ID: 273577)

When to accept "you're just no good (at pinball)"?


By curban

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 68 posts
  • 56 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 83 days ago by SPeD66
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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    There are 68 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 3 months ago

    20 years owning pins. 40 years playing pins. I used to be able to complete or roll the score back to 0 many of the classic (70 to late 80) pins when I was younger. Not so much now a days. Didn't play in the 90's then got back into it in 2000. Been playing in a league for a couple of years now so play every week.

    Lets put it this way. I'm just happy with getting multiball on most modern games. Just too much to remember.
    Still have never completed any DMD game yet.

    Quoted from rai:

    Pretty normal to not complete any pins. I’ve been collecting for almost 20 years and never beaten a pin. Closest I’ve come is reaching the Wizard mode on Stern Potc which I’ve owned 14 years.
    I’ve never reached any other Wizard mode not even Tron or AFM which are not a deep games.
    I don’t play a lot so I probably can get to more Wizard modes but not often and some won’t ever get to the end. I try to focus getting part of the way or different areas of the rules.

    I made 4 winds once on POTC. I'm assuming that's the wizard mode.
    Destroyed the ring a couple times on LOTR. Yeah, I know, it's just a mini wizard mode but I'll never make Valinor even with the glass off.
    Completed the mansion on TAF only to find out you have to do it twice.
    Beat Stiff O Meter on SS a couple of times.

    #52 3 months ago
    Quoted from arcademojo:

    20 years owning pins. 40 years playing pins. I used to be able to complete or roll the score back to 0 many of the classic (70 to late 80) pins when I was younger. Not so much now a days. Didn't play in the 90's then got back into it in 2000. Been playing in a league for a couple of years now so play every week.
    Lets put it this way. I'm just happy with getting multiball on most modern games. Just too much to remember.
    Still have never completed any DMD game yet.

    I made 4 winds once on POTC. I'm assuming that's the wizard mode.
    Destroyed the ring a couple times on LOTR. Yeah, I know, it's just a mini wizard mode but I'll never make Valinor even with the glass off.
    Completed the mansion on TAF only to find out you have to do it twice.
    Beat Stiff O Meter on SS a couple of times.

    There is no limit to how many times you complete the mansion unless you are referring to it locking you of starting it again until you drain the ball.

    #54 3 months ago

    I realised I was not good at Pinball in 1985. My friend Harry had joined me on many grudge matches on a EM Fireball in the 70's.
    When a Fireball Classic appeared at a local Biker Bar he made sure I knew about it. There was a Contest for a case of beer for the weekly Highest score.
    When I first showed up it was amazing to see a Solid State Fireball. I set out to beat his score already taped to the back glass.
    Dropped by every day after work and pounded this machine. Once there was a guy too high on whatever waving a gun around, the Bartender told me to turn around. I simply ignored this jerk and continued playing.
    Then, a week later I came in and there was a big sign announcing Harry had turned it over! Sorry can't remember the scores but he had flipped Fireball Classic and scored 50-plus more thousand points.
    I have owned 2 Classics since then and never equaled it.
    Harry (in 1986) had the main image of the Classic back glass with his score tattooed on his back.
    It's been 25 years since then, wonder how the tat is holding up.

    #55 3 months ago

    Wow. Lotsa tips and encouragement in this thread. Thanks everyone.

    Laid off the Sterns and let Getaway kick my ass tonight.

    I could probably spend some time on videos and learning a bit more technique, but seems the consensus is to ‘just enjoy’ and don’t worry too much about where I’m at on the scoreboard.

    #56 3 months ago

    Also, generally speaking there is no "Men's Tournament", just a main tournament that is open to everyone. Some bigger competitions also have a separate women's tournament. Many ladies will play in both, some only in the womens tourney. There are many benefits to having an additional "Women's Only' competition. The key is that the ladies can choose to play in one, the other, or both.

    #57 3 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    Wow. Lotsa tips and encouragement in this thread. Thanks everyone.
    Laid off the Sterns and let Getaway kick my ass tonight.
    I could probably spend some time on videos and learning a bit more technique, but seems the consensus is to ‘just enjoy’ and don’t worry too much about where I’m at on the scoreboard.

    On a side note. I see you are from York Pa. If you didn't know we have a pinball league in Harrisburg at the River City Blues club. It's down at the moment do to Covid but when it opens it's good way to learn to play better.

    #58 3 months ago
    Quoted from arcademojo:

    On a side note. I see you are from York Pa. If you didn't know we have a pinball league in Harrisburg at the River City Blues club. It's down at the moment do to Covid but when it opens it's good way to learn to play better.

    River City Blues Club is a great place. Wife and I visited a couple of times and were thinking about joining the league. Maybe we will when things get back to normal...

    #59 3 months ago
    Quoted from Karl_Hungus:

    If you're having fun, you're exactly as good as you need to be!

    I couldn't agree more. Just have fun. Life is short.

    #60 3 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    Wow. Lotsa tips and encouragement in this thread. Thanks everyone.
    Laid off the Sterns and let Getaway kick my ass tonight.
    I could probably spend some time on videos and learning a bit more technique, but seems the consensus is to ‘just enjoy’ and don’t worry too much about where I’m at on the scoreboard.

    Go to youtube and type in " pinball flipper skills". You will find some good instructions in there. You have to have good flipper skills to progress.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=pinball+flipper+skills

    Now, if someone would write a book on how to learn all of the rules for the super duper pinball machine of lifetime the perhaps I would know what I am doing on a late model pin.

    #61 3 months ago
    Quoted from arcademojo:

    I made 4 winds once on POTC. I'm assuming that's the wizard mode.

    4 winds is the “visible on the playfield” wizard mode so to speak. Gauntlet of the Pirates follows completing 4 winds.

    #62 3 months ago

    Just have fun.... We can all find someone "better" or 'worse" at everything one does.....

    Enjoy the game and watch others play........ Pick up some tricks...

    I wish I could understand fixing pinball machines... And I would give up playingn and fix things broken..... but just CANNOT get "it"

    lol. Play Enjoy Breath.

    Nick...

    #63 3 months ago

    Don't sweat it. Beating a machine is not a normal thing in my opinion. At least on the newer ones. You can only beat them if you play really really good and have the pin down to the last inch inside of your head. If this is not true I might just simply suck too.

    I started playing 3 years ago and I'm still progressing and feeling it. I can't imagine that you already reached the ceiling. Also don't expect to have a big game everytime. Watch some really good players play on twitch and you see that sometimes they got shitty balls and bricked shots too.

    The part where I really feel the improvements I make is in ball control. It is the absolute ultimate skill along with precise shots. Bounce pass, tapping passes, post passes, drop catches and live catches as well as beginning to feel when to nudge the machine to keep it from the outlanes (ideally you want to hit the ball with your upper side of the slingshot and get it away from the danger zone).
    If I play with my gf this is why I win almost everytime. She hits the shots but can't control the ball enough. If you got the ball on your left flipper and need it on the right you have to have a method to get it to the right and be comfortable that it works.

    My advice: Keep playing and watch other good players play. Watching others helped me tremendously.

    #64 3 months ago
    Quoted from curban:

    My wife and I both started in the hobby at the beginning of 2019. We've definitely been sucked in, accumulating 14 machines and spending probably an-hour-or-more playing five days a week.
    We have 6 modern Sterns (GB, SW, Aero, BM66, GOTG, IM) and haven't 'completed' any of them yet...and that's with moving the outlane posts in on all of them. I'm wondering how normal this is?
    Interested in opinions:
    - How common is it for owners to have not 'completed' their games with standard 3-ball games?
    - What's the learning curve for pinball, in general - do players typically keep improving year-after-year - or do you pretty much plateau after X years
    - What's the typical learning curve for a modern game - how many plays are typical for typical players before they 'complete' all of the goals on a modern machine?
    - We both just celebrated 49th bdays. Is pinball like other sports where natural skills/abilities begin declining after peaking in 20's or 30's? Why?
    - Maybe sexist-loaded question: I know tourneys are split between men & women. Do men statistically score better on average than women? Why would this be the case? Is it just a larger pool of players? Women have more important things to do than play pinball all day? Something else?
    Sure would like to complete a Wizard mode on one of these Sterns some day!

    Thanks for asking these questions, I honestly wanted to know the answer to a lot of your questions. We have only recently became collectors.

    1 week later
    #65 84 days ago
    Quoted from curban:

    My wife and I both started in the hobby at the beginning of 2019. We've definitely been sucked in, accumulating 14 machines and spending probably an-hour-or-more playing five days a week.
    We have 6 modern Sterns (GB, SW, Aero, BM66, GOTG, IM) and haven't 'completed' any of them yet...and that's with moving the outlane posts in on all of them. I'm wondering how normal this is?
    Interested in opinions:
    - How common is it for owners to have not 'completed' their games with standard 3-ball games?
    - What's the learning curve for pinball, in general - do players typically keep improving year-after-year - or do you pretty much plateau after X years
    - What's the typical learning curve for a modern game - how many plays are typical for typical players before they 'complete' all of the goals on a modern machine?
    - We both just celebrated 49th bdays. Is pinball like other sports where natural skills/abilities begin declining after peaking in 20's or 30's? Why?
    - Maybe sexist-loaded question: I know tourneys are split between men & women. Do men statistically score better on average than women? Why would this be the case? Is it just a larger pool of players? Women have more important things to do than play pinball all day? Something else?
    Sure would like to complete a Wizard mode on one of these Sterns some day!

    I'll give you some tips and I was ranked under 900 and part of the NEPL but quit competively last year and now with the quarantine, longer. I want to get back into the league again however. Here is some tips I have learned personally and from others.

    1) Not sure how common it is but I have "completed" many games.
    2) You generally improve year after year and I would say plateau until you discover a breakthrough technique and exploit that to get to the next plateau. Personally though EVERYONE wants to be Keith Elwin or better but set expectations, lol. Some people are just born better.
    3) Eh it takes about 15-20 games, not sure.
    4) I would say you do in general get worse over time and I'm 32. Like for me personally I used to play competitive videogames and I can't do the stuff I did when I was younger. Now that being said you look at Bob Mathews and other people and they aren't young either.
    5) I....I feel REALLY hesitant to answer this. Like there is a plethora of really good female players. Ok. So to me women players aren't as accurate as male players and add to this they struggle to nudge. Ok there I said it, roast me. Seriously though there are PLENTY of seriously good female players.

    Ok here are some of the tips I have observed that you don't normally see posted online or talked about.
    1) To get better accuracy put your eyes level with the flipper and angle your face with the flipper while a ball is trapped. Close an eye and line up the ball with your shot. Flip when the ball is at your shot and over time you "train" yourself to be better with accuracy. It's a lot like shooting with a rifle. Observe Lyman Sheats and how he plays.

    I wouldn't recommend playing sitting down however others have suggested this. My reasoning is that you normally don't play pinball this way and it will mess with your accuracy always rather than learning to be more accurate on the shot you want at that moment.

    2) Learn to be aggressive with the game but not be a dick to the game. When you are in a tournament in like finals or something nudge to win! Accurate nudging that is light often is better than major nudges. If you are nudging heavily a lot you have poor accuracy. With EM's though nudge as much as you can in the pops. Also FORWARD nudge on the outlane is always better than a right or left.

    3) Ball trajectory prediction. This comes with time and transfers across any game ever made but you can judge when a ball is in trouble as soon as it comes to you. This is affected mainly by the speed of the ball and your age.

    4) Where you are located has a major influence on you to learn how to play competitively. I know hands down PA and NY players are better than NEPL folk. Our top players can beat them but a lot of PA/NY players are just outstanding. Certain games are located more in certain regions as well.

    5) Giving up early and saying it's a "lost cause". There is a high profile player here that recently I noticed stopped this and has become markedly better because of it. I doubt I can beat him now because that was his major flaw aside from EM's. I have beaten Bowen less than a handful of times but it was purely luck. The best players never give up. Bad ball 1 and a tilt on ball 2? Well they somehow beat you on ball 3 because they didn't give up.

    6) Play to win. Always. I believe there was a podcast with Joe Lemire on the Pinball Players Podcast and he mentioned even playing casually he plays to get the biggest score. A lot of the more high profile players have joined Stern recently and while that's good it's also a tinge bit bad. Pro players focus on tighter shots with harder rules because anything less doesn't challenge them which isn't fun. Too easy and it's not a fun game and is easy exploitable. You will see a trend in pinball that won't be stopped because tournaments and leagues are becoming bigger and there are better and better players. The King of Kong documentary is ridiculously funny that I'm shocked people thought it wasn't scripted. Certain elements though you will find very similar with pinball and sadly you will find out to get better at pinball like Billy said, you have to pay the price. That price is money and time. It's not often fun but it is fun to get better or hit your shots, etc. So to get better at pinball you really have to exploit the rules and physics of pinball which in part destroys the fun of pinball. Your making it into YOUR game and controlling it rather than the game controlling YOU.

    7) You will get better purely not knowing it or giving up. Give up learning how to live catch and let the ball dead bounce. It's how I learned after being frustrated learning how to live catch and learned a new technique. Dead bouncing is a MEGA huge plateau that will make you vastly better and even the pros struggle with it instead opting for live/drop catching. Certain things you will get better at and others you just can't or will ever be able to do. I don't think Bowen can slap save for example.

    8 ) Ignore any tutorial out there and learn how to play a certain game your own way. A lot of players will follow a PAPA tutorial and certain things you have to do in that game for the big points. Well do that for big points (you can't ignore multipliers on Star Wars for example) but develop your own strategy and play that strategy during casual times. Don't be afraid to change your strategy though if you missed so many times and just go straight to the multiball! I have seen tons of people go for that perfect Monster Bash mb and you just crush them by taking 1 monster into mb instead of like 3. This is a major one in Pinburgh where you just want to survive for every point.

    9) Play often and play a lot. Also if you are draining in the center you are playing well. Outlane drains means the ball was out of control meaning you had poor control of the ball.

    10) Expect to be really good around ~5 years or so. It took me that long at least.

    #66 83 days ago
    Quoted from hool10:

    Some people are just born better.

    This! I was never going to be Michael Jordan no matter how much I practiced basketball. There's a reason kids like Escher are world class even though I've been playing longer than he's been alive. At a certain point you just have to recognize the ceiling of your natural ability, or lack thereof.

    #67 83 days ago

    I didn't read most of the replies, but in my case I felt like I had very little improvement for the first several years I was in the hobby. Total Nuclear Annihilation and Hardbody were the games that I'd credit with making me a slightly better player. Having to focus on individual targets really helped me get better at hitting ramps and orbits. I'm now capable of playing a great game, but I still have many games where I feel like a total novice. When you are saying "complete" a game, that sounds to me like you are doing pretty good. I feel that only really good players will routinely reach the wizard modes on games. In my opinion if you are reaching wizard modes often, you need to set your game up more difficulty.

    #68 83 days ago

    I speak only for myself but, achieving high scores IS what makes pinball MORE fun.
    Learning to "dead flipper bounce" & pull off "post transfers" changed my pinballing life. Once that revelation sank in, I then started to try more advanced stuff like "live catches" and "drop catches" although I'm not particularly great at those. "Alley passes" are easy & fun on certain machines. "Tap passing" on the older games is a thrill for me & generates some raised eyebrows from my peers.
    Every time my play stinks now, it's because I've slipped back into a bad habit. (Flailing away with the flippers.)

    Like others have said, watch the youtube videos, then try it yourself. But you have to decide that you're not worrying about the score while attempting these maneuvers in the beginning. It's about repetition until you can do something without having to think about it so much. You'll be amazed at how much your play improves without a lot of effort, and you'll have even more fun due to longer ball times between drains.

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