Quoted from Mar:
I'm surprised that no manufacturer has attempted putting in 'difficulty levels' like they do in video games (or maybe they have but I haven't heard of any). To summarise, the issues here are:
1. Pinball needs to be difficult (such as including outlanes) to avoid a great player from playing for hours.
2. New and casual players are easily dismayed and turn away from the game because they find it too hard and have games that are lucky to last minutes (especially if they are paying real money for each go).
Let's say Joe Bloggs is my friend and I want to introduce him to pinball. I like to think I'm an ok player, but he's just starting. We go up and press the start button and at the start of my ball I have a choice of difficulty: Easy, Medium, Tournament. I choose medium and the game works as any normal pinball would (default settings and play modes).
Joe Bloggs chooses easy, and the outlanes close (maybe a mechanical thing or maybe an automatic magnasave), and multiball is awarded off a single shot (ala Judge Dredd's Super Game).
I'm imagining Joe would have a great time and come back for more, eventually working his way up to medium.
How would this not improve the status of pinball for everyone?
Was thinking the exact same thing, only I would add a time limit (say 15-20min) in easy mode. That would keep someone from hogging the machine.