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Will the reall pinball Wizards please stand up!!!

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  • Will the reall pinball Wizards please stand up!!!

    I posted this on Le coin des pinballistes (http://www.lecoindespinballistes.com...lease-stand-up) but thought I would post it here as well as there are many top players that can (will hopefully!!!) give some feedback.

    Over the last half a year or so I have gone from being a total novice with pinball to being able to beat just about any tables Wizard mode if I put my mind to it. But now I feel like I have reached a wall that I just can't get past.

    I have quite a few tables where I have scored above 500 million and only Spiderman over a Billion. I am able on quite a few of the tables to reach and complete the Wizard mode in 10 - 15 minutes on ball one (e.g. Fantastic 4, Captain America and Biolab)... but there is where things seem to go wrong...

    I am just not able to string together 3 or 4 Wizard modes on a table even though I know I have the actual skill to do it. I also know it is not fatigue because many times I have played a table for 2 hours non stop without success and then suddenly I am able to reach and complete the Wizard mode and play a long game. One thing I am terrible at is continuing after a game save. I have tried it so many times... and not once have I been able to really build on that game. E.g. my highscore game on Captain America... I reached 500 million plus on my second ball, with an extra ball in hand and 10x multiplier ready for another extra ball and then I saved to continue later... when I restarted the game, before I was able to get into it again, it was over and my score was 622 million.

    Anyways, seeing that most of you guys are on top of the leader boards I was hoping that you have some advice for me on how I can get past this wall and break into the Billions!!!
    Last edited by Cloda; 06-30-2011, 10:46 AM.
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    Cloda's somewhat vain and sort of self-indulgent thread

  • #2
    Well from reading some of your scores in my eyes you are a pinball wizard!

    Its all a matter of perspective I guess....

    Im happy to be in the top 500 for superscore but theres no doubt the slope gets steeper the nearer the top you get!
    Last edited by Alipan; 06-30-2011, 01:59 PM.

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    • #3
      I guess if you want to be accurate, a pinball wizard is anyone who has made it to a wizard mode and completed it. That is to say, you are a wizard at that table, not all of them. If you define it by score then I'd say any score in the top 50 would likely be called wizards. Either definition would include you Cloda.

      Comment


      • #4
        Cloda is on my friend's list and has me beat on several tables by hundreds of millions (Secrets of the Deep for example and he recently beat my Iron Man score). However, I have him beat in total Superscore thanks in large part to a good Spiderman score. I would say that he is a better player than I am.

        The key for me to do well on any video game that requires quick reflexes is to be in the zone. This usually requires a few warm-up games before I get there. After I'm warmed up, I don't have to think about what I'm doing I just instictively react.

        I rarely if ever use the save feature. Most of my high scores are usually after I've played a specific table for a 1/2 hour or longer to refresh myself to the quirks of how the table plays. Only then can I seem to really put a good game together. I would recommend creating an offline account (or second live account) on your system and use that to warm up on the table that you are planning to continue a game. At a minimum, at least play a table that has a similar feel or viewpoint. I find this can help.

        The pause feature is a great addition to this game. I've started to use it more often when life is distracting me during a good game or when I'm letting the pressure start to build. I used pause when I finally beat Blade wizard mode. I got up, moved around, grabbed a quick bite of food, and then settled back in to the game. The stress level dropped considerably and I was able to focus on the tasks at hand.

        I don't consider myself a pinball wizard, maybe a pinball apprentice+. I still struggle at times to hit even basic shots during some of my games, which is even more frustrating when I know exactly what I need to do. I don't use some advanced skills like flipper passes. And I rarely bump the table. Luckily I am stubborn and use persistance to make up for any lack of talent.

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        • #5
          Like I said in another post... I'm skilled at best, but nowhere near wizard status.

          I have just now started warming up to the tilting mechanic in FX2. At first I thought it was way too touchy and unforgiving, now I am able to use it efficiently. I think this skill alone will improve a ton of my scores. Time will tell.

          I have always been able to effectively use dead flipper passes, although it still gets me into trouble sometimes. Ball hits and rolls... FAST!

          I use pause, but never for extended periods of time. I have tried using save game, but every time I come back to it, I lose my rhythm and end up draining quick. I don't mind playing long games though, but I feel that if I could improve my skills a touch (or even just warm up beforehand on a separate account) I could utilize the save feature which I know is one of the "secrets" to those MONSTER scores. Even though I don't really agree with the concept of a "save system" for pinball, I want to adapt. Guys who can't save efficiently just can't compete with the guys that can .

          About my aim... It's decent... I can hit shots most of the time. I have trouble on timed missions sometimes continually bricking shot after shot. I can't stand when I'm playing like that. I also have good days and bad days. Sometimes I get the juices flowing... other times I can't hit a ramp or target to save my life!

          Consistency is what I need to work on ...

          I started out a complete noob as some of you other guys have. I played a machine here and there when I was growing up. Never really understood it like I do now. I had Pinbot on NES, and played various other pinball games over the years. Then last year I picked up PHoF: tWC for $15. It completely blew my mind. I went thru the rules and history on each table, and I learned SO MUCH! Played the hell out of it... Then I read about FX2 coming out. So I bought the complete FX1 package in anticipation (also because I knew the tables would import for FREE Thanks Zen!)... I played a decent amount of FX1, but struggled to get a grasp on a few of the tables, but I still had a blast banging the ball around. The physics in that game were tricky, the ball was just too heavy for me. Eventually I went back to PHoF until FX2 came out. Then FX2 came out and blew me away! The rest is history.

          Since FX2 came out, my pinball skills have increased ten fold. I thank Zen for that, by creating a competative platform and an awesome game!

          I hope to keep increasing my skills as time passes on! Maybe one day reaching true "wizard" status.

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          • #6
            See I think a "pinball wizard" could have many different definitions to many different people. Personally I'd see a pinball wizard as one who needs no rule sheet or DMD, one who just knows what to do based on the table layout and flashing lights. I'd also think a pinball wizard is someone who is good overall at pinball because they have the core skillset to play, skillset includes ball control, pinpoint accuracy, and makes shots under pressure. Obviously these skills lead to very high scores but I don't think high scores alone make one a wizard.

            That being said, I'm not a pinball wizard, I'm smart and patient on a pinball table but I still have lots to learn, and I love learning something new I never knew, like recently learning about Spiderman's carry over progress...that is nuts!! Also, I too will "pause" my games to smoke or eat a snack or bathroom break, but I don't "save" my games. All of my high scores are marathon sessions.

            Finally, Cloda you're on my list and your scores are quite good, my small suggestion would be to focus your energies on certain tables you really want to master and start there, once you feel you've achieved and accomplished everything you most likely will from that table move on to a new one!

            Comment


            • #7
              Well I started playing Zens tables back when PFX1 came out, I was one of first set of people to attain the 12/12 achievements which meant beating Speed Machine, Extreme & Agents Wizard mode. I actually had higher scores on PFX1 remember getting 100 Billion on Rocky & Bowinkle, being in the Top 5 for a long time on SFII table etc.

              Im pretty good at PFX2 have 55/60 achievements and some very decent scores on Mars, Iron Man etc but I consider myself just Skilled not a Wizard by any means.
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              • #8
                im more of a Pinball Warlock... a wannabe Wizard

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                • #9
                  Cloda,
                  You have improved ALOT in the last few months. I don't play as much as I used to (school, work, other games, ect..) but I remember when I felt like I was constantly competing with H.S and that was about it. (God that was soul crushing...) Over a few months I think you took down all my high scores sans Excalubar (which isn't even really that high 160M+ or so). I look forward to the day you get into that table
                  Any way wizard is just a title, what matters is "Can you play pinball?". I think this is answered by ability to understand a table layout and scoring opportunities, along with the ability to consistantly hit wizard mode on any given table. Pinball is a game of attrition and some people just have more time to put in. Some people are just naturaly gifted with stellar hand eye coordination. Others LEARN the game through trial and error, getting a little better each time. You are a student of the game bro, and your skills have far surpassed mine. That wall you speak of is relative, there just isn't the same gap in skill level for you now as there was months ago, so it feels like you're crawling. You'll get there, man. It's alot eaiser to go from novice to expert than from expert to master.

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                  • #10
                    @ Cloda, hitting a wall or in my case banging my head against a wall is when i KNOW that i have at least enough pinball skills to beat wizard modes but in 99% of the games i cant reach the wizard mode.or take FANTASTIC FOUR i have been within 1 or 2 shots of finishing wizard mode only to see the ball drain. I have 300 million on WOLVERINE so i think im a fair player but always seem to luck out at reaching/ beating wizard modes

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks guys for the excellent feedback - there is definitely a few things that I will now aim to do differently . I selectively quoted some of your replies in my response.

                      Originally posted by IndyRC_Racer View Post
                      I would recommend creating an offline account (or second live account) on your system and use that to warm up on the table that you are planning to continue a game.

                      I don't use some advanced skills like flipper passes. And I rarely bump the table.
                      Thanks for the off-line account idea... I think that will make a huge difference for me to first play a couple of minutes on the table before continuing with a high-scoring saved game.

                      I am constantly looking for new skills and tricks to use to give me better control over the ball and consistency. I try to watch as many of the videos as I can that are posted as I often pick up new approaches there... even if it is sometimes not such a good player.

                      Originally posted by KGSoloman8000 View Post
                      I have just now started warming up to the tilting mechanic in FX2.

                      I have always been able to effectively use dead flipper passes, although it still gets me into trouble sometimes. Ball hits and rolls... FAST!

                      Guys who can't save efficiently just can't compete with the guys that can .

                      Consistency is what I need to work on ...
                      Using the 2 - 3 tilt warning system is a massive part of my game. I think I will struggle on a real live table because of that. Because of that I have recently started to use another passing technique where I flick a caught ball against the bumper above it to pass it over to the other flipper (can't remember what it is called) and I am now beginning to get quite good at it where I don't feel like I'm going to lose the ball down the middle by mistake.

                      I have had way too many drains from failed dead flipper passes to know exactly what you mean!!!

                      I have realised the saving thing is important for multi-billion point games. I'm actually not that interested in that.. I'll be happy just with a billion or two on many of the tables. I'm glad to hear Zen are going to implement a different tournament structure in future... very much looking forward too it!!!

                      To play more consistent I must figure out why I lose concentration after reaching Wizard mode once. I think it is more an anticipation thing where I start building expectations of what I think I can reach and then I start stressing and tightening up.

                      I do quite a bit of trail running and I recently realised that my upper legs often feel sore and quite lame when I go for a run. I couldn't figure out what the cause could be until I figured out that it was linked with my pinball playing.. each time a ball looks like it is going to drain I involuntarily tense my upper legs up... go figure

                      Originally posted by gasfoodmurder View Post
                      That being said, I'm not a pinball wizard, I'm smart and patient on a pinball table but I still have lots to learn, and I love learning something new I never knew, like recently learning about Spiderman's carry over progress...that is nuts!! Also, I too will "pause" my games to smoke or eat a snack or bathroom break, but I don't "save" my games. All of my high scores are marathon sessions.

                      Finally, Cloda you're on my list and your scores are quite good, my small suggestion would be to focus your energies on certain tables you really want to master and start there, once you feel you've achieved and accomplished everything you most likely will from that table move on to a new one!
                      I love learning new stuff and then to implement it successfully... I'm a very inquisitive kind of person and when I first started playing pinball fx 2 I was very frustrated that there was so little helpful information on the site. My first couple of posts were all just moaning sessions about mostly the lack of table guides for newbie players. I must say I am now very happy with the state of the community (and some other Zen related pinball communities e.g. ps3trophies.org and Le coin des pinballistes). I also try my best to contribute where I can.

                      I'm impressed with your marathon sessions... can't take a look now but I know the bulk of your scores are much higher than mine and on a tables like SotD and Mars my high score was 2 hour plus games.

                      Your description of my scores as quite good is very apt... that is why I feel I have reached a brick wall because I want very good scores!!!

                      Thanks for the tip on focussing my energies... the tables I will be focussing on for now are Wolverine, Biolab, Captain America and Fantastic (once Zen fixes it) as I feel I can still improve lots on all of them. Then I will tackle Rome again!!!

                      Originally posted by Logic_FTW View Post
                      Cloda,
                      You have improved ALOT in the last few months.

                      You are a student of the game bro, and your skills have far surpassed mine. That wall you speak of is relative, there just isn't the same gap in skill level for you now as there was months ago, so it feels like you're crawling. You'll get there, man. It's alot eaiser to go from novice to expert than from expert to master.
                      Thanks... I do feel I have improved alot over the last couple of months, especially since Mars made its appearance (thanks Womble for the challenge!!!). Hopefully true pinball mastery/wizardry is in my future.

                      Originally posted by satch View Post
                      @ Cloda, hitting a wall or in my case banging my head against a wall is when i KNOW that i have at least enough pinball skills to beat wizard modes but in 99% of the games i cant reach the wizard mode.or take FANTASTIC FOUR i have been within 1 or 2 shots of finishing wizard mode only to see the ball drain. I have 300 million on WOLVERINE so i think im a fair player but always seem to luck out at reaching/ beating wizard modes
                      My biggest problem is still mind control and not necessarily a lack of ability... I know all the required shots on all the table's, what you need to do for each mission, how to get extra balls and the required strategy for having a safe game. Once I know a table well and where there is not DMD mini games, I play with the DMD off. I also have all the pop-ups off and don't play with the fx effects on. My approach is thus somewhat like an Ostrich with his head stuck in a hole - as long as I'm oblivious of my score I manage to stay under control.. it works for me for now


                      I hope everybody learn as much as I did and please share some more if you have some further thoughts on this.
                      XBox One Gamertag - PinStratsDan

                      Pinball FX3 Tips & Strategy Guide YouTube Channel - PinStratsDan

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                      Cloda's somewhat vain and sort of self-indulgent thread

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                      • #12
                        The mental game is a tough cookie to crack. The harder you try to focus, the easier it is to psych yourself out.

                        Have you ever tried meditation?

                        Considering their products, Zen is an apropos name for the company.
                        They took our pinball machines!
                        Let's revolt, who's with me?
                        Grab a pitchfork and come with Zen!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cloda View Post
                          Thanks... I do feel I have improved alot over the last couple of months, especially since Mars made its appearance (thanks Womble for the challenge!!!).
                          Hax I say, hax. South African hax!!!


                          My biggest problem is still mind control and not necessarily a lack of ability...
                          I know that feeling. I get burnt out after half an hour or so. And I don't really like resuming games. (It's just not why I play pinball.) So if I don't make a decent score in a fairly short period, I don't persist.

                          Gotta say: getting Wizard cheevos in various tables can actually be a bad thing! Sad panda face! Once that final challenge is gone, the value of the table gets diminished somewhat.

                          Suggestions for Zen, to help increase table longevity:

                          - increase the number of cheevos, but reduce each cheevo's value (so as to fit the cheevo budget).

                          - gradually increase the table complexity. e.g. if the first multiball takes 8 ramp shots to start, then the next should take 9 or 10. Then 12, etc.

                          - as well as cheevos, introduce sub-goals. e.g. start 5 multiball rounds in a game.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by blue View Post
                            The mental game is a tough cookie to crack. The harder you try to focus, the easier it is to psych yourself out.

                            Have you ever tried meditation?

                            Considering their products, Zen is an apropos name for the company.
                            I have tried meditation but my mind soon wanders..maybe blue could give us all a meditation class as well as a pinball class

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I do my best when I'm totally relaxed, with a who gives a crap attitude. I got home from a 12 hr shift, was dead tired, & scored 55 million on the FF table.. Over double my previous high.. Don't think about anything..Instints only.

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