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  • Hi from a new guy and questions on general strategy...

    Hello, I'm a newbie to pinball and, since I started playing about a week or so ago, I've gotten properly hooked and am trying to maximise my practice time by ensuring that I'm learning good habits and recognising bad ones. I'm a gamer in my 30s in the south of England and have been a bit under the weather this week so I bought myself Pinball FX 2 to help pass the time while I'm off work. I've been mainly focusing on the Star Wars Ep V table so far. I realise it may not be the ideal beginners table because there's a lot going on on it with the stacking modes and stuff but I'm really enjoying the table so I'm sticking with it for now, along with some occassional light flirting with Boba Fett and a couple of others.

    So I've been reading the strategy threads and watching the vids and they have left me with some questions...

    First of all, thanks to all those folks who have posted so much useful stuff to help guys like me get started. After lurking around the forums for a couple of days I quickly learned that first of all I needed to get comfortable trapping and controlling the ball and then learn to pass it from one flipper to the other in a controlled fashion (why is it that when you need it on one particular side, 70% of the time it will go to the other ). So I've been progressing quite well and I'm now tentatively starting to practice some nudges and things (mostly bang backs and occassionally trying to nudge the ball away from the outlane when I can react quick enough). My aim certainly needs a lot of improvement but bit by bit I am definitely getting better. I set myself a short-term goal of getting 100m on the Ep V table and I broke that last night with a score of 103m....so next I want to try and achieve 200m.

    I think the main thing I'm wondering about is what the ratio of skill to luck is in these pinball games? With my current (lack of) knowledge and experience, it feels to me like there's lots and lots of luck involved as there are plenty of times when I seem to playing fine and then like a flash the ball just shoots down the outlane without a second's warning. It makes me feel kinda helpless and I guess what I'm trying to say is that it seems to belittle my practice and improvement when the outcome seems to be in the hands of the gods rather than controlled by me.

    Then just when I'm feeling sorry for myself and getting frustrated like a winey bitch, I remind myself that the top scores on the leaderboards are up to 2 billion already, which tells me that this must be controllable. If people are scoring that high, they must've learnt how to overcome the random aspects of the game in order to keep the ball in play. I think part of my problem is that the kickbacks seem very difficult to activate on Ep V. Once you light the LANDO letters, you have about 5 seconds to hit the ramp you need or you miss your chance (and again, the ball always seems to gravitate towards the side I already have lit!). So one thing I'm wondering is whether or not people tend to focus (in general, not just on the Ep V table) on getting the kickbacks and ball saves activated before going for missions and things or if good play is more reliant on using skillfull nudges to keep things going? I'm sure it depends on the table but am interested in the thoughts of experienced players. I've been practicing some nudges but I find it very difficult to do it without triggering the tilt warning and need to get more sensitive to the stick.

    The other main thing I'm struggling with is hitting the ramps I want when the ball is moving too fast to trap. With a trapped ball, most of the time I can hit what I'm aiming for but when it comes through the inlane at such a speed that it would shoot over the raised flipper, I have to go for the reaction shot and it seems that the timing is completely different. Is there a better way of dealing with these faster balls or do you indeed need to just flip them away and get the hang of adjusting the timing in order to hit your target? Strangely it seems that when the ball is moving at pace, I have to take my shots later than I think...when I would've thought I would need to hit them earlier in order to compensate for the speed.

    I think what I'd really like is to watch some videos of complete games by good players and there seems to be a surprising lack of such vids on youtube. The main ones I found were some good vids by Cloda showing some complete games and a couple of really nice vids by a guy called TheTenthEnemy who commontates on what he's doing as he plays. I realise that the Star Wars tables are new so there's not much around for those yet but if any of you chaps have the equipment and the inclination to record some of your games, I'm sure there are others like me who would find those videos very instructive.

    Thanks for staying with me if you made it this far. Hope you don't mind the big post but I'm just kind of thinking aloud here really. I'm enjoying finding a new genre of game to get my teeth into so much that it makes me want to find out all I can about it in order to get the most out of my practice time. Any advice is most appreciated.

    Oh and btw, my Xbox gamertag is Spirit X and I welcome any friends requests from you guys.
    Last edited by Spirit X; 03-08-2013, 03:40 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Spirit X View Post
    I think what I'd really like is to watch some videos of complete games by good players and there seems to be a surprising lack of such vids on youtube. The main ones I found were some good vids by Cloda showing some complete games and a couple of really nice vids by a guy called TheTenthEnemy who commontates on what he's doing as he plays. I realise that the Star Wars tables are new so there's not much around for those yet but if any of you chaps have the equipment and the inclination to record some of your games, I'm sure there are others like me who would find those videos very instructive.
    Welcome! Glad you found my videos useful. From what I have read you already have the right mindset and approach and all you need is practice... which I am sure you are going to get by the sound of things.

    A set of really good videos is from StOrMtRoOpErMx19, you can also join the Lupsclup... it a french site done by Wims but you will find very good discussion and guides there along with videos for many of the tables. I come right with google translate without and problems. Just make sure that you introduce yourself on the club as wims like people to do so before you can get access to the guides.

    I also have strategy guides for many of the older tables which will kind of give you an idea of how I approach tables... I suggest you start with Ms. Splosion Man or Fantastic 4 as they are both good relatively straight forward tables.

    Good luck, sounds like you are going to join the Billionaires Club rather sooner than later.
    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

    Comment


    • #3
      First off, welcome to the forums. This post is probably going to be just as long as yours, so please bare with me.

      Originally posted by Spirit X View Post
      I've been mainly focusing on the Star Wars Ep V table so far. I realise it may not be the ideal beginners table because there's a lot going on on it with the stacking modes and stuff but I'm really enjoying the table so I'm sticking with it for now,
      Out of the Star Wars tables, Clone Wars is much easier for beginners IMO. Practicing on that table for a while may help improve your games.

      After lurking around the forums for a couple of days I quickly learned that first of all I needed to get comfortable trapping and controlling the ball and then learn to pass it from one flipper to the other in a controlled fashion (why is it that when you need it on one particular side, 70% of the time it will go to the other ).
      Ball control is key, but don't forget about dead flipper passing (aka bounce passing), nudge passing and post passing off the slingshots. Those three alone can help you control a ball to the flipper you want.

      This video here shows all of the above in action.

      I think the main thing I'm wondering about is what the ratio of skill to luck is in these pinball games?
      This is going vary to person to person. For me it's 9:1 between skill and luck. Personally, I believe that my flow/rhythm is more important. Luck has very little to do with it in my eyes. What I mean by flow is am I in sync with the game? Can I time my shots properly? And is my response time good enough? I find that I play much better when I'm fresh and not exhausted. Having a poor reaction time is going to yield in poor results for me.

      I usually can tell right away if I'm doing well or not by my first ball. If I'm not doing well, then my first ball will end quickly. This usually results in me resetting the game (pause >> reset game) and try again. Sometimes it just takes me a while to warm up, so I'll keep trying until I can get that flow going. If I have a good ball 1, then I usually have a good ball 2 and 3 as well.

      So one thing I'm wondering is whether or not people tend to focus (in general, not just on the Ep V table) on getting the kickbacks and ball saves activated before going for missions and things or if good play is more reliant on using skillfull nudges to keep things going? I'm sure it depends on the table but am interested in the thoughts of experienced players.
      You're right! It really depends on the table and how easy it is to activate them. On Clone Wars, I always active the kickbacks, since they are easy to activate. On the ESB table, I only go after them if I have a good shot on the lit ramp (after spelling LANDO). Otherwise, I don't bother and just keep the ball under control. If it goes to the outlane, then I just try to preform a bang back. I can do one about 50% of the time, so I have a good chance in saving the ball.

      I've been practicing some nudges but I find it very difficult to do it without triggering the tilt warning and need to get more sensitive to the stick.
      Ah! Here's your problem. Don't worry about the tilt warnings. You usually get two of them (it varies on the table) and they both reset after 15 seconds. And one of tilt warning will reset in about 8 seconds, so you can do hard nudges often. I personally recommend taking advantage of the nudge pass. It can really help you get out of a jam.

      I recommend tilting the table at least once on each table. This way you know how many tilt warning you get. You will know what each tilt warning looks like on the DMD (each one looks different). And you will know what the audio cues sound like for each warning. Each table is different, but knowing how the warnings work on each one can really help.

      For example, in the ESB table. The first tilt warning has a noise maker audio cue going off and the DMD says "danger" in small letters. The second warning has a much louder audio cue going off, a voice saying "watch out" (something around those lines) and the DMD says "DANGER" in much bigger letters. The third warning is the actual tilt.

      Another little trick is pressing the nudge stick (yeah, I'm calling it that ) downward. This will preform a light upward nudge automatically and it won't trigger a tilt warning. Be careful not to press the stick down on a slant/angel (down right or down left) or it will preform a hard nudge.

      The other main thing I'm struggling with is hitting the ramps I want when the ball is moving too fast to trap. With a trapped ball, most of the time I can hit what I'm aiming for but when it comes through the inlane at such a speed that it would shoot over the raised flipper, I have to go for the reaction shot and it seems that the timing is completely different. Is there a better way of dealing with these faster balls or do you indeed need to just flip them away and get the hang of adjusting the timing in order to hit your target?
      A simple nudge pass (see video I linked above) will solve the problem.

      I think what I'd really like is to watch some videos of complete games by good players and there seems to be a surprising lack of such vids on youtube. The main ones I found were some good vids by Cloda showing some complete games and a couple of really nice vids by a guy called TheTenthEnemy who commontates on what he's doing as he plays. I realise that the Star Wars tables are new so there's not much around for those yet but if any of you chaps have the equipment and the inclination to record some of your games, I'm sure there are others like me who would find those videos very instructive.
      Try looking up videos on YouTube from "Hypno74". He makes videos on how to obtain the trophies on the PS3 version, but the game plays the same on the PS3 as it does on the 360 and he is a very skilled player. You can learn a lot from watching his videos.
      Last edited by shogun00; 03-08-2013, 06:52 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the info chaps.

        Those Stormtrooper videos look very useful thanks Cloda and yes, I've already signed up for LupsClub (in fact I'm pretty sure you posted in my introductory thread yesterday!). I also think that I should learn one of the older tables that has more information available for it. I want to spend a couple of hours trying a few out soon and see what grabs me. I'll definitely check out the Fantastic Four table and I've also heard that Spider-Man is a fairly straightforward one to practice on.

        Same goes for the Clone Wars table too shogun. I watched a couple of vids of it yesterday and it looks pretty good fun.

        Since watching TheTenthEnemy do his Fear Itself video (all hour and a quarter of it!) and seeing how he played, I've been using the bounce passing lots and I spent an hour today just practicing nudge passes over and over until I could do it without getting in a panic. I have been caught out with the bounce passing a couple of times when the ball has struck the base of the flipper and just rolled straight down and out. So I just need to learn when it's safe to allow the dead pass and when to raise the flipper. This has helped a lot with the Scene modes on the Ep V table though as getting the ball efficiently onto the flipper I want makes many tasks a lot less of a headache.

        Thanks a lot for the info about the nudging timings and warnings too, I also didn't realise that pushing the stick down did the gentle up nudge, very useful stuff indeed. I'm assuming I could even do that with the dpad if I was having trouble avoiding the diagonals. It's good to know I can safely use a hard one when I need to though because the biggest trouble I've been having with the nudge passing is that doing it with a soft nudge often doesn't leave enough room to trap the ball, i.e. the ball doesn't go far enough up the flipper. With a hard nudge though, it seems that as long as I hit the flipper just after the ball hits it, the flipper will then pop up with enough room to not make contact with the ball, allowing the trap.

        I haven't had any 'good' first balls yet. Every day so far I just start off plain terrible (drain within 2 minutes) and then over the course of about 20 minutes I get into the rhythmic flow and everything starts to feel real nice. I still lose a hell of a lot of balls that I shouldn't, for instance my average score on Ep V is still around 30-40 million and I don't think I've successfully completed Scene 1 on my first ball yet.....or very rarely anyway.

        It occurred to me yesterday too that I guess there are certain shots that you need to be aware of as risky. I mean I'm always seeing the ball fly off into the drain at breakneck speed but thus far I haven't really kept track of which shots I'm attempting when it happens. The one I have noticed a lot though is when I'm hitting the ball with the very tip of the flipper to try and save it from going SDTM and I actually smack it straight into the lower corner of one of the slingshots, sending it rebounding....yep...SDTFM. I have a theory that in this situation I need to learn to raise the opposite flipper straight after my saving shot, so the ball will just bounce into the flipper from the slingshot. Either that or I should learn to just trust it to bounce pass. I mean, if I can hit it with the tip of the flipper then that means if I just leave the flipper alone, the ball will hit the flipper anyway right? I think that seems logical.

        A lot to test out later I think, yes.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Spirit X View Post
          It occurred to me yesterday too that I guess there are certain shots that you need to be aware of as risky. I mean I'm always seeing the ball fly off into the drain at breakneck speed but thus far I haven't really kept track of which shots I'm attempting when it happens. The one I have noticed a lot though is when I'm hitting the ball with the very tip of the flipper to try and save it from going SDTM and I actually smack it straight into the lower corner of one of the slingshots, sending it rebounding....yep...SDTFM. I have a theory that in this situation I need to learn to raise the opposite flipper straight after my saving shot, so the ball will just bounce into the flipper from the slingshot. Either that or I should learn to just trust it to bounce pass. I mean, if I can hit it with the tip of the flipper then that means if I just leave the flipper alone, the ball will hit the flipper anyway right? I think that seems logical.
          This is why I only play one table at a time and often try different things without really focussing on scoring on missions e.g. on Clone Wars table I really sucked at the Weapons Factory mission and it thus prevented me from completing the Wizard mode. For a couple of games (maybe as much as 20 retries)... I only went for that mission until I had an approach for both the sequential shots required and how to play the multi-ball effectively. Each tables multi-ball should be played slightly different to keep the balls alive and you should learn what the safe angles is to shoot and where you can "store" balls away for a few seconds to give you time to think e.g. into the bumpers on Fantastic 4.

          With Ironman I initially had big problems with very frustrating ball drains e.g. the lock targets and I also had problems with keeping the balls alive during multi-ball. I thus spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to play the table safe, which shots to avoid and what to do with the multi-balls to make them last longer. You can take a look at my Ironman strategy guide (linked from my signature) as I went into quite a bit of detail on what I discovered on this.
          XBox One Gamertag - PinStratsDan

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

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          • #6
            I've been trying a similar thing today. Just spent a couple of hours doing Scenes 4 and 5 over and over in an attempt get better at them. I'm definitely improving in terms of controlling the ball onto the desired flipper via bounce passes and nudge passes. I still kinda suck at aiming though and often misjudge the right ramp and the FORCE target, hitting one when I'm aiming for the other. Again, it's what I call the 'reaction shots' that give me trouble, i.e. when the ball is travelling too fast to trap it and you just have to try and hit your target/ ramp as the ball comes through the inlane and down onto the flipper. When trapped, I have a lot more success. Nailing the reaction shots is critical to activating the kickbacks though so I badly need to get better at this. I've actually taken to using what I think is a bit of a cop-out strategy where, as a fast ball comes down the inlane, rather than doing the reaction shot I'll actually nudge pass over to the other flipper and then nudge pass it back again so I can take a more controlled shot. I suspect this is probably a bad habit and I should just be practicing the reaction shots though.

            I really have no clue how to manage mulitball modes. I know what ramps I need to hit so I just go for them as the balls come down. I've tried trapping balls a few times but as soon as get more than one trapped on the same side, I don't know what to do with them so I just end up smacking them away randomly. I will endevour to use your idea of stashing one away somewhere time consuming so I can focus on the others and see how that goes. I often find the multiball annoying though because it inevitably uses up any kickbacks/ ball saves I have active, leaving me back at square one when the multiball finishes.

            Got up to 135 mil today. A small improvement but an improvement none-the-less. And for the first time, I completed 3 Scenes in one game, although I was quite fortunate in getting 3 extra balls. Two were legitimate, one for JEDI TRAINING and one for completing 3 scenes, and the other was random luck from an EMPIRE award. Btw, does anybody have any idea if there's any pattern to these awards or is it just pot luck every time? I haven't noticed any pattern thus far.

            I've heard some scary things about Iron Man, although I have played it for an hour or two and enjoyed it. It does at least seem like a fairly easy one to understand. I'm sure I'm not the first person to find the PARTY ramp a major PITA to hit though. I am going to take your advice and read through the guide.
            Last edited by Spirit X; 03-09-2013, 06:53 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Spirit X View Post
              I've heard some scary things about Iron Man, although I have played it for an hour or two and enjoyed it. It does at least seem like a fairly easy one to understand. I'm sure I'm not the first person to find the PARTY ramp a major PITA to hit though. I am going to take your advice and read through the guide.
              yea i enjoyed the table for about an hour or two when i first played it as well.

              You will learn to hate it. Sooner rather than later :P

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Spirit X View Post
                I've been trying a similar thing today. Just spent a couple of hours doing Scenes 4 and 5 over and over in an attempt get better at them. I'm definitely improving in terms of controlling the ball onto the desired flipper via bounce passes and nudge passes. I still kinda suck at aiming though and often misjudge the right ramp and the FORCE target, hitting one when I'm aiming for the other. Again, it's what I call the 'reaction shots' that give me trouble, i.e. when the ball is travelling too fast to trap it and you just have to try and hit your target/ ramp as the ball comes through the inlane and down onto the flipper. When trapped, I have a lot more success. Nailing the reaction shots is critical to activating the kickbacks though so I badly need to get better at this. I've actually taken to using what I think is a bit of a cop-out strategy where, as a fast ball comes down the inlane, rather than doing the reaction shot I'll actually nudge pass over to the other flipper and then nudge pass it back again so I can take a more controlled shot. I suspect this is probably a bad habit and I should just be practicing the reaction shots though.

                I really have no clue how to manage mulitball modes. I know what ramps I need to hit so I just go for them as the balls come down. I've tried trapping balls a few times but as soon as get more than one trapped on the same side, I don't know what to do with them so I just end up smacking them away randomly. I will endevour to use your idea of stashing one away somewhere time consuming so I can focus on the others and see how that goes. I often find the multiball annoying though because it inevitably uses up any kickbacks/ ball saves I have active, leaving me back at square one when the multiball finishes.

                Got up to 135 mil today. A small improvement but an improvement none-the-less. And for the first time, I completed 3 Scenes in one game, although I was quite fortunate in getting 3 extra balls. Two were legitimate, one for JEDI TRAINING and one for completing 3 scenes, and the other was random luck from an EMPIRE award. Btw, does anybody have any idea if there's any pattern to these awards or is it just pot luck every time? I haven't noticed any pattern thus far.

                I've heard some scary things about Iron Man, although I have played it for an hour or two and enjoyed it. It does at least seem like a fairly easy one to understand. I'm sure I'm not the first person to find the PARTY ramp a major PITA to hit though. I am going to take your advice and read through the guide.
                Ironman is not that bad... except for Ultimo The table is actually a very good table to learn on as the missions are straight forward. The table requires accuracy and tight control though and also a careful approach to activating your kickbacks before going for the missions. The multi-ball missions are also good for improving your skills on that front.

                There are a few tables that are very good for learning multi-ball on. The one table that forced me to get better at it was Mars as you can (have to!) repeat the pyramid multi-ball over and over if you wan't to make progress on that table. Ms. Splosion man is also a good one for multi-ball training. I also found that as soon as we had the option to switch views with multi-ball, I suddenly became much better at it. The overhead views didn't help me much but as soon as I had a view that helped me to focus on the flippers (1W on FX 2 - not sure if it is called the same during multi-ball mode) I suddenly had much more control. During multi-ball I just focus on the flippers, I don't move my eyes for one second. I don't actually take specific aim as I usually do during normal play but aim more in a certain direction (which you have to figure out for each table) and try to keep the balls safely on the move. I also just flick the triggers rather than pull down on them hard as you need to react nimbly. That is until there are only 2 balls left and then you can start to position the balls and aim for certain shots and learn tricks on how to position the balls from the one flipper to next (I talk about some of them in my Ironman guide and Earth Defence are also good for that). In my Ms. Splosion Man video I had a good run at a multi-ball where I kept the balls going for a nice long time. Anyway... in the end it is just one of those practice things where you need to get better at it... just keep on trying slightly different things until you find something that works for you.

                Fantastic 4 is good for the "reaction shots" as you put it as you need to activate the kickbacks and the Negative Zone ball saver and both require many alternate ramp shots that are best achieved by getting into a nice rhythm. I you practice that table you will definitely get better at the "reaction shots". It is just a timing thing in the end that can only get better with practice.

                I took weeks before I broke my first 100mil (Rome) and still some more weeks before I beat the first wizard mode (Rome). I only played that one table the whole time! I kept on improving just by playing lots until I got my first billion (Spiderman off-course!). My hardest billion so far was on Blade... it took me more than 2 years of trying often before I finally got there! In my thread I also have a new player tips section where many of these things above etc. are discussed... sorry that I keep on referring to that but it helps me to not keep on repeating myself!
                XBox One Gamertag - PinStratsDan

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  No need to apologise for that mate, I've been refering to your thread often over the past few days and even reading about some of the tables that I haven't played yet is useful for picking up some points of general strategy and the kinds of things I should be paying attention to. Reading through the Iron Man guide has made me want to go and play with it to practice some of the techniques you describe. I still want to mainly focus on Ep V as I'm just really enjoying the table and I feel that I have a good understanding of it now. After a 3 or 4 hour play session on it though, I start to feel a bit burnt out so I like going onto other tables just to see what they're like, have a play around and make mental notes for later regarding which tables I might like to look into in more detail.

                  I'll add Mars to the list to check out (assuming I have that one unlocked if it's not a purchase table) as I think multiball is definitely one of the weakest areas of my game right now. You mention options to switch the view during multiball but I haven't found anything like that and I thought the view switching was just automatic. Is there somewhere you can tell it which views you want it to switch to when it goes into multiball or are you just switching manually when it happens? My focus during multiball is also always on the flippers and, as you say, until I get down to 2 balls I don't really feel like I can take my eyes away for a second. That's fine when I'm on a table I know well because I know what ramps I'm needing to hit but it's tricky when, for example, I get multiball on Boba Fett and I have to look around the table to see what's lit while trying not to lose all the balls.

                  Also, shogun mentioned in his post that pulling the nudge stick down does an automatic gentle up nudge but I tried this yesterday and pulling the stick down doesn't do anything at all for me. I only get nudges when I push the stick up, left and right. Is this normal on the 360 version?

                  It's encouraging to hear the kind of time scales you talk about regarding how long it took you to reach certain benchmarks. Or it does at least seem consistent with my experience so far and reassures me that my perseverance will pay off. My friends have said to me before that I take my games too seriously and yes it's true I do take having fun very seriously! I definitely do play to have fun but what I find fun is learning a new skill and all the subtleties that go with it.

                  And btw Cloda, just wanted to say thanks for taking the trouble to explain some of this stuff to me, it's appreciated
                  Last edited by Spirit X; 03-10-2013, 04:39 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Spirit X View Post
                    Also, shogun mentioned in his post that pulling the nudge stick down does an automatic gentle up nudge but I tried this yesterday and pulling the stick down doesn't do anything at all for me. I only get nudges when I push the stick up, left and right. Is this normal on the 360 version?
                    It probably is! I'm playing the PS3 version, so it's possible that function is exclusive to Zen Pinball 2.

                    Sorry about that!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Spirit X View Post
                      No need to apologise for that mate, I've been refering to your thread often over the past few days and even reading about some of the tables that I haven't played yet is useful for picking up some points of general strategy and the kinds of things I should be paying attention to. Reading through the Iron Man guide has made me want to go and play with it to practice some of the techniques you describe. I still want to mainly focus on Ep V as I'm just really enjoying the table and I feel that I have a good understanding of it now. After a 3 or 4 hour play session on it though, I start to feel a bit burnt out so I like going onto other tables just to see what they're like, have a play around and make mental notes for later regarding which tables I might like to look into in more detail.

                      I'll add Mars to the list to check out (assuming I have that one unlocked if it's not a purchase table) as I think multiball is definitely one of the weakest areas of my game right now. You mention options to switch the view during multiball but I haven't found anything like that and I thought the view switching was just automatic. Is there somewhere you can tell it which views you want it to switch to when it goes into multiball or are you just switching manually when it happens? My focus during multiball is also always on the flippers and, as you say, until I get down to 2 balls I don't really feel like I can take my eyes away for a second. That's fine when I'm on a table I know well because I know what ramps I'm needing to hit but it's tricky when, for example, I get multiball on Boba Fett and I have to look around the table to see what's lit while trying not to lose all the balls.

                      Also, shogun mentioned in his post that pulling the nudge stick down does an automatic gentle up nudge but I tried this yesterday and pulling the stick down doesn't do anything at all for me. I only get nudges when I push the stick up, left and right. Is this normal on the 360 version?

                      It's encouraging to hear the kind of time scales you talk about regarding how long it took you to reach certain benchmarks. Or it does at least seem consistent with my experience so far and reassures me that my perseverance will pay off. My friends have said to me before that I take my games too seriously and yes it's true I do take having fun very seriously! I definitely do play to have fun but what I find fun is learning a new skill and all the subtleties that go with it.

                      And btw Cloda, just wanted to say thanks for taking the trouble to explain some of this stuff to me, it's appreciated
                      I'm a bit of a perfectionist so that filters through to my gaming as well and more specifically FX 2. I have scaled down tremendously the amount of time I put into a table these days... I used to go for the high scores but at some point I made the decision that once I beat the wizard mode and break a billion (if its plausible) then its time to stop. Now I have a life again .

                      For multi-ball views just press X on Xbox as soon as it starts and then you can flick through around 4 or so views. It usually remembers the view you choose on the table so for future multi-balls it will remember. Depending on the table I either use multi-ball view 1 or 1W as it gives me the best viewing angle for the flippers and to see the balls coming using my periphery vision.
                      XBox One Gamertag - PinStratsDan

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

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                      • #12
                        Captain America is also a good table to learn on, IMO.

                        Pretty impressive getting 100+ million on empire if you've only been playing a few weeks. It took me close to a year to get good enough to complete any table or post somewhat consistent high scores (knowing how to nudge pass earlier may have helped!). First one I completed was Ms Splosion Man.
                        Tables completed: Ms Splosion Man, Spiderman, BioLab, Captain America, Empire Strikes Back, The Avengers, Wolverine, World War Hulk, Sorcerer's Lair, Fantastic Four, Blade, X-Men, Thor, Moon Knight, Infinity Gauntlet, Super League Football, Starfighter Assault, Han Solo
                        Billionaire's Club: Spider-Man, World War Hulk, The Avengers, Sorcerer's Lair, Empire Strikes Back, Captain America, Ms. Splosion Man, Han Solo

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cloda View Post
                          For multi-ball views just press X on Xbox as soon as it starts and then you can flick through around 4 or so views. It usually remembers the view you choose on the table so for future multi-balls it will remember. Depending on the table I either use multi-ball view 1 or 1W as it gives me the best viewing angle for the flippers and to see the balls coming using my periphery vision.
                          Aha! Didn't realise that there was a separate selection of views when multiball starts. Nice one.

                          Originally posted by OriginalEther View Post
                          Captain America is also a good table to learn on, IMO.
                          I have, over the past two days, purchased both Mars and Captain America. I'd also like to buy the Marvel set with Thor and Moon Knight in it at some point but may well have to leave that one until next month I think. I'm not sure how much I've spent on tables this month but I know it's more than I should have. Worth every penny though.

                          In other news, I had a nice long game today that took me over the 150 million mark. Think it was 154m. Kinda happened by accident actually as my intention was just to activate the HYPERSPACE mode and the Cloud City mode because they very rarely come up for me in normal play. In fact I don't think I'd ever seen the HYPERSPACE mode before. Anyway, by the time I'd done that and kept the multiballs going for as long as I could, I think I was already up to 50 or 60 million so from there I played out a 'normal' game for me, did some Scenes, collected letters, got the rollovers, the usual stuff.

                          I was so caught up focusing on the flippers during the multiball modes that I didn't actually notice how much the jackpots and super jackpots were worth. I just about managed to look up long enough to notice that it was the spinners that collected the jackpot during HYPERSPACE mode, not sure which ramp/ target netted me the super jackpot though. Also wasn't sure if there was anything on the table that raised the jackpot. I assume the points must be pretty good though and it makes me think the HYPERSPACE mode would be quite a spammable and safe way to rack up some decent points. Mainly because it only takes around a minute or two to activate it, it's easy to do in a controlled way and every time you hit that right ramp, you're also collecting a LANDO letter, meaning that by the time you activate HYPERSPACE you should always have at least both kickbacks lit.

                          For now though, I'd still like to focus on getting through to Scene 6 before I start thinking about ways to mug the table for the best score.

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                          • #14
                            Another update after a few games this evening. This thread seems to be turning into my personal pinball diary.

                            I seemed to be a bit more on form today and played a couple of nice patient games on ESB. I paid a lot of due care to keep my kickbacks, and at times the ball saver, lit and in the first game and I got up to 174 million. What I was particularly pleased about though was that I got through the 5 Scenes and accessed Scene 6. The first 2 sections of Scene 6 were straightforward enough but the third bit where you have to charge up with the spinners and then hit the flashing lanes defeated me 3 times straight before the final ball drained.

                            So with extra enthusiasm and vigour after my victory, I went and made a cuppa and set about game two. Again, staying patient and making sure I had my kickbacks active whenever possible, I focused on getting through the scenes one by one and, although it took me a good hour and change, I knocked them down and got back to Scene 6. At this point I was on ball 2 and had 3 extra balls in stock too. I knew I had a good chance of both getting to the wizard mode and smashing my high score as I was already on around 165m. Unfortuately though, just as I finished Scene 1 (the last of the 5 for me as I tend to do them in reverse order), I simultaneously activated the JEDI multiball and hit a bug whereby Vader's trap door opened in the middle of the table and never closed again for the remainder of the game. It was a bit of a pain to work around although thankfully, aside from not being able to score any points during VADER mode to tie fighter multiball due to the lack of a ramp, it didn't actually prevent me from being able to do anything else.

                            On Scene 6 then, still having 4 balls in reserve, I smacked through the first two sections with little trouble and arrived again at the aforementioed section three, which I assume is the final section. Boy oh boy did this give me trouble. I'm not really sure what happened but time and again I activated the scene to pick it up at this checkpoint and the ball just didn't want to behave. I wasn't too panicky, just a bit excited, but I had real trouble keeping it under control as it kept coming down towards the very tip of my flippers, forcing me to bat it away and costing me valuable time. In addition to this, players of the table will understand what I mean when I say what a pain it is that the usual ball hovering mechanic that comes into play when you shoot the spinners is deactivated in this mode, making the JEDI and SITH cross-shots a very tricky affair. I'm also very bad at hitting the central mini-orbit from the right-hand side (the left is easy because you just hit the FORCE target and have the ball auto-kicked to the left of the mini-orbit). Of course both these shots were frequently flashing at me as targets for me during the final phase causing me many problems.

                            Goodness only knows how many attempts I made at this section, at least 15 I'd reckon, but sadly I never made it through to the end. I stuck at it though and I did manage to patiently nudge pass my way to a healthy 321 million, probably as a result of the number of times I gained EMPIRE awards and HYPERSPACE muliballs due to my frequent shots at the left and right ramps which I was using to light the LANDO letters whenever I lost a kickback. I was also stopping along the way to engage in the various FORCE hurry ups, tie fighter multiballs and AT-AT hunts as they would come up naturally during play.

                            Overall I'm pleased with the performance although I can't help feeling that with all the chances I had, I really should've nailed that final scene. And the trap door bug was a real shame. The 321m was a nice surprise though considering my currently target was 200m. It also got me into the top 50 on the leaderboard, which is nice. So I'm now setting my sights on the 500m mark.

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                            • #15
                              Yeh it's like reading your Pinball Blog, just keep at it you will improve in bits and sometimes your skill will jump crazily high in a short time. With practice comes perfection.
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