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Thread: Tournament mode.

  1. #1

    Default Tournament mode.

    Does it purely change the ROM settings, or does it affect table slope/outlane post position, etc?

    I believe it should do the latter as well.

    In fact i suggest three physics options, each with separate leader boards.

    1) Easy. This would be slower, with shots easier to make. But i'd have this mode not allowed for Twilight Zone (laugh) in my opinion TPA has easy physics for most modern tables, especially TWilight Zone. Ultra predictable kickouts, easy nudge traps, forgiving tilt meter, and subtle assistance on shot making. Extra long ballsavers. will help you learn the rules and strategy.
    2) realistic. The current level. no hand holding, but normal arcade settings, freshly waxed table. you can get ONE hard nudge every minute or so without a warning (currently you get zero at least with keyboard, which is totally unfair)
    3) Tournament. This would be standard PAPA settings for the game, both rules wise and playfield adjustment wise. Nudge power reduced so that you can nudge on the tighter tilt without getting a warning every time. Bumpers and slingshots on a hair trigger.
    Last edited by zaphod77; 09-06-2018 at 12:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Community Manager McLovin's Avatar
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    Apr 2017


    It changes the posts near the outlanes to 'hard' setting where there is a bigger gap and the ball can go out the outlane easier.

    The table slope is changed as well, it's steeper. No extra balls etc are also in there that you mentioned.

    Good suggestion about the different difficulty modes though!

  3. #3


    Note that steeper is not always tougher. Steeper often means less outlane drains.

    read the papa setup guides for games.

    Here's the general priority of changes for tournament.
    1) enable tournament mode in rom settings if game has it
    2) disable extra balls
    3) put slingshots on a hair trigger. <---- THIS nearly always increases difficulty in a fair fashion.
    4) widen outlane posts.
    5) set difficulty to hard in software, eiter by hand, or manually by adjusting options.

    if this is not enough to make it hard, then do stuff from this list until it is.

    remove center post if present.
    remove rubber from inlane/outlane posts
    remove outlane posts ENTIRELY if the above is still not enough.
    mess with slope
    for more modern games, if good play involves keeping control, tighten up the tilt

    More extreme measures
    add guard posts/bigger rubbers
    replace flippers with smaller ones
    disconnect a target (this has to be done for kings of steel, though you are unlikely to actually bother to make this one)
    disconnect or deaden a pop bumper (done for totan)
    replace a spinner with a single switch (done for johnny mnemonic)

    General guidelines.

    metal rails should be very consistent in how they effect the ball.
    rebounds off of standups, pop bumpers, and non flipper rubber should be randomized. angle and power should have slight random adjustments applied.
    rebounds off of drop target banks should be consistent. but inline drop targets should be randomized to a greater degree. the one that dracula auto plunges into counts as an inline drop target.
    the auto plunger itself must be 100% consistent in games that send the ball to a flipper or a skillshot. Getaway is the former, and dracula is the latter. the rebound off the drop target provides the randomization.
    Kickbacks are generally random somewhat, though there are specific exceptions. Getaway, for example nearly always sends the ball straight into burn rubber.
    Hold trapping kickouts should generally not work unless the physics are set on easy. it should NEVER work on tournament!
    There are three types of max extra ball settings.

    Max extra balls, max extra balls per ball in play, and max extra balls per game.
    If a game actually has the last one, always use it. Whirlwind is a game that has that setting. Once you have scored a total of 6 extra balls, you cannot earn any more ever. It should be set to at LEAST the number of non repeatable extra balls, plus the number of repeatable extra balls. whirlwind has a lot of non repeatable extra balls. it has two from tolls, one from bonusx, and two repeatables from the cellar, though you have to drain to collect them again). It's default is six, one greater than that. The game will eventually end. There is no need to change this except for tournament. If a game actually offers this, use only it, and set others to unlimited.

    Max extra balls per ball in play. if the game does not offer the former, but offers this, use it. it should be generally set to no higher than the number of non repeatable extra balls, plus one. depending on difficulty, it can be reduced, because people can space out their non repeatable extra balls. If set right only a really good player will ever notice it.

    if neither of the above, are available, then there is only max stacked extra balls. These games are foreverable if there are ANY repeatable extra balls! Funhouse has four extra balls available per ball, two of which are repeatable (gangway and mirror), and three which are not (special, steps, and replay, if replay gives extra balls). max stacked extra balls is FOUR by default on Funhouse. this is too high for realistic. by default max per ball in play is unlimited. this is also way too high. Even without specials or replays giving extra balls, it's reasonable to collect three on one ball (one from gangway, one from mirror, and one from steps). So max stacked extra balls should at the very least be reduced to three. But you also must set max per ball in play to guarantee that the game eventually ends. it should also be set to at most three, and consider dropping it further.

    If a game has max extra balls and max extra balls per ball in play, then the per ball in play setting is always a real per ball in play setting, and is preferred over the former.

    Only on my proposed easy setting should going infinite be possible.

    Specific notes on specific games.

    Twilight Zone.

    both ramps should be makeable from a trap on both lower flippers! but the backhand should be harder than the forehand.
    the slot machine kickout should always aim the ball somewhere at the right flipper, but should otherwise be vicious and hard to control without a perfect live catch. have a few degrees of random angle variation and spin variation. additionally hitting the post or standup next to it should be a good way to drain. They are called GREED targets for a reason. They are NOT your friends. Set up this way, Twilight Zone is not the kitten it is in TPA.

    Elvira and the party monsters.
    Enable the competition setting, even when not in tournament. this makes elvira letters tart at 3 always.
    On realistic physics, set max extra balls to 1. nearly everyone who operates this game on location will do this. Use zero for tournament as always.
    Failed ramp shots should go screaming straight down the middle except on easy. But if you don't mess up your ramp shots, the game really IS that easy.
    Last edited by zaphod77; 09-06-2018 at 05:01 PM.

  4. #4


    I tried the tournament mode last night. I played significantly worse, which was great! I'm really glad you guys are giving us an extra challenging mode: Something we'd asked our friends at TPA for for years. I like zaphod's suggestions and his enthusiasm!

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2018


    I like the idea of 'Tournament Mode'. I find the current pinball FX3 tables are far to easy to keep a ball going. I don't even play local/hotseat 2 player on those tables since 1 ball can last what seems like forever. But so far on these new tables, the challenge is there and balls drain much easier, which is great!

  6. #6


    So nice to see so much support for difficult game-play!

  7. #7


    Did the slope change with the latest beta? Feels even steeper now in tournament mode. I like fast gameplay, but this may be just a little too fast. Never played in a PAPA tournament myself, just local ones. I watch a lot of PAPA Tv though!

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Logan View Post
    Did the slope change with the latest beta? Feels even steeper now in tournament mode. I like fast gameplay, but this may be just a little too fast. Never played in a PAPA tournament myself, just local ones. I watch a lot of PAPA Tv though!
    I like it. Tournament should be as difficult as possible.

  9. #9


    More specific notes.


    the plunge from t2, being an auto plunger used for a timing based skillshot, should be 100% non random. The rebound off the standup bank, however, should be randomized. this will make the skill shot consistent (which it should be) but make each plunge different.

    On the super jackpot. Pressing the fire button as soon as the cannon has started it's upswing and the second from bottom light lights up should always hit. Even on a T2 that has the cannon turning at double speed due to a hardware malfunction (might want to do this for tournament mode!), this still works! If this misses, the table needs to be tweaked. I'm not kidding. l can hit super jackpot first time on at least 90% of t2 machines without walking to the side by this method. But it is NOT a requirement that this work at tournament difficulty (which has slope changes) but on arcade, that method should always hit.

    ST:TNG. the plunge doesn't have to be 100% consistent, but it should 100% strike the drop target, or pass it if down.

    Getaway: the plunge must reliably come around to the upper flipper without coming off the wall. The ball shouldn't always do the EXACT same thing if you don't flip, but with practice you should never miss a inner loop off of the plunge ever. if you can add the slightest amount of randomness without screwing with upper flipper aiming from the plunge, do it.

    Fish Tales: The autoplunger sometimes fails to get it all the way around. This should NEVER happen, but if juicing it up a lil breaks fastcasting, don't do it. A little randomness in power would be okay (enough to affect what happens if you dead bounce or hold the flipper) but if it makes fastcast too hard, don't do it. it's about right now.

    Games that autoplunge to bumpers (like Medieval Madness/AFM) can have significant variance in auto plunger power, as long as it remains strong enough to go around for a super skill shot. Monster bash is the same. random plunger, as long as it always makes the lanes.

  10. #10
    Community Manager McLovin's Avatar
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    Apr 2017


    Thanks zaphod77!

    Really great you give us some details on tables not yet released or announced like T2. If we ever get around to do that (fingers crooooseeedddd) it'll be nice to have this info ready to go when finetuning the different modes.

    We'll check out your pointers on FT and Getaway as well, great stuff.

  11. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by Tarek Oberdieck View Post
    I like it. Tournament should be as difficult as possible.
    I agree about significantly increased difficulty. Are there ways to meet that goal without this steep a slope (no outline rubbers, remove all center posts, super sensitive slings, "fresh" flipper rubbers, etc.)? The tournament slope is so steep it makes the ball feel like there's a big magnet pulling it toward the drain. It's not that it's too hard, but rather just feels unrealistic with this level of slope.

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