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New Stern insider connected system.

mission65

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Can you really compete fairly with another machine over the internet?

this bit worries me,
Neil normally sets his games up like an ice rink on a ski slope, with out lanes larger than a wide mouth frog and even uses smaller flippers !

also most pins in the wild are not set up too well ?
 

Juggler Spencer

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My views on the POTENTIAL uses of connectivity.

Being able to pull a log of what shots are being made, features started/completed etc.
This will be provide great feedback as to what the people playing the machine are actually shooting for. As @Neil McRae said earlier, lots of games have benefitted from code updates after players have discovered bugs or exploits, or even suggested completely new modes/features. This is surely a massive bonus in the development and design of future games, improving the chances of a game being released closer to complete.
I often go through the audits to see what modes I am completing more often than others, meaning I can make informed decisions as to which will benefit me more.

Being able to download updates without the need for memory stick
Not a huge improvement, but still an improvement - and likely to be optional anyway.

Logging 'achievements'
Take it or leave it, but I suspect more people will be taking it than they think they will. You only have to look at the high score thread here, or the talk about reaching Valinor, or any other wizard mode, to see how much people are invested in reaching these. This will make it not only easier for you to display this (I'm amazed at how many people feel the need to share their meals on Instagram or Twitter FFS) people will be doing this.
It will also steer you towards areas of the game that you may not even know existed, let alone achieved.

Downloading DLC
To me this is my biggest fear. That there will be modes that can only be played if you subscribe and/or pay for them. Although this will be possible, there is yet no evidence that this is the intention.

Identifying non-Stern mods/Hacks
It's already in the T&Cs when you download latest code from the Stern website that you won't add anything non-approved without written authorisation from Stern. This would allow them to identify if you did.
Again this could be a concern. Could Stern really brick your machine if you installed non-Stern code? Would they? Or would it just invalidate any guarantee, regardless of whether the add-on caused the problem.
If you want to add a non-Stern shaker motor, because it is cheaper, that's the risk you take. You can hardly expect Stern to honour a warranty if you've caused it by adding something non-Stern and it blows a node board.
No Cleland code, no hacked modes, no non-Stern mods, could cause some people consternation, but is hardly the end of the world.

Comparing Highscores
I think everyone here can agree that there is no way of comparing scores on different physical games, but people still do. Highscore thread here, Pinside highscores, etc.
What this could do is allow only scores displayed which are played on a certain set-up (Factory, Hard, Easy, whatever).

At the moment all of peoples views are based on pure speculation. I doubt everything that people have suggested will be implemented, and likely things that haven't even been thought about yet will.
The cost is a red herring for new games - cost is based on what Stern (or any other manufacturer) think they can charge and still maximise their supply.
The cost to add to an old game is also irrelevant - if you don't want it there's no need for you pay and fit it.
The issue I have with logging achievements/scores is this:

On this forum, I would imagine (and hope) that all posted achievements are genuine. We are enthusiasts and it is a fairly closed group. Put that into a wider public domain where rewards are possible and bragging rights and kudos are more 'anonymous' and we run into several potential problems:

1) If you look at any online gaming platform you will find leaderboards where the top X players have stats that are impossible to achieve unless they are using some serious 'cheats'. Whether it be jailbreaking your XBox and using wallhacks to shoot the enemy before they see you or taking the glass off your pinball, the net result is the same. Looking at the stats it becomes difficult to draw a line and separate the obvious cheats from the genuine scores and stats. This results in a virtual rubbishing of non-verified games. It also bundles that 'one-in-a-million-game' you had right in there with the cheaters in the eyes of a lot of users. So even if you have the game at home, you may have to go and find a verified machine to prove that you are a good player on it to the wider Stern community (if that sort of thing floats your boat).

2) So, only verified games are legitimate? There is no guarantee, given the kudos and the potential for rewards, that 'verified' games will not be abused by those with access to a verified machine 'out of hours'.

You might ask yourself why would anyone do this? The answer is because they can. For some people the buzz and process of cheating your way to the top outways the legitimacy of the result. It is rife throughout the world of online gaming. Hence why E-sports tournaments are still held in a big hall with everyone present, exactly that same way pinball tournaments are; to ensure fair play and a level playing field (or six-and-a-half to seven degrees if you prefer 🙂).


As for Identifying non-Stern mods/Hacks. This is a real potential issue. Microsoft have a proven track record of 'bricking' Xbox consoles when users have modified the software, infringed copyright etc. Break the terms and conditions of use and they can do it. The obvious answer is simple; don't connect it to the internet using the hardware that was bundled with your new machine at an extra cost to you. 🤣
 

Neil McRae

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Achievements for Avengers Aerosmith Iron Maiden and Deadpool are now live on insider, watch this week for the biggest game code burp you've ever seen...
 

huggers

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The whole 'pinball is mechanical' thing is a bit daft in 2021 isn't it? The idea that LCD screens are bad is ridiculous to me. It's like complaining about cars over taking your horse and cart.
 

VeeMonroe

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The whole 'pinball is mechanical' thing is a bit daft in 2021 isn't it? The idea that LCD screens are bad is ridiculous to me. It's like complaining about cars over taking your horse and cart.
No one is objecting to LCD screens (or, at least, I'm not). I've replaced the original DMD on my Fish Tales with an LCD and switched out all the filament bulbs for LEDs. I think the point that the detractors are trying to make is that:

a) We all support the existence of computer games, but pinball is fundamentally a physical (and mechanical) experience. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have two pins as my iPad can simulate multiple pinball tables, is much cheaper, takes up far less space and I can also use it to check my email.

b) 'Always online' pinball machines aren't necessary a good thing. Many computer game manufacturers have used internet-connected games to implement ongoing 'pay to play' and other anti-customer technologies. I use a Kindle to save on book shelving space, but I have physical copies of books I value because Amazon can delete the Kindle copies at any time.
 
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huggers

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No one is objecting to LCD screens (or, at least, I'm not). I've replaced the original DMD on my Fish Tales with an LCD and switched out all the filament bulbs for LEDs. I think the point that the detractors are trying to make is that:

a) We all support the existence of computer games, but pinball is fundamentally a physical (and mechanical) experience. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have two pins as my iPad can simulate multiple pinball tables, is much cheaper, takes up far less space and I can also use it to check my email.

b) 'Always online' pinball machines aren't necessary a good thing. Many computer game manufacturers have used internet-connected games to implement ongoing 'pay to play' and other anti-customer technologies. I use a Kindle to save on book shelving space, but I have physical copies of books I value because Amazon can delete the Kindle copies at any time.

Actually somebody was slating LCD screens. Pinball is a hybrid these days, mechanical and digital. Innovation within code, displays etc is still innovation and has added hugely to modern pinball. Obviously there are potential negatives and I know all about DRM within gaming but really we're getting very ahead of ourselves even mentioning that here.
 

Neil McRae

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No one is objecting to LCD screens (or, at least, I'm not). I've replaced the original DMD on my Fish Tales with an LCD and switched out all the filament bulbs for LEDs. I think the point that the detractors are trying to make is that:

a) We all support the existence of computer games, but pinball is fundamentally a physical (and mechanical) experience. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have two pins as my iPad can simulate multiple pinball tables, is much cheaper, takes up far less space and I can also use it to check my email.

b) 'Always online' pinball machines aren't necessary a good thing. Many computer game manufacturers have used internet-connected games to implement ongoing 'pay to play' and other anti-customer technologies. I use a Kindle to save on book shelving space, but I have physical copies of books I value because Amazon can delete the Kindle copies at any time.

anti-customer technologies?! Sounds like something from the Terminator. Have Amazon actually ever deleted a book from your Kindle?

Pay to play? You mean like an onsite pinball machine where you stick coins in it?

The cost to develop video games continues to sky rocket and rather than charge crazy money upfront some games makers have made it pay to play; I'd say that was pro-customer because many folks can afford to play a game that in the normal world they would not have been able to. They also cut down on piracy.

There is no gun pointing at anyone saying you must connect this game to the internet. And if that does happen I predict a pretty big push back from the community even though it doesn't bother me one way or another.
 

Wayne J

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With my GZ arriving this morning, and not playing it until this evening.

I was going to change the settings, Free Play, coin door ball save, etc. and saw a new menu 'Network' (or something similar).

Using the QR code on the machine I was able to create a FREE Basic account for myself, as well as registering my machine. I then connected to my home Wi-Fi and downloaded the latest code, along with setting it to automatically download and install latest updates.
Although I haven't played a game yet, simply holding your own individual QR code over the reader automatically logs you on to the game, I also saw an option to start a new game with everyone who is logged in. No more forgetting to press the start button or guessing who's next and playing out of turn as it will have your chosen avatar above the score.

So far so good.

After a few games it will be interesting to see achievements, or badges,

So that was with a free account.
For $39.99 per year you get
Sneak Peeks in to the world of Stern Pinball
Access to behind the scenes content
Access to exclusive limited edition merchandise
Limited access to purchase limited edition pinball machines
Coming soon - access to special game related content


None of the 4 are of any interest to me - however it is the last one which raises alarm bells.

I'm not paying £30 a year just to get an additional mode on the only game I have which is connected, no matter how much I like the look of it. If I owned half a dozen games which had additional content it may be worth it. I assume any additional content would be disabled in multiplayer games, or else it would give an unfair advantage?
 

Neil McRae

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the insider £40 isn't new - thats what insider started as - I assumed game related content isn't game content but specific objectives or comps.
 

Wayne J

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the insider £40 isn't new - thats what insider started as - I assumed game related content isn't game content but specific objectives or comps.
The "specific game related content" is a direct quote from their website
 

Neil McRae

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yeah but its game related content not game content?

Maybe I'm more hopeful that this isn't downloable content but it could be.
 

Neil McRae

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something is broken with insider at the moment. You can't share your information thus people can't follow you.

Neil.
 
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Neil McRae

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ok folks so we can connect firstly you have to search and its case sensitive (!) so to find me search for NeilMcRae

if you want to connect goto account ->my profile click on make stats visible to others and then we can connect.

Neil.
 

mark9

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Every time I click "make stats visible to others" it confirms I've updated my profile then reverts back when I leave the page!
 

Neil McRae

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Yeah it’s done it even though it removes it what’s your case sensitive name ? :)
 
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