What is a 'Deep ruleset'?

David_Vi

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Reading discussions or seeing youtube videos I often hear people mentioning Deep rulesets.
I'm still learning the older machines and I haven't got around to the more modern ones, they're slightly overwhelming with the bigger display and 'deep rulesets'.
Those pins are where I hear that term used the most.

I know quite a few of the 90s tables, MM , AFM , CV , Road show i understand rules for pretty good I thin.

And I'm aware of those much before that didn't really have much going on.

Could I have examples of what you'd consider a deep ruleset?
Do any of the tables I've mentioned come under that?

I'm gonna guess that it's subjective and at the time those seemed deep but since the newer type aren't any longer?






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David_Vi

David_Vi

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TSPP and LOTR are both pretty deep - loads of modes, sub-modes and then mini-wizard modes etc
I've played both of those a little, but not enough to know what's going on.

So deep means lots to do?

With CV , MM , AFM and RS there's lots of modes (to me!) and on some you can stack multiballs. Which is something i thought might be a part of 'deep rules'.


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ChrisH

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but not enough to know what's going on.
There you go - deep ruleset, I've played both quite a bit and I've still got only a limited idea of what's going on :rofl:

Lots to do, lots of routes/combinations of ways to do it all, you can tactically choose when to start them to have the modes interact with each other (well I can't , but some can!)

I've not played much of it, but GoT is fairly deep too as I recall?
 

Sven Normansson

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As Chris says its not just having lots of modes, It's the nuances such as stacking, shot & playfield multipliers, increasing scoring by having somethings running but not others etc. Generally this is not something that happened with WPC era games but is more Stern era (but not limited to Stern).
 

Monkeyboypaul

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I've played both of those a little, but not enough to know what's going on.

So deep means lots to do?

With CV , MM , AFM and RS there's lots of modes (to me!) and on some you can stack multiballs. Which is something i thought might be a part of 'deep rules'.


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I'd say 'deep' means there's more things to do and more ways/strategies to play it.

Take AFM vs Spiderman.

AFM is relatively simple, shoot the lanes to fill them up. Then something happens. Shoot them all and something else happens.

Spider-Man (which is the game that got me into Sterns) wasn't obviously 'deeper' than when i first played it because it felt similar in terms of layout, shooting shots to fill lane inserts. Then you play the story modes and learn about lane multipliers. Then you realise each villain has 3 modes to them. Not all deep, but there there, unlike AFM . Mini-wizard modes. Stacking modes on top of other modes, various muiltiballs etc.

LOTR takes this a bit further, with each story mode having ways to play it for completeness, plus various multiballs, a hard to reach final wizard mode.

The JJP games are another step up.

Thunderbirds was the reverse, simpler by design for the chosen market.
 

Wayne J

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To me there's a difference between 'deep / long' and 'deep /wide' rulesets.

A deep/long ruleset may include something like SM . To complete all levels of villain you have to shoot the same shot over and over, or Avatar, or Avengers for similar reasons.
Whereas a deep/wide ruleset requires many different modes/shots, which can often run concurrently, but don't necessarily need as many shots to complete AFM , & MM could fall under this category.

IMHO, the best games combine both elements and also vary the requirements to get to wizard mode, the majority of newer games would fall under this category - with the majority of people unlikely to see the final wizard mode. Games such as AcDc , IMdn , JP , JJP Potc as well as WPT , LotR , TSSP for older Sterns.

Generally speaking - the newer the game, the deeper the ruleset is.
 
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Monkeyboypaul

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To me there's a difference between 'deep / long' and 'deep /wide' rulesets.
I really like this explanation ^

think i'm currently preferring deep / long games, because i can mostly work out the rules a bit quicker and see them stacked up ahead of me - then it's the just the skill and patience to get through them.
The wider rulesets could be mind boggling to the point of off-putting for some people, which may explain why i couldn't get on with Hobbit.

I’ve had LotR since August and still struggling to understand it, BSD sits next to it and I’m ok with that😊
Aim for the ring! And when that red bastard gets in the way - hit him too. If in doubt, turn it off.
 
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David_Vi

David_Vi

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Thanks for all the replies, been interesting to read different opinions but the common thing seems to be that the modern ones are a lot deeper than the older.

As I don't get to play often, usually twice a month at Flip Out, I tend to stick to a few machines at a time, and even the classics take some time to learn.
I'll have to try some of the newer ones but still they feel overwhelming.
I can imagine it's a lot easier if you have one at home.

A related thought, how do those tournament/pro players manage to learn all of these tables? I can understand most people understanding how to play the classics but facing one of the newer Sterns in a competition must be tough and give some an advantage.

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roadshow16

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A related thought, how do those tournament/pro players manage to learn all of these tables? I can understand most people understanding how to play the classics but facing one of the newer Sterns in a competition must be tough and give some an advantage.
Honestly, you have to be a massive geek, a dedicated massive geek who actually enjoys watching hundreds of hours of gameplay videos and reading rulesets.

If you are so inclined, start with papa.org there are 37 pages of gameplay videos, tutorials and competitions to enjoy 😁
 
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Wayne J

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Thanks for all the replies, been interesting to read different opinions but the common thing seems to be that the modern ones are a lot deeper than the older.

As I don't get to play often, usually twice a month at Flip Out, I tend to stick to a few machines at a time, and even the classics take some time to learn.
I'll have to try some of the newer ones but still they feel overwhelming.
I can imagine it's a lot easier if you have one at home.

A related thought, how do those tournament/pro players manage to learn all of these tables? I can understand most people understanding how to play the classics but facing one of the newer Sterns in a competition must be tough and give some an advantage.

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The way I tackle learning rules to a new game I may face in competition.

Read the rules published. Tiltforums is the best resource, as most of the game designers and code writers for Stern and JJP - along with the top US players regularly contribute. There's also exponentially less drama and bitching than on Pinside.

Then, if possible, watch someone playing the game, either in competition or a live stream.

Then go and play the game. Tilt, Birmingham usually has the latest games available to go and play, as does Chief Cafe if you're further down South.

Then, go back to reading the rules and watching the gameplay, so you can put into context what you've experienced.

Finally go back and play the game, to pick up on the nuances.

There's on average 3-4 games released a year - so it's not too hard to pick up on the rules. Especially if you are learning them to play in competition, which normally produces a significant overwhelming strategy, as opposed to playing them at home to get towards wizard mode and see all the different modes features.
As an example when I had MM I played for Barnyard MB and Video Mode, but would never consider playing that way in a comp. I play IMdn in any number of ways at home, because there's so many choices, whereas in comp the better strategy is to play the 'percentages' and stick to MBs.
Watching Paul Jongma play MB is such a bore. Shoot the creature, trap the ball, post transfer, shoot the creature, over and over and never deviate from that. It's safe, scores good points, but it's tedious.

The more you encounter the games in comps, the more familiar you become with them.
 
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cyberkryten

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Let’s not forget Creech
Isn't this a good example of a game which may have deep rules, but no-one plays it deep in general because scoring wise, Move Your Car is huge compared to pretty much anything else?

In competition at least, some games end up being played the same way by pretty much every player - so we need a 'Deep - unbalanced' category. You can do what you like, but someone using the 'big points' method will pretty much always outscore you, often with a fraction of the shots/ball-time.

Stern Star Wars seems to be a game where no two players seem to have the same strategy!
 

Wayne J

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Isn't this a good example of a game which may have deep rules, but no-one plays it deep in general because scoring wise, Move Your Car is huge compared to pretty much anything else?

In competition at least, some games end up being played the same way by pretty much every player - so we need a 'Deep - unbalanced' category. You can do what you like, but someone using the 'big points' method will pretty much always outscore you, often with a fraction of the shots/ball-time.

Stern Star Wars seems to be a game where no two players seem to have the same strategy!
Move your Car strategy can be nullified based on machine setup, if however the feed from the bumpers always gives a perfect trap it's very hard to ignore - up to a point. All of those bumper hits drives the jackpot and super jackpot to ridiculous levels meaning that MB becomes more attractive. It's at what point you switch strategies.

Thankfully this is becoming less common with newer games, probably because the designers are all tournament players who go out of their way to ensure that there are no overwhelming strategies or exploits.
Playfield validation exploits seem to be on their way out also (GoT & GB being 2 primary examples) as is the shoot the same thing over and over, even if it's not what the designer intended you to be shooting for (Hurricane & Earthshaker for example).

It's a balance between having lots of ways of attacking the machine, and not having the rules so complicated that there is no way you could step up to a machine for the first time and set a decent score.
I think Stern, or more precisely KME and Lyman machines, are getting this right. Gone are the 'hit the bash toy over and over to get a MB for the win', or hit the same shot over and over to start a mode, where you then hit the same set of shots just because they're lit.
It really shows how far behind games like Munsters and BK :SoR have fallen.
 
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razorsedge

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An example of a newer game that is not so deep would be TNA. But what TNA lacks in depth it makes up for in some other ways. Its simple and linear ruleset makes it great for groups and newer players. The sound, lightshow, and challenge are appealing enough.

It's hard to put a point on exactly what makes a basic ruleset (and/or layout) attractive. Perhaps it is because different people like different stuff and things.

An example, one of the most basic Solid State games I know, Alien Star from 1984. It is litteraly a 2.5 shot game, 3 and a half shots if you count the right orbit bonus shot. But there is a basic "thing" you have to do, which will variably blow the game up. Each time the game rips you off, before achieving that sweet multi combination, just makes you want to press the start button again!. The feeling of ripping that spinner within the limited oportunity for 50x spinner scoring, and the sound... fantastic. Satisfying. A great multiplayer challenge game, like TNA.

I don't know what "type" of "depth" Rick and Morty is going to fall into. Hearing info about how that will work, sounds like it will be moderately or very deep, but with a slightly unfamiliar randomness. There will be "Adventures" which will be like modes. You can generally not choose your adventures, and it seems there will be dozens of them. Then there is "travel between dimensions". In the "home dimension" the megaseeds do not exist, you need to travel to other dimensions and collect them. Each megaseed gives 2%-5% of your score as end of ball bonus, and carries over to the next ball (max 100 seeds for up to 500% your score!). Changing dimensions changes things about the pinball machine/game, like more or less scoring, features disabled, lighting or sound changes. Think "screaming sun" dimension where the sun Screams, but points are good! Lol. Or the "strobe dimension" (confirmed as one of the 'undesirables') where there is an AFM style strobing, collect the dam seeds or not, but relight that portal and get the hek outa there! ha ha. There are "favourable" dimensions as well, but the dimensions are Randomly chosen from many dozens, as well. So you aim to complete "Adventures" as you travel through various game altering "dimensions". This means virtually every game will be a completely new combination of circumstances. Impressive, I thought.

I also think SEGA started to add depth as they began making pinball. I love my Baywatch and Batman Forever. Deep but not too deep. This is around when the 20x bonus multipliers started getting thrown in there.
 
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insx

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All that adventures and dimensions stuff reminds me of Timeshock! (the simulation), still the deepest pinball game I've played although some of the JJPs might challenge it.
 
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Neil McRae

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I can imagine it's a lot easier if you have one at home.

A related thought, how do those tournament/pro players manage to learn all of these tables? I can understand most people understanding how to play the classics but facing one of the newer Sterns in a competition must be tough and give some an advantage.

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I try to have what I call my walk up strategy for every game. And that isn’t about knowing every single rule because it’s one thing to know the rules; it’s another to execute on them. My skills aren’t great, I’m super poor at shot accuracy so I work my approach to a game focused on either simple shots that I can repeat a lot that are low risk; or one off risky shots that really deliver big points. And I practise and practise. There are some games where that doesn’t work to well, GOTG, JP2 and to a lesser extent GoT and I try to avoid them like the plague.

With JP2 Keith was very focused in building a game that really required huge consistency in JP2 and for me that means I’m avoiding it because I’m not consistent or good enough. The scoring is super progressive in that you build up to the high scores and this requires long ball time, but look at the INDISC finals in how that backfired on him. In some ways MM is similar from a scoring POV but the shots are much easier to hit.

Having games at home is helpful to practise but very often you need to erase the muscle memory when you play someone else’s game and even with that I’ve found super fast games I’m never going to do well on for the most part so when I pitch up at a big event I adjust my goals for what success means and aim to play as good as I can rather than over worry about qualifying or getting to a certain point. I see so many good players do badly because they add unnecessary pressure because well X is 29 so I should be 10 or I must do this well and they end up not doing well at all. League finals last year my only target was not to come last, I came 5th. And nearly every event bar one or two it’s rare that I’m disappointed with how played - if you played your best and you came last it’s fine if you played your best and you won that’s also fine but you get a trinket ! At the end of the day you are staring yourself int the mirror saying did I play as good as I could? Preparation is key, early night, stay off the booze, eat well sit down and relax between games....


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