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Please Revamp Menace Management Cards Messages in this topic - RSS

Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 138

12 days ago
Now, I am aware that these are long-standing issues of many years which were never addressed despite complaints (that I believe have been lodged here years ago).

However, since the announcement of the Reworks and Revamps, I believe that it is time that these issues should be highlighted again.

I am referring to the cards which are drawn when the Menaces are at specific (but otherwise relatively) low ranks, namely the following:

A Moment's Peace:

Problem Statement:
Currently, this card is rarer than the other cards. The card also only appears at Rank 3 of Nightmares; the other cards appear at Rank 2 of their respective Menaces.

Perhaps the disparity was due to past policies on making Nightmares the worst of the menaces, but I have the impression that the recent reworks and revamps to the social action suggest that these policies are no longer the case. (The Social Action to wipe Nightmares is in particular hella effective - far better than the worth-lacking previous option of spending Sudden Insights.)

Suggestion: The Card should be rendered as frequent as the others, and the drawing requirement should be lowered to rank 2 of Nightmares.

Benefits of Implementing Suggestion: Currently, for Persons of Some Importance, the only worthwhile method of lowering Nightmares when it is below rank 3 is to go to the Labyrinth of Tigers and gawp at the Somnolent Hyena. This would have been rendered less useful if there is a storylet to reliably (and profitably) raise Nightmares to rank 3 and thus enable the (awesomely good) new Social Actions, but there is not any storylet that can reliably do this. (Yes, I am aware of the Forgotten Quarter options - and their random Airs and outcomes.)

Reworking this card should provide a player with an opportunity to reduce Nightmares while it is at low levels, whenever the card is drawn.

A Restorative
(Link included for reader's convenience at checking out the options in this card.)

Problem Statement: Of all the Menace-managing cards, this may well be the most useless, because of the lack of extra options for rank 0 to rank 5 of Counting the Days; personally, I only use this card to get rid of Unaccountably Peckish after consuming the Counterfeit Heads of the Baptist.

Even the extra options that are there have requirements; two of them are mutually exclusive to each other. One of them is quite expensive.

With the revamp of the Social Actions, it is easier to just raise Wounds to Rank 3 with gawping and then use the Social Actions with multiple characters. At its present state, this card is little more than a nuisance.

Suggestion: At least, please introduce an option for Rank 0 to Rank 5 of Counting the Days. The mutually exclusive options should have their requirements changed too (maybe even gate them behind specific Renown or Connection qualities, which would be more narratively appropriate).

Benefits of Implementing Suggestion: The card should become useful for reducing Wounds when it is under Rank 3 - and this card actually becomes useful.


The Law's Long Arm

Problem Statement: There is no extra option for Rank 10 to Rank 11 of Counting the Days. Sure, it's just two ranks, but the CP bars for these ranks are ... long.

Also, there is the matter of the option for Rank 0 to Rank 5. Personally, my characters have doles of Infernal Contracts to burn for this option of wiping out 6 CPs worth of Suspicion in a single action, and they have gained lots of Infernal Contracts from the profitable but not always available Suspicion-reducing storylet of Confound the Constables anyway. However, some players might be huffing over the cost of this option.

Suggestion:
A new extra option for Rank 10 to Rank 11 of Counting the Days, please.

Benefits of Implemeting Suggestion: Ditto.

Last, and least...

An afternoon of good deeds?:

Foreword: Now, this card may well have become more valuable just for the change in one of the options that grant a Favour: Hell ("More Scandal be damned! Let's profit!"), but I am proceeding with the assumption that the player would actually want to use this card to reduce Scandal instead.

Problem Statement: There is not always an extra option available for every Counting the Days rank. Specifically, there is a gap between Rank 6 to Rank 9 of Counting the Days, which makes this card less useful when Counting the Days is in this range - assuming that the player wouldn't want the Favour: Hell, of course.

Suggestion: Please introduce an option for Rank 6 to Rank 9 of Counting the Days.

Benefits of Implementing Suggestion: Ditto. But really, if you are clever, you would be taking the option that gives the Favour: Hell.
edited by Rostygold on 7/14/2017
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Amalgamate
Amalgamate
Posts: 212

12 days ago
So I don't really see why these things are problems that you mentioned.

Restorative - it works fine for reducing wounds without using social actions (because not all of us use alts for everything). Again, why are you saying that "it doesn't have counting the days options at all levels" is a problem? It's the way the card works. Some levels of counting the days are easier to get past with some menaces than others.

Same with Law's Long Arm... you describe some options on the cards, but don't explain why they're a problem, you just call them a problem. One option is expensive, there aren't options at some CtD levels... so what?

Same with afternoon of good deeds.

Of all these cards, I think my least commonly used is A Moment's Peace, because usually I am trying to keep my nightmares at 3-4 so I can draw the Interpreter of Dreams card, and my nightmares usually drops when I pick up urchins favors from the Valkyrie option.

I use afternoon of good deeds pretty regularly now for the hell favor, and before I used it for scandal reduction. The other two I use when I have a lot of wounds or suspicion, respectively. I don't think there's "problems" with those cards, and I'd rather have FBG work on other things.

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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 138

12 days ago
Amalgamate wrote:
Again, why are you saying that "it doesn't have counting the days options at all levels" is a problem? It's the way the card works.

Then it works poorly.

Amalgamate wrote:
Some levels of counting the days are easier to get past with some menaces than others.

I, for one, do not accept this disparity. This could have been better, e.g. the player can use the cards better than picking the default options - if the player is not just tossing the card out.

Amalgamate wrote:
Same with Law's Long Arm... you describe some options on the cards, but don't explain why they're a problem, you just call them a problem. One option is expensive, there aren't options at some CtD levels... so what?

Same with afternoon of good deeds.

How do you deal with high Suspicion and Scandal efficiently then?

You call me out for calling them out as problems, but I would call you out for not seeing them as problems.

Amalgamate wrote:
Of all these cards, I think my least commonly used is A Moment's Peace, because usually I am trying to keep my nightmares at 3-4 so I can draw the Interpreter of Dreams card, and my nightmares usually drops when I pick up urchins favors from the Valkyrie option.

Ah, of course - you are a premium-paying player.

We already have different perspectives on this issue. "Never shall the twain meet."

Amalgamate wrote:
I don't think there's "problems" with those cards, and I'd rather have FBG work on other things.

I would rather Failbetter address these problematic cards. They have been around for years and they are sub-par compared to other Menace-reducing options (at least those that free-loaders get).
edited by Rostygold on 7/14/2017
edited by Rostygold on 7/14/2017
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Gillsing
Gillsing
Posts: 1069

12 days ago
Rostygold wrote:
Amalgamate wrote:
Some levels of counting the days are easier to get past with some menaces than others.

I, for one, do not accept this disparity. This could have been better, e.g. the player can use the cards better than picking the default options - if the player is not just tossing the card out.

I believe FBG has a fancy word for their design choice of certain things, such as the conflict cards and probably these menace reduction cards as well. That word might be "asymmetric", but I'm not sure. The point is that there are supposed to be inherent imbalances between various options/cards. Whether you accept it or not.

Rostygold wrote:
How do you deal with high Suspicion and Scandal efficiently then?

I efficiently deal with it by refraining from taking actions which I know will cause menace of a type where I'm getting uncomfortably close to either a new menace card or level 8 consequences. And then I take advantage of CtD options if they're there, otherwise I just use the default option. There's a difference between efficiency and effectiveness, and I'm pretty good at avoiding high menaces whenever I choose to do so. Efficiency: A stitch in time saves nine.

Rostygold wrote:
Ah, of course - you are a premium-paying player.

We already have different perspectives on this issue. "Never shall the twain meet."

I'm not a preium player though. I'm a filthy freeloader, too cheap to pay for wasting my time on a browser game when I should be playing some games I've backed on Kickstarter. What am I even doing? How can I be too lazy to get back to...

Well, the point is, Nightmares are super easy to get rid of now that either option in the Urchins vs Gracious Widow conflict reduce Nightmares. I can't even cash in on that card because just like Amalgamate I want to keep my Nightmares at 3+ so I can draw the Interpreter of Dreams card. Usually I just use the City Vices: Orthographic Infection to get from 1+1 to 2+1. For this reason I am quite content with A Moment's Peace being less common than the other menace reduction cards, since I have to qualify for it despite not wanting to use it. You could also get a 3 CP Nightmares reduction from investigating Doctor Schlomo.

Rostygold wrote:
They have been around for years and they are sub-par compared to other Menace-reducing options (at least those that free-loaders get).
From your "use the Social Actions with multiple characters" I kind of got the feeling that you'd already solved how to reduce menaces as a 'free-loader'. I don't think FBG should balance the game based on players having multiple characters and then using some of them to offload menaces. Do you?
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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 138

12 days ago
Gillsing wrote:
The point is that there are supposed to be inherent imbalances between various options/cards.

You could say that - but those different cards deal with different Menaces.

You can attribute asymmetric design to a bunch of things if they lead to the same outcome. This is not the case.

Gillsing wrote:
I efficiently deal with it by refraining from taking actions which I know will cause menace of a type where I'm getting uncomfortably close to either a new menace card or level 8 consequences.

So do I.

Gillsing wrote:
And then I take advantage of CtD options if they're there, otherwise I just use the default option. There's a difference between efficiency and effectiveness, and I'm pretty good at avoiding high menaces whenever I choose to do so. Efficiency: A stitch in time saves nine.

If you are using the default options, you are not being efficient.

Gillsing wrote:
Well, the point is, Nightmares are super easy to get rid of now that either option in the Urchins vs Gracious Widow conflict reduce Nightmares.

The player has to have the necessary number of Urchin favours, and that card has become rarer since the Urchins revamp. It's not as easy as you say it is.

Gillsing wrote:
I can't even cash in on that card because just like Amalgamate I want to keep my Nightmares at 3+ so I can draw the Interpreter of Dreams card.

Ah, of course - you are likely wanting to build up Connected: The Masters.

I want to keep my Menaces suppressed because I am doing Flash Lays to get rid of accumulated actions.

You could also get a 3 CP Nightmares reduction from investigating Doctor Schlomo.

Gillsing wrote:
From your "use the Social Actions with multiple characters" I kind of got the feeling that you'd already solved how to reduce menaces as a 'free-loader'.

You can say that, but those Social Actions can only be used after Menaces have reached above rank 3. They are not as readily available to use as you would think they are, mainly because only a couple of Menaces have associated storylets that readily raise them in a profitable manner.

Gillsing wrote:
I don't think FBG should balance the game based on players having multiple characters and then using some of them to offload menaces. Do you?

The problem that I want to point out here is not a matter of gameplay balance - it's the matter of the utility of those cards that I mentioned in the opening post.

As of now, if the player doesn't meet the requirements for the extra options, they are just junk cards.
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Gillsing
Gillsing
Posts: 1069

12 days ago
Judging by how many junk cards there already are in the deck, I don't believe FBG consider cards being junk a reason to do anything about them.
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suinicide
suinicide
Posts: 1957

12 days ago
Yes, junk cards exist so you can regain actions without sacrificing the nice cards you want to play.

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/profile/sunnytime
A gentleman seeking the liberation of knowledge, with a penchant for violence.
RIP suinicide, stuck in a well. Still has it under control.
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Anchovies
Anchovies
Posts: 176

12 days ago
Nightmares is harsher and stickier than the other basic menaces. Laudanum increases wounds and has diminishing returns, the Merry Gentleman's card effectively shrinks your hand by one, the State of Some Confusion wipes recurring dreams, and getting out of the Mirror-Marches can inflict substantial amounts of wounds, scandal, and suspicion. I think it makes sense for "A moment's peace" to show up at nightmares 3 while the other menaces' equivalent cards show up at 2.

Counting the days... feh, whatever. Actively pursuing it isn't worth the actions. Not every option which can sometimes increase CtD should always be able to do so. It's wonky for "A moment's peace" to not have a CtD gap like the other cards do, but I think it'd be better for each card to have a gap than for none of them to have a gap. CtD is broken into four chunks IIRC, so each card could have an always-open option and then a CtD option for three of the chunks. Part of the fun of CtD is that the opportunities to increase it change over time, because that creates a sense that time is actually passing in the city.

--
Perhaps our role on this planet is not to worship God — but to create Him.
—Sir Arthur C Clarke

Lionel Anchovies. Social actions welcome, but don't increase my Menaces without putting a warning in the invitation.
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Jeremy Avalon
Jeremy Avalon
Posts: 341

12 days ago
Rostygold wrote:
Gillsing wrote:
The point is that there are supposed to be inherent imbalances between various options/cards.

You could say that - but those different cards deal with different Menaces.

You can attribute asymmetric design to a bunch of things if they lead to the same outcome. This is not the case.



That's called "asymmetric balance", not "asymmetric design". StarCraft and Fallen London have different design goals.

Among the latter's goals is that menaces are pretty universally a bad thing! (Unless you're at Heart's Desire - The Topsy King 18.) Cards unlocked from menaces aren't generally supposed to be "efficient". They're supposed to be an opportunity for your character to address the breakneck pace at which they've been stealing, dueling, and staying up all night. 3 CP of menace reduction is not "junk", either, compared to, say, time in bed. (The Slavering Dream-Hound notwithstanding, and besides, it's pretty rare for exactly that reason.)

Edit: also, on the subject of design intentions, there's this.
edited by Jeremy Avalon on 7/14/2017

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Rigor Mortis, a web comic about three little undead girls and their search for friendship and decent Wi-Fi in Hell. If you like the more comedic and humane side of FL, you might like it.
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Tozh Taurog
Tozh Taurog
Posts: 70

12 days ago
For the record: At least this player does NOT want to see Fallen London become a blandly uniform resource grind. I'm reasonably sure I'm not the only one who likes FL with asymmetry, character, surprises, frustrations, unfairness and unpredictability. Thank you.

If I wanted Progress Quest I'd go and download it. No need to turn FL into one.

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A Correspondent. Thrilled to advance science by educating the younger generation at your Orphanage. A Marvellous player. Willing to talk about it to the press. An Extraordinary Mind but hasn't figured out the patronage just yet.
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http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/TozhTaurog
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AnyBellaCoolHusky
AnyBellaCoolHusky
Posts: 11

12 days ago
This atrocity will not stand, and I must correct your ill-informed misconceptions, however harsh and venomous my tone shall become.

Progress Quest is the pinnacle of asymmetry (only one stat is useful; the others, chopped livers), character (dung elves), surprises, frustration, unfairness and unpredictability. This quaint dirt-drowned backwater city bereft of sunlight cannot possibly contain any adventure that can match the legendary thrills of Progress Quest! Now shoo!




Cool

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✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 138

11 days ago
Gillsing wrote:
Judging by how many junk cards there already are in the deck, I don't believe FBG consider cards being junk a reason to do anything about them.

I know, I know - but there has been some changes which I like. For example, one of the formerly pesky and annoying cards with the grinning Devil on it has been rendered hella useful.

There are also some earlier implementation of content, such as the Lodgings which remove cards which have been labelled as City Vices. I know that they give decks of only 3 lots, but at least Failbetter has been paying attention.

P.S. That said, I just realized that since you are using that Orthographic Infection, you might well be letting a lot of junk cards into your deck.
edited by Rostygold on 7/15/2017
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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 138

11 days ago
suinicide wrote:
Yes, junk cards exist so you can regain actions without sacrificing the nice cards you want to play.

I would prefer to draw the nice cards outright and spend my actions on them instead.

Yeah, yeah, I expect the counter-argument about "you might as well be asking for an easy mode" - but using the nice cards is more than just having Action points for them. Some of them even use more than one point.

That's the kind of gameplay complexity that I prefer: juggling opportunity costs when there are so many good options but not enough resources to pursue them all.

Not luck of the draw and getting stupid useless cards.
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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 138

11 days ago
Jeremy Avalon wrote:
That's called "asymmetric balance", not "asymmetric design". StarCraft and Fallen London have different design goals.

There is no official convention on game design terms. This is just semantics.

Jeremy Avalon wrote:
Edit: also, on the subject of design intentions, there's this.

Alexis Kennedy is no longer in Failbetter. He may still be around, but really, since he wrote that, his influence had better wane. Little wonder why Sunless Sea was praised for great writing, but ass gameplay in so many reviews. (I have played it too - my best experiences with that game was reading the stories; everything else was tedious sh**.)

That said, asymmetry is not always good, especially when it affects the utility of game content.
edited by Rostygold on 7/15/2017
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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 138

11 days ago
AnyBellaCoolHusky wrote:
This atrocity will not stand, and I must correct your ill-informed misconceptions, however harsh and venomous my tone shall become.

I know that you might well be joking, you might not be serious and that you are writing your text with in-universe Fallen London Victorian-esque flavour.
But since this remark of yours comes from someone who has become so smitten with Fallen London's presentation that gameplay designs are a non-issue, I would take your remark with a fistful of salt.
AnyBellaCoolHusk wrote:
This quaint dirt-drowned backwater city bereft of sunlight cannot possibly contain any adventure that can match the legendary thrills of Progress Quest! Now shoo!

Tozh Taurog wrote:
For the record: At least this player does NOT want to see Fallen London become a blandly uniform resource grind. I'm reasonably sure I'm not the only one who likes FL with asymmetry, character, surprises, frustrations, unfairness and unpredictability. Thank you.

I am not raising a matter about making resource gains or resource grinds easier. How the hell did you think that this thread is about resource gains?

I have seen too many fools like you who misinterpret the intentions of the thread-opener in the forums of so, so many other sites. I was mistaken to think that Failbetter's forums could have a better class of users. No place on the Internet is sacrosanct from fools like you.

That said, I will repeat again: the thread-opening post is about the utility of certain game content - not some rant about this or that carousel and sh** like the Flash Lay threads.

Maybe you think that I have a secondary desire of wanting the Counting the Days cycle becoming easier to grind, since I mentioned Counting the Days - but do be reminded that there are already storylets for doing that, and they are much, much easier to use for grinding Counting the Days than the Menace-management cards are.
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Estelle Knoht
Estelle Knoht
Posts: 1653

11 days ago
I don't think AnyBella is even responding to you so much as poking fun at Progress Quest? You may want to calm down, though, regardless.

That said, I understand where you come from - there is very little reason to actually play these menace cards over any sort of menace reduction after you have seen the text. I personally think it is more of a relic of the time when veteran players don't have as much access to menace reduction, but I'd say it is probably a problem best solved by just doubling the reduction and CtD, or some such, to make them more attractive.

That's coming from someone who paid a lot and relentlessly use alts for personal benefit and hates math in general, so my perspective is incredibly skewed.
edited by Estelle Knoht on 7/15/2017

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I currently do not accept any catbox, suppers, calling cards or proteges.
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Yeah
Yeah
Posts: 51

11 days ago
Look at all these non-shepherds, having to worry about menaces.


Jokes aside, I think these cards are just about fine where they are, so long as all of them are fitted to have a CtD option. Then again, I'm potentially biased in favour of CtD, given the only substantial post I've made on the forums is about it.

--
Yeah Man - A Bleeding-heart hoarder of curiosities.
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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 138

11 days ago
Yeah wrote:
Jokes aside, I think these cards are just about fine where they are, so long as all of them are fitted to have a CtD option. Then again, I'm potentially biased in favour of CtD, given the only substantial post I've made on the forums is about it.

I only used the carousel for the Tomb-Colonies renown grind, because there are so few other means of getting Tomb-Colonies favours. (Maybe the upcoming Mayor Feducci card would fix this.)

P.S. The Shepherd option to reduce Menaces is rather expensive. It's likely best when urgency is a concern.
edited by Rostygold on 7/17/2017
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Passionario
Passionario
Posts: 702

11 days ago
If you want to see assymetry in Menace design, consider Irrigo, Turncoat, Plagued by a Popular Song and Troubled Waters.

Compared to them, lesser Menaces might as well be identical to each other.
edited by Passionario on 7/15/2017

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These are my words to the merciful night.
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suinicide
suinicide
Posts: 1957

11 days ago
Rostygold wrote:
suinicide wrote:
Yes, junk cards exist so you can regain actions without sacrificing the nice cards you want to play.

I would prefer to draw the nice cards outright and spend my actions on them instead.

Yeah, yeah, I expect the counter-argument about &quotyou might as well be asking for an easy mode&quot - but using the nice cards is more than just having Action points for them. Some of them even use more than one point.

That's the kind of gameplay complexity that I prefer: juggling opportunity costs when there are so many good options but not enough resources to pursue them all.

Not luck of the draw and getting stupid useless cards.


Actually my counter argument is: I would prefer to play through the stories, rather than feel like all of my actions need to go to the good cards I just drew.

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/profile/sunnytime
A gentleman seeking the liberation of knowledge, with a penchant for violence.
RIP suinicide, stuck in a well. Still has it under control.
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