I’ll speak up as someone who will not/cannot pay: I think I don’t mind the Glim sculptor that much (and I used him to get to SotC7). But the Aunt, and lodgings are different because they are choices made with such greater long term consequence than you know at the time (I’m looking at you, cowering over there in the corner, Mr. Artist!)
And, those are somewhat counter intuitive choices: I couldn’t afford much, but I was so pleased when I picked up all of the lodgings. I
thought I had seriously accomplished something! And I remember chucking my Aunt (I have fearsome ones in real life too) out the door. I thought, ha! I accomplished something!
But that was seriously before I realized that discarding your opportunity cards is safer. Wiser. And what you should do if playing optimally (more on that latter)
And that’s a shame, because the opportunity deck is such an interesting concept. My favorite parts of the game are those with their own deck: Heists, at Zee, Pickpocketing, and the Flash Lays, which I hope will improve even more in the future. I’ll even do these areas as someone who doesn’t have a 5 card hand and half of the time forgets to switch to a 4 card hand from a remote address before starting.
And the location specific cards are such a great concept! I like the rare cards and rejoice when I find them: I’ve two moods in hand for the first time ever and I drew both today - go RNG go! And hey, I just drew a card I’ve never seen before for having Connected:Criminals 20! Are you trying to bribe me, Mr. RNG?
But for new players, those of us who’ve been here for awhile have to advise when asked - don’t depend on the deck. Discard what you can’t manage right now. Don’t buy anything you’ll regret later. Don’t clog up your deck, because that can’t be fixed. Don’t pursuit undesirable connections because they’ll just make things worse (I mean, I seriously considered going ridiculously out of character and stabbing that poor Rubbery Thing to get him out of my life. It took me the better part of three days to kill my Rubbery connection).
And that’s a shame, because there’s lots I tried out as a newer player just because I didn’t know how it would work. But if someone asks on the forum how best to do something, it’s usually, well, grind this storylet or try this conversion tree or luck check. Because you can depend on it being there when you need it and it’s more profitable than card flipping. It’s quicker, it’d be straightforward.
Being a non-paying player, I accept my 12-30 cards per day, and I check in very often. I’m happy with that and the amount of content available is great - I know I’ve a few areas left to reach. But it is still a shame that a chunk of the deck in the main part of the game is rather static and doesn’t change or even become more difficult as time goes on. It’s something which keeps me checking in quicker than the 20 action candle would otherwise lead me to, but to be frank, I’m often disappointed when I need to send my aunt to the curb again. Because lady, I TOLD you to go to the surface, and stay there!