Acquaintance Actions Missing?

My guess would be that the issue wasn’t that the cards weren’t being played often enough, but that they were being played too often.

There are a veritable plethora of ways to increase your Counting the Days quality (see here). Most of them, however, are either opportunity cards or require you to belong to a particular faction or have a particular quality.

My guess would be that most people didn’t bother with them, and used the Acquaintances instead, as using the other method is a pain for most characters (unless you’re a Master Thief who’s sold his soul and is aligned with the Bohemians/Great Game) so all the work adding these options to a bunch of opportunity cards was wasted. Moving the Acquaintances to an opportunity card puts all of these options on the same footing.

And, sure, if you’ve already gone through this cycle as many times as needed to get your Iron Republic Safe-Conduct (and, if so desired, the flavorful but not particularly useful Consonant Violin), then any change to–or even complete removal of–the Counting the Days system or Acquaintances is largely irrelevant. For those who still need or want those items, however, this change made that task a lot more irritating without any real compensating benefit.

[quote=Little The]But from the games we’ve seen (Cabinet Noir and The Silver Tree) they’re not used the same way.

I think part of the problem is that the card mechanics for Fallen London and Storynexus are completely different and serve different purposes. Reconciling them seems to be creating some friction.[/quote]

But they can be used the same way, and likely will be for Fallen London. Maybe there will be some minor alterations so there isn’t a huge amount of pinned cards cluttering up the interface, but it’s not like the availability of everything is going to be at the whim of an RNG.

I really can’t help but feel that this is mostly about removing another storylet that allows (allowed) us to grind Connected: Criminals (and The Great Game, but I think more Criminals), and moving it to a less frequent, and therefor less problematic, opportunity card.
edited by Abraham Bounty on 6/29/2013

Actually, no, they can’t. Pinned cards can, but the functionality of Sometimes cards is pretty much the exact opposite of how opportunities work in Fallen London. In FL, the opportunities deck is completely separate from the action counter, with its own timer. If you draw a card you don’t want, it doesn’t cost anything to discard it (unless it’s a menace card). This works well for situational or miscellaneous actions, as well as more typical storylets that are rarer but have above-average rewards.

In Storynexus, however, the Sometimes deck doesn’t have its own timer – you can burn through all your actions trying to draw cards. This means that if you get a card you don’t want, it’s a more significant loss, but it also means that you can make an aspect of the game card-dependent, because players can burn their actions to draw more cards.

That’s why I’m a little worried. If FL moves to the SN card model, it will radically change an element of the game that the rest of the game has been developed around for years. If they don’t change the model, but do change the content to reflect SN, it leads to awkwardness and grumblings as we see here.

I’m sure the developers have a working plan for everything, but right now we’re in a transitional phase, which may be a bit painful as we get used to the new systems.
[li]

It’s not just the mechanics. The SN mechanics lend themselves to a completely different kind of game than Fallen London, where the meat of the actual game itself is found in the opportunity cards rather than the always-available storylets.

I’ve been getting the sense that the Fallen London we know and love is more a historical accident than anything else, that it isn’t necessarily the game FBG wanted, but rather one they lived with because of the mechanical limitations they were faced with at the time. (That’s not to rule out FL-on-SN as being a good game or even a better game, but I’m beginning to think it’s going to be a very different game.)

Take the current trend toward opaqueness and randomness. Most of the new storylines are using obfuscated qualities, where you don’t get to see a progress bar and have to go to your inventory page (or maybe even use your scrapbook/mantelpiece) just to see the value. This is being used in situations where it’s not really needed (e.g., Archaeologist) and even in situations where it’s actually nonsensical to hide the quality’s value (e.g., Proud Parade of Victories).

Likewise, we’re seeing more hiding of checks. In the old FL, for example, using Whispered Secrets to gain Expedition Supplies would have been labelled as a luck check. Now, it’s effectively still a luck check, but coding it as a rare success means that players don’t get to see the odds.

We’re also seeing less in the way of warning labels. An obvious example would be the removal of the &quotLearn some tricks&quot opportunity cards quite a few months back, which were replaced with the connection cards which do the same thing, but don’t actually warn you that you’re trading in connections for stats.

You could even add in the switch to the Broad difficulty system, which makes it easier to have storylets with unavoidable random failure, and the change to Second Chances, which removed their use as insurance against random failure.

This isn’t to say that change is bad or that the end result won’t still be a fun game, but yes, there are some indications that there’s been a pretty substantial shift in the game’s underlying philosophy, and the current thinking seems to be that adding more luck, randomness and surprise makes for a better game.

I can’t speak for any player other than myself, but I will say that I used the location-specific options quite a bit, particularly when I wanted to increase my &quotCounting the Days&quot quality.

Actually, no, they can’t. Pinned cards can, but the functionality of Sometimes cards is pretty much the exact opposite of how opportunities work in Fallen London. In FL, the opportunities deck is completely separate from the action counter, with its own timer. If you draw a card you don’t want, it doesn’t cost anything to discard it (unless it’s a menace card). This works well for situational or miscellaneous actions, as well as more typical storylets that are rarer but have above-average rewards.

In Storynexus, however, the Sometimes deck doesn’t have its own timer – you can burn through all your actions trying to draw cards. This means that if you get a card you don’t want, it’s a more significant loss, but it also means that you can make an aspect of the game card-dependent, because players can burn their actions to draw more cards.

That’s why I’m a little worried. If FL moves to the SN card model, it will radically change an element of the game that the rest of the game has been developed around for years. If they don’t change the model, but do change the content to reflect SN, it leads to awkwardness and grumblings as we see here.

I’m sure the developers have a working plan for everything, but right now we’re in a transitional phase, which may be a bit painful as we get used to the new systems.
[/quote]

I was just referring to Pinned cards in that post. Honestly, I’m looking forward to the SN Deck Mechanics being applied to FL since it’d be easier to stay focused on what I want to do. I know not everybody would be happy with it, but that’s just my opinion on the matter.

For me it’s the opposite. With storylets, if I want to do something (say get a quality to some level, or get some amount of resource), I go to a location and do that storylet. With cards you basically draw whatever and hope that you’v drawn something usefull. I never finished The Silver Tree because in that game even though I had goals, I could not do anything meaningful to advance them. The cards and resources that I got were totally random, so you just played everything until you got enough of what you needed.
Same here, if you need a Mark, instead of visiting your friends in a certain location and doing something about it, you must wait for days until you get the card you want. Then wait for days again. And again. In the end I just stop caring about the thing that I wanted to do and play something else.

My problem is that I feel the need to draw cards while I’d rather do a storylet, and when a good card comes up I feel obligated to play it. Other times I’ll want to draw a certain card, but there are only so many cards you can go through per day under the current system and it’s a bit frustrating trying to find something to do in the meantime. It’ll be nice when I can dedicate actions strictly to what I want to do.