All Good Things

So, the conversation came up with my friends about Fallen London endgame content, and I remembered an old blog post about the release time of Fallen London’s endgame being released and stats being raised to 200 by October 2012. Now, please don’t think I’m demanding new things or complaining, as I’m glad for the new content that keeps coming, and I love seeing what I’m seeing, but I can’t help but wonder: when should we start expecting things in Fallen London to reach their conclusion? I’m very excited to pursue my Ambition to the end, and to see where that gets me. I understand that involves a lot of writing and coding, and I’m not meaning to be like one of the people who want content on demand. I’m just curious as to when I should start trembling with even more anticipation.

I don’t know, really. I kind of like this world. I could handle another year or two before we start contemplating the climax of the Neath’s struggles.Let’s bask for just a while longer. Plus,for my money, we’re hardly halfway through.We’re in what, act three of Watchful? There’s easily another two Acts worth of set ups and foreshadowing already, if you ask me. The Cheery Man? The Last Constable? The Orient? Finger kings? The Clay Quarters? The blind pianist? We haven’t even figured out the Privy Counselor’s deal is. Not to mention His Amused Lordship. And why shouldn’t I fall in love in Wilmot’s End?
edited by friendshipranger on 1/26/2013

There’s certainly a lot left to cover, and I’ve no problem with them taking their time. I might get antsy now and then, wondering when promised features will materialise - the ability to change Dilmun Club patrons or favoured Connections, for instance - but I’m certainly glad it didn’t all end in October!

I am greatful for the new content/stories. I want the game to have some endgame, but I think we are still pretty far from it. As for the time… well, we just have to wait, there is nothing to it. Although I do wish Failbetter would finish some old stories first, before adding even more new ones. I mean, The Cheery Man and The Last Constable are very well and all. But we have stuff like
a nocturnal visitor to the Palace Cellars
(still get the card from this)
Playing with Broken Toys (was this ever finished? I think not)
Visiting Clathermont’s Tattoo Parlour (wouldn’t even remember what this is about, if not for the Wiki)

And then there are people like the Secular Missionary, Firebrand Revolutionary, Honey-sipping Heiress and The Quiet Deviless, who were simply put on a Bus so long ago. I think they were supposed to be Constant Companions, but never made it, and now their qualities just hang there… A great pity, since The Quiet Deviless was my favourite.

As for the next Act, the Court (more politics! let’s get us some real political power!), University (more Correspondence! Correspondence is always good!) and the Labyrinth (more… Coils?!) are still there. The is also this matter of the Glass and the Shroud.

Good points all! In fact, I’ve started a little list here of the points we’ve discussed and others I could think of.

The October finality date was pushed back to December in a blog post from last Summer, and then pushed back further to ‘eventually.’
Which is fine. I think Failbetter’s focus right now is StoryNexus and Fallen London is just going to have to take a back seat until that’s finished. Much like Mary Kay Ash never sold cosmetics but rather sold women on selling cosmetics, I think the notion is not to sell free to play games, but sell people on making free to play games, which is a very cool and novel idea.

If the last year’s worth of progress in terms of story is any indication, we’re years away from the story of Fallen London being concluded. Even when it is, I’m sure there will be epilogues. I hope to have my Cider(which will take at least two years) by the time all is said and done.
I would rather Fallen London take years to finish and be written and designed with the standard of excellence which has made it the best browser game in the history of the English language than for it to be done haphazardly just to say I finished it.
In the meantime there is no end in sight to the number of things you have yet to accomplish in Fallen London.

I confess I am rather pleased that there appears to be no end in sight for Fallen London. I want to keep playing it for a good long time yet! The idea of it suddenly finishing gives me the vapours…

The Pillars, North and The Elder Continent. And I agree. I do not want the Neath to finish yet.
edited by Aximillio on 1/26/2013

I suspect it’d almost be easier to compile a list of the major story plots that HAVE been wrapped up.

Jack. And…um…that’s pretty much it. The affair of the box, I guess but it opened up a lot of new questions of its own.

[color=#009900]Epic response! because a lot of these are things I keep meaning to talk about.[/color]
[color=#009900]Yup, the October 2012 date has been postponed to (my wild and very non-binding guess) Dec 2014. Ambitions will wrap up before that - they’re all basically in the fourth act of five, but a couple need some other material created first, and we’re reluctant to finish one without finishing all. This is mostly due to other projects - StoryNexus, Machine Cares, Cabinet Noir, Night Circus, Silver Tree, Black Crown and an unannounced probable project I can’t even give a codename for. When I look back over what we’ve done since 2010, I sometimes wonder when the hell any of us got any sleep.[/color]
[color=#009900]Re story threads being wrapped up. If you mean tied in a neat bow, with no further possible outcomes or consequences… I can’t think of one that is or will be until the game closes. That’s not how Fallen London works. :) But in terms of stories that have a proper ending of some kind, then off the top of my head - Black Ribbon, Comtessa, Loquacious Vicar, Mysterious Benefactor, Battle of Wolfstack Docks, Black-Framed Painting, Correspondence Stones, Affair of the Box, Jack, Big Rat, Velocipede Squad, Cheesemonger, Rubbery Murders, Flute Street, Long-lost Daughter, Regretful Soldier, Silk-clad Expert, Temple Club, War of Assassins, the University whodunnit, Voyage of Scientific Discovery, Person of Some Importance, Inconvenienced by your Aunt… I could go on. Of course, everyone remembers the ones that are left hanging, not the ones they polished off two years ago![/color]
[color=#009900]BUT! I know some stories are long due a resolution (Secular Missionary is a good example). I promise that nothing has been forgotten, only postponed.[/color]
[color=#009900]So where are the stories? Well, first of all, we are writing them, but the more content we have, the less significant new content looks. If we added a hundred storylets at launch, we’d have tripled our content. Now it’d be about a 3% increase. It’s a rare day when I don’t add at least a little FL content, and I literally can’t remember the last time a week passed without at least a token addition.[/color]
[color=#009900]Secondly, a lot of the deep mysteries that power the major plotlines are layered as all hell, and they were meant to be that way. The story has had a lot to say about (eg) the agenda of the Bazaar, its history, its relationship with the Masters, the identity of characters like the Duchess and the Widow and the King with a Hundred Hearts - there are answers of some kind to all of these out there. The lacre content answered questions left over from 2009. And a lot of those answers do raise more questions, sure. But that, as the adage has it, is a feature not a bug. :-) I always wanted to create a world that players could swim in for years. When all the doors are opened, we’ll be shutting off lights and putting chairs on tables. [/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)] T[/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]here is a specific answer to every significant question in the game. That answer may never be laid out in an expository conversation - the nature of the Gothic genre is that some matters are left to be understood generally but at a distance, like shapes under black sheets - but it’s there.[/color]

[color=#009900]Thirdly, we have a really narrow content pipeline, and we need to balance enrichment of the early game - the only part most people see - with enrichment of the late game - the part that our most dedicated players see. So we have to apply our efforts carefully, and while we can see from the database what the bulk of our players are doing, that’s not always obvious from outside. And sometimes we’ve delayed a story until the original writer can come back on to work on it, and by the time they’re available, something else urgent has come up. And of course sometimes we just have a better or more important idea that we really need to add right now. Or sometimes we just get carried away by enthusiasm.[/color]
[color=#009900]But even the least of these stories are like difficult but well-loved elderly relatives in remote market towns. We honestly mean to get back to them - we miss them and we’d like to see more of them. And one day, we will. Thanks for your patience - it’s the enthusiastic responses that make all this fun.[/color]
[color=#009900](edit: typos)[/color]
edited by Alexis on 1/26/2013

A heartwarming reply from the developers! Thank you :)

[quote=Alexis Kennedy]
[color=#009900]The lacre content answered questions left over from 2009.[/color][/quote]

Alexis, any chance, you make the Lacre conent (re)playable with Fate for people, who missed it?
edited by Fhoenix on 1/26/2013

Speaking of lacre content, is there going to be any opportunity to increase Veteran of Mr Sacks this year or is the Twelve Days of Mr Sacks roughly equivalent to that anyway?
and does Putting the Pieces Together: Lacre actually do anything

I must say I’m looking forward to things moving forward, things coming to ends, and things that have been around for a while that have yet to be discovered. (Assets for Mind of a Long-Dead God have been around since February, for instance)

[quote=Spacemarine9]Speaking of lacre content, is there going to be any opportunity to increase Veteran of Mr Sacks this year or is the Twelve Days of Mr Sacks roughly equivalent to that anyway?
and does Putting the Pieces Together: Lacre actually do anything[/quote]

It seemed to me like Putting the Pieces Together: Lacre was an experiment in telling a story through quality change descriptors. Lots of things would give you a clue, raising the quality, but what the clue was depended on how many you’d found so far.

>font=Arial, Tahomaplayable with Fate[/font]

[color=#009900]Fraid not - it’s seasonal content that I want to keep fresh and special (plus, I can just smell the hate-mail I’d get). It’s probably going to follow the Mr Sacks model of returning, expanded, next Christmas.[/color]
>is there going to be any opportunity to increase Veteran of Mr Sacks this year or is the Twelve Days of Mr Sacks roughly equivalent to that anyway? and does Putting the Pieces Together: Lacre actually do anything

[color=#009900]There are definitely answers to these questions: I promise.[/color]

While we’re asking about the Christmas content - will the Masters’ rewards ever be available again?

From Alexis’s reply (note: expanded, not replaced), I assume we will have to wait for next Christmas

i really want a terrifying weathervane even if i have to jump off a dirgible and stab myself on it to get one of the seven candles or something

Also we’re probably asking a WHOLE BUNCHA questions but there is one thing i want to know: iIs there anything super cool and hidden that nobody’s come across yet in the vein of the Mind of a Long-Dead God?
or would that ruin the surprise

Speaking of that. Who do I need to kill, to get me some more Dreams? Where is Cthulhu, when you need him?

[color=#009900]Fred, Fhoenix - yup, it’ll likely be available next Christmas, but I don’t want to make rash guarantees.[/color]

[color=#009900]Yes, definitely.[/color]
[color=#009900]No, I’m being cheap. [/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)] [/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]there are a lot of odd little secrets, shortcuts and Easter eggs, but [/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]I don’t think there is anything extant and undiscovered of that size and scope. Apart from the Enigma ambition of course.[/color]