Fallen London is no fun anymore

… which I never read :sweat_smile:. But I agree with you that using it as a medium for all kinds of in-game announcements would be a great idea, especially because they wouldn’t have to develop something completely new - just expand the use of a tool that’s already there!

It would also give more people a reason to actually read the Gazette. Currently it seems mostly useful for players who religiously follow Bone & Rat Market fads - last time I looked, at least. There might’ve been more interesting stuff that I missed.


Point of fact, it actually does tell about crab hunts and such. Including seasonal stuff would be great.

It’s a small bother to check though. There was a time when all the updates were Monday or Tuesday morning, but some events can get enabled on a Thursday and Waswood cycles Thursday afternoon. If there was at least a commitment that here are, say, three times of the week stuff could happen, the newspaper would be great.

1 Like

You know, thinking about it, I think the main thing that FBG should change to help ameliorate these issues is just… make each stage of each event longer. If each section lasts 24+ hours (preferably 48+) then that resolves like all the complaints, right?

It does seem like it’s challenging for FBG to estimate how long these events take when they depend on people contributing, but it does seem they’re getting better at it.


Yeah I think tying changes of event state, duration, or reward to number of player actions is the problem. If, for example, they tied it to exactly 24 hour cycles as you say, then that would allow everyone to have an “equal chance” regardless of timezone, and assuming rewards similarly didn’t change, everyone would have the same payoffs. I could see the lifeberg being a 3-day event for example, with a new stage starting every 24 hours, with everyone getting an even shot per day to do equivalent stuff with equivalent rewards. Just using a day counter instead of an action counter seems like it would side-step a lot of these problems but still allow relatively short-term events. Anything other than exactly 24 hours increments on an event seems to fall afoul of the Timezone Equality Principle.


Here’s an idea: how about in this single-player game we just don’t allow other players’ “contributions” to affect my experience? Or at least not in a way that reduces an event’s duration?


And how about we stop using the word “contribution” to refer to players consuming part of a shared resource?


Yeah I think tying changes of event state, duration, or reward to number of player actions is the problem.

Here’s an idea: how about in this single-player game we just don’t allow other players’ “contributions” to affect my experience?

Yeah, I suppose that’s a fundamental disconnect then. Because having player actions have some effect on a global state seems to be the fundamental point of this sort of design. I certainly enjoy that part, building up progress bars to some sort of conclusion, feeling like my actions actually matter to bringing the event to some conclusion. (I.e. “contribute”, despite PJ’s derision at the term…)


To offer examples of timed/measured World Qualities I thought worked, I’d like to applaud Preparations for a Vast Revel, mechanically. We had a fixed window, but a generous window: it was there all December so if we left London or had to be offline for a while, no big concern! But we still had a gentle back-burner curiosity of what, exactly, these Preparations might do. And then the value we all contributed towards meant we had a bigger shared pool of spins at the “glim → wine” conversion Card. The balancing seems to have been a bit overcautious since we’re still chipping away at that, but the format of “everyone can leisurely add to it, and the more that’s added the more is available for everyone” is, to put it succinctly, very nice.

I also like the old The Aftermath of the Great Sink Card which progressed with communal contributions to give a new bit of text, and a better option, but at a rate slow enough that one needn’t worry about missing anything.

(This is intentionally ignoring the narrative chunks that were available for only 24 hours for both events, of course, which were narratively associated but not mechanically linked to these specific world qualities. I’m wary of overgeneralizing, but I feel comfortable saying that if something’s only available in this entirely made up world for less than 48 human hours I hate it and think it’s needlessly restrictive.)


The only other thing added to the newspaper is what’s going on in the Waswood.

I agree that 48 hours would be an ideal min for very short events or event elements; that would take away a lot of the stress of trying not to miss out if you have a busy day and/or are on an inconvenient time zone, while still keeping it tight enough to get that madcap excitement that the faster-paced parts of the GCO and the Museum had.


48 hours is too short IMO.

1 Like

I’d prefer longer than 48 for most things, but I’d find it acceptable for stuff like the occasional short, intense phase of an event, like a few parts of the Museum opening were. The very intense phases where you’re frantically throwing everything you’ve got at it are great fun, when I’m not too worried about missing everything because I’ve had a busy day in the wrong time zone. But it does need to be balanced with some calmer bits and catch-up time, like the Museum had.

Honestly, I’m not sure I get benefit from specifically the shared aspects of World Qualities - I’m often too late to the party to feel like I’m really contributing that much so I think it’d be largely the same experience whether or not other people’s actions did actually affect my world, and I’m an old-school, single-player person who doesn’t like other people in my videogames on principle - but I’ve really, really enjoyed the kinds of stories and varied mechanics it’s encouraged/allowed FB to make, and especially the way events are constructed around a feeling of connection to all the people of our neathy London, pulling together and sharing big experiences. Whether the people of London who this draws on include my fellow players or just His Amused Lordship and the Soft-hearted Widow and some random urchins and bohemians in the background, might not matter to me, but what they’re doing with it all really does. After going through the GCO and the Museum opening, I feel really, deeply fond of this world and everyone in it, in a way I never did before.


FBG is clearly aims for 3-7 days duration for in-between-festivals timed events. Yes, they missed this goal for first crabs/lifeberg, but then adjusted the numbers. So major concerns discussed here were addressed long before this thread was created.

I believe timed events are intentionally surprising. Designed to break your routine (or present an opportunity, because they are not really obligatory). I fail to see how they could make the whole game not fun. Even if you miss them, you are not missing much. No unique or powerful rewards, no deep lore.

I do agree on the point that announcements are half-working at best. We need better ways to inform players in game.


What I don’t understand is this:
The game that you felt was fun still exists.
Nothing was ripped out.
All the mind-boggling grinds.
All the very dubious rewards.
All still there.

Personally, I play for the story.
I have looked at what it would take to grind up some of the prestigious items, and have decided that cider and hellworms just aren’t worth looking away from the story for so long.

At the moment I am enjoying the business of a correspondent very much, in ways that probably make little sense in the metagame.

But I don’t care about the parts of the game that are not for me.
Some people enjoy those.
Some people even (ostensibly) enjoy SMEN.

I don’t feel bad that they have something that I don’t want.
That seems silly, to me.