[quote=Jeremy Avalon]1. Social actions are generally the best menace reductions. There are occasionally some better options but you won’t have access to them for some time. If you don’t want to pester people, however, then getting involved in Counting the Days will provide you a decent alternative.
- Conflict cards are actually the best long-term method of raising most connections. Every time you play one, you gain twice as many points in the favored faction as you lose with the other, so if you alternate between them, it’s a net gain. If your connections are lower than 10, you can relatively cheaply level them up at Mrs Plenty’s Carnival. There are also items you can purchase from the Bazaar that allow you to raise most connections to 20 by spending goods, and beyond 20 with Fate, but those may be out of your price range as a non-POSI. The only factions this doesn’t work for are the University factions, the Duchess, and Criminals. You will eventually unlock a storylet that allows you to grind Duchess and Bohemian connections in the Shuttered Palace; the University is best served through the Endowment of a University Fellowship (100 Echoes at the Bazaar); and Criminals can be built up to 50 in the Flit, and beyond with opportunity cards.
Also, if "most important" to you is the Great Game, I suggest buying a Sulky Bat. It has an associated opportunity card that gives 3 Certifiable Scrap on success and some Connected: Great Game on failure, with no negative effects.
- Don’t spend Fate on action refreshes. Just don’t. You will want to save that Fate for:
- the Fate-locked conclusion to the Labyrinth of Tigers
- The Gift
- A Trade In Souls
- Uncovering Secrets Framed in Gold
- Flute Street
- and perhaps other content that may interest you
There are many quality pieces of Fate-locked content in London, and until you run out, they are a far better use of your dosh than simply "more actions", especially when your stats are still low.
There will rarely be places where you are forced to ditch a faction entirely, and when you do, you can always grind it back up through the methods I mentioned in #2. But if you want to unravel the most secret things in the Neath, then I will give you one piece of advice: never let morals distract you from the pursuit of knowledge.
Nothing, and everything, because you are not a Person of Some Importance yet. Once you reach that point (100 in all stats), many expensive opportunities will open up to you. Having saved the various items you’ve already acquired by that point will be very helpful in lessening the amount of grind you’ll need to buy some of them.
Simply play storylets that are available to you. Each stat has a very well-defined starting area (I’m sure you’ve noticed) appropriate up to level 60, and an equally well-defined second-tier area for up to ~level 80-90. Once you reach 60 in a stat you will want to begin looking into paying for permanent access to the Forgotten Quarter, Wolfstack Docks, the Shuttered Palace, and the Flit.
There are many such storylets, but most of them require much higher stats than you currently have – they’re considered end game grinding, such as the Affair of the Box, the War of Assassins, the Velocipede Squad, or the Carnelian Coast, which all require relatively high stats (160+) to be profitable. Don’t worry about the Echo value of your actions until/unless you have run out of story content to see.[/quote]
^ I could not have worded this much better myself.
Re: #3, all of them are useful but for what you’re describing, your Watchful stat will become quite useful. But don’t feel that you need to power-level at all. Fallen London isn’t a race to an imaginary finish line, and the early content won’t be available later if your Qualities get too high and the lower-level stories become obsolete. Instead, enjoy the ride. :-)
Re: #5, in your lodgings is FIND NEW STORIES: Chat with the Local Gossip, which can be particularly helpful.
If you’re not sure what to be doing or where to go next, that action is a pretty handy way to see where you should be going. (If it shows areas you feel you’ve already covered, it’s possible you may have missed something, not completed the story arc, or aren’t quite at the point where you’re qualified to progress further. In that situation, I suggest exploring somewhere else, as you can always come back to the area later. If nothing seems useful, explore the areas you have unlocked and see if there’s anything new and interesting in those areas that you may have missed.)
As for money, don’t worry about that just yet. There will be more profitable options later on, and rushing ahead through the earlier stories in the hope of cash is not the best way to experience the game. Fixating on profit will likely cause you to skip over the details, and those Whispered Hints in the early stories become Cryptic Clues as you progress, until eventually you realise the Extraordinary Implications and ponder the Direful Reflections of what you’ve learnt along the way.
(I’m honestly not implying anything by that - it’s just something that crossed my mind earlier today: that in some ways, the world-building in this game is comparable to the progression of ‘Mysteries’ category items, and I just wanted to take a moment to appear clever. :-p )