Montaigne Projector seems unbalanced

Sooo, why is the most expensive (non obscure energy) lamp, Montaigne Projector, the worst?

It gives you +10 mirrors and -10 veils, so it equates to giving you 0 additional general skill points.

The similarily priced Speculative Consonator gives you +4 mirrors, with no substraction to any other skills. So that’s +4 compared to 0 gained points at the same pretty expensive (4000 echos) price.

Soooo. Here’s the breakdown of all lamps and skill points gained per 1000 echo of investment (which is a pretty stupid measure for the two cheapest lamps, but still):

Montaigne Projector 0 points for 1000 echo
Judgement Resonator 1 point for 1000 echo
Speculative Consonator 1 point for 1000 echo
Blazing GIim-Lamp 3 points for 1000 echo
Soft Glimp-Lamp 4 points for 1000 echo (actually maxxes at 2 points for 500 echo)
Whithern Optical 10 points for 1000 echi (actually maxxes at 1 point for 100 echo)

Why would you do this to the poor Montaigne Projector, Failbetter? It seems like a total waste of echo for anyone, except if you rly need to move points from veils to mirrors. I mean, at least make it as good as the Judgement Resonator and Speculative Consonator.

It is pretty good at lowering your Veils for the Longshanks Gunner romance.

I can also see it being used by someone with a Dreadnaught and is into monster hunting. Once you are in port, just swap it with something cheaper.

If you have a Dreadnaught you have a Judgement Resonator.

I don’t think the Lamps are expressed well enough to be honest, and the fact that they seem to be a constant effect in stats rather than being simply relegated to sailing and combat is strange.

In theory, I thought lamps only affected Veils and Mirrors relative to calculations on detection and target acquisition while zailing and while the lamp is on. So that if the lamp is off, your Veils should shoot up to their normal levels, but you’re not getting the mirrors bonus described by the lamp.

Past that, their stat effects would not be felt in the game (i.e.their stat effects wouldn’t be used for skill checks and the like, because that really wouldn’t make much sense in the case of say, an on land skill check, because how is your in-port boat’s lamp affecting how much you’re able to thoroughly examine your soul in a secret chamber of the inner self?)

But then I saw that lamps, as well as ship stat bonuses affect all checks everywhere.

In that context, I suppose that, yeah, most of the lamps are semi useless weird trades of +mirrors for -veils, with only the later ones being strong contenders for utility.

I dunno, I think the heart of the issue has less to do with the lamps stats - which, in the assumption I originally made, made the lamp function quite fine - and more how universally equipment affects player stats when it probably shouldn’t. It’s honestly very vague and nonsensical in a great many instances right now. At least in how it’s presented.

I mean, if the player is exploring an interior jungle in a storylet, ON LAND, how is their ship’s increased or decreased stats affecting their roll on the skill check? Lots of storylets have the player’s captain do stuff by themselves. How is my crew actually helping me in those?

Seriously, there need to be markations on all challenges that show whether the challenge is using the player’s BASE stat, whether that’s using the Player’s SHIP stat (factors in their Ship, and any lamps or Auxiliary items therein that affect your stat) as well, or their CREW as well (the increases that come from your officers). At sea you’re using all three of these in conjunction at all times. In storylets, both the the ship and crew may not be available to boost the player’s stats depending on the context of the choice in that particular situation.

I mean, in Fallen London, sure. If your suit that your wearing increases the perception of how others look at you, it SHOULD raise your persuasion wherever you go. In Sunless Sea, that logic is still being applied, but to inland explorations and your boat that isn’t affecting that choice at all. It just doesn’t make sense.

One advantage of increasing the signposting on these factors might be the inclusion of some more choices on storylets, so that perhaps the player CAN make a safer more potentially safer choice by getting their crew or using their boat for a different outcome, and the player knows why that choice has a better shot (and some new choices can be written in with different results with this idea in mind for some more fun). The other advantage could be that this would mean the player needs to know what their base value in any given stat is, so they’ll include that somewhere in the game (seriously, does it not annoy anyone else that we can’t see like a character sheet that shows our base values in Hearts and whatnot? I can never remember until I trade in a secret with an officer)

Because the mechanics of the game don’t allow for conditional stat checks in the way you describe. So equipment and officers affect stats. I mean, you could extend the same logic to officers - are they with you, on shore? If so, why are there some interactions which say “let this dude go ashore”?

It’s just the way it is. Stuff changes your stats for all situations. I think it’s ok, and probably what 90% of people expect.

Back to the lamp question, the mirrors uptick on firing solutions isn’t that wonderful, really. You might save a fraction of a second, but it’s not going to make or break a combat.

I don’t see why it can’t do conditional stat checks when it already must do this at least somewhat to raise base stats through exchanging secrets with Officers.

I mean the game is able to recognize the difference between the player’s base and their total amount, obviously. Otherwise it would just be a big floating pool at all time, and when you raise your base stat through an officer, it would list your total amount of that stat in the subsequent text. There is some delineation going on there.

The game’s mechanics are totally capable of recognizing these conditions, it’s just not designed to in the way the storylets are written currently (mostly, because I swear I’ve seen storylets that depend more on my base stat than any bonuses I might have received from crew or ships).

As for the lamps, in general I don’t know if any of the lamps is terribly profitable for the amount of mirrors raised. I think it’s 10 mirrors for 0.2 seconds of lowered target acquisition?

I suppose that if expressed more directly that way, it might make the montaigne projector at least seem more valuable, though that might make the other lamps seem less valuable in comparison, since if it’s 5 mirrors for 0.1 seconds of reduction, then only a few of the offered lamps are going to be discernable as having value - those below 5 mirrors which are only useful for boosting the player over an edge, those at or near 5 mirrors that give an obvious increment of benefit, and the montaigne projecter that gives the best benefit for a lamp, at the cost of veils, which is only vaguely calculated as far as I’m aware.

It’d be nice if there was more visual feedback on the distance your veils give you for stealthing about now that I mention it.

In 2D games featuring anything like stealth, visual feedback is pretty key. It’s what made Mark of the Ninja work so well.

Well, yes and no. It knows you have 100 mirrors (that’s in autosave), and it knows your adjustment (it presumably just recalculates every time you slot something). With that presumption in mind, there’s no way for it to do that piecemeal, because it’s not tracking what’s from ship equipment, and what’s from officers and what’s from ships themselves.

They could certainly add extra checks when you toggle lights, or do other stuff, but that’s not part of the core mechanism, and probably extra work they’re not focused on right now. But it’s certainly an interesting discussion to have. I just think some people (me) would be upset, because I run the dreadnaught to make iron checks trivial. You can &quotwin&quot pretty much any story or outcome with high enough iron, even if means you don’t get to explore every avenue.

edit: mark of the ninja was awesome
edited by SporksAreGoodForYou on 2/24/2015

They could always just make Obscure Energies do something again. Even as simple as add in a random terror event when you have the lights on. That said, the Projector is great if you want to train Veils past 150.
edited by Olorin on 2/25/2015

It’s not the worst.
Aside from the fact that it allows you to exploit the faulty mechanic (just because I got a thread on it doesn’t mean that I don’t get to mention it elsewhere), there’s also a fact that you don’t have to have it equipped ALL the time.

In fact, the way London is, a -10 veils + 10 mirrors is most of the time better to have than simply +9 mirrors. (ships being the only exception to the rule, since you can’t easily swap them)

Neither of them makes a worthy difference at zee anyway, and when it comes to skill checks, vast majority of them are one-sided and straight. Most of the time you know what to expect and can easily prepare for that exact check. Need mirrors? Equip it. Need Veils? Unequip it.

Of the top of my head only one place comes to mind where I’d need both veils and mirrors. (Frostfound, if memory serves, is such a place. I think I recall there being skill checks of multiple kinds inside.) But that same place has a moderately high mirror (100 mirrors IS high, unless you’ve been “doing excessive workout” with your captain) requirement (NOT just a 100 for 100% challenge) inside.

Uh… actually both of them are quite important at zee. Which is more important depends on whether you prefer your guns to fire more quickly, or to avoid getting hit.

You got me wrong there. Mirrors and veils DO matter at zee. But 10 mirrors and 10 veils don’t make a worthy difference.

Also, correct me if I’m wrong but veils DON’T affect your chance of being hit, only the chance of being noticed. Whether you are hit on not depends on positioning, enemy hit points, your speed, your manurers etc… I’d say high Iron gets me hit less than high veils would, especially if we’re talking about a ship with an aft-gun. And sneaking up to the back depends on luck and speed a lot more noticeably than on veils (IMHO). You DO need SOME veils so that the enemy doesn’t get excessively “perceptive”, but beyond that it’s just a matter of you being lucky and him (it) not turning around at the right time.

They can’t hit you (or even aim at you) if they can’t see you. High enough Veils + staying at maximum range will make even enemies you’re actively fighting lose track of where you are before they can get a shot off.

And 10 is a significant difference in either case.
edited by Olorin on 2/26/2015

That’s more or less what I mean - chance of being noticed.
Being hit comes after being noticed if you stay in the right position and the right condition to be hit for a long enough time to let them hit you.

Sorry for clinging to words, but it’s just that &quotchance of being hit&quot is usually interpreted as a correlation of evasion and accuracy. And I was (still am) sure that there is no such thing in SS.

Well, there is a hit-miss chance but it’s only based on the firing solution being ready, not on any stats at the time of firing.

EDIT: Hmm, never noticed any difference from 10 of either mirrors or veils. Maybe if I was actively looking for it I would have, but it doesn’t look or feel like a noticeable difference.
edited by Red-XIII on 2/27/2015

[quote=Red-XIII]That’s more or less what I mean - chance of being noticed.
Being hit comes after being noticed if you stay in the right position and the right condition to be hit for a long enough time to let them hit you.[/quote]
Did you mean the wrong position? :P

To reiterate, it’s not just chance of being noticed, but also chance to hide again after being noticed. Aside from certain Correspondence-wielding foes, I can usually avoid taking any damage in battle by going in and out of visibility. Veils might also work opposite their Mirrors, increasing the time it takes them to Illuminate (i.e. aim at) you, but I’m just speculating about this.

Right, wrong, it’s all a matter of perspective. What If I’m TRYING to get hit? ;P

What’s been bugging me for a long time is how the firing solution never decreases. Yeah, I aimed at them back when I was far away, made a 360% turn, changed my location, but I STILL can hit them. And yet I do have to re-aim the second shot even if neither one of us moved an inch since the previous one, and we’ve been just sitting next to each other all that time. Oh well… It all plays well enough, so what do I care if it’s partially weird?


For some reason that reminded me of EVE on-line and it’s accuracy calculation. It’s been around long enough (dunno if it’s still the same) and no one ever bated an eye about it… But I’ve beed staring at it and feeling something wrong that I couldn’t quite grasp. Took me a lot of time (sigh my math has gotten rusty) but I fugured out what the heck was wrong with it. It didn’t take into consideration the size of a static object while still taking into consideration the distance to it. Which is a physical nonsense.

&quotOn fingers&quot.
You are stationary. There’s a stationary ship nearby. And a &quotstationary&quot station (in the form of the ship) at the same distance. And a stationary station far away.
Ship is 100 times smaller than a station, the far station is 100 times further.

For some bizarre reason, while hitting a far away station is harder than hitting a close station hitting a close ship isn’t any harder than hitting a close station, even though if you position the ship and the far away station on one line with your &quotviewpoint&quot the ship should supposedly coincide with the far station in your view entirely. And basically this means that, from aiming stand-point both targets are identically hard.

Yes, sorry, I’m going off topic here…
edited by Red-XIII on 2/27/2015
edited by Red-XIII on 2/27/2015

I’m pretty sure the distances modelled in EVE are so huge that the sizes of the objects don’t have any significant effect. Speed of light concerns dominate.