Has anyone else noticed that certain quirks, between levels 10 and 12, are now among the most valuable qualities in the game?
Not valuable as in "can no longer be obtained at all" (my River in a Box and Primitive Hat are invaluable)
Not valuable as in "highly useful" (this pile of Trade Secrets is quite valuable as I can do several things with it)
Not valuable as in "high-priced" (certainly, a Firkin of Hesperidian Cider is the most expensive object around, even if anyone can get it with enough work)
Not valuable as in "given value through narrative" (a Destiny or dreams of a future Paris may be quite promising)
Valuable as in… strictly economically speaking, occurring like an uncommon metal in the earth: rare and tricky to obtain, with extremely limited opportunities to get some. As far as I’m aware, there’s currently no way to get Daring, Subtle, or Forceful above 10 other than via one-time story choices, as in the persuasive and watchful trackers that have been released so far. Once you get those quirks to 12, you can raise them further with connection items and get access to those fragments of story as well as any future "very rare exceptional branches [unlocked] with a quirk of 12," as Chris Gardiner described them last October.
As I’ve currently got Forceful and Daring somewhere between 10 and 12, I’m shepherding those quirks very carefully, which makes the appearance of new MUST storylets like today’s rather tricky. I managed to get my Daring close to 12, and may push it over the top when the next trackers come out, but it’s still hard to tell from the written descriptions.
I realize, of course, that quirks are not really intended to be sought after, and don’t expect assistance from the prioritized list of Things Failbetter Needs to Work On. Regardless, the contours of the economy have caused them to become unusual gems: possible-but-rare-and-tricky, dependent on the right decisions.
If a new player were to ask "what choices do I need to avoid if I don’t want to lock myself out of content and future options unnecessarily?" the correct answers include siding with the Last Constable, but also shepherding your quirks strategically and cautiously. If you ever want to have a drinking contest with a ballerina, or embarrass a judge with a revolutionary lapel-pin, the correct strategy is to try and raise those quirks as high as possible, and not lose any. A new player might raise Daring via Free Evenings from a friend, for instance, or by repeatedly declaring yourself for a particular philosophy before progressing through the trackers, so that they could save those opportunities and try and take at least five actions (per quirk) needed to gain the elusive 23 CP that can’t be earned otherwise.
Of course, it’s possible that there will be more ways to go from 10-12 appearing in the future, in which case: hurrah.
In case anyone’s wondering, other 10+ quirk opportunities include…
Melancholy: huffing Tears of the Bazaar (still works, I think; I have to wait until Xmas to get some PtPT: the Taste of Lacre), and (fate-locked) in the Nadir if you’ve done Long Lost Daughter with a particular ending (thanks to xKiv)
Steadfast: there’s one option during fate-locked Velocipede Squad; or increase your Criminals Renown above 20, at the cost of Heartless (thanks to Nigel Overstreet)
Hedonist: various ridiculous trysts that you can grind, but also get locked out of (on the Empress’ throne, with that gross Summerset Provost, with a pair of "siblings" etc). Probably doing a scandalous ballet, too.
Austere: in the Iron Republic, or by getting rid of Area-diving loot (very low Shadowy levels)
Magnanimous: if you’re a Shepherd of Souls
Heartless: if you’re a spirifer. Or borrow moon-pearls repeatedly from the Sardonic Music-Hall Singer, then befriend her again
Ruthless: hmmm… not sure if there’s a repeatable way to get this above 10 either. I had a lot from many years ago and never lost it, unlike my other quirks.
Any other information from quirk-chasers welcome.
edited by metasynthie on 9/8/2015