Rare/Precious items increasingly meaningless?

I’ve been playing for about a year and a half now, and I now possess or am on the verge of possessing a number of the game’s rarer items (Impossible Theorem, 3200 scrap, Crimson Book, goat, etc)… but if I’m reading the trends in the dev team correctly, the game’s trend in storytelling has shifted very strongly away from rare/difficult items unlocking content, and toward Exceptional Story and Seasonal content that’s very much ‘out there for everybody’ (and offering content that’s normally very punishing, like the five-card lodgings, so cheaply as seasonal items that you’d be mad to do it the ‘standard’ way).

This doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon – I’d bet money, for example, that we won’t see anyone founding a Parabolan Base Camp this year, or that the 3200 scrap items will gain any particularly meaningful use. The same is true for other rare items I possess; cantigaster venom, the tragedy procedures, element of dawn, mountain-sherd, etc., all seem unlikely to gain any use in the future given the current direction of the game’s development.

This is all well and good, I suppose! I like the Exceptional Stories, I like that interesting content isn’t grind-locked, and I suppose I get some warm fuzziness out of ‘collecting rare things’ even if they ultimately have no functional use whatsoever beyond the mere fact of their rarity.

But if that’s how things are going to be… why make it take a year to get to 3200 scrap? Why make it take ages to obtain an impossible theorem? Why does an Overgoat have to cost what it does, instead of a fifth as much? Why scarcity for scarcity’s sake, far beyond what’s required just to pace out the content?
edited by Televangelist on 4/22/2016

Future-proofing, challenge, player retention and community kudos

I had a long thing typed out, but Robin’s comment is worded much better than mine. ^_^

[spoiler]I’m in two minds about this one.

On the one hand, there are certainly quite a few items which seem thoroughly pointless to have - and I definitely agree that it would be nice to see some of them have some actual use.
(I’m currently up to 4857 Certifiable Scrap, because I’ve already bought a ‘Reported Location of a One-Time Prince of Hell’ and have found nothing meaningful worth spending the rest on. I only obtained a Fluke-Core to reduce the Nadir opportunity deck by 1 card.)

On the other hand, the Impossible Theorem has a purpose, and I actually liked that the grind was long and arduous. (It’s not a ‘Mildly Complicated’ Theorem, after all. We’re going for something BIG here. I got exploded a couple of times while trying to create it.)
Similarly, the Overgoat could be priced at 2000 echoes, or 20 echoes, or 2 echoes - but it doesn’t seem right to me that you’re acquiring the services of a terrifying goat-demon from hell by just having it handed to you on a platter. (Yes, it’s expensive and takes a while to obtain. I know full well, having bought two of them now.)
But that feeling of &quotI’ve been through so much, and now I’ve finally achieved what I set out to do. Looking back, I can see that I’ve come so far.&quot is only meaningful if the journey had some effort involved.

The Parabolan Base Camp is still &quotImpossible!&quot - but given that my Having Recurring Dreams: Is Someone There? is at 19 and the action is currently listed as requiring it that Quality be at 99, it might as well have the requirement of &quotUnlocked with: 1x Moose&quot for all the difference it makes. Until it is no longer &quotImpossible!&quot, the other requirements are irrelevant.

Not sure if this helps at all, but some advice:

  1. Don’t focus on grinding. You’ll get burnt-out and get sick of the game.
  2. Don’t focus on progression. You’ll run out of things to do, and get sick of the game.
    Do a bit of both, and have multiple concurrent goals to work on.

If one of the things you’re working on decides &quotHey, you need three thousand Scrap&quot - go do something else and come back to it later. You’ll get the scrap eventually. This applies to anything that you can’t directly work towards. :-)
I didn’t get my second Overgoat because I was aiming for it. I got it because I was like &quotI’ve got a fair bit of stuff, I wonder how much I’ve got that’s worth selling&quot, realised that I had accumulated a fair bit of stuff and that I hadn’t gone for an Ubergoat yet, and figured heck why not. So then I worked out what I had that I could easily replace, didn’t use, or didn’t want, and sold those - then did some grinding to finish off the last couple hundred echoes.[/spoiler]

I don’t think the rarest items ever were really less meaningless. The Overgoat, Ubergoat, and Hesperidean Cider are the only ones substantially useful and most difficult to obtain items have never had uses. For example way back in the first couple Feasts of the Rose you could grind for various things and supposedly exchange them for a Stone Tentacle-Key. The Key is now obtained by looping Hunter’s Keep a couple times. The only use it’s ever had is simplifying a single step of Heart’s Desire.

Untrue; it is also an essential part of completing an important step of the Nemesis Ambition. I would not be surprised if the other two Ambitions require it as well, although I don’t know for a fact whether that is the case.

I think its in all of them except light fingers. Or at least its not in light fingers for sure.

You are correct, it is part of Nemesis too according to the wiki. It’s utterly useless outside of those tow ambition steps though. Perhaps it will appear in future updates, but for now neither Light Fingers nor Bag a Legend! use it at all.

As a small aside, it doesn’t take anywhere near a year to grind 3200 - more like 2-3 months if you have all the lodgings and flip cards reasonably regularly.

I’ve gotten two 3200-scrap items so far, the first a couple months ago after saving up a thousand scraps extra and the second just now. I haven’t even been using all the lodgings cards for it so it could definitely happen faster at the expense of other things.

Actually, all items are meaningless, because there’s no player economy in the game to speak of.

That’s not entirely true. There’s a few options to exchange items worth money, notably Surprise Packages, the various other Give a Gift options, Eyeless Skulls, and First City Coins.

Generally speaking, I think most people only assign values to the items because it is either something for the mantelpiece, an RP expression, or most likely &quotit may help me progress in story one day&quot.

Also I just discovered that Rat bags are free accept so you can technically do a very very inconvenient trade for any services you require. Need a skull? Send me 3000 rats. Something like that.

Yeah, but the skull is either used up immediately or a curse, and the packages are a friendly gamble. I’ll give you the Coins, though.

I can, if i want, ask my freind to send me 100 request for eyeless skulls at a point early game, then send him a skull whenever i find one. one day’s actions to recieve 6250 echoes over a long period of time. This is the biggest exploit, but not that viable- very small window of oppurtunity, and you have to find a freind or aquaintance willing to send every eyeless skull they find and the type of person to go on ~1000+ expeditions. most people don’t meet these criteria.

That’s odd… I thought one of the ultimate goals of Fallen London was to gather large quantities of numerical values whose purpose is mysterious at best? That certainly seems like a more wobbly, personal, and deeply-fathomed web of goals than “wait until the last Ambition update and do some steps to find out what happens” but mileage varies by taste, of course.

I don’t know about you, metasynthie, but I certainly found it immensely satisfying to rush through Heart’s Desire and hit the content boundary twice while people around me bemoans the price of Rookery Passwords and other assorted items. Or you could look at it the more cynical way and think &quotit’d really suck if I got to a dramatic bit of a story and then the pacing gets killed because it takes forever to grab a Night-Whisper&quot.

I’ve seen this sort of thing mentioned before and it always makes my head spin. I’ve been playing for about 3 years and still only have some 300-odd pieces of scrap!

I’ve seen this sort of thing mentioned before and it always makes my head spin. I’ve been playing for about 3 years and still only have some 300-odd pieces of scrap![/quote]

Do you gamble Scrap? If so, the Fallen London Scrapgambling Temperance League would like a word with you. That way lies only madness and destitution.

I’ve seen this sort of thing mentioned before and it always makes my head spin. I’ve been playing for about 3 years and still only have some 300-odd pieces of scrap![/quote]

Do you gamble Scrap? If so, the Fallen London Scrapgambling Temperance League would like a word with you. That way lies only madness and destitution.[/quote]
Not a bit of it! I don’t trust those Relickers any further than I could throw them, were I hypothetically inclined to touch one.

It has been said for years that Fallen London does have an ending planned out, and that we’ll get there eventually.

I would be both disappointed and surprised if wrapping up all these plot threads of cosmological importance doesn’t at least allow the option to spend/use our precious items for advantage or lore. I do agree that it’ll likely take years of waiting though…

Also, if you really want a way to burn huge amounts of resource, Seeking the Name is supposedly coming back in a year or two, and last time it was in, you could spend 3200 Scrap items to make slight progress on one of the carousels, so it should have your grinding needs well satisfied.