To you Voiceless Soh, I dare not claim to know your pain, but I find your grips petty.
Let me tell you a story.
Once, on a Hallows Eve long ago, a young Seeker had started on the path to Candles. The Seeker heard of the new ruins that where ready to be explored in the Forgotten Quarter; Life was well, mysteries where conquered, the Trials of Eaten proved no match for his tenacity. The Boat Man was a regular companion. Due to his hunters nature, he had procured a great wealth of Echos and a greater wealth of Coruscated Souls (I like to imagine that his lodgings where lit like the Sun, just by the shear numbers of these souls), his goal was nothing less than an Over-Goat. A few hundred more Echos and it would of been his, one of the grandest status symbols in all of London.
However… In his great pride and wanton hunger for answers, he attempted to enter the Forgotten Quarter. Every time he was repelled by Devils and he didn’t understand why. He was always just fast enough to escape, just Shadowy enough to hide and watch the pursuing Devils pass by. After many attempts to enter the Quarter, a thought that would change the course of his story forever began to fester in his mind…
He recalled a time when he was captured by Devils in the Quarter when he was a less important individual. He remembered how he had escaped and the Devils that had imprisoned, released, and pursued him simply let him go when he proved to be too elusive of prey. The Devils game over, they let him be. He thought, with grave implications, that this was simply the same sort of game.
So he lessened himself, and with a grin he feigned fear and allowed himself to be captured.
The Devils, in a rage he had not know possible, then upended him. The Devils ripped his flesh as easily as his cloths. Scourged his eyes from his sockets. Bellowed ancient words of madness and destruction into his mind, scaring him in ways that would never fully heal. As a Seeker, he was not unaccustomed to wounds that never fully healed, but when they are on the mind… its different. As they destroyed his body and mind as thoroughly as possible, the Devils raided his treasure… every single Echo he possessed was taken. Every single soul. Every once of Brass. All things touched by the Infernal where taken from him. All the while, the largest and most enraged of the Devils roared one word over and over and over again: "TRASH! TRASH!".
In his last few moments of life, with his last shred of sanity, he remembered… a trade. His soul for a powerful weapon, possibly the most powerful in London (Ones that can be stolen don’t count). His dreadfully stained soul. That is the one thing he gained from his pain and loss. He got his soul back. I seems irrelevant to mention that the Devils also took the weapon (a weapon gotten with Fate, not much, but gotten with Fate none the less).
If you couldn’t tell by now, this character is mine. The whole story was barely more than a couple of sentences and it left me in poverty and increased my Wounds and Nightmares to such a degree that it took me TWO WEEKS to finally escape the Boat Man… only to revive into the Mirror-Marches, another TWO WEEK venture. I paid Fate for this to happen to me.
Only through constant encouragement from a good friend was I able to continue on in London… If such a thing could happen (EVEN TO A SEEKER!) then what else could London do to me? How much of what I had done mattered if so much could be so easily be taken away? It took time… but I realized that the only thing I had lost where items and time, one could be easily regained and one I have in abundance. I soldiered on.
New content came to light. New SMEN content. Wonderful options, that for a miniscule price, could drop my menaces and increase my connected to some factions. I will keep this story short as I have rambled enough and it is likely, you Voiceless Soh, have already moved on.
You speak of "miss clicks"… there is/was an option on one of the SMEN cards, it would allow you to give a pittance to the less fortunate in a small attempt to atone for the horrible acts one commits as a Seeker. Then a NEW option was added, one that allowed one to free themselves of the Name… Miss click. A story I had been building since the beginning of my character was brought to an end. All my progress in Seeking Mr Eatens Name was lost. All my progress and sacrifice for not… all because I didn’t pay attention. I was… devastated. In desperiation I went to Alexis and in great ignorance, that has now become shame, I asked for what I had lost. I asked for my progress back. I knew the policy on "miss clicks", but I asked anyway. You know what Alexis said? Nothing could be done, and I wouldn’t of finished the story anyway (I now realize that this might be in some part due to the fact that the SMEN content would be locked a short time later).
In saving me, Urchins had damned me.
For a time… the idea of logging back into London turned my stomach. For days I raged and raged at the "idiocy" of London. Then, a quiet came over my mind (as is common when the mind cools off). I realized two things; any game that can inspire such emotions in me is, and I suppose always will be, more than just a game to me. Consider that as pathetic as you will. London is more than a game to me now, it is a story. Possibly one of the best stories I have ever encountered, because it is my story and the story of thousands of others.
Fallen London has brought me laughter and joy, sadness and satisfaction… anger and disappointment. London has put me through one hell of a gambit (again, consider that as pathetic as you will). Just like the best stories I have ever read.
I apologize for the ramble, its just that your words, Voiceless Soh, reaffirmed why I still play to this day. Despite the grind. Despite the lofty and time consuming status symbols. Despite the fact that, at the end of the day, Fallen London is just clicking a button or two waiting for something to happen, but its also a story, a story that is still being written and may very well be a sweeping epic for the ages. I will be deeply saddened when it ends, but I know I will be there to see it, to read it. No story worth its words is "easy", no story worth reading is without its barbs and thorns.
I continue to ramble… So then I logged back in. Got a hold of some Fate. Conquered the Nadir and every other expedition I could. Became a member of the CVR and started to rebuild my fortune. I am now only a few thousand Echos away from that Over-Goat… I became ever so much more sociable and have made it my goal to help all those who seek it. I even intend to jump back on the SMEN band wagon when it opens again… maybe not.