# The Fidgeting Writer - doing the maths (SPOILERS)

Ooh, data. I’m not quite sure how you get the 2.19 number, since if I just calculate rewards/(actions + Echo cost) I get 2.06 E/action. But using that, here’s the Echo/action cost if you cashed out at each earlier stage:

Sense of Deja Vu (for Extraordinary Implication): 0.815165877
Vision of the Surface (for Collated Research): 0.838445808
Deal with a Devil (for Brass Ring): 1.178361007
Room Number (for Antique Mysteries): 1.266263941
Last Hope (for Night-Whisper): 1.386368219
Lens of Black Glass (for a pile of goods): 1.864188679

In the earlier stages, the action it takes to cash out is a pretty big hit. But it’s a pretty good source for any of those goods after Collated Research (and the Research too, if you’re Unwelcome at the University).

I used the optimal method of obtaining the good needed. It’s not via “Unfinished Business in…”. TRhe best way is to go to Polythreme, and grind a metric ton of Romantic Notions, and Surface Silk Scraps, convert them with the 500:105 conversion, and then using the 50:51 conversion to get the actual thing you want.

Not only you get 1.2 echos worth of materials with each action, but the bulk convert action gives you a +2.5 echoes of materials (the first conversion only gives you 0.5 echoes, so it’s worse than an action grinding and brings the per action benefit down).

You use Surface-Silk Scraps to create Journals of Infamy (for Extraordinary Implications) and Correspondence Plaques, and Romantic notions for the rest.

As for cashing out before the final part, it’s not worth it, I ran the numbers (and keep them updated with the actual percentages).
edited by Vyrlokar on 4/8/2012

The gambler in me got interested in this storyline. The maths have been done, but here’s my two cents.

At first I tried to go to straight to the end, didn’t work once. Now I’ve been trying out the whole process four times by getting 10 deja vus and then proceeding by going through all the same level stages before advancing further. Almost every time it broke down approx. something like this: 10 deja vus → 8 glimpses → 6-7 deals with the devil → 4-5 rooms → 2-4 --last hopes > 1-2 lens. I never got more than two lens of black glass. I also haven’t succeeded in getting the coruscating soul yet, but that’s mainly because I sort of decided that when I’m down to one chance in a stage, I’d cash in (losing out at the lens stage is brutal).

This has nothing to do with propabilities, but thought I’d just share my experience. I’ll keep trying. :)
edited by SmallFish on 5/19/2012

[quote=SmallFish]The gambler in me got interested in this storyline. The maths have been done, but here’s my two cents.

At first I tried to go to straight to the end, didn’t work once. Now I’ve been trying out the whole process four times by getting 10 deja vus and then proceeding by going through all the same level stages before advancing further. Almost every time it broke down approx. something like this: 10 deja vus → 8 glimpses → 6-7 deals with the devil → 4-5 rooms → 2-4 --last hopes > 1-2 lens. I never got more than two lens of black glass. I also haven’t succeeded in getting the coruscating soul yet, but that’s mainly because I sort of decided that when I’m down to one chance in a stage, I’d cash in (losing out at the lens stage is brutal).

This has nothing to do with propabilities, but thought I’d just share my experience. I’ll keep trying. :)
edited by SmallFish on 5/19/2012[/quote]
I’m in Polythreme, grinding Romantic Notions and memories of Distant Shores. I plan to start converting in batches of 200 ;)

[quote=Vyrlokar] for a total benefit/action of 3.05159010600707 echoes/action (2.19035176403603 echoes action once you take into account the actions needed to grind the materials, instead of their cost)
edited by Vyrlokar on 4/8/2012[/quote]

I am certainly not a statistician, but I can say that I’m netting over 2 echoes per turn. I decided to run through all 48 of my tales of terror and keep track of profit and loss.

It took 179 actions, when you consider that I needed 20 actions for prisoners’ honey and then 2 actions to convert the honey.

48 tales of terror
39 sense of deja vu + 39 visions of the surface @ 50p
30 glimpses of something larger (60 correspondence plaque @ 50p)
20 deals with devils (40 brilliant souls @ 50p)
10 room numbers (10 identity uncovered @250p)
6 last hope (6 extraordinary implications @250p)
4 lens of black glass (4 mourning candles @250p)

The bazaar value of the 159 items I had to burn through was 119.5 echoes.

I got 2 coruscating souls, total value 625 echoes.

Therefore my profit was 505.5 echoes, and at 179 turns, that’s 2.82 echoes per turn.

My net will probably be lower next time, because I’ll have to stop at some point and replenish the supplies needed. I’m really glad we have Thefts of a Particular Character to help us out with a few aspects of that.

I have been trying my best to get money this way. What would be the earliest stage to end on while still getting more Echoes/action than the Velocipede Squad? Also, what are the easiest ways to get the items required to go through each stage?

Is anyone else having a bug right now with ‘a sense of deja vu’ items?

Every time I click on them to try and convert them up, it goes to a white screen, and hangs their forever trying to load.

[color=rgb(51, 0, 153)]If a cache clear does not help - please do a bug report to fallenlondonbugs@failbettergames.com[/color]

Tried a cache clear. Sadly it did not help.

However, I had already sent a bug report, (and another post has said that the old ‘ebbugs’ is thankfully not defunct :) )

Are you on the Underzee? If so, that’s the reason for the white screen. You can’t access The Fidgeting Writer storylet away from Fallen London.

That happened to me early on. I sent a bug report, but they didn’t seem to think the white screen was a problem.

Vyrlokar, I have some more numbers for your spreadsheet here. I seem to have been unusually lucky on the last stage (61.7% conversion rate). Just cashed in 37 Coruscating Souls for the usual reward :)

Oh, more data! I’m going to add it in as soon as I finish this message.

Now, to improve my results, could anyone post what’s the optimal way to get each of the required goods for the story? Please include only repeatable ways (no cards). I need to know how many actions you need per unit, so I can calculate the action equivalents and get the real benefit per action once you factor in getting the goods.

EDIT: Added the numbers to the spreadsheet! check my sig for details.
edited by Vyrlokar on 8/1/2012

I’m on this quest now, so here’s what I’m doing: (Numbers from Urthdigger and http://community.failbettergames.com/topic707-spading-the-fidgets.aspx?Page=1)

• I do Tales of Terror, Brilliant Souls, and Journals of Infamy via The Big One in the Flit (126 PPA with Gang of Hoodlums). The latter can be converted to Correspondence Plaques and Extraordinary Implications (which reduces the yield, but I don’t have time to do the math on just how much at the moment)
• Identities Uncovered are the trickiest ones for me at the moment. “Have a chat in the shadow of the wheel” at the Carnival grants 100 PPA in Incediary Gossips (before conversion to Identities). Unfinished Business for Jade to spend on Rubbery Lumps in Labyrinth coil 2 is slightly better at 106 PPA (agan before conversion), but lowers Unaccountably Peckish.
• For Mourning Candles, A Boxful of Intrigue, which is currently considered the best money option in the game. (143 PPA)

I have enough Visions of the Surface from Someone Is Coming, so I haven’t investigated a good way to grind for them. (Cryptic Clues are also easy to get via Opportunities, but there’s another caveat for seekers of the Name- the bulk conversion from Appalling Secrets to Journals of Infamy requires Connected: the Duchess, which Pass-the-Cat drains.)

[quote=Aspeon]I’m on this quest now, so here’s what I’m doing: (Numbers from Urthdigger and http://community.failbettergames.com/topic707-spading-the-fidgets.aspx?Page=1)

• I do Tales of Terror, Brilliant Souls, and Journals of Infamy via The Big One in the Flit (126 PPA with Gang of Hoodlums). The latter can be converted to Correspondence Plaques and Extraordinary Implications (which reduces the yield, but I don’t have time to do the math on just how much at the moment)
• Identities Uncovered are the trickiest ones for me at the moment. “Have a chat in the shadow of the wheel” at the Carnival grants 100 PPA in Incediary Gossips (before conversion to Identities). Unfinished Business for Jade to spend on Rubbery Lumps in Labyrinth coil 2 is slightly better at 106 PPA (agan before conversion), but lowers Unaccountably Peckish.
• For Mourning Candles, A Boxful of Intrigue, which is currently considered the best money option in the game. (143 PPA)

I have enough Visions of the Surface from Someone Is Coming, so I haven’t investigated a good way to grind for them. (Cryptic Clues are also easy to get via Opportunities, but there’s another caveat for seekers of the Name- the bulk conversion from Appalling Secrets to Journals of Infamy requires Connected: the Duchess, which Pass-the-Cat drains.)[/quote]
Well, I grinded Romantic Notions at 120ppa in polithreme, and converted them to Vision of the surface. I also grinded Memories of distant shores while I was there. 500 Romantic Notions can be converted to 105 Visions, for 250ppa. 1500 Romantic Notions (125 actions) can be converted to 315 Romantic Notions (3 actions), obtaining 157.5 echoes worth of goods for 128 actions or 123.046875 ppa. Mind you, the number I need is not this one, but the actions per unit (128/315=0.406349206 action/Vision of the surface, from now on Actions Per Unit apu)) so I can calculate the equivalent number of actions.

Using your numbers and the wiki:

Tales of Terror: 0.395555556 apu*
Visions of the Surface: 0.406349206 apu
Correspondence Plaques: 0.407407407 apu**
Brilliant Souls: 0.395555556 apu*
Identity Uncovered; ???
Extraordinary implication: 2.077777778 apu***
Mourning Candles: 1.75 apu****

(): 80 actions spent setting your gang of hoodlums gives you 288 cps, that can be converted to 225 50p items for 9 more actions. 89/225=0.395555556. Using “Comments Increase your Casing… quality: a chat with Fast Hetty’s husband”, you can get 10 cps for an action and 6 points of connected: criminals and one point of someone is coming, so for 96 points of Connected: Criminals, and 16 actions, you obtain 160 cps of casing and 16 cps of someone is coming. 5 more actions give you 125 units of 50p items. 21/125=0.168 apu. The worth of the someone is coming and Connected: Criminals cps are left to the reader to evaluate, but it’s worth using.
(**): Converted from Journals of Infamy, at 50:51 ratio. 50 journals
0.406349206 apu=19.777777778 actions, plus one to convert, gives you 20.777777778/51=0.407407407 apu
(): Converted from Journals of Infamy, at a 50:10 ratio, at the cost of some Connected: Benctic, with the chance of gaining either 100p worth of glim, or 2500p worth of storm trenodies.
(
*): Via A Boxful of Intrigue, 14 actions for 8 units, for 14/8=1.75 apu

Could you calculate the apus for the identities uncovered?

Actually, Polythreme and converting Visions of the Surface is better than either of the options I presented. If you get 315 Visions of the Surface in 128 actions, you spend 6.3 actions converting them to 321.3 Mysteries of the Elder Continent and 6.426 actions converting those to 327.726 Incendiary Gossip. So that’s .4294 actions/unit on the Gossips, better than the .446 you get from Rubbery Lumps.

Then converting those up to Identities Uncovered costs you another 6.55452 actions to yield 65.5452 Identities Uncovered (with some Proscribed Materials and Favours in High Places), for a grand total of 2.24700695 apu.

[quote=Aspeon]Actually, Polythreme and converting Visions of the Surface is better than either of the options I presented. If you get 315 Visions of the Surface in 128 actions, you spend 6.3 actions converting them to 321.3 Mysteries of the Elder Continent and 6.426 actions converting those to 327.726 Incendiary Gossip. So that’s .4294 actions/unit on the Gossips, better than the .446 you get from Rubbery Lumps.

Then converting those up to Identities Uncovered costs you another 6.55452 actions to yield 65.5452 Identities Uncovered (with some Proscribed Materials and Favours in High Places), for a grand total of 2.24700695 apu.[/quote]

Ok, I’ve updated the spreadsheet to include the action equivalent costs, and use them to calculate the benefit per action. I think that this will remain the most profitable option for a long while… after all, it seems that most actions reward you with pence on the range of your stat level when they become trivial. This means that this will remain profitable until stats are in the 300 range, and they’ve stated that they’ve planed the game for stats up to 200…

Whew. Another Fidgeting Writer run behind me. Strategy was to get 25 Sense of Deja Vus and then go from there. Ended up with one Coruscant Soul. I had one black lens after that but folded on it. Altogether E312.50 + E149.70 for E462.20. Didn’t figure out the costs, but they were way lower. And this only took a about two days. But I think I might have been lucky a couple of times…

Oh well, just wanted to share. :) I think I’ll try another run beginning with 25 Sense of Deja Vus, the conversion from Tale of Terror works nearly every time.

Here are some more numbers, if you want them:

[quote=Kaanyia]Here are some more numbers, if you want them: