The Pickpocket's Promenade!

There’s new content in Spite for low level and high level players alike. :) It’s an option located in the Alleys of Spite.

Warning: Opportunity cards in your hand will be cleared once you choose to promenade.

It’s been buckets of fun to people-watch the Crowds of Spite. The new card art is most scrumptious! There are new faces! We get our first(?) glimpse of a Special Constable. The appearance of the Silver Mustachioed Constable is delightful; I aspire to cultivate such dapper facial hair. That seemingly innocent Costmonger is adorable. As for everybody’s behavior, the card descriptions and result text largely show amusing and lighthearted fare. I truly feel as if I’m strolling and discovering the people of Fallen London’s streets. Oh, and you don’t have to steal. The pickpocketing is a side matter, but don’t forget that plumbing people’s pockets is akin to delving the Neath’s mysteries and all that stuff. I mean, just look at the Venge-Rat Corpse you obtain from a ratcatcher’s pants:
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Andyrognous
I also hope that becomes a pet option – a living one, of course.

I’m quite curious about the higher level rewards/text for handing in 30-50 Pickpocket Trophies. More than that, I’m itching to know what’s perched atop the Special Constable’s shoulders. I hope that becomes another pet option, possibly for a future Special Constable storyline and/or profession.

I haven’t calculated PPA or such, but I liked the 20-trophy reward for my character (stats of 70’s-80’s). I really appreciated the sack of gems; I’ve been trying to stockpile more without using the shroom-hopping Fate option.

I’ve submitted a bug report, but should probably check ere that I’m not missing something. I’ve repeated this three times now: choose the long route, pickpocket everyone I meet, but after acquiring ~14 trophies I’m kicked out to the ‘trade in trophies’ status and cards no longer work even if I back out to the start - all that works is the ‘trade in trophies’ storylet.

Am I missing some way to get to the higher number of trophies? Thanks…

[quote=Ewan C]I’ve submitted a bug report, but should probably check ere that I’m not missing something. I’ve repeated this three times now: choose the long route, pickpocket everyone I meet, but after acquiring ~14 trophies I’m kicked out to the ‘trade in trophies’ status and cards no longer work even if I back out to the start - all that works is the ‘trade in trophies’ storylet.

Am I missing some way to get to the higher number of trophies? Thanks…[/quote]

I believe the trick you’re missing is to keep your ‘Approaching Your Destination’ quality below 10. Once it’s reached 10, you can’t collect any more trophies. The best way to do that seems to be to loiter about and pretend to be window-shopping when you see a curiosity shop, while focusing on the really valuable marks.

I think there’s a bug too - it’s currently impossible, surely, to reach 50 trophies, the way it’s set up? Reaching the destination:10 thing brings up the option to go and cash in your trophies, or to click ‘perhaps not’ - which I presumed would let me go back and collect some more trophies. Clicking ‘perhaps not’ doesn’t work, however.

I still had good fun playing, though, and I think it’ll be great when the bugs are ironed out.

If there is such a bug, I’ve not experienced it - I just finished a Promenade with 51 trophies, and shall echo the results to my profile!

I’m really not a fan of the new trend toward “trapped in a storyline-specific area with opportunity card-driven content” stories.

This kind of system feels like it’s designed for SN play, where opportunity card draws and actions are closely linked. In FL, you’re likely to end up sitting around with actions to take but with no opportunity cards to play (i.e., you’re ready to play and could play the game, but have to waste actions while waiting for content, which seems like poor design). Unless this portends that FL will be shifting to a SN-like opportunity card structure at the end of March, this kind of system seems out-of-place, as though the designers have moved on to the SN paradigm regardless of whether or not the mechanics support that.

In addition, since an awful lot of FL content depends on waiting around to draw the right opportunity card, it’s not so much “is this area fun to play” but “is this area sufficiently fun/rewarding that I want to give up access to all other Fifth City content plus the ability to advance any stories/gain any rewards for which I’m waiting on an opportunity card”. Segregated content is almost never going to win that fight.

For example, I thought the Elegant Party storyline was very well-written; someone put an awful lot of time and care into designing it and it shows. At the end of the day, however, if I’m choosing between playing “An Elegant Party” and “everything else in Fallen London”, “everything else” is going to win. Which, it strikes me, is the way it should be. If, for example, you made the Elegant Party rewards less pathetic, you could perhaps change that decision, which now means you have a player who is segregated in one small corner of the game and missing out on everything else.

As for the actual mechanics of the Pickpocket’s Promenade system, it seemed like the kind of thing a player would try once or twice out of curiosity, but that’s about it.

Being a bit more curious than average, I’ve tried this three times. On the best of the three, I spent 10 actions (2 to start the promenade, 1 to drop my ‘Approaching your Destination’ by 1 at the cost of 2 Unseen, 6 to play opportunity cards and 1 to get back to Spite) for a total reward of 15 x Pickpocket’s Trophy or 1.5E from 10 actions, which hardly seems worth it except at very low levels. However, since this kind of system isn’t conducive to increasing stats, low levels would be better off eschewing this for standard storylets.

Perhaps I’m just doing this wrong, however. I see that Sir Tanah-Chook managed to achieve 50+ x Pickpocket’s Rewards, so either I’m completely missing the proper tactics here or that requires drawing an inordinate number of the right cards (primary curiosity shops).

I found the rewards system to be a bit clunky. I appreciate the flexibility to get lesser rewards than you qualify for, but the mechanics lead to a lot of needless clicking as you get rid of the spare change of trophies (e.g., if you end up with 19 trophies, you need to click through 6 0-action storylets before you can leave, unless you want to just throw away rewards).

I will note, however, that I enjoyed the new art found on some of the pickpocket-specific cards. Perhaps it’s just the pleasure of having new art, but I liked the style and thought it worked very well with the storyline.
edited by Tesuji on 1/26/2013

[color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]pity, because there are going to be quite a few more of them (partly for some of the reasons you guessed at). Different folks, different strokes: I’m pleased to see from the database that most people are playing it way more than a couple of times (as with the Heist content). It’s never going to be the activity of choice for hardcore minimaxers, though.[/color]

This seems like an awesome way of getting more venom-rubies, if nothing else =). Also, it’s low-level content and we can’t expect PoSI level income.
I find the randomification of it to make it more exciting - it’s not grinding in the same way since it has a slight luck aspect. I won’t spend all my time in them, though, obviously.

Not sure if it’s by design or not, but the other options in Alleys of Spite provide a way for high-level characters to gain Cobblestone Rogues and Back-Alley Saints and That Which Lives In Shadow (The Shadowy version of Dream of Other Places/Admiring Attention). Snaffle a Courier->“Exchange the pouch with another full of fake secrets” provides both.

Yeah, this seems to be a problem. For example I have just moved to the new area. I have some actions, but my deck is empty, so I have nothing to do. And if I go to sleep, I will end up with 20 actions and 6 cards in the morning.
I think the deck should be auto-refreshed, when you move into areas where cards are the only way to progress. And maybe the upper limit on the size of the deck should match your limit of actions. Otherwise it feels like the game is punishing you for not sitting at the monitor and waiting for cards.

On a side note, I am delighted, that my high level character can now catch cats again. That was my favourite thing to do in Spite and I missed it.
edited by Fhoenix on 1/26/2013
edited by Fhoenix on 1/26/2013
edited by Fhoenix on 1/26/2013

This might call for a re-working of the Exceptional Friendship. In the beginning it doubled your actions, but now it means you don’t have to log in as often to get a day’s action; a godsend for some people and a minor addition to those who log in every hour.
With these new areas, and soon-to-be areas, there is no reward for Exceptional Friendship. You still need to log-in every hour to utilize every action. For some people that’s not an option. For example, I can’t access opportunity cards from my computer at work, which means I’m only going to use these areas sparingly. If the next major storylet is one of these areas, that means that I’m going to be playing it at half the speed I normally would. For others, it means they are limited to 6 actions, rather than 10, every time they log-in.
To offer to sell them a candle they can’t use on new storylets for 20 Fate/Nex now seems a terrible deal.
It’s still a bargain on SN stories, where your deck doesn’t run out, but to port a mechanic from one system to another that clearly wasn’t designed for it, for no other reason than you just like the new mechanic, creates problems.

Maybe offer a new type of thing like Exceptional Friendship, Delectable Affiliate or something like that, which doubles your deck size from 6 to 12?
Personally, I prefer the way Fallen London storylets work to Story Nexus, which is why I play it more. I think it’s why most people play it more. Fallen London has won a slew of awards and praise for the way it works, so I’m not entirely sure why it’s in need of changing. Then again, I still don’t like the new interface, so what do I know?

[color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]pity, because there are going to be quite a few more of them (partly for some of the reasons you guessed at). Different folks, different strokes: I’m pleased to see from the database that most people are playing it way more than a couple of times (as with the Heist content). It’s never going to be the activity of choice for hardcore minimaxers, though.[/color][/quote]

Could we perhaps have the ability to convert items while there?

Main issue I find is that I waste actions while waiting for the best cards to show up. One of my favorite pastimes while out to Zee.

I must say I am quite happy with my new Venge-Rat corpse. Newest piece in my cabinet of curiosities.
edited by Endy on 1/26/2013

Yeah, this seems to be a problem. For example I have just moved to the new area. I have some actions, but my deck is empty, so I have nothing to do. And if I go to sleep, I will end up with 20 actions and 6 cards in the morning.
I think the deck should be auto-refreshed, when you move into areas where cards are the only way to progress. And maybe the upper limit on the size of the deck should match your limit of actions. Otherwise it feels like the game is punishing you for not sitting at the monitor and waiting for cards.

On a side note, I am delighted, that my high level character can now catch cats again. That was my favourite thing to do in Spite and I missed it.
edited by Fhoenix on 1/26/2013
edited by Fhoenix on 1/26/2013
edited by Fhoenix on 1/26/2013[/quote]

I do find myself tripping over having to draw cards with more actions than I need more often than not in situations like this.

…And I DEFINITELY find myself endlessly drawing cards for one thing and unable to do this cordoned-off stuff because I am waiting for cards. For example, I’m going to have to wait for that bloody raven card twice. I haven’t seen it in weeks beforehand, though I’ve gotten the Oracle of the Weasel Fights card. It would be nice to run the new heists while I wait for it, but I can’t because it’s locked off. So I kinda do nothing.
edited by MidnightVoyager on 1/26/2013

A delightfully diverting little jaunt! :] But I must say I am finding it ludicrously difficult to keep my Approaching below ten long enough to accumulate any worthwhile amount of Trophies - the curiosity shop cards are just too few and far between, and the loitering option doesn’t give a very good deal, even on a success. Sir Frederick, might you elaborate on your technique?

I’m sure a lot of it was just luck - drawing a good number of Curiosity Shops. Otherwise, target the high-value marks first - from memory, in roughly descending order, that’s Special Constables, Blue Jack, Constables, Shopkeepers, Actresses. Rat-catchers are also good targets to clear the hand out a bit. And you can stretch it out a bit longer if you get lucky with loitering twice in a row, but it’s a hell of a risk.

I’ve tried it twice, and gotten 20+ trophies each time. My luck has been terribly annoying, but the system is annoyingly fun.

Is it worth avoiding the juggler/argument for the point in unseen and clearing the hand?

Those two give one Unseen and one Approaching, so they’re worthwhile as hand-clearers when your Unseen is two and you can use the card and then loiter risk-free.

Maybe I am missing something, but doesn’t loiter change Approaching only by one? So doing loiter and playing a card to erase Unseen would cancel each other.
edited by Fhoenix on 1/27/2013

You’re quite right, but Aximillio points out what I hadn’t realised - that, if you’re lucky, those two cards cancelling each other out clears a card from your hand and gives you a chance at drawing the Curiosity Shop or one of the higher-value marks.