The Velocipede Squad

So I have just finished the bit of fate-locked content, and I must say I am rather annoyed at the ending. Basically I paid to have a lucrative and repeatable string of storylets closed. I know you can restart certain other bits of fate-locked content, but I see no option for this one. The worst part of it is that I spent a great deal of actions to close this off, with no warning of any kind that this could happen. I do not know if there is any solution for this, or for that matter if anyone really cares that I am perturbed about the issue. Slightly angry really, would be more fitting. I kind of feel like I have been punished for paying for a storyline. This is further infuriating given the 100% lockdown on fate related issues. I certainly understand keeping the lid on plot points, detail, and to some extent reward, but some kind of notification or forewarning about this sort of complete loss of content would have been appreciated. Oh, and it also changed by alignment in regards to Empire’s Kingmaker, about which I am very miffed. I enjoy oppressing the people, not everything I do is overt and a change of this kind should be heralded by an indicator or a warning. Not all stories and actions which would realistically affect one another do, such as plotting against the Masters and aligning with them via Kingmaker. In this situation there was no mention of a connection and now my character’s scheming and allegiances are all askew.

Highly annoyed and slightly angry,
-Salvation Denied
edited by Salvation Denied on 12/21/2014

Personally, I thought taking the option to shut the Velocipede Squad down adequately telegraphed the outcome of the Velocipede Squad options not being available any more. For what it’s worth, the other option - to remain with the squad, for good or for ill - keeps their carousel open, with new options.

I did not choose to shut them down. I wanted to rework the squad. That way I can control them as I control my own band of criminals and work both sides. Now it is all lost to me and a defining trait of my character has shifted without warning.

You get new options on the carousel? Are they useful?
I never finished the quest for exactly this reason. My character is not good by any stretch of word, but given a chance to improve something he is a part of, he would at least make a pass at it. Yet the option to improve the squad shuts the carousel and nothing else. It does not change London in any meaningful way, except that you lose a valuable resource. So I always treated it as a story that may have a continuation some day, and until then it’s in a Limbo.

I think when clicking that option most people are expecting that they will be given some control over the situation and they will do it the smart way. &quotWorking from the inside&quot implies actively doing something. Yet the result is the opposite, by choosing that you lose all ability to do anything… as far as I understand it. I never went with it myself, but I did see the text for that option long time ago.
edited by Fhoenix on 12/21/2014

I think it makes sense, myself. By shutting down the Squad’s corrupt activities, you shut down everything an officer-adventurer like yourself might profit from - the extortion, the disappearing of evidence, the outright robbery - and, in doing so, ticking off the Squad’s loyalists so much that they don’t want anything to do with you. You force them to actually be responsible, law-abiding police officers, alienating yourself in the process.
edited by Sir Frederick Tanah-Chook on 12/21/2014

As Salvation Denied already mentioned the option does not say anything about shutting down. I agree that the wording may be misleading.

Thank you Fhoenix, that is my exact problem. I strongly feel that I have been misled. I chose to reform the squad, not to shut it down. I actually enjoy the fact that I was part of a brutal enforcement agency. The text never mentions shutting down the squad, only that you may rework it in some manner to a different end. Further, the outcome changes other characteristics of your character without any mention or previous involvement, Empire’s Kingmaker. I honestly feel that I have paid to get screwed over, rather than the story as it was presented, and I do not like that.

I’ve played through the same content; I think it was plenty clear that said option was that you were trying to REFORM the Velocipede squad, not merely REWORK it. That is, make it more fair and less brutal. If you wanted the brutality, I think it was pretty clear that said options would not be available if you continued it until the end.
(That said, I was also alive to the mechanics clues; the Jack-of-Smiles case is locked at Spinning of the Wheels 9, and the Reform option specifically states that you have to get that quality to 9 to complete it, so I wasn’t blindsided when the time came.)

I didn’t notice the Empire’s Kingmaker, though, since I was already Conscience of Empire.

it would be nice to actually have an opportunity to rework it, though…

[quote=Rackenhammer] If you wanted the brutality, I think it was pretty clear that said options would not be available if you continued it until the end.

As I stated in my original post, my intention was to reform the squad so that I could have more control over it. There are several different actions in FL that let you commit a seemingly good act for personal gain, such as helping old women into carriages so that you can rob them. It is not such a stretch to see the difference between being part of the brutal squad or ousting the directors and calling the shots. The best way to accomplish this? Why by appealing to the conscience with evidence of wrongdoing, of course. Duplicity and intrigue are rampant in FL, particularly with character traits such as Subtle and Ruthless, this I strongly feel is a situation in which the bottom line was not clear, given the context FL has built, and I have paid real money to suffer the consequences.

While I may not have the tenure that some here do, I have been at this for almost a year now. I have had exceptional friendship for several months and paid nex/fate for several stories. I am mindful of my actions and seriously consider what I do, and this warping of my character bothers me a great deal. I used to really enjoy sitting down to FL for a few minutes several times a day, now I am not so sure.

I just finished the storyline with reforming the squad and I’m also really disappointed in how it ends. There was almost no story in the storyline, just a minimal amount of writing, the reward at the end was nowhere near worth the massive grind that the storyline was and it locked me out of one of the most profitable echo grinds in the game. I guess it is better than the rubbery murders thanks to the bike you get at the start, but that was the only worthwhile part of it. Not having fate-locked stories in the wiki can really screw you over. I hope I can still finish the Jack story (at the part where I have to go to Polythreme).

[quote=Salvation Denied]

As I stated in my original post, my intention was to reform the squad so that I could have more control over it. There are several different actions in FL that let you commit a seemingly good act for personal gain, such as helping old women into carriages so that you can rob them. [/quote]

Yes, but most of those options actually spell out that you’re doing it for personal gain. If there was an option to take over the squad for yourself, it would have been spelled out. When one is writing a long storyline, it is often not possible to anticipate all the in-character reasons for taking particular actions.
Your own reasoning, while well thought-out in its own right, is not likely to have occurred to everyone, and more idealistic motivations would be the reason why more would choose to reform the squad. Remember, Victorian London was just as sentimental as it was cynical; and virtue would sometimes triumph in spite of itself. It is a mistake for the villainous to assume that their intrigues will always turn out the way they planned…

The storylet does kind of spell out exactly what’s going to happen.
I get that you wanted to reform them and lead them, but that’s just not possible. A squad which is it’s own authority is inherently corrupt.
Besides, you came in as just a copper. They’re not going to make you in charge of the thing just because you uncovered its corruption and nothing in the text suggested it might.
It sounds like you made up your mind what was going to happen with the game and are upset it didn’t.

The Velocipede Squad carousel isn’t that profitable. It’s about as profitable as the Foreign Office. There are far superior money making options.

You are right, there was no suggestion that it would allow me to take over. That was my plan, no statement said I could. There was also no statement that said I would be locked out of the content if I proceeded and tried what I wanted to do. That is what bothers me. To those of you who wish to place the blame on me, keep in mind that there are several turning points in other stories which happen as you progress. Just because something starts one way, does not mean it will end so. There was no warning about the change to my character’s traits, there was no warning that reformation secretly means locking out the content. Ultimately I paid to get screwed over due to poor/inconsistent implementation. You can vote down my concerns, and chastise me all you want. At the end of the day I bought a product and it did things that it didn’t say it would do and I am disgruntled.

If you are grinding for Airag, it’s a superior source of wine. Also it’s the only carousel for dangerous, so if you are trying to raise your stats it’s very useful. In fact lately I’ve been doing it more the Affair of the Box.

The option is called &quotReform the Velocipede Squad from the inside&quot.
According to wikipedia &quotReform is generally distinguished from revolution. The latter means basic or radical change; whereas reform may be no more than fine tuning, or at most redressing serious wrongs without altering the fundamentals of the system. Reform seeks to improve the system as it stands, never to overthrow it wholesale. &quot
What happens is a radical and fundamental change (at least from player’s point of view), that throws out the whole carousel. Yes it warns you &quotconsequences could be severe&quot, but saying it’s spelled out is a stretch.
edited by Fhoenix on 12/22/2014

Honestly, after so many storylets in which an attempt to be virtuous only seems to make things worse, or to give no sort of reward, I’m more amused than anything else at a tale of villainy foiled by the unexpected virtue of NPC’s.

There are dangerous options all the way through lethal prominence (and then cashing in dramatic tension for collated research in wilmot’s end for, I think, 147 ppa? - assuming that you want to grind so much that you wouldn’t find enough tomb colonist OP cards to cash in all the collections of curiosities), or breeding beasts (hyenas are about 131 ppa)

Personally I think there is already too much warning about what happens with storylets.
It seems every option these days has to tell you exactly what’s going to happen, what the reward is going to be and an extra warning in case anything bad might happen.
It’s too much metagame and it distracts from story. Moreover, it turns the game from a story based game into a resource management.
It was also one of those things that made you think twice because your actions had consequences. From choosing the Devils or the Constable to making a decision in the University investigation. Whatever decisions you make was one you had to live with.
And sometimes that regret was part of the inworld experience.

It used to be if you were really worried about what would happen, you’d search the wiki or ask around the forums or just learn to live with sub-optimal rewards in favor of in-character choice.
Not getting precisely what I want and, sometimes, not knowing what I’m going to get, is one of the things I enjoy about the game.

Personally, I do tend to play cautiously, and explore all possible outcomes thoroughly before committing myself to a decision. So, generally, I do appreciate warnings about where content leads.

At the same time, I did think the &quotreform from within&quot ending to that story was entirely appropriate - better than I would have expected, even. The choice at the heart of the story seems to be to be simple: does one approve of the Squad’s violent, corrupt methods? If yes, one stays with them and continues to profit. If not, one tries to stop them from using those methods.

In game mechanics terms, I can see only two ways of representing the latter outcome - either locking off the Velocipede Squad carousel entirely, or creating an entirely new one, only available through that story thread, entirely made up of peaceful, law-abiding Velocipede Squad activities. Such a carousel would, presumably, be less Dangerous and less profitable than the one it replaced - in other words, it would be entirely pointless to play.

I don’t like to tread on others’ heacanons, but the assumption that reforming the Squad would mean retaining their present profiteering while somehow restructuring them to give the player greater power and influence… well, it seems rather unlikely. If that were a possibility, why would the option to leave them as they are even exist? It would presumably only be taken by those who are entirely unscrupuous but also entirely unambitious.