Is it just me, or is the balance on statues in the upper river really, really wonky?
In general the statues seem to either give favors, or allow you to cash in favors at a very good rate. The statues in Ealing are well-balanced, each one allows you to trade favors at a roughly 6 echoes/favour rate. this does favour (heh) statues that require 4 favours because the EPA is higher, but otherwise it makes a lot of sense. It means favors are worth getting.
Then comes Jericho, which always takes in church favours, either 1, 2 or 4. The options which require fewer favours seem to give them a higher value, in such a way that the EPA always comes out to roughly 5 if you’re getitng the church favours in one action each. The balance is a bit wonky with the statues that only take 1 favour because the upper river has so many cards that give church favours (Why has it got 2?) so you end up getting more favours than you can spend, but otherwise all makes sense.
Then comes the magistracy and all sense of sanity goes out the window. The widow statue requires 4 favours and gives 12.5E plus a bundle. Meanwhile the Clay Highwayman statue gives the same reward for 2 criminal favours, which are easier to obtain. Then there’s the statue to the Yourself, which… gives you a constable favour. Not even a guaranteed constable favour, with endgame equipment the check is at 84%. Compare to London where you can get those guaranteed if you just spend 10 pence. The failure on the check even gives menace. What the heck is happening here? Constables favours are actually worthless. You cannot use them to upconvert and the only thing they give is surface currency (bad EPA) or special dispensations (useless). I suppose it’s nice if you want to clear your criminal record, but the statue doesn’t really offer anything that you can’t get in London better. The magistracy has a statue with twice the value of another, and then a statue that is completely worthless, whut?
Speaking of Worthless, Burrow-Infra-Mump has two statue options which are worth even less than the statue to yourself in the magistracy. The statues to St Augustine and St Hildegard allow you to trade one favour for another at the cost of 10 pence, which is a net negative gain any way you slice it. It’s not even trading low-value favours for high-value (which would not justify using it since that difference is very small), it trades rev for bohemian or society for church. Rev favours are more valuable than bohemian favours unless you have a particular statue in Ealing (and even if you do, it’s better to get boho favours in London anyway), while church favors you can get for free easily in the Upper River with 2 other cards. The Statue to yourself option is a little better, offering mediocre options in terms of value but rewarding items that are fairly hard to obtain. But then there’s the statue to the custom saint, which is overwhelmingly the best statue in the entire upper river and comes equipped with an actually interesting mechanic involving your skeleton in progress and the very useful Connected: Benthic. Like, this statue is actually busted.
Meanwhile, Moullin has three options. One gives free favors or 3.5E depending on monograph in progress, which is at least better than the statue of yourself at the magistracy, but is still quite lackluster and doesn’t really offer much above the London deck. The other options allow you to trade favours at a similar value to the statues in Jericho, so those are obviously superior.
So, for those keeping score, we got
Ealing - 6 good statue options, some slightly better than others
Jericho - 4 good statue options, roughly equal
Magistracy - 1 good statue, one mediocre statue, one worthless statue
Burrow-Infra-Mump - 1 Amazing Statue, 1 alright statue, 2 less than worthless ones (+1 fate locked that idk what it does)
Moulin - 1 bad statue, 2 good statues
The discrepancy in statue values in Moulin, Magistracy and specially Burrow-Infra-Mump seems like a design oversight and is a bit of a slap to the face to those who choose bad statues for roleplay purposes. Doubly so when you consider that the amazing statue at Burrow-Infra-Mump is locked behind a certain church dedication, which you have no way of knowing when you start building your church.
A bit of asymmetry in the design will always be a nice part of the favours system, but this just feels busted.
edited by NotaWalrus on 4/16/2021