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Noman Tattoo Prep 2017:Getting Down to Brass Tacks Messages in this topic - RSS

Televangelist
Televangelist
Posts: 153

9/27/2017
I assume quite a few people are shooting for a Noman Tattoo this year. However, the guides out there to help you along the way are somewhat outdated, and they focus more on how to spend your Pails and Tears once you've got them than how to prep for the season -- which is the biggest thing that's changed this year.

Since there's not a combined info thread for everyone prepping for 2017, I decided to put all my research into one place. Feel free to suggest additions.

Also, if it sounds like I'm being excessively practical about this, and not really coming at it with Fallen London-esque whimsy, blame Failbetter for making endgame content where if you fail you lose months and months of preparation, not me. smile When the consequences of failure are so staggeringly high, people take it upon themselves to figure out how not to fail.

Bottom line: You want a lot of Pails, and you want a lot of Tears. As a ballpark, you probably want materials for 20 pails (aka 20 Night Whispers, 140 Storm Threnodies) and 15 Tears to feel comfortable heading into Sacksmas. You've got a long time to accumulate the ingredients for both -- and you've probably been doing so already. But how to get them?

There are some key changes this year. The main gist is that because of the conversion to Favours, your success is now much more dependent on high card draw over a long period of time -- perhaps months -- than you were in the past. The components of both Tears and Pails will require a very large amount of favours to create in an efficient and timely fashion.


Let's start with fate-locked content that you'll ideally want to have:

  • Sinning Jenny's Finishing School. This is a huge engine for both card draw and favors, which will be crucial for your production of Pails and Tears.
  • The Soul Trade, if you're willing to side with the Shepherds (you should! we're nice!), for Church favours generation.
  • The fate-locked boosts to your BDR. Peculiar Rubbery Enhancement from Flute Street, the Golden Spiked Rosary and Tanned Mask from the Feast of the Exceptional Rose, the Ratwork Velocipede, the Bifurcated Owl. Your ability to rapidly generate and regenerate 7 Notability over and over again, whether on command or via cards drawn from your deck, will be a major determinant of how quickly you can produce Tears.
  • Some extra fate for expeditions to the Gallery of Serpents, if you're far short of your Tears goals and Sacksmas is right around the corner. $20 worth of Fate will on average get you about four Tears, and tons of additional rewards besides; it's the best exchange of real money for Tears that you'll get.
  • If I remember correctly, several of the Exceptional Stories offer Tears as a possible end reward (or was it one of the Seasons?) -- that might be a last-ditch way to get a few more on short notice. I don't remember which ones, but someone else here will.

You'll also want a remote address, obviously, to maximize your deck thinning.


Beyond these, for Tears you'll want:

  • Strangling Willow Absinthe (probably from The Affair Of The Box, though if you have a lot of Casing it could make sense to do some Thefts of Particular Character into Tales of Terror and side-convert some into SWA from there)
  • Church Favors, which are now required for the up-conversion; if you have high BDR, this is likely to be your biggest chokepoint, since you'll be getting the Presumptuous Opportunity card
  • A five-card lodging (for the Nadir once a week, to maximize your odds of drawing End of Battles for more Airag)
  • Membership in God's Editors, as another source of Church favors.
  • A lot of echoes, if you're a Shepherd, so you can generate huge numbers of Church favours whenever you draw the CVE card.

For Pails, you'll want:

  • Night Whispers, which are simple enough to obtain -- Casing in the Flit --> Thefts of Particular Character --> Tales of Terror --> Fidgeting Writer --> exit with Night Whisper.
  • Storm Threnodies, which are more complex to produce, and which drive all the other needs below.
  • An Overgoat, which you'll use to rob the Bazaar for 8 actions every time you draw the card, using a second chance each time (which doesn't require an additional 8 actions, don't worry) to give yourself a functional 75% success rate.
  • Tons and tons of Urchin favors. An incredible number, honestly.
  • A Winsome Dispossessed Urchin, as another source of Urchin favors.
  • A Gang of Hoodlums, in order to best accumulate Casing in the Flit.
  • Access to Flute Street and Monster Breeding in the Labyrinth of Tigers, so that you can start your day by getting a Rubbery Hound from Flute Street. Ordinarily, the 39 actions it takes to go to Flute Street, get a Rubbery Hound, and come back will mean you miss out on a ton of card draw, so it's far from optimal. But if you do the 39 action part in Flute Street when you first wake up in the morning and have 40 actions in your candle, you don't have that problem... each morning, I now flip cards until I get enough useless ones that I'm at 39 or 40 actions and 5 cards remaining in my deck. I then dip down to Flute Street, grab myself a Rubbery Hound, and come back up immediately, resetting my deck to 10 cards. Breed it throughout the rest of the day by Pulling Out All The Stops, and you'll save a lot of effort acquiring Urchins Favours.

(Note that the Pails grind can also be simplified dramatically by doing the Exceptional Story Hojotoho! and choosing what I'd consider to be the 'bad' ending, which gives an option in the Foreign Office grind to obtain Storm Threnodies directly, totally obviating the need for Urchin favors. But I'm going to assume that you don't want to do that, because it would mean you have no soul.)

For both Pails and Favors, if you're at the end of the endgame and seriously planning on a Noman tattoo, your limiting factor this year will likely be favours generation (unless you're not within 1 or 2 the non-SMEN BDR cap, in which case your limiting factor for the Tears will be pails). Aside from getting all the items you need, the things you can do to boost favours generation are fairly limited: your Connected Pet (I set mine to Urchins), your choice of favours from the end of Finishing School (I go with whichever one is the road block for me at this very moment), and then simply thinning your deck as much as humanly possible, plus drawing as many cards as humanly possible -- which means copious use of Finishing School as well as careful use of Polite Invitations, the Nadir, etc. when you have exactly 5 cards in your deck to maximize the 'doubling' effect of leaving and entering those settings.



What does this look like in practice, for me?

  • Until I'm where I need to be on Storm Threnodies, I'm taking advantage of the 40 action build-up overnight by starting my morning with the Flute Street carousel, spending 39 actions and 100 foxfire candles to get a Rubbery Hound that I'll then breed into Storm Threnodies with spare actions throughout my day.
  • I'm drawing all my cards in a location that doesn't add cards to my deck (though if you were really desperate for Church favors, you could draw in Spite, which gives a card with a very inconvenient way of getting another favor)
  • Each day my actions are split between Sinning Jenny's to draw more cards and thus favours, Affair of the Box to get more Strangling Willow Absinthe, and Casing in the Flit to get more Journals of Infamy which I convert to correspondence plaques and then onward to Aeolian Screams and Storm Threnodies. If my progress on one front starts to pull way ahead of the others (tons of wine or plaques piling up, or favours count nearing 7), I shift my focus accordingly.

edited by Televangelist on 9/28/2017
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Televangelist
Televangelist
Posts: 153

9/27/2017
Hmm, writing this out has actually made me think that I should experiment with one carousel of Flute Street in the morning to breed the Rubbery Hound. Waiting until I've got 39 actions and 5 cards in hand, doing the Flute Street carousel in one go, and getting that sweet 5 card boost plus a Hound, which I'd then breed throughout the day...

Anything more than once per day would be impractical, though, since you're unlikely to have 39 actions in your candle.

While this would mean fewer actions for Finishing School and thus less card draw/favours, it would dramatically reduce my reliance on Urchins favours (every 5 Storm Threnodies from Flute Street is 3.5 Urchins favours I don't need) so probably still a win overall.
edited by Televangelist on 9/27/2017
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Fluffy
Fluffy
Posts: 41

9/27/2017
Long Story Short: The Favours conversion spoiled a lot of Sacksmas for many people.
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Televangelist
Televangelist
Posts: 153

9/27/2017
Fluffy Monotreme wrote:
Long Story Short: The Favours conversion spoiled a lot of Sacksmas for many people.



That was last year. This is this year, and knowing that it's a thing, it's gotta be planned around. Hence this guide, since nobody else stepped up and updated the old ones.
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Fluffy
Fluffy
Posts: 41

9/27/2017
It still objectively made Sacksmas only harder and not at all easier in any way.
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Pumpkinhead
Pumpkinhead
Posts: 516

9/28/2017
Fluffy Monotreme wrote:
It still objectively made Sacksmas only harder and not at all easier in any way.

Well, since the Noman's friend TtH decreases are something FB balances from year to year, it very well could be that you won't have to grind it up as high as last year since they realize the favors will have made it harder.
edited by Pumpkinhead on 9/28/2017

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Televangelist
Televangelist
Posts: 153

9/28/2017
Listen, this isn't the thread to say I Don't Like The Thing ad infinitum. This is a practical what-works thread about how to deal with The Thing as it is, not as you might wish it to be.
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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3768

9/28/2017
There's lots of references to having a 10-card deck or two candles, so might want to note Exceptional Friendship as one of the ideal Fate things.

Televangelist wrote:

  • Sinning Jenny's Finishing School. This is a huge engine for both card draw and favors, which will be crucial for your production of Pails and Tears.


For Cider owners, you can also spend five carnival tickets to gaze into Heart's Mirror while wounded and go to the slow boat, then instantly come back. The best source of tickets I know of is during the FotER and provides 10 tickets per action plus some other odds and ends. With that source you're spending 2.5 actions (plus whatever you do to get wounds) to double your deck twice. Depending on deck clutter this might be better than the finishing school.

Televangelist wrote:

  • ...the Golden Spiked Rosary...


Or you could just Seek to get an even better weapon! Totally worth throwing away all the needed items you might already have.

Televangelist wrote:

  • Strangling Willow Absinthe (probably from The Affair Of The Box, though if you have a lot of Casing it could make sense to do some Thefts of Particular Character into Tales of Terror and side-convert some into SWA from there)

I did the math on this a year or so ago: if I'm remembering right, it was very slightly more efficient to grind Broken Giant through the Velocipede Squad than to grind Strangling Willow via AotB and upconvert. Now that you need Favours for upconversion, I bet it's even better. Some people will be locked out of the grind though if they chose the wrong ending to the Fate extension.
edited by Optimatum on 9/28/2017

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Harlocke
Harlocke
Posts: 506

9/28/2017
15 tears?! Yikes, I've been vastly underestimating what I'll need. I'm sitting at 8 tears on my main and 4 on my alt, and I thought I was doing pretty well.

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ExceptionallyDelicious
ExceptionallyDelicious
Posts: 201

9/28/2017

Some people will be locked out of the grind though if they chose the wrong ending to the Fate extension.



Which there just so happened to be minimal warning for. Why even have a compromise option if it's still the same end result as outright betrayal? Probably not the place for my salt, sorry.

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Sara Hysaro
Sara Hysaro
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Posts: 4514

9/28/2017
The compromise option is there primarily to illustrate why there can't be any compromise in that situation.

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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3768

9/28/2017
Oh, right, I think there's also a better source of Correspondence Plaques than Thefts of a Particular Character. Some math I did a year or so ago put Thefts at ~2.45 Plaques per action, while breeding Somnolent Hyaenas via Fungus and Pious Wrath gives at least ~2.6 Plaques per action. That number might need updating, but it was a lowball estimate at the time anyways - I was assuming the harder difficulty for the luck challenge and didn't include rare successes for grinding the needed honey via UB.

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genesis
genesis
Posts: 934

9/28/2017
Personally, last year I found that Bazaar Tears are harder to get and less reliable to use. So I used *only* the pails and it worked out pretty well for me. But obviously this year thing might be different.

The only ES I am aware of that directly gives Tears is the end-of-season wrap up for the Season of Ruins. So you'd need to pay for 3 stories every time you want to get some tears.

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Televangelist
Televangelist
Posts: 153

9/28/2017
Good to know about Velocipede Squad! Like a lot of folks I imagine, I'm locked out of that carousel. But yes, that would save a *lot* of Church favours.

Somnolent Hyaena is good thinking as well, I'll give that a go...

(Debating the Nature of Primordial Shrieks would be more like 2.1 plaques per action, right? Assuming Aeolian Screams count as 5 plaques? or less?)

(It's also nice that you can simply pay to get the needed honey at the Bazaar, speeding up the process if you're on a tight time schedule)
edited by Televangelist on 9/28/2017
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Televangelist
Televangelist
Posts: 153

9/28/2017
Okay, tried out the Flute Street Once Per Day In The Morning approach. It works well! Went in with 40 actions and 5 cards in my deck, came out with 1 action, 10 cards, and...

...a direful reflection, because I forgot that you needed 100 candles to breed the thing. Ah well, one step closer to my Parabolan Base Camp I suppose. But it did grant the 5 bonus cards for moving to/from a location with a special deck, so that's nice!
edited by Televangelist on 9/28/2017
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Televangelist
Televangelist
Posts: 153

9/28/2017
Okay, thinking on it more, it seems optimal to purely focus on the Hound for Storm Threnodies, as 4.75 per day will get you easily to your goal before Sacksmas arrives. That frees up all your Urchins favours for Calling In Favors, which shortens the 12800 scrap mega-grind considerably.
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Sir Reginald Monteroy
Sir Reginald Monteroy
Posts: 385

9/28/2017
Thank you for a very nice and comprehensive guide. Coming into this as an endgame player (who's currently more concerned about Notability grinding for Paramount Presence), I do have a few questions:

- Where exactly does the Notability grind come into the whole thing? Is it for summoning the Portly Sommelier's card via Favourable Circumstance?

- The Echo Bazaar Wiki entry for Time the Healer states that the range of Noman's Friend drop is 101-150. The entry for Giving sustenance to the Noman via the Tears gives an increase in the range of 1-25; the Pails give 5 if given directly, or up to 9 per pail if converted via the Semiotic Monocle. Now, I am not sure how many hits of TtH you need to take to make it for the tatoo - 4? 5?
But even if I go with 4, considering a drop of up to 150 Noman's friend per TtH would require you to burn through as much as 600 Noman's Friend over the month or so.
Either I'm unaware of something crucial, or this math would indicate that 15 Tears and 20 pails would provide some 370 Noman's friend considering an average gain per Tears. Add the first 100 you get when you obtain the Noman, and you're still at 470, 130 short of 600. Even if you get a bit more lucky than that, the amount of material you stated seems nowhere near a "comfortable" amount, unless you could somehow count for all RNG to provide max numbers by sheer luck...

- Do we expect this to keep getting more challenging by an order of magnitude every year? I currently have quite few Threnodies and not much material for Tears either, so should I just focus on grinding these exclusively because next year will likely double the requirements again, or is it hopeless to start planning this late into the year anyway?

Cheers,
Sir Reginald Monteroy

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genesis
genesis
Posts: 934

9/28/2017
Aardvark wrote:

- [...]Is it for summoning the Portly Sommelier's card via Favourable Circumstance?

Sommelier and/or Urchin/Church faction cards


- The Echo Bazaar Wiki entry for Time the Healer states that the range of Noman's Friend drop is 101-150. The entry for Giving sustenance to the Noman via the Tears gives an increase in the range of 1-25; the Pails give 5 if given directly, or up to 9 per pail if converted via the Semiotic Monocle. Now, I am not sure how many hits of TtH you need to take to make it for the tatoo - 4? 5?
But even if I go with 4, considering a drop of up to 150 Noman's friend per TtH would require you to burn through as much as 600 Noman's Friend over the month or so.
Either I'm unaware of something crucial, or this math would indicate that 15 Tears and 20 pails would provide some 370 Noman's friend considering an average gain per Tears. Add the first 100 you get when you obtain the Noman, and you're still at 470, 130 short of 600. Even if you get a bit more lucky than that, the amount of material you stated seems nowhere near a "comfortable" amount, unless you could somehow count for all RNG to provide max numbers by sheer luck...


I haven't checked the figures in OP but it's worth noting that Noman's Friend drop rates are not constant week-on-week. So within a particular week the drop is random but the *range* of that random drop also changes. In early weeks it's relatively mild. You can check this thread for last year's figures.


- Do we expect this to keep getting more challenging by an order of magnitude every year?


Not necessarily. We don't know. Tow years ago was harsher than three years ago but last year was less harsh than two years ago.

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idyl
idyl
Posts: 204

9/28/2017
Aardvark wrote:
- Where exactly does the Notability grind come into the whole thing? Is it for summoning the Portly Sommelier's card via Favourable Circumstance?
Yes, that's correct. If you want to get as many Tears as possible in the quickest manner, grinding Notability to use for Favourable Circumstances helps.

Aardvark wrote:
- The Echo Bazaar Wiki entry for Time the Healer states that the range of Noman's Friend drop is 101-150. The entry for Giving sustenance to the Noman via the Tears gives an increase in the range of 1-25; the Pails give 5 if given directly, or up to 9 per pail if converted via the Semiotic Monocle. Now, I am not sure how many hits of TtH you need to take to make it for the tatoo - 4? 5?
But even if I go with 4, considering a drop of up to 150 Noman's friend per TtH would require you to burn through as much as 600 Noman's Friend over the month or so.
Either I'm unaware of something crucial, or this math would indicate that 15 Tears and 20 pails would provide some 370 Noman's friend considering an average gain per Tears. Add the first 100 you get when you obtain the Noman, and you're still at 470, 130 short of 600. Even if you get a bit more lucky than that, the amount of material you stated seems nowhere near a "comfortable" amount, unless you could somehow count for all RNG to provide max numbers by sheer luck...
A couple of points:

The melt rate starts out much lower, and the range increases each week. The first week only takes ~40 Noman's Friend, but by mid March it takes up to 150. Even if you start in mid January, you can get to February losing an average of 150 NF. Once February starts, the melt rate increases dramatically, losing ~105 NF per week.

You're statistically better off Warming the Tears rather than giving them straight to the Noman. Warming them gets you, on average, 18 points of NF, while giving them directly gets you, on average, 12 NF.

You only need the Noman to last four or five weeks, depending on when you create it. If you create it in the middle of January, five weeks will take you to the time that Lilac shows up.

Going from mid January to mid February will use up, on average, ~360 points of NF. (This is based on last season's numbers; this season's might be different.) So, counting the 100 NF you start with, you only need to get ~260 more. Again, that's an average, so more to be safe. Plus we don't know if they're increasing the melting this season.

Even if you hit the max amount of melting in each range for those five weeks, you'd still only need 435 NF. 450 puts you over the top. So (based on last season), figure out how to get ~350 points of NF (after your original 100). Warming Tears nets you ~18 NF each, Pails net you 9 NF each. Get the supplies for either or both of them to reach 350.

OP's suggestion of 20 Pails and 15 Tears is a pretty good estimate. You could probably do it with 20 Pails and only 10 Tears (which would get you 360 NF, on average), but it's better to be safe than sorry.


Aardvark wrote:
- Do we expect this to keep getting more challenging by an order of magnitude every year? I currently have quite few Threnodies and not much material for Tears either, so should I just focus on grinding these exclusively because next year will likely double the requirements again, or is it hopeless to start planning this late into the year anyway?
FB changes the melt rage (which alters the difficulty) based on criteria only they know. I believe at one point they said it changes depending on how many people are going for the Tattoo, succeeding, etc. So each year is kind of a surprise.

Sources:

All of the 2017 Noman data posted on this forum:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTeCX-nII7t7OUBdcoPu4i9rfIf_pwuNJJQoV-wyGIMUX9LNlJS7fypnfxquc7AZ3IDiV_Trk_e6y1Z/pubhtml?gid=711702425&single=true

Comparison of 2016 / 2017 data: https://imgur.com/ElV7qoB

~~~~~
edited by idyl on 9/29/2017

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Waterpls
Waterpls
Posts: 609

9/29/2017
So, you need to draw "A presumptuous little opportunity" 8 times per Tear. For 15 Tears its 120 cards.
And for conversion (from Strangling Willow Absinthe) you need 24.5 Church favours per Tear. For 15 tears its 367.5 Favours.
For 3 mounths you need 5 Favourable Circumstance per day. Not sure how much it costs in actions, probably a lot even with 30+ BDR.

875 Bottle of Strangling Willow Absinthe per Tear. 13125 for 15 Tears.
A Boxful of Intrigue reward is 35 Absinthe for 14 actions, so its 5250 Actions. Or ~45 days grind.
edited by Waterpls on 9/29/2017

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