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Zack Oak
Zack Oak
Posts: 205

6/30/2018
So this year's election, our third, is absolutely my favorite mechanically. Last year's was... A Thing, and it really made me happy to see Failbetter trying something new. I'm hoping they'll continue the trend of making it more fun as it goes. So here's my feedback on what I loved (the great), what I liked (the good), what I didn't care for (the bad), and what I really, really, really did not like (the ugly). Hopefully this helps!

The great:
  • No more profession-specific currency to grind! A single currency item. This is nice, and I really prefer it to
  • Fixers, Campaigners, and Agitators are finally on equal footing for play! This was by far the worst part of past elections, and I cannot stress enough how happy I am to see the professions actually be equal amounts of fun.
  • Being able to buy past election items in the market, regardless of affiliation. That was really cool of you, and I'll be thrilled if it continues.
  • Best in stat/only dangerous transport in the market? H*ck yes. I have missed having best-in-stat items get made for events, y'all. I have had a mighty need.

The Good:
  • Flash lays are for all professions, and are still pretty fun.
  • The ways to trade reputation for MW and items are super-profitable.
  • Pinning the "advance your career" option.

The bad:

  • Candidate cards. Random draws to even talk to my candidate when there's a two-week time frame. There's no reason for them to be cards, especially when I can't discard them anyway.
  • Poll cards as a random draw. It feels unnecessary when they're daily.
  • No mayoral ball story like last year's, which was really the part of the last election I liked the most.
The ugly:
  • The slow rate of grind for reputation compared with the cost of options that use it. Once you hit profession 20, it's not as much of a problem, but when you need 4 points per rank of profession and 5 for the last, how on earth can you spend it on the fun lore and profitable options? If the reputation gain card let you repeat item/favor trade-ins for reputation, this would be less of a problem, but when it's one donation per draw, it's very hard.
  • RNG. RNG. RNG. It's a time-locked campaign, and the biggest block of content in it is buried in my opportunity deck under cards for items and other junk. I need reputation to play options, but that's RNG. I need to spend the reputation to learn about the candidates, which is RNG. Each card dilutes access to the others. I understand that there's a worry of people blitzing through content, but I'd rather run through it early than never see it at all. I personally won't be sad if the cards to play the election are pinned, and I don't think it'd be remiss to try it next time around.


--
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1692

6/30/2018
Great summary!
If I may chime in:
First of all, thanks to Failbetter for making a fun event while redesigning the site and launching Sunless Sky. This can't have been easy.


The pros:

-Great writing

-all professions were on equal footing.

-favors were a good way to earn reputation for those who had less time to play, and Electoral Opportunism was profitable
-Candidate cards were also profitable!

-Being able to either heckle or support your candidate on their card, was a great idea.

-pinned 'Advance your Career" option.
-being able to ask your candidate more in-depth questions as your reputation progressed. Makes sense!
-No need to be social or well-connected to advance. You could play solo and use the forums for debates if you were so inclined.
-Great items, appreciated the fate options too (BiS is always nice)

-frequent 'favors in the flit' card. Only indirectly elections-related, but I loved it.


The cons:
-RNG bad - in two different ways. Needing a card to gather reputation for a time limited event = stress. Then, when the card was made abundant, you could not get rid of it or draw anything else for that matter.

Same with candidate cards - you should be able to grind a meeting. Spend a bit of making waves so you draw their attention? Spend society/hell/revolutionary favors to get their attention? Donate echoes to the campaign and get a chance to talk with them? The deck would still carry the cards, and drawing one would be a lucky incident.

-Taking away the cases, the special edition newspaper and only introducing the Flash Lay on the second week, also bad. Not only where these stress-free ways to earn reputation, they were also immersive, and gave you more lore snippets. Not to mention that the poor newspaper never gets used otherwise, and case notes are impossible to grind elsewhere.

-The Flash Lay difficulty was random. As an endgame player loaded with equipment I could pull through the hardest one, but what about beginning or mid-level players caught in there? Why not have two Flash Lays on the storylet, giving out different amounts of reputation?

-A small gripe: why was Mr Slowcake the only one you learned more and more about on his card? I appreciate the fact his 'existence' is quite complicated, but the other two are not exactly upfront either.


Finally, and this is highly subjective, I am not sure I enjoyed being asked to choose between three unsavory candidates. Nothing bad with that narrative choice (Fallen London is a dark story after all) but I personally missed really wanting someone to win. Please do not make us choose between the Vake, a Fluke Core and Mr Eaten next year.

--
Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
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dov
dov
Posts: 2580

6/30/2018
Jolanda Swan wrote:
Great summary!
-The Flash Lay difficulty was random. As an endgame player loaded with equipment I could pull through the hardest one, but what about beginning or mid-level players caught in there? Why not have two Flash Lays on the storylet, giving out different amounts of reputation?

The Flash Lay difficulty wasn't random - it was just bugged for a while:

When starting a Flash Lay from the Election storylet, instead of setting the Flash Lay Challenge Level to 1 (fit for stat level 25), it instead increased the challenge level by 1. So every consecutive Flash Lay got harder and harder.

Once reported to FBG it got fixed.

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Lady Sapho Byron
Lady Sapho Byron
Posts: 766

6/30/2018
The Good

Mr Huffam's Polls: The writing for these was so fun to read! I also liked the dynamism of the polls and that we all got to play with a non-political side of the election.

Deliberation: Being able to engage in a great deal of the election without having to immediately declare for a candidate was a wonderful!

Flash Lays: The use of Flash Lays to acquire Reputation and to learn about candidates struck me as excellently balanced. It required players to ‘work hard’ (in the form of number of actions), but not too hard, to get valuable resources and avoided the pitfall of rewards being entirely luck based.

Candidate Content: I very much enjoyed how much talking the candidates (or their representatives) did in describing (or concealing) their political intentions.

The Not So Good

A Lack of Social Actions: I had tremendous fun in the 1895 election seeking and giving political contributions as a Campaigner, getting Menace help from Fixers, and engaging in vigorous debates. Although the some of the election social action mechanics needed improvement, I very much missed them this year.

RNG Tyranny: During the first week of the election, the only way to gain Reputation was through the whims of the RNG. I was quite blessed (perhaps I will give a Devilbone Die to the RNG this Advent), but others were damnably unlucky, which was No Fun At All.

The Captivating Princess Artwork: Sorry FBG! In her old portrait the CP appeared to be sophisticated, supercilious, and mildly bored … which is how I imagine she looks most of the time. In her current portrait she looks like a debutant entirely without any dangerously hard edges.

Next Time

I would be delighted to see the mayoral elections have some substantial impacts on game play. These impacts needn’t be all pervasive, but they should be greater than has so far been the case. As just one example from an endless variety of possibilities: if the DTC won last year, the payoff for all actions that yielded Prisoner’s Honey would have been reduced by half to reflect the scarcity of this substance as a result of her policies.

--
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1692

6/30/2018
Hmmmm, or a storylet might appear, allowing you to give her all your honey in exchange for something else.
Of course the mayor always appear in a Fate story, or a festival, but it would be fun to know more of their work during the year.

--
Lover of all things beautiful, secret admirer of ugly truths, fond of the Parabola Sun... and always delighted to role play.
http://fallenlondon.com/profile/Jolanda%20Swan
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Ambystoma Maculatum
Ambystoma Maculatum
Posts: 18

6/30/2018
Personally I think overall I liked the previous mechanics better than this year's. That isn't to say I disliked this year at all - last year was one of my favorite Fallen London experiences ever, while this year was "merely" a thoroughly enjoyable festival. So first of all I'd like to thank everyone who worked on it!

Negatives:

I missed Cases and Flash Lays a lot. Investigating was great fun in the past two elections, and the way the results changed midway through gave a wonderful sense of the Election as a time of constantly developing intrigue. I really appreciated the twists and turns.

In a similar vein, I was sorry that the options for newspapers and parties were gone, since they helped the election feel like a truly city-wide phenomenon.

In the first week most of the ways of participating in the festival were almost entirely card-based. As an endgame player card-flipping is most of what I do anyway, so it didn't feel like too much of a deviation from the routine. (The introduction of Flash Lays in the second week remedied this considerably.)

Positives:

It was very nice to have more ways of interacting with the candidates on their cards.

Huffam's polls were great fun!

In general I liked the candidates a lot. Although I share the concern of some others that they aren't the most well-intentioned bunch on the whole (personally I think the Contrarian is a man of integrity but I acknowledge that's largely a matter of character interpretation), one of the best things about the Election for me is that the experience is different every year. Last year I loved being able to champion a candidate whose platform I wholeheartedly respected, and this year it was entertaining to have to pick my poison.

Things I'm Ambivalent About:

I know some people really appreciated that all the careers had the same advancement system, but I also feel like removing many of the mechanical differences made them feel less distinct, especially since the social actions that further distinguished them last year were gone.

Not being able to choose your candidate until the second week made it easier for me to deliberate until I'd sought out all the text for all the candidates, as I have in the past. It also maintained suspense, as after the past two years it was starting to feel inevitable that the frontrunner at the halfway point would win. However, story-wise it felt a bit odd. I was confused as to how I was becoming a well-known Campaigner without anyone having any idea whom I was campaigning for! Perhaps there's a way to get the best of both worlds here, like being able to accumulate resources before choosing a candidate but only spend them on advancement after.

Those are my thoughts - obviously there is no way to make every single player perfectly happy, and considering feedback must be a significant amount of work on top of the already tremendous effort of making the game. Once again, I'd like to thank Failbetter for creating this festival for us!

--
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Dudebro Pyro
Dudebro Pyro
Posts: 727

6/30/2018
Ambystoma Maculatum wrote:

-snip-

Oh hey look, I don't need to spend 10 minutes typing up my thoughts anymore, as you've done exactly that. It's almost uncanny.

--
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Mulligan
Mulligan
Posts: 2

7/1/2018
As this was my first election in Fallen London I can't speak much on the past elections, but I can definitely give my thoughts on my experience with this one.

The Positives:

Narrative -
While I have seen a lot of people voice their displeasure for this years candidates, I find the choices available to be very interesting. While they might not necessarily be the best for London, they provide great potential for future interactions. The opportunities to learn more about some of the most enigmatic characters in Fallen London is certainly welcome.

Interaction -
There was a lot to do in this election, and it actually made me feel like I was taking part in something decently big. I've put most of my progression on hold for the past two weeks to focus on racking up items and favors to advance my career and make sure that I can eventually get the lore on the candidates. The flash lays were a great way to get the feeling that our characters were snooping around uncovering secrets and the vital intelligence is quite nice (even if it doesn't do that much currently).

Reputation -
I found that this was a great system for advancing career progression while still maintaining value beyond the election through the option to cash it in for various items. It also made it feel like you were rallying people to a cause through the use of favors, which is a nice touch. I've seen people complain about the fact that you cannot discard the card, but I've found that it isn't too much of an issue so long as you have lodgings that allow you to hold three or more cards. That might not be the case for POSI who have to hold other important cards, but I'm not quite sure.

The Negative:

RNG -
Time limited lore is already a bit frustrating, but usually it's manageable. However, I got the feeling that the stories and lore snippets provided by the candidate you voted for were extremely held back by RNG, especially because we probably won't be able to access them again. I've seen a lot of people complain about this and as a personal anecdote I spent two days after I voted flipping cards in an attempt to find my candidate to no effect. I then drew it twice within an hour and haven't seen it since. It's unfortunate, but that's the way luck goes. The counter-argument to this would be that I could just read the journals of other players, but as FL is a role-playing game I would really enjoy my character being able to experience these events himself.

My Suggestions:
I strongly feel that there should be a way to force draw the card at a cost. Even if it is expensive (as the candidates are all busy and important people) a way to guarantee interactions would be great. Either that or the candidates could host a public forum on the last day of the election where there is an opportunity to interact with them at their respective (beginner friendly) locations (CP at Veilgarden, JC and Slowcake at Ladybones Road). Regardless, more opportunities for interaction would be a great tweak to the existing system (which I've found to be quite streamlined and enjoyable).

Overall, I had a lot of fun this election despite the fact that I probably won't be able to finish my candidates lore-snippets and hopefully this response adds something meaningful to the discussion. FBG did a great job at making this event fairly worthwhile.
edited by Mulligan on 7/1/2018

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Open to (most) interactions, but please don't expect an immediate response.
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Greg M
Greg M
Posts: 196

7/2/2018
[ETA: Okay, I just found out about the advancing content in "Meeting Mr. Slowcake," and I am disappointed I didn't know about that. It would be nice to get a bigger hint from Fallen London when there's an advancing storyline for one type of thing (a candidate) when it isn't there in two other candidates.]

This is my first election in FL, and I think a lot of things are working well--many have already mentioned them. But I'm very glad all three positions were basically equal, and that we had a full week before we had to choose a candidate. And having only one social status to grind (reputation).

I also really liked the increase in favor cards. I know some folk objected to this, but as I am trying to get my Renown: Society to 40 and am always in favor of more favours (PUN UNINTENTION), that strikes me as a positive.

Proposal: in both Sackmass and the Feast of the Rose, after a set amount of time, the random card is converted into a consistently accessible storylet. Maybe one week or 9 days into the election, that could happen as well (and if they don't want people to overgrind, limit it to 5 times you can do that per day.)

It sounds like some of the social actions last year were competitive or hostile, which FL folk respond poorly to. But it *would* be nice to have cooperative social actions (like we do in The Feast of the Rose.)

Those are my real suggestions. Fake suggestion: give players the chance to do a write-in candidate for mayor! (this might wreak havoc on FL's poor employees, hence it being fake.)
edited by GregM on 7/2/2018

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annalibertas
annalibertas
Posts: 161

7/2/2018
Greg M wrote:
Fake suggestion: give players the chance to do a write-in candidate for mayor! (this might wreak havoc on FL's poor employees, hence it being fake.)


I do feel sort of bad for the horrible regex filter they'd likely have to build to parse it into something usable, but it'd be hilarious all the same

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Anne Auclair
Anne Auclair
Posts: 2215

7/2/2018
Since you don't have to support a candidate to participate in the election, there is a defacto "none of the above" option for those who want to choose it.

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Skinnyman
Skinnyman
Posts: 2038

7/2/2018
Anne Auclair wrote:
Since you don't have to support a candidate to participate in the election, there is a defacto "none of the above" option for those who want to choose it.
Would have been something and would have made my decision, and others I hope, easier!
Vote for Miss Anne!

[spoiler]Or Mrs.? smile
Or just leave it Ms.?[/spoiler]

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lady ciel
lady ciel
Posts: 2546

7/2/2018
I was an active player and hoped that the election would re-ignite my love for the game. Unfortunately it didn't work

Candidates - didn't really interest me.
Slowcake is associated with that Notability grind (i've only been playing enough to maintain the level my characters have reached) and the association with Hell is worrying to me.
The Princess has worrying tendencies and is not someone I would want to have any more power.
The Contrarian was the best of a bad bunch in my opinion. As far as I know he is a moderate Revolutionary but the Liberation is not something I want to work towards.

Career level and Reputation


If there had been social actions I would probably have logged in more frequently but RNG card flipping is not my idea of fun. By the time the Flash Lay appeared I just wasn't that interested in doing them repeatedly to max out my career. and get .enough Reputation to explore the other options on the cards.



Sorry but this Election wasn't for me.

I do want to love Fallen London and hope that something manages to re-ignite my passion for the game.

--
ciel

Sorry RL means I am not a very active player at the moment. No social actions unless you are prepared to wait and definitely no sparring or other mult-action things.

No Calling Cards or boxed cats please. Will take dupes on the affluent photographers. Other social invitations welcome. Parabolan Kittens usually available, send me an in-game social action saying you want one and I will get one to you as soon as possible.

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