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August Exceptional Story: Unto Dust Messages in this topic - RSS

James StAnthony
James StAnthony
Administrator
Posts: 49

7/30/2020
Exceptional Story for August: Unto Dust



Caught in the machinations of a wily Tomb-Colonist, it's up to you to save a high society funeral from disaster! Can you navigate the demands of a corpse who won't stay dead, to say nothing of his confounded relatives... In Fallen London the dead don't stay buried and the living never rest easy.

Written by James Chew
Art by Tobias Cook
Editing & QA: Olivia Wood


EXCEPTIONAL FRIENDSHIP

In addition to a new, substantial, stand-alone story every month, Exceptional Friends enjoy:

  • Access to the House of Chimes: an exclusive private member's club on the Stolen River, packed with content
  • Access to Mr Chimes' Lost & Found, a shop in the Bazaar where you can exchange currency earned through playing Exceptional Stories for exclusive companions and items
  • An expanded opportunity deck: of ten cards instead of six!
  • A second candle: Twice the actions! 40 at once!

You no longer need to log in to claim your Exceptional Stories! If you have an active subscription when one is available, you'll receive it automatically.

edited by James StAnthony on 7/30/2020
+7 link
Snowbell Bell
Snowbell Bell
Posts: 3

7/30/2020
I have to say it’s great that these just pop up in my game now so I can go right to enjoying them as soon as they go live! I didn’t even see the announcement, but suddenly I saw the card and I knew what it was smile I’m playing it now.
edited by Snowbell Bell on 7/30/2020
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Captain Blood Storm
Captain Blood Storm
Posts: 612

7/30/2020
I hooked up the heir with the lawyer, persuaded him to offer his inheritance to the maid and helped the evil old coot cheat judgement. It's funny, it's the Bishop of Southwark all over again-I fully intended to help the old coot do something audaciously selfish at the expense of everyone around him, and somehow ended up granting the characters I didn't interact with nearly as much a happy ending too.

It did help that the lawyer is, quite frankly, an infinitely better spouse for the heir than the socialite seemed in every respect save the biological inability to produce a descendent, not that the coot (or I for that matter. Too busy riding space bats and gearing up to kill things in Parabola) seems to give a damn. But with all the Red Science being thrown around these days, I suppose anything might be possible.

--
Captain Blood Storm, the Discordant, Twice-Dawnburnt, Worm-Hugging Vake Rider https://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/Hattington
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Catherine
Catherine
Posts: 3

7/30/2020
Currently still at Venderbight, looking for the Baron's other claimant. I am, at the moment, inclined to thwart the Baron's plans to live forever in the interests of...changing things up for the family? I suppose I'd be interested in what the Heir does out of the shadow of his grandfather.

I must say that neither the Heir nor the Baron are particularly likeable characters - the former being a wet blanket and the latter a hubristic schemer. I will give points to there Heir though, for sheer pitifulness!
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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3768

7/30/2020
I quite liked this story! The structure of the first section reminded me of the Dilettante's Debut, making decisions that favored one character or another, and the alternation between decisions and matchmaking was a nice touch. The party itself was engaging and the unexpected final section nicely tied together the previously-hinted story threads. I'm still slightly confused as to whether (besides spouse) the party decisions mattered mechanically at all, what with the ability to infinitely adjust its success, but I'm a fan of the design choice. Being able to learn about the characters through meaningful decisions that don't limit later choices after we've learned more? Yes please!

[spoiler]I introduced the Heir to the lawyer, had the Housekeeper give the speech, and ultimately the two shared the inheritance. I was torn on whether to tell the judge about the Baron's scheme but ultimately decided against it; instead the Baron was exposed by his father's corpse and is being hunted down. And a bottle of Airag for my troubles.[/spoiler]

This story isn't the most notable Exceptional Story mechanically or plot-wise, but it's well executed and enjoyable. Well worth the time spent.
edited by Optimatum on 7/30/2020

--
Optimatum, a ruthless and merciful gentleman. No plant battles, Affluent Photographer requests, or healing offers; all other social actions welcome.

Want a sip of Cider? Just say hi!

PM me for information enigmatic or Fated. Though the forum please, not FL itself.
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amalgamate
amalgamate
Posts: 783

7/31/2020
Any outfit/stat restrictions/optimizations I should know of before starting it?

--
http://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/amalgamate

Social invitations of all kinds welcome! I'll return boxed cats and letters, and happy to accept plant battles. LMK if you need a discordant missive or a point of notability.
+2 link
Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3768

7/31/2020
I only saw main stat checks, all 100%.

--
Optimatum, a ruthless and merciful gentleman. No plant battles, Affluent Photographer requests, or healing offers; all other social actions welcome.

Want a sip of Cider? Just say hi!

PM me for information enigmatic or Fated. Though the forum please, not FL itself.
+1 link
Mona
Mona
Posts: 192

7/31/2020
I'm at the first planning stage now and the text explicitly mentions the whole thing takes place over multiple evenings. I also have to attend two seperate dinners in two places in London, taking place on different nights. And yet I can't change outfits for the entire thing. This just shows again why the "can't reasonably access your wardrobe" explanation for blanket locking outfits all over the place is a very poor justification. Thankfully there weren't any stat checks during this section yet.

Edit: and now after the planning it went straight into the event itself, still locked. Can't dress for a dinner or a funeral, that wouldn't be reasonable.
edited by Mona on 7/31/2020

--
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Miranah
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NotaWalrus
NotaWalrus
Posts: 462

7/31/2020
A pet peeve of mine that I've had since the very first exceptional story I played, and came up during the very first choice in the story.

The very first storylet asks how the lawyers know of you. There is a gimme option of having Route: Lodgings and flavorful options that require Renown with Society or the Tomb Colonies.

My pet peeve is that the renown requirement is 5, which is just ludicrously low. 5 is what you get for meeting some peeps in the carnival. 5 is the level that says "like three people in this faction know you".

I get that Exceptional Stories are strong on the accessibility, but there is already a gimme option there that only requires beating the tutorial. If the options are going to call on your character being well-regarded by the faction, then the mechanics should ensure your character is actually well-regarded by the faction. I'm not asking to increase the requirement to renown 50 or anything, but at least 15, something that requires a slight conscious effort.

--
http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/NotaWalrus
Ignacious, the Fluid Professor, he will accept most social invitations, including boxed cats and affluent photographers (but only betrayals), though he is absent-minded and might take more time than entirely necessary. He apologizes.
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Snort
Snort
Posts: 491

7/31/2020
Mona wrote:
I'm at the first planning stage now and the text explicitly mentions the whole thing takes place over multiple evenings. I also have to attend two seperate dinners in two places in London, taking place on different nights. And yet I can't change outfits for the entire thing. This just shows again why the "can't reasonably access your wardrobe" explanation for blanket locking outfits all over the place is a very poor justification. Thankfully there weren't any stat checks during this section yet.

Edit: and now after the planning it went straight into the event itself, still locked. Can't dress for a dinner or a funeral, that wouldn't be reasonable.
edited by Mona on 7/31/2020



For what it’s worth to those yet to try this, your clothes are just going to get dirty in the end, so formal wear may not be critical. smile

--
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Snort
No plant battles, loitering, coffee at Caligula's, or Affluent Photographer, please.
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NotaWalrus
NotaWalrus
Posts: 462

7/31/2020
I quite liked this one. Initially it seemed a bit too similar to the Dilettante's Debut. To the point that I'm surprised they have different writers! Both stories reference the Fairfaxes, which as far as I'm concerned have only been mentioned in these two stories? It might be the most explicit tie-in to another exceptional story in a while, which is surprising now that Seasons are over; those were supposed to tie the stories together, but seldom did.

Once we got to the Sanatorium it got good. The short Morning-Afternoon-Evening carousel was rather fun, and the bit with the you-know-whats is suitably creepy. I liked the character of the Grand Baron, although I didn't care much for the Heir, and the third companion (the woman) was so forgettable that I genuinely don't remember her name.

Getting to choose the Heir's spouse felt a bit weird, as well. I went with Ross and I'm happy with the decision, but it made the character of the heir feel like he had zero agency in his own life, which might be the point, but if so was done better in The Heart, The Devil and the Zee, where it was a focus instead of a weird little subplot.

Overall positive feelings. The outfit update made me reconsider my Exceptional Friendship but I think I'll keep it for at least another month.
edited by NotaWalrus on 7/31/2020

--
http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/NotaWalrus
Ignacious, the Fluid Professor, he will accept most social invitations, including boxed cats and affluent photographers (but only betrayals), though he is absent-minded and might take more time than entirely necessary. He apologizes.
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Scienceandponies
Scienceandponies
Posts: 272

8/1/2020
Rather annoyingly, I find my progress halted right out the gate. I was going to visit the Clay Tailor and wanted to take the option for being in the club, having considered switching away from the Parthenaeum and deciding now was as good a time as any. So I leave my old club, make some shiny boots to join the new one, and get the member in good standing quality, but the new club never appeared in inventory, leaving the slot blank and me unable to access the option.

I filed a bug report, but still have not heard any confirmation that it was even received. I assume things are a little busy what with the fiasco of outfit locking breaking everything and spurring a lot of feedback emails.
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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3768

8/1/2020
Sounds like you're a victim of the outfit locks as well. Since clubs/spouses/ships are automatically equipped, but you can't change equipment in storylets now, it doesn't equip properly at all.

--
Optimatum, a ruthless and merciful gentleman. No plant battles, Affluent Photographer requests, or healing offers; all other social actions welcome.

Want a sip of Cider? Just say hi!

PM me for information enigmatic or Fated. Though the forum please, not FL itself.
+3 link
Scienceandponies
Scienceandponies
Posts: 272

8/1/2020
Optimatum wrote:
Sounds like you're a victim of the outfit locks as well. Since clubs/spouses/ships are automatically equipped, but you can't change equipment in storylets now, it doesn't equip properly at all.


Wow. That is even worse than I imagined.
+3 link
NotaWalrus
NotaWalrus
Posts: 462

8/1/2020
Was this playtested at all? I can't fathom the thought of implementing outfit locks and not ensuring that clubs/spouses/ships equip correctly. Not to mention the frequent bug I'm encountering that keeps the lock when it shouldn't until I refresh the page.
edited by NotaWalrus on 8/1/2020

--
http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/NotaWalrus
Ignacious, the Fluid Professor, he will accept most social invitations, including boxed cats and affluent photographers (but only betrayals), though he is absent-minded and might take more time than entirely necessary. He apologizes.
+4 link
xKiv
xKiv
Posts: 904

8/2/2020
Scienceandponies wrote:

I filed a bug report, but still have not heard any confirmation that it was even received.


Considering their location and working hours, you might just have to wait until they start working on monday.



NotaWalrus wrote:

Was this playtested at all? I can't fathom the thought of implementing outfit locks and not ensuring that clubs/spouses/ships equip correctly. Not to mention the frequent bug I'm encountering that keeps the lock when it shouldn't until I refresh the page.


I can understand this one. To catch everything they would have to replay basically everything in every combination. They are just a teeny bit too small to be able to afford the fleet of testers you would need for high-reliability QA like that.
At some point you just have to accept that, in a large/complex enough project [1], it is not humanely possible to accurately figure out all the things that *can* break by implementing a given change. So you test the obvious things (direct interactions with the change), maybe let a few people run actions on test environment for a few days (but they won't be going out of their way to do uncommon things, and definitely not play as intensely as the most hardcore players).

[1] and unless you are doing a collection of unrelated CRUDs, this is actually much smaller than what you might think

--
https://www.fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/xKiv - a witchful, percussive, dangermous and shadowry scholar of coexplodence, hopsidirean, and walker of fallen kitties.
+2 link
NotaWalrus
NotaWalrus
Posts: 462

8/2/2020
xKiv wrote:


I can understand this one. To catch everything they would have to replay basically everything in every combination. They are just a teeny bit too small to be able to afford the fleet of testers you would need for high-reliability QA like that.
At some point you just have to accept that, in a large/complex enough project [1], it is not humanely possible to accurately figure out all the things that *can* break by implementing a given change. So you test the obvious things (direct interactions with the change), maybe let a few people run actions on test environment for a few days (but they won't be going out of their way to do uncommon things, and definitely not play as intensely as the most hardcore players).

[1] and unless you are doing a collection of unrelated CRUDs, this is actually much smaller than what you might think

I'm sorry, but this is basic functionality that is completely broken. This is not an obscure bug that only shows up if you do a specific series of actions, it's four entire categories of item not working at all (spouse, club, ship and destiny, although destinies are moot). This is inexcusable.

--
http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/NotaWalrus
Ignacious, the Fluid Professor, he will accept most social invitations, including boxed cats and affluent photographers (but only betrayals), though he is absent-minded and might take more time than entirely necessary. He apologizes.
+4 link
amalgamate
amalgamate
Posts: 783

8/3/2020
I ended up making exactly the funeral the Baron wanted, but then turning him in to to the judge at the Sanatorium.

If I had figured out how to share the inheritance equally I would have done that, but I wasn't given the option, not sure why... I ended up giving it to the housekeeper.

Seems like it worked out. The housekeeper is pretty happy with her title, the Heir seems to be doing well with Ross, and the Baron is interred where he belongs. He's not too happy about it, but, well, I didn't appreciate how he used his will to entrap his housekeeper, heir, and me.

--
http://www.fallenlondon.com/Profile/amalgamate

Social invitations of all kinds welcome! I'll return boxed cats and letters, and happy to accept plant battles. LMK if you need a discordant missive or a point of notability.
0 link
xKiv
xKiv
Posts: 904

8/3/2020
NotaWalrus wrote:

I'm sorry, but this is basic functionality that is completely broken. This is not an obscure bug that only shows up if you do a specific series of actions, it's four entire categories of item not working at all (spouse, club, ship and destiny, although destinies are moot). This is inexcusable.


They didn't "not work at all". They didn't equip (or even show up in inventory?) when obtained. And it seems to have taken the entire playerbase multiple days to notice.
This bug doesn't happen in common situations. It happens in a very rare situation (how often do you obtain one of those four categories? It's less than one per year for me) - and so the amount of playtesting necessary for reliably catching this isn't "anything more than none", but rather "unreasonably excessive".
(the frontend lockout bug on the other hand, that seemed to happen way too often to not have been caught by actually playing a few days worth of actions on a variety of test accounts)

--
https://www.fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/xKiv - a witchful, percussive, dangermous and shadowry scholar of coexplodence, hopsidirean, and walker of fallen kitties.
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The Lonely Hunter
The Lonely Hunter
Posts: 160

8/3/2020
I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Like others, I felt that it was very similar to The Dilettante's Debut at first, but it really got to shine in Venderbight. I sided with the Duke and his wedding at first, but I ended up betraying him out of spite after he got me locked in the Sanitorium. I prioritized the Heir in the will, because while I don't think he's the absolute best person for the job, he's a good sort and the Housekeeper didn't really want the responsibility. Just a fun story to go through, and it's always fun to check out the Tomb Colonies a bit more.

--
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Cora%20Seacoale - A Correspondent who was tested by The Marvellous and emerged victorious.

https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Ronald%20Valente - A Monster Hunter in the twilight of his Vake hunt.
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