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An Update on Outfits Messages in this topic - RSS

Flyte
Flyte
Administrator
Posts: 672

6 days ago
On Wednesday we made a number of changes to outfits. One in particular has provoked a lot of discussion and controversy: the restrictions on changing outfits within storylets and certain game locations.

We've been following these discussions, and wanted to share some information about what we'd like to achieve in this area, and the changes we currently expect to make.

Goals

There are three things we'd like restrictions on outfit changing to achieve:

1) Allowing us to create new gameplay challenges that are more varied, strategic and replayable.

2) Giving worth to a greater variety of equipment. Previously, equipment with a best-in-slot bonus for a single stat was far more valuable than equipment with multiple good bonuses (with very limited exceptions).

3) Reducing the amount of clicking involved in mechanically optimal play.

Plans

The current approach has achieved the first and second of these goals. However, we think it has not achieved the third, and that it has even made that aspect of the game somewhat worse.

The main reason for this is storylets the player can freely enter and leave. Previously players could switch their outfit while in that storylet; now they can do exactly the same thing, except they have to back out of the storylet first, switch their outfit, and then re-open it.

We think this is genuinely problematic, so we're going to scale back the restrictions on outfit changing, so players can do this straightforwardly in a greater range of situations. That will happen sometime in the next few weeks.

We haven't decided yet exactly what the new restrictions will be, but we can say that we won't be completely removing them – that would put us back where we started in relation to the first and second goals. At the very least, we’ll be keeping restrictions on outfit change in some game locations – for instance, when you’re conducting a heist.

And of course, we'll also be looking at places where outfit restrictions cause mischief for a specific story, like Flint or player marriage.

It's also possible that we'll add more free outfits, either for everyone or as things unlocked in the course of play. We'd expect to make a decision on this after we've scaled back the outfit changing restrictions and seen how they affect the game for a wide range of players.

We realise some players who enjoy heavy optimisation would still prefer us to remove restrictions on outfit changing altogether. We know we may not be able to convince you, or at least not right now, but there are a couple of points we'd like to make which we hope will make it easier to understand our perspective.

First, this style of play is not as widespread as it might sometimes seem from discussion in our community spaces.
We've consistently found that people play and enjoy Fallen London in a wide variety of ways, and that those who're particularly invested in optimisation are more likely to participate frequently in forum (and now Discord) discussions.

Second, we think the long term benefits of these restrictions are not yet obvious, because we can't overhaul all of Fallen London to take advantage of the new gameplay possibilities with our limited resources. Right now, we're a team of 15 people split across four projects (Fallen London, the Sunless Skies Sovereign Edition, and two Secret Things). When we add functionality to enable new design possibilities, it takes time for us to create new stories that take full advantage of it, or to rework older ones.

It might be worth mentioning in this connection that when we introduced broad difficulty seven years ago, that change was considerably more unpopular. In the short term, it meant that players failed more challenges, and the bulk of the game's content still hadn't been designed to take advantage of the benefits it offered. However, it stopped being controversial quite quickly, and the design possibilities it opened up greatly improved the game.

Finally, we'd like to thank everyone who has shared their feedback and thereby helped us to make Fallen London better.
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Ulysses Kingfisher
Ulysses Kingfisher
Posts: 42

6 days ago
That seems like a reasonable response. I can definitely see ways that this could make the game interesting when specifically designed to take advantage of the new mechanic.

Since it sounds like more often than not we will still be able to change outfits freely, I hope that the minority of cases where that's not the case will be signposted in advance.

[copying my comment from the other thread since it seems like this may be where discussion of today's announcement takes place]

--
C'est moi
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Judaspriester
Judaspriester
Posts: 64

6 days ago
I really appreciate this statement. I'm not against the lock all in all, but it should be limited to places/stories where people are aware of it and it really makes sense (heists are a good example where this could be interesting).



Like already mentioned elsewhere, this change would become much more interesting in stories that go on after failure in stead of hitting the Try-Again-Button. It would give a meaning to the chosen equipment besides RNG and therefore the number of actions necessary to complete the story(-let).

/edit: in order to explain this a little further: I'm thinking here like in Pen & Paper RPGs which are (usually) also more story than action based. Lets say your job is to get into a house guarded by a Constable (maybe a crime scene?). Fist you try to use your Persuation to get past him. If this fails we could replace the try-again-button with an alternate way of getting past him like sneaking around and finding another way in (Shadowy) or knocking down the constable (Dangerous).

This can't be done endless, because of the amount of branches required (and there would have to be some really nasty consequences if you fail to often) but it would offer a little more depth. You equip like you want to sovle the problem and see how it goes. You will fail some checks but that's not that bad (compared to the current situation) because you aren't forced to suceed at every skillcheck.
edited by Judaspriester on 7/31/2020

--
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Judaspriester

"You say 'Prison Cell', I hear 'Holyday'"
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Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1814

6 days ago
Glad we were not ignored alltogether but...
You're rolling it back 'sometimes in the next few weeks'?
While so many people have discussed that they are currently unable to play accumulated ES and Ambitions... even though it's August and (for most) an optimal time to enjoy the surplus of content?
I understand there are a lot of knee-jerk reactions to every change, and you have to take that into consideration, but I was expecting that the almost unilaterally negative reactions would at least prompt you to roll the restrictions back for the time being - and leave things as they were while considering the next move.
Doing it the other way around - leaving the offending restrictions up, while considering the redesign - is not helping or inviting right now.
I never cared for optimization, just for story - and right now it's the story that is suffering, not because we might fail but because our actions are limited! No actions left - no game.
Again, thank you for taking the feedback into account but... this doesn't help us get back into the game.

--
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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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 548

6 days ago
Flyte wrote:
2) Giving worth to a greater variety of equipment. Previously, equipment with a best-in-slot bonus for a single stat was far more valuable than equipment with multiple good bonuses (with very limited exceptions).


You already have a solution and I have already suggested it: multi-stat challenges like the ones to win the Majestic Pleasure Yacht or asking the Sardonic Music Hall Singer for help.


You haven't been implementing more of those kinds of challenges for a long, long time. You could re-visit that formula.

If you could implement more of those challenges and remove the restrictions, you could reach all three goals while maintaining ease of use.
edited by Rostygold on 7/31/2020
edited by Rostygold on 7/31/2020
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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 548

6 days ago
Also, is it wise not to do any temporary rollback at all? You should have been receiving complaints about players getting stuck in stories because they forgot to equip gear that gives the quality that they need in order to progress. Your people would have to fix each issue one by one.
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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 548

6 days ago
I wouldn't compare the introduction of Broad difficulty with this one. This one involves ease of use and limitation of choices, whereas Broad difficulty was rebalancing of RNG rolls and player character statistics.


I don't see how you can turn this change into something good and new. The new Watchmaker's Daughter content wasn't fun for me; I had to spend Second Chances to get past RNG rolls that could have been surpassed if I could change outfits.

I had been reserving those Second Chances for Parabolan content, the Bone Market and the Lab (all content pieces that made Second Chances useful again, and most of which still gives the player some progress in the event of failure at the RNG rolls).
edited by Rostygold on 7/31/2020
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Mona
Mona
Posts: 192

6 days ago
Allowing us to create new gameplay challenges that are more varied, strategic and replayable.


Without taking into account the 10 years of content that wasn't designed around it. Applying the restrictions only to content designed with this goal would be the obvious solution.

Giving worth to a greater variety of equipment. Previously, equipment with a best-in-slot bonus for a single stat was far more valuable than equipment with multiple good bonuses (with very limited exceptions).

Let's rephrase that: invalidating 10 years worth of items you even charged money for. I suppose we're getting refunds for those?

Reducing the amount of clicking involved in mechanically optimal play.

Great! The outfit dropdown in the sidebar accomplished exactly that. Except then you decided to lock it.

First, this style of play is not as widespread as it might sometimes seem from discussion in our community spaces.

That's not an argument for restricting players that did. No outfit locks allowed both play styles.

we can't overhaul all of Fallen London to take advantage of the new gameplay possibilities with our limited resources.

You just made a great argument for *not* implementing a change that requires overhauling the entire game to see the advantage.
edited by Mona on 7/31/2020

--
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Miranah
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JaneAnkhVeos
JaneAnkhVeos
Posts: 150

6 days ago
Flyte wrote:
It's also possible that we'll add more free outfits, either for everyone or as things unlocked in the course of play.

It would be great. Just one more outfit (for BDR and/or new stats) was a longstanding wish, and it became even more relevant with the recent content.

Rostygold wrote:
You already have a solution and I have already suggested it: multi-stat challenges like the ones to win the Majestic Pleasure Yacht or asking the Sardonic Music Hall Singer for help.

This!

--
|| the Nocturnal Nostalgist, pawnbroker of dreams and memories ||
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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 548

6 days ago
Also, on the matter of locales that wouldn't make changes to outfits so easily, there would be arguments on what changes could have been possible.


Bringing up that example of heists, the player character could stow away smaller, more portable stuff, couldn't he/she? That Seven-Fold Knock would have been useful to scare the heck out of that guard, and that's not really a tangible thing per se.

Besides, there is the matter of the cards in Heists that have options that become available if the player has things, e.g. the kifers and - well - the bird. Somehow the player character has all of these on his/her person, if they are not equipped already? Where does the bird even fit, if it's not already the current active companion?

There is also the matter of Parabola, which I have mentioned elsewhere. The player character has been shown to be able to just conjure things from his/her/their memory.

In other words, you will still have an issue of thematics clashing with gameplay, even with the restrictions.
edited by Rostygold on 7/31/2020
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Rostygold
Rostygold
Posts: 548

6 days ago
Flyte wrote:
We've consistently found that people play and enjoy Fallen London in a wide variety of ways, and that those who're particularly invested in optimisation are more likely to participate frequently in forum (and now Discord) discussions.

This made me cringe, Flyte.

When I read this, my thought was that this is a "silent majority" statement. You know who had been saying that, don't you?


There is no guarantee that those who have not made a statement here in Disqus, this forum or any other channel that they are okay with this. The only thing that is apparent is an absence, specifically the absence of their feedback.
edited by Rostygold on 7/31/2020
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Ami Miljkovich
Ami Miljkovich
Posts: 100

6 days ago
As far as I'm concerned, the only place where the outfit lock should conceivably exist is in new content that was specifically balanced with this feature in mind, and maybe in some old content that only requires a small number of well-signposted qualities. You said it yourself; Failbetter is 15 people spread across multiple projects. You're not going to be able to go back and completely rebalance old unrepeatable content fast enough to be any help to players who are suffering now (and a complete rebalance of the vast majority old unrepeatable content is what would need to happen to fully accommodate this feature).

And the outfit lock absolutely should not exist in any paid content. At least with base-game stories, you could read the wiki beforehand and figure out what stats you'll need going in. There is no such option for paid stories. So unless a free option to repeat all paid storylines is added, enforcing the outfit lock within that content is completely unreasonable. If someone paid for something, they should be completely free to play it however they want, without any fear that they may be locked out of preferable paths, lore, rewards, or roleplaying options just because they came across a check they weren't prepared for and, in fact, had no way of knowing was coming.

--
The Secret-Hungry Bat ~ "I have my bats and my works, and endless secrets and pleasures at my disposal; what need have I of a soul?"
The Dangerously-Charming Fox ~ "Let's go stab each other and then get drunk together! That's what friends do around here, right?"
The Ever-Scheming Magpie ~ "All I'm after is a fresh start... And maybe a little profit on the side..."
The Blood-Thirsty Moth ~ "This floor isn't red enough. I need to fix that. Come closer."
Meet the families.
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Mona
Mona
Posts: 192

6 days ago
Remember when the ambitions were finished and the reactions on the forums, discord, reddit, and every other comminuty hub were overwhelmingly positive?

First, this type of reaction was not as widespread as it might sometimes seemed from discussion in our community spaces.
We've consistently found that people play and enjoy Fallen London in a wide variety of ways, and that those who were particularly enthusiastic about the updates were more likely to participate frequently in forum (and now Discord) discussions. In reality they were largely hated. Source: I just made that up too.
edited by Mona on 7/31/2020

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https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Miranah
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hwoosh
hwoosh
Posts: 113

6 days ago
This response is wholly inadequate. I will not be renewing my three EF subscriptions any time soon, at least until the promised changes arrive "within the next few weeks" and I can evaluate how much they ameliorate the current torturousness of playing the game / how much they continue to f**k with my ability to make the choices *I* want to make in paid content.

--
Persona: hwoosh
R Fellow Oswho. Don't ask what the "R." stands for. The poor fellow is sensitive about it. And violent.
Most social requests gladly and promptly answered.
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EllenFremedon
EllenFremedon
Posts: 9

6 days ago
There is no guarantee that those who have not made a statement here in Disqus, this forum or any other channel that they are okay with this. The only thing that is apparent is an absence, specifically the absence of their feedback.

-hi, I reactivated my forum account just to say that I like these changes! Click reduction by removing the locks on easily entered/exited places would be good but otherwise I’m totally happy!

This is just the MMORPG problem all over - a small minority of endgame, social media active players are whinging because the devs won’t constantly cater to them and give them endless endgame content at the expense of the other 90% of players.

Rostygold - While you’re cringing at Fylte, I’m cringing at you. The devs are in much better position to know the size of the player base vs the social media crowd than you. Do you really believe that the maybe 200 people total who have posted negative feedback represent the majority of the player base? Just because you perceive an “absence” of positive feedback does not mean that the devs are honorbound to act on your negative feedback. Consider that the FN team might know more about their own game and business than you do.

To all - The FB team has given us loads of new content this year. Like more content in the last 6 months than the previous 3-4 years combined. Now they make change that slightly affects the percieved values of some digital goods and people are acting like Hannah Flynn shot their dog. It’s truly pathetic.

For some reason I had hoped that the FL base wasnt afflicted with the usual self entitled jerks that plague every other player base/fandom.

I don’t know why I thought that. People suck.

TL dr- I like the changes and I’m to go buy fate to support the company too.
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EllenFremedon
EllenFremedon
Posts: 9

6 days ago
The culture gap between entitled EFs who think they own the game because they’re subscribers and the mid game player who happily fail a 60% challenge 8 times in a row is truly insurmountable.
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Tystefy
Tystefy
Posts: 478

6 days ago
I will "happily" accept not being able to change outfits in some scenarios. I will concede that it opens up new avenues.

I don't want to be unable to change outfits in all scenarios, as it currently stands. I'm glad you're going to change this but Rostygold has made some very valid points.

--
Will sometimes return to post absurdity.
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Tyrconnell
Tyrconnell
Posts: 293

6 days ago
The problem isn’t failing. The problem is the introduction of a new mechanic that adds to frustration, in some cases breaking the fame, while not contributing anything appreciable.

Down the line there may be better use of different equipment, but there is no good way that I can think of to eliminate either excess clicking to change outfits or extra need to read the wiki and optimize. And that’s not necessarily about fear of failure either—failing a check is okay. Failing a check you could have passed because you didn’t do your homework, so the right solution is in your inventory taunting you? That’s perfectly orchestrated to feel miserable.

--
Tyrconnell, a gentleman and doctor of diverse interests and multifarious proclivities
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Judaspriester
Judaspriester
Posts: 64

6 days ago
EllenFremedon's post reminded me to something that Mark Rosewater (one of the Brains behind Magic: the Gathering) said in a conference about game design:
"Players are good in detecting problems, but they are not good in offering solutions".

Afterwards he epxlained this with the fact that players have a) a different point of view on the game and b) work with different data. I think, some people here should keep this in mind.

With the feedback I've read, I would say that we've got a problem here, because the update changed the common way of people playing the game (causing additonal clicks/actions for the same content), but just reverting the update (or to be more pecise remove the lock at all) might also not be the solution. There was a reason for adding this.

@EllenFremedon I don't really get your point about the community. Yes, there was alot of negative feedback, but compared to what I've seen in other communities, the mayority here at least tried to be polite and give a somewhat construtive feedback.
I've read many posts here that said "I don't like this because.." in stead of "What a shitload of patch have you produced this time? Revert this or I'll leave.".
While I somewhat agree with you on "People suck", I think you're a little to harsh with the community.

--
https://www.fallenlondon.com/profile/Judaspriester

"You say 'Prison Cell', I hear 'Holyday'"
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Catherine Raymond
Catherine Raymond
Posts: 2599

6 days ago
Rostygold wrote:
Flyte wrote:
We've consistently found that people play and enjoy Fallen London in a wide variety of ways, and that those who're particularly invested in optimisation are more likely to participate frequently in forum (and now Discord) discussions.

This made me cringe, Flyte.

When I read this, my thought was that this is a "silent majority" statement. You know who had been saying that, don't you?


There is no guarantee that those who have not made a statement here in Disqus, this forum or any other channel that they are okay with this. The only thing that is apparent is an absence, specifically the absence of their feedback.
edited by Rostygold on 7/31/2020


I cannot prove it, but I suspect that many, perhaps most players, don't count how many actions it takes to turn a particular profit. Those players may well not care about many concerns which repeatedly turn up in the Forums, including the effect of the new Outfits setup. Whether those players count as a "silent majority" depends upon how many of them there are, of course, which is something none of us know for certain. I, personally, don't understand why anyone perceives the suggestion that people who have voiced negative opinions on the Forums might be a minority of players is a pejorative remark.

--
Cathy Raymond
http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/cathyr19355

Catherine Raymond aka Mrs. Rykar Malkus http://fallenlondon.com/Profile/Catherine%20Raymond (Gone NORTH)
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