News

Upcoming Balance Changes to Fallen London

By Sara Veal, October 28, 2020 · Fallen London

Hello, delicious friends.

Can you believe it’s already October?

Fallen London has grown enormously over the past year. In late November or early December, when you are all catching your breath after encountering all the new stories, and we are catching our breath after building them, we will be making a number of significant balance changes to the game.

Many of those changes are things that we’ve talked about at length over the course of 2020; some have been highlighted by the arrival of all the new content. Others are just overdue changes that felt opportune.

We wanted to give you advance warning of those changes; some players may have the way they play impacted by the changes to deck refreshing, and we wanted to explain our reasoning for the changes and collect feedback ahead of making the changes to the live game.

Deck Refresh Changes

When these balance changes go live, you will no longer be able to refresh your deck by entering an infinite-draw zone and then leaving.

When infinite draw was introduced back in 2016, it was a powerful design tool that enabled us to do more with the opportunity deck and with specific decks in certain zones. The issue with it giving players “free” deck refreshes was apparent pretty soon after, but it was never regarded as a high priority to fix; the nature of Flash Lays meant that getting a deck refresh was fairly costly.

Over time, deck refreshing became a primary way in which players generated resources and especially Favours. The “flash grind” became a regular part of gameplay for some players, and heavily optimised. With the introduction of the Laboratory, an infinite-draw zone that was easy for players to enter and exit at the cost of just two actions, opportunity deck grinding became more prevalent and easier to do. The fact that players were now reliant on the deck refresh bug meant that we had to think carefully about what we wanted to do about it.

Ultimately, we decided to fix the bug, as it has several negative knock-on effects:

  • Opportunity cards are meant to reward resources at a higher rate than repeatable storylets; the ability to refresh them for free functionally obsoleted a lot of content in the game, as it couldn’t compete with opportunity card grinds. Nowadays this is really only an issue for players in a very specific band of progression; it’s a reason, but not the primary one.
  • The “flash grind” is something that we never designed or intended to be in the game, and as a result we don’t really have the knobs to adjust it. The London opportunity deck was just never built with this in mind.
  • Because we didn’t design it, it’s not signposted in-game. Players have no way of finding out about this, except by accident or from other players. This disadvantages more casual players who might not be on the Discord or reading the wiki. There’s nothing wrong with players doing the most optimal thing they can find in-game, but we want to make sure that the most optimal thing isn’t obscure to casual players and doesn’t seem like an exploit. We also want to make sure that casual players following in-game cues about what to do are not massively disadvantaged relative to someone reading a guide written by another player.
  • Because of this optimisation, players were incentivised to aggressively prune their opportunity card deck to get rid of low-value cards. This leads to things like not wanting to play Cricket, Anyone?, one of our most beloved Exceptional Stories, to avoid gaining an opportunity card that gets added to your deck after the epilogue of that story. This inhibits us from adding new story content to the London opportunity card deck.
  • The deck refresh bug just incentivises behavior that isn’t particularly fun for most players, like discarding episodic stories or dream cards to make room for high-value cards, or repeatedly entering and exiting the laboratory to refresh your draws until you draw what you are looking for. 
  • It has required certain mechanical compromises to keep it from breaking the game entirely — for example, if the bug wasn’t there we would have made entering and exiting the laboratory a free action, and once the bug is fixed, we will do that.

After these changes, we don’t want players to feel pressured to buy deck refreshes in order to make mainline progress. So we want to reduce players’ reliance on the opportunity deck to make progress on things like Making Your Name, Ambitions, or the Railway.

Generally, if drawing a specific opportunity card is necessary to make progress, the card is set to show up frequently; for example, the opportunity card that lets players get involved with a railway for the first time is roughly five times as likely to appear as a typical card. But there are places in the game where progress is tied to Favours, a resource that currently you can (mostly) only obtain through opportunity cards; we will be addressing this, along with some other balance changes to Favours, alongside the deck refresh changes. Read on for more details on that.

Ideally, we want refreshing your deck with Fate to be an option that players have if they want to pursue episodic stories faster or just want to see more of the content in the opportunity card deck, and not something that players are looking to do to accelerate their progression because some resource can only appear in the opportunity card deck. If we miss the mark on that with this patch, we will be looking to make more balance changes in the future to address it.

We realise that this change will be unpopular with some players. Some of you have invested effort and in-game resources into optimising your opportunity deck, or are working towards a goal (like 40 Renown) that currently requires heavy use of opportunity deck refreshing.

We don’t make those changes lightly, but we do them because something about the game’s current design is limiting our design space or our ability to continue growing the game. The issues with deck refreshing make it harder for us to use infinite draw zones in the game, and they make anything that adds more variety and content to the London opportunity card deck undesirable unless it can adhere to very specific guidelines.

We are doing this alongside changes to Favours, since the two are intimately connected, and we particularly didn’t want to take away deck refreshing without giving players more reliable ways to gain Favours.

Favours Balance Changes

Favours have a long history in Fallen London, and the content around them has not always been consistent about what they’re supposed to be worth. When these changes go live, we will be rebalancing various parts of the game to line up the value of different types of Favours.

Notably, Revolutionary and Docks favours are substantially more valuable than other types. Revolutionary favours can be exchanged for Proscribed Material at a rate that increases with Renown, while Docks favours can be exchanged for Forgotten Quarter expedition supplies at a very high rate.

Some variation in how easy different favours are to get, and how valuable they are, is okay and even desirable. But currently there are pretty big discrepancies. This makes it harder to build new content, as there is a lot of uncertainty about the value of favours. Favours are a really useful design tool that we end up not using much because the potential effects of using them can be unclear.

When the winter balance patch goes live, expect to see various opportunity cards and repeatable storylets in the game rebalanced to shorten the gap between different favour types. Keep in mind that trading in favours in the Upper River will continue to be more profitable than doing so in London; one of the nice things about Favours is exactly that they scale to the two tiers of the economy in that way.

Notably, expect trading Revolutionary favours in the Flit to be only as profitable as most other favours. Generating Forgotten Quarter expedition supplies with Docks favours will be rebalanced so that the Favours themselves are less valuable, while the overall value of expeditions will only change slightly.

We will also be adding some new ways to gain certain types of favour. Currently, there are reliable ways to gain some kinds of favours, but not others; you can generate Society favours by graduating Gifted Students at the Laboratory, for example. We don’t want players who need favours for some purpose, or who just want to increase their renown with a given faction, to feel like they have no meaningful way to progress towards those goals. Deck refreshing somewhat mitigated this by giving players ways to try, over and over again, to get the opportunity cards that generate a given type of favour. We did not want to take that away without a replacement for it.

So, when the winter balance patch goes live, expect to see new ways to gain various types of favours. This will mostly come as new or variant rewards on existing content. We don’t want favours to be something you can gain at a too-efficient rate, so expect to see favours as relatively small components of larger rewards. But players who have reached Person of Some Importance status and acquired a ship should have access, or be close to unlocking access, to at least one repeatable way of generating every kind of favour. Yes, even Rubbery Men.

For example, you will be able to gain Hell favours through Heists, or Bohemian favours in Mahogany Hall.

In addition, we are adding Favours to the weekly payment for tier 2 and 3 Professions; it’s long been a little perverse that players are sometimes incentivized not to upgrade their profession because they are building up Renown with a faction or want the Favours for some other purpose. Not all tier 2 or 3 Professions will grant the same favours as lower tiers, but all of the mainline Professions will grant 2 favours every week.

We view the Favours economy and particularly Renown as something that early-game players gradually dip their toes into, but which becomes important to mid-game and endgame players. So we will be removing Favour requirements from some lower-tier item conversions and from Making Your Name storylines. We don’t want Favours to be a roadblock for players who are still playing the early game, and the Favour requirements on low-tier item conversions created content problems where certain storylets had a hidden, implicit Favour cost. No more will anyone need to get lucky with opportunity card draws in order to get a Mourning Candle for something.

Ambition Rewards Rebalance

Another component of the winter balance patch is the ambition rewards rebalance. As we worked our way through finishing the Ambition storylines, we got more generous with rewards as we went on. As a result, some Ambitions got better rewards than others, and we’ve heard the feedback about it.

We want choices made during your Ambition to feel consequential, but we don’t want players to feel pressured to take a mechanically “more optimal” item over another, against their own conception of their character’s story. We also don’t want Ambition capstone rewards to be overshadowed by items that are universally available, even if those items cost Fate.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean all Ambition rewards will have similar stats — Rewards in different slots will be balanced against their slot, and some ambition rewards have value outside of stat bonuses.

When the winter balance patch goes live, expect some weaker Ambition rewards to be made more inherently powerful. Players who have completed the Nemesis ambition will be able to obtain new items relating to their Ambition, which will help balance the overall rewards against other Ambitions.

Additional Outfit Slots

Finally, one last thing: As we keep adding more content to the game with more complex requirements for advanced skills and Bizarre/Dreaded/Respectable, we’ve seen increasing demand for outfit slots.

Alongside the rest of these balance changes, we will be adding new ways of gaining outfit slots to the game. Those will not cost Fate, and will increase the total number of outfit slots you can obtain alongside the Exceptional Friends and Fate options.

TL;DR

If you just want the headline facts:

  • In late November or early December, during a gap in content releases, we will be launching the winter balance patch, a package of balance and quality-of-life changes to Fallen London.
  • Entering and exiting an infinite-draw zone will no longer refresh your deck.
    • We will be making other balance changes to support this, including making entering/exiting the Laboratory no longer cost actions.
  • Favour rebalance: Many opportunities and stories in London will have their rewards changed, to even out the availability and value of different kinds of favours. Notably:
    • Trading in Revolutionary favours at the Flit will grant a fixed amount of items.
    • Trading in Docks favours for Forgotten Quarter Expeditions will be less efficient.
  • New repeatable sources of Favours will be added to several places in the game, to reduce player dependance on opportunity cards to make progress.
  • Ambition rewards rebalance:
    • Some Ambition rewards will be more powerful, to bring them in line with other rewards.
    • Players who have completed the Nemesis ambition can expect to new items.
  • Additional outfit slots will become available for free, in addition to any that you may already have purchased with Fate.

42 Comments

Leave a reply


Trilby Nov 7, 7:27pm

As much as I love most of the stuff on here, I’m gonna have to side with Dan on this one. Opportunity pruning goes a lot deeper than folks having to use exploits to print cards, and implementing this without adding in a way to, at least temporarily, blacklist most of not all cards from ones opportunity deck will leave things feeling insufferably grindy. I’m sorry, but this feels like it’s going to simply leave the opportunity deck less enjoyable for casuals, veterans and min-maxers alike. I’ll take you at your word that most of the opportunity dependent grinds will be made less so, and that there’ll be a way to readily grind favors for every faction, as not doing so will probably mean a good hit to the player counts, but I fear it may not be enough.

dan Nov 3, 1:58am

re Soulfog "I still have my concerns about the Metempsychosis allowing the keeping of ambition items as it'll just make people who choose to go through with the process way overpowered compared to those of us who prefer only one character." This is a single player game; other people's power level is as irrelevant as other people's skill in solitaire. Plus, it's a result based on a character choice you are making; why shouldn't those have consequences? Another thing I forgot to say in my first comment -- if an exception story adds a card that players don't want, that isn't a fault of the players or their deck strategies, it's a fault of the story. If people don't want to play a good story because it makes them draw garbage, the obvious solution is to remove the garbage (or at least give the option to remove it), not to make drawing cards overall less worthwhile, which appears to be your current plan. Or if adding a lousy card to your deck is your intentional consequence of a player's choices then that's fine, but don't be surprised if people just stop doing that thing. It's pretty common for designers (certainly not just failbetter) to confuse "the players aren't using this how we'd hoped" with "this is broken", but they are wrong every time.

Osberend Nov 1, 6:44pm

If you want people to not skip content in order to curate their decks, the single best change you could make toward this end is making it possible to get rid of (most) unwanted card draws. Because there are plenty of stories that are worth playing through if it means having a low-value card cluttering up one's deck for a while, but not if it means dealing with that *forever*. For that matter, there are plenty of cards that actually *worth* having in one's deck for a while, but not forever, such as several lodgings. And don't get me wrong, if the consequences of a storyline should be permanently recurring and inescapable, that's reasonable. But a lot of the crap cards not only are annoying to be stuck with, they're nonsensical! Even if I can't sell my rooftop shack, there's absolutely no logical reason I can't just abandon it! And if I beat the crap out of the struggling artist when he comes to me for money fifty times in a row, and never give him money once, is he really so brain-damaged as to keep coming back for another beating forever!? And so forth.

Soulfog Oct 31, 9:00am

After reading the upcoming changes I'll be happy to say I'm all aboard on these changes. I think the rebalancing is perfect and it's about time that exploit be removed so that the opportunity deck can return to what it's supposed to be, a random deck of thing that may occur to your character in London that can change their experience, not some way to tailor and grind specifically for stuff. I still have my concerns about the Metempsychosis allowing the keeping of ambition items as it'll just make people who choose to go through with the process way overpowered compared to those of us who prefer only one character.

Zeculo Oct 30, 4:04pm

Oh, something else I'd add, it would be nice for some opportunity cards to be easier to get rid of. "A letter from your aunt" for one, I'd really like it if I could just bribe the mailman to toss out her letters.

Qube Oct 30, 5:16am

I can understand eliminating the lab exploit (even though I use it a bit myself), because that is clearly Not The Intended Use, but eliminating all "infinite deck" refreshes? Speaking personally, that eliminates any reason to interact with Arbor unless I'm in dire need of Extraordinary Implications, because attempting to "tune" Arbor for any other sort of gain/conversion of items is finicky and requires at least one draw of the Arbor card to actually get everything set up, and then I need to rely on the favor of RNGsus to draw *another* Arbor card to actually make use of my preparations. Speaking of Favours, Constable favours are damn near useless; between being a rat-catcher and a member of the soul railroad, I see tons of the things, and to my knowledge the only two things constable favours are useful for is turning them all in for money at the palace, or letting them build up and drawing the "Crime or Punishment" card. And with all the other factions having options to quickly gain favours, the lack of such an option for Tomb-Colonists really stands out

NoWindows Oct 30, 3:27am

So... are you gonna add favors to the Urchin card or not? Because I think it's unfair that it's the only faction that doesn't have a favor storylet.

asinineFlatfoot Oct 29, 11:25pm

You worry that the lab-refresh bug encourages deck-pruning, and you see fixing the bug as a way to reduce this problem... but doesn't it exacerbate it? Imagine you're a player desperately trying to get a particular card. A Rare, or maybe an Infrequent with a Rare Success. You want the best odds of getting this card to show up, so of course you do the lab-refresh all the time. But also, you want to keep your deck pruned. These are both helpful in increasing your chances. Now the devs say they're fixing the lab-refresh bug. One of your tools to increase your odds is being taken away; does this not make the other tool - the deck-pruning - even more important? I wish I could say I had a better solution for this problem, because a problem it is, and it's only going to get worse and worse. In the Cricket case, perhaps the offending cards can be turned into one-time things somehow? Perhaps optionally so, for some small cost? It wouldn't work in all cases I'm sure, but it's a consideration on the small-scale, at least.

FeldonSmithe Oct 29, 6:19pm

Thank you for your communication with us and for sharing your rationale for the changes you have planned. I think they are great and look forward to them.

Zeculo Oct 29, 4:37pm

Overall these changes are nice, I've used the laboratory card refresh a lot but only because I've felt like I had to and being able to go to and from the lab for free is far better in my opinion. The only real concern I have about any of these changes is that proscribed material might go back to being needlessly hard to get, but at the same time I'm rarely lacking in revolutionary favors, so even having a somewhat worse exchange rate won't be bad as long as it still comes out ahead of the unfinished business options.

Vorwoda Hawksby Oct 29, 4:31pm

Dan had it right: " You have this exactly backwards -- removing deck refreshes will make pruning your deck MORE important, not less. When you can get 10 more cards by visiting your lab, drawing a few duds isn't a big deal. But if the only way to get another ten is to wait an hour and a half, then having any of those ten not worth drawing would be way more of a loss. It's the same as if the infinite decks (like the lab) were made finite: suddenly drawing those garbage Equipment cards all the time would be a major problem, instead of a trivial annoyance to immediately discard and redraw" The Candle is already a time-gate. You get 1 action every ten minutes, or 1 candle every 3 1/3 hours. You get a card in your deck every ten minutes, too. But without a way to refresh, you have to check in to the game every hour (not every 3 1/3) hours to keep up. Why not AT LEAST increase the deck size to 20 (if not infinite), if you are going to eliminate refreshes? In one candle worth you could then: 1) Play 20 actions worth of storylets, or 2) Flip and play 20 cards, or 3) Flip 20 cards, play X number of cards, and discard (20 - X) cards, and play (20 - X) storylet actions. Eliminating infinite Flash Lay/Arbor/Lab deck refreshes without addressing the excessively tiny number of allowed draws only exacerbates the problem, it doesn't alleviate it. And as for the "balance between players" argument, that's blatant rhetorical nonsense in a game like this. Fallen London is not a competitive game. This isn't PvP. But if it were, the fact that a lot of powerful goodies are only available to people who buy Fate would be PayToWin, and would make for much more of a disparity between players than does a willingness to look something up on a Wiki, for Her Enduring Majesty's sake. Otherwise, the rest of the changes sound great!

Shaerys Oct 29, 4:14pm

Thanks for sharing your rationale here as that always makes these changes easier to adjust to. They generally sound good to me and I really appreciate all of the new content and tweaks, and the thought that has gone into it. I would note though as a late-game grinder Revs and Docks are the only favours I bother with now simply because others are not commensurate with the 3-5 epa grinds available in new station content. So with this change, I'll pretty much abandon trafficking in favours (apart from particular story requirements). Though the favours available in the Railway areas are greater than those in London proper, they aren't sufficiently generous enough to entice. Please consider increasing their value a bit so that they are a good reason to pull me into London's opportunity deck in quest of favours (perhaps via the mechanism of renown scaling, such that a fully capped renown reward is on par with the almost 5e grinds elsewhere). Granted this is a weird phase of the game to be in (grinding for goats and all) but any change that pulls me back into London even at this stage is really welcome. Anyway, thanks again for all of your work this year!

Sick Mick Oct 29, 3:47pm

This is all fine except for the argument regarding casual players. Casual players are just that - casual. With the arguments you presentet it feels that regulars are being punished for: being fans of the game; taking the time to inform ourselves by reading guides; for taking the time and putting in the effort to discover things and finally for making player written guides. That's a whole lot of actual work on our part. We don't need rewards for it (although some FATE would be nice), but we also don't deserve punishment and especially do not deserve to be taken as a lesser priority than GOD DAMNED CASUALS!!! That being said - to hell with the casuals. Also, you suck for bringing the casuals as a reason to do anything. The reason to do anything should be us and not some browser tourist.

Anonymus Oct 29, 2:13pm

I hate your balance patch due to without cards grindings I shall cannot get Dreams as I need.

Vael Victus Oct 29, 12:18pm

This all looks good, I just wonder why you have never commented on the possibility of discard cooldowns in the opportunity deck. One of my least favorite habits of your engine is that I'll discard a card I don't want, and then it will pop up again immediately or soon after. I was hoping to read here that you'd address this! But what you describe at least sounds like it removes some pain.

Jinan Dangor Oct 29, 8:18am

Absolutely love everything I read. While I was partially happy to see what a huge effort Failbetter is making to ensure clear and powerful communication since *the outfit lock incident* (I was confident Failbetter would turn the update around, but it caused quite the stir within the community), I'm just super happy to see that a bunch of super positive changes are being added to the game quite soon! While I'm upset that I won't be getting a way to grind Rubbery Favours until after I need the Bellringer for Hallowmas, I'm still looking forward to these changes *a lot*. Can't wait to here more news!

vincki Oct 29, 6:16am

i don't want to look like a total lickspittle, but reading this, even though im currently up so late english words make my eyes slide out of focus, was so great and i loved every part of this. i like all of these changes. and reliable favor sources for every faction? i am so tired rn my arms are falling off and i still got up and danced and screamed and happy stimmed. thank you fallne london for my life

Pinstripeowl Oct 29, 1:22am

Thank you for this, they're some great changes that will definitely make things feel a little less deck-grindy. At the moment I'm trying to build the railway and getting those justificande coins for the tracks using 5 docks favours a piece for a heist is a mare and a half. Particularly as an ES, I ideally like coming on and doing moves in those 40 move batches if I've work to do and can't dip in too often. I look forward to seeing the new things you're bringing in! D

easystar Oct 29, 12:28am

This looks good and I'm happy ya'll are working on the rebalance! As a few others have said, I'm also a bit worried about various miscellaneous stories that require some particular luck with the RNG to progress. I'm not sure what a general solution to this would look like, but more situations where you could pay a resource cost to draw a needed card would help.

Joe Oct 29, 12:04am

With these changes, can we have a repeatable way of progressing through the dreams? Perhaps a storylet that resets once a day, asking "what did you dream about last night?", which then gives you a choice of drawing a relevant dream card for your dream levels?

Archbishop Nero Keller Oct 29, 12:02am

@Shaicarus There is a way to get the bat for Nemesis that involves going to prison and doing a mini storyline there to get a bat without needing the very low chance of getting one from the opp deck. However, you wouldn't know it just playing the game; prison, like most menace areas, isn't something a lategame player is going to bump into by accident, and I don't believe Nemesis gives any indication that you could find it there. Strangely, it seems to contradict one of the points in this very article: "Because we didn’t design it [this way], it’s not signposted in-game. Players have no way of finding out about this, except by accident or from other players. This disadvantages more casual players who might not be on the Discord or reading the wiki. There’s nothing wrong with players doing the most optimal thing they can find in-game, but we want to make sure that the most optimal thing isn’t obscure to casual players and doesn’t seem like an exploit. We also want to make sure that casual players following in-game cues about what to do are not massively disadvantaged relative to someone reading a guide written by another player." If you ask me, it seems like that applies very well to that step of Nemesis. It certainly wasn't designed with the prison battitude in mind, as that was added in later after a slew of complaints. If anything, that step seemed designed with deck refreshing in mind, as trying to get a bat with attitude from the opportunity deck with normal draws at its current odds could easily take someone years.

Victor London Oct 28, 11:42pm

Well, there goes refreshes from returning from Arbor. But easier favors and more outfit slots? That makes things easier. I don't even deck refresh on purpose.

StW Oct 28, 11:01pm

This makes me worried about things like progressing your profession - I couldn't get the Church-card for a couple of weeks to become Campaigner, because rng hates me. Now I can't become a Silverer, because even with the labdance bug I sift through the deck not fast enough. I need it and also additional CP of one of the dreams before the end of this Hallowmas, and, as I said, rng hates me. I'm a bit scared of how this situation would look if the bug was patched already. I really hate dissonance between the fiction and the mechanics, so I'm glad the bug will go, but right now it's an accidental band aid on a jugular. All the best luck, guys, we hope you'll figure it out.

Douglas Goldstein Oct 28, 9:51pm

Whee! That coat's pretty dang valuable, but anything you want to add is welcome. *Broods in Helicon*

Shaicarus Oct 28, 9:25pm

I like everything I'm seeing here! But I do wonder about something that's probably a little petty. Will there be any tweaks to items you get in the Opportunity deck with really low odds of getting them? I'm probably not the only person following the Nemesis Ambition who's being driven absolutely buggy by one little bat. But as it stands, I have a lot of lodgings and companions and I've participated in a lot of stories. My deck has a lot of potential cards in it at any given moment. I routinely go days or weeks without even having the option to release a bat into the cloud, and when I do have the option, I think I saw that the odds of actually getting a Bat With Attitude are 2%? I've been stuck on my Ambition for months, and at one point I got so fed up with my inability to progress that I stopped playing entirely for three months. And to make my question seem a little less petty and selfish, I have to assume that there are other stories around London that are like this, where the ability to continue hinges upon one item, and getting that item means all the Masters and the RNG have to smile upon you at once.

Mike Eng Oct 28, 9:15pm

I appreciate the detail you've provided explaining why these upcoming changes are being implemented - thank you! The deck refreshes and favours changes sound good to me, but on the topic of favours, I am currently working towards 40 Renown rewards for all the factions and it seems strange that only Rubbery Men's Renown 40 reward requires Fate? There is no real reason for me to grind renown with them. On the topic of opportunity deck, it would be nice if players had a way of perhaps blacklisting a few cards? For example, low-level lodgings or the Struggling Artist. I say blacklist instead of remove forever, because the Struggling Artist has shown how a mostly-undesired card can unexpectedly gain value with later updates, and it would feel harsh to penalize players for permanently removing an unwanted card, not knowing that they may want that card later on.

Jonathan Oct 28, 8:23pm

Thanks for letting us know about the changes before implementing them! I really like the idea of adding more ways to get Favours, and also removing Favour costs from item conversions. :) And adding ways for players to gain more Outfit slots is awesome! Some questions/suggestions: Would it be possible to let players sell off their low-level lodgings? That would allow a bit more Opportunity Deck optimization, without discouraging players from accessing any content. Relatedly, what do you think of adding an option to temporarily remove low level cards which come from Exceptional Stories? (Something like Transported Your Library, which allows you to get rid of "A library of your own card", and is reversible in case you ever want to see the card again.) That would mean that low level cards from Exceptional Stories will no longer scare off optimizers from finishing the stories, while also allowing people who enjoy "flavour" cards to keep them in the deck. Thanks for reading!

Zorn Rose Oct 28, 8:03pm

I think a new outfit slot would be an awesome reward for a quest, too. I love the non-standard rewards (like the consequence of your ambition) that you've been playing with recently--it's much more exciting at higher levels than just a bunch of money. I am still hoping for a change to the way the railway board works that makes it less about having the smallest possible number of members and more about deciding how many you want (and I think it would be nice if you could pass a motion by convincing a majority, rather than convincing everyone), but these changes all look very solid. If you're rebalancing favours, are you also considering moving the rubbery renown 40 reward out of flute street? It seems very strange to me that only one faction has its item locked behind a paywall.

Alex Oct 28, 8:02pm

Must... get... Scholar of Correspondence before dock favor supplies are nerfed

Madame Spork Oct 28, 7:25pm

About time. And here I thought the team had given up on Fallen London in favourable of more profitable games. After 10 + years of never progressing and watching all the pay-to-play noobs leave me well in the dust, sure, I'm all for it.

FieryJade Oct 28, 7:12pm

These all sound like really good changes! I'm not at the late-game stage where deck refreshes would have become important yet, so I realize that might be biasing me, but I certainly didn't look forward to all the jumping in and out of locations that kept being referenced on the forums. And I'm absolutely THRILLED that there will be non-opportunity deck ways to gain Favours, and even more thrilled about the additional outfit slots. Thank you guys for listening to feedback and constantly evaluating things to make them better!

Empsk Oct 28, 6:45pm

Every time I pop in and our of my lab I feel a little guilty to grind favours I feel a little guilty. Thanks for removing that temptation! Looking forward to seeing it play out

Zeeyo Oct 28, 6:43pm

Well, this looks overall like an excellent change. I've been a PoSI for a few years now and as I approach the *true* end-game I definitely noticed that character-wise I found myself thinking less and less about what I (Zeeyo) would do for certain factions and more about what the benefit was. Despite being a frequent user of infinite deck-refreshers I'm glad to be rid of them, as I found myself feeling more stressed about getting Favours and ignoring actual content. Thanks for listening to the community!

Cernunnas Oct 28, 5:22pm

Wow! That's a lot to take in. First of all, I think it's great that you're listening to the community (remember *that* one time...? hah), so thanks for that. I'm a bit afraid of these changes; particularly the favour/renown system. I played casually for a very long time and didn't even realise renown was a thing until very, very late in the game. I'm now super far behind and have a lot of end-game things to do at the same time. It definitely feels like the system could use a change, as it currently feels a bit pointless and much less rewarding than many other things I got going on, and the removal of refreshing and doubling is going to hurt on top of that. With that said, even if it's "bad" for us players by making things slower (specially gaining renown), I think overall not being able to refresh/double will be good. To be honest, I exploit it nowadays, but I remember being *very* confused by it while still learning the game. I always thought it was weird and took me a while to understand where and what would do this or that to my deck. Also, there are many times where I'd like to do something else, but refreshing the deck is just too tempting and I find myself losing days worth of actions just to speed something up by refreshing a lot. So yeah... ouch, but I think they will be welcoming changes. I love that you're giving us ways to get more outfits (THANKS!!), and I'm very curious to see what other balances you bring to ambitions. I'm very close to finishing LF and everyone says the reward sucks... it sort of put me off finishing it, to be honest. I know it's not all about the gains, but I've got so many other things to do around FL! :P Thank you SO MUCH, all of you, for the wonderful work and all of the effort you put into making this amazing game/world grow. FL means soooo much to me (and to many others, I'm sure). So please take my money and keep it up!

nedemmons Oct 28, 5:03pm

I second on Lemma. "It would be more interesting, if all favours rewards scaled with renown as Revolutionaries favours." Renown Scaling was awesome and interesting mechanic, gave us incentive to increase Renown beyond 40 and gave us feeling that we were getting more friendly with them. If Hinterland conversion is getting overshadowed, maybe it would be better to move such Renown-Scaling style favour turn-in to Hinterland area?

Keanu Oct 28, 4:45pm

While one problem with opportunity card frequency has been regarding low-frequency high-value cards, the opposite problem of high-frequency low-value cards has also been problematic for a lot of players as well. This issue is particularly egregious when the low value of these cards is caused by their high-value options being Fate-locked: A couple examples of this are "A present from the Solitary Glim-sculptor" and "A letter from your aunt". It is not difficult to find player complaints about Frequent and Standard cards with extremely low value clogging up the deck and causing a lot of irritated discards (Shroom-Hopping, An Unusual Wager, early Lodgings cards, etc.). A Remote Address has helped a small amount with this, though at the comparatively large cost of a reduced number of card slots. Perhaps the addition of the City Vices label to a few more low-value cards would help? Or another Vices-like label for which associated card draws can be avoided in some other way, similar to having A Remote Address? Regarding card value plummeting due to the Fate-locking of valuable options, this has been better handled with hooks to Exceptional Stories and club invitations, in that there is always an option present to defer those cards to equivalent storylets and remove the card from the opportunity deck entirely. And finally, for the love of sunlight *please* add a more accessible way of selling or removing purchased Lodgings; the player should not have to burn their entire life to the ground just to dispose of an old key to some rooftop shack under the Flit. Personally I'm looking forward to the opportunity deck tweaks, but I hope that these nearly continuous low-value draws do not go overlooked, as they severely impact the usefulness and enjoyability of card draws.

Douglas Ciha Oct 28, 4:06pm

This makes me worried about the dream level requirement in Heart's Desire. This is already an exceptionally long luck based grind, especially when compared to the rest of the Heart's Desire tasks. Without the ability to refresh the opportunity deck, this step could take as long as all other Heart's Desire steps combined.

Lyke Oct 28, 3:44pm

Bravo. Brand new PoSI here. This is the first frank discussion of changes about to be made to an online game by the developers. It makes so much sense to pull back the curtain a little and let people in on your strategy. I love the choices and the freedom to wander in Fallen London. Carry on!

Lemma Oct 28, 3:41pm

It would be more interesting, if all favours rewards scaled with renown as Revolutionaries favours.

Anon Oct 28, 3:34pm

I can get that you guys have an aesthetic, but white-text on black-background is extremely difficult to read with certain eye conditions (like astigmatism). It could be worth a google for information on accessibility, as this post - especially being so long - was extremely difficult to read and eventually required a copy/paste to make readable. It's an interesting set of changes, anyway. I find favours particularly difficult at times, like needing five to get coins in order to make tracks, and a limited deck refresh would hinder that; so it's a relief this has been taken into account. I'll be curious about the outfit unlocks, too, as they're also invaluable as an end-game player, and it's nice to see feedback taken on that matter (and others). Thank you all for your hard work!

dan Oct 28, 3:21pm

Asking for feedback on changes only after you have already decided to implement them is a great way to show you don't plan to listen to it. This feels like the outfit lock thing over again. "Because of this optimisation, players were incentivised to aggressively prune their opportunity card deck to get rid of low-value cards. This leads to things like not wanting to play Cricket, Anyone?, one of our most beloved Exceptional Stories, to avoid gaining an opportunity card that gets added to your deck after the epilogue of that story. This inhibits us from adding new story content to the London opportunity card deck." You have this exactly backwards -- removing deck refreshes will make pruning your deck MORE important, not less. When you can get 10 more cards by visiting your lab, drawing a few duds isn't a big deal. But if the only way to get another ten is to wait an hour and a half, then having any of those ten not worth drawing would be way more of a loss. It's the same as if the infinite decks (like the lab) were made finite: suddenly drawing those garbage Equipment cards all the time would be a major problem, instead of a trivial annoyance to immediately discard and redraw. Rebalancing favors sounds good, but imo they should all be made more like Rev favors instead of nerfing those. Having the favors reward scale with that faction's renown gives an incentive to raise that renown, and it raises the reward roughly in line with the player's needs as they progress. It's the same reason 40 renown items are way better than 10 renown items, or why late-game actions in general give way more resources than when you're first starting out: they are rewards that scale with your progress (by different mechanics than the Rev favors do, but it's the same design principle). Plus, as people are building up their renown, it gives an interesting tension between collecting favors to raise renown and get better rewards later vs cashing them in now for immediate gains. If raising renown won't improve the results, there's no reason to ever raise it higher than necessary, beyond bragging rights or Just Because.

Florence Oct 28, 3:16pm

This sounds great. Really well thought-out, and I appreciate it being communicated openly like this, in advance and in technical detail. Looking forward to seeing the changes implemented!