Upcoming Upper River and Parabola Balance Changes

By Bruno Dias, June 16, 2021 · Fallen London

As we discussed in our last roadmap post, the end of the Railway comes with us taking the time to adjust several activities in the game, to make the overall Upper River economy more diverse and less dominated by a few outliers.

We’re going to put these changes live tomorrow, on Thursday June 17th. This post is meant to list which activities will be impacted.

  • Seeking a Mirror on the Far Side, specifically the ability to gain Casing
  • Hurlers, specifically Final Breath gain through the hot springs
  • Parabolan War
  • University Laboratory, specifically Impossible Theorems
  • Brawling with the Dockers, specifically the efficiency of some of the more powerful branches
  • Bone market: Buying bones for scrip, which gets around the action economy expectations of the bone market
  • Balmoral woods and painting

Not all of those things are competitive with the Balmoral loop right now, but they’re still outliers that need to be adjusted (or they would supplant the current best sources of resources). Overall, the goal is that everything that’s currently competitive should remain so, while bringing those outliers in level to other things in the Upper River, broadening the variety of activities that are relevant to endgame players.



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Christopher Jul 7, 1:19am

I agree with the other posters’ comments. There are still expensive Bazaar items I cannot afford yet after two years of playing and essentially catching up to the new content as it is published. Over that time, echo grinding is still the most painful and miserably slow part of the game. And everyone here is correct. It doesn’t matter which echo grind you choose, they are ALL ridiculously slow. I can certainly understand not wanting high echo per action grinds to be available to beginning players, but for end-game players this should be available to reward their extended play. As material becomes more established and not end game anymore per se, then it might warrant rebalancing, but certainly not this soon. I currently use the railroad dividend twice a week to produce a measly 90 echoes a week. I would love to sit down and figure what pitiful fraction that is compared to the cost of upgrading all the railway cars and stations. You don’t need to make everything 1000 EPA, but more than 3 would be nice at some point.

Janto Jun 29, 11:40pm

That's a lot of words for "we're nerfing the best ways to earn echoes". Would it hurt you to be honest and just call it a nerf - which it is, with no redeeming value - rather than pretend that it isn't? You're not fooling anyone, and imo it's insulting for you to dress it up any other way. "impacted" indeed!

Kritcal Jun 24, 5:38am

So this is why the war in Parabola felt weaker. I'm really against the addition of the Morale limit but, I can definitely understand the complaints. Isn't the end game stuff supposed to be good? Though if anything was improved by this I haven't seen or heard of it yet. It feel like the listed are likely to be hit with more weakenings than improvements if there are any..

dan Jun 21, 7:05am

PLEASE stop making the game less fun

Xor Jun 20, 2:01pm

Agree with the points everyone else has made. What is the point in having every single thing eventually leveled to 3 EPA? Grinding is the least fun part of the game. It's been really nice to be able to eventually unlock things that make various grinds less painful, and this has made gameplay a lot more enjoyable for me overall. All these options have still been gated by 10000 other grinds, so it doesn't seem unfair at all to have SOME advantage after going through all that work. All of the nerfs end up making the game feel more unbalanced in the end. More involved players are able to take full advantage of the activities while they're still available and coast on those profits/items for a while, while everyone else is left to struggle through the tedious grindy version we end up with.

David Jun 20, 1:23am

I feel like you’ve shrunk the amount of activities relevant to me. The parabolan war something that was fun to alternate with other activities I was doing, but now I don’t see a point to doing it again. I was also hoping to try painting soon but it sounds like it isn’t even fun to try now.

Influx Jun 18, 5:57am

What everyone else said. This is just...disappointing and dispiriting. What’s so terrible with endgame grinds paying out significantly better than midgame ones? Paintings suck now, and that makes the game less fun for me. Impossible Theorems will be more painful. The already annoying Parabolan War is worse. And feels like you’re a parent coming to take away our candy. Not an enjoyable dynamic.

Zeculo Jun 17, 7:23pm

Honestly, the impossible theorem grind needed a nerf, not for balance reasons but for philosophical ones. I realize the neath is safely tucked away from the light of law, but abstract mathematics being a lucrative career seems like it should violate something more fundamental than just the laws of physics. In all seriousness though, the impossible theorem just being a cash-in item outside of a few specific storylets rubs me the wrong way. It feels weird to arrive at an astonishing and scarcely-comprehensible revelation and then just... sell it. It sells for a lot, but there's no fanfare, no excitement. Not even any special sell text. It feels like it should be tougher to unload, possibly with multiple buyers and different rewards depending on which one you choose.

Baron Lagavulin Jun 17, 6:26pm

What literally everyone else just said: Not a fan of this...

Lex Jun 17, 4:06pm

Okay, but *why* though. I get that you want to nerf outliers in terms of grind viability, the economy should in some ways be balancable, but this makes any investments in getting high skills entirely pointless. I thought the Parabolan War and Hurlers Grind were a perfectly alright source of income - requires nauseatingly high Dangerous and some optimizing, but gives you around 5 EPA. Both nerfed. Okay, if that's too much, we're moving on to Parabolan Casing Larcenies. Still very high skills required - Glasswork and Shadowy in particular. 4 EPA - it's not *great*, really, but it's alright still. And now that's nerfed too. What about getting a really high AotRS skill, an endgame stat you can be proud of even if it cost you some Fate to get the boots and whatnot? Impossible Theorems used to be strong, but you've nerfed them before, now it's alright, isn't it? No, you needed to bring it down again. Does every grind have to be exactly 3 EPA before you stop this? Do master thieves have to have the same income as newspaper writers, breakers of reality the same as hobby archeologists before you realise that there is nothing worth striving for in a game that's so intrinsically about money thematically? I don't understand why you had to nerf every decent grind. I don't understand why you had to communicate this in such an obtuse way instead of just coming out with it. I don't understand why I can only remember one single buff in my history with this game. Maybe I should just quit.

Frenzgyn Jun 17, 8:55am

Argh. There are no words or phrasing that could make a nerf something enjoyable. I am ok with the general purpose of balancing the economy (and grinds), just, for future reference, I would try to avoid releasing anything so good that it needs to be nerfed afterwards. Such things will always be quite frustrating.

Bunnyapocalips Jun 17, 12:37am

You know, buffing things to reach a new standard at endgame would be a lot better rather than making the rewards for reaching endgame & being able to optimize it functionally identical to random midgame loops by nerfing them. As expected, not a fan.

Wriothesley Jun 17, 12:05am

Agh that's annoying. I'm trying to earn enough money to get past "Knifegate" in Ambition: Nemesis and was using the Parabolan War.

Florence Jun 16, 6:44pm

"less dominated by a few outliers" > The trouble here is that these outliers are GOOD. Unlocking a profitable late-game grind feels like an accomplishment; having it taken away is a disappointment. And you keep introducing "more powerful branches" and then nerfing them to bring them in line with the rest. Which just introduces a new form of FOMO; people rushing to take advantage of a good grind before it's inevitably taken away. Hopefully Impossible Theorem will take less mindless clicking, at least.