Today we’re introducing some changes to the way Outfits work in Fallen London. UPDATE: See the end of this post!
You are now able to purchase additional Outfits with Fate. Exceptional Friends now receive two extra Outfits as part of their subscription. The maximum number of Outfits you can have is now ten!
We’re removing the ability to change Outfits while in storylets and in certain settings (in particular where your character wouldn’t reasonably be able to access their wardrobe, or a convenient steamer trunk).
We’ve thought quite carefully about this, and hope that it will create more opportunities for us to introduce strategic gameplay built around selection of Outfit, and allow for you to make more creative sartorial application of a wider range of clothing. We’ve prepared a little story to illustrate how these applications work; look for a continuation of the Watchmaker’s Daughter story on the card Devices and Desires in your Opportunity Deck.
Lastly, there are a few helpful functional changes to the way Outfits behave:
- You can now rename Outfits.
- Saving an Outfit is now an explicit choice (so if you change your hat while wearing an Outfit, you will have to explicitly save changes to that Outfit for that hat to be part of the outfit the next time you change into it).
- You can now filter equipment by a specific quality.
We hope you have fun investigating these changes! If you have any feedback, please send it as usual to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you find anything that doesn’t look like it’s working as intended, please send it to email@example.com.
UPDATE, 31st July:
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.
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.
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.