Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,
Kate
kate_nepveu

Seeking Mr Eaten's Name: an update for mariness (and anyone else interested)

Short version: I really like the most recent content added to Seeking Mr Eaten's Name in Fallen London, but it is a storyline with very, very narrow appeal.

Backstory: Seeking Mr Eaten's Name is an obscure side-story, until recently rather hard to come by, and festoned with warnings that only Bad Things will happen in the pursuit of the Name. There's a general guide to prior steps at one of the wikis. The most recent content release, Marsh-Mired in Dreams of Sustenance, sets the character on the start of a quest to obtain seven candles. Obtaining the first requires the recruitment of other players (seven, in fact) who have Watchful 30+, are not yet Seeking the Name, and have linked a Facebook or Twitter account, which makes it the only storyline that requires social actions to proceed (the Tournament of Lilies is, well, a Tournament, and so I don't count that).

[Edit July 2013 because people are still finding this post: apparently this has now changed and social actions are no longer required, though the cost is very high.]

One of the game's creators has recently gone on record about the intent behind the storyline and the new content's pyramid-scheme nature. Happily, in response to comments, he has also added additional ways to abandon the quest.

I decided to Seek the Name basically because it was there. I do generally roleplay game decisions (well, for values of roleplay that amount to putting myself in that context), but this one I took an out-of-game perspective on, which was: it's a game. I don't mind if my character loses lots of Stuff, because Stuff is recoverable in-game, and even if it's tedious to recover then it's a goal to work towards in-between main content releases. And I'm a completist, I like to know all the variants and the worldbuilding. (When the Ambitions are complete I'll almost certainly pay real money to play them all in turn.) To put it flippantly, if the Bazaar really doesn't want me pursuing the Name, it should give me more things to do.

I am not thrilled with the seven-player portion of the content—I invited three people who said they were okay with it (do get confirmation first because sending the invitation is very expensive), and sock-puppetted four [*]. But like I said, there's not much else going on right now, so . . .

[*] Two, I'd created at various points thinking I'd do something different than with my main character, but abandoned them (apparently I can't keep track of two characters at once). Two were new; it doesn't take very long to get to Watchful 30 if you only grind that stat. Use high-risk challenges, because you get +3 change points on failure and +4 on success, and at that level, you don't get menaces when you fail (chancy gives you +3/+3).

And now, the SPOILERS for St Arthur's and St Beau's Candles. I'm going to be general about the story-side content for St Beau's, in case a reader decides to proceed, but I'll put in the items you will need and can't tell ahead of time (and there'll be a more information link at the end).

Once you've invited seven people, you get St Arthur's Candle—I can't remember if there's an opt-out stage here or not. This drops you 20 levels in Dangerous and Persuasive each and loses you some items, but I can't remember what.

Oh, and either here or when you first start working through Marsh-Mired in Dreams of Sustenance, you start to draw two non-discardable cards, that you can either keep (if you have lodgings that let you keep at least three cards in your hand) or play at, of course, a cost. Two of the options to stop Seeking the Name are on these cards. (You can get rid of these cards by Embarking on a Heist in the Flit, and possibly by going to Zee or something else that clears your deck.)

To get St Beau's Candle, you need to wait for an opportunity card, which gives you either an option to pay items to proceed or take a luck-based option where the odds are against you. When you proceed, you go to a very very cool version of Mrs Plenty's Carnival, where all the usual options are appropriately twisted.

I loved this. I really enjoyed exploring this variant of the Carnival, and I thought the nightmare feel of it was great. One storylet used the game's recent mechanism of using up multiple actions for one click to actually give me a feeling of pensive melancholy, as I waited for my actions to refresh to see both results of the chess game between the Beleaguered King and the Red-Handed Queen. And I liked that the progress-increasing exit from the Carnival took you through a conversation that required you to state your reasons for Seeking the Name (and gave you another, quite generous, way out); I was impressed that this conversation caused me to consider my course quite seriously, far more so than I expected to given my reasons for doing this storyline in the first place.

(Also, I thought it was hilarious that one of the options was to destroy your character forever for 50 Fate. Yes, it's kind of trolling, but it's also something you can't do otherwise in the game right now, and I can see a certain kind of roleplayer finding it appropriate.)

[Edit September 2013: if you're curious about this option, see this post.]

Anyway, the nitty-gritty. To take a progress-increasing exit, you need 150 Memories of Light, 3,330 moon-pearls (the tickets here are 333 pearls each, and you need 10), and Nightmares at 7 (which you can get from other activities at the Carnival easily enough, if you buy additional tickets. I forgot to count how many tickets I used, but it's probably 10-20 to do all the additional non-Fate content). If you wind up short, you can take sufficient Wounds that you end up on a slow boat passing a dark beach on a silent river (what I did, the first time around; possibly you could also exit to a State of Confusion). Then you have the aforementioned conversation, and then decide what to sacrifice: all of your Connections, or if you have a Lengthy Lease at the Bazaar, then you can choose to instead sacrifice it and all your other lodgings. [*] There's also a Fate-based option that I didn't take.

And that's the content boundary so far.

[*] I sacrificed my lodgings, as easier to get back, but I am still able to keep four cards in my hand, which is probably a bug.

(If you desperately want to know the content, I've echoed most of it at my character's journal, which unfortunately does not have individual permalinks (go back until you see the first entry dated 18 December, 1890). I say "most" because I often forget to echo the opportunity card/storylet as well as the result, so it may be somewhat cryptic in places.)

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