By the third game, we were tired of forced resolution as some games just drug on far too long beyond when the game should have been won thus making it often an unenjoyable variant in most games we played.
Could you please share an example of how this variant made a game continue "far too long?"
Facedown with optional resolution sounds like a happy middle ground for those who would like to keep the uncertainty, but remove the element of despair.
I would first like to comment that even though you may have a larger story deck, you have only offerred a greater chance of redundant effects to take place since there are so many redundant story cards as many effects are always reprinted no matter which edition.
If every story card ever printed was made into one big deck, then well over 25% of the deck will have the following annoying examples. Now for the examples:
Dam's example is good so lets also add parable of the faceless one since its effect reflects the well. Thats a minimum of three story cards with this effect since the well was reprinted twice. (We just use every story card printed with no regard to duplicate names)
Next we have abysses of night and the terror out of dunwich (the last of which also reprinted so three examples of this effect in the story deck).
Voice of thunder and the thing at the gate. Again, at least three examples of which would be in the deck.
Shadows of nephren ka, or the slightly less annoying Change of plans.
If any of these are in play when Secrets of arkham is won, I just feel a meltdown about to occur due to really pointless delays. The horror of the past can also be a tad annoying as well but that one is just a "screw you" to the discard strategy of which is already a difficult win condition to pull off consitently and effectively.
Wth all that said, I think being facedown without forced resolution is even more pointless. It may as well be face up so people can atleast see what they may or may not choose to resolve should they win that story. It may seem like a creative idea but all it really does is just makes you blindly go after a story you have no idea of the outcome of. Face up offers strategy and urgency. Blind offers only chaos. Not a bad thing depending on what a particular person is trying to get out of the game.
Like I said, its a novel variant, but for us the fun quickly wears off when we are forced to discard our resources discard our hands, etc just as we are about to set up crucial plots. Especially when luck has it in store for us that this happens 4 games in a row.... If you think it is highly unlikely, then think about exactly how many cards in such a story deck could prolong the game and the redundancy involved and it becomes apparent that this fluke of probablity isnt such a far fetched possibility afterall.
But also again, it is only us and the people we play with that feels this way. Other people can and obviously do enjoy blind forced resolution. I am only offering why this variant failed for us.