Vampire Help

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Vampire Help

Postby lolQuaff on Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:14 pm

The vampire is one of my favorite classes yet I have rarely played him. I unlocked him a while ago, played a few dungeons then put him on the shelf because playing as the vampire hurts my brain. It's such a cool class though, so I decided it's time to learn how to play him. I feel it's a very strong class, but I have a pretty basic understanding of how to play him. Even some Hard dungeons that are normally simple with most classes become complicated when I play them as the vampire. This is as it should be I suppose because the vampire is much different than any other class I've learned to play. I mostly just want to share my approach to how I'm playing this class and let you guys pick it apart so I can learn from it. Hopefully I'm on the right track!

How I understand the vampire is that monsters are the resource you use to replenish your health, and black tiles are used to replenish the health of your monsters and your mana. So a typical fight for me goes something like this: find a good target to kill, use monsters to heal during fight, and after the kill use blood pools and monsters to heal back to full health, then go explore to replenish the monsters and my mana.

I think damage reduction is way more important than dealing damage. It's weird but I think dealing too much damage is actually a bad thing. I try to find a balance where I'm doing decent enough damage to the monsters I'm trying to kill without doing too much damage to the monsters I'm trying to preserve. For example, I want to have 2 hits on a fully healed level 6 meat man without actually killing him off. I try my best to keep higher health/low damage monsters alive, but it's a fine line to walk because with damage too low I won't be killing my targets efficiently enough.

For preparations I typically go for the Dragon Shield and the regular shield. I never go with the compression seal because I will be converting pretty aggressively, leaving me decent inventory space. I choose one of the other seals depending on the dungeon. I go with either mana boosters or magnet fireball usually and for potions I always go with quicksilver/reflex/whupaz/shadenfreude. Elite items for the shops and hope for the Elven boots.

For glyphs I'm really looking for getindare and fireball. I'm using the fireball to soften up my target a bit, get a couple hits in then getindare for the win. I find that getindare is just really really good with the vampire. Getting that last hit in on your target without taking damage and instead stealing a bunch of life is really strong. I precast it as much as possible to up my dodge chance because getting a dodge in is soooo good. Fireball helps a ton against wraith/warlock type enemies. Weywut is nice as well and I'll keep that around if I don't have getindare. As far as the rest of the glyphs go I'll keep them around for a bit if the situation calls for it but I'm mostly looking to convert them to get my lifesteal up as soon as possible. The same goes for health/mana potions. I will keep them lying on the ground just in case I need them but once I see that I have enough to reach the conversion threshold then they're gone. Also, if I'm close to the conversion threshold I'll buy up an item I don't need and convert that. Once all shops are explored I'm spending and leftover gold I have on items to convert. NEED MOAR LIFESTEAL!!!

What I really struggle with is figuring out which targets to kill and which to preserve. Often times the easiest targets to kill that will net you the most experience happen to be the best to have around to keep you alive. It's so tempting to get that easy 2 or 3 level higher kill but I just want to keep that monster around for the mid game. What I'm looking to kill are bloodless enemies, high damage low health enemies, and enemies with debuffs. Sounds awful right? hahaha

For example, on a Hard Gaan Telet(a vampire's dreamland) run earlier today I felt the choices were pretty clear. Preserve: meatmen, dragons, snakes. Kill: goblins, gorgons, goats, wraiths. Gooblobs fall somewhere in the middle I think and zombies I would avoid because killing them is a pain in the balls. They make for good curse/level up fodder anyway. The choices weren't as clear in the Demonic Library however. Do I eat shit from that curse golem/weakening gorgon or do I kill that delicious Djinn?

I find myself exploring too much early on looking for the right level 2 monster to kill. I think level 1 is just tough as a vampire because you're too weak to kill a level 2 straight up until you until you explore a bunch and pick up the proper tools. Your lifesteal is mostly irrelevant at level 1 because it's low and you have no lower level monsters to steal from. This is where I struggle the most I think. I just hate wasting too much space early on looking for the right target/tools. Level 2 is also tough because the enemies you want to feed off you usually end up killing in 1 hit. It just goes against I have hammered into my brain, which is to save the popcorn until the late game.

Anyway, I really enjoy playing this class. I'm having unlearn a lot of things and I'm being faced with many unique situations. It's tough but fun :) Any feedback is appreciated, thanks!
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Re: Vampire Help

Postby Blovski on Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:42 pm

It honestly sounds like you're playing him pretty well. He is usually either very easy or very hard depending on the dungeon.

Things to note are that Less Glyphs prep gives you more conversion and that or more attack are generally seen as far better for a Vampire than more mana/magnet fireball. Overhealing lets you take down good targets. Platemail/shield are often very good options for a Vampire as an alternative to the Dragon Shield + Sword. Depends on the monster loadout to an extent, obviously. Always keep decent level Meat Men around. You need that healing buffer. I haven't played DL with him on this playthrough yet, so I'll give it a go and see if I can offer any more specific hints.
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Re: Vampire Help

Postby lolQuaff on Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:24 pm

And I just got swiftly destroyed in VGT haha. I got unlucky on the top floor which made things pretty tough. All the meat mean were level 1 or 2 with a few mid level zombies. It was sloppy play that lead to defeat though (wasted black tiles) and a couple poor decisions I think. I tapped out by the 5th dungeon. I still had my prepped potions and a few level 1s and 2s but no more blood pools or black tiles. A wraith and 2 gooblobs on a no experience floor was enough for me to GG there. I did learn that Endiswall is actually really good with the vampire and I think I may be overvaluing the fireball.

Blovski wrote:It honestly sounds like you're playing him pretty well. He is usually either very easy or very hard depending on the dungeon.

Things to note are that Less Glyphs prep gives you more conversion and that or more attack are generally seen as far better for a Vampire than more mana/magnet fireball. Overhealing lets you take down good targets. Platemail/shield are often very good options for a Vampire as an alternative to the Dragon Shield + Sword. Depends on the monster loadout to an extent, obviously. Always keep decent level Meat Men around. You need that healing buffer. I haven't played DL with him on this playthrough yet, so I'll give it a go and see if I can offer any more specific hints.


I've been staying away from damage as the vampire because I'm just really averse to killing off my popcorn/life source. It's something I have to get used to. I did manage to barely win in the Demonic Library earlier but I'm interested in hearing how you tackled it. It was a painful experience leveling up but victory was all the more sweet because of it.

What glyphs are you typically looking to use as a vampire? I understand it's situational but what do you like in general?
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Re: Vampire Help

Postby Wargasm on Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:11 am

Re: Attack buffs; you have to compare keeping your bloodsacks alive vs. possibly killing higher level mobs in one less hit and conserving a _lot_ of health that way. If that still makes you squeamish, prep Less Glyphs. Assuming you're taking the Transmutation seal in dungeons that spawn secret subdungeons (and thus don't especially need ENDISWAL) then PISORF, GETINDARE, and BURNDAYRAZ are probably the only glyphs you're likely to use. Possibly BLUDTOPOWA. Everything else is auto-convert, so you may as well get more CP for them.
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Re: Vampire Help

Postby Blovski on Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:09 am

The main thing is that having higher damage allows you to support a higher lifesteal (you can't steal more life per attack than your damage), so while the threat to your popcorn is a bit of an issue, being able to regen off higher level monsters makes up for it. (i.e. I wouldn't worry too much about having overly-high damage).

Another thing you might want to do if you don't already is bring along Patches. The Vampire is immune to most of his punishments and benefits a lot from the buffs. As far as glyphs go. Getindare is great. Endiswal/Halpme can help if you don't have Getindare. Burndayraz is worth keeping. Wonafyt is useful early on. Weytwut if I get none of the above. Otherwise no keepers for me.

Image

Here's the DL run win screen with an additional 10 minutes of faffing around killing mini-avatars. Cleared about 2/3 of a full room. Things of note: Dragon Shield rather than usual Platemail because of weakening monsters and high boss damage. Found most glyphs reasonably late - Getindare made the run a much safer prospect. Got extremely lucky with items - balanced dagger is a *great* find for Vampires because you no longer need to faff around getting catapults at low levels. Crystal Ball is a phenomenal find on DL where you will have a ton of gold to fuel it. I should probably have gone in with the badge of courage or whatever it is instead of the shield but nevermind.

Various DL tips - there's always a secret subdungeon, so I normally take the Transmutation Scroll instead of the other two (you have enough money anyway, and vampire inventories don't usually get too pinched) to guarantee access to it. Cultists are easily the best bloodbank on the level. Imps are good as well. I'd advise keeping high level ones of those alive as long as you can. Avatar is reasonably simple, given the Vampire is one of the best classes for working around the Avatar spawn.
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Re: Vampire Help

Postby lolQuaff on Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:26 pm

Yeah you guys are right, damage is certainly king. I've mostly gotten over the need to keep my monsters alive (I'm becoming evil!) so if doing more damage means taking less hits then my allies must die eventually.

VGT is down. Got lucky and had two level 6 meat men which carried me most of the way. The Horatio fight is ridiculously easy with the vampire. I went in with dragon shield/sword/attack/PATCHES. Oh my god Patches... I will never play a vampire or crusader again without that teddy bear. His buffs are awesome, especially in VGT. I think he managed to get me something like 16% in resists which was huge. I've actually never used him before today... lol

So I have VGT, Dragon Isles and Demonic Library down with the vampire. The rest of my vicious options seem like an absolute nightmare. Namtar's Lair and Vicious Steel is painful to even think about haha. I think Naga City seems the most approachable of the three. That bloodless arena though :( I mean Frank is hard enough even when you have popcorn to feed. I feel like I'll need Frank and meatman to spawn together on the third phase or something. Gonna do a couple of attempts and see how bad it really is down there.
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Re: Vampire Help

Postby Lujo on Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:42 pm

lolQuaff wrote:I think he managed to get me something like 16% in resists which was huge. I've actually never used him before today...


That is very rare, but congrats! Auto prep on vampires and crusaders, and possibly Paladins with soul orb prepped (you can get rid of poison with halpmeh). Otherwise that bear is bad news. He's a killah!

lolQuaff wrote:Namtar's Lair and Vicious Steel is painful to even think about haha.


How exactly does one pull off the thousand cuts death move on the Indomitable with the vampire?
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Re: Vampire Help

Postby lolQuaff on Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:59 pm

Lujo wrote:
How exactly does one pull off the thousand cuts death move on the Indomitable with the vampire?


hahaha... Platemail?
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Re: Vampire Help

Postby Lujo on Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:02 pm

Seems like. It does rob you of first strike which is killer on vampires, but if it's the only way to do it... Where's Wald0, he'll know how you do it...
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Re: Vampire Help

Postby Darvin on Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:17 pm

On the subject of "fewer glyphs" with the Vampire, I'd personally advise against it. You may get additional CP, but you reduce your odds of finding GETINDARE. If you do find GETINDARE, then you have one fewer glyph to convert, which will cancel out the benefits of the extra CP. I personally recommend extra glyphs if you aren't going with extra boosters. Not only does this increase your chances of finding utility glyphs (declogging is important for the vampire) but the CP loss is mostly illusory.

Look at the comparison:

Regular (5 glyphs)
38.5% chance of GETINDARE - convert 3 glyphs for 300 CP
61.5% chance of no GETINDARE - convert 4 glyphs for 400 CP

Fewer Glyphs (4 glyphs)
31% chance of GETINDARE - convert 2 glyphs for 300 CP
69% chance of no GETINDARE - convert 3 glyphs for 450 CP

Extra Glyphs (6 glyphs)
47% chance of GETINDARE - convert 4 glyphs for 320 CP
53% chance of no GETINDARE - convert 5 glyphs for 400 CP

Extra glyphs is the winner here, IMO. A paltry 50 CP is not worth reducing your chances of finding GETINDARE, much less the opportunity cost from the lost utility glyphs. I generally prefer extra attack boosters for a Vampire, but extra glyphs would be my alternate selection.


Platemail is awesome if you lack first strike, but it's a heart-breaking tradeoff if you do have the GETINDARE glyph. Generally against high-damage foes you're better off with first strike, and against low-damage foes you're better off with platemail. However, it can be tough to figure out where the logical cutoff is. Obviously curse is the bane of all platemail-wearing characters.
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