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!