Vampire for the most part gives players a chance to try out a wide range of fun and evocatively-named disciplines without really hurting their game. Many games even today do not match its real-time lighting of some of its spell effects such as Torch and Fireball, the same real-time lighting that evokes cries of wonder from fans of Crysis, for example. The disciplines and their methodology, as much as Vampire's story, are fed from a deep reservoir of White Wolf's creative work in pen and paper roleplaying gaming
The computer game system is quite adaptable to experimentation with specialized skillsets. In the pen and paper/live roleplay version, higher level skills can not be used at all without the full expenditure of 'Experience' resources, and a five dot skill is as good as it ever will be when first purchased. In the computer game, higher skills in the group can be expanded to the maximum of five dots with no more than the single prerequisite dot in each of the preceding skills
Vampire - Redemption - part 68 - gameplay by RXQ79 on YouTube. Shows the Fireball active lighting, characters in flames and ambient lighting effects, and the benefits of team members deactivated rather than with the active green light on. Also the benefits of high Feed, although it is very expensive to raise
There are two important ways to make the game easier, neither of which involve disciplines directly, and one that does
One is saving and reloading; whether opening chests, or in the magic or weapons stores, or both. Getting the best gear makes unlife considerably easier, and a good money supply early in the game is de riguer for those seeking the bloodpool enhancing effect of wearing +bloodpool gear when gaining rank.
The second is coterie control. The coterie can be easily seen as a greater challenge than the enemies; they spend blood with no good reason more often than they spend it with a purpose. This is well illustrated by the missions infiltrating the two Tremere bases; Tremere Lords taking off half a life bar with each terrible Call Lightning spell can inspire no discernible extra effort on the part of Christof's 'allies', yet the appearance of a single Hopper at the end of battle may goad Serena to summon a Wraith for 20 wasted blood and/or Wilhem to gird himself with the 30-blood Celerity. The coterie can be made to do nothing by making them passive, or even left in place by clicking on the green light next to their blood and health bars
And the third, most definitely, is Disciplines.
Game Mechanics Edit
It is important for first time players to note the difference between the stances immediately. Even the god-fearing Christof will set off on a murderous spree of killing innocents in Prague if this is set to Aggressive in town. Defensive characters initiate no action without commands. Neutral characters defend themselves if attacked, but will not move to attack enemies even if they are nearby.
The keys F1 through F5 can be used to activate consumable or thrown items that are on the item quickbar. F6 through F9 are used to select the party members.
Coterie control Edit
- The green lights next to each party member can be turned off, leaving them standing in place; this is the only way to ensure they will not use their skills. The menu selections of Use Hotkey Disciplines Only et al do not work, and in fact coterie members are coded to use their disciplines inefficiently, routinely casting expensive disciplines like Celerity and Summon Soul at the end of combat, or against trivial enemies. This makes V:tM-R perhaps the only game where soloing is less of a challenge than a full party.
- Combat can be maintained by holding the cursor and holding down the left mouse button; new attacks will not be made if the cursor is not over a target when the time comes for a new attack, but the cursor can leave the target in the meantime
- No such thing as Adding (aka Bring a Friend); all enemies in V:tM-R only attack things in visual range, no matter if or how many of their allies are attacked or killed. This makes it easy for the Storyteller to place a lot of NPCs in a relatively small area, given sufficient blockages to line of sight. It makes Crowd Control spells like Awe and Mesmerize and Dread Gaze and other than Presence and Dominate users that will 'pull' players into line of sight of other enemies. STs using lots of NPCs in close proximity should put Awe and Mesmerize NPCs at the back of rooms, especially the Setites with their maximum-range field of vision.
Experience Points Edit
- There are few respawning enemies; ones that do include Rats in the Silver Mines. However, the Shambling Hordes discipline gives XP every time the spell runs out and its target dies, and Awaken can be used on enemies to bring them back to fight again
- Zero XP for NPCs that suicide (Grenade and Rocket Launcher users) or kill other NPCs on their team (the explosive Fire-based weapons, plus normal guns and bows)
- Zero XP for Humans that die by being drained of all blood, whether hostiles such as Teutonic Knights, or neutral civilians, whether by Bleed or Theft of Vitae or Tongue of the Asp
- Zero XP for creatures killed by environmental effects such as exploding barrels
Enemies can be Awakened and killed again if additional experience is needed.
There is a bug associated with leveling up to Methuselah AND drinking from Lucretia
Doors always highlight yellow when moused over, as do the devices to unlock them, if any, which are found fairly near by. There are exceptions, such as in the Giovanni Warehouse, where the pictured electronic keypad unlocks a door a hundred feet away, around a corner and behind three rows of Warehouse storage. Inputting the codes is done automatically; the challenge is finding the keypad.
Artificial Intelligence Edit
There is extensive enemy coding related to Obfuscate and its effect on combat. Nosferatu and Malkavian enemies will run away when wounded, hide out of line of sight, and heal, Obfuscate again if necessary, and then attack again.
All vampires Feed when lack of blood becomes a higher priority than Health Pool.
There is an aspect of preference, an aesthetic, unquantifiable thing, to the definition of "cult classic". Mainstream audiences missed it, but the followers treasure it. But there are quantifiable parameters of quality, too, that can be seen to have been missed by the audience of the time. Games that were ambitious with the hardware requirements of their games that then see the available hardware increase in power, will be far less dated than those that were more frugal with their resources. V:tM-R is one of the former, in that it allowed insane draw distances in certain areas, in particular the Tremere Chantry and Nosferatu Sewers. Without remastering the graphics, they will seem muddy to modern audiences, but recognizable at one hundred yards.
Christof has access to every single player Discipline, so Discipline balance is thereby less an issue, but other characters' strength can be compromised by this approach, and in Multiplayer imbalance is greater. In general, though, the imbalance is more, a handful of overpowered disciplines. Awe, Firestorm and Theft of Vitae are seriously overpowered. Bleeding vampires to death without penalty is arguably overpowered, the only drawback being there must be only one enemy to face (unless Awe has taken care of the rest, too). Weaponry, too, is an issue, with Flame Swords and modern Heavy Weapons becoming, albeit a great help with the endgame difficulty, too powerful compared to Disciplines. Prison of Ice can become either a crutch or cause for restarting the game depending on whether you gave Blood Rituals to Christof or another character.
Money and XP being finite is an issue, and runs can vary very much without the use of bugs or saving and reloading.
- Putting points into Faith increases overall XP
- Turning off AI is useful in many non exploitative ways ways, but can also be exploited for Speed Runs
- Saving and reloading, aka "save scumming" can eliminate any bad outcome and preserve desirable ones, but at a speed and therefore frequency that was not anticipated by the game's creators
- Possibly working as intended: "The Path of Caine" is NOT "the only escape": only three doorways are required
- Awaken works on enemies
- Shambling Hordes gives xp every time a minion dies, and they drop anew also
- Saving and reloading re-rolls the contents of loot containers
- There is a code to run towards the character when they are Obfuscated; this makes sense, since they are closer if the character attacks in some way, breaking the cloak. However, when Lucretia's animation to turn into a Giant Snake is running, the code makes her run towards the party if they are unseen, while the Serpent animation remains in place
- Shape of the Beast is used in Speed Runs. It adds run speed, stacks with Celerity and can cause sequence breaks (Society vats) and may aid clipping past doors
- Christof can outrun the Mugger and retain his tattered medieval garb
Out of Bounds Edit
- It is possible to walk through some barricades. With inventory open and an item picked up on the cursor, click on the ground as far over on the other side as possible. Repeat this as many times as necessary to move through
- Walk the Abyss can be used the same way: it exits a couple feet forward from where it is cast and can embed in objects
- Entering from out of bounds or moving out of boss tether range renders some enemies harmless
- Any sort of zoning with an in bounds character, whether through a door or Walk the Abyss, or even saving and reloading, can be used to return an out of bounds character, usually to save time or resources going back through whatever obstacle they glitched through earlier
Sequence Break Edit
- In the University or similar areas (Dev/Null's Apartment), send one coterie member to a cutscene activation area, and another through a doorway. The latter character will interrupt the cutscene and bring the party with them, ready to move on to the next area
- Switching between coterie members and passing items between them breaks certain sequences
- Saving and reloading can end some cutscenes, such as the "establishing shot" ones that introduce Prague by Day and Prague by Night and Stephensdom
- Saving and reloading incapacitates some bosses
- Feral Claws will not affect the appearance or the light from a Flashlight in the left, shield hand