Vampire

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A helpful introductory pamphlet to the nightlife of Hell.

Vampire is a very powerful mutation, but it's also one of the less noob-friendly racials because of how much micromanagement it requires. It's best to hold off on going vamp until you've got some experience with the game.

Effects

This mutation grants:

   +4 brawn
   +4 senses
   +4 endurance
   +4 cool
   -4 brains
   feed command: suck the blood of others to restore and feed yourself
   Night vision
   High hunger will cause mental illness
   Bleeding increases hunger
   Damaged by sunlight
   Hunted by vampire hunters
   Incompatible with: Hyperimmune, Hideous Freak, Zombie, Chud, Billygoat, Chromemouth

Advantages

  • +4 brawn, senses, cool, endurance. All these buffs are like three mutations rolled into one. +4 brawn allows you to reach crazy strength numbers for weapon damage or gun speeds, +4 senses is on par with Hideous Freak, and +4 cool is completely unmatched; Enigma only gives half as much.
  • Great heal packages. Vampires can get +5 HP per heartbeat using their special feed command, which can stack with trauma kits and Iron Liver heals. This gives a theoretical max heal of over 15 HP per heartbeat. Since they can't take Hyperimmune, Vampires can also use nanites more effectively.
  • Perfect night vision, 24/7. Like a permanent rhodopsin implant, vampires can see perfectly no matter the light conditions, which also helps with flying planes at night. Your vision remains perfect even if you take Xray Vision.

Disadvantages

  • THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN Vampires get spanked by the sun if they go outside past their bedtime. Sunlight can do 20+ damage, set you on fire, and also debuffs your stats.
  • -4 brains. Not a good choice for many brainy builds. Even for non-brainies, this hurts your utility skills. Getting feinted in combat is also a problem. This can be countered with Bleeder, but see below...
  • Hunger gives mentals. If vampires get too hungry (50+), they have a chance to get a mental. Hunger must be micromanaged. THC also becomes less attractive.
  • Bleeding makes you hungry, and therefore drives you crazy if you're not careful. Any bleeding wounds must be dealt with promptly, and Bleeder requires even more micromanagement to use.
  • +4 Endurance isn't as good as it looks. Non-vampires can get the same number by taking Hyperimmune and Billygoat, while vamps are locked out of both, so there's a net gain of zero. If you just want to max Endurance, vampire isn't worth it - try Zombie or Chromemouth instead.
  • Can't take Hyperimmune, which means vampires are always vulnerable to sickness. They also have a much harder time using powerful deathgear armors.
  • Vampire hunters will beat you up, or at least try. Some of them are quite strong; all of them can roll low-level players. One may try to hunt you down across large portions of the map.
  • Poor Flight synergy. Flying makes you hungry, and vampires go crazy if they get hungry. You can work around this, but it's a pain and there are better choices.

Temporary Vampirism

Vampirism comes in two forms. One is a temporary infection that can be cured. Temporary vampirism differs from the mutation: it only gives +2 Brawn, Senses, Cool and Endurance, and -2 brains. Disease vampires also take double sunlight damage, which is a lot.

Infections can be acquired by asking on tradenet. Vampires can infect non-vampires, though you may have trouble finding an active vamp. Getting hit by Boozer under the Crack House in Gangland or the vampire bats in the Mine will also work.

Once you're bitten, make sure to check that you've actually been infected. You can diag to see if you've got fangs poking out of your mouth. If you sustain multiple bites, the disease will reach max progression faster. If not, you can just wait until it fully progresses, which takes a hell-day or two. You'll know you have max progression when you see those +2s and -2 on @buffs.

If you don't feel that the fangs are right for you, ask on tradenet for a cure. You'll need a black hypo and a competent medic. Neither are uncommon. Mutant vampires can't get rid of the mutation this way, however, and will need to take a costly trip to Stormfront Island to demutate.

Permanent Vampirism

Acquiring permanent vampirism in its full mutation form is more involved. First, you must have the full progression of the disease before you can mutate. Check @buffs for those +/-2 status effects.

The mutation spot is at the bottom of the Adamant Canyon. The area's climbs require about 17 climb, and it's cold in the winter. Watch out for the apparitions and rock leeches on the way if you're a lower-level player. The tile is on an island at the east end of the river.

Once you're a fully mutated vampire, you can naturally pass on the vampirism disease to other prospective vampires.

Feeding

Not only is feeding by sucking blood from living creatures the only way that vampires can eat (so to speak), it also lets them heal faster.

How to feed

Feeding works a lot like sex in that you have to hold an unwilling target, while friends or gullible fools can permit you to feed freely by using allow suck from <x>. Once ready, use feed from <x>.

Feeding and fullness

Feeding will reduce hunger and grant a heal-over-time effect, to a max of +5 per heartbeat for the blood and an extra +1 for being full. Being full and being healed by a past feed are not the same thing, which means that you can vomit to a level where you aren't getting debuffed by fullness but still retain your big +5 heals. Feeding will also reduce thirst by a small amount and heal 75 stress, which can offset the stress of grabbing.

Feeding from healthy mobs will fill you more. Total XP of the player or mob also seems to come into it. Common sense will (mostly) steer you true: feeding from a sewer bettle will barely fill you, while feeding from a full-health nullianac can fill you up so much that you instantly vomit.

Feeding problems

  • Feeding has a chance to infect the bloodbag with vampirism. The vamp also has a chance of being infected with any diseases they had, or being affected by any drugs in their bloodstream.
  • Feeding can be stopped by Superclot, but has an RNG chance to succeed and ignore superclot. If superclot blocks the feed, it will grant no heal, stress heal or fullness to the biter. If your fangs win, the feed will work as normal.
  • Feeding on vamps will always fail. Most mobs can be infected, which means you can't chain-feed on the same mob forever unless you have a vampirism cure ready.
  • Some mobs don't have blood, like zombies and shoggoths. Vampires can't feed on them. Other mobs can't be grabbed (such as treemen), and they're not about to allow suck, so you're locked out of feeding on them too. Feeding does work on vampires with a blood like substance, such as ant hemolymph, sewer beetle ichor and (if you are very dumb) Hideous Freak blood.
  • Feeding damages the target, and usually applies a bleed. It won't kill anyone outright unless they're at really low health.

Feeding mechanics

feed has a few peculiarities:

  • You cannot feed on an unconscious target (unlike the fuck verb). This is very annoying if you're feeding from a mob and they pass out halfway through the feed, because your feed will be canceled.
  • feed takes quite a long time to perform, meaning that it can be interrupted if you're not careful.
  • If you started your feed from a grab, your grab will be broken when the feed completes or is canceled, so you can't chain-feed people to death.
  • Mobs can break out of your grab, but not your feed. If you grab a mob and start to feed, but the mob breaks out, you'll keep right on feeding unless the mob leaves your tile. The feed will still succeed, too, though you can cancel it with stop.

Strategy

Vampire bestows great benefits, but you will gain proportionally significant weaknesses, which need to be dealt with intelligently.

Loss of Brains

Most vampires are not brains-focused builds, but -2 pilot and -4 medic are significant debuffs. Fortunately, vampires have their own built-in sustain package with feed. +5 hp per heartbeat isn't quite as good as a trauma kit from a good medic but it's not miles off the pace. Nanites are also helpful.

Getting feinted in combat can be countered by the Hooligan mutation, which gives +35% stun resistance, and frenzying, which increases feint resistance.

Hunger

The mentals from vampire hunger have a lot of RNG to them; you can have 200+ hunger and get no mental, or you can instantly get one at 80 hunger. Best not to take chances!

If you do end up with a mental, a strong medic can cure most of them (the sooner after you get them, the better). In theory, Empaths can also cure all mentals (and are your only option if you have Enigma), but Empath is a terrible mutation in practice and you'll find few or no Empath players in-game.

Bleeding substantially increases a vamp's hunger every heartbeat on top of doing damage. If you're too dumb to use a suture kit, you can use improvised rolls of bandages well into the negative medic skill totals to stop bleeding. Ask a crafter for the bandages, they tend to pile up and get in the way anyway.

Deathgear and diseases

Vampires using the deathsuit and deathshead must be cautious about ATP. High endurance helps with this. It's perfectly viable to use in short, measured bursts as long as you're not lazy or careless. Vampires are also vulnerable to any other disease that you might come across, again subject to your endurance. Bring preventative gear to potential infection sites - towels to a zombie fight, for instance.

Vampire hunters

These guys mostly hunt in Gangland, FC, and Slagtown. Tyrone Belmont can wander as he pleases, occasionally ending up as far as Lurleen. All vampire hunters will attack you on sight, and none of them respect musk. They've all got their own annoying quirks,, and all of them have high damage potential.. Aside from a single kill journal for killing any hunter, there is little reward to killing any of them, although some of them do drop trophies.

For all these reasons, the best strategy for vampire hunters is often to simply avoid them. Don't linger around the greater Freedom City area and you won't run into them too much.

Here's a full list of the hunters:

  • Buffy uses a stake and is very dodgy. A gun or a solid headbutt will take her out very quickly.
  • Blade is mildly tanky, comparable to a bootlegger. He also uses a harpoon pistol, which halves your dodge.
  • Callahan has a ton of health and heaps of focus, and will often open with a carrie and feint. The carrie has a good chance of hitting you for the max debuff, so watch out for the damage ticks and to-hit reductions.
  • Neville and Samantha are a team duo. Neville uses a harpoon rifle, which halves your dodge, but he has a tiny healthpool and no soaks. Samantha is a gulfbitch that screeches a lot, as well as being quite soaky. Neville frequently dies first. Whenever this happens, Samantha will sit on the tile where Neville died until something moves her or kills her.
  • Abe, the president, can feint, and hits very hard with his own special fire axe. Similar to a very buffed-up fireman.
  • Tyrone Belmont uses a 'Vampire Killer' whip as his weapon, which is the second-fastest weapon in the game (right behind Guru). It's also PC3 and does unsoakable damage. His dodge is terrible and he has no brawn, however, so he's very vulnerable to grabs if you can land them before he stun-locks and kills you. Unlike the other hunters, the police won't attack him should he try to kill a vampire in the city. He tracks down vampires and moves in on them, sometimes quickly. He's not restricted to the greater FC area, but will tend to linger around there anyway.

Weakness to the sun

The sun is your biggest enemy in game. Its active hours vary depending on the time of year. You can find a listing of the vampire-friendly times for each month here: pastebin.com/y2NxSS9q. To check whether the sun is gonna bake yo' ass, use the time command. Vampires are only safe from dusk until dawn, so if it says morning or evening, keep your shit indoors.

The sun's damage is hugely variable, and can hit anywhere from the low 20s to no damage at all. It tends to hit hardest towards noon, or when it's not cloudy outside. Sun damage does often set you on fire, but it does not inflict burn damage; sunlight damage is unsoakable. Being in the sun will also nuke your stats.

Sun damage can hit you in two ways. First, you will always take a hit from it upon first entering the sun unless you are already under the influence of the sun debuff when you step outside. Second, every heartbeat that you are still in the sun will result in you taking another hit from the sun. This means that if you step outside shortly before a heartbeat, you'll get double-tapped by sun damage!

It's still possible to run errands and get stuff done during the day, however. Some strategies for doing this include:

  • Trauma kits heal using the same timer that sun damage uses (heartbeats), thus negating some of the damage. The same logic applies to healing from feeding or Iron Liver. Nanite spam keeps you going too.
  • Use a plane if you need to cover longer distances. This is by far the most practical way to get around, but you'll still have to go a short ways on foot to get to shops and stuff.
  • Having lots of health is the best counterplay to direct sun exposure (aside from just not standing in it!). Grab Fibrocartilage and use endocrine modules to get yourself to 60 HP.
  • Firewalker is a very strong mutation that's generally considered a vampire essential. It's the only way to soak damage from being on fire, which makes the sun way less gay to deal with.
  • Phaser and Blink can be a huge help. Simply set your memorized 'phase' location to the spot you wish to travel to during the day (for example, outside your apartment) and step in as soon as you've phased. This does require a bit of focus, and is mutually exclusive with Clairvoyance and Leapfrog. Blink allows you to travel vast distances very quickly without memorizing, but is a lot less precise than Phaser.

In practice, the sun damage isn't instantly lethal to a fully healed mutant vampire, even in the middle of the afternoon. It's often possible to make quick outside runs without taking damage at all. Good luck finding sunscreen though!