Vampire

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A helpful introductory pamphlet to the nightlife of Hell.

So you're thinking about joining the undead

Vampires in HellMOO are quite unlike the creatures in other sources of fiction in several ways. For instance:

  • You can still get sick.
  • You still age.
  • You still need to breathe. (i.e. you can still drown)
  • You spontaneously combust in the sun -- no skin-sparkling for you.

This means that you want to think very carefully before becoming a vampire. Vampire is one of the less noob-friendly racials to use because of how much micromanagement it requires, so it's best to hold off on going vamp until you've got some experience with the game.

Advantages

Vampire is a rather demanding mutation, but it's got some powerful upsides:

  • +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. The sheer numeric power here is some serious stuff, and by far the biggest reason people take Vampire.
  • 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, which is an awful lot. Since they can't take Hyperimmune, Vampires can also use nanites quite effectively, which give even more health.
  • Maximum style points. You're a fucking vampire. Go make Dracula proud with your fat numbers, because nobody makes it look as good as you.

Disadvantages

Vampire's great strength comes at a similarly great cost:

  • THE SUN THE SUN THE SUN Vampires get spanked by the great ball of fire in the sky if they go outside past their bedtime. Sunlight can do 20+ damage (40+ to non-mutant vampires) and set you on fire, and temporarily annihilates your stats.
  • -4 brains. This hurts your utility skills a little bit, and Vampire obviously isn't conducive to high-brains builds, so you'll want to look elsewhere if you want to be a super-genius. Getting feinted in combat can also become problematic.
  • Munchies drive you crazy. If vampires get just a little hungry, they have a chance to get a Mental illness, which is bad. Vampires have to micromanage their hunger to prevent this. This also means that THC is really hard to use for buffing up.
  • Bleeding makes you hungry, and therefore drives you crazy if you're not careful about it. Any bleeding wounds must be dealt with promptly, and Bleeder requires even more micromanagement to use (though the buffs are very good for most vamps).
  • +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 want to max Endurance and aren't as worried about brawn, senses, and cool, vampire isn't worth it -- check out Chromemouth instead, which lets you hit crazy endurance totals despite ostensibly being a blader mutation. On that note...
  • Can't take Hyperimmune, which means vampires are always vulnerable to sickness that Hyperimmune blocks. More importantly, they also have a much harder time using deathgear armours, which are very strong.
  • Vampire hunters will beat you up, or at least try. Some of them are quite strong, and all of them can roll low-level players. Most of them can be avoided so long as you don't linger around Freedom City, though one will try to hunt you down from farther away.
  • 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.

If you've seen that fat list of downsides and have decided Vampire is still the mutation for you, stick around. The rest of this page will tell you the ins and outs of working with fangs.

Getting and losing vampirism

Vampirism comes in two forms. One is a temporary infection that can be cured, and the other is the permanent mutation. 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.

If you want to get infected, try asking on tradenet. Few people will turn down a free lunch, but vampire's not a very popular mutation, so you might not find an active biter. If this doesn't work out, try getting bit by Boozer under the Crack House in Gangland, or the vampire bats in the Mine.

Once you're bitten, make sure to check that you've actually been infected. You can diag or look at yourself 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, and 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 like everyone else.

Choosing the Vamp Life

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

Once you've got the infection at max progression, it's time to visit the Adamant Canyon. You'll want about 17 climb to make it down to the mutation safely, plus some cold weather gear in the winter months. Watch out for the apparitions and rock leeches on the way if you're a lower-level player. The mutation spot is located in the depths of the canyon, on the island at east side of the river.

Once you're a fully mutated vampire, you can naturally pass on the vampirism disease to other prospective vampires. Getting the full progression alone is a pain by comparison, so be a cool guy and help out anyone who asks for the succ on tradenet.

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. It's also a fairly complex mechanic by HellMOO standards, so buckle up.

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 you are either holding or have received permission from a target, you use feed from <x>. It is helpful to create an alias for this command, such as juice <x> or similar, to reduce how much you have to type whenever you feed. You'll be doing it a lot.

Feeding problems

Whenever you feed on someone you will have an automatic chance of infecting them with vampirism. You also have an automatic chance of being infected with any diseases they had, or being affected by any drugs in their bloodstream, so watch out that you don't accidentally contract herpes with your fangs.

Feeding can be stopped by Superclot, but has an RNG chance to succeed and ignore superclot. The chance is in superclot's favour. If superclot succeeds in blocking the feed, that feed will grant no heal, stress heal or fullness to the biter. If your fangs win, the feed will work as normal. If you try to feed on another vampire the feed will automatically fail, so be mindful of chain-feeding on a mob that's vulnerable to infection; you'll just end up stressing yourself out with grabs. Most mobs fall into this category. The most notable exception is chud and chromemouth NPCs, who are vampire-resistant.

Some players and mobs also just plain don't have blood, like zombies and shoggoths, which will result in you not being able to feed at all. 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. However, you can feed from mobs that have a blood-like substance, which is why vampires can live off of giant ant hemolymph and sewer beetle ichor. You can also feed from freaks, but if you can't work out why that's a bad idea, then perhaps Vampire is not the mutation for you.

Feeding from a player or mob will damage them and probably give them a bleeding status effect of varying strength. It won't kill anyone outright unless they're at really low health though.

Feeding and fullness

Feeding will fill you up, reducing hunger and possibly giving you fullness debuffs depending on how full you are. Feeds will also heal you every heartbeat, 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.

The amount that a given feed heals you and fills you up scales with a few things and isn't totally understood, but the total health of who you're feeding from is definitely a factor. 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 here though: 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 all over yourself.

Every successful feed you enact will also reduce your thirst by a small amount and heal 75 stress, which counteracts the stress of any grab you needed to make to get the feed.

Feeding mechanics

The process of actually using feed has a few peculiarities:

  • You cannot feed on an unconscious target, (unlike the fuck verb, for instance). This is very annoying if you're feeding from a mob and they pass out halfway through the feed, because your feed will be cancelled.
  • feed takes quite a long time to perform, meaning that it can be interrupted if you're not careful.
  • Cancelling feed behaves wierdly. If you have grabbed a mob in order to feed from it and then decide that you want to stop feeding halfway through, you will need to input stop twice. The first stop will cancel the grab, and then the second will cancel the feed. This means that if you grab someone and start feeding from them, you can't stop the feed and go back into a regular grab without letting go and grabbing again, so pick your moment carefully!
  • 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.

Dealing with the weaknesses

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, so not being able to craft mediguns as a vampire generally isn't such a big deal. However, -2 to pilot and -4 to medic are significant debuffs. Fortunately, vampires have their own built-in sustain package with feed. While +5 hp per heartbeat isn't quite as good as a trauma kit from a good medic, it's not miles off the pace. Also note that as a vampire, you cannot take hyperimmune and therefore stand to gain a lot more health by using nanite healers.

Low brains can also be problematic in combat, where you may end up getting hit by a feint for an obnoxiously long time. This can be countered through frenzying, which increases resistance to feints, and the Hooligan mutation, which gives a 35% stun resistance that will reduce the length of feints.

Hunger and stress

Because grab causes significant stress and is a requirement for feeding on most mobs, stress can be a problem for the vampire in the field. Feeding helps to offset this, and other ways around it include wearing bling to buff your cool and using scrimshaws to destress. Having a buddy to feed from is also helpful, since you don't have to stress yourself by grabbing them. THC in low doses works too, but be careful of hunger...

Starting at 50 hunger, vampires have increasing chances of gaining a mental, which can be dangerous and difficult to cure. This is why it's so important that vampires stay well fed. This has a lot of RNG to it; 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.

Be cautious if you sustain a bleeding wound or use Bleeder! 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 straight away. Ask a crafter for the bandages, they tend to pile up and get in the way anyway.

Deathgear and diseases

Vampires cannot take Hyperimmune, which means that using the deathsuit and deathshead requires a lot more care to watch your buffs and make sure you don't kill yourself with ATP. High endurance helps with this. Don't fall for the myth that vampires are locked out of using deathgear, however; 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. Since your medic skill is also debuffed by your brains penalty, it's wise to be cautious and bring preventative gear where you're worried about infection, like taking a towel to a zombie fight.

Vampire hunters

These guys mostly hunt in Gangland, FC, and Slagtown. Tyrone Belmont hunts all through Corpclave, as well, and 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 that make them obnoxious, and all of them have high damage potential, wielding stakes and other hard-hitting weapons. 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. Tyrone will sometimes go out of his way to deliberately track you down to a point.

Here's a full list of the hunters:

  • Buffy uses a stake, is very dodgy and has okay to-hit. One of the weaker hunters; a gun or a solid headbutt will take her out very quickly.
  • Blade is somewhat soaky and has a fair amount of health, 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, but Neville frequently dies first. Whenever this happens, Samantha will sit on the tile where Neville died until something moves her or kills her, and will continue to aggro any vampires that come on to her tile. 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.
  • Abe, the president, can feint, and hits very hard with his own special fire axe. Similar to a very buffed-up fireman.
  • Tyrone Belmont is the tracker, and the face of the hunters. Uses a 'Vampire Killer' whip as his weapon instead of a stake, which is very fast and PC3. 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. Also tracks down vampires and moves in on them. He's not restricted to the greater FC area, and will traipse around the sewers and wander the world to track down fangers, but he'll tend to stick around FC for the most part.

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 and check what it says. 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 in damage 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, instead inflicting its own unsoakable damage type that can't be resisted. Being in the sun will also debuff your stats quite heavily.

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. There's no reason to expose yourself going from Gangland to Shoreline when you can just fly a mosquito from the first zone to the second in complete safety. 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. It's also great for ants, PvP, Callahan-dodging, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
  • 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!