With the upcoming Update 26, which appears in parallel with the Greymoor chapter, the developers are renewing the vampire skill line in The Elder Scrolls Online. In a official preview on the website of the online role-playing game those responsible at Zenimax have now presented the innovations in detail.
By the way, we could already look at the new vampire on the public test server and have summarized our findings in the following article:
Sit at the top of the food chain
Since this is part of the patch for Update 26, the extensive revision of the vampires is free. It noticeably changes how you play those who are cursed. Above all, the redesign of the skill line.
"The vampire skill line has not changed much since it was launched, except for minor balance optimizations.", Kyle Nowak, Combat Designer behind the update, looks back. "Given the timing of the chapter and the feedback we've received from players over the years, it seemed like a good time."
Accordingly, the team has made dramatic changes and additions to the skill line, including introducing brand new skills and replacing or updating existing ones. The aim of the rework was to make vampires more active and better involved in the fight. "For the fight, we used a number of clearly defined game concepts to describe the experience and synergies that we wanted to create. The main topics were blood magic, fast aggressiveness, camouflage and being difficult to grasp."
The new synergies that play with the "blood magic" theme include, for example, the first two skills called "Eviscerate" and "Blood Frenzy". "Eviscerate is straightforward and can be performed over and over again. It does more damage depending on your missing life, while" Blood Frenzy "has to be activated and then your life in exchange for increased magic and weapon power. Both abilities go perfectly Synergy with each other, and it is very important for the vampire's offensive to use them together.
In addition to these powerful synergies, vampires have a brand new ultimate ability called "Blood Sprout" that turns your character into a hideous beast. In this form you benefit from more life, higher endurance and magicka, you can heal yourself if you cause damage and you can see your enemies through walls. Nobody should be able to escape your anger!
Vampires are in The Elder Scrolls Online extremely deadly, but they also have their weaknesses, and you will always have to keep an eye on your life and resources if you want to fully enjoy your newly found powers, as you can see here …
Curse and blessing
As part of Update 26, the team also changed the way you have to deal with the four stages of the blood curse. You increase your level by feeding yourself on NPCs, but this will slowly decrease over time, which is why you are forced to surrender completely to your dark side if you want to keep your most powerful powers permanently. With each level you reach, the cost of your active vampire skills will decrease and certain passive skills will be activated, making you more efficient on the battlefield. But this new power naturally has its price, because an increased level of vampirism results in the following punishments:
- Reduced life regeneration
- Increased damage from flame attacks
- Increased cost of non-vampire skills
"We wanted the decision to play as a vampire to be made consciously and meaningfully because you can feel the effects both in combat and outside"says Rob Garrett, ESOs Gameplay Lead. "As with previous Elder Scrolls games, those with vampirism are given fantastic powers, but they are also cursed with particular weaknesses, such as the endless desire to feed on the living and the fact that World she often fears or even hates. "
In addition to updating the skill line and its levels, the team has also revised how vampirism affects the legal system. If you now use certain vampire skills in public places (such as in settlements, cities and the like) with Update 26, there is a great risk that you will be observed and a bounty will be suspended on you. And it gets worse: If your blood curse is at level 4, many NPCs (including traders) will recognize you as someone who is infected with vampirism and doesn't want anything to do with you.
"One of the ways we try to make the decision to become a vampire more effective is by making the world aware of and responding to your vampire status."Garrett explains. "Most people in Tamriel are afraid of and avoid vampirism, which is why it makes sense that legal system responses are triggered when locals notice that a level 4 visitor is infected, or when they witness a cruel act that is complete is clearly vampiric in nature. "
It works much like certain necromancer abilities that can get you into trouble – Tamriel's population has reservations about the undead!
Finally, with Update 26, the team also completely reworked the animation for NPC feeding, so that a unique sequence is now played when you suck the life of an unsuspecting victim. We know it from the Dark Brotherhood's suffering blade – and as you can imagine, it's a brutal, bloody affair!
How you choose to deal with the curse is entirely up to you, and it's possible to play a vampire character in a variety of ways. Are you going to feed on whole villages to maintain your power? Or will you be a benevolent monster and only take as much as you absolutely need?
"Some players may find that being a vampire is not for them – and that's fine, too"Garrett admits. "It shouldn't be an easy decision either, but if you have something left for the vampire imagination, hopefully this update will have a more pronounced and satisfying experience."
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