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Thread: Vampire Class

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    Default Vampire Class

    Hiya. I've been playing around with the Vampire class, and have come to a few conclusions. First, people seem to give the class a lot of flak, saying it's 'the worst class' or things like that.

    While it is true that the class has some downsides: namely that there are not a lot of power options, no class specific feats, and some penalties like radiant vulnerability and 2 healing surges, I think there are some cool things about the class that make up for the deficiencies.

    Striker damage for a Vampire does not seem sub par to me.

    The class has lots of optimization options through feat choices, though not power choices. However, most classes have a vast array of lame powers, with 2-3 good options, so I don't see this as an issue.

    Let's discuss the Vampire Class.
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Vampires suck!

    /thread (yeah, yeah, I can't resist a stupid pun, I know... Anyway, I think the warlock class is more suitable for a vampire-themed character, not to mention more effective. $.2)
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2011-09-04 at 04:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    It's very difficult for a non-arcane non-weapon user to boost damage. So while Vampires have their striker feature, my understanding was that they have little else, and they don't have the powers that Barbarians have to remedy that. How do Vampires maintain striker level damage, in your opinion?
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    I've only seen people claim that everything in Heroes of Shadow but the vampire are sub-par, actually. The vampire just suffers from the usual Essentials lack of options, exacerbated by the fact that it doesn't have any other sources to choose powers and such from. I've seen it said that the vampire was probably the only thing in that book that was actually tested extensively, or at all.

    I do feel some things about the class design are terrible on their own. No player should be actively penalized for their class choice, for instance, yet that is what the built-in radiant vulnerability and the sunlight issue are. The low number of healing surges is also just dumb and the fact that they steal from other party members makes it so that a vampire in the party significantly reduces the group's durability. I also dislike the Blood Drinker ability; encounter powers should be different from at-wills, not just enhancers to them.

    Their powers, for the most part, are mildly weaker than, say, a Rogue or Warlock's, but not terribly so, and they have some control features on most of them. As such, I feel that they are best compared to the Warlock... which they don't match up to very well. Their striker feature can't be enhanced as easily as the Warlock's Curse can be, the Warlock is significantly more durable, has better staying power over a day, isn't randomly penalized for being a Warlock, has better class features, more and better paragon paths, more feat support, and, to top it off, their powers tend to deal more damage and better control.

    ...I'm with Kurald; the Warlock is mechanically better for a dark-themed character, and probably more suitable in fluff for a vampiric-themed character as well.

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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    The vampire isn't the best striker in the world. It has alright single hit damage but lacks many of the better striker tricks. It lascks

    1. feat support. Arcane strikers get cool stuff like dula implement casting, quickened casting, and the like. Shadow source and vampires lack that.

    2) No multiattacks, crit fishing, zone abuse, or the other blatant striker tactics. The only tactic a vamp can use are the charging tricks.

    3) Little choice-this actually has less to do with power and more about upsetting many optmizers.

    4) Implement based. Implements have far less support than weapons.

    5) Lack of a really nasty nova.

    The vampire is solid but that is about it. I like them a lot though. They are also very tough and are very interesting to play. This is why they are not a failure. Unlike the binder which really has no reason to exist (it could have just been a collection of powers and a new pact benefit to the old warlock and it would have been better). The vampire also opened up some new interesting hybrid and multiclass options.

    So in the end the vampire is solid and can fit in most games fine. If however you are playing in a high OP group it will be very hard to compete and you will not have as high a season.

    EDIT: Also notice that many of the issues are fixable just by getting support. Unfortunately we don't know if we will get any.
    Last edited by MeeposFire; 2011-09-04 at 05:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Well, to argue a few points,
    While vampires cannot use power source specific feats, things like superior implement prof. do work. There is nothing tailor-made from them other than their (very nice) paragon path, though.

    The striker damage feature scales automatically every few levels, so it starts at +Cha (so 2-4) then goes up to 2+Cha at level 5 (so 4-6) which is probably better than +1d6, and some effect when the target dies.

    I don't really know what sort of tactics you specifically mean, but note that Vampire Slam pushes 1, Dark Beckoning pulls 3. I think that lets you abuse zoning (especially while using Unfettered Hunger and shifting your speed every turn).

    Taste of Life grants temp hp, and you regen your Cha while bloodied. That seems to make some durability to me.

    I really like the vampire nova of Feral Assault + surge, then Action Point, Slam + Blood Drinker. My level 5 vamp does 2d12, 2d10, 2d8 + 30 with that nova.

    EDIT- also, I think the 'sucking' an ally's surge has far less impact than most people think. I have never had a party member run out of surges, but your mileage may vary.
    Last edited by NotScaryBats; 2011-09-04 at 07:38 PM.
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    I tried literally dozens of Vampire builds prior to the Essentials multiclassing release.

    About half of them were in the "alpha striker" ballpark in lower heroic - you know Ranger and Rogue.

    By Paragon their damage output was noticeably lagging and in Epic they were way behind. I was comparing both at-will and nova against fairly well know charop builds.

    My conclusion was that the vampire would be fine to play until about level 7 or 8... Or if your were playing it in a low charop group. It's not really going to be suitable in a high-op group if it's relied on as a main striker.

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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Quote Originally Posted by psiclone57 View Post
    Well, to argue a few points,
    While vampires cannot use power source specific feats, things like superior implement prof. do work. There is nothing tailor-made from them other than their (very nice) paragon path, though.

    The striker damage feature scales automatically every few levels, so it starts at +Cha (so 2-4) then goes up to 2+Cha at level 5 (so 4-6) which is probably better than +1d6, and some effect when the target dies.

    I don't really know what sort of tactics you specifically mean, but note that Vampire Slam pushes 1, Dark Beckoning pulls 3. I think that lets you abuse zoning (especially while using Unfettered Hunger and shifting your speed every turn).

    Taste of Life grants temp hp, and you regen your Cha while bloodied. That seems to make some durability to me.

    I really like the vampire nova of Feral Assault + surge, then Action Point, Slam + Blood Drinker. My level 5 vamp does 2d12, 2d10, 2d8 + 30 with that nova.

    EDIT- also, I think the 'sucking' an ally's surge has far less impact than most people think. I have never had a party member run out of surges, but your mileage may vary.
    1) I never said they had nothing I said they had fewer and what they have access to is inferior to what other classes have. Superior implement is basic not special.

    2) Those paragon paths work but they are not very good. A couple extra points of damage and weak powers are not very good paragon paths.

    3) The warlock scales at 1-3d6 and can be boosted with feats to become d8s, d10s (with a paladin mark), add an extra die, and add int mod to damage. So a warlock could be dealing 4d10+int on a cursed target. Notice how support really helps? Also this is not counting prime shot bonuses which would be +2 to hit and +5 to damage. On top of this they get to use all the same implement feats the vampire does and gets special arcane feats that you can't use.

    4) Yes you can push into a zone but you lack the ability to make your own nasty zones. A warlock will be making highly damaging zones, get their striker feature on it (it is now 1/turn), and have powers to push. Vampires can only take advantage of what others do (which is nice but if we are going to talk optimization it is important to note teh difference).

    5) Yes vampires are very durable. In fact they would make wonderful defenders if you can get punishment and marks in the build (which you can do). This is a highlight but notice that just being surviable is not a role.

    6) That nova is nice in a standard game with low to mid OP. What I am talking about is that vampires lack in high OP. That nova is tiny in high OP. For instance my eldritch slayer (which is not a high OP build mind you) will be making 2 mbas as minor actions, charge for more damage (with power strike and my encounter power from academy master so an additional 5W damage) with all the charge boosters, and then use rain of blows for an additional 3 attacks. I just made 6 attacks as an encounter nova with no dailies and each attack is doing 4d6+mods each (and slayers have crazy high mods). This is actually considered sub standard in high OP but it averages close to 400 DPR in its nova round (level30).

    7) I agree with you that sucking surges aren't bad. Especially since you can suck your highest surge character thus making the party more efficient.

    I really like vampires but they just don't stand up in a high OP game. Thankfully most games don't play their so it isn't an issue.

    I am looking forward to playing my vampire. I am still trying to decide to add defender on him or just trying to play the best striker I can do.

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    They scale terribly. That's pretty much the long and short of it; by Epic, they're probably doing less damage than the Fighter, and they have easily the worst DPR of the strikers.

    On the plus side, Hybrid Vampires are tits.
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Well, touché.
    I have not ever played epic, or looked at epic builds, so my ignorance is mostly towards end-game. Hence, the level 5 build.

    It seems the consensus is about scaling, which makes sense. That was my misunderstanding, I think, and explains a lot. I could easily see how that level 30 build of yours is impressive. I will go try and make a good vampire one? See what I can come up with, but doubtful will it be anything new.

    Is vampire hybridizing in HoS? I don't remember seeing it in there.
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Quote Originally Posted by psiclone57 View Post
    Well, touché.
    I have not ever played epic, or looked at epic builds, so my ignorance is mostly towards end-game. Hence, the level 5 build.

    It seems the consensus is about scaling, which makes sense. That was my misunderstanding, I think, and explains a lot. I could easily see how that level 30 build of yours is impressive. I will go try and make a good vampire one? See what I can come up with, but doubtful will it be anything new.

    Is vampire hybridizing in HoS? I don't remember seeing it in there.
    Sadly no. Hybrid vampires and multiclass vampires are found in a recent Dragon article.

    Also notice that the vampire may scale fine for your game. In some games my eldritch slayer may be overkill. In some a vampire will be too weak. It all depends on your campaign and who you play with. If you are interested in playing a vampire I recommend doing so especially if you believe your game is not high OP. I can also point you to a few ways to improve your vampire if needed (including homebrew if you like that sort of thing).

    To make effective vampires commit to charging optimization and accuracy boosts. I also happen to like multiclassing rogue. Gets sneak attack 1/encounter and then you can take novice power to get a rogue attack power to replace your vampire encounter power (feral assault and unleashed furry) with minor action rogue powers (low slash and then later tumbling strike). This will boost your nova damage (and your surges). Travellers harlequin will allow you to multiclass multiple times which can be very helpful to you. If you don't like any paragon path's level 11 power you can reserve maneuver for feral assault.

    Also remember that any power that uses melee basic attacks are still very effective so warlord can be a good choice as well as there are many warlord powers that grant the user a melee basic attack (which you can use).

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    Quote Originally Posted by MeeposFire View Post
    I also happen to like multiclassing rogue. Gets sneak attack 1/encounter and then you can take novice power to get a rogue attack power to replace your vampire encounter power (feral assault and unleashed furry) with minor action rogue powers (low slash and then later tumbling strike).
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    I was under the impression that a light blade was required for Sneak Attacks, am I wrong?
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Quote Originally Posted by psiclone57 View Post
    I was under the impression that a light blade was required for Sneak Attacks, am I wrong?
    Indeed. You should carry a dagger with you and wield it in your off hand (make it +1 rhythm blade dagger so you passively get a +1 to AC and reflex).

    Now as I said take your multiclass feat and take novice power (low slash at low levels and tumbling strike at high levels). You get SA damage once an encounter so use it when you use that minor action attack power you get from the novice power feat. When you use the dagger use your ki focus to overwrite the offensive qualities of your dagger. I believe that low slash is a level 3 power that is 1W but then you also get 2d6 SA damage with it. Compare that to your feral assault power and it deals 4 dice of damage but you had to use a standard versus a minor (and a surge). When using low slash in a round you also will use your vampiric slam (or whatever attack power you like) and so you deal more damage.

    At lower levels the difference is not huge but at higher levels you essentially deal your non-vamp mods in damage as bonus damage compared to your best encounter power and you can use blood drain without having to use an action point.

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    Hmm, that makes sense. I suppose it's a bad time to say I use a +2 Accurate Holy Symbol with Implement Expertise (Holy Symbol) . . . ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by psiclone57 View Post
    Hmm, that makes sense. I suppose it's a bad time to say I use a +2 Accurate Holy Symbol with Implement Expertise (Holy Symbol) . . . ?
    nah then we just change the class to work with you or you can spend an extra feat on light blade expertise. There are a few choices that you can still make. Of course depending on your game you may not need to.

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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    The radiant vulnerability is not as bad as it sounds as there aren't that many monsters with innate radiant attacks. Sunlight on the other hand... that death clause isn't much fun either and seems silly when E-leaders have resurrection powers by default.

    Their "spend a surge for X" effects are generally underpowered. And of course, take at least another attack to set up by leeching them from enemies.

    They can use holy symbols and ki focuses, but there aren't really any enchantments that are designed for them specifically.

    Same with feats, really. You can use the usual suspects like expertise and defense boosters, but what else?

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    The first two feats literally every Vampire takes are Unarmored Agility and Durable, usually in that order. Then usually Ki Focus Expertise / Improved Defenses. Then...it's wide open, really. Walker of the Dark Path isn't uncommon for some minor utility and CA damage boost. Implement Focus helps improve their lackluster damage output, but without multi-attacks or AoE, it's too little to do any real good. Racial feats usually get the nod too.

    Once you hit Paragon...I honestly have no idea.
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Quote Originally Posted by Fox Box Socks View Post
    The first two feats literally every Vampire takes are Unarmored Agility and Durable, usually in that order. Then usually Ki Focus Expertise / Improved Defenses. Then...it's wide open, really. Walker of the Dark Path isn't uncommon for some minor utility and CA damage boost. Implement Focus helps improve their lackluster damage output, but without multi-attacks or AoE, it's too little to do any real good. Racial feats usually get the nod too.

    Once you hit Paragon...I honestly have no idea.
    Actually durable has been heavily debated. In the end it is really only worth it in low heroic or if you are expecting a lot of surge drain in adventures. In a normal campaign lacking these issues durable is actually overkill.
    Last edited by MeeposFire; 2011-09-06 at 01:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Vampires are underpowered in mid to high tier groups. Otherwise there fine its the fact they need to boos there damage.

    Sorcerers have frost, 2modifiers for damage, feats to pump accuracy, others to boost damage.
    Warlocks grow have additional damage benefits when an enemy is killed and later when bloodied.
    Rangers have twin strike
    Rogue get Sneak Attack which can be increased through feat support.
    Avengers have high defenses and high chance to hit for low damage.
    Barbarians have massive hits, good hp, for low AC
    Assassins have nova and the right combo can get them chaining shrouds.
    Essentials Assassins are better poisons etc.

    In total the vampire does not carry enough benefits to be effective like other strikers. Heck I can post some builds for each at lvl1, 5, & 11 compared to a vampire.
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    While there are no specific feats targeted to vampires, here's a thought. Maybe you can do more secondary feats since you don't have to/get to blow slots on class feats.

    What I mean is, a character could potentially get frost cheese, defensive feats, charge feats, and race feats, since they won't be using slots on lethal hunter, etc.

    Thoughts?

    Here's my level 5 vampire. I think she's pretty competitive fir level 5: Viola Darkbough, Drow Vampire
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    Quote Originally Posted by psiclone57 View Post
    While there are no specific feats targeted to vampires, here's a thought. Maybe you can do more secondary feats since you don't have to/get to blow slots on class feats.
    No class has to blow slots on class feats. If the class feats are better than frostcheese, the other class wins. If frostcheese is better than the class feats, the other class will take frostcheese and still not lose. In practice, of course, the other class will take both.

    I find that when I create a fighter, wizard, or any PHB1/2 class, there are so many good feats that I'm having a hard time choosing; whereas when I create e.g. a sentinel, I run out of good feats around level 5. Note that I mean actual "good feats", not just "feats that I like".
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Yes, it is clearly worse to not have the option of good feats specifically designed for you than to have that option. My point is, for those interested in the class -- whether for love of the class or for a challenge -- is to find ways to make lemonade from these lemons.

    Some heroic feats a vampire could choose from:
    Implement Expertise
    Superior implement training
    Implement focus
    Unarmored Agility
    Defensive Mobility
    Knife in the Dark (Drow)
    Wintertouched
    Multiclass Feats

    I'm sure there are more good ones, but I am not really a very good optimizer.
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    I maintain that Hybrid Vampires are superior by almost every metric. Or (blatantly stolen)...

    I don't always play Vampires...

    But when I do, I prefer Hybrids
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I find that when I create a fighter, wizard, or any PHB1/2 class, there are so many good feats that I'm having a hard time choosing; whereas when I create e.g. a sentinel, I run out of good feats around level 5. Note that I mean actual "good feats", not just "feats that I like".
    Really? Considering the Healing Word synergy they have with Clerics, I find that I don't have enough feat slots for the one I'm building for a Tomb of Horrors game. Of course I got the DM to agree that Pacifist Healer doesn't affect animal companion/summoned creature attacks, so YMMV on that, but besides that and the multiclass feat you've got Shielding Word, Mark of Healing (again, if allowed), Strong-Willed Summoning, Battlewise or Battle Intuition, the Toughness+Durable combo, and of course your expertise feat of choice (probably Staff or Holy Symbol). Multiclass Shaman + Mending Spirit is another way to cheat on healing, though it doesn't have the synergy with Healing Word.


    Iconic Vampire is hilariously awesome by the way.
    Last edited by Scylfing; 2011-09-07 at 07:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Quote Originally Posted by psiclone57 View Post
    What I mean is, a character could potentially get frost cheese, defensive feats, charge feats, and race feats, since they won't be using slots on lethal hunter, etc.
    Yes, they can hit someone with a Frost dagger. But none of their powers are weapon attacks. This would be ignorable if there was a cold Ki Focus, but there isn't one. Hence, they lack support.

    They might prefer the symbol that grants radiant vulnerability etc. but again, they have no radiant attacks of their own and I don't think there's a radiant focus either.

    "Features, schmeatures, where'd you get that gouge?" is hardly an endorsement.

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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Quote Originally Posted by darkdragoon View Post
    Yes, they can hit someone with a Frost dagger. But none of their powers are weapon attacks. This would be ignorable if there was a cold Ki Focus, but there isn't one. Hence, they lack support.

    They might prefer the symbol that grants radiant vulnerability etc. but again, they have no radiant attacks of their own and I don't think there's a radiant focus either.

    "Features, schmeatures, where'd you get that gouge?" is hardly an endorsement.
    That is actually an easy problem to avoid. By taking a swordmage or sorcerer (or any arcane multiclass with the arcane implement proficiency feat) you can make light blades (or dagger) implements so then you can use a frost weapon with your vampire attacks.

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    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Quote Originally Posted by MeeposFire View Post
    That is actually an easy problem to avoid. By taking a swordmage or sorcerer (or any arcane multiclass with the arcane implement proficiency feat) you can make light blades (or dagger) implements so then you can use a frost weapon with your vampire attacks.
    This was one of my better vamp builds - MC sorc and get daggerpliment and resist 5 radiant. The other decent one was MC monk IIRC. Both lagged well behind the alpha strikers by level 11. Any cheese you add... Well the Ranger or Rogue can generally use the same cheese to better effect. At least that's how it seemed to me after doing over a dozen vamp builds.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Euphonistan
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    Male

    Default Re: Vampire Class

    Quote Originally Posted by surfarcher View Post
    This was one of my better vamp builds - MC sorc and get daggerpliment and resist 5 radiant. The other decent one was MC monk IIRC. Both lagged well behind the alpha strikers by level 11. Any cheese you add... Well the Ranger or Rogue can generally use the same cheese to better effect. At least that's how it seemed to me after doing over a dozen vamp builds.
    That wasn't my point. The point was that you can get your vampire to use a frost weapon if you want. So you can go permafrost which is nice on a vampire since every little bit helps.

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