I’m going to try to keep this as brief and concise as I can, so forgive me if it seems like I’m being too brusque. I’m also going to preface this with a disclaimer that my criticisms are largely about mechanics and organizational structure, and how those tie into each other, and is not a slam of individual players, and it should not be taken that way.
Vampires, pardon the pun, absolutely suck right now. I think you’d be hard-pressed to make a convincing argument otherwise. The goal of this post is to diagnose, from my personal perspective, why
this is the case and, hopefully, prescribe fixes to the problem. So here we go, point by pointPROBLEMS
HOW TO FIX THEM
- The Dominion was a bad idea: I actually don't know the reasoning behind boxing Vampires, a subrace, into another cookie-cutter guild. I'm guessing it was an attempt to solve the problem of languishing Houses by consolidating vampires into one group home. The problem with this, however, is that, for years vampirism was mechanically organic and fluid, allowing for a free expansion of the class base. This created some problems, sure, and definitely problems worth fixing, but jamming everything into one guild is, I think, ultimately the biggest central source of the problems associated with the current set-up. Almost all the current problems stem from this specific choice. Even if the Dominion were an amazing guild with super active membership and great roleplay, this would still be a problem, because it flies in the face of one of the biggest appeals of vampirism: that you can find a vampire in the wild and become a vampire yourself. Which brings me to my next point.
- Fencing off Embrace/Siring mechanics behind the Dominion was a bad idea: this is probably my biggest complaint. Having to be within the Dominion (or have the Primus's blessing or something?) in order to embrace new vampires is just...like why? It seems like this was a loose justification for the Dominion's existence, but what it does instead is hold the class and subrace hostage in order to force people to join the Dominion. It's creating a problem so you can sell the solution. What infuriates me the most about this, though, is that multiclassing across the board is WAY more free than this, so why on earth is a class that, historically, has been egalitarian and open (its main appeal for many), somehow more constrictive than any other class in the game now?
- Having the Monomythic Primus be a regular, run of the mill player was a bad idea: this is probably the closest thing to what may seem like a personal attack, but I really don't mean it as any slight against Callidora. The main strength of a character like Abhorash was that the dude basically didn't exist. He was a free-floating idea of a person to which people could ascribe various qualities. In short, he was a myth, and it was really, really good. Now, we have player-played Primuses, which dramatically cheapens the mythos of vampires. Because unless a player playing the Primus is an expert politician, an unflappable combatant, a philosopher of the highest caliber, and an economic genius, they're always going to fall short in the face of a myth. So having that role, one with such significance in the lore be handled by a player, just reduces the quality of the lore behind vampires. This one is more of a theming complaint, but I think it ties in regardless.
This, I feel, is arguably simpler and less long-winded than the above, I hope.
Cut a hole in the box Delete the Dominion: gone. It shouldn't be a thing anymore.
- Make Vampirism a true subrace pseudoclass like Shapeshifters
- Let all vampires with the skill embrace anyone they want.
- Get rid of peerage as a coded thing.
- Reduce the significance of the Primus/Progenitor thing by just, like, I don't know, killing off Abhorash or something.
- Maybe even make an NPC that can give people vampirism. I mean, newbies can make themselves undead ffs.
I think the instinct with the problems with Vampire Houses was to pack everyone together, when it should have been to nuke everything from orbit and open up vampirism entirely. Instead it's ended up one of the most restrictive classes to acquire. I even, daresay, think the current set-up is likely to drive new players away from the game. They go "oh boy, I can be a vampire!" and then end up funneled into one of the least-appealing guilds in the entire game. I mean, in all honesty, I almost quit the game again due to my experiences with new vampirism. If I hadn't been reached out to by the Carnifex and learned that the game has sooooo much to offer still, it probably would've been it for me.
In any case, these are my thoughts. I really think Vamps are overdue for a revamp.