This is a guide I put together since the game is honestly extremely frustrating to someone that hasn’t played it and learned how to cheese their way around it. I think this game is one of the best of the era in terms of literally everything EXCEPT the clunky combat and the party AI, and it’s a shame people don’t really play or talk about it. But I’m pretty sure one of the biggest reasons for that is just how plain broken the game can be at times. So if you’ve never played the game or you have and find yourself having a hard time… come, stay a while and listen.
Setting Up The Game
So this game works just fine on my Windows 10 64 bit machine, and it should for most people. Though I used to have trouble, as the game would immediately crash to the desktop for no reason, somehow it works just fine for me now even with a clean install on Steam/GOG.
If you are having crashing issues, you can use “dgVoodoo2”, a wrapper that emulates glide based video cards from back in the day. If you need help with this:
1) Download the latest version from the website: http://dege.freeweb.hu/dgVoodoo2/dgVoodoo2/ – [freeweb.hu]
2) Go to your VTMR root directory on Steam
(Default: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Vampire The Masquerade – Bloodlines” without quotes)
3) Extract everything to that VTMR root folder.
4) In the Direct X folder, go to the x86 folder and move the files from there to the root VTMR folder. Then go back to the Direct X folder, but this time go into the x64 folder, and copy the files from there again to the root directory. *overwrite the previous files when asked, as this is important*. And then finally repeat the same as this step, but instead with the 3DFX folder.
5) Once this is done, open the config exe and tinker around with the settings to your liking. I personally don’t adjust anything, but I set the resolution to 4:3 so that way it doesn’t stretch out the game. I would leave the watermark enabled so that way you can see if it’s actually working with the game or not. Then once you know it’s running the game properly disable it.
There is also a mod called “Age Of Redemption” that fixes alot of broken things and adds a LOT to the game, almost making it an entirely different experience. Since it changes so much, I actually don’t recommend it for a first time playthrough. instead, use this guide to work your way through the vanilla experience. Then if you enjoyed it enough (which minus the party AI/combat, you probably should have ;D), download and replay the game with this mod. It’s a god-send of quality work that does not deserve to go unrecognized. Just know that it changes a LOT from the base game.
This game has a unique, and pretty revolutionary multiplayer mode that literally nobody talks about. Everyone talks about how bloodlines does a good job being faithful to the tabletop game and it absolutely is, don’t get me wrong.
But this game? It’s clear multiplayer was a huge focus of the game. The original beta CD of the game was a multiplayer beta, and the depth of everything in MP is really strong. This probably explains why the AI in singleplayer is so frustrating. To those that don’t know anything about the multiplayer in this game, it has a storytelling game mode. You make your own character (Human, Kindred/Vampire, or Ghoul), choose the clan, add the starting points to your stats, and start the game up. The host becomes the “Storyteller” like in the actual tabletop, and controls everything that goes on in the game, while 1-3 other players have their characters in the world. Storytellers are, again just like in the actual game, compared to gods with the amount of power they have over these worlds, like spawning items/monsters, granting players experience points, control a character if they want, etc. There are two official chronicles to choose from (neither of them the single player game sadly, though there has been made a mod for that and can be added in if desired).
So why doesn’t anybody talk about this?
Well it’s practically impossible to get set up unless you 1. Have a dedicated lan setup for this game, or 2. want to use logmeinhamachi.
WON, the online service for this game, was shut down in 2008. There was an attempt to bring it back with something called “NuWON” which was intended to bring this game back online, but on that website I can’t even make the darn account.
The Issues Of Redemption
So the biggest issue most people will find themselves having with this game is the horrendous companion AI. You do the first dungeon alone, and all is fine and dandy. But when you get your first companion, then the 2nd, and the 3rd, it can get quite frustrating. The path finding for you alone is bad, but it’s even worse with the companions. They also tend to go ahead of you sometimes and drag in enemies, and it’s fine when you do it. But when the companion does it, they do it pretty much blindly. Meaning… If there’s one or two enemies, it won’t be a big deal, but when there’s a group of enemies it turns into utter chaos and quickly turns into a save scumming nightmare. The game has a blood meter to manage blood, which if it drains then not only can they not perform disciplines (or basically special attacks that are practically required in alot of battles), but they get hungry and will drain your own party’s blood. Das no bueno. Often these said companions will overuse really strong disciplines that drain a huge chunk of their blood meter, only to end up using it on a singular weak low level enemy that only needed one more hit to die. I don’t know if I’m doing the best job explaining this to any newcomers but god anyone that has played this will know just how awful it is early on.
These issues can be thankfully worked around to their redemption *ba dum tss*, but they are not something first time players will know, and even people that have tried playing the game multiple times previously might have trouble figuring out how to push past this.
Tips On How To Overcome It All
– Always make sure you upgrade the feeding discipline and blood healing discipline for all characters. This is probably the most important thing. The more the feeding is upgraded, the more effectively and efficiently you can feed on enemies blood as opposed to managing what little blood resources you have. The more the blood healing is upgraded, the more it heals while costing less. You can also get and equip a gorget to avoid getting drained from enemy vampires.
– When you unlock them, buying whatever rings and amulets you can will drastically lower the cost of blood when using disciplines, such as the blood rings and discipline amulets. These are quite expensive, but the payoff is that you’d need worry about babysitting your party less each time you equip one of these bad boys over them.
– leveling up manipulation to 90 or higher will allow you to sell items back for more than what you paid for them. It’s expensive, but this technically will mean you worked your way up the game to get infinite money.
– v1.1 (Steam/GOG release is patched to this version) added in a save anywhere feature which is immensely helpful as the original retail v1.0 release NEEDED you to save at the Ankh each time. (Or the cross, when human.) Which sounds practically impossible due to the sheer volume of how often you’d be dying due to all of these issues. Though it’s not, because the game did still autosave whenever you enter another room. Still, SAVE WHENEVER YOU CAN!!!
– Another thing they added was a pause feature. Now this is not going to be noticeable at first glance, as you’d think escape pauses the game, and it does. But when you use the actual pause button (located pretty inconveniently on the larger number pad keyboards), it pauses the game while allowing you to make decisions. For example, before you get into a battle you can use that pause button, and it’ll pause the game world itself. But you can still go through your inventory and equip things here and there, as well as selecting disciplines and managing your meters. In my opinion this is one of THE most essential things to know about this game, as it greatly eases the management of all the battles and encounters and lets you prepare for them properly. Shame it’s not something anybody would really know about since it doesn’t mention this a single time anywhere in the game.
– Instead of letting your party members pull enemies from around corners, YOU should be the one doing that. I don’t actually recommend doing this often as it breaks immersion, but it makes everything much more manageable early on in the game.
– By each party member in the visual UI (bottom of screen), there should be a tiny little green gem. It’s really difficult to see and is never once mentioned in the game itself, but this toggles whether that party member is currently following you or not. So make good use of that as you need…
– WHEN FIGHTING MERCURIO: Make sure Cristof is equipped with the femur you found, and using the Celerity + Blood Strength disciplines. The femur will drain Cristof’s health when it’s equipped, but it does heavy damage to the boss. And make sure Willhiem is using the Blood Claws discipline before switching back to Cristof. This one boss fight is SO specific to how it’s done, as his poison can kill you really quick, so having this very specific setup is pretty much required to defeating him.
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