My Clan Code: 21Q1ZFREE - Vampires Live is a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game by Storm8 for the iPhone. If you've played Vampires or Mobsters on Facebook, you'll know exactly what type of game this is. For those of you who don't, here's a short intro.
These type games are essentially text based in which you have a certain amount of points for health, attack and mission energy. They're real time in the sense that when you use a point of say, attack, you have to wait a certain period of real time for that point to replinish. It's also real time in that you can be attacked and 'killed' while not actively playing. These games are cerebral in terms of planning and building your character based on whether you're defensive, offensive or both. You have to balance your skills and abilities with cost in upkeep per hour, meaning you have to own property to generate income sufficient to cover your hourly upkeep.
I used to play all of the Storm8 MMO games until my wife clued me into how much of a time sink it was. I was constantly checking into my characters to see how things were going and to bank money. I decided to choose one Storm8 MMO game to continue playing and delete the rest. For various reasons of no real importance, I chose to keep Vampires Live. So, while this article will be Vampires Live centric, virtually all of the Storm8 MMO games play the same. Three notable, but minor exceptions, are Ninjas Live and Pets Live which differ only in how 'property' is purchased and owned, and World War which differs in how manu 'units' (abilities / pieces) can be played by each member of your army.
The Key to Success
I'm going to state a few times throughout this article, MONEY IS THE KEY! You need to put as much of your money into Slaves (blood income in Vampires Live) as possible every chance you get. You are not only going to need money to buy new abilities for you and your clan members, but you're really going to need money to support your upkeep. In higher levels, you have abilities that cost $250,000 per hour each and you might need 100 of them for your clan of 100.
It's been said in various places that you should try to maintain a 2:1 ratio of income to upkeep. i.e. If you are paying $1,000,000 per hour in upkeep, you need to be making $2,000,000 per hour. My personal take... Shoot for 2.5 or even higher. It's a great feeling to level up and have access to a new ability which you can purchase and support the upkeep for everyone in your clan immediately. None of that "I'll buy five now and then buy another slave tomorrow and then another five."
Abilities and Skills
When you start a new character, you are a clan of one. This means when you attack or defend, your one clan member uses one Physical (attack centric), one Sensory (defense centric) and one Transformation (either or both). When you have two people in your clan, you use two from each of those categories. Let me back up a little and say that your character also has a base skillset for Attack, Defense, Max Energy (to do missions), Max Health and Max Frenzy (to attack others). Attack and Defense are modifiers used to increase your chance of winning a fight whereas Max Frenzy is the number of people you can attack before haivng to wait for the points to replenish.
Ok, so back to the abilities. For every member of your clan, including yourself, you need one Physical, one Sensory and one Transformation. If you don't have at least one from each category for each clan member, then you've got clan members standing around in a fight not doing anything.
Quick, how many clan members do you think I had in the above screenshot? Right, 190. But why do I have 190 of Sabertooth Fangs and 190 of Marble Hard Flesh? If you look closely, you'll notice Sabertooth Fangs has a much higher attack and Marble Hard Flesh has a much higher defense. This is where things start getting expensive. Some players are offensive only which means they can flat out kick your butt, but if you turn around and attack them back, you'll most likely win because they have no strong defensive abilities. Other players have all high defensive abilities and are content to sit back and let everyone crash up on their shores and lose. Then you have players who like it both ways. They want to win when they attack, but want to win when they're attacked as well. When you maintain high attack and defense abilities in all three categories, it's tough to maintain a 2:1 or higher ratio in higher levels. I mean, just look at this.
Not only is it going to cost you $25 million a pop to buy a Lich which would be $4.75 billion for my 190 clan, but the upkeep is $625,000 per hour which comes out to a whopping $118,750,000 per hour of income just to cover the Liches for my clan.
So, you make decisions based on whether the extra attack or defense points are really worth the extra per unit and upkeep cost. Here's an example.
Buying Liches would cover both attack and defense for me. It's got the highest of both, but I can't afford it. Cloud of Bats has the next best defense, so I bought those instead (sorry, during the writing, my clan increased to 199).
Speaking of clans, here's a few pointers about clan members.
- You can use five clan members per level you are. If you're level 10 then you can use 50 clan members.
- It makes no difference the level of your clan members. If you have level 50 abilities for your clan, a level one clan member can use it. This means, don't go searching out a level 200 vampire because it makes no difference to your clan success or failure. It's all about numbers and having enough abilities to equip each and every one of them.
- Let's say I have five people in my clan and you have one person in your clan. When we clan up, I now have six people in my clan and you have two. You don't inherit all the members of my clan. It's a one-to-one relationship. For every person you clan up with, it increments your clan count by one regardless of how many people either of us already have in our respective clans.
- Don't clan up too fast. In the beginning mano-a-mano is the best way to evaluate whether to attack someone or not. It's very clear who has the more powerful abilities. Later in the game, you'll have a much better feel for estimating a clan's strength, but for now, keep it simple.
- Common etiquette dictates that if you clan up with someone, you don't attack each other anymore. This is fairly easy in the beginning when you only have to remember ten people, but later, trying to remember a few hundred is impossible. This is why you'll see some of the more organized clans using Emoji symbols (pics) in their names. You'll also see a green LED looking symbol next to people in your clan on the attack screen. However, look closely, some people add the Emoji that looks very similar in the hopes that people will not attack them. You can tell if they did this because the green LED will be underlined because it's part of their name. A real clan member will not have an underline on the green LED part.
- When you're ready to start taking on clan members, advertise. Put messages on your own wall with your clan code. Look at the broadcast messages from your existing clan members. Sometimes they'll broadcast a whole list of codes you can add. Also, if you have extra Elder points, change your name to include your clan code in it like this:
Aside from attacking and defending, there is also the Hitlist. The Hitlist is a place to punish people who have the manners of a troll or a place for crybabies to get even because their weak little vampire got their butt kicked. The Hitlist works like this.
- There is no level limit on the hitlist. i.e. A level 200 can attack a level 1 player.
- The 26 health E.R. limit is lifted. People hit you until you get to zero health.
- You can win and lose as many fights as it takes until you reach zero health.
- When you reach zero health your "death" count increments by one. No other penalty is incurred. i.e. You don't lose any abilities or money.
- When your health reaches zero, whoever attacked you and got you there, gets their "kill" count incremented by one. They don't even have to win the fight. Long as they did enough damage to get you to zero health, they get credited with the kill and get the bounty money.
- Playing the hitlist is tough. You gotta be fast on the attack and refresh buttons in order to be able to hit people on it.
- Sometimes, being on the Hitlist isn't a bad thing. If you have a strong defensive character, then you might end up with more wins than losses before you're killed. This is important to remember when Hitlisting someone. If they're winning more than losing, then you're not really punishing them now are you.
- You'll typically see high level folks hanging out on the Hitlist. They Hitlist each other on purpose and let the lower level vamps bang on them because it drives their wins up through the roof.
- There really isn't any need to thank someone who killed a vamp you put on the Hitlist. It's not like we, the people who hang out on the Hitlist, wait around for someone to show up and then do a little research to see why they're on there. It's a frenzy on the Hitlist attack screen whereby you really are just hitting attack button on anyone that pops up that you think you might be able to win against based on their level. It's so fast paced that we don't normally even remember name of the vamps we're attacking and killing.
You'll usually see Farmers end up on the Hitlist. Farmer is a term used to describe an activity whereby a stronger vampire consecutively attacks a weaker vampire three or more times in a row in order to steal / farm all their money. Farmers are poor players and arguing with them is akin to arguing with a retard. Just like spammers, they have some twisted view that their actions are justified. Just Hitlist farmers and move on with your life. I typically Hitlist twice for every successful farm.
Now, there's no official definition of a farmer and everyone has their own tolerance level. There are the crybabies who think attacking them at all is rude and will hitlist you. Some think if you hit them twice that you're farming them. Unfortunately, these whiners still haven't understood the game. For one, uhmmm, that's the nature of the game. It's confrontational, it's attack and defend. It's not a bunch of vampires sitting around a campfire singing Kumbaya. They also don't understand that when you're an offensive vampire, you're kinda stuck with who shows up on the attack screen. Usually, the same people show up over and over as players who started at the same time typically move up in levels together. The only advice I can offer to players with poorly managed vampires who keep getting their butt beat is to stop doing missions for a few days. Eventually the vampire causing you grief will level up far enough that they can no longer attack you.
At high levels, missions can provide over 100 million blood and over 60 experience for expending roughly 60 energy. At lower levels, you don't quite get so much bang for your buck. Then again, at level 90, 100 million isn't much money believe it or not. At high levels you need to maintain the mission required abilities and / or loot in order to do the mission and that hourly upkeep can be quite costly. Sometimes maintaining the abilities / loot for a particular mission isn't worth the experience and blood you get for doing the mission. Sometimes, it isn't even the upkeep for abilities or loot, it's that you need to increase your clan by another 20 vamps and you're not ready to go there yet and equip them all.
Where missions really help is building your core skill points through mission mastery. On each tab, there are a number of missions. For each mission, there are two masteries. Rank 1 and Rank 2. When you complete Rank 1 mastery of a mission you get a skill point to spend. When you complete Rank 1 mastery for all the missions on a tab, you get 2 skill points to spend.
Now, when you reach Rank 2 mastery of a mission, you don't get anything until you've reached Rank 2 mastery of all the missions on that tab. That's when you get a special looted item like 8% more damage dealt, 5% more chance for loot, 5% discount on purchases, 50% discount on healing etc.