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 Ideas for Heather?

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Childe of Malkav
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PostSubject: Ideas for Heather?   Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:27 pm

Hi,

there is one aspect of the game that has annoyed me since the first time I played a whole session: Heather. So you get this ghoul hanging out in your haven, but all she is good for is being another Blood doll, and giving you a limited amount of cash. There's no real roleplaying opportunity in this, so I usually send her away as soon as possible. The only time I kept her around until the end of the game was when I heard about the possibility of saving her from the Sabbat and I wanted to try that.

Any ideas how to make her more interesting?

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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:14 pm

I think she can be annoying and could be more useful. I had a few ideas, neither of them great, but I don't think they are bad either.

First of all, since in another thread we were discussing the books-issue, I think Heather could be another teacher, since she is human she could give the pc some "advice" (a point) on social skills. She seems like a sweet girl and vamps can always use pointers on how to act more 'human' Wink
My other idea came to me as I've been very frustrated in the fact that once you empty out your fridge and your 'box' (sorry, I'm tired and English isn't just working for me now), that's it on your supplies. I think she could every now and then go fetch a few bloodpacks and ammo clips for the pc.

What do you think? I don't know if either of these is possible or useful for that matter, I'm just so freaking hooked on the game that I keep thinking of ways to make it more interesting (especially since it is getting a bit dull after a few runs).
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:49 pm

Yeah Heather is a convoluted subject. She does offer some nice eye candy to hang around your Haven, and won't bother you with multiple personalities like Jeanette, but she's not near as interesting. I think she switches from bewilderment at your being a vampire to starry eyed adoration rather quickly. Keeping a ghoul should be a horrifying experience for the player, a study in how drug addiction can destroy lives. The Blood is one of the most addictive substances in the World of Darkness, and I think it might be fun if the player got the sense that Heather was being dragged into the ghoul/master relationship like a helpless, tethered calf.

It might be fun to have her alternate between blood influenced adoration and a whole other range of emotions, from anxiety (although Heather already does have her share of that) to self loathing, to even hating you in the moments when she's herself. If you keep her long enough, the player does sort of get the impression that she's destroying her life in order to be your ghoul...but it never felt pronounced enough for me.

It's something to think about. In any case, I agree that she should have more utility. Yeah she's a nice decoration around your Haven, but at the end of the night only marginally better than one of those posters Gary sends you. You could maybe tell Heather to go buy stuff for you, or even lure people back to your Haven (for you low humanity vampires out there). Of course, any significant improvement of Heather would require entirely new lines of spoken dialogue I'm sure aren't anywhere in the vanilla game files, and creating them would be a nigh impossible task considering the new content would have to match with her original lines.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:48 am

Thanks for your input, tinga and Dante.

First (without regard for the technical possibilities) a few comments on your suggestions.

Making her some kind of "teacher" for your social skills is a really good idea. But I think, that would only work if you treat her well. If you keep on telling her how useless she is, you wouldn't get any good advice on behaviour out of her.

Asking her to refill your ammo isn't a bad idea either. For new bloodpacks, I'm not sure. It would make the bloodbank unnecessary and the player wouldn't have the dilemma, what to do after releasing Lilly from Vandals claws.
Personally I dont see the need for eiter of these options. I always end up with a lot of money i can't spend on anything useful, and i dont even use up all the bloodpacks i can find in the game.

Getting her to lure in your dinner is a nice one, if your humanity is really deep down the drain Twisted Evil

Last but not least, the roleplaying aspect of the addict would really increase the gameplaying value of Heather. But as you mentioned yourself, Dante, this would require compltely new dialogue.

And now I have to come back to the technical issues. New lines for the pc or throwing about existing ones of the npcs is quite simple, but creating new dialogue lines for a npc requires voice actors who sound at least similar to the original ones or you'd have to rerecord everyting for that character. So doing something like that would require someone a lot more professional than I could ever become.

The other things mentioned are probably possible without making up new dialogue lines for Heather, so I'll keep them in my mind. But as I stated above, I don't think I will make her get new bloodpacks.

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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:59 am

Good point, Childe of Malkav, the bloodpacks do become quite useless. I think I normally use 1-2 bloodpacks in the whole game. And she wouldn't teach the pc if she was treated badly, but that hadn't crossed my mind since I always treat her well Embarassed She is a nice wallflower (one you can pump for ambrosia), but she really needs more to do. I don't think replacing her voice would be that difficult (if the voicefiles can be replaced the same way as the skins), you'd just need a girl with some acting skills and some kick-ass recording equipment. And if you don't have access to such, I just might. But that's beside the point. I don't know how adding new dialogue would work, since adding anything new to the game seems like a pain.

Heather does fetch the pc that one snack, but it would be cool if she could be told to do it again. Especially if your humanity is low or if you're playing a Nossie. Getting blood as a Nos is a bitch, but that's just my opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:42 pm

Yeah, rather than scold Heather for bringing the guy in, you could tell her to do it on a regular basis or something. All that murdering would put your humanity in the toilet, but some players really don't care about that...I played a Gangrel who killed indiscriminately, and it was fun, although sort of one dimensional.

You know, I just had a thought. Like, you can tell Heather to change her clothes, right? What if you could also tell her to try and decorate the Haven in a certain style? That might be kind of cool. Purely an aesthetic improvement, of course, but being able to select how your Haven is decorated might go a long way towards making it feel like your own. I always got the impression like; "Well, this is what they're giving me, so...okay. I guess."

Of course redecorating a whole Haven would be a lot of work skin-wise, and I can't fathom the technical issues, but it's an idea. Very Happy You could have one where she transforms your place into a sumptuous budoir, or a dark, brooding Gothic retreat. And you'd probably have to do new skins for all the Havens, Nosferatu/Tremere included.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:53 pm

Redecorate the haven is a very good idea.
What about some "mini games".. I don't know, I'd like to play pong with her :-)

There is a way not to lose any humanity when she brings you people. You do not kill the guy (but still drink from him), then you ask her to clean up, and that's all ^^
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:41 pm

Dante Revere wrote:
Yeah, rather than scold Heather for bringing the guy in, you could tell her to do it on a regular basis or something. All that murdering would put your humanity in the toilet, but some players really don't care about that...I played a Gangrel who killed indiscriminately, and it was fun, although sort of one dimensional.
This brings us to the "on humanity" thread where we discussed the possibility of attracting hunters even if you don't violate the masquerade...

Claudia wrote:
There is a way not to lose any humanity when she brings you people. You do not kill the guy (but still drink from him), then you ask her to clean up, and that's all ^^
Does that work? Do you get the dialogue option for cleaning up if you don't have killed him?
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:48 pm

[quote="Childe of Malkav"]
Dante Revere wrote:

Claudia wrote:
There is a way not to lose any humanity when she brings you people. You do not kill the guy (but still drink from him), then you ask her to clean up, and that's all ^^
Does that work? Do you get the dialogue option for cleaning up if you don't have killed him?

Yes the dialog appears. You tell him to calm down, he doesn't. Playing Malky you can dementate him into go say to the cops he has a gun (= humanity loss), that you could use a drink or you'll drain him. Those last two makes him afraind, and your only dialog options makes you feed from him. Just hit F before he's dead, and go back to Heather.
No humanity loss.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:54 pm

Claudia wrote:
Redecorate the haven is a very good idea.
What about some "mini games".. I don't know, I'd like to play pong with her :-)
Playing pong, i dont'know, but there's a guy playing with the pinball in the last round. Perhaps we could get tis mashine into the haven (if it's a usable item, but i don't think so).

Quote :
There is a way not to lose any humanity when she brings you people. You do not kill the guy (but still drink from him), then you ask her to clean up, and that's all ^^
And where's the fun in that? Twisted Evil What do i do with all the masquerade redemptions, if i dont get the occasional violation on the hunt? (or at least a criminal violation, so i can play hide and seek with the cops Cool )
but for those who like their dinner prepaired, it would certainly be nice to have Heather catch some more fish..

Redecoration (or at least a bit of cleaning up in Santa Monica if you dont get the new haven soon ) is a good idea, but it would take some time. I'd make that a one time choice and after that, Heather would start by changing into the appropriate clothes, and then getting the haven redecorated step by step, so you'd have a reason to visit once in a while to see what is done so far.
(On the technical side, it would be a hell of reskinning. Especially since you have to do 4 different havens)

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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:00 pm

The flipper is not usable (I tried on the pier as well as in the Last Round :-()

But Oh, maybe, one day, Heather could...
http://lancea.deviantart.com/art/Vampire-See-No-Evil-Page-06-73000377

But that may be a little too much to ask Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:14 pm

Yes, and on the anwerphone we have: "This is the transsylvanian blood donation service. This line isn't occupied during the daylight hours. But if you leave your name and blood groop, we'll visit you after dusk... beep" Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:27 pm

Or maybe she could go through your Email and give her "opinion" about the quest given to you (or even find out before hand about some information for you...)
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:30 am

i had a question but did not want to open a new topic for it and this seemed like the right place.
and the question is a confirmation, i remember it mentioned somewhere else but couldn't find it.

i have heard that there will be a mod in which you will be able to save Heather, to rescue her from the Sabbat at Hallowbrook Hotel.
but apparently it wasn't CE 1.3, i have been playing it, just completed the Hallowbrook Hotel and i am pretty sure that Heather was killed in a cut scene in which i couldn't interfer, i only regained control of the game after she was dead.
so, the question is, is there indeed a Mod in which you can rescue Heather? and if so, which?

and in this thread you mention redecoration and that reminded me of an issue that has nagged me to no end.
in the first "level" of the game, when you only have access to the Santa Monica hub, Mercurio is understandably bloody and so is the corridor leading to his home splattered with blood.
but in the "second level", when you gain access to the Downtown hub, Mercurio is no longer bloody, but his corridor is still splattered in blood.
couldn't anybody, say, a janitorial team, a crime scene clean up team, Mercurio himslef... what am i saying... just making it real... shouldn't the game designers had changed that? that after gaining access to Downtown when next you enter Mercurio's apartment that the apartment has been cleaned up?
all those blood spatters... annoy me.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:57 pm

For saving Heather from the Sabbat, this is an option of Wesps plus patch that is also included in CE at least starting from version 1.2. When she tells you, she's been followed or something like that (For Malks it's something about eyes you should make vanish), you have to tell her to stay home (in the golden cage). Then the cutscene where she is killed at Hallowbrook doesn't turn up, and Heather stays alive in your Haven. This dialogue is rather early in the game. I think before you go to the museum, or after you come back from there. There is however a price to pay for saving Heather: In the plus patch you have to buy the body armor from Mercurio. In CE you can't get it at all.
If you miss the dialogue about her being followed, or forget to tell her to stay at home, you can only save her by sending her away.

For the blood, I think even Wesp hasn't found a way to remove the stains. And if he hasn't found anything himself, and nobody told him, there is nothing you can do. I wouldn't even know where to look, because it's not a dynamic prop, but on the static maps.

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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:17 pm

Childe of Malkav wrote:
For the blood, I think even Wesp hasn't found a way to remove the stains. And if he hasn't found anything himself, and nobody told him, there is nothing you can do. I wouldn't even know where to look, because it's not a dynamic prop, but on the static maps.

And here we have insight into the pain in the butt that Malkav and Zer0 have to put up with. You can't simply change the map in Bloodlines, like you can with some games. Makes doing a mod very difficult, if not downright impossible. I marvel that they are able to make any changes at all.

There are some people who started the 'Bloodlines Revival', to change Bloodlines into the newer version of the Source engine (The one Half-Life 2 uses, which is supposedly easier to mod), but they gave up because it was 'next to impossible'. Now they are using the engine from another game called 'Alien Swarm', and the project was renamed 'Bloodlines Resurgence'. Not sure how this will work; looking at their website, and the small progress they've made, I doubt they will release Bloodlines Resurgence before CCP releases the WODMMO. I oculd be wrong, though.

My respect goes out to those who attempt to modify Bloodlines, to keep the game new and interesting. [Plus more than a little wonder, at their willingness to expend so much effort for so little return. I could understand someone like me doing this, but don't you guys have lives?]

PS - I usally let Heather go almost immediately. Saving her is more interesting than having to put up with her wandering aimlessly around the apartment. That would bug the heck out of me.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:40 am

thank you for your informative answer.

somehow i got the naive idea that you might be granted as side quest, like the one where you save Ash from the hunters at the Professors, a chance to save Heather from the Sabbat.
or even, instead of a cutscene through which your character is frozen, a dynamic scene when you are given the chance to intervene and perhaps save her.
alas it is not so.
i think i do remember the dialogue lines you mention.

and the blood stains...
i get that they sort of have their usefulness. i think i remeber the first time i played the game, i felt so lost and helpless, those blood stains acted as a trail of bread crumbs, leading me where first i had to go. after that i got my game legs.
but, mercurio is already recovered and they remain?
but i heard you loud and clear.
nothing to be done about it.
was just venting a little.

and perhaps i just gave away an idea for heather?
could indeed the cut scene when she dies be replaced by a dynamic scene where you get a chance to intervene, or even a side quest where you get to release her from some place she is locked in?
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:30 pm

Making a side quest like recuing Ash from Leopold or the Free Kiki quest is possible. As long as there is no need for a lot of new text for Heather.

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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:34 pm

What if you took these different ideas – finding prey, restocking blood/ammo, offering training – and made them dependent on how you treat heather? Treat her nice, and she will train you. Treat her OK, and she will get supplies for you. Treat her rotten and she will try to endear herself by finding you prey.

Personally I would like the ability to send Heather to fetch people for you so that you do not have to run all over creation for them. For example it can be a pain in the butt to head back to Santa Monica long after you have nothing left to accomplish there just so you can see if Mercurio has any new stock – which he almost never does. It'd be nice if you could send Heather to get him, and then return later to the haven and find him there ready to deal. Leave and return and he is gone again.

Another thing that I think some folks might appreciate is an option to embrace her and take her with you on quests. In exchange for the extra firepower she would bring by duplicating your abilities, letting her die could come with dire consequences such as an automatic frenzy if your humanity is high (which would have the benefit of providing high humanity folks at least one opportunity to see what frenzy is like since 8-10 humanity almost never get to experience this) or sending your humanity even further into the tank if you are already at (say) 5 or lower. Frankly humanity is too easy to maintain in my opinion, as I have complained about in other threads. (Although by cranking the bloodloss up to 1/2 minutes, it becomes a lot harder to resist draining innocents dry any time you have a chance to feed in private because you need every drop.)

Finally it might be cool if there was some maintenance involved with Heather. Leave her alone too long and maybe she will abandon you and you will find her slutting it down at the Last Drop or moving up in the world by endearing herself to the Prince. Or maybe she would just waste away in your haven, going rapidly insane until you return one day to find the apartment full of cops and an ambulance waiting outside because people finally started complaining about the smell of her decomposing (but still living) body. Now you have a masquerade violation or you'll have to peel off a few of those big bills to make the whole mess go away before the Prince finds out. Which road the neglected Heather takes could depend on how she is treated or even be randomized so that the player never knows what to expect if they are gone from their haven for too long.

Feeding Heather could also drain an increasing amount of blood commensurate with the boons she offers.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:13 am

I really like the "Heather follows you around" idea. Especially the frenzy part.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:51 am

There's already a "Companion Mod", where you can Embrace some NPC's in the game. If you're interested, go to http://sites.google.com/site/vtmbcompmodhome/

I've never played it, but you can't install it on top of the Camarilla Edition mod. They change some of the same files, I'm told. It would probably break some of the quests.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Sun Oct 24, 2010 11:24 am

ultimately a Free Heather side quest might not need any dialogue at all, or what little it had could be a recycling of already preexisting dialogue, her giving you an abject thank you and you sending her on her way, or something of the sort. perhaps she asking you to liberate her, but even here you might recycle dialogue, say, i am happy to see you again.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:42 am

If you ask heather about herself she tells you her parents were killed in a car accident recently, maybe make a quest where you track down the people who caused the accident (assuming you're nice to her) and then have to choose either turn them over to the police or kill them for her. Turning them over to the cops would give humanity points while killing them would get you a reward from heather while costing you a humanity point for each one (assuming more then were implemented), maybe an occult object or one of the weapons you don't get until the end of the game while still in downtown or hollywood.

Or if you wanted to keep it simple and not add a whole quest line you could have her scavenge things depending on what outfit she was wearing (if that's even possible). So for example if you had her wear her default outfit and go scavenge she could have a chance to find a random book (or something normal like that), her sexy outfit would give her a chance to bring back a person you could feed from, and her goth outfit would bring back weapons. And then to keep people from abusing add something like you'd have to come and go 3 or 4 times before you could send her back out again.
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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:30 am

Hi Sontag,
welcome to the suckers Twisted Evil

If you're a Malk, she doesn't talk about her past. So your first suggestion is not usable for CE, where all quests should be open for any clan.
Sending her out to find you things is possible, and not even that difficult. But CE already has items to find on the hubs depending on your inspection feat. And I'm planning to include this feature to other maps as well. I'm also not very fond of giving out weapons for free. The characters are overpowered anyway.
I'll think about it, but don't depend on getting something like that.

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PostSubject: Re: Ideas for Heather?   Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:59 am

Sontag,

I like the idea of Heather bringing back things depending on what she's wearing, it's a good idea. If I were to do this with TFN I would need to be very careful that 1) It's not exploited and 2) It doesn't over power the character. Out of all of the ideas, Heather bringing back people to feed on seems the most fun and useful.
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