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 Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill

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Velvet
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PostSubject: Re: Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill   Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:30 pm

a little off topic,

i didn't find Street Side Blood Dolls in downtown.
i did find 4 people at the Confession courtyard, and while playing first a Ventrue, which is most boring because it can only feed on Blue Bloods, not on low borns, i devised this system:

first i would have to make sure that all 4 of them were there, because there is always one of them prone to leave the premises to speak on the phone near the bus stop, and prone to come back at unconvenient times.

then i would Forgetfull Mind the whole lot.

then i would Trance one

then i would feed on the Tranced one

if i timed it right, i would force feed in the middle of a crowd without breaking the masquerade.
those 4 became to me a kind of Street Side Blood Dolls.

a little bit more off topic, with BloodLoss thrown in to the game i became sure that the best Clans / Histories to play were Toreador - Decadent Enchantress or Ventrue - Dominatrix (i know, there is actually a topic asking this question, but it is not very popular) because both have high seductions to start with (Ventrue also has persuasion, useful for Role-Play quests).
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PostSubject: Re: Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill   Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:40 pm

still on the subject:

vampires as predators might be all well and good.
but it is completely outdated.
more and more in vampire literature indeed vampires have become sexy. it's all about love, vampires with supernatural charm making paltry humans fall in love with them, and the feeding on them a higher form of consumation of their love, with all the disturbing psychological conotations.

but i digress.

in game terms, it only takes 5 masquerade violations to loose the game. and there are not a whole lot of quests that have a masquerade redemption.

to break the masquerade because you felt like being a hunter, a predator, and force feed on some poor sap that strayed into the wrong alley and then were seen by another poor sap that hapened to enter the same alley at an unconvenient time seems extremely wasteful.

now if there were quests for the solving of which one of the option incurred a masquerade violation, provided you had a later quest with a masquerade redemption to balance it, that i would choose. (like the daydream believer, when you sicc him on the president).

but chancing a masquerade violation just to feed, too wasteful
not to mention the criminal violation and the police chase, which might prove lethal, and a very stupid way to incur a final death

(idea! what if you also acumulated criminal violations, gaining a police record?)
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PostSubject: Re: Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill   Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:56 pm

That's just the trouble. Now that distraction powers cost no blood, it is far easier to feed and seduction is far less necessary. I am playing as a Malk right now and the basic strategy is Babble on everybody, Hysteria on the most dangerous guy, shoot everybody except the hysterical guy in the head (most likely killing them in 1-2 hits), feed off the hysterical guy. Full blood as you move on to the next pack of baddies. I just got level 4 Dementation which basically guarantees a 1 hit kill, so the whole process just got faster.

Feeding is even easier with trance because it doesn't cause everybody to congregate like hysteria. Find two people. Trance Guy 1. Feed off Guy 2. Now that Guy 2 is woozy from bloodloss, feed off Guy 1.

Admittedly I can see how it would be harder with a toreador or brujah, but both of those also tend to have high unarmed attacks which means that they are more likely to be able to feed in combat.

Basically, bloodloss is not an obstacle. That's probably a good thing. The game would be annoying if you spent all of your time chasing a fix and none of it doing awesome stuff. But when it will take me just as long to track down a blooddoll as it will to snag the nearest civilian I say why spend the experience points on a skill that will make my requirements for feeding more stringent (only blood dolls) rather than less (for example, a mass distraction power, which increases your chances of feeding on anybody anywhere).
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PostSubject: Re: Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill   Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:07 pm

like i said somewhere else:

for example in downtown, i had to in no particular order, after completing a quest but before reporting to lacroix: check my ghoul, heather, for new dialogue options; check the tv to see if my latest quest had appeared on the news; go to venus to see if she had my cut of the confession club; check with mercurio if he had new weapons; and other stuff i don't remember.
so i spent as much time doing maintenance as i spent doing amazing things, doing quests.
during those off times i couldn't combat feed, i was in fear of breaking the masquerade, so you bet seduction, blood dolls, hookers, became all important, what with bloodloss.

but if you put in in xp terms...

i will admit outright to have cheated on xp.
i discovered the console code that allowed me to increase stats.
i... actually don't think i ever put on xp on seduction, no...

indeed i would spend my quest-earned points in abilities to solve following quests, yes...
if you put it that way, if you boil it down to where to spend xps earned in quests, i would have to agree with you, i wouldn't spend it on seduction, no...

so.

with bloodloss, i will hold to my guns that seduction has become very important indeed, allowing you to feed for free wherever the kine is without fear of breaking the masquerade.

but if i had to choose between applying xp earned in quests on abilities that will allow me to complete the following quests, i would probably choose that above spending xp on being able to feed more easily.

but... i don't know...
sorry to repeat myself:
i am enjoying this game to the hilt, every single little detail.
i don't much care to be able to do amazing things.
that is not my atitude towards gameplay.
boring maintenance work, check NPCs that you met in former quests but who became a part of your character's life, the examples i quoted, Mercurio, Heather, Venus, to see if they have new things to tell me; i love that some of your quests appear on the news, so i think watching tv an important part of the game; even radio, there is a new program batch for every new zone you open, so i will listen to it at least once; i could go on indefinitely.
exploring thoroughly every zone in search of every object, be it weapons or items that you can sell;
all those things matter to me.
and those things take time, and with bloodloss time is thirst, so being able to feed easily is paramount to me.
(and once again i defend investigation)

the amazing things that you do hold no water to me.
this is strange to you, but to me a quest is a duty, as finishing the day's work would be to you,
and those amazing things that you speak of are to me the means to achieve them.

namely combat, i am no fan of combat.
foes are obstacles in the way of completing my duties, of completing a quest, which i dispose off as swiftly and if that entails it as dirtily as i can manage, with all the unfair advantages i get out of being a vampire, but then again i see those as skills to achieve a duty, a means to an end, not as the amazing things you speak off.

i would rather spend xp on hacking and lockpicking than on combat feats, certainly rather than on deffense. (to that i have armor). (and yes even with vampire disciplines i am a gadget man, armor and wepons instead of fortitude as defence and for example blood cauldron as weapon).

which is not to say that i am devoid of a sense of wonder, that i do not appreciate things like vampiric disciplines.

on the subject of quests and amazing things to do

i also love the quests that you solve solely through talking, therefore i also love the social feats, persuasion, seduction, intimidation, for the same reason, they get the job done.
but i probably find those more amazing than any discipline that i can use in combat.
i am a person of words.


i am fond of books, and this game as a lot of words, it is in some respects similar to a book but because of the ocasional action bits it is more intresting.
and it resembles movie, which also have a lot of dialogue, even the most harebrained action movie has dialogue, but it is better because it is interactive, you play the protagonist.

sorry for rambling

this game is white wolf, this game is story telling at it's best, and in acordance to that a lot of quests are solved by role-playing, by dialogue, and i love this game for that

if you only play it for the amazing things you can do you are playing the wrong game, mister.

i would never play a brujah or a gangrel.
the fantastic things you can do with brawl mean nothing to me.
their severe limitations on social gaming are off puting.
you would only be playing a third of the game. (where is the ranged combat? where is the social gaming?)
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PostSubject: Re: Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill   Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:16 pm

since you mention malkavian, it is my favorite clan.

but not for the amazing things it can do, that you mention.

straight of, on the subject of deffending investigation, it is the clan that starts with the highest inspection, it is the bonus typical to the clan. it starts with both high perception and high inspection (am i mixing inspection with investigation?)

you can use, i think, dementation to convince hookers and blood dolls to feed for free (i am guessing this, i know that dominate allows that)

like you said, you can incapacitate foes so you combat feed, or you can blind people and force feed another person without breaking the masquerade.

dementation offers other solutions to solve quests that are solved strictly through dialogue.

in combat not only it has the possibility to kill instantly at a distance, you incapacitate foes and then kill them more easily, to fight dirty to fight swiftly

the loopy dialogue options are priceless.

AND

something i forgot to mention in the previous post.
the whole story that the game builds, a STORY (something that makes the game resemble a good book) and like in a good book the hint of a much broader and deeper world, of which you are just scratching the surface...

i love the malkavian insights, insights into the story, insights into the NPCs, insights into the nature of the broader and deeper world.

plus their insanity.

priceless.

if you only apreciate malkavians for those amazing things you mentioned...
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PostSubject: Re: Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill   Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:20 pm

more to the point:

i am glad that the weaker incapacitating abilities cost no blood
it would be frustrating to spend blood in order to be able to feed.
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PostSubject: Re: Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill   Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:25 pm

still on Malkavian:

could that
as a clan bonus they start with bonus at perception and at investigation so that they start with a clan bonus at inspection
and their insight as shown by their dialogue options
be linked?

plus, it all comes from their insanity, right? both?

which then causes that their discipline is dementation...

is there cause and effect?
or is it all connected and linked like a web?
as a malkavian would say, maybe...
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PostSubject: Re: Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill   Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:16 pm

Velvet,

What the hell are you talking about?

I said, "If you spent all your time hunting a fix and none of it doing cool stuff, the game would be boring."

I don't know what that has to do with anything that you then replied. You listed a bunch of cool stuff. Well, would you rather spend all your time hunting for a fix instead of doing that cool stuff? No? Then you have made my point for me.

Again, the trouble with seduction is it takes a shitload of time wandering around or going in and out of buildings (which includes watching those damn loading screens) when you can just duck in to the nearest alley and use trance or hysteria to suck on whoever you find there. As you say, "time is thirst," so why would you spend points on an ability that makes it cost MORE TIME to feed rather than spend the points on brawl or a distraction power, thus making feeding cause LESS TIME. It's a poor use of resources, both time and XP, to hunt blood dolls, especially since they do not always regenerate fast enough and you can risk accidentally killing them.

And even with all of the stuff you mentioned, you probably should be able to complete it without ever needing to feed on anybody except Heather. Leave your mission with full blood capacity (always feed when you have an opportunity to do so without violating the masquerade). Do some of the tedious maintenance that you need to do. Visit Heather. Take a drink. Do more maintenance.

And if you do happen to need a drink between, say, Heather and Mercurio, well you have the security guard in your apartment complex plus the streets of Santa Monica available to you en route. No need to go out of your way to visit a night club or track down a prostitute. Just grab whoever is convenient.

I think the PC has 15 blood points. Even if you spend no XP on stamina that's 40 minutes before you even have to be concerned, and another 15 before you are in the red zone. If you spent the XP that you spent on seduction on dementation, you could cause an entire street full of people to convulse with laughter over and over and over again, rendering all advantages of seduction moot. AND you don't have to keep improving it to keep up with the scaling difficulty of new areas. In Chinatown I will still be feeding at-will on just about anybody I choose in the middle of a crowd of cackling idiots for the same 30 xp. If you want to use seduction to do that you'll need seduction at 9 or 10 which means 73 or 57 xp and you're still SoL if you have already drunk from the few blood dolls that are available.

I like that basic distraction abilities cost no blood, as well, mostly because I love running through the streets making random people laugh their asses off. But it does make seduction basically a pointless feat.

The primary point that I have been making is that CE makes bloodloss LESS of an obstacle. Free distraction powers mean that you don't have to spend blood to get blood. Finding blood on the streets has never been hard, but with free distraction powers there is no cost for failure, so you can just walk around trancing everybody you see. Since even the most powerful abilities have a cost of only one bloodpoint, slaughtering your enemies and keeping one alive to bring you back to max blood is trivial. That also makes the game a lot easier, since you can freely use/recharge every single discipline at your disposal on every other goon you fight.

By the way, in what universe does it make any sense to say "I like Malkavians but not because the can do awesome stuff. I like them because" and then list a bunch of awesome stuff they can do? Do you come from a planet where crazy dialogue options and dementation powers are not awesome? (No, you do not, because such a planet is a logical impossibility.) Also, saying "Malkavians have a high inspection feat" is not a defense of inspection. It's just a statement of fact. Like Toreador have a bonus to seduction or Brujah have a bonus to brawl. The fact that a clan has a bonus to some ability does not make it more useful.

Finally, the whole point of having the different clans and abilities is to appeal to different playstyles. Please explain why somebody who likes different awesome stuff than you (e.g. fighting, a major part of the game no matter how you play) is "playing the wrong game," particularly since your own description of the game makes it sound about as appealing as running to the super market for milk and bread.
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PostSubject: Re: Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill   Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:27 am

You make some valid points.
Well, a lot of them, actually.

In my defence I can only go personal.

Let me say that Malkavians appeal to me because I identify with them.
Quoting you:
"By the way, in what universe does it make any sense to say "I like Malkavians but not because the can do awesome stuff. I like them because" and then list a bunch of awesome stuff they can do? Do you come from a planet where crazy dialogue options and dementation powers are not awesome? (No, you do not, because such a planet is a logical impossibility.)" I inhabit such planet, even though I can make the test of reality and know that the world is not really like this.
Indeed to me such things are as common place run-of-the-mill as: "as running to the super market for milk and bread.", and that to me can be much more dangerous and taxing than anything you get to do on this game.
I live in an upside world where the banal things of life seem taxing and dangerous, and the awesome stuff Malkavian vampires do seems run-of-the-mill.
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PostSubject: Re: Seduction, the ultimately obsolete skill   Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:35 am

I play this games to be more myself, not to be more than myself.
I AM more like a malkavian vampire, and in the real world I cannot be myself.
Worse, the real world appears a strange and dangerous place, the World of Darkness feels more like home to me.

But one thing that is true in the real world which translates to the virtual world is, I am a pacifist.
Indeed you are right when you claim styles of play.
My style is, I don't care for combat, but if combat is inevitable I will play as dirtily as necessary to end it before it has really begun, like trancing a monster and then blowing it to smithereens before it even has a chance to see me let alone charge me let alone engage me in combat.

In my upside down world,
indeed a skill that to me seems supernatural, a skill that I don't have and that I yearn to have, that... I could ramble on.
A skill that really I appreciate that this game puts at my disposal, the only skill that gives me the hots, the only skill that allows me to be more than myself, that I lack and I desire, is seduction.

I can't help being too honest for my own good.

Seduction is indeed a supernatural skill to me, beyond my ken, that I appreciate having in the game, since I lack it in real life.
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