Vampire: Bloodlines - which patch to use?

I first bought Vampire : Bloodlines, and progressed past the first “Hub” area. I believe I just got to Downtown.

I stopped playing when I heard there was a patch in the works, and now I want to start playing again.

Which patch should I use? I think there are about 3 different patches out there now…

Also, will any of these patches invalidate my savegames?

just go ahead and remove it from your hard disk now and save yourself the pain of playing that game.

I enjoyed the game. Combat, perhaps not so much. But the dialogue and character interactions were top notch.

Go ahead and use the 1.5 UNofficial patch on top of the 1.2 official version. The guy that’s doing the unofficial patches has just released a v1.6 to Fileplanet, which will be available as soon as FP put it up. The others are there too.

That’s what I’d do too.

You might need to start with a fresh game though.

I would say play it up until the sewers and then uninstall it. There’s some good stuff in there, it just deteriorates at the end.

Agreed.

As someone who will get around to playing this someday, does it become technically unplayable at the end or does it just get boring/repetitive/insanely hard/some combination/all of the above?

Once you reach the sewers, it becomes rather mindless and boring. It feels like playing the the original Doom from that point on.

I don’t fully agree with that. Although combat heavy I thought the China Town portion was well done.

By fresh install, do you mean the patch will invalidate my savegames?

I don’t know if it will invalidate your save games but the game itself has been noted for being buggy which means your save games might not work well with the patch. If I were you I’d do a reinstall, patch, then start from the beginning.

There’s still some good stuff beyond that as well – especially the Chinatown stuff. It’s just that there’s a lot of lame and difficult combat in between…

Instead of quitting at the sewers, I recommend that you enable cheats at that point and continue onwards.

I finished the entire game, and enjoyed it. I agree that the interesting character interactions decline as the game proceeds, but the combat and plot conclusion were still worth completing the game. Be sure to develop your fighting skills to their fullest, whatever clan you play. You’ll need a combat monster to win, no question about it.

I thought it worth playing. Yeah, it’s combat-heavy at the end, to the point where it’s more action-RPG than pure RPG. That’s annoying, seeing as how you can easily build a smooth-talking, diplomatic type (a type vampires are famous for being), who will get bounced of a flippin’ wall with all his frilly shirts and fancy-pants words. The Chinatown demon don’t give two shits about your dialectic aplomb, Lestat.

But, going into the game knowing that, I don’t think it’s so bad. If you don’t suck too bad at twitchy boss fights, anyway. One thing I liked was, you could develop your character so that he was more cerebral early on (when the game favored it) and more combat-oriented later. You have to be careful and min-max a little. But hey, isn’t life just one big min-maxing quest anyway? Since there’s so much overlap in how skills develop, you can pump up a lot of stats by spending less points on lower levels of complementary attributes than pumping up one alone (except at the very beginning, where point distribution during character creation is better served by pumping up one skill in any section). You build up your Scholarship, read a bunch of stats-boosting books, and come out ahead on the points you put into Scholarship vs. the points you get back from the books. It’s not too hard to progress from smooth-talkin’ vamp who beats a biter down with an ‘luminum bat to gun-totin’ yee-hawing necksucker from a bad John Carpenter film, just when it’s needed.

Then, you do it all over again as a Malkavian.

Vampire would have been a great game if it had been more than 40% complete when it went on sale, maybe even one of the best. It had great writing, well-considered dialogue trees, moral decisions that actually gave me pause for thought, and a lush and believable world.

But so much of the game was broken or half-implemented. I’d be interested to know exactly how much has been fixed with these patches. Do they, for example, provide facial animations for the many, many instances in which they were missing? Is the sneaking system working, such that walls do now actually occlude you from sight? Does the game no longer drop to under 4 frames a second on high-spec PCs? How about the poor design choices, like having long dialogue trees before a boss-fight?

(Hello QT3, by the way.)

Most of that is far too much to expect from a guy who’s supporting a game he didn’t make. The unofficial patches fix only what is easy to get to without the source code. Luckily, a lot of the game logic in Bloodlines is located in the unwrapped Python scripts - including (strangely) the lip-synching, which he has actually worked on a bit. Most of the fixes in the patches (and there are a lot of fixes and tweaks in 1.3-1.6) are quest/dialogue related.

I don’t understand the hate for Bloodlines. I thought it was a great game, even with the last quarter being all about the combat. I still found it very atmospheric, with some great writing and characters, and interesting quests.

Maybe, by some miracle, you avoided the bugs and performance issues that had me quitting in disgust after every session. That said, I did absolutely love what parts of the game weren’t borked and I did eventually complete it.

But didn’t the little obvious problems with the game really, really annoy you? Like the menu music being played in grating cacophony with the world music when you went to your character-sheet; the way dialogue unequipped your weaponry; the way the loading screen slowly faded into the game, so that, if you saved immediately after a long pre-boss-fight piece of blarb, you lost several seconds of vital combat time.

I did actually complete it, unpatched, and the only real problems I experienced were an unstartable quest, the door bug in the tutorial, and the hard CTD at the end of the Society of Leopold, for which I had to use the console workaround. I certainly don’t remember ever quitting in disgust. That’s not to say that there weren’t any other bugs occurring, but I never really noticed them.

I did enjoy the jerky physics reset bugs; everytime you walk into the Chinatown restaurant you see the hostess’ dress start blown up and then it settles downward after the physics kick in. I just thought of it like my character had a Marilyn Monroe style gust of sewer wind coming up whenever he walked near a woman with a dress in the game. Also the boobs do it sometimes too, that’s a little more disturbing.