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How The Elder Scrolls 6 Could Improve Skyrim's Vampires

GameRant 8/12/2022 Anna C
© Provided by GameRant

In The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, players can become a vampire, thus taking on all the changes that come with it. This gradual transformation occurs when infected with Sanguinare Vampiris, a disease that stems from the Daedric Prince, Molag Bal. It allows the player to cast a range of vampiric spells. However, it is still a curse, so the condition does come with its fair share of drawbacks.

Being a vampire in Skyrim was always debated about among members of the community. This is because the feature’s mechanics underwent multiple changes from the vanilla game to the Dawnguard DLC. Aside from that, some players found the vampire buffs, debuffs, and powers to be lacking. And such matters should be taken into account, especially now that The Elder Scrolls 6 is confirmed.

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Vampires in The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

In the base game of Skyrim, vampire characters suffered from a weakness to sunlight, which reduced their health, magicka, and stamina levels until nightfall. It also reduced the regeneration rate of these attributes by 100%, dissuading vampire characters from going out during the day. Being a vampire also meant having a permanent weakness to fire, and this stat only worsened the longer the player went without feeding. The same goes with stats affected by the weakness of sunlight.

There are four stages to vampirisim in Skyrim, with Stage Four having the worst status effects. This particular stage also prompts normally non-hostile NPCs to attack the player as they’re now aware of their vampirism (at least, in base game Skyrim). Vampire players advance vampire stages for every day they don’t consume blood. Thus, it’s imperative that they find a host to feed on as doing so will revert them to Stage One. That said, there is some merit to progressing all the way to Stage Four.

Vampire characters are granted unique passive effects and abilities, such as immunity to all diseases, buffs to the Sneak and Illusion skills in Skyrim, as well as a total of five unique vampire powers. However, only three of the five powers are available at all times. The other two unlock during Stage Three and Stage Four, meaning players will have to plot out their feeding times to maximize the use of the latter skills.

The introduction of Skyrim’s Dawnguard DLC nerfed the negative status effects that came with vampirism and also stopped NPCs from attacking on-sight at Stage Four. It also buffed vampire builds by allowing players to change into Vampire Lords, a monstrous form with its own skill tree. These changes were met with mixed reception. All that said, it’s worth discussing how The Elder Scrolls 6 could improve the game’s vampire features.

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Change Up Vampire Buffs and Debuffs

First, it might be worth rethinking the distribution of buffs and debuffs for vampires. In Skyrim’s system, vampire players were rewarded with new powers when they neglected to feed (that is, reached Stages Three or Four), which seems counterintuitive. It might be better to switch things around.

Perhaps fed vampires in Skyrim should be granted the complete arsenal of skills. Though, on the flip side, this could make them easier to notice in crowds or worsen their susceptibility to sunlight. It would also make sense to only allow players to change into their Vampire Lord form when they’re sufficiently fed. Doing this would make for a more intuitive vampire mechanic without removing the drawbacks that naturally come with a Daedric curse.

Add to the Vampire Skill Tree from Skyrim

If The Elder Scrolls 6 were to make the Vampire Lord form more difficult to attain, then it should be a powerful ability. In Skyrim, the Vampire Lord skill tree had a total of eleven perks. The next installment could add more and even create multiple branches for different specializations. This allows for more varied gameplay among vampire players in Skyrim.

Drawing inspiration from the Skyrim vampire mod, Sacrosanct, an expanded skill tree could include perks that allow for flight, better sneaking, and even an entirely new magic system unique to Vampire Lords. Said magic system could even scale based on how much blood the player has consumed, incentivizing them to keep feeding despite the downsides that come with it.

Include More Vampire Clans and Related Elder Scrolls Quests

Lore-wise, The Elder Scrolls 6 could improve vampires by increasing their presence in the game, allowing for more content surrounding them. The contents of the Skyrim book “Immortal Blood” tell of the many different vampire clans and covers across Tamriel. As such, The Elder Scrolls 6 could introduce the player to different – perhaps conflicting – vampire factions.

This opens the door to branching questlines. Perhaps one faction seeks to enslave humanity, while the other refuses to treat humans like cattle. Alternatively, the vampire questlines could be more morally gray, presenting the player with ethical dilemmas that inevitably come with Molag Bal’s curse. The Elder Scrolls’ vampires and their sense of morality have so much potential as elements of a narrative because of their complex nature, and quests like these can highlight the nuances and difficulties that come with vampirism.

Other Minor Tweaks for the Vampires of The Elder Scrolls 6

Finally, there are some quality-of-life improvements in Skyrim that would help make the vampire experience far more enjoyable. For one, many in the community dislike how easily distinguishable vampires are from normal humans. Their glowing eyes give away their true nature, taking away the surprise when they reveal that they’re vampires. In the game, vampires are supposedly able to blend in with the crowd, so they should look like normal humans (with a few subtle differences).

Aside from this, there should be armor pieces or potions available to alleviate (at least slightly) the effects of vampire weaknesses. Perhaps wearing a cloaked set of armor could make vampire players less susceptible to debuffs during the day. Alternatively, the player could brew potions that offer the same effect, albeit temporarily. These minor changes could make playing as a vampire a smoother and more fun experience, which is something Skyrim didn’t fully deliver on. Hopefully, The Elder Scrolls 6 does things differently.

The Elder Scrolls 6 is currently in development.

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