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Vampires Live - 1/21/2010

My Clan Code: 21Q1Z

FREE - 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.

The Costs

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).

Claning Up

Speaking of clans, here's a few pointers about clan members.


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.

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.