Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 | Toreador | Stream+Outstar

There are true visionaries among the Clan of the Rose, but it also contains its share of one-hit wonders and posers embraced in a moment of fleeting passion. All of them are cursed to spend eternity between the short-lived bliss of true beauty…

toreador vampire the masquerade bloodlines 2 vtmb2

Toreadors. The clan of the rose. The clan of the creators. The beautiful, the talented, the art and beauty loving vampires Anne Rice herself would love to believe in. Or are they indeed the ones who inspired her? For Lestat is clearly a Toreador.

Clan Curse: Every clan has a curse. Toreadors are no exception. Their weakness is their keen sense of nothingness, boredom. They need the humans around them, they crave feeling human. And, without, in isolation, you’ll find yourself having harder time regaining any willpower so very needed for your powers, gifts.

Clan Powers: 

Presence – Supernatural charisma, essentially just mind control

  1. Awe – You’ll be able to draw everyone in, everyone’s undivided attention is yours, making them, for a short while, unaware of what’s going on, for… You’re here.
  2. Entrance – Much like Awe, it’ll make people mesmerized by you, but in this case, people, admirers, will follow you, shielding you, distracting your enemies, hiding you away.

Celerity – Supernatural speed and dexterity, beyond even the vampire standards

  1. Unseen Storm – Essentially a dash. You can dodge, disappear, knock people out. You can, quite literally, dash in supernatural speed.
  2. Accelerate – Everything seems to slow down on you, while in truth, you’re the one moving in supernatural speed.

If you care to listen more on technical in-game side of Toreadors, and even some actual game nuances, here’s the official stream by Paradox:

And now onto Outstar’s video:

She goes on the deep-dive of Toreador history, and I’m not going to re-tell it here, because you can read wikipedia for it, so instead just listen to her tell it.

Just one thing I disagree with very much: I was never enticed in seeing them as humane or good vampires for that matter. Their beauty alone told me they probably can’t be trusted all that much, that from such perfection there must come depravity of some kind. And in first Bloodlines game, I feel like I got it confirmed time and again. Same goes for the Clan Novel, but I can’t claim any expertise here. In my book they were always the gorgeous, charismatic imps. Devil’s little sisters and brothers.

 

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Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 | Tremere | Outstar

Tremeres are the blood mages. They’re highly mistrusted, often even hated by the other Clans. For there is no limit to what magic can do…

Listen, I love this woman and the way she explains clans. And I really hope she explains more clans, not just the five we’ll be able to play. Because I want to pass along all of them to you and my friends, so that everyone gets this easy but quality introduction onto the best things on earth. 

So here’s one on clan Tremere, since we finally got the reveal!

In the first Bloodlines game my first pics were Malkavian, then Nosferatu. And only after that I picked up Tremere, but I absolutely see what she’s saying. I loved playing a Tremere, the way they powers were, the control you had over things around you. But that could be just me speaking from a point of one’s-insane and the other’s-scary, for Malkavians are hard to play due to things that they say, that you might not yet know (it’s easier to play a Malkavian on, say, a second go, because then you can really appreciate their insight from insanity) yet. And Nosferatus are hard to play, because you have to remain hidden at all times, people are horrified by you. Tremere is indeed a good starter.

 

ED |RedBull Summer Edition | Coconut-Berry

redbull coconut berry good vibesMy my, but what a day it was.

I’m having a very, very stressful couple of weeks that are really putting everything to the test: my resolve, my sanity, my coping mechanisms. So I take walks. It’s pretty much the only thing I can do, and it’s the one thing that does seem to have an effect, as much as I’d like to deny it in the face of depression.

Yesterday I got into the store thinking I need to get bread anyway, might as well give myself for moral stability, thinking it’s going to be a kinder egg (don’t you judge me) or a Monster Mango Loco which is among my top favorites (until someone hands me sour apple or blueberries). Instead I found this.

RedBull, white can, Summer Edition, Coconut-Berry flavor. Coconut is that thing where it can be great or it can be vile when it comes to drinks, so I was a little reluctant to waste what little money I had in the budget of “sanity“, but figured, I will possibly enjoy the new experience, even if I won’t enjoy the drink, so I snagged it.

The liquid inside is gorgeous light sky blue, which is probably not a good thing, but I love that color a lot. The taste? Coconut is very present, but the berries make all the difference between the good and the vile. I had carbonated coconut drinks before, and those were as nasty as they get. This one’s definitely delicious, and I do think it’s the berries that save it. Because it leaves you with an aftertaste and give it a refreshing punch, rather than being overwhelmingly creamy, as coconut flavors are.

So, my verdict is:

5/5, would drink many.

P.S. On top of that, I realized how tough it is to be a teenager. I know that in the face of American-brand racist violence this might be nothing, but I witnessed this woman yell at two teens who were browsing commercial magazines, silently talking to one another, on a public bench by a basketball court, which is also public, not fenced or anything. In her own words, these two, by sitting there doing nothing were: loitering, disturbing kids from playing basketball (the court was absolutely empty, implying kids were scared of two teen guys), and why are they even sitting here, they’re not playing, they need to go away or she’ll call police. Well, I was a little bothered by it, not gonna lie… So I crossed the path of grass, something I hate doing due to many, many reasons, and asked her if she’s from city council. After she confirmed she is not, I suggested I’ll wait for cops with her, because these benches are absolutely always occupied. And I wish she’d come yell at leering old men who come watch kids play exerting games instead of two guys who were, for real, doing absolutely nothing. I also realized it makes me very pissed when someone, while you’re talking in a steady tone, are trying to overyell you with their shit-arguments. Lady I get it, teenagers seem all thugs to you. But they’ll continue growing resenting ladies like you now. I get it too that kids might have been feeling reluctant to play games on the court with these boys sitting there, but I saw those same kids tell off another teen when he asked them, kindly, to not ride bikes on court while they were playing. Just because you’re feeling high and mighty in the moment, doesn’t absolutely mean you’re right. Please try and catch your impulses that come out of frustration, and think whether there’s any legitimate basis to feel that way.
P.P.S. No, the two fellas said nothing, one laughed when she suggested calling cops, but that was the laugh of “you’re kidding, right?”, they didn’t tell her off, they didn’t say a thing. Yes, they looked like they’re not the quiet type, but you know what, they were, because while the lady yelled at me, for daring question her, they picked their backpacks up and scuttled away. Congratulations, lady, you sure showed them and us all, how all teens are horrible, and all adults are so understanding and trustworthy. Yes indeed.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 | Clan Reveal | Tremere

Am I crazy, or have ParadoxInteractive really not made a stream before they actually updated the web page and uploaded the introduction trailer? Because fro Brujah, that was a hunt and fight against the time, gathering all the information after the stream.

Anyway, the second clan you will be able to play as after you upgrade your little Thinblooded self into a real b… vampire, is going to be the blood mages, the true and only, Tremere.

tremere vampire the masquerade bloodlines 2 vtmb2

In nights long before Seattle, the Tremere were something else. Back then, as occultists seeking immortality, they found a way to live forever – but not on their own terms. The heavy price they paid bound their magic to blood, with it becoming both the focus of their powers and the cost for using them. The mostly forgotten origin of their curse still colors their interactions with other Kindred, who mistrust them instinctually. History repeats itself for the Tremere, with war, suspicion and grudges marking both their origin and their modern nights.

So, without the stream, we know little to nothing about what tremere will be like. But we do know their powers!

First type is going to be Thaumaturgy:

  • Skewer – Will launch a small portion of vampire’s vitae at the feet of the enemy. It’ll then errupt into spikes, impaling and killing the enemy. Upon disolving, blood will return to the vampire.
  • Purge – Victim starts vomiting blood, which effectively deals damage to them, and I guess disrupts them enough for you to inflict some more from the side or make a run for it, if that’s the case. A stream of blood from the victim will then again return to the vampire.
  • Blood Boil – Sears blood, causing victim to explode and deal damage to those around them too. Blood from all victims will then return to the vampire.

Second type is, of course, Auspex:

  • Aura Sense – This was one of my all time favorite powers. It allows you to see auras through walls, making it a great sneaking companion. Here you’ll be able to read crowds too, see weaknesses, and mark individuals you’ll then have easier time following through crowds.
  • Psychic Projection – Allows you enter astral form and explore area unseen.

So, these were fairly predictable, weren’t they? I’m happy about them, not gonna lie, and Tremere is definitely on to-play list.

log | Dryad Tree

In the middle of my town, right by the pedestrian crosswalk, dumpsters, and a parking lot, there grows a wild apple tree. Every spring it builds so many blossoms, that you can barely make out branches, let alone any leafs. Bees do love this tree greatly.

As a result, during the summer it builds up an abundance of these nasty green apples that birds love. So many, in fact, that it’s fairly common to see branches droop and even break. And they refuse to fall. Some will, but majority will remain, proud high up. And so it’ll remain not just through autumn, but in winter too, feeding the winter folk: birds, even some brave animals who do by with a half-frozen apple where they can reach it. Birds love this tree greatly too, thus.

And then in spring it sort of just… Shrugs off everything left over the winter and starts sprouting leafs and blossoms again, to restart the cycle.

So my belief is this. This tree here belongs to Dryad, for nothing seems to stop this giving child of nature, no storms, no children, no heavy burdens.

They tell us often we’re no trees, we can uproot ourselves and walk away. But you know what? If you’re not a tree, I still wish you a spirit of this tree, and I hope the both of us will take strength from this here one, a wild apple tree.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 | Clan Introduction Stream | Brujah

So then, the stream happened, and I summarized us some things from it. But go on ahead and watch it anyway: Paradox Interactive – Clan Introduction – Brujah

Brujah come in two types, duality so common in the vampire clans, even if one was to ignore Camarilla versus Sabbat. They’re all equally fire-brands, rebels, the organizers. But then, some would be called the Learned Clan, persuasive warrior scholars. Most of them have heard and researched the lore of an almost mythical legendary city in Africa, one where humans and vampires lived along, coexisting. But then, something happened, and it fell. At the heart of it, seizing power as it came, were Ventrues. So no matter if one’s a scholar Brujah, or a fighter, they all hate Ventrues equally.

The other kind of the Brujah are those who heard these stories, saw the ideals. And decided they like the drums of war better. They like the fight. Actions speak louder than words, after all… These are the punks, the rabble.

The path will be yours to choose. Regardless of which, you will still be the social animal, with overwhelming persuasive personality, and just as overwhelming strength.

The Curse of the Clan: Frenzy
They frenzy out fast, easily. If you played the first Bloodlines game, and went hungry, you witnessed it happen. Suddenly you saw red, you lost control, and you attacked the first pulse you found. In the moment of Frenzy Brujah is as close to invincible as one gets. They’re faster, at the peak of supernatural strength of any vampire… It’s all well and good if you like playing on the edge. But remember, getting back from this point with your humanity in tact will be very, very hard…

The choice of powers will be:
1. whatever power you will choose for your thinblood set.
2. potence: brute strength, earthshock that’ll create an earthquake around you. You can punch through walls, people, you can tear them limb by limb with your bear hands. You are the pinnacle of undead strength.
3. celerity: speed. The world will slow around you to a point where dodging bullets will become easy.

In the first VtM: Bloodlines game you were very much locked into being a very physical character. Now, in Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2, you will finally be the persuasive social animal with extreme presence, charisma, that you always were. And if they don’t like what you say anyway, just kick them through the ceiling and be done with it.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 | Confirmations | Brujah

Alright, we got our first clan out of the five full-blooded clans confirmed officially: Brujah. More about them later today on a stream, which I’ll write about too, of course, highlighting the most prominent or important parts to us.So, what’s a brujah, you ask?

They’re what I’d call “rough freedom fighters”. Rebels, Rabble, Rejects. They seek retribution, and rightness, they seek justice. Equality, even. So you’ll possibly find them around Anarch clans, as you probably already gathered from the promotional trailer. They’re not institution-loving law-followers. But they do remain part of the Masquerade, so be sure to keep those guns at the human size. We don’t want another gorilla sized dinosaur creature of a sheriff start thinking you’re here for sports.

Benefits of playing one of these bad boys and gals are: brute strength. If you’re a tanky player, and just like to sweep flies out of your way without taking too much damage yourself, this, apparently, is the clan for you. As I understand we’ll get three disciplines. One you’ll get as a thin-blood, and two more – once you become a clan-cursed vampire. Here’s the two from Brujah, each with their own unlockable and upgradable three more powers that I won’t get too into right now:

Potency: Apparently you’ll have strength coming out of your damn pockets, and it’ll be upgradeable too. One of the prominent powers is earthshock, that’ll knock the enemies off their feet.

Celerity: Speed. Everyone likes a bullet-dodging Neo kind of a vampire guy, right? Well, congratulations, you can too, with power called accelerate, that’ll slow the world around you.

Here’s a pretty great straight to the point little article on PC Games: [Vampire the Masquerade Confirmed Clan]

brujah vampire the masquerade bloodlines 2 vtmb2

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 | Interactive web page, blood packs, the embrace

Over at Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 official web page, if you register, you’ll right away notice an interaction happening with you in a very old-school type of web-browser kind of a game.

vampire the masquerade bloodlines 2 kindred progression blood packs

You basically level up, and claim rewards as you do. Currently there aren’t many, since everything’s locked due to, well, the game itself being deep in development, but I feel that’s to our advantage. The sooner we start, the further ahead we’ll get, come on!

So, what do you do. First, please register via my referral [here], and feel free to share your referral in my comments for others to see, maybe someone will prefer you over me, and we might even do some contests of our own some time in the future, when there’s palpable means to get VtM rewards to you.

After you’ve done that, copy your own referral, paste it to me, and to your social media. Then, so you’d not have to twiddle your thumbs while you wait, go roam the web page itself, for there’s hidden bloodpacks around. Bloodpacks look something akin to data packs in old Assassin’s Creed games, with swirls, twirls, and geometry. Here’s an example image:

vampire the masquerade bloodlines 2 kindred progression blood packs preview

I personally don’t know if the blood packs are randomly placed, or are they always in the same place. Let me know by going to preorder page, that’s where I found the special one, which looks exactly the same, but more gold tinted.

And since all the rewards are currently locked up, you can’t level up too much. Aka even when you get a friend to register via your referral, the reward will not unlock itself (it shows the infinite symbol, so that might be the reason for it too), since you, as I understand, can’t just yet exceed the level. But I’m sure they’ll boost us forwards according to the amount of blood and kindred we collected as the “game” progresses, so I’m not worried about that.

So, what do you say? Shall we?

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 | Predictions with Outstar

I really enjoy Outstar’s videos. She gives a great point of view that most of us here likely do not have, and she has knowledge enough to be a reliable source. So, let’s discuss this, shall we?

According to her, there’ll be 6 clans confirmed in the vanilla version of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 (meaning: with no expansions, dlc’s, just base game). By the information we have, she simply counts thinbloods as another clan, and for the sake of consistency, I wont. Apparently after these five there might be more clans added for plays later with expansions, but base game owners should get those clans for free, even if they won’t purchase the expansion itself.

We here both agree, that it’s likely a diablerie act that’ll allow us to evolve out of a thinblood into a full-fledged clan vampire. It’s an illegal act under the laws of Camarilla, and it’s not even yet confirmed, so hey, who knows. She and I both thought of Lilith, and maybe she can grant such a majestic power through no means at all. After all, we’ve met Cain in the first Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines game. Only makes sense!

Another great theory that a primogen will allow such a thing to happen. Primogens are the clan leaders, so they definitely have the power to grant you an exception to the law. And, say, they hated this one dude very much, and they liked you just as much… Problem?

Okay, so, onto the clans. The guesses are based on the images on the main page of the Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2, look under the clans, there’ll be icons with “Coming Soon“, that’ll change the images.

So, the first image. On the stream I talked about last time here, they let it slip that Toreadors will be playable characters. It makes sense, I guess, but it could also fit Ventrue clan, don’t you think? It’s just that we don’t have a better image for Toreadors, so this will have to do, I guess.

Next image gives me Sebastian LaCroix vibes, and it’s most likely Ventrues. Or, as Outstar says, possibly Lasombra, according to some theories. And while she debunks them, claiming lack of shadows, too high-and-mighty public eye of CEO spot, I must say, I still think it would absolutely fit those strange vampires, and would really make me happy and intrigued to have them as playable characters. After all, they were darkness worshiping proud nobles, and that’ll tie in later in this rant of mine.

The third image is that of… carnage, of some kind. So, animalistic, frenzied vampire? Brujah or Gangrel? Did you notice how dual those images are? It could fit one, or fit another. Brujah and Gangrels are very animal-like beings, they’re aggressive, often anarchistic. If the glove fits…

Fourth image is among my favorite. It’s a blood magic ritual. Tremere, eh? Could be Giovanni, of course, but who cares about them? And as Outstar put it, quoting developers, there’ll be the face-punching fellas, and there will be the mages, wizards of vampire sort. So, ah. Yeah. But I think this could also fit a Tzimisce clan too, since they’re often ritualistic too. What do you think?

And the fifth image looks like sewers. So, I’d like to believe it’s Nosferatu. Outstar claims it could be Lasombra, but I disagree over the point I mentioned for the second image. Lasombra are like Ventrues, noblemen and noblewomen, people in power, proud, even if they prefer remaining in the shadows. I just don’t see how their ego would fit through a manhole.

So, what are your thoughts on these five images? What clans you think they could fit the best? Or do you prefer not guessing, and just waiting for the good stuff to happen?

Also, hey, do your vampire brother a favor, come and be embraced by me: VtM Bloodlines – It’s a game-ified way of being a part of a… well, cult, clan. I’ll tell you more about in an upcoming post, because I’m really enjoying this kind of interaction!

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2 | Thinblood as your origin

Just yesterday Paradox had a stream on Twitch discussing the gameplay and your character story in the upcoming Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines 2. Every week we can expect one more of the streams, and one more of the playable clans disclosed, of which there apparently are going to be five. Even though someone said six. Here’s the first one, about Thinbloods, in case you don’t know where to catch these fangy boys: ParadoxInteractive

Thinbloods: Though the ages they were distrusted, shunned and hated. How can you trust someone whose allegiance, clan, origin, family you do not know? These beings are just vampires enough to not be humans, but they’re weak, their blood is thin. Some even consider them an evil omen, bringers of the End Times, the Gehenna. And due to the increase in number of these thinbloods in the past couple of decades, some believe that the end is close.

We will start the game as thinbloods. According to Senior Product Manager Florian Schwarzer, it is so for three great reasons:

  1. Being forced to choose a clan at the very beginning of the game is unfair to those who are new, or short on information. This way you’ll get to know what clans are like, and actually make a choice to side with one, rather than be thrown in one with basic descriptions. For what clan you are really affects your game play. People react to you differently, you get different dialogue options. For instance, if you started Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines with a Toreador clan, and then went for Nosferatu, you likely had a hard time adjusting to walking through sewers, finding entrances into public places, without entering public eye.
  2. It’s an attempt to make you truly feel the power dynamics. In VtM:B and in pen-and-paper games of VtM too, you always start as the fledgling, the newbie. Power dangles above your head, and can crush you at any given time. To them you are worthless. Being a thinblood will hype this sense even more, for you’re below even that. You’re at the very bottom of the grimy floor of this food chain. But you’ve got just enough of what it takes to punch all that condescending power right in the fangy face.
  3. It’s a very interesting and unique way to play a vampire. For you’ll learn what it’s like to relinquish your humanity and become a monster. It’s not as uncommon a theme as they put it in the video, but I’m sure VtM will make it pop off.

What you were in your human life will matter too. Much like those unofficial patches that gave you a bio, here too you’ll have a past. You might meet friends down the road. Or foes, for that matter.

You will have powers. Thinbloods don’t have the Clan Curse, so to speak, but even at the start of the game you will get to choose a power you’ll be able to wield and master, and retain… later in the game. These are what clan people call: the weird powers. Examples would be affinity to bats; power over mist and fog; telekinesis.

And no, you will not spend your whole game being Thinblood. But how, you’re asking me? Via the sacrilegious act of diablerie: draining another vampire to death. BUT, they haven’t confirmed this yet. So there might be Lilith or Cain or some other vampiric deity granting you powers, who knows!

So yeah. Next week for more, yes? This stream was on Friday, so if luck has it, I’ll see you on Saturday.

xx
Blackwood, your friendly Nosferatu