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Malkavian Reveal Stream, Tons of info!

  • 29 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 224
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A very interesting stream with lead writer Brian Mitsoda, as always we have a bullet point listing of the highlights below. The Bloodlines 2 part of the stream starts about 2:08 mark. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

RPS: Malkavians confirmed for Bloodlines 2: we talked to Brian Mitsoda on the new clan reveal

  • 29 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 126
  • 0 Comments
Brian Mitsoda spoke to RPS about his thought process for Malkavians this time around and how he isn't going to be as flippant with them or what it means to have mental illness. My, and others, main concern is it being another carbon copy "fishmalk" which he seems to directly address. Which to myself at least is comforting it seems he will take a bit different in direction. Here is a snip;

 

Mitsoda says that this time their approach to the Malks will be thinking more about their insight and how it would affect a person who had it, and not presenting it as hilarious. “I think in general we kind of are going to be approaching the Malks in Bloodlines 2 as more playing up the kind of darker aspect of having that network of voices and that insight, and almost a little bit of paranoia,” he said. “I think there will be things that people will like about the Malks, the same things that they liked about the first one in that they said things that were very strange.”

He said that, since Malkavians are vampires, they’re not going to be a direct one-to-one with human mental illness, but they have been doing a significant amount of research. They looked into a lot of different mental illnesses, read medical papers, as well as looking at the experience from the point of view of people who actually do hear voices. And, because this is a work of fiction, they’ve been looking at how mental illness is portrayed in other works of fiction (Mitsoda was unimpressed by the majority of portayals in films, for example). “I think in general we can’t focus on any one mental illness, so we have to keep the Malks to our kind of interpretation of their experience as far as their insight, their network, the tragedy of it.” Malkavians are also an uncommon Clan in Seattle, so there’s already an inherent bias against them in vampy society that you’ll be dealing with.

It should be fairly obvious, then, that the Malkavians are going to be a challenge for the team. On the one hand, a few loud voices in the community are convinced that the Malks won’t be in Bloodlines 2, and if they are they’ll be “ruined” by political correctness gone, ahaha, mad. On the other, there’s a very good argument that in 2019 a character whose signature trait is mental illness is probably not going to come off well. As I write this, it seems to me that Malkavians are very much like a simulated nuclear war, in that the only winning move is not to play. But that doesn’t sound like it was an option.

WoDCast #11 - Justin Achilli Interview

  • 28 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 257
  • 0 Comments
Justin had over a hour long interview with us, discussing his work at White Wolf, the stereotype tropes in classic VtM, the possibility of a V30, his thoughts on the Tremere changes in V5 and what he is working on now. It was a insightful and entertaining interview. Give us your feedback below;

 

Why Malkavian’s Will Be the Last Clan in Bloodlines 2

  • 25 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 521
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I understand the grasp why folks want the Nosferatu to be the last clan revealed. I really do. They are fun to play in table top and if built right can be an almost unstoppable murder machine in the original Bloodlines. And who does not like to play a figurative angel of death in the World of Darkness?

However, I feel several factors are in play as to why Malks, not the Nos will be the last clan revealed.

Before I jump into that, let me quickly address those holding out their last shred of hope for a clan not in the “original 7”. The most popular of these seems to be the Lasombra. And while I like that clan, and the fact half of them finally got a clue and ditch the Sabbat in V5, the comments of Florian Schwarzer, Senior Product Manager at Paradox Interactive seems to kill that idea. He said in the Ventrue reveal video that while they are very open to lesser playable clans and bloodlines in future games or DLC they are focusing on the core 7 clans for a Bloodlines 2 release. You can see that video here.

So, with that out of the way let’s talk numbers and statistics. As if we like it or not, the bean counters do influence game design. And I am sure during pre-production in early 2016 the polls and survey’s that have been done over the years (which you can Google) about Bloodlines 1 show that Tremere and Malk were pretty consistently the 2 most played clans in the game. While Nos was, again fairly consistently in these surveys, the least played clan in BL1.

So that begs the question. As a game designer, would you spend your limited resources on a least played clan on the sequel of the game you are making or one of the most popular, played? Exactly. It does not make a lot of sense from a design standpoint. Nor a PR standpoint either, yes you want to include as many new players as you can but also want to romance former BL1 fans. And you do that by including the most popular, played clans, Tremere (already announced) and Malkavians.

POLYGON: Bloodlines 2 on reinvigorating a cult classic

  • 22 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 131
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In a new Polygon interview some interesting tidbits are released. First voyeurism is going to be a big part of Bloodlines 2. Apparently stalking who you are going to feed on and observing them will reveal a lot of info about them. Also they talk about the NPCs having lives outside of the player interactions. Implied there may be The Sims level of automaton in their actions and reactions. If that is indeed the case that is going to be very interesting. Here is a snip;
 

Ellison says that, with Bloodlines 2, voyeurism will be a key to the game’s unfolding and elastic narrative.

“We do look at it as if you can significantly affect the world,” Ellison says, “and one of the ways that we look at our world is that we are trying to make it really reactive to the way that you play and how you act as a vampire. The more that you break the Masquerade, the more consequences are going to come your way. The more that you’re out in the open, that people realize that there’s a fricking monster on the streets, the more afraid people get and the harder it is to feed.”

But voyeurism will also play into a unique series of side quests that Ellison herself is in charge of. As it turns out, the game’s main character isn’t the only newly minted vampire on the loose in Seattle.

“There are other vampires that have been made that night,” Ellison says, “and you can try to find them through the course of the game. Basically, I want to give you a sense of that person’s life, to allow you to say, ‘That could have been me.’ Essentially, we want to give you a variety of experiences in terms of what it means to be a vampire.”

“I’m really interested in investigating that transitional period,” Ellison continues, “of going from being a human into a vampire. What does that mean? What is vampire puberty like? [...] What about the problems they had when they were human? Are they made better or worse by becoming a vampire? Do they bring a lot of their human problems with them? What are problems that are like unique to being a vampire?”

Rik Schaffer Interview

  • 16 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 450
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Mr. Schaffer is the music composer for both Bloodlines 1 and now 2. He partook in a live stream Q&A by Outstar and thanks to Planet Vampire found a transcript. His answers are pretty curt and to the point. So don't expect a lot of in-depth answers, but it is still question illuminating musically speaking. Feel free to read and comment below.


Q: This has been probably asked a lot, but was the similarity between the VTM: Bloodlines Theme and Massive Attack's Angel intentional?
 
Rik Schaffer: Yep. When I started the project, that was the placeholder track they had in for like a year. They were married to it, but couldn't get the rights. They said make something similar. I hate copying artists, but made it kind of my own.

Q: Were you approached or working on CCP's World of Darkness game before it got cancelled?

Rik Schaffer: Never contacted me. I was working on ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) online but would have dropped everything to continue on a Bloodlines type MMO.

R: Be glad, Rik. CCP mismanaged the hell out of WoD MMO.

Rik Schaffer: MMO are dead.

R: Damn. Nice to know you're that passionate about the IP, though.

Q: Do you prefer composing music traditionally , while playing instruments, or do you do it digitally right now?

Rik Schaffer: I don't write music or read music. Self taught. Everything starts in my head, then the guitar and piano are enemies until I find it. With the atmosphere compositions, those were started on synths or non traditional instruments.

Q: What do you think of poems based on gameplay from games? What music should go with it? Say if it is based on Bloodlines?

Rik Schaffer: Poems of Bloodlines and Vampires? Dark, brooding, sexual, but not Count Chocula.

VentureBeat: With the Tremere, there will be blood (magic)

  • 10 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 133
  • 0 Comments
Where they fit

The Tremere were in the first Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines. And the clan was involved in one of the so-called “good” endings, Schwarzer said.

“That game introduced you to L.A. in an uneasy peace after a civil war among vampire factions. In that world of wary fighters, ambitious upstarts and broken monsters, the Tremere’s chantry was a place of stability and purpose. Of course, you could never be quite sure what that purpose really was — they’re vampires, after all. … ” Schwarzer said.

The traditional role of the Tremere in Vampire: The Masquerade is of a power behind the scenes, one that could be more foe than friend.

“One of the things that make the clan interesting to me is that the Tremere have changed over time. When you go back to the very beginning of Vampire: the Masquerade, the Blood Sorcerers felt a bit like antagonists: the soft-spoken, cultured ones that you’re never quite sure haven’t already decided which arcane experiment to bleed you dry for. Add to that the rigid, inscrutable organization — the ‘Pyramid’ — that backs them up, and you’re looking at a real menace even among vampires,” Schwarzer said.

But this resonated with players. So the Tremere evolved (which kinda fits their kit).

“Thing is: That also made them really interesting to players. So things shifted a bit,” Schwarzer said. “The Tremere are still distrusted — arguably for pretty good reasons. At the same time, they’re too powerful (and useful) to ignore: In many cities, they’re advisers or the proverbial power behind the throne. Very recently, the leaders of the Pyramid were assassinated. Suddenly, unlife as a Tremere has become a lot more dangerous — but also more free than ever before.”

Full article here

PC GAMER: The Masquerade—Bloodlines 2's first full-blood clan is the Brujah

  • 2 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 282
  • 0 Comments

In Vampire: The Masquerade—Bloodlines 2, you'll begin your unlife as a Thinblood with few mates, but eventually you'll be able to join one of five vampire clans, including the rebellious Brujah. They're the angry, righteous punks of the World of Darkness, and you can learn more about what their deal is in the reveal trailer above.

The Brujah are known as 'The Rabble' to the rest of the vampires, and they're not ones for institutions or authority. They used to be a clan of warrior scholars—you play as one in Redemption—but in the modern age they're viewed by the other clans as punks and troublemakers. 

 

There aren't many Brujah in Seattle, and most of them are what remains from failed Anarch movements. Anarchs reject the vampire establishment and, not surprisingly, it's a movement the Brujah find appealing. That means they aren't affiliated with Seattle's bloodsucking political factions, so they might be a good choice of clan if you want to be a bit of a wild card. They love a good brawl, too, and even host undead fight clubs. Their vampire powers also reflect this penchant for pugilism.  

Potency

  • You're big, you're tough and your muscles have muscles.
  • Fist of Caine gives you a punch even the big daddy of the vamps would be proud of. Knock down walls and throw people far. It's upgradeable, too. 
  • Beat up the ground with Earthshock, creating a shockwave and knocking down anyone that gets too close. Upgrading it will send out fissures that damage everyone nearby. 

Celerity

 

  • You're the speedster of the vampire world.
  • Unseen Storm lets you dash in any direction so quickly that, to anyone looking, you disappear, giving you the chance to make a quick attack, reposition yourself and dodge attacks. It helps if you want to run away, too, and it can be upgraded.
  • With Accelerate, the world slows down around you, letting pull off fancy stunts and even avoid bullets. You can enhance it with an upgrade, too. You'll be wanting to grab some shades and a leather coat, obviously. 

Full article

Brujah Clan Reveal Live Stream

  • 2 May 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 158
  • 0 Comments
Here is the video of the live stream they did today on the Brujah. They also did answer a handful of questions at the end, I did a bullet point summary below, post your thoughts in the comments;

 
  • Takes ~5 hrs average play through to go from Thinblood to full clan
  • Brujah weakness is their passion and thus easier to frenzy in-game if they don't feed frequently
  • They explain the 2 disciplines per clan choice that they felt the traditional 3 would be "sensory overload" and too much to manage in a real time combat game
  • Can still build a social Brujah even with their loss of Presence
  • No procedurally generated quests
  • In BL2 most Brujah have left the Camarilla (per V20/V5 lore) however the metaplot will not limit your choices or the story

EXCLUSIVE: Florian Schwarzer Bloodlines 2 Interview for WoD News

  • 26 April 2019
  • Author: Harlequin
  • Number of views: 1104
  • 0 Comments
Florian Schwarzer, Senior Product Manager at Paradox Interactive was kind enough to spend some time answering our art and design philosophy questions for us in a exclusive WoD News interview. We will be having another down the road, if you have a specific topic or question you'd like us to ask please post it in the comments below. With that said the interview;

WoD News: First off, I need to ask, who came up with and developed the whole Tender meta ad campaign? Personally, I thought it was brilliant. Could you talk about how that all come about and did it play out as you expected, anything unexpected come of it?

Florian Schwarzer: We knew we wanted to do something crazy to announce Bloodlines 2 from the beginning, but we also wanted whatever we did to make sense for fans of the IP. The idea that there’s this hidden world of darkness lurking behind our reality was the perfect angle for an ARG and really resonated with our team. Paula Thelin, Paradox’ event manager, spearheaded the concept. She worked with Alice & Smith, a game developer and ARG designer based in Montreal, and they did an incredible job masterminding the story of the campaign and Tender. The community’s reaction to the Tender ARG surpassed our expectations. We anticipated press to pick up on what we were hinting at; we were blown away by the community’s dedication and commitment to solving the mystery. I’m thrilled with the way everything turned out and it wouldn’t have been possible without the geniuses at Alice and Smith and the passion of our fans.

WoD News: I'd really like to dive into art direction, atmosphere. Aside from BL1 what are the main sources of inspiration for the overall artistic tone the visual artists are drawing from?

Florian Schwarzer: The city of Seattle is a huge source of inspiration for the art direction and atmosphere of Bloodlines 2. Hardsuit Labs, the developers of the game, are based in Seattle and setting the game in their home city was central to their design and narrative. They know Seattle and the issues the city faces today intimately and this has definitely been core to their efforts.

When it comes to translating that atmosphere into the game’s visuals, Hardsuit’s art director quickly settled on the NeoNoir style of shows like Hannibal or Nightcrawler. The high-contrast style, with its love for neon, stark silhouettes and imposing architecture, hits many of the same notes as Vampire’s gothic-punk aesthetic. At the same time, it fits Bloodlines’ noir-ish roots. As you may know, the original game was heavily inspired by the Maltese Falcon. The team very much wants to carry that forward.
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