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Vampire Q&A #2

Librarian Comment: 

This interview, conducted by Morrowind After Dark, took place sometime in early 2002, prior to Morrowind's release. Though it mostly covers gameplay, there are a few interesting lore takeaways as well, and the historical context is worth preserving. You can see a backup of it here.

The first interview can be located here.

Here it is folks, the second official vampire Q&A exclusive with the Morrowind devs. Once again I would like to thank Pete Hines, Todd Howard and Mark Nelson for all their time, and for providing another brief glimpse into the world of Morrowind's vampires. Enjoy!

Q: Please for the love of god explain to me why you think the Buffy TV show is cool. Just kidding.

A: [Mark Nelson] I could go on and on about this one. Clever writing, great dialogue, Sarah Michelle Gellar.... ;)

Q: Do you HAVE to feed-if so how often-and does it HAVE to be human or anything with blood,like could i feed on a Dreugh?

A: [Mark Nelson] A vampire does not HAVE to feed. However, it is a very efficient way to regain health, especially since no one is going to rent you a room. Plus, the temples aren't going to be offering their services to a vampire.

Q: Will the holy places/items still affect the vampires?

A: [Mark Nelson] Hmmm...holy places are not a problem for vampires in Morrowind. There may be some items, though, that are not so vampire-friendly.

Q: Will it be possible to meet these vampire clans even without being a vampire?

A: [Mark Nelson] It'll be possible to meet them, but you won't be interacting with them...except in a very physical manner.

Q: How will vampirism affect your appearance/skills/physical attributes?

A: [Mark Nelson] Becoming a vampire will change the model of the PC's head, based on race and sex.

Q: How easily will I be able to become a vamp Within the first few hours , or will I have to run all over the place in the night looking for a vamp? Will there be a vast population of vampires in the game? Or only a handfull? Can you interact with a vampire besides fighting him?

A: [Mark Nelson] There is not a vast vampire population in Morrowind. Remember, vampires are despised, as are all things that hint of necromancy, and have been hunted nearly to extinction. However, there are still some vampire strongholds that remain. In addition, there are "rogue" vampires who've set up shop for themselves, as well as groups of clanless (or "accidental") vampires that have banded together for safety. It will be tough to find most of the vampires, and that's how they like it.

Q: Can you, in theory, no mater how hard it might be, complete the main quest as a vampire? Do you have to be evil?

A: [Mark Nelson] In theory...yes you can. You won't be able to move through the main quest as a non-vampire would be able to. You'll have to essentially bypass a lot of quests and get to the end part through a different path (which is an option regardless of whether you're a vampire). It will be a big pain in the butt, but the more hard-headed can do it.

Q: Will it be possible for Vampire Mages to escape the harmful effects of sunlight through Spellcraft (maybe cast a powerful regenerate spell or something)? What kind of attribute bonus do you get when you become a vampire (Daggerfall was +20 to all your attributes right?)

A: [Mark Nelson] It might be possible to create a spell that regenerates a good number of hit points for an extended period of time, but in order to completely offset the damage sunlight does, it would have to be a very powerful spell, requiring high skill and lots of magicka.

Q: Even though almost everyone hates you, is it possible, although difficult and costly, to make a charm spell so powerfull that you can still interact with every npc in the game? Even the ones that REALLY hate vampires?

A: [Mark Nelson] No. The majority of the people in Morrowind are simply not going to talk to you, no matter what their disposition is. However...after some consideration, I've modified things a bit. Morrowind is very much a game about relationships, and it seemed fitting that a bit more of this got put into the vampire gameplay as well. So, there are now a couple of groups in Morrowind who will interact with you while you are a vampire. They might not like you a lot, but they'll talk to you, and they might even have a few things for you to do. That said, they still will only deal with you on a basic level. They're not about to buy or sell things from you, and they won't train you. You'll have to find other ways to accomplish those things.

Q: Will each of the heads available in the game have there own Vampire version or will there be a generic Vamp face for each race? (Will we be able to customize our vamp portraits any or once you turn it's based on the portrait you chose from the start?)

A: [Mark Nelson] There is a vampire face for each race and sex.

Q: Will the main plot change, and more specificly will certain path choices in the main plot be eliminated/open up as a result of vampirism? Can vamps see in the dark?

A: [Mark Nelson] Many paths will be eliminated as a result of the player being a vampire, basically because few people are going to want to talk to you. No, vampires do not have the innate ability to see in the dark. P.S. Not knowing about certain parts of the game isn't always a bad thing. We like for there to be SOME surprises.

Q: What abilities will you receive for specific clans, like the aundae and the quarra?

A: [Mark Nelson] I don't want to give any specifics on the exact abilities or numbers that are affected quite yet. But, a little more information on the three clans might give you an idea of what to expect:

The Quarra vampires are strong and barbaric. They are the most physically powerful of the clans, and they are exceptionally cruel. They seek to rule the other clans through brute force.

The Aundae vampires seek domination through the imposition of their will. They are powerful in magic, and hungry for power.


e Berne are the most subtle of the vampire clans. They slide through the night to hunt their prey, and seek power through cunning, not force.

Q: What are the benefits of doing clan quests if you can't join their clan?

A: [Mark Nelson] The benefits become apparent once you've done the quests.

Q: Does levitation cost a vampire magicka , or is it free because it's a natural ability?

A: [Mark Nelson] It does use magicka, but it is not as expensive as a normal levitate spell. There are a couple other differences as well.

Q: Are there any plans or ideas for vamps in the expansion? You said vamps were built with the notion that they could be added to. If so,what can we maybe expect?

A: [Mark Nelson] I believe I've created a very solid infrastructure upon which to build a vampire storyline, but how much of a role it plays is still somewhat up in the air. I have a number of ideas I'd eventually like to incorporate. The politics between the vampire clans is as intricate as with the Great Houses, and it would be a lot of fun for me to be able to really develop that. I believe that what you'll see of the clans in Morrowind only scratches the surface of what's really happening. However, remember that this isn't intended to be a vampire game. This is just one of many, many things going on in the world. Maybe one day we'll find out more.

Q: How will fast travel and traveling in general affect vamps?

A: [Mark Nelson] This is one of the great limitations of one will give you a ride.

Q: What has been the coolest moment you've experienced while playtesting the vamps?

A: [Mark Nelson] Again, better you experience these things for yourselves. There are lots of cool moments to be had, whether or not you're a vampire.

Q: Anything new you can tell us about the vampire hunters in Morrowind?

A: [Mark Nelson] Vampire hunters are, like vampires themselves, almost extinct in Morrowind. It's just a lousy job when there aren't a lot of vampires around. There's a good bet that at least one of them is still employed , though.

Q: What is gameplay like for vampires in Morrowind? Do they need stealth at all or are they more of the "I'm a god don't make me blow my nose with you" types?

A: [Mark Nelson] It all depends on how you want to play it. Vampires are powerful, and can probably fight their way out of most situations. However, the Berne vampires tend to favor stealth over outright brute force, so you could choose to play that way. It's very much up to your style.