Vampire Survivors
June 4, 2022 4:51 AM - Subscribe

I know I'm super late to this party but I just picked this up for $2.99 on Steam (Mac compatible!) an hour ago and it's...SO GOOD!! please to share theorycrafting builds in here if you're interested.
posted by lazaruslong to A Videogame Club (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Many tough enemies particularly bosses scale their health with player level so don't level up beyond what your gear needs without reason.

Freezing is helpful as not only do the enemies cease hurting you, they block others and don't bounce back when you hit them which lots of them do, annoyingly. Some of the recent arcana really boost freezing's usefuleness.

It's tempting to base a lot of builds on garlic and bible because of the area denial they provide. Later on you might find it more fun to have less defense and take a more active role in outmaneuvering foes. Magic wand, cross and whip provide a good balance of offensive/defensive capabilities. Evolved wand is particularly good; I don't like evolved cross (sword) much. I don't use knife much but if you have an unsuitable build evolved knife can whack a safe path like few other weapons.

All of the birds suck. It's hard to actively hit enemies with them, and they obscure a lot of the screen.

Always take empty tome and duplicator if offered.

I guess my favourite, or at least most reliable, build is something like magic wand, cross, rune tracer, fire wand, and then whatever else comes up (but not birds), perhaps AOEs like santa water, mana song, lightning, and/or axe. For passives tome, duplicator, spinach, then whatever evolves the additional weapons. I usually wind up adding more curse.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:38 AM on June 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

hah! so i now have 8.3 hours in the game, and started from first principles, no googling. i've independently discovered everything on this list save having explicit confirmation that mobs scale to level and that the cap is higher than needed. the first full 30 minute clear i got was on library and i was level capped i think. it was nuts!

the thing i love about games like this is that i love the pure builds, always have since the magic the gathering days. so even if a particular ability isn't great comparative to others (eg birds) at least it's still fun to dedicate all the other machinery of the game to supporting that one function. this game is letting me do that which is awesome.

only full cleared 2 zones so far, looking forward to the rest!!
posted by lazaruslong at 12:28 PM on June 5, 2022

There's no level cap. There is a limit to how many gems can be on the floor. Once that max is hit, experience is piled into one gem instead (the farthest one from you), which generally turns red. Find that gem and you may jump 5+ levels at once. I've passed level 200 on some builds (in which case one had better be prepared to tank some big boss hits).

Indeed one of the joys of the game is taking each survivor and figuring out what they're good at and then making a build just for them. Or just doing something really stupid and seeing how far you get.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:35 PM on June 5, 2022

I'd just like to add that I have hundreds of hours into it, and there's still enjoyable fucking around to be done. The game scales well with unlocks and power-ups, your ability to make builds work out of whatever random garbage you're dealt, and in many cases how well you can squirt around the screen getting out of harm's way until you level up enough to be an apex predator.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:45 PM on June 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

yes! getting over that tipping point to where i can literally stop touching the keyboard is so so satisfying. i'm glad to hear it has that much longevity -- on first blush i estimated i'd get about 50 hours out of it which for 2.99 is kind of incredible
posted by lazaruslong at 1:02 PM on June 5, 2022

posted by lazaruslong at 2:22 AM on June 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Just about 100 hours in, so far.

For me, the purest moments in this game are when I hit what I think of as "lawn mower" status with garlic and attractorb, where I can just run through a giant mob, not get touched at all, and soak up all the tasty tasty XP.

Looks like we've got 0.7.X dropping this week with a bunch more unlockables
posted by hanov3r at 8:20 AM on June 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Moves you'll perfect at one time or another as you get more arrogant include the clock sweeper, where you chase the "hand" of the clock lancet, just behind it firing, so you can stand in the midst of frozen enemies while your AOEs go nuts. The bible dance is where you orbit a mass mob counter-clockwise while your bibles swing around you clockwise reaping the outer edge like a scythe and you stay just out of range. The harvester where your AOEs are doing enough damage that you can ignore enemies but, since you don't have attractorb, you have to sweep back and forth to pick up the gems. The knife laser where you put all your stats into knife and projectile speed and the only thing keeping you alive is constantly moving forward. Similarly with song of mana except you're zig zagging to make the effect hit enemies multiple times. One of the later weapons has a peculiar dance all its own where you trace out L shaped paths...

I like it best when dandling on that cusp of "one wrong move and you eat it." Once my toon can just stand in the middle of the screen unleashing armageddon I get kind of sleepy.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:48 AM on June 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

The new 0.7.2 update dropped today. I found the new character surprisingly easy to unlock.
posted by hanov3r at 5:03 PM on June 9, 2022

Little disappointed in the new stage, but I appreciate them saying it's a work in progress. I do feel they're coming up against some of their early choices of game mechanics in adding new weapons/passives. For sure they've been more creative than I probably would have been starting at the same idea, though.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:50 AM on June 10, 2022

28.9 hours in of an estimated 50 before I get bored:

- The shine is definitely coming off a bit -- once I beat the first few levels, the pace of unlockable exciting new stuff slowed and so my interest began to wane. That's normal, I have adhd, it's all good.

- I did some googling to try and revitalize interest and that worked -- started doing the coffin unlocks in the early stages.

- One thing I'll say is that there's some fun emergent strategies that made the game interesting a bit longer: for example, unlocking the arcana that doubles healing and damages foes for the amount healed led me to test out a strategy for unlocking the coffins whereby I would jackup my max HP and take a revive, run to the coffin, and suicide + revive, one-shotting everything on screen. Not the most efficient strategy, but it was fun!

- Now I basically just have a handful of stuff to check off left, and unfortunately this is where the game could use some extra handholding. After almost 30 hours I still don't know what I need to be looking for to upgrade the whip, for example. I'll just end up googling all the upgrade recipes and that's fine, but it would be more fun to discover them all in the same way that I discovered a subset of them.

I don't think I'll end up getting the full 50 hours out of the game, revising my estimate down to ~40 now, but dang they are a good 40 and the price is insane. This game should cost more money -- $15 would be reasonable.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:40 AM on June 13, 2022

In general, every passive unlocks something, so if you haven't evolved a weapon despite getting it to level 8, you aren't carrying the right passive (a few exceptions apply). Try a few runs with passives you haven't bothered with and weapons you haven't evolved.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:38 AM on June 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Nearly 50 hours in (Steam says 49.9) and I finally beat death for the first time last night! I think the biggest contributors were the upgraded pentagram, clock lancet, and laurel (boy was I excited to see new upgrade options once I found the yellow sign).
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 2:26 PM on June 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

I’ve been enjoying the arcana that causes explosions when you freeze enemies combined with the clock lancet lately — fun!

Around 90% done with unlocks at this point according to the game, approaching 40 hours
posted by lazaruslong at 3:40 AM on June 18, 2022

Has anyone tried 20 Minutes till Dawn?
It's very much Vampire survivors but with guns.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:31 PM on July 2, 2022

I don't understand. When I kill Death after minute 30, The White Hand comes and the game ends.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:45 AM on August 10, 2022

OK I tried this and in fact you Must Not Kill Death. That's why it's important not to upgrade to Red Shroud, because it hits back as opposed to just defending. The screen will fills up with big deaths you will infinitely chip away at, while the little deaths throw themselves at you and you earn gold. As soon as you kill Death, you get the egg drop and the White Hand shows up to end the round.

(This is all english but makes no sense.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:04 AM on August 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

The latest update with Omega Queen totally breaks the game if you want it to. Add Wicked Season and go nuts. I just finished a run reaching level 1370 with 430k enemies defeated.

Aside from intentionally breaking the game, I've quite enjoyed revisiting non-overloaded builds with a limit of 1 weapon and the Silent Old Sanctuary arcana. Very fast-paced action, the game is a challenge, and each character plays uniquely.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:48 PM on August 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

OK my best money build so far is 5M+ per 30 minute run:

Trouser with enough eggs to get -100% cooldown
2 Weapon Max
Bone Zone
Hyper, Arcana and Limit Break but not Hurry
First weapon: Lightning Ring
First arcana: Wicked Season

Build out the rest of the slots with: Laurel, Crown, Spinach, Torona's Box, Magnet, Candelabra, Skull
Note: do not get duplicator! Don't evolve lightning ring*!

Once your 8 slots are full, run right and pick up Metaglio Right, then run southwest and get Gold Ring

For your second Arcana, take Disco of Gold
For your third Arcana take Silent old Sanctuary (for the +80% might)
If I get offered the gold present box I skip adding another weapon for less screen chaff, it but you do you.

You should be seeing over 400K in each Gold Fever; a single run of 30 minutes should net you over 5M gold.

I don't know what to do with all this gold though. Certainly don't need more eggs...

* Lightning Ring at -100% cooldown procs every frame; Thunder Loop does not.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:00 AM on September 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

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