Elder Scrolls Online Vampires and the Inevitable Nerf


The vampire system within Elder Scrolls Online is one of the most irritating ones, so it makes sense that it would also be very rewarding. The amount of time and effort it requires to achieve becoming a vampire should directly translate in to other benefits within the game; otherwise players would not ever do it (at least, aside from those who want to become a vampire for various lore related reasons, but this is the minority and would not impact much). The issue here is that the vampires are way overpowered for the current state of the game, and while this is pushing people to go through the work to achieve the transformation, it is not going to be like this for long.

The Imbalance: Mist Form

The imbalanced skill that the vampires have is called Mist Form. In its normal level one form, it causes the player to take 75% less damage and be invulnerable to both healing and crowd control skills for three seconds. This skill by itself grants a massive bonus in PvP, but it goes even further when it is upgraded to level two and the skill Elusive Mist is taken on. This increases the player's movement speed while in the mist form. So at this point there is decreased damage (only taking 25% of what they normally would) and faster run speed.

Now we can tack on another skill, but this one is a passive one. It is called Undeath and makes the player take 50% less damage when at 30% or less health. Being that this stacks on with the damage reduction from Mist Form, it is a pretty big deal.

What these skills have caused is for players to be able to go in to a group of enemies and clear them out, all while staying pretty decent on their health. Along with this, there is the benefit of being a much faster runner than those that are not vampires, allowing them to both chase down their prey much more easily and escape predators when they are overwhelmed. This has led to a situation where people often just do not even try to kill them; it is meaningless if they can just take off and outrun everyone anyways.

But What About Fire?

Some vampires have complained about the increased damage they take from fire. The issue with this is that by properly gearing up, the fire damage increase can be mitigated significantly. While the same mitigation would have a much bigger effect on players that did not choose to go vampire, the simple fact is that it does give them an option to help defend themselves, and, for all intents and purposes, puts them back along the same lines as the players that do not choose to go with any mitigation to fire at all.

Flavor of the Month

What we would consider the vampires is the “flavor of the month.” As games come out with new updates and changes, they affect the way classes and skills work. This, in effect, often takes what was previously the most powerful thing and makes it more comparable (or sometimes worse off than) to its competitors. This is a normal part of games, and we can now expect the same thing to happen to the vampires. As a result, we are going to see a lot of people who used to play vampires drop off and start going werewolves or nothing at all, depending on how they feel. But, being that this is all just a part of the game's balance, it is nothing out of the ordinary and is something we should expect just because of the way the games work.


The vampire system within Elder Scrolls Online is neat, and it has great rewards to help compensate for its difficulty in obtaining. Even so, the rewards are a bit too great, and they cause issues within the game that are going to have to be resolved over time through class balancing and, ultimately, nerfing the vampires altogether. This is going to cause problems among the players that are happy that they chose something that is ridiculously powerful and nearly unbeatable in its current state, but it is part of how games work and they will have to get over it. Essentially players need to either enjoy this while they still can, or learn how to play more effectively through less overpowered options. Otherwise, the changes are going to hit them pretty hard, and they are definitely going to cause a lot of players to quit the game once they do.


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