Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong Tips To Help You Not Suck
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is a complicated game that throws dozens of important options at you right from the start. It’s easy enough to get cornered and miss key information or miss a vital clue to a puzzle that has you stumped. Swansong’s tips for beginners help you avoid some of the most common mistakes and get the result you want.
Use willpower wisely
Your vampire gains a limited amount of willpower at the start of each scene, blue diamonds are used in conversations to sway people’s thinking, and for the most part that’s all you get. You can replenish some through conversation and certain items, but usually only three to five points of Willpower, sometimes more.
It can be tempting to use Focus and force your way through a trade to get what you want or use your abilities whenever you can. However, it is usually better retain at least eight points of Willpower to use in a Showdown. These have more serious ramifications for failing and can influence available endings and objectives.
A note on focus
The approach in general is a bit tricky. In theory, you can use it to increase your chances of success should a conversation option end in a tie between you and the other speaker, as long as you have at least one point in that skill or trait. In practice, it rarely works that way, something even Swansong acknowledges.
Unless your opponent has a significantly lower skill level, it almost always increases his Focus too, lowering your chances of success and wasting your willpower when you lose. is better use Focus if your level is one or two higher than theirs, and start with at least a 30% chance of success. Even then, keep an eye on the outcome of the forecast to see how likely it is that they might respond in kind.
Just because you can use a skill doesn’t mean you should
You’ll often find that none of this matters anyway thanks to how Swansong structures its dialogue options. The presence of an ability option (a choice that requires rhetoric or persuasion, for example) is not always the “correct” choice. Sometimes it even makes things worse. Pay attention to who you’re talking to and their relationship to your character before deciding whether to spend Willpower on a choice.
Check everything, then check again
Swansong rewards methodical research. Whether it’s a seemingly innocuous mug, a photograph, or a piece of blood-soaked clothing, even the smallest items often have some kind of clue to offer or can help propel the story forward. In some cases, it’s worth revisiting everything after a new build, as some elements take on new importance once you’ve gained more insight or altered the scene in some way.
Not all elements are vitally important. Some, notably files and notebooks, are just there to add context to a situation. However, this knowledge can still be useful and provide further insight into dialog options that might get the result you want at a later time.
Talk to everyone, several times. Swansong doesn’t have quest markers or any kind of indication that someone might be important, so the only way to know is if she’s talked to them to get his story and perspective on the situation at hand. Sometimes it will just be the standard lore you get for your troubles.
More often, however, you will find, and hopefully write down, information that collides with someone else’s testimony and opens up a new path forward. If you ever come across a character talking about someone else you’ve met, be sure to go back to that character and see if they have anything new to say.
Take notes, often
The problem is that Swansong doesn’t actually keep track of any of this for you. The only way to remember a fun fact you learned or an important access code is to go all the way back through a stage to check the object again, and that’s just tedious.
A general rule of thumb is that if there is something specific in a description or item, like a date or even mention of a location, write it down. Take the entire first stage of Galeb, for example. Hidden in a random book on a hallway floor, among several other books, is a brief mention of a hidden emergency camera. This location ends up being crucial to completing the main objective of the story, but it’s easy to forget it in the midst of all the other evidence you gather.
We don’t need education (Just kidding, you really do)
Regardless of what starting class your vampires end up in, you can distribute your skill points however you like. make sure that invest something in education and deduction, especially for Leysha. Each scene has a couple of interactions or conversations, sometimes more, that require at least one point of education or deduction.
Without them, you are forced to ignore certain dialog options and miss out on key information, often information that is necessary to complete secondary tasks. He can still finish a scene and gain a lot of experience, even if he has to play dumb and gloss over the obvious connections in conversations. He is much less frustrating this way.
Keep your hunger under control
Swansong delights in throwing unexpected situations at you, especially if they require you to use your vampire powers and increase your hunger meter. Some sequences actually have multiple options in a row where you can use a power or deal with a less tasty result.
The problem is that if your Hunger is too high, you will lose control and instantly kill anyone who is nearby, which is not good. try and keep your Hunger below five as often as you can, especially if you’re heading into a new area or starting a new goal.
On a similar note, it only drains each victim once. There’s almost always another safe room you can find to lure a new human into, and the increased suspicion from killing a vessel isn’t worth it.
Don’t worry about missed targets
No matter how carefully you plan, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll miss something or make the wrong decision. And that’s fine. The cutscene results screen shows you everything you did right, including paths you missed and objectives you missed. Use it when playing to guide what you do differently.
Missing some objectives will influence the story, but you’ll know what they are when they happen: letting a fugitive escape, for example, or defying the Prince’s orders. Others, like not getting information on all the council members in the first scene, just mean you lose some knowledge and experience.
Always use consumables
This may seem obvious, but don’t forget to use your consumables. Coins, pictures, and club cards restore Galeb, Leysha, and Emem’s willpower, respectively. You can use them even if you haven’t yet spent Willpower to go beyond the amount you start the scene with.
Others, like lockpicks and keycards, rely more on your stats. If you have at least one point in your corresponding skills, you can use them to increase your chances of success in the next related interaction: picking locks, hacking computers, and the like. It’s an easy way to make up for certain abilities you might have missed, and no consumables carry over to the next scene.
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