The Vampires are Rising!

We’re getting close to the release of V Rising, and it’s time for a final sit down with our Marketing Director Johan Ilves. He will be answering some of my questions and pre-launch questions I collected from Discord and giving an update on what to expect from V Rising at the Early Access launch and beyond. As always, keep in mind that V Rising is a game in development, and plans can suddenly change!

Ruth: Hi Johan! We’re getting closer to the Early Access launch of V Rising! How does it feel?

Johan: Hey! I’m excited and tense at the same time, and I’m sure that this goes for everyone in the studio right now. You can never get used to the roller-coaster emotions of releasing a game, but I’m ready! We are looking forward to finally opening the gates on May 17th. 


Ruth: For our new readers, what kind of game is V Rising? Survival? MMO? 

Johan: In V Rising, you awaken as a vampire after centuries of sleep, starting from almost nothing and building yourself up to become the next Dracula. It’s an open-world Survival and Action RPG hybrid that can be played either solo or side by side with bloodhungry friends. Players participate in castle building, crafting, and action-packed hack’n’slash combat set in an immersive and gothic flavored setting. 

We’re creating something new compared to our previous titles while sticking to our cherished WASD and skill shot controls. It’s more a survival game and less of an MMO, we have, from the beginning of this production, been aiming at creating more of a complete survival journey than a forever-changing MMO-style world. 


Ruth: You mentioned building and crafting, which is essential in a survival game. Tell us more about that!

Johan: Well, when you picture a classic vampire, who doesn’t imagine a big Gothic castle? We think having an epic lair is an essential part of the vampire fantasy, and we want to deliver on that by making your home part of the progression, which, I think, naturally ties into the survival genre. Vampires should have gorgeous halls, a bunch of servants, and an epic throne to cap it all off. You want something cool enough to call it a ‘domain’.


Now that’s a domain.


Ruth: Let’s get started with the community questions. wazapyer321 asks if there will be a skill tree. Are there levels like an RPG, or are everyone’s abilities going to be the same?

Johan: There aren’t play levels or skill trees, and your progression will be about learning new abilities and customizing your kit. On the one hand, you’ll have a set of skills given to you by your weapons that you can freely swap between during combat, and then another set of spell-like powers you gain from hunting down bosses, feeding on their blood, and taking their abilities. Combining these and adapting them to create different builds is entirely up to you! Maybe you find a general set you like to use for everything; perhaps you find yourself switching between different setups to be the most enjoyable way to play. 


Ruth: Retromastery, among others, is dying to know the V Rising Early Access price and if there will be a price increase when the game inevitably leaves Early Access?

Johan: *Drum-roll*… the V Rising Early Access price will be 19:99 USD/EUR (with price localization for some regions). We believe this is an excellent price for what you get, and we hope this price point will make it easier for all you loyal vampires to get your friends aboard on May 17th. The full release version of the game will likely be more expensive, so make sure to get in early.   


Ruth: Flaxos wants you to confirm the number of vampires per clan!

Johan: It’s max four power-mad bloodsuckers per team. If you haven’t already found your vampire comrades, go check out the clan section on our discord.


Ruth: Pezy asks what will be the main differences between Early Access and the full release of the game?

Johan: We do have a vision, but there is a lot we’re still figuring out. While working on V Rising, there have been many additions to the long list of what we want to do with the game, and the scope grew with time. We will need more player feedback to understand how deep the rabbit hole goes and what to focus on next. That said, I’m confident that we will deliver an excellent vampire experience from day one in Early Access and a refined game with more of everything for the full release.


You asked for a city, you got a city.


Ruth: Sir_Vive asks if there’s a Dracula status to fight for? 

There is! This is part of our end game, and it will be more prominent on PvP servers. There are three relics from the past called Soul Shards that you can obtain, but first, you need to stand eye vs. eye with the three most powerful bosses of Vardoran. Try to bring these items back home to your castle, and If you can grab them all, you will pretty much be “Dracula” or the “Draculas” of the server. There are also some perks for you and your friends with having Soul Shards in your castle, but watch out as other clans will do anything to get their hands on your pressures. 


Concept art for the Soul Shard.


Ruth: Senryu-Samam asks: “Will there be “raid time” for assaulting others’ bases?”

Johan: Yes! The current time slot is a six-hour window in the evenings, adjusted for the server’s local time. This time frame can also be adjusted in settings on private servers.


Ruth: 𝕿𝖍𝖗𝖔𝖜𝖊𝖗 asks if you can zoom in with the camera to get a closer view of your character/surroundings?

Johan: You can do that and even play the game with the camera zoomed in if you like and dare to.  


Ruth: Sir_Vive is eager to find out how many hours of PvE gameplay we can expect at the Early Access launch?

Johan: I believe it entirely depends on what kind of player you are and how you play V Rising. In general (no speedrunning!) I believe the PvE only experience offers between 30-60 hours of gameplay for new players. We had players clocking 80 hours on PvE servers during the closed beta, still hungry for more. I recommend enjoying V Rising like a fine dinner (+a glass of V blood) and slowly digesting it. It will be a different experience for the castle decorator, the social roleplayer, the explorer, and the blood-thirsty raider. 


Ruth: Important question incoming from Moose. Will there be cats, and can you pet them?

Johan: There will be cats! but I’m not sure how they feel about getting petted by a vampire, even though they are like us, hunters at night.    


Ruth: Server questions incoming! A couple of people ask how many players will fit on a server, can you tell us more about this? BONES is curious about server wipes? Players like Voxa are also wondering what regions officially hosted servers will be on?

Johan: Each server will exist as its own independent world, and we plan to have different settings to cater to different types of players. The base game will be the same, but with the ability to decide on different modes like PvE only or a variety of PvP servers. You can play with your friends in a two-person clan in PvP, but there will also be servers that allow only two-person clans or make it, so you have to go solo. There’s also going to be one server type that is only for the most hardcore vampire PvPers, where you put all your gear on the line with every death and your castle can become vulnerable to capture or total destruction.

Our official servers will also be available in a few different regions thanks to our host GPORTAL, including North America, Europe, Brazil, South Africa, Taiwan, Australia, and Japan. There’s no region locking either, so you can connect to the server of your preference even if you’re far away and play with your friends overseas, though it may be a little less responsive.

Regarding player cap, we set it to 40 players at one time on the official servers. The reason for this is that the game has become a little more complex with time, and we want to provide the best possible experience with good performance on the official servers as we launch into Early Access.

We don’t plan to wipe official servers right now, but we’ve been carefully watching the community discussions around this since our announcement last May. Truthfully we can’t know what will be best for the game until we have more long-term experience with how players play the game on a larger scale. If we need wipes on some server modes, we’re counting on you to let us know! We’ll be listening!


Ruth: Mr. Groovy B asks how the private servers will work?

Johan: Private servers are really exciting, and where our vampires will be able to let their dark imaginations run wild. We have over 60 different settings that can be adjusted including larger or smaller clan sizes, player caps, damage from and to specific sources, and resource yields. There are even things like starting equipment, starting resources, and starting spell/V Blood unlocks for those who want to make strict PvP or tournament-style servers.

Hosting a private server comes in many different forms. You can host through a provider like GPORTAL or on your own machine in a separate dedicated client, which is about as local as ping gets! There will also be the option to host a server more privately through the client where your server won’t show up on any server list, but your friends can join you through steam. You can even play your world offline to relax and take the game at your own pace.

Private players let players take all of our available settings and experiment to your dark heart’s content! Some things may get a bit stressful if you’re running over 40 players on a server at a time, though, so make sure if you try it you’re doing it on a PC that’s Dracula powerful.


Ruth: Argon asks “Can I impale my victims with stakes and place them at the entry of my castle?”

Johan: You are a bad boy Argon! This is actually something we played around with during development but it’s not currently in the game. I will write a note and put it on the desk of the Creative Director. 

Pictured: The Creative Director’s desk.


Ruth: Argon again and others asks how the team plans to support the game long term, financially? Will there be microtransactions, season passes, etc.?

Johan: There is no in-game shop planned for the Early Access launch, but we will release various DLC packs. More information about our first DLCs is coming very soon, something special for fans willing to give us some extra support during development. I wouldn’t rule out season passes, but it’s not on the road map for now, as we want to finetune all mechanics and focus on making V Rising as great as possible for the full release.


Ruth: iLL’s question is: “Are there custom keybind options?”

Johan: Yes, sir! 


Ruth: AtomicGG, Mrfluffykins among others are curious about random events. Random dungeons? Random encounters like holy knights attacking your domain?

Johan: Good question! Random world events are definitely something we want to look more into on the road to the full release and something I believe will make the world even more exciting. We do have some pretty awesome randomness in our world already. Except for other players, we have different creatures and humans roaming the world, even fighting each other, creating fun and dynamic moments. With tons of destructible objects on the map, you can witness some cool battles!


A militia patrol on the lookout for bandits.


Ruth: Wazapyer321 really wants to know if there will be an in-game voice chat?

Johan: The answer is yes! We have a VoIP feature that will be available on our officially hosted servers. I’m sure that won’t stop tight-knit clans on private servers from using their own voice chats to organize their vampire raids, so don’t think you’re safe.


Ruth: Wazapyer321 again!If any, how will full loot PVP look in this game? What is dropped on death?”

Johan: Full loot is the most challenging PvP mode you can play, so when you load up your crossbow and take a shot at the vampire king, you better not miss. You’re risking your gear and everything you’re carrying, even the rare headgear you looted from that necromancer’s hoard. That’s full loot!


Ruth: Stressful Courtier next! “Will castles be limited to one floor?”

Johan: It will be limited to one floor as the top-down perspective comes with challenges and limitations in building multiple floors. You can, however, find the right sweet spot to raise your castle and get the feeling of having more than one floor by building on hills and creating stairways down to the ground below. And sometimes.. you must fight for that fine piece of land!


Ruth: Mystic wants to know if we can name our vampires, or will they have our steam names?

Johan: You can name your character but make sure it’s a name worthy of a vampire, like …well…“Mystic”. 


Ruth: Many people like Lordaeron are wondering about character customization! In what ways will we be able to customize our vampires?

Johan: If you want to be unique, we want to give you all the tools you need. Vampires are all about style, so you can choose between different hairstyles, eye colors, skin tones, and faces. There are also other features like jewelry and beards, and that’s just in character creation! After you get in-game, there is plenty of rare capes and headgear to collect!


Ruth: MiyaMisumi, Dramonicus, and others ask if there is any chance some work and love will be given to Battlerite again? And if you are doing anything different so V Rising will be in it for the long haul. 

Johan: Thank you for playing Battlerite, guys! So… V Rising will be our only focus for now. It’s our game with the biggest scope so far, and unfortunately, we don’t have enough bandwidth to work on other titles. The biggest thing we’re doing differently is the game itself; we’re jumping from niche arena games to a new genre. What’s cool with V Rising is that I believe the more we’re able to work on the game, giving it more content, polishing all the various systems, improving PvE, PvP, the world, etc, the better longevity we will give the game with time. With V Rising, we can do so much more without being afraid of breaking the formula, which opens up more possibilities compared to our previous titles. 


Something entirely new.


Ruth: Maxo, AtomicGG, soal5367, all want to know the plan for game updates during Early Access?

Johan: Our mission will be to find out what is most important to our players and how to take V Rising to the next level. We currently plan to work on more extensive updates rather than run for frequent smaller patches and minor changes. It’s too early to tell when the first bigger V Rising content patch will arrive, as we will give it the time to make sure it brings something new to the experience. This will require more patience from you as a fan! If you ever feel you need a break from hunting in the moonlight and raising epic castles, we encourage you to enjoy other games while waiting for the next big update. V Rising is not dependent on a huge active player base in the same sense as our past titles were, and you will always be able to enjoy the game regardless of player numbers. Meanwhile, we will do our best to make sure the first content update will be worth waiting for. 


Ruth: On this topic. People are wondering if there are any specific features or areas of the game you will focus on for future updates?

Johan: We do have plenty of great ideas blooming! However, first, we must balance what we got started and get the game tested in Early Access before saying for sure what the team will be hammering on. We could potentially go deeper with our building, make PvE and interactions with the world’s inhabitants more exciting, or perhaps work more on PvP combat and castle raiding improvements. There is also a lot of potential with roleplaying features, refining our end game, and expanding the world of Vardoran in different ways. How much of the good stuff we can add and how much development time we can give V Rising depends on how many gamers we can turn into vampires. The more successful the game is, the more dark wishes can be fulfilled. 


Ruth: Ser Medieval asks if there are any plans for new weapons to be added shortly after Early Access?

Johan: When we know what our players desire the most(the loooong nice wish list), we can prioritize what to do next. But who doesn’t want a good old two-handed sword! 


Ruth: Sir_Vive brings an interesting question – “will servants feed me grapes and rub me down with oil massages?”

Johan: …..

Are you sure you want this guy touching you?


Ruth: RhydianFox asks how shapeshifting works in-game? Will it be temporary, like a timer for it, or can you use it at will and stay in one form for prolonged periods?

Johan:  We experimented with all sorts of different options for how we wanted to shapeshift to work, but in the end, we decided it just feels really good to turn into your form and keep it until you break out of it. There are ways to get forced out of some forms, like taking damage or using an ability. 


Ruth: A year ago, you mentioned that V Rising was inspired by everything from Netflix’s Castlevania to classic horror literature. How important is the Vampire theme?

Johan: The vampire theme is the soul of the game and something we have strengthened throughout the production. The team has been working hard to nail the atmosphere, art, sound, and music to put you in a dark, melancholic yet beautiful and vibrant universe. A place where humans rule and the vampires are the underdogs. We knew from the beginning that feeding on blood would be essential for the fantasy, both as a survival mechanic and power booster, as different blood types give your vampire various perks. What really made us go full circle with the game loop was when we added V Blood, which only the strongest enemies have in their veins. V Blood gives you special powers, Mega Man style, where you obtain the abilities from defeated bosses by drinking their blood. You should, as always, stay away from garlic fields, holy grounds, and the deadly sunlight! And hey, it wouldn’t be a true vampire adventure if you couldn’t turn into a BAT. 

We wanted to do our take on the vampire theme without taking away what people love about vampires. I recommend dressing up in your favorite black silken cape and lit some candles at home for full immersion.   


Ruth: How important has the closed beta testing been for the team to get ready for Early Access?

Johan: We wouldn’t have been able to get to where we are today without our trustful testers. There have been tons of improvements from the preliminary testing in December to the official Closed Beta in March to the launch build. The testers supported us with finding crucial bugs and provided us with some great takes and suggestions on both the world and game design. 


We’re crossing this bridge together.


Ruth: Thank you, Johan! Do you have any final words for all Vampires out there before we open the crypt?

Johan: I need to say that I’m amazed by our community! It’s genuinely heartwarming to see all of you good people following us, interacting, and giving us feedback daily. Our Discord has been so much fun and shouts out to our mods for always being there, always supporting. I’m happy to see all our new vampire fans as veterans who have been with us since Bloodline Champions, Dead Island Epidemic, and Battlerite, sharing their thoughts and speculations. Now we will need all help we can get to spread the word about the release of V Rising and get our army of darkness ready for May 17th. We will be forever(vampire forever) grateful for your support; thank you all, and see you in Vardoran!   


Johan and I greatly appreciate your questions and are looking forward to sharing more news about V Rising in future dev blogs. 


As always, please feel free to:

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Lots of love and a pint of blood,

Ruth Dominguez / LadyStrify#0001

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