In this preview of Neverwinter’s Module 14, Ravenloft, I’d like to talk about a new buff device that’s going to get introduced. Players can grab a “Vampire Hunter Kit” by simply completing the introductory quest line that, once activated, features an independent set of encounter powers that debuffs and controls mobs or heals the party. It’s comparable to Fishing in Storm Kings Thunder or Sahha during the Summer Festival. I’ll quickly go over the powers, the acquisition of ammunition and how players can utilize the kit the best.
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The Kit Is Free, Ammunition Isn’t
Once obtained the Vampire Hunter Kit is located in the “Useful Items” tab. It then has to be moved to the potions bar to use it. On activation the power tray changes to three new abilities:
The kit, as the descriptions suggest, is mainly useful against the Night Terrors that roam Barovia at night, but it obviously also works in other content. I’m not sure how bosses can get slowed by 25% since they’re immune to control abilities or hardly move anyway (Atropal), but maybe this pierces the usual resistances? Most interesting for DPS is the Silvering Kit of course, which adds a decent amount of damage for 30 seconds and should become a nice boost in high-end speed runs.
The abilities look great, but there’s a catch. While the kit itself is free, the ammunition isn’t. It uses “charges” of different materials for each power. Also you can’t simply buy unlimited charges of each power, which means that in PVE runs you are limited to a few uses and then have to go restock. That’s, well, inconvenient, but you can see why the devs refuse to give teams a permanent 200% extra damage. The occasional 30 second use in boss fights is already a very nice buff.
Random Merchants Hand out Ammunition
The second obstacle is getting the ammunition itself. In Barovia certain merchants pop up at random locations for a short period at daytime that hand out the charges for gold. They also sell one of the required reagent for Sun Weapons by the way. We’d love to hand out some sort of map for the merchants, but haven’t fully figured them out yet. All we can say is that the locations and the time of appearance is random. That’s not super helpful, I know, but it’s what we have right now. We’ll surely update the information at some point.
As you can see, the charges cost Gold, which makes sense since it adds some needed significance to the currency. It also means whenever you find a merchant, you should have no trouble getting what you need. In case you actually are low on Gold, I’d recommend piling up some for Mod 14. Like I mentioned above, you can’t simply buy as many items as you like though. There seems to be some type of internal limitation that only allows to acquire one charge per day cycle, or even 60 minutes. So stacking up on charges has to happen over time.
How to Use the Kit the Best?
While the kit’s tooltips suggest that its main purpose is to fight those Night Terrors, I think it’s best utilized within dungeon runs to get a temporary DPS boost in boss fights. That said, Night Terrors in Barovia are tough and it can’t hurt to have your Morninglord Lantern or Holy Water ready as panic button. But then again: Dying isn’t an issue in this game, so if you come across a Night Terror and can’t beat it, who cares?
Overall the Vampire Hunter Kit unfortunately has a certain potential to become dead code. The merchants being hard to find and only having one charge makes it a pain to constantly have it available. I can’t really see people farming Barovia between runs to restock their Silvering Kits. The 200% extra damage boost is big, but shouldn’t really be the difference maker between making or failing a run. So while the kit definitely fits the theme and is a nice gimmick, I don’t think it’ll develop into a major system in Mod 14. One additional minor downside is that it blocks a spot in the potion bar. We have so many different buff devices that three slots there really become a limiting factor. Future quality of life changes should definitely include an extension.
The Vampire Hunter Kit is an interesting idea. It gives players some buff charges in an intriguing way. To not make the abilities too powerful however, the kit comes with certain limitations that might significantly hinder its viability in the end. It will surely make it into some speed-run videos, but I’m not sure it’s something that will be utilized consistently.
Experimenting with an independent set of powers is certainly a focal point in Ravenloft. While the Sunsword (that works in the same way) is a major mechanic to beat Strahd, the Vampire Hunter Kit is merely a gimmick though. Nonetheless I like that the devs are mixing in new things to give the mod an unique feel.
What’s your take on the Vampire Hunter Kit? Will it be useful? Share your thoughts and experience on our social channels, in the comments below, or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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