Blood Fines: An unofficial guide to the Path of Blood
THE PATH OF BLOOD
PURPOSE: To inflict damage on the enemy while rejuvenating onself and ones allies
ROLES: A Blood specced vampire is quite possibly the most versatile of his brethren. Soloing comes naturally and easy due to being able to inflict damage and heal simultaneously, eliminating downtime (except for mana). In groups, the vampire can take on the role as a burst healer, using abilities like Dark Contract, Invigoration and Seed of Life to keep his allies alive. The vampire can also provide single target and AOE crowd control when things get hectic using Dark Bondage and Feast to negate enemy movement. When not healing the vampire uses Vampire Sigil to inflict his enemies with Curse of Blood reducing their maximum hp and making them easier targets. When transformed the vampire's healing abilites increase and he can inflict increased damage with his Charm Strike on foes inflicted with Curse of Blood. These scenarios can be applied to both PvP and PvE. In my opinion a Blood specced vampire should not have problems finding a role in solo/group PvE or PvP.
STATS: In my opinion, the most important stat to focus on for the Blood vamp is HP. Increasing HP provides several benefits for the vampires in general but definitely Blood:
- Most of Blood's abilities (and some Dark) revolve around a % of maximum HP so increasing HP increases damage ( At 3000 HP, Blood Sign adds 90 points of damage to Vampire Sigil, at 4000 HP 120 points of damage).
- Vampires as a whole are squishy so more HP means you can take more hits (using the first example your VS damage went up by 30 points and you have 1000 more hitpoints to play with).
Secondary stats to focus on are ultimately yoru choice, I am going with defense and mana. More defense stacked with high HP makes you an even harder target to kill and you obviously need the mana to keep pumping out your life drains.
OTHER PATHS: Now just because this thread is about the benefits of Blood does not mean you should put all your eggs in one basket (though if you did there is nothing wrong with that either). I personally think the Dark path is a great compliment to Blood since they both use HP % to inflict damage. Using Seed of Flame is also a viable alternative to your Blood abilities. I plan on putting 14 points into Dark to better enhance some of my Blood abilities and improve my attack rotations. I'll get into more details later on in this thread but keep in mind there is nothing wrong with dabbing into other paths.
ABILITIES: This section focuses on the abilities primarily used by Blood vamps.
BLOOD DEMON MODE/VAMPIRE TRANSFORMATION: Triggered by various abilities the vampires attack, maximum HP, speed, healing effectiveness increase for the duration. Demon mode is canceled after dealing damage 6 times to others.
VAMPIRE SIGIL/BLOOD MARKING: The bread and butter of the Blood build, it inflicts damage, heals you, and has a chance to inflict Curse of Blood and trigger Demon mode. It's effects are further enhanced while in Blood Demon mode. I am unsure of the base percentages of inflicting Curse of Blood or triggering Blood Demon mode but I plan on focusing on increasing the chances of both.
CURSE OF BLOOD: Inflicted by Vampire Sigil, this curse reduces the maximum HP of the target making him alot more squishy. If you don't appreciate what this means, basically, you inflict the base damage of ability plus the chunk that the curse magically takes away from the target (which at the moment looks like it ignores defense/resistance).
CHARMED STRIKE/DEMONIC STRIKE: Only usable during Demon Mode. The vampire appears next to his target striking twice and inflicting 100% base damage + bonus damage. This skill can be further enhanced with talents to increase range to 40% and damage to 200 plus 40% on targets afflicted by Curse of Blood (nothing to sneeze at).
DARK CONTRACT/DARK PACT: Consumes own health points to heal target with a chance to trigger Demon Mode. This skill is one of your primary skills for keeping your allies alive in group PvE/PvP.
FEAST/GRAND FEAST: Your AOE crowd control. Binds the caster and a limited number of nearby targets to the ground while continously leeching health points. I think this skill will be invaluable during group PvP and even in duels. Not only is your target stuck in place possibly eliminating melee damage but you continously heal whilst dealing damage to them with more targets meaning more health for you. I don't know if you can use other skills while this is active but if you can that would further add to its usefulness.
INVIGORATION/LIVING BLOOD: Temporarily bless target with vampire abilities (life leeching) with a chance to trigger Demon mode. Another skill focused on providing heal support to your allies.
WRATH KILL/DEMONIC SLASH: This attack skill will be a major part of your rotation once you gain it. Deals 100% damage with bonus damage and leeches hit points, in addition to three other effects. First, it decreases the targets healing ability. Second, it decreases the target's attack and movement speed. Third, decreases the target's defense and prevents them from using normal attacks. These effects all take place at the same time and will be enhanced when in Demon mode! I'm not sure if this can be used outside of Demon mode but I plan on saving it when I am in Demon mode right after a Charm Strike.
SEED OF LIFE (TALENT SKILL): Heal's target after a delay with a shorter delay if the target is below 50%, has a 2% chance to heal for double the amount and has a chance to trigger Demon mode. This is a must for Blood vamps and one of yoru claims to fame. It's basically a life grenade that has the potential to heal a massive amount (especially if the talents are maxed out). Additionally, if you max out the talent you have a 50% chance to enter Demon mode if the target is under 50% health! Rotating this skill with Dark Contract and Invigoration should keep you consistently in Demon mode during combat. This is also one of two healing skills that can be used on yourself (I think it can be used on yourself anyway).
BLOOD SEA/BLOOD RITUAL: A self targeting Heal Over Time that increases your defense and the amount of health gained by 50% with a chance to enter Demon mode when your attacked.
EVIL BLOOD CURSE/BLOOD CURSE (TALENT SKILL): Ranged AOE that effects a total of 7 targets, cursing them for 15 seconds. During this curse, if the targets are attacked they enter the Congealed Blood State reducing their maximum HP by 4%. The HP debuff can stack up to 5 times for whooping 20% HP debuff!!! This may also stack with Curse of Blood causing almost 25% in HP loss!!
TALENTS: This section explains the Blood talents and my opinions of each one.
BLOOD DEMON: This talent increases your chances to trigger Demon mode when using Vampire Sigil, Invigoration, Seed of Life, Dark Contract, and Blood Sea by a max of 10%. This talent is a must in order to keep your vampire in Demon mode as much as possible.
BLOOD SIGN: This talent increases the blood draining of Blood Sigil by a max of 25 and adds a max of 3% of maximum HP. Vampire Sigil is Blood's primary dps skill so if you intend to focus on your dps I would strongly suggest putting points into this.
CHARMED STRIKE BEYOND: This increases the teleporting range of your charmed strike by up to 40% and is required to access the Bloody Evil Strike talent. If you plan on enhancing your Charmed Strike then this talent is definitely a must.
ADVANCED VAMPIRE SIGIL: Reduces the cooldown of VS by 2 seconds maximum. Is a prerequisite to a talent that increases the damage of VS. Lower cooldowns mean more VS rotations which means more chances to enter Demon mode.
EVIL BLOOD: Maxing this talent increases Curse of Blood by 5 seconds and reduces the target's max HP by 4% (one thing i don't know is if Curse of Blood still reduces max HP if you don't take this talent; if it does then the total reduction is higher).
BLOODY EVIL STRIKE: Maxing this talent out causes Charmed strike to deal 200 damage with each attack and an additional 40% to targets afflicted with Curse of Blood. I personally plan on maxing this out as Charmed strike will be my first attack out the door once I enter Demon mode (more on why later).
SEED OF LIFE: Here's where you have to make a decision. Since Seed of Life is a talent gained skill you don't have to include it in your Blood build. However I think ever Blood player should consider this a mandatory talent (especially if you can use it on yourself). This talent is one of a Blood vamp's major selling points in group PvE and PvP. It's a fire and forget skill that also increases in effectiveness when the target is below 50%. Maxed out the talent has 50% chance to trigger Demon mode if the target is below 50% as well.
BLOOD KNOWLEDGE: Reduces recovery skill costs by up to 24%. An almost 1/4 reduction in mana costs to healing skills is definitely not a bad thing but this skill is also not a mandatory one to take. If you foresee burning through your mana very quickly then by all means puts some points in it.
DARK CONTRACT EX: Another talent that falls on the taste of the player. If you intend to base your vamp soley around group support than Seed of Life and this talent are where your points need to go. This talent reduces the cooldown of Dark Contract by up to 2.5 seconds and increases the healing amount by a max of 30% (your main tank will be grateful).
INSIGNIA ENERGY: Increases base damage of Vampire Sigil by up to 50%!! Solo leveling just got easier, in my opinion this is a no brainer to max out if you want some good Blood dps.
FORCE OF LIFE: Increases the healing amount of Seed of Life by a max of 40% and increases the chance to heal double the amount by another 8% (for a total chance of 10%). Personally, if I invest 3 points into Seed of Life I'm going to invest the 4 into this as well.
BLOOD FEAST: While in Feast mode increases defense by up to 240 points and recovers 1.5% HP every second (this is in addition to the health your leeching from your enemies). At this point I don't know if 240 points in defense is a big deal but if it is then I plan on taking this talent to increase my survivability in Feast mode. I can see myself using Feast mode in boss fights, leveling, and PvP.
BLOOD LINK: causes invigoration to drain up to an additional 2% of your max HP (im assuming this increases the bonus given to your ally). This talent is the first step in a three talent branch. As I said before if you plan on focusing on group support than you should really consider taking this branch up.
BLOODTIE: Increases healing abilities by 30% while in demon mode and killing enemies restores an additional 3% HP. The increase in healing benefits yourself and your allies while the health increase for killing enemies will assist you in grinding and PvP.
NIGHT ESCAPE: reduces hate generated by a max of 30%. I'm on the fence about this talent however I will point out that in group PvE scenarios and raids you will generate ALOT of hate. If you thin about it, not only will you be healing but also inflicting damage and curses. Your healng and dps will spike when you enter Demon mode as well, where as a mage's dps or priest's heals will stay consistent yours will spike inconsistently. This talent may not be required in guild groups and raids where yoru tank and healer have the gear to stay on top of aggro but it's something to keep in mind.
LIFE CONFER: causes the target of invigoration to gain a maximum HP increase of 20% for 20 seconds. An awesome talent for PvE situations that will greatly assist the tank and take added strain off the healer.
BLOODPACT: While in Demon mode, Dark Contract and Seed of Life increases have their extreme healing effect increased by 45%. Now I don't fully understand this translation, it could apply to overall healing or it could be in reference to the chance of double healing by Seed of Life (either of which is an awesome benefit).
BLOODY EVIL DEATH: increases Wrath Kill's draining effect by up to 200%. Who can say no to triple the draining effect, I can't!!!
EVIL BLOOD CURSE: your unique AOE talent skill that I have to say is must for this path. This skill will be invaluable in boss fights and a royal pain in the arse during group PvP (might even get vamps put on the kill-on-sight list).
IMPROVED WRATH KILL: what's better than inflicting damage, draining life and debuffing max HP? Why, tossing a bleed debuff in there for 240 points every 2 seconds as well. GET THIS!!!
FRESH BLOOD: another talent with a confusing translation. It doesn't make since that the target of your Vampire Sigil would have an increase in healing (who wants to heal the enemy). So I am assuming this means your healing effects will increase by 8% for 20 seconds. Another talent to make you that much harder to kill.
STAGNATE: increases Evil Blood curse by 2 meters and reduces the healing effects on targets by 30% (group PvP must right here!!!).
EXTENDED BLOOD WORK: when Demon mode is triggered by Blood skills increases the duration by 8 seconds!! I shouldn't even have to say how awesome this talent is .
HASTED HEALING: another talent for those looking to keep their tank and themselves alive, reduces both cooldowns by 4 seconds. I'm not sure what the cooldowns on these ar but with this talent plus the earlier ones that reduce their cooldowns could it make these close to spamming use.
RITUAL TIME: Another talent that benefits from having alot of HP, increases the healling amount of Dark Contract and Seed of Life by 2% of your max HP.
SURGING BLOOD: increases your max HP by up to 1000 points, nuff said.
As i said earlier putting points in the Dark or Blaze path will definitely enhance aspects of your blood skills. I personally plan on putting 14 points into Dark, maxing out Demon of Darkness, Force of Shadow, and Dark Strike. This will cause my Charm strike to hit to stun 100% of the time on the first blow (great in PvP) and increase my chances of entering Demon mode while using Dark Ripple and Shadow Scar. Additionally the Dark attack skills use your own HP to inflict more damage which will get healed back when I use Vampire Sigil/Feast/Seed of Life. My planned rotation for mid level demon mode will be:
Charmed Stike ---> Dark Ripple ---> Shadow Scar ---> Vampire Sigil or
Charmed Strike ---> Feast ---> Dark Ripple ---> Shadow Scar ---> Vampire Sigil
Another alternative is putting 15 points into Blaze by maxing out Underworld Scorching, Evil Flame, Seed of Flame and 2 points in Evil Flame (the one that increases the duration of Flame Curse). Seed of Flame will punish your enemies for attacking you and being attacked while you continue to dish out damage with your Blood Skills. Seed of Flame also does WAY more damage if the target is suffering from Flame Curse.
Well that pretty much wraps it up for Blood. One of the big unknowns for me is if a single vampire can affect the same target with more than one curse. If so, than the dps potential of the vamps will be very impressive mid to late level (Seed of Flame hits for 1k damage while the target is under flame curse with a max hp debuff while under Curse of Blood). Thanks for reading all this I hope it helps some people out, again if you have anything constructive to add please do this was just my take on a very interesting class. Lataz!