Vampires are very common in The Elder Scrolls Online. A lot of casual players are vampires, many PVP’ers love being a vampire as well, and even a lot of hardcore PVE’ers go for it for the added benefits.
Vampire Strengths & Weaknesses
Vampires can be in 4 stages in ESO. Their strengths and weaknesses will depend on the stage that they’re currently in.
This doesn’t mean that a lower stage is worse than a higher one, it means that there is some depth and options when balancing pros & cons, depending on your build and goals as a vampire.
Stage 1 has no weaknesses except when you’re being damaged by fighters guild abilities (mainly the ultimate) by a player who has the 20% extra damage to undead and werewolves passive unlocked.
Stage 2 is when fire starts becoming more damaging. Stage 3 is already being an advanced stage vampire, and stage 4 is as far as it goes, making you take 25% more damage from fire.
In PVE this can be managed by good players, but in PVP it can be tricky.
What Stage Should I Be?
If you just want access to vampire skills and do not care about any additional benefits (and therefore weaknesses too), then stage 1 will do. Your vampire skills will cost more, but you will not be vulnerable to fire.
If you want to play it a little bit more risky, and get a little bit more benefits (mainly 10% increased magicka & stamina recovery), then stage 2 will do. Your vampire skills will be a bit cheaper too, but you will need to feed often to stay in stage 2.
If you want to play it even riskier, then stage 3 is where you also get the undeath benefit, making you take less damage when low health, but in return, you take 20% more fire damage. Your vampire skills are almost as cheap as they get.
If you want to go full vampire mode, stage 4 is where skills cost the least, and you also get a sneaking bonus which can be useful if you’re a nightblade or a sneaky character.
Why Be a Vampire in PVP?
Most players in PVP are vampires because (secondarily) they want a little bit more recoveries and the undeath passive which can come in handy, but primarily they want more mobility if they’re a magicka character.
Vampires have access to a skill that transforms them into a floating mist cloud and while you’re in this form, you are extremely durable and mobile, helping classes like dragonknights, templars and wardens increase their mobility on the battlefield.
Is It Worth it?
For a magicka build that lacks mobility, yes it can be worth it if you like to play solo or in small groups. For a stamina build it can be worth it if you can heal a lot and mitigate the extra fire damage, and if you’re a tank or a healer, then I don’t think it’s worth it really.
For stealthy archers & assassins that aren’t there to stay and fight, but take out their targets as fast as possible and move on, I would say it’s pretty much required in most cases.