Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing - General Tips

This post has general tips and tricks for The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing played on the PC at Heroic Difficulty. For a list of all our Van Helsing posts, click here.

General Information

  • Throughout the game, you can skip cutscenes by pressing ESC. Some cutscenes move Van Helsing and Lady Katarina. Pressing ESC will abort this, so you may see things you wouldn't otherwise.
  • You can also skip dialogues by pressing ESC. You will jump to either a decision point in the dialogue or the end of the dialogue. Enable the all messages option to see a log of the dialogue (even the lines you skipped by pressing ESC) in the lower left corner of the screen.
Scenario Mode
  • Scenario Mode can let you access services pretty much anywhere during Story Mode. Simply exit back to the main menu, then choose your character from the roster and choose Play > Single Player > Scenario. When you are done in the Scenario Mode headquarters, exit back to the main menu and Resume the Story Mode game.
    • This also means that even before starting Story Mode, a character an enter Scenario Mode and access the storage there, to pick up items left for them by other characters you have played.
    • When you enter/leave the Scenario Mode HQ, your current character state is transferred. So, theoretically if you were in trouble in combat, you could exit the game, enter Scenario Mode, wait to heal and buy supplies, then return to Story Mode.
  • You can shoot off-screen (and enemies off-screen can shoot at you). There are two ways to do this:
    • Target one creature and keep the attack button pressed down, but do NOT hold Van Helsing's position. When you finally lose track of the target, the health information will disappear from the top of the screen.
    • If you don't know exactly where the enemies are, you can fire exploratory shots. Listen for the sound FX of a shot hitting a creature (or just wait for them to converge on your location).
  • You can lead clumps of enemies away, then teleport back to base and make a long walk to attack them from another direction if you are having trouble evading or if you are getting hemmed in.
  • If your Attack Rate becomes too high, your default attack might fire while your special attack is on cooldown.
    • For example, at an Attack Rate of 2.00 (as reported by Detailed Info), you will start to see the default Shoot skill in between Icicle Shot if you just hold down the attack button. At an Attack Rate of 2.08, Shoot can be as much as every other shot fired by Van Helsing if you are using Poisoned Shot and just holding down the attack button.
    • This results in a reduction in damage and special effect output.
    • Generally it is quite hard to get this Attack Rate, but possible with a combination of Lady Katarina skills, Perks, and equipment.
  • Pay attention to which weapon enchantments apply to both weapons, such as Critical Hit Chance and some damage bonuses. Watch for enchantments that cannot be duplicated with Essences, such as Attack Rate.
  • Treasure chests drop loot based on Van Helsing's current level, so if you delay opening them until you have cleared all available enemies to maximize Van Helsing's level, you will get slightly better loot. This optimization is, in the long run, rather minimal however, unless you have modded the drop rates to get better items. Even then, you will likely sell most of your drops anyway.
  • Don't worry about Magic Find to get epic gear since the base chance is around 0.2% according to the .CFG files.
    • Even on Heroic and +1,000 Luck, the chances of seeing epic gear is minimal. Also, there is no epic gear until around level 6.
    • Instead, focus on Essences to make any gear useful by choosing the enchantments you want.
  • Epic Items often have requirements to unlock effects, such as killing creatures or Mana use.
    • You do not have to use the item, you only have to wield it. e.g., If you are wielding a sword that requires a certain amount of Mana to be used, you can cast spells to fulfill that requirement.
    • A good place to find concentrated amounts of easy-to-kill enemies is in the Orichalcum Mine, near the Arachnid Leviathan. If you do not kill the leviathan, there are spawn points that generate Bloated Gargantulas indefinitely.
  • When you break down Essences, the game engine tries to give you the same type of Essence. Therefore, you can duplicate Essences you have instead of trying to buy the components to make one from scratch.
    • E.g., Instead of trying to craft another Absorbent Essence, upgrade it with other Essences, then break it down to get two Absorbent Essences.
  • Use Mercurial Essences for enhancement since they are the cheapest to buy.

Lady Katarina
  • Lady Katarina (but not her mirror doubles) will try to keep her distance when on Ranged attack mode and kite enemies (keep her distance while occasionally shooting at them) if she is taking hits. This also means you can sometimes split a horde or keep your distance to avoid being targeted and safely shoot them. Her tactical retreats are not reliable, however, so watch her health.
  • The range at which Lady Katarina will engage is quite short. If you are trading ranged fire with enemies, she may hover around idly instead of closing for melee. Switch her to ranged combat and/or move closer to the enemy.
  • Manage her by switching her to her non-attackable ghost mode if she is low on health. Letting her recover health this way is faster than letting her fall in combat and waiting for her to "respawn".
    • Also, she won't always run from special attacks and area effects (like damage-aura totems), so if a boss is about to use a powerful attack on her or if she is in a damaging field effect, switch her to ghost mode, which will also encourage her to move toward you.
  • Once Van Helsing can tank for Lady Katarina (and she can support him with her abilities to restore a percentage of health and mana per hit), you can respec her to have more attack and healing support skills and de-emphasize her own defenses. Pull her out of trouble by switching her to Ghost Mode and give her HP Regeneration gear or Essences.

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