Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

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    steveswede
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    Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by steveswede on Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:53 am

    This is about the only thing that the whole community really doesn't have a full understanding of so I'm going to list what I know, what I've read, what my theories are and how to make a vagrant more likely to appear.

    So we know for a fact there are four different vagrants with most people understanding that there are good and bad ones due to one pair being aggressive while the other pair runs away from the player and digs into the ground much like the crystal lizards (A rumour as I have never seen this type of vagrant when playing).

    Since more info has surfaced over the years it appears that the bad vagrant is spawned by players losing humanity from their humanity counter permanently while the good vagrant is spawned by people dropping unwanted items (like black Knight weapons when farming chunks in the Kiln).  With this in mind I think it could be an idea to start naming bad vagrants humanity vagrants and the good vagrants item vagrants as this gives a better understanding what these vagrants are all about.

    If you find a random item on the floor that looks like it was dropped by you when you haven't, this is actually a drift item that has come from someone else's game.  If you leave it long enough, die and reload the game enough times, these drift items will turn into item vagrants.  So if you want an item vagrant to turn up in your game, make sure that when you come across a drift item that you don't pick it up and keep a reminder to go back later to see if the item vagrant has spawned.

    Differences between spirit vagrants (red) and real world vagrants (white) is still mostly unknown, however I have a theory on them.  We know that vagrants only appear when connected online so it isn't a case that the real world vagrants spawn in people's worlds if they are offline all the time.  My theory is that the difference between them is how they spawn.

    Real world vagrants spawn when a game has been loaded or reloaded.

    Spirit vagrants spawn live in gameplay.

    I also have a theory that these spirit vagrants drop better quality items, del more damage and are only available in NG+ and over, much like gravelord cursed only works on you when you are in NG+ and over.

    Also we now know that you can have more than one vagrant spawn in your world at the same time even in close proximity.


    If anyone knows any more information that has been missed out here or have any theories they would like to share please post them.

    Also it could be worth updating the wiki on our better understanding of vagrants.
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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by Uparkaam on Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:48 am

    steveswede wrote:I also have a theory that these spirit vagrants drop better quality items, del more damage and are only available in NG+ and over, much like gravelord cursed only works on you when you are in NG+ and over.
    You can encounter red vagrants on NG.

    Also you might want to check this thread out:
    http://soulswiki.forumsrpg.com/t23547-i-think-i-may-have-spawned-a-couple-vagrants-for-myself-would-love-for-others-to-try-and-replicate-this


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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by steveswede on Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:17 am

    Uparkaam wrote:You can encounter red vagrants on NG.
    Well I mean that.  I always call the playthrough after the first playthrough NG+1, the next one NG+2 and so on.  It seems others have a different way of doing it.
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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by retro on Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:40 am

    Vagrant researcher here. I've made most of the recent discoveries regarding their specifics. I'm taking a little break from my Vagrant research, but most of what I know is currently detailed in the linked thread above.

    I have a couple clarifications based on recent testing not yet shared in the other thread, as well as my own thoughts-

    steveswede wrote:So we know for a fact there are four different vagrants with most people understanding that there are good and bad ones due to one pair being aggressive while the other pair runs away from the player and digs into the ground much like the crystal lizards (A rumour as I have never seen this type of vagrant when playing).
    This is true and can be confirmed as a fact, not a rumor. It doesn't literally dig into the ground, but it runs away and disappears just like a crystal lizard (also having no attacks of any kind). I've made a lot of them spawn, here's just a couple of them:
    http://i.imgur.com/7X38Bft.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/MgG3ubP.jpg

    I haven't been able to capture video of them yet, but here is a video someone else has showing how it disappears:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mcemn4KQC0

    steveswede wrote:Since more info has surfaced over the years it appears that the bad vagrant is spawned by players losing humanity from their humanity counter permanently while the good vagrant is spawned by people dropping unwanted items... With this in mind I think it could be an idea to start naming bad vagrants humanity vagrants and the good vagrants item vagrants as this gives a better understanding what these vagrants are all about.
    I agree with that naming idea, only problem is that "Evil" and "Good" are official names for referring to the two different types, so they've already stuck in the community. Both the Future Press Guidebook and in-game data refer to them as Evil/ Good.

    But if they didn't have these names already, I'd strongly prefer calling them Humanity Vagrants and Item Vagrants. It'd clear up a lot of confusion, especially since a lot of people wrongly get the impression that their type (Evil vs Good) has something to do with their color, when it doesn't. People sometimes see a White Evil vagrant and think it's good because it's white, or they'll see a Red Good and think it's evil because it's red, both of which are wrong. If people named them after what they dropped (Humanity vs. some other random Item), this confusion would probably have happened less often.

    The good news is, people seem to be reading up on them more now and identifying them correctly.

    steveswede wrote:...while the good vagrant is spawned by people dropping unwanted items (like black Knight weapons when farming chunks in the Kiln).
    Regarding the Black Knight Weapons, I'm not yet sure if those work in that situation (in the Kiln). Right now my guess is that they actually wouldn't, because people don't seem to report Drift Item bags or Good Vagrants in the Kiln (zero screenshots or video of one there as of yet), and people abandon their excess Black Knight weapons all the time there.

    The other reason I think it might not work, is that based on my preliminary testing of weapons for spawning Good Vagrants (I have a lot more I need to do), I believe that only weapons upgraded past a certain point are viable items. I didn't test black knight weapons yet, but for regular path items it appears so far that +15 and +14 items can work, while un-upgraded will not. I didn't test un-upgraded twinkling titanite gear, but fully upgraded gear in that path seems to be viable as well. I also have no idea where it does / doesn't work-- I'm not saying the cutoff is at +14, that's as low as I tested so far, asides from armor which was +10 or +5.

    Nothing much set-in-stone to say about weapons and armor, but based on a limited amount of testing the best current guess I have is that:

    -"Regular Gear" (stuff that upgrades with titanite shards initially) results in Drift Item bags containing a titanite Shard.
    -"Special Gear" (stuff that upgrades with twinkling titanite) results in Drift Item bags containing a Rubbish.

    I think this pattern will hold up, because I've seen it a bunch of times. The question is, does all gear need to be upgraded past a certain point to work, and is all gear viable? The items I've seen return Drift Item bags so far haven't appeared to be particularly special, so it seems that even ordinary weapons and armor may work.

    Also, it doesn't matter if you go down a different path with the "regular" gear. If you make it lightning, divine, occult, magic, etc, those all also result in Drift Item bags containing a titanite Shard. So far, the only distinction appears to be for gear that gets upgraded by Twinkling titanite, not all the different paths individually.

    Testing weapons and armor is a lot more tedious and difficult than testing consumables, unfortunately. When I say I've only put in preliminary testing on it, that means I've already worked on it for probably 7-8 hours or so. sick 

    More coming in another post! ... cheers


    Last edited by retro on Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:55 pm; edited 2 times in total


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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by retro on Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:04 am

    steveswede wrote:Real world vagrants spawn when a game has been loaded or reloaded.

    Spirit vagrants spawn live in gameplay.

    I also have a theory that these spirit vagrants drop better quality items, del more damage and are only available in NG+ and over, much like gravelord cursed only works on you when you are in NG+ and over.
    Hmm, I'm not so sure about the live vs. reloaded hypothesis. I'm not sure there's any documentation of the Red / Spirit versions appearing out of thin air, so there's not yet any indication they spawn differently than the White / Real versions.

    I'll definitely consider this as I do more testing though, it's not a bad idea because if the red ones were able to materialize in front of you, it'd make more sense given that their color makes you think of an invader.

    The Future Press Guidebook specifies that what the vagrant drops depends on the "type" of player who spawns the vagrant, though there's no clarification on what that means at all-- what kind of variable(s) matters. However, we do know what the vagrants drop is actually consistent based on their color, and also the item that was dropped. When their color changes, they drop something different...

    So I interpret this as a roundabout explanation that what that really means, is that the type of player determines the color of the vagrant.

    I've been using the Mega Mule for my testing, reloading the same file over and over whenever I run out of the items being tested. The problem is that I've only gotten White Vagrants (both Evil and Good)-- which might make sense, actually. Using the same file over and over, I may not be changing the variable required for creating a red one.

    However, I did try sinning and becoming logged in the book of the guilty, as well as trying a different covenant (tried both Darkwraith +3 and Forest Hunter +3)... all white so far. I've also always been in the first playthrough (NG)...

    That is, until recently when I appeared to have spawned a Red Good Vagrant dropping Pendants over and over. It was on a different, modified Mega Mule file with a different starting class. The only problem is that I've spawned more Vagrants with the same character and they've all been white...

    TL;DR is that I still have no clue what causes one to be red. Maybe the red one I got was actually just from another player by coincidence, who knows. I have tried doing some basic testing on it, but I'll probably have to do a bunch more to figure it out. NG+ doesn't seem to be the cause, I saw the red one in NG.

    Regarding their damage, I agree that the red Evil ones probably deal more damage than the red White ones, though this is just a guess. I don't have any data or documentation of that. I also agree that they probably do more damage in higher NG cycles, as they drop more souls. Dropping more souls, there's no reason to think their damage wouldn't increase as well.

    The red ones also do appear to drop better items-- comparing their drops in the table I made on the wikid0t illustrates that as being a pretty clear trend. No idea if the NG cycle will affect the drops though, my guess is that it won't.


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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by steveswede on Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:40 am

    retro wrote:Hmm, I'm not so sure about the live vs. reloaded hypothesis. I'm not sure there's any documentation of the Red / Spirit versions appearing out of thin air, so there's not yet any indication they spawn differently than the White / Real versions.

    I'll definitely consider this as I do more testing though, it's not a bad idea because if the red ones were able to materialize in front of you, it'd make more sense given that their color makes you think of an invader.
    There a video here of a spirit vagrant spawning live in gameplay.



    So it's fact that they do appear out of thin air (from 4:25).  With the real world vagrant I have absolutely no idea how to even test the theory unless they spawn at a bonfire.


    retro wrote:Regarding their damage, I agree that the red Evil ones probably deal more damage than the red White ones, though this is just a guess. I don't have any data or documentation of that. I also agree that they probably do more damage in higher NG cycles, as they drop more souls. Dropping more souls, there's no reason to think their damage wouldn't increase as well.
    If you look at that person's Youtube playlist, there are videos of him/her with both real world and spirit vagrants doing different damage so that is fact.
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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by retro on Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:21 am

    That's great! Thank you. I saw the first video before, funny how I managed to overlook that.

    The reason I'm pretty convinced that the 'real world' / white vagrants probably don't spawn spontaneously is that I've always found them waiting for me, and one of them is very close to a bonfire (the one outside by the Sunlight altar).

    I've only self-spawned about 20-ish Vagrants so far, so my sample size might be a bit small. Though I've spawned hundreds and hundreds of drift item bags, and those have only been waiting for me as well. They start to come back with pretty common frequency (with my routine that I use)-- and during this time, I could leave the game sit for a half hour and not find any when I come back. If they were getting sent around 'live' and not when the game was reloading, I'd expect to see them pop up when I'm taking a break sometime.

    HOWEVER, my impression may be biased because like I said I've been reusing the same two Mega Mule files, which may have a common trait resulting in only 'real world' / white vagrants. Befowler here mentioned that he saw a Drift Item bag appear in front of him, something I've never seen despite seeing hundreds of them. This could possibly be because he saw one that was getting sent around for a proto-Good Red Vagrant instead of the Good White ones I'm usually creating?

    This is cool. I hadn't thought of this, it gives me a new perspective and something to look out for. I wonder if the trigger is something as simple as dropping items while you're an invader in someone else's world? That wouldn't explain the one Good Red Vagrant I saw during my testing, but it is conceivable that it only spawned as coincidence to my testing, created by someone else. That may sound somewhat unlikey, but considering the crazy amount of hours I've put into this, perhaps that sort of 'false-positive' was bound to happen eventually.


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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by Lacedaemon on Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:52 pm

    I can't provide any proof but the kiln is one of the only places I've ever seen a vagrant. I believe it was there and the undead parish are the only two ice ever seen in my game
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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by retro on Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:09 pm

    I would guess that it was most likely this type/ location in the Kiln?



    With a crab claw, to the left of the column before the Black Knight in the bridge area? This is what OP would refer to as a "Humanity Vagrant" (Evil), which is spotted in that exact location every now and again.

    The Future Press Guidebook says there should also be a Good Vagrant (Item Vagrant) in the area, but that's the kind I haven't yet found any screenshots or video of. With all the Black Knight weapons that are dropped there, and also my initial testing that makes it look like gear possibly needs to be upgraded before it's viable for spawning Item Vagrants, that's why I'm assuming that dropping the Black Knight gear you get there probably won't work. I could be wrong though.

    I could maybe try to spawn it first using items I do know work, though I don't know exactly where it should appear. The guidebook says "In the wasteland near the Black Knight"... so... somewhere near the first or second black knight I guess?

    I probably won't be able to test today though.


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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by Lacedaemon on Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:06 pm

    Yes that's the exact one actually, same spot and everything. Haha I always wondered how exactly these things worked.
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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by Bigbrodeur on Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:44 pm

    Just a litle something that hapened to me regarding vagrant. I was playing coop with my roomate and i was the phantom, i saw and kill a vagrant where you fight the 2 hollow soldier top of the ladder at taurus demon boss in the burg. What is interresting is that the vagrant was not there for my roomate and he was the host. We where playing side by side and were there at the same time and only me as a phantom could see and kill the vagrant. I dont remember wich kind of vagrant it was and i dont remember if it gave something to my roomate ( the host ) .
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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by DarkGerald on Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:42 pm

    well there I was thinking I know everything about DS there's to know and then I stumble over this thread lol. I had to read up on the wiki what Vagrants are, I never heared of them before.

    I saw Gwyn die for 9 times now with two different chars but I am pretty sure I never stumbled upon a Vagrant. Poor luck or is there a way to force their appearence? Or do they only come on PS3 or PC (I'm on xbox)? From what I understand there are places where they regularly spawn, am I supposed to just sit there and wait? So many questions, so much confusion...



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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by retro on Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:00 pm

    Bigbrodeur wrote:Just a litle something that hapened to me regarding vagrant. I was playing coop with my roomate and i was the phantom, i saw and kill a vagrant where you fight the 2 hollow soldier top of the ladder at taurus demon boss in the burg. What is interresting is that the vagrant was not there for my roomate and he was the host. We where playing side by side and were there at the same time and only me as a phantom could see and kill the vagrant. I dont remember wich kind of vagrant it was and i dont remember if it gave something to my roomate ( the host ) .
    That's seriously weird, I haven't heard of anything like this before. I wonder if maybe it was a bug, the same thing that sometimes causes invaders to be invisible?

    The reason I have some doubt that it's a normal, intended mechanic is because that's not a known behavior from any of the Vagrant types. Hosts can see all 4 Vagrant types, phantoms can also see all 4 Vagrant types, and people in co-op/ pvp will typically all be able to see the vagrant together. Though I will keep this incident in mind, if it happened to you it's probably happened to someone else before, however rare.

    The one you saw up there was an Evil Vagrant. Do you happen to remember if it was White or Red?


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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by retro on Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:25 pm

    DarkGerald wrote:well there I was thinking I know everything about DS there's to know and then I stumble over this thread lol. I had to read up on the wiki what Vagrants are, I never heared of them before.

    I saw Gwyn die for 9 times now with two different chars but I am pretty sure I never stumbled upon a Vagrant. Poor luck or is there a way to force their appearence? Or do they only come on PS3 or PC (I'm on xbox)? From what I understand there are places where they regularly spawn, am I supposed to just sit there and wait? So many questions, so much confusion...

    It's not poor luck to not see a Vagrant, unless you've put a LOT of hours into the game. My average is something like 1 Vagrant spotted for every ~250 hours of gameplay (not counting the ones I created intentionally in testing). Their rarity will vary from player to player, depending on luck/chance. Some people will see them a lot sooner, some people will go 500+ hours without seeing one.

    Don't sit around and wait, it won't help unfortunately. There is a way to force their appearance, but the methods aren't very widely known (no youtube tutorials or anything like that yet, I just discovered how to do it this past summer), and only a couple people besides myself (AFAIK) have actually tried.

    However, I would compare forcing a Vagrant to spawn to farming a titanite Slab from a Darkwraith. Perhaps it's a little bit easier than that, but a similar amount of effort + time is required. Cheating tools or stuff like mega mule make it a lot easier, but even WITH those is what I'd compare to farming a slab.

    1) Why they're so rare

    They're rare because they mostly require luck and uncommon events that are out of your control.

    Evil Vagrants are spawned by players losing a large amount of humanity. Most people who are capable of stockpiling something like 99 humanity are typically the same people who are good at retrieving their bloodstains, so it's not like lots of people are losing tons of humanity all the time. They are known to be more common on PC than on the consoles, you can bet this is due to a higher playerbase of hackers/modders not bothering to retrieve boodstains when they can just give themselves humanity again. After the humanity is lost, it has a chance of sending a Vagrant to another player's world. Meaning if you want to see/ receive a Vagrant, what are you going to do? There is nothing you can do to influence the gameplay of online strangers you don't ever meet, so it's normally out of your hands.

    Good Vagrants are spawned by players dropping and abandoning certain items, but there's a catch. The abandoned items don't get sent out as Vagrants right away, they get sent around as a 'drift item bag' first. That bag will appear as a normal, indistinguishable item bag (asides from the fact that it will appear inexplicably, 'out of place' in your world). That item bag itself has to be likewise abandoned by the recipient and sent out again. This whole process likely has to happen multiple times (more than twice) before it actually creates a Vagrant for someone. If someone finds and picks up the drift item bag? The process is interrupted, and it doesn't ever wind up as a Vagrant for someone. As you can imagine, these Vagrants are quite a bit rarer than the Evil Vagrant type.

    2) But it is possible to self-spawn Vagrants...

    You can read about the process in the other thread, but it's not well organized since the thread is about a lot of my testing. I'll rewrite a guide here later on. I'm a bit busy right now though so it'll have to wait for later. happy


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    Re: Let's talk about vagrants - facts and theories

    Post by DarkGerald on Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:12 am

    wow thank you retro for the explaination winking Guess I do count to the unlucky ones who never saw one within 480h of gameplay.

    But I stumbled ever so often about a drift item bag as you call it I think. On some instances I saw a bag lying around (like the ones when you drop an item) that I couldn't pick up. I don't mean the humanity bags dropped by bosses when I had 99 humanity but bags on random locations that I just entered. I always wondered what they are, now I know - the next time I see one I'll stick around for a while to see if it becoms a Vagrant.

    It's not that I need what they drop, I'm just curious about it because I never saw one before, it's a fun topic winking


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