I think there WERE tougher vampires before? I forget, but I remember early on fighting Withered Vampires and some sort of other, less emaciated looking vampire as well. I might be going crazy, though.
That said, yeah: vampires are really freaking predictable to fight. They’ll turn into bats and attack the weakest member of your party. Really, the ONLY viable solution I found to facing them when I have weaker folks in my group is to make a big circle with no gaps and let my beefy dudes take the hits. Even though, DAMN do they hurt, and DAMN am I jealous of their mobility.
And then their loot is REALLY boring, yes. Vampire dust – that’s all I get is vampire dust? It doesn’t sell very high, either. I’m cool with getting ghoul’s teeth for murdering ghouls; they’re easy to kill; but simple vendor trash for killing one of the hardest opponents in the game? That makes me sad every time.
I think they’re gonna be reworked hard, note. There was a picture I saw a while back that had undead in more Roman-ish equipment with ancient looking weaponry. Assuming I’m not a crazy coconut, it’s very possible vampires will get reworked alongside them.
But until then, I’m going to be very, very disappointed with the loot table every time I fight a band of vampires.