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DarkEden is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing computer game in isometric projection or 3/4 perspective developed and published by SOFTON. It is the first MMORPG in the horror genre. The game revolves around the everlasting war between humans and vampires in a region called Helea located in a fictional country of Eastern Europe known as Eslania. The original version of the game, and the most advanced one, is the Korean one from which several other versions have been derived from such as the Japanese, Chinese, Thai and International versions. The Thai version is currently closed.
Vlad Tepes, Elizabeth Bathory, and Gilles de Rais, three of the twelve master vampires, form an alliance and enter the mountainous area of Helea, killing every person they find. They then attempt to awaken Lilith, the mother of all vampires, so that they can have her power. Opening her tomb does not awaken her, but it does create a cloud over Helea that blocks the sun, making Helea a dark eden for vampires.
The human world responded by isolating the region and sending in their militaries to try to rid the area of vampires.
The master vampires soon discover that the only way to gain the power they seek is to search for the pieces of Lilith’s soul, which were scattered about the area of Helea. Unwilling to share this power, they break their alliance and begin a civil war.
Later, an ancient race of people known as the Ousters awakens from their long sleep and are shocked to see what the vampires and humans have done to Helea. They begin to attempt to wipe them from the area.
Darkeden is a hack-and-slash game, which requires the players to kill hordes of monsters in order to make their character progress. This character progression varies according to the different races with slayers only having to attack a monster/player to gain experience points whereas vampires need to kill the monster/player and drink its blood to gain the full extent of the experience points available while ousters just have to kill to gain these points. For the same monster, ousters gain more experience points out of them than vampires do even when drinking their blood. This is an aspect of the balanced system present in the game between the races having each a special advantage: the slayers sell the heads and skulls of monsters (one of the ways to make money in the game) at the highest prices to npc, the vampires drop the best items out of the 3 races, and the ousters get experience points the quickest.
The Powerlvling(Plvling) relationship is also present in the game but only concerns vampires and ousters. It is frequent that a low level player (leecher) is power-leveled by a high level player who kills monsters the low level would be incapable of alone and thus make him/her progress way quicker than they would have alone in another place. The experience points are divided between the members of a party for ousters and vampires wheareas slayers get a percentage increase. However, as far as slayers are concerned, only their attributes (strength, dexterity and intelligence) rise since they need to use their skills to gain experience points for their level. This explains why power-leveling on the slayer side is more unusual especially if the low level player is of the melee type. Nevertheless, this system of shared experience points within the party shows its limit when high level players are concerned although high level players tend to play alone rather than in groups as they often get more benefits from that (in the case of slayers they can hit the monsters longer and walk less and keeping the loot for themselves as the loot is simply dropped on the ground and anyone can pick it).
Unlike other MMO's, Darkeden doesn't compel the players to form groups to be able to survive in dungeons or hostile maps or to do quests that don't really work properly. Indeed, any player at some point or another is able to go on every map available and to survive the legions of monsters there on one's own. The quests are also essentially single player oriented such as killing a certain number of monsters under a certain time to get a special item. The only quest that compelled players to form groups was the family coins quest in which players had to form a team of 6 to be able to loot coins from monsters which would give them a possible good item once they trade 9 to an npc. Nevertheless, Race Wars, Castle Wars and Caligo Wars are events that pit players together (gathered either by race or by clan/guild) against others in massive PvE battles.
Darkeden is oriented toward PvP and offers it in its most brutal form. Except for few safe zones (green areas on the mini map), mainly the main camps/castles, players can be attacked without any restriction at any moment by other players. As a consequence nothing prevents a player having reached the last level of the game from attacking a player that has just started playing the game.
One of the main characteristics in the play of Darkeden is the use of time. There exists three different time periods that regulate the battles in Helea. The first period takes place between 9h and 16h59 which is called day time or full day. During that period, vampires are at their weakest and slayers and ousters have the upper hand on them. The second time period happens between 21h and 4h59 which is night time or full night. It is during that lapse of time that vampires are the most efficient and cause the most damage to their preys. Finally, the periods comprised between 5h - 8h59 and 17h - 20h59 are the transition time during which slayers, ousters and vampires fight on the same ground. This system offers a very balanced game-play as a vampire can be completely annihilated by day time by a said slayer while when night time comes, this same vampire could dispose of him or her pretty easily (granted they are in the same range of levels). This time effect doesn't concern ousters vs slayers fights but it does with monsters who are considered "vampires".
Another particularity of Darkeden is the ability for players to change the race of their character in the middle of their progression. If a human is bitten by a vampire, they will turn into a vampire unless they cure themselves in time. Vampire characters can choose to turn humans by talking to an NPC who will do the work for them.
The game offers the possibility for players to either play for free or to buy some points and get special advantages. According to the different versions of the game, the restriction for free players varied. In the case of the International server there was none as it was completely free and served as a beta version. As far as the Thai version was concerned, free players could only play on the outdoor maps and were unable to enter dungeons as well as being unable to wear double options items. They couldn't spawn their bike where they wanted and gained less experience points than paying players called premium players. The Japanese version enables free players to access everything the game offers whereas paying players get twice the experience points free players receive as well as the possibility to buy with these points special items to make their characters better (items to combine different options into one item, luck sets, or rented items to name a few). The Korean version and Global version are perhaps the most restrictive ones for its free players. For once free players receive the lowest experience points of all versions, they can't enter dungeons and some maps like Vranco City and can't access the hot spot of the activity of the game where all players gather and sell and buy items (Perona). In short everything is done in the original Korean version and Global version to make the free players become paying ones after experiencing some aspects of the game.
The Korean version (The Bloody Chronicles), being the original one it is by far the most advanced one with active GMs and regular events held. One has to be Korean to register. The game has 4 servers, one of which a non-PK server, that are accessible with the same character.
- Official Korean Site (Korean IP address needed to view site)
- Official Japanese Site
- Official Global Siteet:Darkeden