Game Name: DARKEDEN
Official Website: dk.ignitedgames.com
Publisher(s): Ignited Games
Genre(s): Massively Multiplayer
Release Date: Available Now: Dec 31, 1970
Darkeden is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing computer game
Darkeden is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing computer game
Darkeden is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing computer game in isometric projection or 3/4 perspective developed and published by Joymax Entertainment. 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.
Darkeden is based on the world of Eslanian, an imaginary east Europe country which has 4 distinctive state regions Eslanian, as known as the world of Darkeden, can be widely divided into "Tutorial Zone", Eslanian City, Limbo Lair, Drobeta complex, Rodin Heights and each region contains dungeons, caves, tunnels, and vampire master lair in its underground. In the south part, there is a place called Lake Timor which is ruled by upcoming 3rd lair master Gilles de Rais. Lake Timor region is completely covered with snow since it lost the beauty and nature over the ice age. The lives of the inhabitants of a mountain area of Eslania known as Helea were forever changed when several days after Christmas, three strangers made their arrival as the sun was setting. These strangers were called Vlad Ţepeş, Elizabeth Bathory and Gilles de Rais and were none other than three powerful master vampires. In few minutes, all the inhabitants of the area of Eslanian City got slaughtered and/or sired. This masssacre was just a mere distraction as their real motivations lied elsewhere. It was said that the first twelve vampires, known as Master Vampires, were born in this area and Bathory, Tepes and de Rais decided to form an alliance to return to their birth place in order to receive the power from the mother of all vampires, Lilith, sealed in Adam's Sanctuary. With their joint efforts, the gate of the Sanctuary opened quite easily. However, as the gate opened, the energy that was sealed inside scattered in four directions. As it moved away from the Sanctuary, the tremendous energy accumulated itself into a layer which eventually stopped its progression covering Helea as a whole, the place which hosted a portal to Adam's Sanctuary. This energy layer was called the Chaos Templum and had for effect to block the ultraviolet rays which are fatal to all vampires.
Thanks to the Chaos Templum, vampires were now free to venture outside during day time. This led waves of vampires to gather in Helea which was seen as a new Eden, a place where they no longer needed to hide from the sun.This situation didn't only reach the vampire community but the human one as well. Quickly, the leaders
of the most powerful nations chose to isolate the region and its surroundings. Several international organizations sent investigation groups within the boundary of the Chaos Templum but none came back except for one man who confirmed the legends about vampires having infested the region. Shortly after, a secret anti-vampire international organization was formed and was named E.V.E (Experts in Vampire Elimination). The man who was chosen as the head of this organization was none other than the survivor from the investigation group since he was the one who knew better than anyone else what was going on there.
The human soldiers, now known as Slayers, entered Eslanian City and began attacking young vampires who once were the citizens of Eslania. The troops soon secured the place and established their temporary headquarters in the urban part of Eslanian which was now known as its center. It didn't take long before the established vampires became wary of the intrusion of the Slayers and the first clash occurred at the East of the E.V.E headquarters in ancient underground ruins which were known as Eslanian dungeon. E.V.E brought one regiment to the field against the hundred vampires gathered there and managed to repel them thanks to their modern weapons. However, vampire magic seemed to overwhelm these same weapons. The Eslanian City area was now secured by E.V.E and only young vampires and monsters deemed as inoffensive could be found. However, both slayers and vampires became aware of a new effect the Chaos Templum had on them, not only did it prevent vampires from burning from the sun rays but it also made both of them stronger than ever before in increasing their damage and combat power.
With the area of Eslanian City now secured, slayers went in search of vampires in other areas as well as new stabbing manoeuvres. Fights between vampires and slayers now became the daily routine of Helea with losses in both sides. Meanwhile, the three Master vampires realized that having opened the seal of the Sanctuary wasn't sufficient enough to acquire the power found inside but that they needed to collect all the pieces of their mother's soul that got divided into thirteen Blood Bibles, with the thirteenth being at the deepest place of the grave inside the Sanctuary. Their lust for power made Bathory, Tepes and de Rais break their alliance all unwilling to share it. The consequences of this split divided the vampire community unsure about which Master to follow. Bathory found shelter in the Castle of Limbo while Tepes established himself in the Castle of Rasen whereas de Rais went to Lake Timore and froze the whole area. Now divided, vampires were more vulnerable than ever now having a war from within opposing the Bathory followers to the ones faithful to Tepes. Nevertheless, vampires managed to remain strong in numbers now filling their ranks with fallen slayers who got sired thus forcing slayers to face a new dilemma compelling them to fight yesterday's friends turned today's enemies. Eventually a clash occurred between Bathory and Tepes from which Tepes emerged victorious though unsuccessful in destroying his rival. Both where tremendously affected and had to regroup in their respective lairs. Since then, the status quo prevailed between the two factions and vampires shifted their main focus back on the slayers threat.
In the mid of the deadly battle occurring all over Helena, an ancient race that shared characteristics with both humans and vampires -and which almost got extinguished by vampires 40,000 years ago except for four survivors- awoke, this race was the one of the Ousters. When they went outside, the Ousters were horrified by the drastic changes their surroundings had undergone through the thousand wars between vampires and slayers taking place there and vowed to purify their land from these intruders. (This scenario was added to the story when the Ousters were introduced to the game).
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 master/slave relationship is also present in the game but only concerns vampires and ousters. It is frequent that a low level player (slave or leecher) is power-leveled by a high level player (master) who kills monsters the low level would be incapable of alone and thus make him/her progress way quicker than s/he 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.
Unlike other MMO's, Darkeden compels 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. All the monsters and bosses present in the game can be killed by a single player with perhaps the exception of Gilles de Rais and Mikklizz. 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.
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. It is also frequent to witness sieges and enemy players "camping" every now and then outside the safe zones.
One of the main characteristics in the play of Darkeden is the use of blood. There exists three different time periods that regulate the battles in Helea. The first period takes place between 1h and 2h59 which is called day time or fn day. During that period, vampires are at their average and slayers and ousters dont got the upper hand on them. The second time period happens between 6h and 4h59 which is night time or full night. It is during that lapse of time that vampires are the most efficient and causes 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 his/her progression. If a human is bitten by a vampire (player and mob alike) s/he will turn into a vampire unless s/he cures himself or herself before 6 to 12h depending on the version of the game. This can be done by talking to any npc that heals the character. If the character doesn't get healed, s/he will die when the countdown is over and all his or her equipment will try to go to his/her inventory. If full they will simply drop on the floor. When respawning the character will now be a new vampire (level 1) and will lose all his/her slayer's money. In the case of the vampire characters, they can decide to turn humans by talking to an npc that will do the work for them. Just like in the slayer case, all the vampire equipment will try to enter his/her inventory before dropping on the floor if full and will disappear after a certain time just like any other drop. The vampire money will be lost as well. Ousters, however, are the only race not able to switch.