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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. The game has a horror theme based on a war between humans (Slayers), vampires and Ousters 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 and international versions are 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. Slayers only have to attack a monster or player to gain experience points. Vampires need to kill a monster or player and drink its blood to gain the full extent of the experience points available. 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.
Darkeden is oriented toward player versus player. Except for few safe zones, players can be attacked without any restriction at any moment by other players.
There are 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".
Players may change the race of their character during 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.
Darkeden allows 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. The International server, as the beta version, is completely free to play. In the Thai version free-play is restricted to outdoor maps; double option items and bike spawn locations are restricted; and less experience points are earned compared to premium players. The Japanese free-play version has no gameplay restrictions, but premium players earn double experience points and may purchase special items. The free-play in Korean and Global versions has limited experience point progression and has restricted map access (including the central location Perona.)
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The Korean version (The Bloody Chronicles), being the original one, is by far the most advanced, 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.
On September 30, 2013, the Japanese server was shutdown by Softon after 7 years of existence.
Darkeden 2 was released in Korea in 2015.