by: Niki Fears
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Bloodletting is a 2D, text oriented, Vampire RPG from Arctic Moon Studios. This review covers all major aspects of gameplay, community, and role playing.
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Unbeknown to most of the ordinary humans in the world, an ancient war has raged between the children of the night. The vampires have allied with the witches against the menace of the werewolves and slayers who have now been joined by angels in this realm known as Bloodletting.
Bloodletting is a 2D text based multiplayer RPG created by Arctic Moon Studios and features an active community that offers players a lot of control over the development of their own characters and a great community of dedicated members.
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The game play in the Bloodletting RPG revolves around two components. The first being the simple game mechanics and the second focusing on the more involved interactive role playing.
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The game mechanics are fairly straight forward and include searches, crimes, and attacks.
Searches: You engage in searches in the graveyards and alley ways of various cities to find cash, blood money, or other items. Extra blood money (which you will need lots of for training your stats) can be found for those brave enough, and rich enough, to venture into the Forbidden City. But keep on your toes, not everything you come across is as harmless or as innocent and you may think.
Crimes: Whether you are extorting cash from emo students at Transylvania, plundering the castle of Edo, or attempting to kidnap the British parliament in London you will spend a great deal of your time in Bloodletting becoming a criminal master mind and attempting to break out of the dungeon. Why exactly do you need to be a criminal to be a vampire or how that plays a role in the vampire werewolf war? I have been playing this game for a couple of years now and I can honestly say that I have no idea. But all the same it will help you progress in the game and get all the gold that your little dark heart could desire
Attacks and Steals: In addition to the NPC (Non-Playable Character) encounters that you will have during your searches and crimes, you can also attack and steal from other players. This is another way to rank your character and get your hands on some cash. But take care in who you choose to attack, there are witnesses and you would hate to start a war and get yourself killed!
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In addition to the random game mechanics, Bloodletting also offers a variety of opportunities for Rp'ing (Role Playing). The forums on Bloodletting give you plenty of choices for role playing and interacting with other players. From a social setting at a ball or club to a leisurely stroll through the city you can have control over whatever scene you want to create and may interact freely, guiding your own character as you see fit as long as it obeys the basic rules of role playing and stays in line with the abilities of your character. So you mix and mingle and even go toe to toe with a slayer or two if you wish.
One thing that you should be aware of when you play is that in the standard encounters of the game mechanics you will not be killed if you lose a battle; however, another player could choose to have a bounty placed on you in which case your character could be killed and you would either have to write into your story a means by which you were resurrected or start over with a new character.
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Other than the forums and other elements of standard game play, Bloodletting has a much more of a community feel than some other games you may have played. Built in elements such as Covens or Sanctuaries creates a community with an almost family like feel for many. You also have a friend's list and profile comments that add to the community environment of Bloodletting. And if that is not enough they have also created an 'Unholy Union' aspect where you can find and bewed your soul mate and fight the battle together, although keep in mind that getting married in Bloodletting can be expensive and getting divorced can be even more expensive. This aspect; however, has added a lot of drama and twists and turns to the role playing world.
This community aspect together with the great creative freedom you have in the role playing world are the strongest points of Bloodletting.
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This is definitely the area where Bloodletting falls short. While many PBBG's (Persistent Browser Based Games) are 2D and therefore do not offer some of the more elaborate eye candy that is found in the 3D MMOG's Bloodletting is certainly on the low end of the graphics totem pole. There are a few basic graphics to represent certain places like the Forbidden City or the graveyard during searches, but as you can you see from a couple of the screen shots below, the graphical aspects of Bloodletting are rather scarce. You can upload your own avatar graphic for your profile and decorate your profile as you see fit with in reason to spice things up a bit but this is not a big winner in the graphics department.
On the upside, because Bloodletting is not very graphically intense it makes for a perfect game when you are on the go. You do not have to worry about it taking up a lot of space on your hard drive since you can play from any web browser so you can keep up the game whenever you have a couple of minutes to get online, even from a mobile device in some cases.
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QUICK TIPS FOR PLAYING THE GAME:
1. Ranking takes a while but to rank quicker be sure to cover all of your basics, complete all of your searches and attack during any encounter you have with a NPC that you are able to defeat, attack and steal from other players, and attempt as many dungeon breaks as possible on a regular daily basis.
2. Be care when attacking that you choose someone not in a coven or sanctuary otherwise you could find yourself a target of the coven leader.
3. Posting to the forums and in game email are also important points in developing and ranking your character.
4. To rank above level 7 you must be a member of a coven or sanctuary, but choose wisely- you will be spending a lot of time with these people and will be held to the rules of the prospective coven.
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All and all if you are looking for a great text driven PBBG and you happen to love the creatures of the night and are looking for a game that gives you nearly absolute control over your own character and background with tons of opportunities to interact with other players and develop your own story line this you should definitely give Bloodletting a try. So visit their site at Bloodletting.org and join the fight!