Vampires seem to be all the rage these days. With the recent success of the Twilight series both on-screen and in print, interest in vampires shows no signs of slowing. Why, then are there so few quality vampire MMORPGs available? Most are text-based and over simplistic, but Dark Eden, a free to play vampire MMORPG from JoyMax, is one example of a fully-featured, Diablo-style online game.
Dark Eden is set in the near future. Three races of characters, Vampires, Slayers, and Ousters, compete for control of the Republic of Eslania. Each of the three races has unique skills, strengths and weaknesses, and gameplay systems.
The game also features a unique night and day system. As the game time cycles through, races gain advantages and disadvantages. Vampires, for example, are more powerful during the night, while Slayers and Ousters gain certain advantages during the day.
PvP is a big part of Dark Eden. Aside from a few sanctuary zones, players are pretty much free to engage and slay each other at will. There are no restrictions on PvP combat, so high-levels are freely able to engage new players with no repercussions.
Each of the three races progresses through the ranks in a different way. Slayers need only attack a monster or another player to gain experience points. Vampires, on the other hand, have to drink an enemy’s blood to gain full benefit of the kill. Ousters must kill enemies to gain experience.
The inventory system will look familiar to anyone who has played Diablo. A simple grid denotes available inventory space and players drag items onto inventory slots on their character’s paperdoll in order to equip them.
Combat is very Diablo-esque as well. Players simply left-click on a monster to attack it, and use the right mouse button to cast spells or use special attacks.
Each of the three races also has unique transportation options. Slayers gain the ability to ride motorcycles between locations, Vampires are able to transform into bats and wolves, and Ousters can summon elementals and teleport using an item called “Gnome’s Horn."
One very unique feature of the game is the ability for some players to change their race at will. Slayers bitten by Vampires can become Vampires themselves and Vampires who wish to become human again can do so. Ousters, unfortunately, cannot change races.
Unfortunately, the game is not perfect. Problems with hackers have dampened the enjoyment of many who choose to enter the realm of Eslania. The game is currently in open beta and supposedly the developers are working on measures to counter the problem, but new players should be aware that they may face overpowered or speed-hacking players.
Those looking to explore a free vampire MMORPG would do well to give Dark Eden a try. Check out our guide to downloading and installing Dark Eden for more information on how to get into the game.