Darkeden is a free to play horror MMORPG that isn’t a well known game but it’s a game that the fans have loved for years and still continue to play. It was originally realised in 1997 in South Korea and the English version wasn’t actually released until 2011 (although there was a few non-official English translated versions). For some of us die-hard Darkeden fans, the game never got the recognition it deserved and it slowly fell into obscurity as it moved from company to company trying to find some half-decent developers. There’s plenty of private servers still up with their own twists, experience rates and way of running so you’re bound to find one to suit your playstyle. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, here’s 10 reasons why it is awesome!
The thing that has kept my interest in Darkeden alive for all these years is the fact that I can hop onto the net at any time and find a cool server to play. Each server has their own unique way of doing things, from 1x experience rate (very slow levelling) to 1000x (very fast levelling, based on end game) I can find what I’m after. Each server has their own market, bosses, events, moderators, rankings and forums. Every English server I can find will be listed below with links.
Darkeden Nex (if you join, use referral “ryemck” please 🙂 )
9. Bosses and lairs
The variety of bosses, lairs, dungeons and in game events in Darkeden is one of the defining features. Despite the map not being the biggest in any video game, there’s a huge amount of places you can go. Each “map” (you go in and out of maps) has entrances to 2 or 3 dungeons and each dungeon has 2-3 floors or even more if there’s a boss. Lairs also open all the time that allow players to group up and fight a difficult boss, the rewards are then shared. Many of these dungeons/lairs are solo-able if you’re high enough level so whether you’re a lone wolf or love to fight with friends, you can always find something to do.
Despite having a relatively small fan base, small funding and small motivation, updates for Darkeden are released quite often. These updates aren’t just small bug fixes (although they are included), they’re full on huge improvements nearly every time. Loads of new content, new maps, new bosses etc, all the things you usually pay for as a DLC for other games.
Darkeden is a horror MMORPG based around three races, the humans (slayers), vampires and (later) ousters. Let us ignore ousters for a minute, originally there was 3 master vampires (Vlad Tepez, Elizabeth Bathory and Gilles de Rais). These vampires tried to awaken the mother of all vampires, Lilith (pictured). They failed, only managing to create a shroud of darkness over the realm of Helea (the place where the game takes place) which creates a dark eden for vampires. Humans send in their troops to combat these vampires and so the war kicks off.
This is where the ousters come in, they were introduced as a late update, their story is that they were in a long sleep and when they awoke they were disgusted by what had happened, so they joined the war in the hopes that they could eradicate both the humans and the vampires. All the mobs, enemies and bosses are just “lesser” forms of vampires that are at war with all races.
It’s not exactly Star Wars but it plays the theme really well, allows the game to progress to the storyline and provides a plausible background to the fictional realm.
Each race is completely different, the uniqueness is something that you rarely see in videogames of today. I’ll be giving a short description of each one.
The vampires live in a castle, this castle contains all sorts of gruesome details that fit the vampire theme really well. As you can see from the picture, there’s coffins, stone structures and blood everywhere. Their NPC’s are mostly hooded vampires who assign quests, teach skills and provide a high manner of information.
Vampires utilise either claws or magic for their attacks. Using magic they can cast all kinds of innate, blood, curse, poison and acid type spells which are very powerful.
Vampires who use their claws are very strong and tend to use just a few attacks. One of their main attacks is called Bat Storm, which summons a swarm of bats to an area to attack their opponents. They also use attacks like Set-a-fire which jolts towards an enemy, hitting them backwards.
For transportation, vampires can transform into a manner of creatures. The available creatures are a normal bat, a wolf and even a werewolf (which is powerful in battle too). They can also place blood marks and create a small portal to the marked location for in the future.
Vampires use their HP to cast their abilities but have an ability to suck the blood of their enemies, which fully heals the vampire and deals damage to the enemy. Vampires also have a better chance of finding better items when looting.
During the in-game time, vampires lose power and visibility during the day, but gain them at night.
The slayers are the last remnants of the humans who are struggling to survive against incredible odds. They reside in a huge base with lots of destroyed turrets, structures and crazed vampire former-allies all around the fences. The slayers are determined by a number of classes:
Enchanter – Used to give allies “buffs” that increase their stats. Enchanters are incredibly strong as they have lots of protection abilities, stat increasing abilities and high damaging abilities.
Blader – Bladers are all about damage, they wield huge two handed swords which they use to deal high damage.
Sworder – Essentially a more defensive version of a blader, sworders wield a single sword alongside a shield.
Healer – As it says, healers use their abilities to restore health and mana to surrounding enemies, as well as protect them from magic.
Gunner – This class utilises a variety of weapons (mines, grenades, shotguns, assault rifles, SMG’s, sniper rifles) to defeat enemies. They can summon a turret to help them in battle too.
There’s an incredible amount of depth that goes in to creating your character, especially for slayers. For transportation they use motor bikes but helicopters can be used to transport them very far distances (or if you’re really lazy).
Slayers are really team orientated, a vampire may be able to take two down on their own but in a 5v5 the slayers would be the victors.
Slayers get cheaper prices at shops as their race speciality.
Ousters live with nature, their structures seem to be built from their surroundings. They’re an all-women race who use chakrams for melee combat or a variety of powerful spells. They gain more experience compared to other races as their race speciality.
For ousters you can belong to 4 classes
Combat – Wielding a chakram, combat ousters are formidable opponents who deal lots of heavy damage.
Water – Essentially the “support” class, water ousters use stuns, healing abilities and buffs to give them and their allies the edge in battle.
Earth – I’ve never actually played this type, nor have I really looked into it and there’s very little on the web so I don’t have information on this at the moment (will update soon).
Fire – OP, overpowered, pretty much a noob class. Well to be fair, none of that is true but fire ousters completely wreck house. Their damage is incredibly high.
Ousters tend to be the overall strongest race in the game, that is completely in my opinion but I have many years of getting whupped by these guys.
For transportation they have their own columns littering the map which they can use to teleport from one to the other.
5. JC Quest
Above you will see one of the final stages of what each race look like. The red is vampire, blue is slayer and green is ouster. Those things behind them are called auras and they make your character look awesome (nothing more). You first get an aura when you reach level 100, then another when you reach 130 and finally another when you reach 150. When reaching 150 you can do the “job advancement”, this basically gives you an uber hard quest to complete and if you manage to do it, you come out looking like the races shown rather than something like the vampire in the middle of this picture. The auras shown are actually premium auras which you have to pay for or earn via an event of some sort.
The quest has 4 challenges.
1. Walk across the map and deliver a message (easy but time consuming)
2. ‘Paint’ a floor with bodies
3. Find a certain amount of gems
4. Protect a statue
That’s all I will put in case someone who has never done it before decides to do it. I remember I used to find it so hard that I got my brother to do it as it’d take me an hour before I failed. But that just promotes my next entry.
4. Sense of achievement
I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that rewards you for your time as much as Darkeden does. You will start off with barely any decent items, barely any stats and barely any friends. What you will have a few months later is amazing as you find friends through teaming up to fight bosses, you find items by looting those bosses and the stats come hand in hand with those. The boss fights are more demanding than what you see in other games, one boss fight on World of Warcraft (excluding end game bosses like the Lich King) is a third of a boss fight on here. The rewards are in contrast too, each player will either find something they need or find something someone else needs and do a trade.
There’s nothing better than reaching a huge milestone in a game and Darkeden can give you this feeling all of the time.
My personal favourite part of Darkeden. Sometimes I just transform into a bat (yes, I’m a vampire) and fly around the map looking at stuff. It’s a post-apocalypse world so you run into all kinds of villages, power stations and even entire cities overrun with undead. The remnants of life before the war are clearly visible with food stalls, vehicles, houses and military equipment found everywhere. We’re all so used to fancy 3D graphics that look realistic and that’s fine but for this specific theme, the art is incredible.
The PvE aspect is only there so you can get better items/stats for PvP. The biggest event in the entire game is the Bible War which occurs only twice a week, this war pits all 3 races against eachother in a battle for “bibles” and the more bibles a race gets, the more stats they will gain (until the bibles are taken in the next war). The entire map is pretty much a PvP zone besides a few safe zones and the war between races is consistent in every aspect of the game, even when low level you’ll find other players to fight as you want to keep your levelling place your own.
If you’re a PvE guy there’s still loads to do but Darkeden is mainly a PvP game.
Don’t get me wrong, Darkeden has its share of whiners, cheaters and general idiots but the majority of people are awesome and helpful. When levelling a new character, you can choose to either do it yourself or join the party of an already high level player, get them to kill high level mobs and you get lots of exp which results in lots of levels quickly. There are always players who are willing to do this, as there are players who will give you some starting cash to buy some helpful items. These players will also talk you through the game as the only existing guides aren’t that great.
Overall I think the community is definitely the thing that makes Darkeden as popular as it is.
Hope you enjoyed the list!
If you want play I recommend Darkeden Nex, if you join use my name “ryemck” as the referral!
Here are my characters:
Ouster – DevlinOust
Slayer – Devlin
Vampire – DevlinCr0w