It's still a work in progress; we haven't gotten the kinks out of the Darkness system, and there's only content up through level 45 (out of a planned 100).
It's not a dramatic departure from existing social network RPGs like Mobsters, Elven Blood or Hammerfall (all worth checking out, if you're interested in this game style); you accomplish missions with energy, which regenerates slowly over time, gain levels, can attack other players, etc. The "territories" of Mob games are replaced by companions (bloodslaves you can gain if your Darkness is high, free companions you can gain if your Darkness is low); "equipment" becomes "powers;" and yes, as is typical for these games, you need to recruit other social network members to your "clan" to accomplish some missions, and you can advance more quickly if you purchase "favor points" (or sign up for CPA offers for such), though this isn't required for advancement or to play.
Where it differs is:
- It's set in the contemporary world; I wanted the feeling of the novels of Anne Rice, Poppy Z. Brite, and Charlaine Harris, not the medievalism of Dracula.
- Like Elven Blood, you move from location to location, and different missions and companions are available at each. Unlike that game, the locations aren't imaginary, but real-world places -- the first few levels have you moving about New York, but ultimately you travel to exotic locations across the planet -- some esoteric ones, like the Valley of Kings of the Isle of Lewis, but others interesting urban settings, like Edinburgh and Tokyo.
- There's a definite narrative arc to the game -- some implicit in the changing locations and missions, but also you explicitly gain "story points" that get added to your "journal" and provide background and information about the game.
- It's the contemporary world, but once in which vampires, werewolves, zombies, stranger monsters, monster-fighting secret societies, and the occult wings of national espionage agencies contend.
- The game also poses you a bit of a moral choice; you can treat humans as nothing more than cattle to prey upon (increasing your Darkness, but providing access to more efficient missions, in terms of experience point and blood rewards), or refrain from killing except when absolutely necessary (less efficient, but giving you access to free companions and not just bloodslaves).
Check it out, if you have a MySpace account and get the chance -- and if you need one additional clan member, at any rate, you can find me on MySpace here. Add me as a friend, then "invite" me through the game.
Some particular influences, by the way: