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PC - The Secret World

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Published on Apr 17, 2012

The Secret World (formerly known under the working titles Cabal and The World Online) is an upcoming MMORPG from developer Funcom (makers of Anarchy Online and Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures), the development of which has been officially confirmed on March 6, 2007. The final title of the project was confirmed on May 11, 2007. Ragnar Tørnquist is the creative director of the game.

Game Play:
After announcing the development of The Secret World, Funcom project director Jørgen Tharaldsen informed the press that the game uses the same engine as Age of Conan. According to Funcom, the game will blend elements of MMO gameplay with alternate reality gaming and social networking.

At GDC 2009, Tørnquist gave an interview to GameSpot regarding TSW, revealing more about its gameplay. There will be neither levels, nor classes in the game; instead, the character building will be skill-based. This way, the developers plan to avoid level grinding, allowing new players to join the game more easily. The player characters will be customizable to a large degree, particularly in their choice of clothing (except in PvP, where players must wear faction-specific uniforms), weapons (which range from shotguns to swords and can be customized and upgraded), and the supernatural powers they acquire. Combat against computer-controlled monsters will be one of the game's central points and will require more of player's attention than contemporary MMORPGs. The players will be able to form teams to fight together but in an earlier blog posting, Tørnquist assured that the game can also be played in single-player mode, should a player choose not to play with a group. According to him, the game is story-driven and there will be an overarching linear plot, as well as numerous side-quests, ranging from investigation to sabotage and hunting, since diversity of the gameplay will be another central point.

In an interview to GameSpot at the 2009 Penny Arcade Expo, Tørnquist and the lead designer Martin Bruusgaard revealed which playable factions ("secret societies") will be available in the game. These are: the London-based Templars, pious zealots "who would burn an entire village down to get their hands on one demon"; the New York City-based Illuminati, Machiavellian pragmatists who "believe that it's a tough world where only the strongest will survive"; and the Seoul-based "Dragon", who take a neutral stance between the other two and are "all about deceiving, orchestrating chaos, and waiting patiently for its time". A personality test to determine the players' inclination towards one of the factions was made available on the official TSW website soon after the reveal. It will be impossible to change factions without creating a new character. Additionally, players will be able to create their own guilds, known as "cabals" in-game, affiliated with one of the main factions. All players' actions in the game will contribute to their ranking in their respective guilds and factions. The same interview revealed that PvP areas of the game will be located in the region called Agartha inside the hollow Earth, where the players will fight for the invaluable resource known as "anima". This idea was dropped during closed beta as they decided it wasn't entertaining enough. Large scale PvP has later been revealed to take place in big persistent warzones. There are also small minigames in iconic locations such as Shambhala, El Dorado, and Stonehenge.

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