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The Secret World Column: The Factional Rundown

By William Murphy on May 12, 2011

Next week we have an interview on all things TSW with none other than Ragnar Tørnquist himself, but for this week let’s focus on something that will likely play a very key role in the shaping of Funcom’s Secret World: the factions.  Each one has their own goals and designs for the future of mankind and Earth, and there’s a whole lot of reason to start thinking now about just which one you wish to pledge allegiance to.  I’m personally hoping that the three-faction setup of TSW leads to some long-missed “realm pride” in Funcom’s upcoming MMO. 

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In terms of the game itself, it seems that you’ll be able to play together and quest together with members of the opposite faction with the idea being that the NPCs are a larger threat than opposing factions.  Additionally, while there will be certain skills and items which are only available to one faction, Funcom is promising that each faction will be balanced accordingly.  All that said there’s got to be a reason for three distinct groups to be at each other’s throats, right?  Let’s recap what each of these sects stands for.

The Illuminati

The Illuminati are sort of the pirates of TSW.  Now hear me out.  Their motto is “Sex, drugs, and Rockefeller” and they pride themselves on their cutthroat tactics and bad boy persona.  Throw an eye patch on them and give them a sabre and you’re set to rule the seven seas.  Their whole existence is founded on the principle of looting and plundering the many mysteries of heaven, hell, and the mortal realm.  They will exploit every advantage they can in the search of power and wealth.  There’s no honor or rules… there’s only the pursuit of the shiny.  This one’s for the gear-driven folks, eh?

The Templars

These are the “Lawful Good” characters of the The Secret World.  The Templars truly believe they are the righteous in a world filled with ne’er-do-wells.   Their only goal is to rid the world of evil and deliver it unto the light by force… and everyone knows they have the capability to back up all that trash talk.  They’re brutal and uncompromising, but they know that their cause is just and ample reason for any eggs that must be broken along the way.

The Dragon

They’re ninjas. 

Oh, you probably want more than that.  The Dragon are the stealthy, espionage driven faction in Funcom’s recreation of the world.  They excel at playing their enemies against each other and assassinating the right people behind a cloak of shadows.  While the Templars outright declare war, the Dragon wait in the wings, slip a vial of poison into the right cup, and live to fight another day.  They don’t care for spoils of war or “righting the wrong”.  The Dragon is all about respecting the balance between dark and light, and they’ll do anything and everything they can to make sure that balance is maintained and the scales never tip.

So now the question is: which of the above three do you find the most appealing?  Is it the shrouded and mysterious keepers of the balance, the power-hungry and obsessed, or the zealous and righteous militaristic type?  One thing I know for sure is that it’ll be really interesting to see how the numbers shake out and what sort of driving force the war between the factions has on the rest of the game’s direction.

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