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Funcom | Play Now
MMORPG | Genre:Real Life | Status:Final  (rel 07/03/12)  | Pub:Funcom
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The Secret World Interviews: Gamescom – Ragnar Talks Persistent PVP

By Guest Writer on August 24, 2011

MMORPG.com:

Could you please talk a bit about the locations and environments in the game?

Ragnar Tørnquist:

We have cities such as London, where you start out and join your secret society. London is the main social hub, where people go to hang out to shop and simply socialize. We have some very very large outdoor areas. We've talked about an island for instance, which is out on the coast of England. It's been overun by zombies. There's also Egypt, where you'll meet ancient mummies and egyptian gods. Then we have Transylvania, where vampire armies are amassing on Europe. In addition to this we have a ton of dungeons and we've revealed one of them which we're showing on the show floor today, called The Polaris. It's really cool where we show live dungeon runs for the audience.

We've also revealed quite a bit of PVP information, also one of our warzones, a persistent large-scale battleground where factions come together to capture objectives. This one is set in china, in a chinese city/temple. We also have a world within the world. It's a travel realm, it's where you go from point one to two.

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MMORPG.com:

How do you get from one area to another?

Ragnar Tørnquist:

It was a true challenge to work around loading times, so we created the so-called world within the world, within this ancient realm you'll be able to descend through the portals. It's a little bit like in Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time. It's a bit similar to that: inside of this realm the distance is shorter. You'll only move a little bit, then go through another portal. Suddenly, for instance, you go from London and then you end up in North America or in Egypt. It's really a cool way of making the travel feel more seamless then it would be if you clicked on a portal.

MMORPG.com:

Are there any invisible walls within the game then?

Ragnar Tørnquist:

No invisible walls! You'll find that I'm the biggest enemy ever of invisible walls, I dislike them a lot. So every border is natural, they make sense that you can't cross them. Mountains and the like.

MMORPG.com:

What would you say excites you the most about The Secret World?

Ragnar Tørnquist:

Oh where to begin. I'll choose three things: The fact that it's set in a modern-day real world. That it borrows from myths and legends. It's so rare for an MMORPG to be set in the real world. For most part there's no game that take advantage of said urban fantasy feel and bring it to games. I love this part, it's unique and also it's instantly recognizable. Magic is real, vampires exist--it just works.

Secondly, I like the class system. The fact you don't have to choose a class, you don't have the typical levels, and you can buy any skill you want. Play the game how you want to play it. That's unique. It's not unique per say, since we're not the first doing it, however MMORPGs rarely do this, if at all, especially for a modern real day setting.

The third thing I'm excited about is the conflict between the three secret societies, the fact that we have the Illuminati, The Templars and The Dragon are battling for control of the world makes it really neat. It anchors the game in this conspiracy type of way. It ties into the modern day setting and who you want to be in the game. All of this ties together into what we want The Secret World to be. Story-telling is in everything and this is parts of it that makes TSW stand out so much.

MMORPG.com:

Can you talk about a location that doesn't take place on earth?

Ragnar Tørnquist:

There are definitely those locations in the game as well, being based on myths and legends. We haven't revealed anything yet. There's one location which is often thought of as very hot, if that gives you a clue.

MMORPG.com:

Tell us something no one else knows about The Secret World outside of Funcom!

Ragnar Tørnquist:

There is one thing that people haven't talked about a lot yet, which is not like super-super secret, but not a lot of people have talked about it yet; there is definitely a Nordic connection in the game, one of the first areas touch base on this a bit, which we've talked a bit about before. For instance an ancient monster in the sea. What we haven't talked about however, is that you'll actually get to see how said creatures get there. And you also see the first contact Vikings had with the North American continent. So you can imagine that also, things like traveling not only distances but also in other ways... exists. It's something that I feel is very exciting, that we really have a Nordic connection in The Secret World.

MMORPG.com:

Which area in the game do you feel is the most beautiful one?

Ragnar Tørnquist:

Egypt stands out for me, while I don't want to just say one area, it's very visually pleasing, that's for sure. It looks spectacular, with the lightning work especially. London as well. It really feels like you're there for real.

MMORPG.com:

Will there be any vehicles that you can use in the game?

Ragnar Tørnquist:

No, players will not be able to use any such things in the game. We just feel they don't play a role in the game right now, however, this does not mean they won't be added in the future. However, this is not GTA. There might be other things that enable players to travel faster however.

MMORPG.com:

Tell us about a boss fight you haven't talked about before!

Ragnar Tørnquist:

We're showing a dungeon run on the show floor or The Polaris dungeon, which ends up with the players boarding a Helicopter, suddenly something flies by and the Helicopter crashes. While the demo on the show floor ends with the Helicopter crashing, in the full game, you'll be able to carry on and fight the creature that causes the crash. That creature also has abilities to change reality in some really crazy ways.

MMORPG.com:

Can you tell us about the character creation?

Ragnar Tørnquist:

We haven't really talked that much about it yet, but the most important thing is that you first will be able to chose your faction, since that choice is for life.

MMORPG.com:

Which question do you enjoy to get the most during an interview, perhaps one you haven't been getting yet?

Ragnar Tørnquist:

Character information. Cut scenes, personality, voice-acting, we're really proud about all those things and haven't really highlighted them or discussed said things much.

MMORPG.com:

Which MMORPGs have inspired you when creating The Secret World?

Ragnar Tørnquist:

I think all of them, we've played a lot of them, for instance World of Warcraft. We admire it, how fluid the combat is and user-friendliness is there for sure. Another MMO is Guild Wars: they've approached things differently, but in a very interesting and inspiring way. We're also impressed by EVE Online, but it's been hard to draw things from there, for obvious reasons. Anarchy Online and Age of Conan are probably the MMO's that have inspired us the most and taught us so much. It's part of our own evolution and technology.

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