MMORPG Info Logo Funcom’s New MMORPG: The Secret World

Funcom have announced more details on their game in development, an MMORPG called The Secret World on their website: Dark Days Are Coming (requires Flash).

Unlike most of the current MMO offerings, The Secret World has an urban setting based on our world, in modern times.

The Secret World allows you to explore real world locations such as New York, London, Seoul, New England and Egypt as you battle evil together with thousands of others from all around the globe. Wield shotguns and black magic as you develop your character in a game that has neither levels nor classes.

On the one hand, The Secret World sounds like it is really breaking new ground with settings. I love the idea of sneaking around London with gold-plated pistols. The combat categories combine magic and melee with martial arts, black magic and voodoo and you can also gain “points” from exploration and trade skills.

On the other hand, the initial write-up promises “ferocious, non-stop player vs. player action in the Battle for Hollow Earth”. This, plus their description of an “intense, real-time, action-packed combat system”, makes me think that the game will be too twitch-based for me although I’m relieved to see that it doesn’t appear to be a PvP free-for-all. The game is expected to include plenty of PvE and the lead designer has said that soloing will definitely be possible.

The points system isn’t quite clear. There are no classes and no levels, leaving “truly freeform character customisation” and “gameplay that goes beyond the usually rigid MMO structure” so I’m wondering if it’s similar to the original SWG skill distribution system. You earn points as you play:

Earn points for everything you do – from combat and exploration, to trade skills and PvP – in order to rank high on both local and global scoreboards, gain titles and worldwide acclaim, and help make your secret society the most powerful and influential of them all.

The game has been in development for over three years and Ragnar Tørnquist, the lead designer of The Secret World, said they started envisioning the game over ten years ago. “We always wanted a different kind of online world, something scary and contemporary, something deeper and closer to our reality. Our goal now is to create a detailed world where players feel empowered and part of something big, something mystical and epic.”

There are three secret societies:

  • the Templars (in red) with headquarters in London
  • the Illuminati (in blue) with headquarters in New York, underground
  • the Dragon (in green) with headquarters in a Buddhist monastery in Seoul

The factions engage in PvP against each other but also, apparently, stand united against evil.

The initiation test determines which secret society you are most suited for and also serves as a sign-up for the beta test.

It turns out I’m likely to join the Templars, which worried me until I saw Tornquist’s tweet on the subject:

Templars aren’t about Christianity. They’re about Faith. Which is different. And also about kicking demon ass.

That sounds like fun to me. I think I shall be watching out for this one.

If you are interested in taking a sneak preview for yourself, take the initiation test, choose a secret society and fill in the form with your name and email address.

You can also find out more on the The Secret World Official Forums and you’ll find some very specific questions answered on the transcript of the Ragnar Twitter interview.

Last month, Funcom revealed their second trailer, “The Puritan,” for The Secret World.


I hate to get my hopes too high after being disappointed by Funcom’s Age of Conan but I am looking forward to hearing more about this one.

Posted by Taymar on



  • Kiesha Messersmith wrote:

    In addition to these chosen people, valuables will be stored in the bunkers such as seeds for growing fruits and vegetables. These seeds will start a new life and would feed may families in the future. Many believe that it will be years or decades before the earth’s aboveground soil would be able to grow and sustain plant life.

  • Taymar wrote:

    I’m really not sure if this is meant to be about an apocalyptic game or just spam. I’ve removed your URL but left the comment. If it’s legit, you may want to be less obscure.

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