Sometime in the future, Norwegian studio Funcom will launch its next massively multiplayer online game. It will be a highly unorthodox game that takes place in an alternate, near-future version of the world where conspiracy theories, old wives' tales, and occult myths have all come true.
Dark forces have arisen and threaten the human race with extinction, and your character been chosen to combat them. You'll begin in one of the game's three starting cities--London, New York City, or Seoul--as a member of one of the game's three factions. These factions are secret societies that have cast aside their veils of secrecy to battle the coming threat. Below are introductions to the three factions, their motivations, and what to expect as a character from each.
The Dragon faction, based in The Secret World's version of Seoul, South Korea, has existed in some form for thousands of years. This faction specializes in indirectly influencing the flow of history by using subtle political suggestions, strategic alliances, and maybe a quiet assassination here and there to turn its enemies against each other and eventually get its way. While members of the Dragon faction don't fear using force, they also don't believe in excessive use of it; they prefer instead to humbly listen to their elders, peers, and the universe. They especially like it when you underestimate them, and those that do underestimate members of this faction generally come to regret doing so sooner or later.
The Secret World's Illuminati faction is based in New York City and considered to be the "bad boys" of the underworld. The faction's roots date back to the days of ancient Egypt, though today, it's known for fabulously extravagant parties held by its rich-and-famous members, who are celebrities and captains of industry alike. This faction believes that honor is a myth, the dollar is indeed almighty, and survival should be enjoyed only by the fittest. While it takes wealth, power, and ambition just to gain entry to the Illuminati, it also takes complete ruthlessness and a single-minded focus on ransacking every store of wealth on the planet to truly advance oneself here.
The Templars, based in The Secret World's version of London, is a zealous faction that has battled evil for centuries and is perhaps the least secret of the secret societies. Its syndicate has combined military might with religious clout and often operated openly since the days of the Babylonian empire. While the so-called "Knights Templar," an offshoot of this faction, has been identified by conspiracy theorists as an influential group, the true Templar faction possesses far more resources and influence across all of Europe, as well as spans parliamentary seats and even members of royal families. Templars believe that right makes might and that liberal applications of both will win the war against darkness.
The Secret World will launch when Funcom decides the game is ready. For now, the studio encourages its fans to take an online personality test at its official "Initiation Test" site to help you determine which faction best suits your personality.