The Secret World Q&A - The Dragon Faction Details

Game director Ragnar Tornquist shares a few more details on the Dragon secret society in The Secret World. Exclusive trailer inside.

Norwegian studio Funcom has developed online games for years, including Anarchy Online and Age of Conan. The developer is now working on The Secret World, a modern-day online game in which players join one of three secret societies headquartered in the US, Europe, or Asia to root out ancient and occult evils. One of the three societies will be the Dragon, which is headquartered in the bustling metropolitan city-state of Seoul, South Korea. Game director Ragnar Tornquist discusses some of this group's abilities and characteristics.

GameSpot: Now that more information is being revealed about the secret societies in The Secret World, give us some more information on the Dragon secret society. For instance, even though the game will not have strictly defined character classes, surely belonging to this group will confer certain advantages and bonuses that will differentiate it from other secret societies. In which specific weapon, crafting, questing, and dialogue skills will members of this secret society excel?

Ragnar Tornquist: It's important for us to make each secret society as distinct and unique as possible, but also to ensure there's no major imbalance in player-versus-player combat or adventuring in general. There will be plenty of unique content, however, and the philosophy of each secret society is going to be radically different--which affects the storyline and the central themes of the game--but the three secret societies will remain pretty evenly balanced across the board. We don't want one secret society to be massively more popular than another, and we want players to pick the society they want based on their ideas, philosophies, aesthetics, location and story--not because they have the best powers or weapons.

Having said that, there will definitely be other fun incentives to joining a particular secret society. But we're not going to reveal everything quite yet. Secrets, you know.

GS: Give us an idea of the combat specialties of Dragon characters. We've seen a trailer in which a character, presumably belonging to the Dragon secret society, uses a katana-like sword to battle a demon. Will the Dragon character specialize in melee skills?

RT: It's really all up to you: the player. We don't want to restrict your choices because of your choice of secret society. Having said that, there will definitely be weapons--and perhaps even special powers--associated with the Dragon that the other secret societies won't have access to. And it's going to have an Asian flair, for sure, given that the Dragon has its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.

GS: And in the trailer, we watched the character ignite the sword and attack her foe with the flaming blade. What kind of occult powers will Dragon secret society characters possess--weapon enhancements, for instance?

RT: Players will be able to do the exact same thing in the game. The trailers may not be in-game renders, but they accurately reflect the kinds of powers, weapons, monsters, and locations players will find inside the game. As for what occult powers the Dragon possesses…that's going to remain under wraps for a little while yet. But there will certainly be weapon enhancements and upgrades galore…and plenty of monsters to play with.

GS: We understand that the Dragon characters tends to prefer subtlety and patience when looking to achieve their goals. How will this tendency be reflected in their adventuring and dialogue abilities? Will they have bonuses to bluffing and lying their way through conversations? Will they have enhanced investigation skills?

RT: The Dragon is an orchestrator of chaos, and this will be reflected in the story mission. Dragon players will approach events and non-player characters using that mindset--the Art of Chaos--and that makes their story very different from the other secret societies. Of course, they would never call it "lying." To the Dragon, the truth is flexible and ever moving, like the ocean.

GS: What sort of player will most enjoy playing as a Dragon character?

The subtle Dragon society.

RT: Anyone who likes a bit of anarchy, I reckon, though the Dragon still believes in order emerging from chaos. They're a bit of a puzzle box--hard to understand until you really get under their skin--and high up in the ranks, which is going to take a long time. Their ulterior motive won't become clear until the game's launched and players have settled in. I guess people who like a bit of mystery…players who think the Templars are too rigid and old fashioned and the Illuminati are too gung-ho and individualistic. The Dragon has patience. Not that playing a Dragon initiate is going to be boring, though if you're looking for clear answers [from this group], you may end up a bit frustrated.

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about this secret society?

RT: The Templars and Illuminati may be easier to get to grips with--easier to get a handle on--but the Dragon is an interesting addition to the mix, particularly in terms of playing up the rivalry between the other two.

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Discussion

83 comments
Zangetsu84
Zangetsu84

Can someone tell me what LeMarfanz is talking about? Pikachu is a construct of Japan, not America.

LeMarfanz
LeMarfanz

"the portrayal of our culture" says the kid with the pikachu icon.

rolmopsis
rolmopsis

Im kinda looking for smthin to replace WoW with and this one looks just like a good option to me if this will be made good. Its lame that no matter what you try to play you will fall back to WoW since there aint better mmo rpg out there due to many things Blizz worked on for years. This theme, hopefully game system and some other things looks very nice to me - i rly cant wait for this game to come out. Only one thing - hope they will not stick for pvp only in some underground room. Ofc im sure it will be fun, BUT worldwide pvp keeps one from falling asleep doing pve'ing - this moment of random events is rly needed ( at least for me) :)

KainsDaughter
KainsDaughter

Amazing how people spread their prejudices all over an unfinished game. So AoC was disappointing to many - but that doesn't mean everything else has to be. Considering it 'another boring asian MMO' is quite far off, imo, especially considering the other factions and the entire setup - but I suppose people are meant to have their opinions. Concerning Bloppyblue's comment... well, games do not always reflect reality, no? And 'your culture' isn't the only on being shown in an unauthentic way by others. Be that as it may, I am hoping it will turn out to be an interesting game. Seems innovative and unique and if they play their cards right, I think it has lot of potential.

bloppyblue
bloppyblue

They better not screw up the Dragons. If they're including Asian themes, traditions and such, they better do it right. I'm sick and tired of American media messing with the portrayal of our culture.

Jedi_Caratt
Jedi_Caratt

WTB a MMO that's playable on the release date... not 6 months after.

Meowmixxvi
Meowmixxvi

hopefully funcom gets it straight

xtrazyx
xtrazyx

The hope lies in the game developpement team ... pray for it was not the same as AoC (the developppement was subcontracted to an asian team -nothing against the asian- probably not enough skilled to manage a project with such a complexity ...

hobbit784
hobbit784

It is not aisian, It is from the creators of Age of Conan. I think that the game is first of it's kind so it will surely ROCK !

Booshon
Booshon

I agree with LorDofGod hope not another boring Asian mmo

LorDofGod
LorDofGod

its look onother game from asian or some like that.I hope be wrong

KodiakCS
KodiakCS

Mr. Tornquist should better occupy himself with making The Longest Journey Pt. 3. Considering all the flaming this one gets, It'll surely fail big time... And by the way, where is actual in-game footage??

emkplayboy6
emkplayboy6

dylan545 Sending me a private message stating that my mom fails doesn't suffice to the fact that this game INFACT FAILS! lol so you like buying crappy games that fail? Nioce!

vorkosigan97
vorkosigan97

If september_basic doesn't like, "people fight monsters, get rewards from fighting monsters, buy better equipment from these rewards," then it's not Secret World you have a problem with, he just doesn't like MMOs. That's like saying, "Look, another shooter. It will have a targeting reticle and multiple weapons, and will therefore be lacklustre." Actual leaps forward in fundamental structural design are rare: strip out the story elements, and Half-Life isn't structurally different from Doom, just built using better technology. Creating a radically different new MMO like EVE is a huge risk, and usually leads either financial failure or VERY slow-building success. Ultimately, a game succeeds or fails on how much fun the basic gameplay is, with a strong bonus from good storytelling. Radically new game mechanics are more likely to drive players away: a game that is "innovative" without being "better" won't keep the servers running past the six-month mark.

Lach0121
Lach0121

I agree partly with September_basic: the gameplay may not be unique (though not much has been discussed on that part), but one thing is unique bringing the societies (that actually truly exist) to the games, and i mean blatantly, (Illuminati) (freemasons). before in games they were only hinted towards. the theme and setting of the game is unique, (mainly because its an artistic perception of what is going on behind closed doors) in the past games that even mentioned these societies were cancelled. in dallas TX in the early 90s a dev team was working on a game called (Illuminati, The New World Order) and at the time our president (george daddy bush) got wind of it and had secret service conveniently shut the devs down. (that actually happened) but now the masons are in many games. (assassins creed) (dante's inferno) just to name a few instead of just hinted at with the use of the likes of Jedi (which if u look into it were based off the knights templar-freemasons) also in the C&C tiberium world if you pay attention you will catch alot of referrences to this. but like many have said, i dont want to be dissapointed, and there is still a good chance that will happen. i know there are alot of mmos out and comming out, but most are not even worth mentioning, this game has high potential with its theme and setting now lets see if they utilize it.

dylan545
dylan545

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

dylan545
dylan545

all this stupid not saying anything got me sooo worked up over the game. i want it, no mather what :|

brunorr
brunorr

I agree with September_basic. It's funny how they don't explain what the game will be like. Is it going to be a sandbox? Theme-park? A mix of the two? I don't care if it's in outer space, in the past or if it has elves and dwarves, just give me something innovative instead of questing and leveling. They should focus on the structure not the theme.

september_basic
september_basic

To contrast with other user opinions, I must maintain that The Secret World is not a particularly new idea and it sounds like it won't be very different from World of Warcraft nor Age of Conan. Look at the game-play: people fight monsters, get rewards from fighting monsters, buy better equipment from these rewards. The organizations only look different, they don't really have goals in the game that change the entire game world if achieved. And of course this lack of innovation is just a set-up for a lackluster game that's noticably different than a hundred prior games and the most popular games. It won't be as good as it could be. The designers won't put much work into it as they might or it's been collecting dust, waiting to be put into form. World of Darkness Online might be that game? Maybe Shadowrun Online now that the RPG designers have ownership back from Microsoft? It'll likely be GURPS MMORPGs that truly break the mould. We might even see Ars Magica MMORPG too...

Lach0121
Lach0121

i cannot wait for this game. finally an original idea for an mmo that shows potential. this is definitely a unique game, a look into our own obscure world (believe it or not) i like it. i have been following this game for a few months now. It looks wonderful, the dragon seem cool and all, but ill mostly be playing as illuminated controllers- or righteous Mason (knights templar).. who knows might even be as accurate to have Illuminated Masons ... meaning have some Templars become part of the Illuminati (or to at the very least adopt the illuminati philosophy.) but we will see... so many tales have derived from the SOL and SET dualities, and this one game will have this tale poured all in it. (of course in different names, and some exaggerations,) because after all the templars ( in jerusalem among other places protected the christians from the muslims) are part of Masonry, and Masons have origins dating back to being the people who built king "SOL"omon's tomb) SOL, "sol"ar system "sol"dier, "sol"stice (Sol is even the name of our sun.. also known as "God's sun" or "God's son" and im not even joking.) SET, lets see, hmm sunSET: the personification of darkness (SET) conquers the personification of light (SOL) sorry started rambling there, bottom line is: i have high hopes for this game, and i really dont want to be disappointed yet again with another mmo.

prespa
prespa

Sounds cool I will try

RO-nIn187
RO-nIn187

i will definately try this one, i just hope funcom won't screw this up from the beginning like AoC... I started playing aoc a week after release and they couldn't keep almost any of the content promises (DX10 still is test phase as far as i know)...

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

@Vasot & emkplayboy6: Please don't hate, that is just crazy talk. This is one of the most unique MMO's proposed so far. I am greatly looking forward to an urban setting with spells and shady monsters galore.

Drazic
Drazic

Please don't screw this!!

arjan17
arjan17

I am not buying anything from Funcom ever again, they have proven more then once that their games are buggy and unfinished. I have played Age of Conan wich was wonderful and everything you could ask for from the start and most of the bugs where forgiven for the good things offered. But soon as you got halfway through the game there was no content anymore. Half a year later when they actualy finnish the game everyone has left. They sold a broken unfinnished game and they won't trick me twice. And some people who played Anarchy Online from the start had the same problems.

f1tz
f1tz

hallucinagen, Funcom have already said that the PvE & PvP will occupy distinctly different areas; Open air & subterranean environments respectively. It's far too early to gauge the quality or content of this game. I just hope they slap an 18 certificate on it & a truly massive monthly fee to keep the majority of the kids out. Funcom have produced superb narratives in the past, with much more sophistication than anything like WoW or its peers.

Vasot
Vasot

Meh another boring and shallow MMO

TryDaBeardON
TryDaBeardON

Now they just need to add the Discordians to counterbalance the balance of the Dragon.

ianvct
ianvct

I really want to play it!!Can't wait for beta test server!*-*

CommandoAgent
CommandoAgent

Looks very promising give it a chance people

hallucinagen
hallucinagen

ANOTHER mmo with the same old PVP leanings I'm FED UP with PVP how about something ORIGINAL like co-operative/teamwork against a common enemy instead of each other! - lets build a community not DIVIDE it - NOT INTERESTED IN PVP!!!

LionBeast
LionBeast

Dragon is the faction that will rule suprime! Balance is always the true way of winning. There is truly no good or evil, there is only information and best warriors know that there must be balance between good and evil. If we are patient enough our faction will win.

hyttenhoof
hyttenhoof

@Godheval that's your opinion, i guess. but still, i completely agree, anything with ragnar can be nothing but a win. he is an amazing writer.

Judakel
Judakel

Age of Conan was and continues to be an unbalanced mess that never delivered on most of its promises. Hopefully it will shutdown once this comes out. Then maybe we can stop hearing about how the games has changed so much and it is just so amazing now. It is still a mess on many levels. Balance, the promised siege battles... My god.

moh_sakhaii
moh_sakhaii

I hate this Tornquist guy. He promised to give us the next dreamfall and he didn't. He made that game such a cliff hanger and no sequel.

Godheval
Godheval

@hyttenhoof: Funny, I tried AoC for like half an hour because of their free trial incentive, then turned it off and uninstalled it, deeming it "unplayable". Yet in spite of that I'm still psyched about TSW simply because of Tornquist's involvement - as TLJ and Dreamfall are two of my favorite games.

hyttenhoof
hyttenhoof

Shiftfallout - most of the more 'hardcore' or highly interested gamers today consider AoC to be one of, if not THE best MMO around, given a really bad start and reputation because of glitches and bugs at launch (ALOT) gameplay might not be your cup of tea but its DEFINATELY good

TheDromader
TheDromader

I just hope THIS MMO will be released on xbox as planned. I dont think my PC will handle it :( Anywho, Dragon look badass, its my choise of society for now.

kiramasaki
kiramasaki

Pretty much that shot of the cute girl with the sword is good enough to make me pick it up

code305
code305

Some footage from the game would have better in the video other than a slideshow. anyways its seems to be something intresting lets see if its good when its released.

ssh83
ssh83

why did they bother with the video. it's so boring. D: don't they play wow? You have to make the story part of the gameplay. Wall-of-text and a monologue just won't cut it anymore. o.o

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

You people show know by now not to get hyped up by this kind of stuff. Until you see good gameplay, assume the game is utter crap. What do you think happened with Age of Conan? All hype, some concept art and thats it. It says nothing on if the game is actually going to be good. Funcom's track record isnt very good either...

onefutui2e
onefutui2e

this interview was retarded. every answer was more or less a variation of, "we can't say yet" along with the obligatory "this game will be built to be balanced for PvP *fingers crossed*" statement. of course, the game looks like it'll be interesting to follow. after all, what mmo pre-launch isn't? but on the whole this interview doesn't tell us much beyond what we already know.

Kreepre
Kreepre

What if players could make their own societies? Like clans. Then there would totally be "Assassins" who wear all white and hunt Templars