The Secret World Updated Q&A - More Illuminati

Game director Ragnar Tornquist discusses the Illuminati secret society in Funcom's next massively multiplayer game.

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Norwegian studio Funcom has created such games as Anarchy Online and Age of Conan. The studio is now working on The Secret World, a game that focuses on modern-day occultism and the ancient secret societies that have risen to save the world from a new threat. Previously, we brought you more information about the Dragon faction and a new video trailer for that secret society. This time out, game director Ragnar Tornquist discusses the wealthy Illuminati society.

GameSpot: Give us an idea of the combat specialties of Illuminati characters. We haven't yet seen them in action in any trailers or screenshots, though we understand the secret society controls the world's wealth. Will this wealth carry over to Illuminati weapon loadouts and equipment? What kinds of weapons and combat skills will characters of this secret society possess?

Ragnar Tornquist: The Illuminati certainly have cash to spare, and the society knows how to use it--though it may not look that way. Not on the surface. They're not flashy, not when it comes to the serious business of ruling the secret world. When it comes to weapons, you'll find the Illuminati headquarters being very well protected--in every possible way--and some of this high-tech equipment will certainly be available to initiates…as long as they've proven to be loyal to the illuminated path. Nothing comes for free in their world. Everyone needs to prove their worth, climb the ladder, stab a few backs--you know, private enterprise.

What kinds of weapons, you ask? Big shiny guns that go "boom." Stainless steel and black plastic. And gas masks, of course. The Illuminati are all about gas mask chic.

GS: Since we know The Secret World is all about occult legends come to life, what kinds of otherworldly powers will players from the Illuminati secret society possess? Can you give us some specific examples?

RT: The Illuminati believe in controlling magic. They don't like things they don't understand. The occult has to be quantified and contained, researched and refined, and synthesized if possible. Manufactured. Stored. The Illuminati will have some fun toys to play with. Dangerous toys. Toys that sizzle and erode the divide between worlds.

GS: We understand that members of the Illuminati secret society are lousy with power and wealth. How do these ruthless and domineering characters approach quests and conversations? Will they have extra cash to bribe informants? Will they have additional "connections" to provide them with bonus information that other secret societies can't access?

RT: Players will definitely get a feel for how the Illuminati operates in the story mission--including connections unavailable to other players--and they'll get to tap into that vast wealth and unchallenged network of puppets and puppeteers. Being a member of the Illuminati, you'll get to go behind the scenes and see how this world is run. And it ain't pretty. But being Illuminati isn't about the pretty; it's about doing or getting done. And the Illuminati? They're not done.

GS: What sort of player will most enjoy playing as an Illuminati character?

RT: I think anyone who loves to work hard, party harder, play with expensive gadgets, and listen to industrial music in deserted factories will appreciate the Illuminati way of life. As well as anyone who believes that secret societies should remain secret and not wave flags around, wear leather boots, and parade about like those damn Templars do.

The rockstar Illuminati society.
The rockstar Illuminati society.

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

RT: The most intriguing thing about the Illuminati is how they operate--behind the scenes, never in the limelight. They believe in pulling strings, in bribing and blackmailing the people behind the people in charge. Senators, senior advisors, board members… They're careful, subtle, but at the same time they really know how to use their power and to enjoy their wealth. They're bad guys and girls, they're sexy, and they're tons of fun.

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