Ragnar Tørnquist Answers Ten Ton Hammer Reader Questions for The Secret World

Updated Mon, May 10, 2010 by B. de la Durantaye

One of the coolest benefits of being a Ten Ton Hammer Premium member is that every once in a while you get to ask the devs of your favorite MMOGs questions about their games. This week The Secret World fans are in for a treat. We spoke with Ragnar Tørnquist, Creative Director and Senior Producer at Funcom for The Secret World and asked him your questions. Ragnar graciously obliged.

Metal asks: What kind of death penalty will The Secret World have?
Ragnar Tørnquist: We don't want to mete out too much punishment willy nilly. Taking risks is part of the fun of playing. Dying - or, well, not dying; we don't have actual 'death' in The Secret World - is going to be an inconvenience, sure, but I wouldn't call it penalty. Whatever happens it's going to be closely connected to our lore and setting, and it's going to make sense and feel fair. Players will be able to jump right back in and join the action.
Metal asks: Taking into account that there are demons in The Secret World, does this mean that hell and heaven exist in the game?  
Ragnar: Yes and no. Our philosophy is to be as inclusive as possible regarding all religions, to make room for any kind of interpretation based on world view - religious or secular. The mythical and spiritual elements of The Secret World are quite far as that's possible. Yes, we make references to hell (and heaven) but we don't make any definite statements or lock ourselves into a single world view. It's a balancing act, but one that's important in order to preserve the mysteries of The Secret World - as well as the real world. Do you really, really want to know the capital-T Truth? Thought not.  

Combat in the shipward of The Secret World
Combat in the shipward of The Secret World
Metal asks: Can you tell us more about crafting in The Secret World?
Ragnar: No. Not yet, at least!
Rocqu asks: What is in The Secret World to help promote player community? (For example: player housing, guild halls, in-game Facebooking, choke points (places lots of people have to go to to get something done in game), raid systems?)
Ragnar: We've already mentioned the hub cities which are going to focus on the social and communal aspects of the game. Aside from that, we'll have plenty of features that promote the community - some obvious, some not so much - but we're not quite ready to announce what those are quite yet.  
OneEyeRed asks: What are you going to do to break the traditional 15-year-old mold and format for MMO gaming? (For instance, the constant "Oh, it's a new NPC with another twenty quests" dilemma.) Someone needs to break this tired format and offer something different. I really want to get excited about TSW but the genre has made me leery.

Ragnar: Is that a question or are you just venting? I hear you! We hope we can provide something a little different, and we're striving to make changes where we feel the genre could benefit from a change - like the role-playing system, how missions are presented, the mix of different types of gameplay, and so on.
OneEyeRed asks: Could you go over how combat works to some extent for us?
Ragnar: In detail - no. But we've already talked about how players can equip seven active powers and seven passive powers before heading out to do missions and fight monsters, and that choice - from hundreds of available powers - is really the driving force behind the combat. The mix of powers, both actives and passives, and the powers equipped by your team mates, is key, and these powers are designed to work together to create powerful 'combos'. This makes the system really unique and a ton of fun to play. Also, since we don't have classes in The Secret World, you can buy and equip any powers you want, creating a totally unique hybrid character - if that's what you want - or a super focused one if you prefer to play an archetype like healer or tank. For example. It's a very flexible and very deep system that will hopefully keep players engaged for a long, long time.


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