Exclusive: The Secret World – Introducing the deck system

The Secret World is only a couple of months away, but Funcom still has plenty to reveal about their upcoming MMO set in the modern day. Martin Bruusgaard, the lead designer, helps answer some question the deck system that will yield cool new outfits if you take the time to gather your deck. Want to learn more? Keep reading… 

GamesRadar: Could you tell us about the deck system and what it entails? 

Martin Bruusgaard: A deck in The Secret World is a collection of 7 active and 7 passive abilities that work well with each other. Each deck will enable the player to fulfill one or several roles, either soloing or teaming up with others. Upon collecting all 14 abilities the player is also given a kick-ass outfit, so he won't only be able to play the part, but also look the part! 

GR: How did the idea of the deck system come about? Or was it strictly because the game is so freeform you wanted to give people some suggestions? 

MB: Yes, that was how the initial idea came about. We have such a free form progression and ability system, and we wanted to give the players who want it a bit of guidance. Keep in mind that we have over 500 abilities and thousands of combinations! However, this should not be looked at as playing in easy mode, because the execution of the deck is still strictly in the player's hand. We also rank the decks from easy to medium to hard. If you're new to MMOs, or skill based games in general, I would recommend starting out with one of the easier ones and build on it from there. If you're a pro player and been raiding every night for the last 10 years, you can probably start on the harder ones, but don't stop there! Keep thinking and building YOUR deck with YOUR flare and wreck some havoc. 

 GR: Are you worried people might fly too closely to the recommended decks without experimenting? Or not wanting to go a few cards off a deck as they won’t be able to get the outfit? 

MB: No, not really. I believe a lot of players will take a look at the decks when they start playing, and start working towards one. This process has some great treats to it, since we can use it as a tool to teach players the different layers of synergy. Players will soon realize that, in many cases, wielding two weapons is optimal. Later they will realize that the abilities have synergy through the state system, meaning that an ability can do X, but if target is in state Y the X AND Z happens. 

Quick example: Active hammer ability X does 100 damage, but if the target is weakened, then it deals 100 damage andknocks the target down. Later the players will also learn about trigger synergy, meaning different cool things happening on combat rolls (normal hit, critical hit, penetrating hit, evade, block, etc). Quick example: Passive sword ability: Every time you land a penetrating blow you heal yourself for 100. 

GR: Will there be strong combinations not bound by decks? 

MB: Absolutely! Some of the beauty of the system is allowing the players to come up with cool stuff themselves. We want to reward the players who dive into this and take their time to tinker with this, and there are lots of cool combinations we will save for these players. 

GR: How many decks are there to “collect”?  Can you give us some examples? 

MB: There are 10 decks per secret societies. 

GR: Thank you for your time, Martin!

What kind of decks are you looking forward to? Let us know below!


  • Dragonsi - February 23, 2012 5:57 p.m.

    The question is, are we able to make MORE than one deck? Or do we just have 60-70 cards in our inventory "hand" and we will have to swap out all ten to change into a totally different job at will?
  • styopa - February 16, 2012 6:14 a.m.

    I like the 'deck' concept, it will help newer players who are confused by 500 skill-choices. Too much choice can be forbidding when learning a new system. And, I know it's douchey to mention, but: "...building YOUR deck with YOUR flare and wreck some havoc." No. "...building YOUR deck with YOUR flair and wreak some havoc." Sigh, sorry, but I hate writers that can't write, and editors who think running spell-check is doing their job.
  • The KG Critic - February 15, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    I can't wait to make a healer type deck, the amount of buffs, supports and all the good healing spells are mind boggling. :D
  • MS1337 - February 8, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    I want to make a deck that uses CC abilities to heal and damage friends and foes at the same time, in that order, of course!
  • spunXtain - February 8, 2012 3:29 p.m.

    sounds suspiciously like a "class system" to me. Or at least its gonna make everyone using the same set of skills to complete a deck, regardless of what the devs say. My interest in this game just took a nosedive.
  • CaptCOMMANDO - February 8, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    I want an Illuminati deck that lets me control the world!
  • TheSharklionBeast - February 8, 2012 10:21 a.m.

    when I saw cards I thought it would just screw everything up but this genuinely looks like a good thing.

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