To help further explain things, lead content designer Joel Bylos answers some of our questions regarding the factions and the differences that are found in The Secret World.
GamesRadar: Why did you choose the Illuminati and the Templars as your two factions in the game and make up a third?
Joel Bylos: We wanted factions which resonate with players from all over the world, and obviously Illuminati and Templars are deeply rooted in western tradition. But keep in mind that the Illuminati and Templars in our game have roots that go much further back than their real world counterparts and they are the facets of hugely powerful groups that have been working throughout human history.
The Dragon are the same, the modern face of an aeons old organization. However, we found that modern day equivalents to the Illuminati and Templars in eastern culture were "almost-fits" to our vision for the faction. So we made one up that tied it all nicely together for us.
GR: What did you find the most interesting about these two secret societies? (in our world)
JB: I think the most interesting thing is the unknowable and powerful influence that these groups have had upon history. Whether you believe the theories or not, you have heard of these two and their influence is unquestionable. One of the greatest strengths of human beings is curiosity - the will to know about the man behind the curtain. TSW allows people to dig into that and pull back the curtain.
GR: What kind of twists did you add to the two groups that make them different than what they are/were in our universe?
JB: They are a lot older than their real-world counterparts. They have access to magic and advanced levels of technology (let people debate if that is really a "twist"). And of course, they are all dealing with the occult events that have started occurring across the world.
GamesRadar will be heading to Funcom’s offices next week for another chance to look at the game. Have a question? Please leave them in the comments below and we’ll try to get them answered!