The ability wheel breaks everything down into one of three categories: melee, magic, or ranged. Each is subdivided a further three times into different types of weapons (blood magic, blades, rifles, etc.). Technically you can learn every ability in the game, but you can only equip 14 at a time (seven active and seven passive), and you're also limited to equipping two weapons simultaneously. Your 14 abilities, when paired with your weapons of choice, make up your build, and half the fun in The Secret World is trying out all the possible permutations.
Learn more after the break, and don't forget to check out our Secret World press beta impressions while you're at it.