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The fourth pillar of fear: Ragnar Tørnquist dishes on story in The Secret World


BioWare and ArenaNet aren't the only MMO studios to be beating on the drums of storytelling lately -- Funcom feels just as strongly that good stories not only have a place in MMOs but are essential to making memorable games.

In a new post over at The Secret World, Ragnar Tørnquist attempts to whet our appetite for a main course of storytelling. "The story in The Secret World is a giant jigsaw puzzle. That's really the only way to describe it. There are thousands of pieces scattered all over the game world, both figuratively and geographically, and as you play the game, you are actively uncovering -- unearthing -- the stories, large and small, that form the enormous tapestry of a backstory that goes back aeons."

All aspects of The Secret World are "infused with story," Tørnquist promises; the game will connect players to the world through context and meaning. He hopes that TSW's mysteries will keep players coming back to the game due to our insatiable desire to know the secrets behind them. He also hints that some of these stories will feature tough decisions and painful consequences: "Joining the ranks of the shadow-masters, it's in your best interest to play by their rules, follow their agenda, ensure that the secret world remains a secret, and if that means making compromises and allowing people to get hurt... Well. No one ever said being a hero would be easy."

These mysteries will come to light during many of the player missions, which we heard about yesterday. While we wait for the launch, Tørnquist encourages us to check out the elements of story that Funcom's released already such as fake websites and other ARG activities.

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