The Secret War

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On August 16, 2011 Funcom announced the launch date for The Secret World and the start of beta registration which was to be, "integrated into a new, interactive social media campaign that will pit community members in each of the three secret societies against each other in the secret war." The new Secret War related CGI vid went up on the Funcom site on August 25, 2011, less than a day before the timer was to stop.


Registration and the start of the war were to begin at 2 pm GMT on August 26, 2011. A timer was posted counting down the minutes with an optional email sign up to be notified when the timer went off. A four hour delay was announced and when that passed another delay was announced. Forty-five minutes after the second announcement, the timer image changed and the Council of Venice systems malfunction ARG began.


An official announcement of the delay of both the secret war and beta registration went up on August 27, 2011.


On August 29, 2011, the secret war registration began on Facebook which launched phase one. The community response to being forced to use Facebook for both beta registration and the secret war was poor. Funcom later posted a non-Facebook method of beta registration on August 30, 2011.


After launching phase 1, Funcom released details for the second phase which included access to unique content and potential prizes for participation. Mentioned in-game prizes include weapons, clothing, achievements, and potentially guaranteed beta access. Out-of-game prizes include a visit to Funcom studios and your name in the game.

Shattered timer
Secret War


Phase two

Phase two of The Secret War launched on April 18, 2012; running for five weeks to end on May 23, 2012. The goal of The Secret War is to accrue points, which earns you ranks in your secret society; each rank has four rewards. There are achievements associated with aspects of the game play as well. Each day an assessment or progress is made and percentage points are distributed to each factions' "Community Unlockable" bar, which will unlock a faction-specific video.


The Secret War forum was made available for finding friends, making plans, reporting bugs, and following the progress of the war.

How it works

You play The Secret War by marshaling the force of your agents to capture, keep, and invade various countries or states (U.S. only) across the world map; agents are deploy-able every 60 minutes. Agents are your Facebook friends who are also playing the game in your faction.


Points are also obtained by sharing propaganda, completing achievements, and completing inner circle missions.


Inner circle missions.

  • Mission 1 - "Like" The Secret War game. 30 points
  • Mission 2 - Vouching Get 5 "friends" to vouch (click a link) that you are loyal. Near as anyone can tell, anyone can vouch for you even if they neither play the game nor have a facebook account.
  • Mission 3 - Recruit Recruit 5 friends who are not already playing The Secret War.
At the moment you can send these invitations to people who are already playing, this does not get you points.
  • Mission 4 - Deploy those 5 recruits.


Propaganda

One of the easiest ways to accrue points was by sharing propaganda website links and then having fellow faction members click them; this helped to claim countries and was also part of two achievements. In order to avoid the spamming of friends and cluttering of walls, propaganda group pages were created on Facebook and several forum threads as well as Facebook Group Documents provided instructions. Propaganda options were updated weekly.


Dragon
Templars
Illuminati


As of April 30, 2012, propaganda worked as follows:

  • One (1) IP (internet protocol address) is allowed to click 6 propaganda links from one sender, in a day, for points
  • A total of 20 points may be earned via propaganda in a day
  • The day starts at 12:00 AM PST and goes to 11:59PM.
  • Repeat clicks for points are not allowed.
  • Propaganda, unrelated to points, is also used to spread influence into countries (attacking, defending). No explanation as to percentage effect has been provided.

Achievements

Completist
You have completed all achievements in the Secret War x/9
Difference Maker
Your propaganda has helped your society retain control of your country
Distributor
You have received 20 views of one of your pieces of propaganda
Drop zone
You have deployed one of your agents to a state/country controlled by another society
General
You have recruited 5 agents to the Secret War yourself
Marathoner
Participated in the Secret War for the entire duration of the campaign x/35
Master Motivator
Get 3 agents to recruit 3 new agents
Strong week
You have participated in the Secret War, everyday, for one full week
Sudden Impact
Your propaganda made an impact in less than 24 hours
Top recruiter
You have recruited 10 agents in the Secret War yourself

Rewards

Ranks

Initiate - 35 points required
Faction t-shirt (Dragon, Illuminati, or Templars), Health Elixir, Non-Faction Cap, and the Sword of Rising Storm.
Loyalist - 80 points required
Faction flare gun (Dragon, Illuminati, or Templars), faction cap (Dragon, Illuminati, or Templars), Marionette of Lost Souls (Blood magic weapon), and the Non-Faction Jacket.
Operator - 150 points required
Bonnie & Clyde (pistols), faction pants (Dragon, Illuminati, or Templars), Non-Faction T-Shirt, 4 Hour XP Elixir.
Infiltrator - 250 points required
8 Hour XP Elixir, The Dream of Winter (Chaos magic weapon), Hawkeye (assault rifle), and the Non-Faction Pants.
Agent - 400 points required
Faction jacket (Dragon, Illuminati, or Templars), "Pioneer of the" (Dragon, Illuminati, Templars), The Punisher (hammer), and the Spark of Zeus (Elemental magic weapon).
Secret Agent - 650 points required
12 Hour XP Elixir, guaranteed access to open beta weekends, The Showstopper (shotgun), and the Vampire Claws (fist weapon).

Weekly drawings

Every week 8 random winners will be chosen in weekly drawings from all players who have earned the top rank (Secret Agent).

Potential rewards each week
Guaranteed beta access and three days head start at launch. (5)
Trip to Montreal (flight and accommodation covered) to visit the Funcom studio and play the game (1)
Your name in the game - Get your name implemented somewhere in the game world. (2)

War Challenges

Added during the second week of the Secret War, weekly war challenges shake up the territorial holdings and offer new incentives. The performance of each faction is tracked automatically throughout each day (12:00AM PST to 11:59PM PST). Claiming territories increases a faction's score, losing a territory that was being defended decreases it.

During week 2, each player who recruited 5 more friends to The Secret War received the I Want to Believe T-Shirt and 100 points. During Week 3 each player who recruited 5 more friends received a mystery item and 100 points. During weeks 4 and 5 they received 200 points.

The secret society that has the most new recruits each week received an additional 15% boost to their community unlockable bar. Every twenty-four hours an assessment is made of land-holding which also contributes a percentage to each faction's community un-lockable. Originally the gains were 3%, 2%, and 1% this was increased during Week 4 and 5 in order to guarantee that all factions would see their un-lockable by the end of the event.

Week 2

The Illuminati Objective: Capture and hold as many European territories as possible while holding on to territories in the United States.

Templars Objective: Capture and hold as many Asian territories as possible while holding on to territories in Europe.

Dragon Objectives: Capture and hold as many territories in the United States as possible while holding on to territories in Asia.

Week 3

This week all 3 Factions are tasked with holding their "home" territories while fighting to gain control of Africa.

Week 4

This week was a reversal of the week 2 challenge.

The Illuminati Objective: Capture and hold as many Asian territories as possible while holding on to territories in the United States. Points are doubled when you hold South Korea.

Templars Objective: Capture and hold as many United States territories as possible while holding on to territories in Europe. Points are doubled when you hold New York.

Dragon Objectives: Capture and hold as many territories in Europe as possible while holding on to territories in Asia. Points are doubled when you hold the United Kingdom.

Week 5

The week for all out domination. Each faction was tasked with taking as much land as possible while holding the other two faction's headquarters. One ub = 2x points, 2 hubs = 3x, and 3 hubs = 4x.

The faction that won the war challenge received the Belt of Rejuvenation. The bonus for recruiting an additional 5 players was 200 points.

War challenge winners

Week 2: The Dragon won the war challenge and gained the Talisman of Time. The Illuminati won the faction challenge to recruit the most people and won an additioanl 15% to their community unlockable.

Week 3: The Templars won the war challenge and gained the Heart of Africa. The Illuminati won the faction challenge to recruit the most people and won an additioanl 15% to their community unlockable.

Week 4:The Dragon won the war challenge and gained the Ring of Force and were also able to recruit the most number of new players and won the additional 15% to their community un-lockable.

Week 5:The Templars won the war challenge and gained the Belt of Rejuvenation. The Illuminati won the faction challenge to recruit the most people.

Community un-lockable

As LordOrion states, what each faction has unlocked is the start of a trip down the rabbit hole. This is a different experience from The Secret War and you enter at your own risk.

The Illuminati officially unlocked their community un-lockable on May 20, 2012. Due to a technical error it was unavailable until Monday, May 21, 2012. The page is discussed and the clues solved in this forum thread. Read the CGN article put together by AmeliahSweet here

The Dragon unlocked their community un-lockable and it became available on May 22, 2012. Read here for the forum discussion and here for AmeliahSweet's walk-through.

The Templars community un-lockable became available on May 23, 2012. The forum discussion is here and AmeliahSweet's walk-through here.

Country regions as assigned

An official list of which lands went to which region was posted. Various countries, marked with an asterisk (*), are only obtainable via propaganda and are in all regions of the world map. We are still missing country codes for 13, 38, 43, 66, 71, 115, 140, 143, 165, 170, 209, 230, 270, 300, and 318; we do not know if these are just very well hidden country codes or if they were removed for game balancing purposes.

Africa
Asia
Europe
United States
Everything else