Player vs. Player
Player versus player, commonly abbreviated PvP, involves players fighting against each other instead of NPCs. The player's secret society dictates who is the enemy or the ally, easily identifiable by uniform.
The rules of engagement are set and regulated by the Council of Venice who control the interactions of the three societies by dictating the rule-set and location of each battle. At each location, the three factions battle for control ancient relics.
There is no open world PvP and there will not be separate server rule set for PvP and PvE. PvP style shenanigans were mentioned at PAX 2009 by Ragnar Tornquist including defacing property and swapping faction flags.
There are Fight Club areas in various areas of faction headquarter cities. You can participate or watch the fights from safe viewing zones.
The results of non-Fight club PvP activities will result in faction wide rewards that include buffs or bonuses as well as vendors. The effects that bonuses and buffs will have are still being tested; possibilities include basic stat increases or XP bonuses. Vendors will appear in society headquarters based on the results of battlefields and warzones.
A recent interview with Martin Bruusgaard we learn that players will not be able to join persistent PvP until they hit a certain society rank, "That's approximately… after Egypt." In the same interview Martin mentions that they have a way of calculating brackets for the arena style PvP based on tiers, where your tier is determined by your chakra and weapon skills so that all players within the same tier have the same combat potential.
Battlefieds, also called arenas and mini-games, are matches of instanced PvP, each having certain rule sets about team size and winning conditions. Factions bonuses and buffs from battlefields will contribute toward winning warzones. More about arena game-play in The Secret World - PvP interview" given by Ragnar Tornquist and Martin Bruusgaard to Gamereactor at GDC 2011. Some short views of gameplay in the MMO Reporter Press Panel view from PAX 2011 as well.
- El Dorado - Thirty-man (ten each faction) capture-the-flag
Shambala- Now a PvE area. 
- Stonehenge - Five-man king-of-the-hill
- Main article: Fusang Projects
Warzones are persistent zones with 100 players, exact numbers are unknown as some write-ups say 100 where as Ragnar, in the Gamespot interview said, "100 or more." Each faction spawns in a different area of the map and players are required to meet several objectives while holding off competing factions. The faction that controls the persistent territory gains faction-wide bonuses and provides players access to new items.
The Fusang Projects, formerly known as the Chinese Temple, introduced at gamescom 2011, requires players to gain control of "ancient relics that contain great magic." The objectives for the zone include gaining control of anima wells, which allow the faction to create anima charges, powerful spells capable of doing large amounts of damage, which are used to blow open the temple gates while holding off the other faction attempting to complete the same objectives. Then attackers must make their way to the heart of the temple, holding off defenders, where an ancient automaton, from the third age, must be battled and disabled. An attack on the temple is successful when the automaton changes from the defending faction's color to the attacker's. At this point the attackers would hold 2 of the 3 objectives for the war zone, which is still officially held by the defenders. Watch the walkthrough shown to the press at Gamescom and PAX 2011, provided by the MMO Reporter Press Panel.
This will be the only Warzone available at launch, the developers want to see how well it does and avoid spreading out the PvPing population too quickly.
- Main article: Fight Clubs
According to an interview at GameSNAFU.com TSW will feature areas called "fight clubs" which are located in each of the games main hubs (New York, London and Seoul) where players can engage in FFA PvP (free for all player versus player). They have described these areas as self policed and have stated that one faction can take over a different faction's fight club, requiring the home faction to kick them out.
All participants in PvP Battlefields or Warzones wear faction designated uniforms which are required and cannot be changed during a match. The exact uniform worn is dependent on the role that a player signs up for when queueing for PvP
- High Powered Weaponry - Is for DPS
- Reinforced Armour - Is for Tanks
- Integrated Anima Conduits - Is for Healers
See the articles for each type of uniform for details on what buffs they give as well as descriptions and screenshots.
Starting points for each faction take place behind a one-way wall.
Respawn points are above the rest of the map. To return to play, players must jump down, reducing spawn camping. Players are also able to return to their faction start points using an inventory item.
There is no PvP specific gear stat.
Items won/earned in PvP will be similar to those won/earned in PvE.