Chaos Theory: Guide to Secret World’s Illuminati faction

Kirsten Geary. That is almost all you have to say when talking about the Illuminati faction in The Secret World. That’s because the infamous KG (as she signs her memos) is practically the personality of the organization — at least as far as players are concerned. As the player handler, she is the main contact point for everyone putting on the blue. However, there is more to the faction than her. Lots more! Not that I can tell you all of it; that would spoil the game! But I can tell you some, in case you are considering rolling one when Secret World Legends hits the scene.

After laying out the gist of factions last week, I’m shifting my efforts to looking at each one individually. Today we’ll peek behind the curtains of the Illuminati so you can get a look at the inner workings. Don’t worry: I promise to make this as spoiler-free as absolutely possible.

The mantra

One reason to pick a faction is because of its ideals. So what do the Lumies stand for? Well if you got the puppeteering innuendo with the Wizard of Oz remark earlier, you have a pretty good idea already. Or, you get the got the gist if you watched the introduction clip from the character creation process that is embedded above.

Basically, the Illuminati want to rule the world from behind the scenes. The organization wants all the power (and a good portion of all the wealth as well), and will use anything to get it, from blackmail to bribery to badassery. Make no mistake: If the occasion calls for it the Illuminati will come out with guns blazing, it just isn’t the modus operandi. This may very well be the most cut-throat  and ruthless of the factions, with a healthy emphasis on personal gain; members are encouraged to party as hard as they work… as long as they always do what they’re told. There’s a reason the tag line is Sex, Drugs, & Rockefeller. Hedonism is truly a way of life here.

If you like the idea of your character being a part of team that goes for controlling the world through media and manipulation, this could be the faction for you!

The headquarters

The Illuminati are headquartered in New York City, a fitting place as they consider themselves the New World Order and NYC is often considered the heart and hub of the new world. The secret lair is called The Labyrinth, and it is the organization’s brain trust. Located in underground tunnels beneath Brooklyn. it’s a very sterile environment, all shiny steel and bright lights. Just don’t try to walk in if you aren’t an invited guest.

Honestly, I wish there was much more of The Labyrinth accessible to the players. From the descriptions Geary shares about other wings, I totally want to go poking around! Although, I do get that my life would probably be forfeit if I did.

The handler

When I said Kirsten Geary is the personality of the Illuminati in TSW, I wasn’t joking. She has personality to spare. Some players swear by this faction just because of the interactions with this NPC. There is quite a dark humor as well as an aloofness in her communications with players, and I know plenty of folks who join the faction just for her. She is sarcastic with a side of snide, and totally self-serving. (Though I will tell you, KG does the player a solid at some point in the game — at least that’s what she tells you.)

If you are not a fan of foul language (yes, there are some of us out there!), you might want to skip this faction. While there are characters and missions that utilize swearing in other parts of the game, it is particularly prevalent with Geary. Personally, some of the zip of her humor is lost for me because I don’t appreciate swearing for swearing’s sake.

The supporting cast

As much as Geary is the star of the show, she’s not the only cast member. Players get to meet some pretty interesting folks throughout their work with the Illuminati. One of my all-time favorites is good old Charles Zurn. I really don’t want to spoil too much, but he is why I found the Illuminati “welcome” to be the best one. I wish he played more prominently throughout things. I can dream that he gets a bigger role in Secret World Legends!

Players are also introduced to a U.S. Senator, Henry Cicero, and a reclusive information handler Leah Cassini. These two really make you wonder how blurred those lines between game and reality really are; you can’t help but wonder how much this faction is controlling life out here in the real world.

Of course, there is also Alex McCall, one of the figures in the early trailers of the game. He’s the one in the trench coat with the cigarette in his mouth. You don’t actually get to see him in game as a character, but you do interact with him in some mission cut scenes.

The quirks

When first planning this guide, I actually wanted to go really into detail about things, but I realized I just couldn’t. Obviously, I don’t want to give too much away of the neat things you discover as you complete missions and delve deeply into The Secret World. Faction missions definitely have a different bend to them, so if you’ve played one faction and you choose to move to Illuminati for a new character, some of your “been there, done that”s will actually throw you a few surprises. One of my favorites is how the parking garage is skewed differently for each faction. Having had already completed it as a a Templar, I quite enjoyed comparing the changes.

This faction is pretty savvy technologically, and seems to be quite ahead of the curve compared to the other two when it comes to that. As such, there will be more of a focus on utilizing technology with the Illuminati.

Did I mention the dress blues? If favorite color is your deciding factor, and you love blue, Illuminati is for you! When it comes to the majority of faction colored-clothing, the blue looks spiffy. Faction uniforms tend to feature gas masks — less as a fashion statement than out of practicality. Speaking of clothing, you might like some of the deck outfits available only to the Illuminati. However, understand that we only know of these being available in TSW proper; there has been no word on whether or not Legends will get any of these outfits.

What are your favorite parts about the Illuminati? Who are your favorite NPCs? Please feel free to share, but please do warn folks if you have any real spoilers in your comments!

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Bryan Correll

Don’t believe the Illuminati hype about how they’re the behind the scenes power. Witness this mission debriefing we of the Dragon receive at some point:

Every single day some combination of Orochi, Illuminati and military personnel seek to destroy (spoiler’s) blog. Every single day, they fail.

We must never be intimidated by superior numbers. Balance need not be numerical.

We ensure that (spoiler’s) blog stays up because it is interesting. We do it because suppression is seldom the best means of control. Most importantly we do it because it pisses them off.

Theryl
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Theryl

They only think they run things, but at least they’re not as stuffy as the Templars. #Dragon4Life

Dantos
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Dantos

Im just need to play, pretending that Illuminati is The Foundation, and ill be good.

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Bryan Correll

If you mean Asimov’s Foundation then the Dragon are the one’s whose primary interest is constantly revising their predictive models.

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Khalith .

I tried to get in to TSW because I really love the lore and setting and out of all the factions the illuminati are definitely my favorite, I dig the supernatural corporation and their entire vibe and motto are really awesome. I’d love to keep going in this game but I just can’t get in to the game. I already explained prior that the combat really isn’t much fun and “feels” really off and the character creator is lackluster.

But here’s my biggest issue with TSW: because of how the game doesn’t use a traditional leveling system I get lost and overwhelmed with all of the stuff on the map. I can’t tell what my character’s strength is relative to the things I’m supposed to be fighting and the non-linear aspect of the zones makes it so I have no idea where I’m supposed to go or what I’m supposed to do or even how long I should be in a zone. I can’t find any guides that say “do this quest chain, then this quest chain, then this series, and then you’re done with the zone” or something like that which is what I need at this point.

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Tanek

Given your list of concerns about the game, you might be REALLY interested in reading about the changes in Secret World Legends.

Exclusive Interview: Funcom on the Secret World Legends reboot and the end of updates for The Secret World


“The progression system has been made more traditional and more accessible: As you progress through the game, your character will earn experience, earning levels which will increase your survivability and damage output.”

And combat is getting what sounds like a big overhaul.

No guarantee it will be better for how you want to play, but maybe it will be the changes you are looking for.

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Ryuen

*Looks up from the book he is reading in the old library, tumbler of fine brandy in his hand, as he mutters ‘Uncultured rabble’*

luxundae
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luxundae

I’ll be really interested to see how the factions and faction leaders evolve post-Tokyo (assuming we get there….fingers crossed!). For a while I thought that KG was by far the most interesting of them, but things really start to get shaken up once you get to Tokyo and meet their agents and proxies on the ground there.

(I don’t think that gives away too much. There is a Tokyo. You’ll meet people there.)

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Nordavind

Ah Lumies. Smurfs*. Target practice-faction. Mule. The Illuminati have many nicknames. All deserving. None good. Choose Team Blue if you want to die. A lot.

*Not the cool kind of smurfs that are blue team in Ingress

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Bruno Brito

I never die. I command from the shadows.

We are watching.

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Bryan Correll

I prefer calling them the Blue Man Group.

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zoward

Even though I know this faction fairly well, it was fun to read MJ’s take on them. Alas, I want to try something I’m not as familiar with, and I’ve already picked my starting faction for Legends … and it ain’t Illuminati … or Templars …

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BalsBigBrother

That NDA is really hurting MJ I guess :-(

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Tanek

The Illuminati lack discipline. They are barely less dangerous than the Orochi. #Templars

(That said, I may start one when SWL launches. It can be good to better understand your…allies in the secret world.)

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Bruno Brito

The lack of discipline is just a viewpoint from those who do not understand. Illuminatti are free to do whatever, but they do follow a code of conduct.

I don’t expect control-freaks to understand our ways.

We evolve, we adapt, we control without needing to control.

We watch.

Estranged
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Estranged

interacting with KG is worth the time

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Brother Maynard

Dame Julia is the best!

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