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by Pattom on Aug 16, 2011 at 03:22 AM
Well, since we're starting to discuss the internal structure of the cabal as it will be at TSW's release, I thought I'd throw out some ideas for those of us drawn to the world's second oldest profession: spycraft.

Philosophy
-The idea behind this department would be to form a team of people willing to work across the lines and jump feet first into situations that threaten the standing of Ouroboros or the Dragon within The Secret World. It could be fending off an incursion of demons, or monitoring the activities of unsympathetic members of other factions, or simply poking around the darker corners of the world and seeing what comes to light. Essentially, I'm proposing a blend of spy service, detective agency, and private army. You can choose to specialize in one of these roles, but all it ultimately reflects on is which type of quests you prefer to take. And it's worth stating here that this group would only be operating inside the game: we've had the discussion on "meta-gaming" before (making new characters for the purpose of infiltrating other cabals), and it's not much fun for not much gain.

Specializations
-Assassins will guard certain areas of the game world against attacks from hostile NPCs and player characters. If players from other factions are giving us or other Dragon players trouble, they will be the ones to punish that behavior. (These would be members who prefer to take action missions, being more combat-oriented.)

-Scouts will explore hub areas of the game world where no Ouroboros member has set foot before. They will report back to forums with analysis of available quests, story progression, shops, faction buildings, etc. Anything we know we're ignorant of, they'll go to fill in the blanks. (For members who prefer sabotage missions, which also have action but are more stealth-based.)

-Spies will observe and gather information on significant player characters from other cabals or factions, both friendly and hostile, in addition to NPCs. This would also make them the most diplomatic branch, in way, since the best way to get to know people would be to take quests with them. (Best for anyone interested in investigation mission for their focus on puzzles.)

Chain of Command
-To keep information and initiative constantly flowing, my idea would be to have a fairly loose chain of command, broken into three ranks.

-Troopers are your entry-level members of the department, new members of the cabal who have jumped right into the department. It's unclear what level of experience they have with the game or the cabal, so they'll have to individually handle the gruntwork on comparatively easy missions until somebody is suitably impressed to promote them to rank two.

-Captains have a little more authority, being trusted to form their own squads with other captains or troopers in situations where going in alone risks failure. They may be former troopers who have gained the respect of other members of the cabal, or they may be long-time cabal members or players of The Secret World who have just joined the cabal/department; recommendations by other players can result in new members automatically being bumped up to captains.

-The next step up would be Marshal, essentially generals among the department who plan the exact details of operations and trust captains to see them through. Marshals are likely to be highly experienced players, so having one out on the field would be the clearest sign that we're off to do something reckless. This rank can also be just as useful outside the game as inside, analyzing and collating data from within the game provided by other members, and providing reports to the department director.

-There is also a department director, the top strategist for the department: he/she is responsible for keeping the cabal aware of any newly-discovered info. The director is technically one of the marshals, being elected from their ranks by department members to speak with the admins on their behalf.

Names
-Every spy agency needs a kickass name. Here are a few I've thought up. Feel free to suggest your own!

-MARTINI - Martial Intelligence Initiative (acronym: "martini" is a subgenre of spy fiction that focuses on high technology and thrilling action, and the James Bond movies are the best example)

-BEER - Bureau for Emergency Response (acronym: "stale beer" is a subgenre of spy fiction that focuses on realistic techniques and moral ambiguity, and the Jason Bourne movies are the best example)

-Preemptive Response teams (a clean, simple, ambiguous name)

-Ouroboros Expeditionary Force (sounds like a military group)

-Ouroboros Special Circumstances (named after Special Circumstances, the military intelligence group in Iain M. Banks' Culture novels, which is itself named for the problems it solves)

-Bureau of the Balance (because preserving balance is exactly what we're about)

Ranks
-Finally, I've been toying with two rank systems, one military and one supernatural. Let me know if anyone has preferences or suggestions.

1 - Trooper
2 - Captain
3 - Marshal

1 - Shade
2 - Ghoul
3 - Oni