CABAL — a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority.
In Beyond the Veil Take 38, Xander asked the panel what we wanted from the recently promised Cabal management improvements for The Secret World. I stated that I personally care about only one change to cabals: make them cross-faction. Right now players of all three factions can group together for every aspect of the game that involves group play, except two: PVP and Cabals.
Currently, cabals in TSW are more social enterprises than anything else, anyway. I think there's a cabal bank. That's really about it, a standing group of people who might available to group with. It not like there's any boost/reputation benefit to being a cabal. Not that I really mind. I feel like that sort of system in other games has inspired zerg-guilds that are no more a community than the playerbase at large, and together only for the "material" benefits.
This article from Jason Winter of GameBreaker TV puts my argument into a broader gaming context, to include the splintering of the playerbase between factions and across multiple servers. When I first branched out from WoW to play STO, I was delighted with Cryptic's ability to make whatever multi-server set-up they had transparent to the player. I no longer had to worry about what server I was on versus where my friends were. I am still friends with people that I am sure I never would have met if they'd been on some separate server like in WoW. TSW's server hopping is just as good a method.
I have long campaigned for cross-faction cabals. From my review of TSW back in July:
I thought I had articulated this more clearly in the past, but this post was all I could find. I like that I don't have to role as part of the same faction as my friends to group up. I can help who ever I see in The Secret World. I understand the importance of separate factions in PvP—or different servers in the case of GW2. However, in most cases, limiting cross-faction cooperation only fragments a playerbase that could not care less about interfaction rivalries.Set aside your differences. OK, remember how when you played WoW and you wanted to be a an Orc or Tauren, but all your friends were rolling dwarves and gnomes? So you had to roll Alliance, or you wouldn't be able to play. It sucked. Not so with The Secret World. Feel free to group up with those of opposing factions for PvE content, dungeons, etc. After all, some serious shit is goin' down, and unlike Telara or Azeroth, we need to stick together to take care of it. Then, when the pressure's off, we can fight amongst ourselves again in the PvP areas. Yes, I say again cross-faction PvE. Hopefully soon we make form cross-faction cabals (guilds), wheels-within-wheels.
I've heard arguments about not being able to meet in the faction HQ if some of your members aren't in the same cabal. I would say if some of your cabal members aren't in your faction, your meetings probably won't be there either. There are plenty of places in London, Seoul, and across the "globe" to conduct a clandestine cabal meeting. Of course, individual cabals would be under no obligation to invite characters from other factions, but why should that hamper those of us who want to?
I've heard rumor that Joel Bylos wants to increase the separation between factions. I think this would be a serious mistake for a game with an admittedly limited playerbase. I doubt anyone is saying, "I'd play TSW, but there's too much hippie 'Kumbayah' crap going on between the factions." Nor do I think increasing interfaction rivalry would be a selling point to recruit potential players. I could be mistaken.
The truth is that many gaming meta-guilds form "chapters" for each faction already, then communicate through venues outside the game like TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, and Internet fora. Heck, even within TSW you can create custom chat channels that can include characters from all three factions if you want. Why not give those meta-guilds the means to bring all their members together more easily?
Joel, for these reasons, please give us the capability to form cross-faction cabals, if we choose to.