Irusan, aspect of the Irish King of Cats, channels a dark ritual in a time-lost Stonehenge.
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Something’s gone wrong with the cats of the world, and a nefarious aspect of Irusan, King of Cats, works terrible magics in a time-lost Stonehenge.

Project: The Secret World

Company: Funcom

Platform: PC

Title: Gameplay Designer

Irusan was a collaboration between myself and senior designer Tanya Short for the Halloween seasonal event.  She designed the seasonal event and its surroundings, including the main villain, Irusan, featured in this encounter.  She wanted the fight in Stonehenge to take place both in the day and at night, and I designed and implemented the encounter based on these time-shifts and Irusan’s cat-like nature.

Design Brief:


A Were-cat casts an avoidable stunning column attack.

Night Phase

  • Irusan has summoned were-cat helpers to aid in channeling a nefarious ritual
  • Fight the were-cats, avoiding their stunning column attack
  • More were-cats will spawn in each new Night Phase
  • Kill all the were-cats to interrupt Irusan’s ritual, activating the next Day Phase

Day Phase

  • Dodge his primary attack, a magical explosion from the ground
  • Dodge or use line of sight to avoid his cone of breath attack
  • Use Stonehenge to block line of sight when you need, but beware of his spell to curse the ground on the outer ring
  • Avoid his knockback claw attack, which can knock you onto the cursed outer ring
  • Damage Irusan enough to return to Night Phase

Irusan’s primary attack is avoidable, allowing weaker players to play skillfully and still participate in the Halloween content.
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As a seasonal event, Tanya and I agreed this encounter should be challenging but fun, and accessible to undergeared or underpowered players.  In trying to keep with that idea, most of Irusan’s attacks can be dodged by quick players.  This lets weaker players participate in the fight by playing skillfully.  In having just one version of the fight for all players, some of our more skilled players felt the fight was actually too easy.  Future seasonal bosses would reflect this, featuring both a normal mode for low power players and a nightmare mode for our end-game, high power players.

Irusan’s attacks are a combination of voodoo and cat-themed abilities; he can curse the ground, making it dangerous to stand on, and his cat-scratch knockback attack is even more dangerous in combination.

The area transitions from daytime to night time multiple times, with the ritual at night visibly increasing in power every time, giving players the sense of a race to stop this villain.