Trove header

Trove Preview: A Slightly Cubic World

When it comes to game releases, Trion Worlds hasn’t had the best of luck. If you look at Rift or Defiance you will see both of them had poor reviews, player feedback, and ended up going free to play which isn’t too ideal. Therefore it’s up to their new game, Trove, to try and prove to everyone that Trion Worlds can create a successful game loved by many. Take note that Trion Worlds is the publisher of ArcheAge in the West and they interact closely with XL Games, the developer of ArcheAge based in South Korea. Meaning it doesn’t count as a Trion Worlds release/game per se.

So what is Trove all about? Well it started out as a pet project of a few employees, and the guys “up top” liked the idea and green lit it for a full game. The basic idea of Trove includes adventuring for items and building things with blocks. Judging from the Alpha, it appears adventuring takes up a good 80% of the package because you cannot obtain most things without exploring dungeons, doing events, or just farming monsters. To further aid your adventure, you have a full selection of equipable items each with their own stats, different weapons, and a plethora of things to craft. I would say the big question on everyone’s mind is: does the alpha version of Trove show promise or will it be yet another flippy floppy building game out there?

Mc Duck's in Trove

Mc Duck’s in Trove

SOLID FOUNDATIONS

Despite being closed alpha, I am very happy to see Trove runs nice and smooth while providing my medium-high computer with a solid FPS. I haven’t even encountered any graphical errors or a single crash (touch wood), which is pretty damn impressive for such an early build of a game. When it comes to the art style, you will instantly notice Trove is a lot brighter, or as I like to put it, Trove is a 1950’s version of Cube World when it comes to the color palette. Just take a look at the comparison below

Cube World vs Trove

Different art styles

In the screenshot above you can clearly see Cube World has more of an artistic depth with its shaders, and a better selection of colors that provide a more vivid gaming experience. It’s a shame to type this, but you can literally count the different colors of Trove on your fingers. Although it is possible for an advanced crafter to build a Cube Converter, that grants access to the full amount (41) of the different hues/colors currently available ingame at a crafting cost. Overall, Trove has gone for an extremely minimalistic approach that some (including myself) might find a little bland, and that ultimately doesn’t give you too much choice when playing the building side of the game.

Control wise, Trove follows the lead of many other building games with pretty standard controls. WASD will move you around, C opens the character sheet, B opens your inventory, V lets you craft, Z mounts you, and Tab switches from adventure mode to building mode and vice versa (full control list below). The difference between the two (apart from one lets you build) is how adventure mode features a little RPG type element where you kill/loot/equip items from fallen monsters or defeated bosses. This in turn awards the character with exp points, from which grant him levels and new abilities. Moving back on topic, I don’t have anything to say about the controls since they work just fine. However yet again, Trove is another game where you can’t rebind them…

Troves Controls

How to play Trove

LOOT BABY BABY

From what I’ve played, Troves development has definitely been more focused on the adventure side of things, with a medium sized amount of different looking monsters to kill, and of course when you kill something, it drops the shiny loot it was carrying. Additionally you’ll earn exp points for everything you murder making your character level, thus able to equip some of the best and coolest looking items in the game. Difficulty wise, Trove has novice, journeyman, elite, master, and uber difficulty available plus uber comes in more flavours akin to Diablo 3 torment levels e.g. uber 1-5. The only criticism I have for the difficulties would be that they contain the same monsters with more hp and better rewards, but remember Trove is in alpha and things may change.

Trove only has two classes currently with that being a typical warrior and ranged class, each with slightly boring yet standard abilities (charge/power attack/defensive cooldown). However there is one element to Trove that I find darn right infuriating, which is the CASH SHOP! Now I’m well aware that Trion Worlds intend Trove to be a free to play game, but, I whole heartedly disagree with free currency model and what’s inside the shop… Let me explain.
There are two types of currency:

  • Supporter Credits aka the premium currency starting at 5 Euros/Dollars per 750
  • Source is the “free” currency earned at extremely slow daily pace

Inside the shop you can expect to see the classes for sale, mounts, pets and other cosmetic items. My main beef with the store is how slow you earn the free currency to purchase a mount to move faster or another class. Yeah, I understand Trove wants to keep that carrot dangling or entice micro-transactions, but the current rate of earning the currency versus the shop prices reminds me of Hearthstone. Does anyone remember how little gold you earned from playing Hearthstone, which led to players merely logging into the game to earn whatever daily gold and not actually playing, this was hardly a real way to enjoy the game and Blizzard fixed that rather quickly. My advice to Trion Worlds would be to double check on players who don’t spend too long earning rewards. They should look at the prices because otherwise players could burnout and stop playing altogether.

Trove Cash Shop

Flying Chair?

HALF WAY THERE

I have to remember that Trove is still in early development, so I shouldn’t be too harsh on it. I’ve outlined a good few points of improvement while also showing you guys & girls what Trove is all about, and whether it’s worth checking out. My personal verdict of the upcoming building/adventure game by Trion Worlds is a little shaky. I often see companies try to cash in on that juicy Minecraft scene, without thinking “hey, maybe I should put some effort into my game”. Trion Worlds hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to MMOs, but they are putting a great deal of blood, sweat and tears into Trove . Hopefully they won’t fall into the trap of denouncing other games like they did with Rift and the whole “We’re not in Azeroth anymore” as that was a little cringy and only hurt them in the eyes of the public.

PROS & CONS

Pros

  • Very stable game
  • Enjoyable loot/levelling system
  • Building with virtual Lego is always fun
  • CUBES!!!!!

Cons

  • Very limited color palette
  • Current lack of building choices
  • The free currency takes ages to earn

Trove Trailer:

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