Trove Interview With Andrew Krausnick

Last month, Trion announced that a major update was coming to Trove. The next content patch for the voxel-based MMORPG is finally going to add PvP to the game. Initially, players will be able to take part in 5vs5 capture the flag battles, but as things progress new modes will be opened up. Furthermore, players will have an immense amount of control over the custom maps that they can build. The PvP Battle Arena update for Trove will be available on December 8 at 12:00 pm PT.

In order to go in-depth with what this upcoming content patch means for Trove, MMOGames had the opportunity to sit down with executive producer Andrew Krausnick.

Nick Shively: Could you give us a brief overview of the upcoming PvP mode for Trove?

Andrew Krausnick: We have no competition in our game of any kind right now. This is the first time we’re adding it. It’s been in open beta for the last few weeks, which basically means you can of do a quick play, quick match mode. There are no rewards yet or ways to build maps yet. Building and creativity is a big part of the game. Something we really want to do going forward is let people build stuff and directly interact with it immediately.

So what that means for us, is that we have clubs, which are like guilds in MMOs, and they have worlds to themselves and permissions to build there. You’re going to be able to build an arena there and play in it. It’s actually going to have the same rules and level up rewards because they’re all time based. Quick matches are great if you just want to pick up a game with random strangers, but custom matches are great if you want to play a game with your friends on a map you built.

You use a different set of stats and equipment. We added a new slot called the banner. It determines the additional power ups you have in PvP, as well as your stats. When you’re playing this game you can pick up these boxes, which give you a power-up you can use by pressing your ‘Q’ key. You can get power-ups like extra speed, healing, shields, summon a battle chicken to fight for you, area effects, and all sorts of useful things. It’s like a first-person shooter feeling weapon, something you might get that changes your abilities like in TF2.

NS: Why wasn’t there PvP in Trove before?

AK: Basically, it wasn’t in the essence of the game that we knew we needed to ship with. We didn’t want to just put something in there and have it not be something we were happy with. We thought the game was strong enough without it and it doesn’t need this component, and let’s do it right down the line. We kept working on it in earnest and then a few months ago we really started putting it out there on our PTS and getting people in there. We got it to a point where we really thought it would be really fun, really worth adding.

We had other concerns too. We have a really good community and we really like it. It’s very friendly and we wanted to make sure we added a mode that wasn’t going to tear them apart. We had a few things we wanted to try. We were originally going to make it so you couldn’t see the enemy names, but we kept that in. We like being able to chat with people; that’s part of being an online game. What we did do is cap the match limit at five minutes, which means it’s really fun and really active. This gives us a good design constraint because it means we have to make sure all the action is really happening all the time and it feels like a complete game.

NS: Why did the team finally decide to implement PvP into Trove now? Was there a big influence from the community or was it a decision strictly from the development team?

AK: It’s a little of both. Our community was never like ‘PvP or riot.’ It almost seemed like a natural extension. We made these really action-oriented classes and this is a fun way to use them. We have our Shadow Hunter who’s kind of a sniper and can shoot through walls and track enemies. We have our Ninja who’s kind of stealthy, the Barbarian who’s tough, all these classes that are fun to play. They work in this environment, so we knew if we can add this mode and get it good then it’s going to add depth and extra dimensions to all these classes we have.

We do have some people that are PvP players. We have a lot of MMO players, and it’s an expectation that people have. So we really should be there for those people and what they want, but it wasn’t something we were going to do just to have it.


NS: What type of rewards can player expect from playing PvP?

AK: So there are two different progression tracks. One is leveling up, so you just get experience every match you play. You earn different types of rewards. You earn auras, which are effects you can display on your weapons and mounts. Those mounts will display the banner, which is a new slot we’re adding. They’ll show up on your character when you’re in PvP and they’ll show up on these mounts whenever you’re in the PvE world. The banners themselves are these weapons that give you the different power-ups.

The staff part will show a symbol that indicates you’re using that banner and people know what to expect from your powers. On top of that there’s a flag that’s kind of like a skin and it has different levels. It can start ragged, go all the way up to pristine and look really nice. Depending on how lucky you are with your jobs and how much farming you’ve done you can get different degrees of that banner that you can equip on your character?

NS: Are these rewards only going to have a power bonus in PvP matches or will they affect PvE?

AK: The weapons you earn now are PvE only and they do not translate to PvP. The banners you earn in PvP are PvP only and do not translate to PvE. There will be cosmetic unlocks that carry over between both. We have a lot of style unlocks and mounts that you can get in one mode or another. Those will transition. You don’t need to participate in one or the other to advance.

NS: Are there other modes coming to Trove besides Capture the Flag?

AK: Oh yeah, totally. The way we wanted to approach this was to get a really solid mode out there for quick play and then get custom building in. So we can really investigate other areas that are a little more untested or different. This will let players dig into these modes and if anything emerges that we like we’ll adopt it into quick play. Even if it never gets to a point where we feel comfortable saying it’s a quick play mode, it’s out there for people to play on their own custom maps.

NS: How much control will players have over map creation?

AK: They can do everything. Basically, there’s a terraformer that sets up a space that’s exactly the max dimensions you can do for any map. And then you have Tide blocks you can use to build spawn points, flag capture points, power-up locations, mechanical blocks, and jump blocks. Anything that can be put in the game by an outside editor, or by us as developers, is a tool there for players in the game itself.

trove pvp

NS: What were some of the problems you came across while building the PvP maps?

AK: The first thing was that we had this refillable health potion and it just didn’t work; people just weren’t dying. We also tried a mode where you could destroy whatever you wanted. That quickly degenerated into people hiding underground. We’ll investigate that idea of building destruction again, but it didn’t end up working right now.

NS: Were there any major balance changes for PvP?

AK: We’ve done some slight tuning. We want to take a light touch to it, especially if it comes to impacting both PvP and PvE. We do have one class right now that’s arguably overpowered called the Ice Sage. Its ultimate freezes people and then lets you kill them. You have to be very close to use it, so it has a high risk versus reward. If it comes down to it, we’ll modify it for PvP only. We’ll probably make it have less duration when it hits players and the same duration when it hits enemies. Overall, things have been pretty balanced.

NS: Is there anything else that you would like to tell our readers?

AK: I think we hit all of it. It has a lot going on, but ultimately what it comes down to is people digging in and seeing what’s in there.

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About Nick Shively

Nick is an eSports and RPG enthusiast. He can normally be found in the deepest parts of a dungeon or in the arena slaying opponents. Nick has been a gamer since an early age and involved in the industry since 2011. He obtained a degree in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2015.