Trove, a free-to-play (FTP), sandbox, massive multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG), is developed and published by Trion Worlds, the people who brought us the games Rift and Defiance. In short, I would have to say the game is a pleasant coalition of World of Warcraft meets Minecraft. It has the gratifying level ranking, MMO-feel, and quest structure of WOW and the gameplay, creative construction, and crafting of Minecraft. It does not have the tediously loquacious lore of the blizzard franchise, while also providing more diversity and content in a voxel game, unlike its counterpart Minecraft.
From a Candy Barbarian to an Ice Sage, Trove offers eleven playable classes with more slated to come in the future. Each class has its own unique abilities and play styles, giving the user a myriad of possibilities in how to play the game. For instance, the class I chose was the Dracolyte; a Warlock-like class that uses a staff-like flamethrower, throws bombs, has a dragon hatchling minion, and turns into an actual dragon with its ultimate ability.
After choosing a class, you then proceed to go through a brief tutorial that explains the basic controls of the game. Subsequently, you then ensue to a central area that is literally called the “Hub.” From the Hub you can access different zones, buy specific items from NPC’s, and connect with hundreds of other people on the server. Initially, you’ll be led towards the “Adventure Worlds”, prefabricated zones that are set up for player progression. The Novice world covers levels 1-3, Elite covering 6-7, and even Uber worlds that go up to level 26-32. Each adventure zone is a randomly generated map that includes nine different interconnected biomes so that you can travel from the wintery Permafrost biome to the scorching Dragonfire Peaks in one short trip. Each biome has its own hostile NPC’s, loot drops, and Dungeons, giving each biome its own retrospective atheistic flair, and forcing you to travel to each zone in search of needed crafting materials for your player progression.
There are also the “Club Worlds”, a zone where guild members can go to make a literal world of their own. Essentially, the club world is a creation mode, where a player can go and assemble structures without being attacked by pesky NPC’s. Everything constructed within the club world is saved, can be viewed by other guild members, and built upon to create a massive community based world.
Crafting is a major aspect of Trove, with hundreds of recipes, crafting can become a daunting task. Fortunately, thanks to the in-depth player progression, you can slowly acclimate yourself to the world of crafting, even if you have not experienced it in other games. The ultimate objective of Trove is to slowly upgrade your crafting abilities by turning in loot, fishing, mining, and completing dungeons. Items obtained from hostile NPC’s can only be equipped in three different slots; the hat, weapon, and mask. Non-droppable items like rings, mounts, ships, and alternate cosmetic designs must be crafted through recipes obtained through exploration or purchasing them from an NPC.
What Stands Out?
The first thing I noticed when playing the game was the mellifluously whimsical music that penetrated my ears. It is magical, and consistently differs for each activity and environmental biome you come across. Comparable to the music, the architectural “artwork” seen throughout the game is magnificent. Like Minecraft, Trove is immensely community built, from the gear you wear to the 300 foot sunflowers that litter landscape. The community built a large portion of the games visual aesthetics and actual gameplay so that wherever you go in the game you can experience something new. Dungeons, another innovative feat of the game, are also community built and involve having to defeat one or several mini bosses for the reward of loot and experience. The dungeons themselves are an aesthetic marvel in their own right, each drastically different and uniquely built by the community. In what other game can you explore the head of a skeleton, traverse through a gigantic lighthouse, or drop deep into the ground in search of loot and glory?
Creating your own personal base has never been more enjoyable, as you can now easily display your arduously crafted creations with everyone. In each zone, there are designated lots to construct your personal base, when activated; your reconstructed base will appear in the designated lot. Only you can alter your own base, while others can come explore and use your crafting tables, but cannot alter your base or view any items in your inventory chest. As you move from zone to zone, biome to biome, your house can come with you to occupy empty lots while your previous lots will then become defunct. If you wish, you can even make carbon copies of existing structures within the game, so unartistic people myself don’t have to fret about looking at their depressing, military base constructions…
That wasn’t very pleasant…
The initial popularity of Trove was unexpected by the Trion Worlds team, and with that came some server issues. Long queue times and consistent server crashes are the largest ailment the game has going for it right now, and since its launch on July 9th, long que times and server restarts have been a common occurrence. Unfortunately, every time I’ve gone to play the game, I’ve experienced 20+ minute queue times, which for me, are a serious drawback for game with so many upsides and positive aspects about it. Luckily though, the folks over at Trion Worlds have been very proactive, already bringing additional servers online to help ameliorate some of the long ques and necessary server restarts. If you’re a person who doesn’t like the idea of long ques or possible server issues, you might want to wait a while before picking up this game.
How free is free-to-play?
Over the years, I’ve become so jaded with the idiom “free-to-play,” that I have begun to approach all FTP games with a healthy skepticism towards the overall quality of the product. Trove undeniably does have a plethora of purchasable content that essentially enhances every aspect of the game. From buying currency to increasing your mining speed, Trove offers everything under the sun as purchasable. Fortunately though, FTP players can obtain almost every purchasable item through hard work and dedication! Personally, I have yet to make one single purchase, and have thoroughly enjoyed the game for what it is so far. Will I purchase something in future? Sure will, but that’s only because the game has provided me with a thoroughly entertaining experience thus far.
In summary, I have to say this was surprisingly entertaining game. Overall, the quality of the game overshadows its negative aspects, and waiting twenty minutes to play this game was worth it. The games smooth controls, beautiful voxel landscape, and entertaining class progression kept me going for hours. If you are fan of MMORPG’s, Sandbox, and Crafting-based games then you’ll have to check out Trove. I give it an 8.1 out of 10 and as always, if you have any questions or comments make sure to leave them below!