Late last week, I sat down to chat with Trove’s Creative Director, Andrew Krausnick about all the work their small team’s done on the game since opening it up to an NDA-less Alpha. Before the nice long deserved break at Trion’s San Francisco offices, Andrew and I went over everything the team’s added in the past couple of weeks since we last took a look at Trove.
For starters, Mounts are in. There are four available right now: the raptor, the rudolph raptor (yes, it has a shiny nose), the Booster Seat (a recliner with rocket jets), and the Rich Raptor, which is a raptor with a monocle and tophat. The last is only available to those who support the game with a $50 commitment or more. As anyone who’s played Trove can tell you, covering a lot of ground is a part of the game, and you’ll definitely want a mount early on. Luckily, in alpha, they’re as easy to get as can be and can be purchased with source (in-game money) or credits (real money). For those worried, any real money credits you buy during the testing phase will be refunded to you at launch to spend again, along with bonus credits for helping the alpha/beta phases.
Cornerstones are also now in, and permanent with your hero on every world you visit from here on our. These are your own personal home space, where you can craft and create things to your heart’s content without fear of someone else coming by and breaking your hard work. They’ll change location, depending on plots of land you find and claim for your own. So if you want to move your home from one biome to another, it’s as simple as claiming a new open space of land somewhere else. Boom, instant movers. Claiming land costs nothing right now, though this may change later. You will also soon be able to let friends and others build/edit your cornerstone, via the social options getting patched in with 2014’s round of updates.
Also, as hinted at above, currency is finally added to the game in its first form. Called “source”, it’s a non-tradeable currency that you can use to unlock things like pets, mounts, crafting recipes, and eventually the new classes. You’ll get them just from completing major objectives in the world, which will be coming in January. Oh, and as for those new classes? Andrew let us know that the first additional class will be the Gunslinger: a ranged badass with knockbacks galore. In other words, something completely different than the current Fighter. You’ll be able to swap between classes at will, and level them up independently from each other similar to how FFXI’s job system works.
Character leveling also went in last week. Levels will be persistent across worlds, on a class by class basis. Right now, it’s mainly for passive stats like HP, damage, and so on. But soon it’ll include new skills and the like as well when the additional classes go in.
New biomes have been added too, along with tons of new loot to each area. Plus loot now progresses more evenly across different biomes, which increase in difficulty too. It’s a soft curve to leveling up right now, and you’ll find areas of the world that are too tough for you now. There’s a whole lot of progression in Trove now, all working towards the greater goal of making each worlds it’s own unique experience.
Multi-jump, along with the jump stat was added along with the progression. This will allow your hero a lot more vertical mobility, based on how high the stat is. You can find items that will increase this, and right now the max compounded this stat can be is 6 or 7, allowing you to jump up to 7 consecutive times in the air. Not content with double jump in your action MMOs? Trove has you covered.
Right now, there are thousands in the alpha, from supporters to invited folks, but Trion insists they’re taking the slow and measured approach when it comes to adding in new folks. They’re testing new worlds, new builds, but holding off on opening multiple different and unique worlds until more variance between them can be added in. There’s also a new supporter tier added to the crowdfunding page; one which will let you work with the developers to design a biome and a class that are tied together in theme.
It’s funny to think that Trove was just announced several weeks back, and yet we’ve seen so many new features added at a remarkable pace. It’s still working with a small team, but one that grows as the game’s supporters flood in. You might instantly check this one off as a Minecraft clone, but it goes much deeper than that. It's a lighthearted and silly game in terms of atmosphere, but the developers behind it are nothing but serious about its potential. If the pace and direction keep steady, I expect Trove to be a very engaging game indeed for many months ahead.
Bill Murphy / Bill Murphy is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.