Daunting at First But Then You Never Want to Leave
The first time I logged into Trove I didn’t get it. After getting through character creation I quickly found myself going into a lowbie area meant for levels 1-3. As soon as I got there I was lost. There were no instructions, people were scattered all over the map and I had no idea where to start. I ran around the map for a few hours trying to work out what to and mining anything that looked interesting that was in my path. Needless to say I didn’t accomplish much that first time. The next time I logged in though, I was prepared. More importantly though, I got on a map that had just been generated. As it turned out that one detail was enough to completely change my experience and my thoughts on the game.
You see, one of the very important things that makes Trove stand out is that the maps aren’t static. You’ll be in a map for maybe an hour at the very most before you exit and move on to the next. Oh sure, you could if you wanted stay much longer. But it seems generally people only stay for a little while, do the dungeons that they randomly come across (they aren’t marked on the map) and then leave. This isn’t a case of the map being cleared, it’s just do some stuff then go on to the next.
Unfortunately it means that if you were hoping to explore a lot you’ll find yourself alone on your map after a short time. It would appear that the primary focus, for players at least is on PvE, getting those dungeons cleared. In fact I would go so far as to say that crafting is a minor part of the game and building goes along with that. Though, many of the dungeons you come across in the game are player created so I won’t say that building is completely useless. Combat in Trove is very action oriented. There is no targeting you just point, shoot, and pray. The result is utter chaos and endlessly entertaining. You do have to watch out though, bad guys can push you around and combat does damage the ground so if you’re on a rainbow road in the sky and you accidently shoot the road too much there will be a hole for that bee you didn’t see to push you down. Voice of experience? No, not at all…what gave you that impression?
Trove is very much going for a faux 8-bit look which they pull off wonderfully. Unfortunately the UI is extremely limited. The biggest oversight for me was the lack of a button to switch between combat mode and building mode. Yes, you could easily tell which mode you were in just by looking at what you had in your tray but, I ended up having to ask a global channel how to change modes because it was something that had been taught early on and wasn’t something I used for quite some time. To continue with the 8-bit feel of the game Trove has some of the most annoying and repetitive sounds in an MMO, and that’s just how it should be. Sound a bit backwards? It kind of is. But, remember back to the 8-bit days of gaming (if you’re old enough). Annoying, repetitive sounds were the name of the game. So they are right at home in Trove. The faux 8-bit look can cause some headaches for people and unfortunately that isn’t really something you can work out until you log in and give the game a try.
There is no other MMO on the market quite like Trove and for that reason alone it is deserving of a full 10 points for innovation. It has elements you would see in other games, 8-Bit, Crafting, Dungeons, and voxels and manages to combine them in a way that is completely new. If you’re looking for a new experience you won’t find anywhere else Trove is an excellent place to start.
Betas are usually filled with bugs, quests that don’t work and UI issues that drive you mad. That isn’t the case with Trove. It is so refined in fact that Trion could easily announce the launch today. There were no bugs, there are no traditional quests. Everything works exactly as it should, something that can’t even be said about many MMOs after they’ve launched. Trion has a very good customer support structure in place for Trove. When issues do come up Trion is very proactive in getting them taken care of and apologizing for the issue. This is the type of customer support all MMOs should strive for.
Thanks in part to the fact that there is no story in Trove you could easily play it forever. Classes are levelled independently from each other which opens even more opportunities. But the part that really gives Trove a lasting life is the fact that every time you log in you will get a different experience. With the added freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. Unfortunately, there may also come a point where players question why they continue to play. Once you reach your goals what reason is there to continue? For a casual player though this game could easily keep them busy for a long time to come.
The chat system is very easy to use and is used somewhat often by players. Though randomly calling out for help when players are scattered in every direction doesn’t work, people still try it anyway. Players don’t have to team up to get rewards in dungeons. In fact, Trove could almost be described as a single player game that happens to be online where other people are playing the same single player game. Of course there are things you can only get from being part of guilds so it is worth your while to look for likeminded players. But Trove is fantastic for people who enjoy playing MMOs solo. If you don’t want to play alone though there is the option when you load into a map to join a random person wherever they may be. Unfortunately that means if you managed to fall down a massive hole, or for some reason you’re being a mole person and digging your way through the world you could find yourself with a rather unhappy companion suddenly.
Trove is free to play and worth absolutely every minute spent in it. The cash shop is completely optional and many of the things in it can be bought using in game currency rather than real money. Those who do spend money on the game are rewarded for it but never in a way that gives them an unfair advantage over those who don’t.
In the end Trove is a fantastic game for all ages. The free to play aspect means that families could easily play it together. Though it can be a little bit daunting to begin with, once you get into it you don’t want to leave. Trove is all in all a very well polished game that knows exactly what kind of game it wants to be and goes for it. Trove really is a unique experience like nothing else.