PAX 2014 Preview: Trove Voxel RPG Drives PvE Gameplay

By Published September 01, 2014 at 9:00 am
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Trion Worlds' sandbox MMORPG Trove, currently in alpha, has some exciting news for fans of the game – beta is coming soon).

We were fortunate enough that GN Senior Editor Nick Pinkerton was able to meet with Andrew Krausnick, Project Lead, and Brian Clarke, Lead Artist, to find out how the alpha released has progressed to enhance the game’s cooperative, community-focused PVE experience. We’ll cover player-created content and crafting, clubs and the other worlds, and classes and items in this article.

For those who haven't heard about Trove, it’s an open-ended voxel adventure game that features user-created content and procedurally-generated worlds, which we just defined in our Star Citizen interview. Like most voxel games, the player is able to custom-build effectively everything, from the world itself to the gear inside it.

Trove – User-Generated Content

Trove is frequently updated based on feedback and user-created items from what users post on the game’s sub-Reddit. There are currently over 1000 user-created submissions active. Players are also rewarded for gear and item submissions with in-game currencies. In addition to the gear, there are even better rewards given for creating dungeons and lairs. These rewards are given to everyone who worked on the items, so it is encouraged to grab some other players and create something far more impressive than what’s possible to do alone.

Once user-generated content has been implemented – like dungeons and lairs – the areas appear in the Adventure World randomly. Trove then reassembles the user-generated content procedurally, making it one of the few games that presents UGC in  a procedurally-generated fashion.

Clubs and the Other Worlds

Currently, there are three worlds connected via portal, allowing players to jump between them with a bit of magic. The first is the “Hub World,” where everyone comes together to take on quests. Next, there is the “Club World,” a feature developed during alpha for creating in-game clubs (Trove’s version of guilds) that give each club a private, expandable space. Lastly, there is the Adventure World, a series of procedurally- generated worlds based on player and company-created worlds; these offer better loot and gear than any other world.

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Players start in the Hub world -- the hang-out area where players meet -- and get the chance to show off creations and gear. Hubs have corner stones, tower spots that safely store personal items & gear, allow flask refreshes – health regeneration – and allow class changes via a craftable item. Because this is a global game, players frequently drop-in and drop-out, so this can make meeting up with people somewhat difficult. This leads to the reason the Club Worlds were created.

A Club World is where players can meet up with their friends and fellow Club members. Inside the Club World, players are restricted to what they can build and create based on their ranks within the club (dictated by the Club leader). Crafting stations, chests, mag-rails (another new addition for travel), and entire zone creations are available inside this world.

One of the most unique and elaborate of creations we saw was a series of music blocks. Each block contains a musical note and a series of instruments to choose from to play that note. When stringing together multiple blocks of the same instrument, the forms the melody of the song, and connecting strings of instruments produces a chord. When a player runs or rides over the strings, the song plays out along the path. Lead Artist Brian Clarke rode over a long string of blocks that played the melody of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida as a similar-sounding synthesizer.

There are no elaborate features or resources that a Club starts out with in their world, so it’s something to consider at least after familiarizing oneself with the world and gathering some initial resources.

Currently, the player is able to join up to 5 different clubs. This is awesome as it no longer forces someone to have to decide which friends they want to be a part of. Now that we have a place to gather people together, the next stop is to find somewhere for the whole sale slaughter of the pixelated enemies.

The Adventure World is the procedurally-generated area that features the most impressive loot, gathered by completing quests and slaughtering the vile monsters. All players that are in an area will receive loot and experience whenever anyone earns it. This helps foster the PvE aspect of the game, as the focus is to have everyone enjoy playing with each other instead of trying to compete or steal kills and loot. A number of these worlds and their dungeons & lairs are player created, as mentioned above, but due to the procedural generation, every time the player hits the world, it will be a different experience.

Classes & Items

Currently, there are four active classes, with Dracolyte being the most recent addition – voted on by the community. There is also another new “Neon Ninja” class on the way, the first stealth-based character for Trove. It’s about halfway finished and should be available by the upcoming beta release. Trove may possibly release more classes further along the game’s development, too.

These classes will dictate the character's abilities and control what gear is stored on the character, as it will be tied to the class. Trion has also released a transmog feature, so if the design of someone's weapon or outfit is more appealing than the one a player is using, but the stats of the equipped item is better, the player can merge the two together so the better stats now have the better look. This prevents players from feeling let-down that they've spent hours leveling a weapon only to have an amazing-looking one become available. Leveling is also no longer tied to a specific class. The level is now based on total achievements and experience gained. This allows users to bounce between character classes without fear of losing all the hard work that has gone into it so far.

Beta Just Around the Corner

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Just announced at PAX, Trove will enter closed beta on September 25. All Alpha and Beta investors will get the investment money transferred to in-game currency with a 50 percent bonus. This is the only time that Trove will be giving a discounted cost for in-game currency purchasing. There are also in-game sales for items, materials, and other purchasable objects, it will never again have a discount for real-world money conversion. During the beta, Trion will continue to update the game twice a week, just like it has been throughout the Alpha mode. Everything will be wiped again when the game ticks over to beta. However, this is the last time there will be a system-wide wipe; from beta onwards, everything that is created will last as long as the game exists.

We'll keep you posted as we hear more about Trove, and if you play Trove currently let us know your thoughts in the comments.

- Scott "Abibiliboop" Griffin & Nick "stuBEEF" Pinkerton.

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