Trove is a 3D voxel-based sandbox MMORPG with a central hub area and an ever expanding number of procedurally generated worlds to explore. Clear dungeons to earn loot, mine blocks, and build your own house, items, or custom dungeons!
|Publisher: Trion Worlds
Type: Sandbox MMORPG
Release Date: November 5, 2014 (Open Beta)
Pros: +Simple, familiar hack ‘n slash gameplay. +Varied classes. +Simple, familiar customizable housing. +Fair cash shop. +Daily allowance of secondary cash shop currency. +Community-created content.
Cons: -Unlocking various blocks is a major grind. -Gameplay is marginally the same dungeon after dungeon. -Poorly designed dungeons.
Trove is a brightly colored voxel-based MMORPG inspired by games like Minecraft. Players collect various blocks and other resources with which to craft buildings, furniture, and other content. Trove places a strong emphasis on combat and features a large variety of classes, each of which must be unlocked and leveled independently.
Trove Key Features:
- An Infinite Sandbox – explore procedurally generated worlds, and go on to create your own!
- Multiple Classes to Level – unlock and switch between an ever growing number of classes.
- Dungeons to Explore – an unending stream of dungeons provide rewards and a sense of direction.
- Mobile Homes – customize a Cornerstone plot and access it during your adventures.
- Community Created Content – use a voxel editor to submit new items or dungeons to the game.
Trove Featured Video
Players can switch between classes they have unlocked at the Hub World or through a piece of crafted furniture in their personal residence. Classes can be unlocked using in-game currency or with premium credits.
- Knight - the default starter class. Knights are durable fighters who excel at melee combat. They can charge at enemies to get within range and their ultimate restores their health instantly.
- Gunslinger - armed with dual pistols, Gunslingers can deliver charged shots from a distance and overwhelm their foes with a hail of bullets.
- Fae Trickster - a magic user who specializes in avoiding damage by blinking away from enemies and leaving behind illusions.
- Dracolyte - a magic user specializing in fire and armed with a flamethrower and a dragonling familiar. Their ultimate allows them to temporarily transform into a powerful dragon.
- Neon Ninja - a fast-paced melee class specializing in stealth. Perform backflips and throw shurikens at enemies before delivering a powerful "Final Technique" ultimate.
- Candy Barbarian - brutes whose lust for battle is matched only by their hunger for treats. Candy Barbarians can smite their foes with summoned thundercones.
- Ice Sage - a mage focused on everything cold. Freeze foes where they stand then pelt them with summoned crystals and icicles.
- Shadow Hunter - an archer armed with the power of light. Fire Radiant Arrows to defeat foes while using Sun Snares to keep them at a distance.
- Pirate Captain - an explosives expert armed with a blunderbuss pistol and a cannon. Pirate Captains can summon their Man o' War ships to finish off particularly difficult opponents.
By Matt Chelen
Most commonly compared to Minecraft, Terraria, and Cube World, Trion Worlds’ Trove is the latest game to make use of a destructible voxel world and online components. Trove attempts to change it up a bit by being a hack ‘n slash MMORPG with a focus on fast action, short play sessions, and showering the player in loot. While it does have the same sort of building gameplay that its predecessors do, it doesn’t require you to build at any point, instead focusing on dungeon running.
Hack ‘n Slash
While at first glance Trove may look very similar to games like Terraria and Minecraft, it actually has more in common with games like Diablo 3. Combat in Trove is of a pure hack ‘n slash variety and, although there is a dodge button and certain classes have “escape” abilities, you will sustain a similar amount of damage whether you decide to use said abilities or stand still and beat on your opponents. Due to this, combat ends up being heavily potion-driven and survival is largely based on whether you have enough players to split the heavy hitting enemies into small enough groupings, so that every player is taking a small enough amount of damage to simultaneously outheal it and not run out of potions. Running out of potions in Trove is akin to a death sentence as you cannot replenish your stock unless you visit a cornerstone that is placed in the world or return to the hub world and find a replenishing node. While at first this may seem shallow, it is also manageable and each class does have a set of three abilities, excluding their basic attack, to make combat more interesting.
Trove’s adventure world content is entirely dungeon-driven. You enter an adventure world with no direction, check your map for a dungeon you want to head towards, point yourself in that direction, and follow the symbol on your compass. When you’re done, you rinse and repeat until the majority of the world is covered in red X’s, marking completed dungeons, or you feel like heading to a new world. It is simple; it is painless. Except when it isn’t.
Trove’s dungeon design is some of the worst I have ever seen. Convoluted pathways so thick with traps that they are difficult to navigate without getting hurt are not uncommon. Poor color choices for the blocks that make up the dungeon are also common, obscuring small pathways that should be easier to find. Exempting glass and decorations, blocks in dungeons can’t be destroyed either. Despite this, there are several times I have had to break my way through glass surrounding final bosses because I simply could not find my way in. These issues are quite disconcerting, as the dungeons themselves appear to be hand crafted, meaning someone handcrafted these structural flaws.
That’s just the inside of the dungeons. The random placement of dungeons across the world can border on absurd, sometimes requiring you to either build or jump. And by jump, I mean sextuple jump, as is the Trove way, your way to an entrance high on a cliff. Otherwise, you're left circling a massive structure multiple times looking for the portal that was obscured by surroundings. There are a few dungeon designs that counter this last issue by removing the blocks surrounding the entrance. You may even stumble across a dungeon that is placed so far underground that you can’t tell what the structure is.
Dungeon goals are also limited. You either defeat a boss of a one star or three star rank, or you activate cursed skulls and fight off two waves of enemies without falling out of a ring that appears upon activation. It can get repetitive and it is clear that these goals were not designed with long play sessions in mind. Early on, you may think that Shadow Arenas can offer a break from the repetition but, unfortunately, they are simply more difficult cursed skull fights with a larger amount of waves.
In order to make its dungeon-driven design for adventure worlds as accessible as possible, Trove carries on the somewhat forlorn tradition of public dungeons. However, it does so in a modern way. Anyone that enters a dungeon before it is finished is part of a group and gets credit.
There are a number of issues with this. The first comes from another issue entirely. Trove does not require you to kill mobs to progress in a dungeon. If you want to run all the way to the boss, you can, and the majority of dungeons will even help you by separating the boss room by portal, allowing you to lose any unwanted followers. This design makes dungeons a race to the boss room and it is not uncommon to see players racing through a dungeon on their mounts, attempting to get their first.
The next issue, and the one I have the biggest problem with, is that public questing leads to a lot of “piggybacking.” There have been a number of times players have clearly seen that I was in a dungeon and will come over, jump in, and grab their own credit right as I am finishing that dungeon. Now, you will still get your experience and loot when this happens but it is disheartening to see that you are bordering on death due to running out of potions and this player that just ran in and never got off their mount is getting the same rewards that you are.
Further reinforcing comparisons to Diablo, one of Trove’s primary objectives is simply to get more loot. No matter what you are aiming to do, loot is central to achieving it. Most of this loot is earned from completing the smattering of dungeons the game randomly spreads around each of its procedurally generated worlds but you can easily obtain a sizeable amount simply by walking around the world, albeit of lesser quality.
The loot that you can earn in Trove can be easily broken into three categories. The first, and most obvious, is gear. You can obtain gear for weapon, face, and hat slots from killing any single enemy roaming around the world of Trove. The most valuable gear is obtained by completing dungeons and opening the treasure chests at the end, but a modest amount can be obtained by roaming the world and taking down anything that attacks you while you are out there. There are at least hundreds of community-designed items for each gear slot and deconstructing a piece of gear gives you the ability to use the design in a costume slot. Trove does its best to make sure that you continuously want to look for more gear, even if the stats make it seem as if that specific piece of gear wasn’t worth it.
There are also crafting materials scattered around the world. While any block could in itself be considered a crafting material, when you take into consideration the large amount of them, I don’t believe them to be loot. The hunt for crafting materials is not entirely like other games that use voxel worlds. In Trove, crafting materials are either blocks mixed in with common blocks, with part of the vein splayed across the surface in clear view, or they are in designated areas akin to the game’s dungeons. There is no digging deep into the earth to find rare materials. For example, sunlight bulbs are primarily obtained by visiting a structure that resembles a large sunflower, with sunlight bulbs scattered all around it. There are even some placed inside, where a deadly, spike-filled room protects the the remaining few. These dungeons are primarily placed in peaceful zones, however, and the only threat is your own platforming ability.
The final category of loot is that of recipes. Recipes are found in special dungeons that, while found in each biome, always contain a Shadow Knight that watches over the recipe. Upon completing the dungeon, you are given a scroll that allows you to learn a random recipe that you don’t already know and awards two mastery points. It should be noted that, alone, these prizes are fairly underwhelming, commonly receiving blocks such as “bottom right piano leg,” for example. Eventually, it can pay off when you are finally able to put together a complex set of blocks, but that can take quite some time. Recipe dungeons are fairly few and far between. Finding those that match the biome of the pieces that you are trying to obtain can be a time-consuming process, only to be randomly assigned a piece you don’t want.
Drawing a bit more from more recent inspirations, crafting is indeed a large part of Trove’s gameplay. Almost everything except gear and a few cash shop items can not only be crafted but must be crafted. You will craft everything from blocks to crafting stations to decorations to new parts of your club world.
Unfortunately, the actual crafting process is standard. You have a crafting window with all known recipes, it tells you how much of each ingredient you have versus how much is needed, it gives you the option to queue a specific amount and, should you have enough of each ingredient, you press craft and...wait. Most crafting times are fairly fast but you can’t escape the feeling that it’s just a bit too simple.
Trove manages to simultaneously shine and fall short in terms of housing. There are technically two forms of housing, your cornerstone and club worlds. Club worlds are more of a “private world” than housing. Your cornerstone is a mere 16x16 plot that travels with you to various plots scattered around the world. Your club world is essentially a guild hall that has smaller plots of biomes found in adventure worlds but starts with only one—peaceful hills—and must be expanded out through crafting.
Due to its simplistic art style with various flat-textured voxel items and small block size, the sheer amount of customization available for your tiny cornerstone is staggering. Walking around the spawn in a world where players have just placed their houses can be fairly awe-inspiring and the amount of creativity I’ve seen in random cornerstones is far beyond what I had imagined.
The problem is that your cornerstone is not permanent. While the design of your cornerstone is permanent, there is no one location you can return to in order to work on it. You must enter an adventure world or hub world, claim a cornerstone there, and work on it there. It creates a feeling of vagrancy. You have a house but you cannot return to it by traveling to its location. Rather, it’s like a tent. You drag it around, plop it down, use its facilities, and hope that not too many other vagrants hang around and mooch.
Club worlds, on the other hand, provide a completely different experience. You are given your own instanced chunk of world to share with your club, which is essentially a guild, and you can shape it into whatever you want. Through collecting various biome-specific items and a few more common items, you can create a biome-specific consumable that when used on the shoreline of an existing club world biome, will sprout a new, randomly generated plot of land of that biome. You continue to expand your club world infinitely and the part that’s great about this system is that players aren’t forced to randomly expand into biomes that they don’t care for. Instead, they are allowed to choose as they go, creating as much or as little of a specific biome as they see fit. Club worlds have some neat features, such as throwing parties that allow anyone to enter via a hub world but your club world is primarily a place for your club to hang out and throw creative mode on for a bit.
Now, there is one huge, glaring flaw with Trove’s build mode; you have to play for a long time in order to get to a comfortable level of building ability. This may sound odd at first but do you remember the recipes from before? Other than a few core basic colors, you must find the recipe for each color and then craft it using one of the core color blocks. With dozens of colors and only a handful of core colors, not only will procuring enough of the core blocks to make the amounts of each other color required to build even the simplest of structures be difficult, you still have to grind for dozens of color recipes. At times, Trove almost appears to bask in the grind for loot and it may very well affect a few too many of its systems.
In terms of whether or not Trove is pay-to-win, at this exact time of writing, Trove has no PvP. While arenas of some sort are being planned by Trion, it can’t be pay-to-win in a strict sense. In a less strict sense, Trove is not pay-to-win at all. The cash shop is very fair, providing items and services such as mounts, lucky boxes, and the option to pay for wings, blocks, and other classes. Every day you are given a “star bar” that fills as you complete dungeons, giving you a secondary cash shop currency, cubits, that can be used on classes, wings, and a small selection of mounts. Recently, one-time beginner quests were also added to the game, allowing players to earn a significant amount of cubits simply by playing a glorified tutorial.
Final Verdict - Good
Despite being fun to play, Trove is best played in short bursts due to the repetitive gameplay and quick dungeon completion times. It’s something you log into once a day, fill your star bar in about half an hour, maybe build a little, and then get off until the next day. A core few issues, such as dungeon design and the dearth of block colors given to new players, may hamper enjoyment for some. If a simple hack ‘n slash “lootfest” with bright colors and customizable housing is what you’re looking for, Trove is certainly worth a look.
Trove System Requirements
Operating System: Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 10
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz
Video Card: Intel Integrated HD Graphics 3000
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 1 GB
Operating System: Windows 7 / 8 / 10
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or better
Video Card: Nvidia GTS 250 or better
RAM: 4 GB or more
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB or more
Trove Music & Soundtrack
The Trove Soundtrack - Vol 1 can be bought from the official soundtrack website:
Trove Additional Information
Developer: Trion Worlds
Alpha Testing Date: November 22, 2013
Closed Beta Date: September 25, 2014
Open Beta Date: November 5, 2014
Development History / Background:
Trove was first announced back in November 15, 2013 with limited alpha testing starting a few days later. Players who didn't get an invite key could purchase an Adventurer's pack for $20 to gain instant access to the alpha test. Trove draws its inspiration from Minecraft, but the graphic style more closely resembles Cube World.
Trove was designed from the start with player input in mind. As an open ended voxel-based MMORPG, Trove encourages player creatively both inside and outside the game. Users can submit their own item and dungeon designs on reddit and have their creations added to the official game if they pass muster.