Trion teased all things Trove for a couple days, but after yesterday, the veil was finally lifted and we found out exactly what Trove is, what Trove hopes to become, and how players, most importantly, can impact the future of Trove.
During yesterday’s Trion live stream, Andrew Krausnick, Creative Lead of Trove, talked about the development of Trove, the philosophy the Trove team is embracing, and answered a whole bunch of questions from the community about the game. Trove started out as a small project created by a small group of RIFT developers (the team size was 2 people originally, but is now up to 11) who wanted to branch out and see what they could accomplish within a year. So far, the results seem pretty impressive. Let’s go over what we found out yesterday and what we know about Trove thus far.
Trove features voxel/cube graphics and is heavily inspired by games like Minecraft and Cube World, of course, but Trion wanted to take the highly modifiable voxel system and give it the feeling of an adventure game and an MMO– all contained within a world that’s open, encourages multiplayer activities, and remains true to the three pillars of Trove that the development team aims to build the game on: Adventure, exploration, and creation. Trove is kind of hard to classify. It’s essentially a free-to-play adventure MMO with cubes and some serious potential for player creation.
Like most adventure games, Trove will feature combat, loot, levels, and plenty of running and jumping. There will lots of new things to discover and find. Treasure chests are aplenty, thus the name Trove (interestingly enough, the name was only decided upon last week). Monsters also drop loot. The adventuring style of Trove looks pretty similar to Guild Wars 2‘s Super Adventure Box world event. You can whack treasure chests with a sword to open them as well as hit random grass and flowers to do a bit of weeding.
As a core mechanic, the worlds of Trove will be periodically reset and cycled. Certain player-built structures (such as Cornerstones– more on these later) will be able to be carried over to other worlds, but this cycling nature of Trove will encourage players to think on their feet and always be ready for something new. This is similar to how dungeons and caves will work in the game. Dungeons and caves will reset and will feature randomly generated interiors while retaining the same objectives every time they are entered. So far, it sounds pretty similar to how maps in action RPGs often work, but with one main difference– dungeons are not instanced.
Trove will also be a completely open sandbox for players to build, create, and destroy items and structures. It may even be possible for players to build structures out of the game and important them into Trove. The development team plans on having the community help create a great deal of new items, features, and structures for the game. So far, Trion plans on utilizing Reddit quite a bit to help them stay close to the community and make community engagement a high priority. Trion even hopes the community will help them further develop Trove, which is why they decided to unveil the game at this time. Once Trove is released, the team plans on making weekly updates.
Trove Gameplay and Core Features
The team showed off some gameplay of Trove during the live stream. The UI is extremely simple and features health/resource bars as well as a few action buttons. You can see the UI below (ignore the live stream frame to the right):
Players can throw bombs that can be used to destroy parts of the world and structures (even other players’ structures) within the open world. They can even throw bombs inside dungeons to break down walls and damage monsters. The graphics are cube-based, of course, but the game also features a number of particle effects such as weapon/bomb trails that improve the graphical quality somewhat. The game also features a day/night system.
Loot and gear-based character progression will be important in Trove, and there are a number of different item rarities to help achieve this. Non-instanced dungeons will be a large part of where combat and adventuring will take place, but combat can happen in the open world as well. There will be bosses to defeat. Combat in Trove is highly action-based. Some of the stats mentioned so far are: Health, Armor, Knockback, and Stability. Mobs have quite a few attacks that do knockback effects. Characters can raise their Stability stat to negate this. Monsters will generally attack the closest target.
Trove will have character classes. The class they’ve showed off so far is the Knight, which is, of course, a melee tank-y type of character. The Knight also has a sort of leap attack and charge attack. Trion wants to have a lot of fun with the class system, so they plan on adding classes such as Ninja, Cyborg, and some type of cybernetic cowboy with laser pistols. The world’s zones and areas will mimic this sort of not-quite-so-serious fantasy feel that’s a little more lighthearted. The zones themselves will differ between one another considerably, as Trion wants to show off a number of different environments.
Gear is placed in a character’s inventory and equipped much like in any MMORPG. There are a number of cosmetic items that can be equipped to customize appearance. Since the game will be free-to-play, a large portion of these cosmetic options will be available in a cash shop-type interface. So far, the team only plans to have cosmetic items available for purchase, but this will most likely expand in some fashion. Mounts are something the team wants to do at some point. The game will definitely have pets. Everyone loves pets.
Building structures in Trove is very simple (see the header image for this section as an example). There is only one size of building cube. Cubes look seamless next to other cubes in order to make larger structures. There are different elemental types of cubes that influence how they look in the world as far as light reflection, etc. Players can also place torches and other items. Building resources will be limited and there will be different ways for players to obtain more building resources.
Trion is also going to add in a crafting system that will presumably be one way to collect materials and resources for new structures. Digging underground won’t be a main focus for crafting (although you may be able to find cubes underground!). Instead, gathering above ground materials and collecting goodies hidden within dungeons may be.
Asking the Big Questions
Since the entire game is non-instanced, there will be a large number of separate worlds in Trove. Each world can hold up to around 40 players. To prevent player griefing, players will start out with an area called a Cornerstone that is essentially a home base. They can build crafting stations, structures, etc. on that home base and everything will stay safe and cannot be destroyed by other players.
Out in the open world, however, everything’s kind of at risk. It will be possible to hop between worlds while carrying a portion of a character’s power/items as well as their Cornerstone. Worlds will have quests associated with them that will reward players with goodies but also open up new worlds upon completion. Trove is a completely PvE game so far. PvP might be an option in the future.
When asked about what will set Trove apart from games like Minecraft and Cube World, Krausnick said that Trove‘s cycling worlds, character progression, and the fact that it will be permanently online all make Trove different from other games in the same style. The fact that there will be quests and random dungeon generation in Trove also helps. Dungeons may be a part of games like Cube World, but Trion feels that there’s a lot more exploration to be had when it comes to dungeon development and creation in a cube-based game. They’re hoping to fully explore those options and come up with a system that players can enjoy for years.
Trove is currently PC-only, but the team hopes to expand to next-gen consoles and Steam Box. Mac will most likely be an option in the future as well. As far as system requirements go, the team said that if a computer can run RIFT, it should handle Trove just fine.
Trion is planning to open the Trove Alpha servers to the public. The team is taking a very relaxed, “let’s see what’s fun” approach to developing Trove. They want to see what players enjoy in these early stages of Alpha and take it from there. There will be no NDA during Alpha. You can sign up here. Invites should start going out within a couple of weeks.
Finally, check out this video if you haven’t already: