Mildly surprised by “Trove”

So I had a rather weird weekend of Livestreaming on Twitch. After some difficulties with one game in particular not wanting to ‘play nice’ with OBS, and the usual shenanigans with “Lord of the Rings Online”, I decided to do something a bit different. I decided to play multiple games during a single stream (one after the other).

Because I was doing something different for my stream, I wanted to play something different, something I’ve never streamed before, so I played “Trove”, the Mindcraft-like, voxel-based MMORPG from Trion Worlds. Yes, it looks kinda cartoony, maybe a bit focused for kids, but guess what – that would be 100% wrong!

I played “Trove” for several hours the other night, spent some time playing alongside a viewer of the livestream I was doing, and found that it was a solid little game. It most certainly isn’t a kids game, but I can see where people got that idea, being combat is essentially ‘bloodless’. But the game is fast-paced (especially when you’re trying to keep up with a veteran player who is helping you gear up), and it has some very unique mechanics, when it comes to gameplay.

First of all, I love how “Trove” handles questing, which is to say, it really doesn’t do questing. At least not how most people think of questing in an MMORPG, anyway. Instead, there are events that pop up, and they work more like Achievements than classic Quests. But while you do pick up some from of these from in-game NPCs, many just sort of show up in your panel, ready to do. So that’s nice.

Even better than that, though, is how “Trove” handles Housing. Specifically, houses in “Trove” are basically crafting and storage stations, that you can then build around, to make them uniquely yours. But it gets better… You see, Houses in “Trove” aren’t placed down in a certain location, to which you have to travel back to when you need to visit. No, housing in this game comes with you! You can plop down your house on any free “Cornerstone”, which are found liberally scattered throughout every zone in the game. So you need to clean out your bags, do a bit of crafting, or just want to show off what you’ve built? Find any non-claimed Cornerstone nearby, claim said plot by hitting “E”, and – POOF! – there’s your house, exactly as you last left it.

But what’s the gameplay like? Well, other than when I was messing with my house or chasing events – because I didn’t know any better – I was downing Dungeons. Each zone is filled with public dungeons, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one, and you or your group can run in and knock them out in just a couple of minutes. When someone had done one recently, it appears with a red X on it on the zone map, until it respawns anew, which doesn’t take all that long. I was knocking out a dungeon every few minutes, solo, and doing them in just a few seconds when partnered with that one viewer I ran with for a while! Mind you, he was level 20, and I was level 8 in a zone developed for levels 8-9, so…

The point is, “Trove” is a very charming game, and I’ve only scratched the surface of what one can do with it. But it has fun mechanics, is very solo-friendly, and I could see myself getting lost in it very easily. Why? Because what was supposed to be a short, one to two hour livestream in “Trove” turned into four hours, before my buddy had to take off, and I switched to “Guild Wars 2”. It’s simply fun, and very easy to lose yourself in, which is nice. I just wish I didn’t look like such a noob while playing it the other night!

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