Backpacker: Trove, the MMO concentrate

OK, i’ll just come out and admit it: Trove is really, really fun. Since playing the other night, it’s the only game i launch- mainly, because goals are forming up. Where i was wandering around aimlessly earlier, slowly i gain insight in the game mechanics, the crafting and the goals you can set yourself.

This is also the first installment of my Project-Trinity-copout-column, the Backpacker. From time to time i will write a piece about a zone, landscape, village, npcs, a quest chain, game mechanics or, like today about a game i visit. It is aimed to be an “MMO tourist” series of posts in the wider sense- usually, there should be a focus on the “Trinity games”, though.

Goals

First, i wanted to follow the “golden path”, or thread or whatever it’s called here to gain those cubits i needed to unlock another class. I don’t know why, but instead of only the knight, i also have had access to the gunslinger from the beginning. By now, i unlocked the Boomeranger and the Ice Sage, as well. Of course i spent money- i always do; even if it’s entirely possible to play for free- and with Trove, it is, it is not my goal to do so. When i see value in a game, i pay. So i went and bought the Power Pack (for 20$), which gives me wings, a fast mount, a boat, a sail, 2 class tokens and some other stuff i don’t really know about.

Trove does feature interesting scenery!
Trove does feature interesting scenery!

Then, i wanted to find some Primordial Flames to craft a Ringcrafting table. I had 1, but needed 5. The flames seem to spawn close to other ore, but it seems to be on a very rare occasion. Turns out they spawn by themselves in the Dragonfire Peaks biome- only have to find one of those, right? It took a while, though. I don’t know whether biomes are somewhat connected to levels, but i had to enter a level 6/7 adventure zone and explore a bit to find one. It turned out fine, though. Dragonfire Peaks seems to be the biome you should look out for when you’re hunting for ore. There was a lot of all kinds of ore i know by now- and there were even some Primordial Flames.

It is a dark biome
It is a dark biome

The next resource i’m trying to gather up is enchanted wood– the best places to gather seem to be found in the medieval highlands, Fae Wilds and Cursed Vale biomes.

And i need to go fishing for the next step in the golden path, not knowing how fishing works, at all.

Free-to-play game design

As you might know, i don’t really care about business models- i’m fine with subs and i’m fine with free-to-play, as well. I know both models influence game design. But i also have to say that some free-to-play and buy-to-play games, especially those designed to follow that model from the ground up, provide fun gameplay without having too many timesinks. There are “pain points” (great term!) to get you to pay, but often, these games do not try to make your sessions longer and play more than you can.

Trove excels in this regard- it is so easy to launch up and just play. Sure, if you are trying to reach some goals it might take you some time. But you can always fire it up, enter an adventure zone and do something- getting there takes about 2 minutes, and that’s including load time.

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When we’re talking business model, i’d like to say that i also had a look at the cash shop- and found it to be reasonably prized (a class for about 5€) and i have to confess that i’d have trouble finding something i’d really like to buy. Classes would be one way to go, but my guess is, once i can build in a club world, that the building blocks would be the most interesting. And they’re dirt cheap- of course they are, since you could also just go out and gather them. I’ve received 2000 blocks of each primal block as part of the power pack, so i might be covered for some time. Other than that, i didn’t see anything that would be an issue. Lockboxes, sure, but honestly, i think they do fit somewhat in this game- it’s a whole different affair when a game is more serious. Still not a friend of lockboxes, though, so i won’t buy any of them.

The MMO concentrate

Now, Ironweakness has a great post covering this already, so i’ll make it short here: Trove includes almost everything an MMO should have (i have to agree on the auction house, though- i’d like to see one)- fun gameplay that’s easy to learn but will get more difficult later on, i’m sure. Lots of crafting options, “housing”- or building stuff, exploration for exploration’s sake and so on. It’s playable in small groups, bigger groups and solo. It can be relaxing and quite involved. You can have your downtime, as well- when building, crafting, exploring or whatever.

I can’t tell you yet if it is a shallow experience, mainly because i still don’t understand half of it- how does the crafting work, what can you build? What should you build and why? I can say, however, that exploring these mechanics is fun and it takes time. I think early on, half of the fun to be had in MMOs was to slowly get a grasp on these games, their worlds, features and mechanics. Nowadays, these things are usually “streamlined” and “made accessible” for the “filthy casual”- Trove shows that you can be one of those streamlined, accessible, casual games while still retaining some of that wonder that is exploring online worlds.

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11 thoughts on “Backpacker: Trove, the MMO concentrate

  1. I’ve been revisiting and learning about Trove again this weekend and finding it quite fun, too. Looking forward to seeing more of your discoveries!

    1. One more thing, I’m going to mention this in a blog post soon, but I was thinking that this club word could be for bloggers interested in Trove (I wish I would have named it accordingly but didn’t think about it then, I just wanted to try making one!) then we could have a common meeting ground for Trove.

      1. This is a great idea! I wanted to write an email, but might as well mention it here: i tried to build something in the clubworld (to test it out), but couldn’t – i guess it’s a matter of building permissions?!?

      2. This would be really cool! I also already used my clubworld card just to experiment with mine, and it’s not properly named. But I think you can get another club card in game? Not sure how that all works. I’d totally be up for joining something.

        “Waiting for Rez” is not a bad name for a blog-club at all, IMHO. We’ve all been there. 🙂

      3. Yes, the name isn’t a problem for me, at all. It’s not exactly a guild name i’d choose for Lotro, for instance, but it works well for Trove. Also, i know that guy’s blog and like it.

        I guess it should be possible to create a new one- but i don’t know how costly it would be- and i think it isn’t really necessary.

  2. Fishing is fairly simple, finding the fishing pole, not so much, lol. Look for a pirate cove in the hub word. There is a parrot pirate captain who sells basic boats, sails, poles, and lures for glim. Once you have a pole and some lures, just press F to cast and F to reel in when you catch something.

    As for biomes, I believe every map includes each biome but I’ve never tested that theory. The map is larger than what you see when you first arrive in a zone but I’m not sure how much, I’ve never tried to find the edge. I know what I’m doing tonight though!

    I think the reason the game can be a little bewildering at first is because it doesn’t quite fit into the stereotype of any one genre so it’s a little difficult to figure out what Trove actually is. It’s also a little more sand boxy than the traditional MMO so figuring it out in an explorative fashion I believe is part of the game’s charm. It’s also why it’s tough getting started.

  3. It is a matter of permissions. I looked into it and there is leader, officer, architect, and member. The default is member which is the only one that can’t build or really do anything other than use a club chest (if one has been provided). When I get on tonight I will change it so you can build and I will also try to increase the land size so we have more room.

    I’ve thought of a few different building themes I would like to pursue, but I’m not concerned about the whole word being cohesive so build whatever suits your fancy. I’m thinking something Alice-in-wonderland whimsical or I thought of trying to build a Van Gogh esque scene in 3D. My aspirations might be a little bigger than my time or ability will allow though.

    I will definitely need to buy some more blocks though, or even that power pack. It’s shocking how quickly you can go through thousands if you’re building something large. I think my green lantern power battery took 2500-ish green blocks. And I just bought them because it is cheap. For $5 you can get 15,000 blocks I think if my math is right.

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