In case you have been living under a rock for the past year, you will all know that Trove is a free-to-play MMO on the Xbox One, and it gets its first major console update with the release of the Megalithic update on June 27th!
The Megalithic Update adds hours of new content with the Dino Tamer class, Jurassic Jungle biome, new mini-games, custom maps, and other features that expand the open world feel of Trove, which now has over 5 million players on consoles.
Players looking to craft, create, and battle their way through Trove will find the following new features in the Megalithic Update:
The Dino Tamer Class – Traveling through time from the Desert Frontier and emerging in the Jurassic Jungle, the Dino Tamer is a ravenous, ranged ruffian best equipped to survive the harsh wilderness. With the ability to use darts, snares and summon dinosaurs to attack or mount, the Dino Tamer is a player’s best bet at surviving prehistoric threats.
The Jurassic Jungle Biome – The new lush wilderness environment is full of dangerous dinosaurs and deadly dungeons. From dense jungle floor to towering canopies, the Jurassic Jungle biome features distinct enemies to fight and tons of dungeons to conquer. As players battle their way through this blast from the past, they will pick up all new styles and recipes to bring that extra retro look to the modern Trovian. That is, if raptors with razor-sharp claws, thick-skinned triceratops tanks, or the titanic Tyrannosaurus Rex don’t eradicate them first.
Minigames – At the top of the hour, players may find a portal in the Hub leading to one of two types of minigames – Racing and Coin Collecting – which offer more options for players looking to complete Hourly Challenges. Trovians who love a creative building challenge may now also build custom minigame maps within their own Club Worlds, invite other players to try out their custom club maps and vie for high scores and bragging rights.
More Free Content – Beginning with the Megalithic Update, Trovians can log in every day and receive a daily login bonus chest just for signing into Trove. Chaos Chests will also now drop for free just by playing the game, meaning players will have even more materials to use with the brand new Chaos Crafter bench to craft new costumes, allies, mounts and Class Unlockers.
To some it would be easy to dismiss Trove as “just another Minecraft clone”, but to do so would fail to appreciate the unique approach Trion Worlds have taken in their own personal take on the voxel-based sandbox genre.
Unlike Minecraft, Trove concentrates more on combat and questing than the distinct world building focus of the former. Utilising a range of unlockable character classes, each with their own particular skills and abilities, gives Trove a distinctly more MMO feel. These classes are purchasable through in-game currency and once unlocked allow the player to change between classes on the fly, allowing for a much more flexible approach to how you tackle each area or quest. These characters all fall under melee, ranged or magic based attacks, and with a dozen classes to choose from there will always be one that fits your particular playstyle, whether it be the Knight or Lunar Lancer getting up close and personal, the Gun Slinger or Shadow Hunter taking out your enemies from afar before they have a chance to get close, or the Ice Sage or Tomb Raiser throwing massive Ice Crystals or summoning minions respectively to slow and distract your enemies while you whittle down their health with your basic attacks.
Trove utilises a hub world system, where portals to randomly generated adventure worlds of varying difficulties are available as you progress, allowing you to take on more difficult challenges as your character and gear level up, with the more difficult levels requiring an equipment value of 10000 and a character level of 29-30 in order to survive the enemies you would face.
Each Adventure world in itself is made up of a patchwork of Biomes from the primary 11 zones, and each has its own themed enemies, quests, dungeons and music, allowing easy recognition of each as you enter or view them on the overworld map. Within each are home plots, where you can set out your personal space as you progress, acting as a save point when traversing the world. These personal plots are fully modifiable and here is where most of the players will experience a similar voxel-based world building as you would expect from this genre of game.
As you begin, the opening tutorial quickly transforms into a progress quest chain, introducing you to more and more aspects of the games mechanics and environments. As you approach the mid game, you start to find that the resource requirement for this chain grows exponentially, with the later progress quests requiring rare materials that drop very infrequently. It is at this point that the solo player becomes less and less viable, as the ability to create a clan and pool resources becomes tantamount to efficient resource gathering towards a shared goal. Entering the realm of Korean MMO’s, the grind required to effectively complete these later quests will undoubtedly sour the experience for many playing the game casually.
Although the graphics are your typical voxel fare, each class has a huge range of equipment, with styles and stats that allow you to easily focus on key aspects of your character, with specific builds starting to take form as you progress through the difficulties of the Adventure worlds. These equipment items can be disassembled at your home plot to allow you to permanently apply the style over the top of your equipped gear, much akin to how Lord of The Rings Online applied cosmetic appearances, allowing you to make your character look as unique and bizarre as you would hope.
Without even touching on the crafting side of the game, which does require significant resources, there is a ton of things to do, with hourly challenges popping up that may favour taking on dungeons in certain biomes or completing it with certain character classes, that gives the game some much needed distraction when you are grinding for your progress quest.
Having only reached the “Uber 1” adventure world, there is still a lot of game that has gone unexperienced as yet, and I would like to revisit this review once that is done to assess how the game balances grind vs reward as you move up the ranks, but as with all MMO’s there is a distinct time investment required to reach those lofty heights that are near impossible in a review timescale.
Overall, Trove is a deeply enjoyable open world MMO, with deep and robust loot and crafting systems, that would give a lot of big budget MMOs a run for their money, and only the distinct grind fest that appears mid game detracts from the overall experience.
This is definitely one to enjoy with friends, and if you can get a group to play together there is a lot to enjoy in Trove, and with it being free-to play, there’s no excuse to not dive in and give it a try. We hope to elaborate more on Trove, and provide an overall score, in the coming weeks as we experience the end game content.
Thanks to Xbox and Trion Worlds for supporting TiX
It’s been out and free to play on PC and MAC for a year. Trion Worlds have finally revealed that Trove will be coming to Xbox One this year.
The pioneering voxel adventure MMO blends action combat, adventure, collecting and building.
With over five million players already engrossed from around the world, Trove will be celebrating its first birthday this week and released its first full expansion, Mantle of Power earlier this year.
There are thousands of player-created weapons, mounts, costumes and other collectible items in the game. There are also dungeons, clubs and other environments forged by Trove’s passionate global audience.
Trove invites players into a universe of endless possibilities where action-adventure, role-playing and crafting collide. There are more than a dozen character classes to choose from. Battle against others, explore, craft and create. You’ll be able to do it all in Trove. It pushes the boundaries of community-related content with procedurally generated worlds that are fully destructible and buildable.
Scott Hartsman, CEO of Trion Worlds;
We want to be everywhere that gamers are, and consoles are an important part of that strategy. Trove is ideal for PS4 and Xbox One. From its fast paced gameplay to its extremely broad appeal, we expect Trove to be a hit with console gamers of all kinds.
To celebrate the announcement of the game, Trion Worlds have released the new trailer below. There’s no official news on how the free-to-play element will work, but we assume that it will be along the same lines as Neverwinter, and free-to-play for Gold members. Perhaps Trion will confirm that soon.
Other than that, Trove will be hitting the Xbox sometime in 2016.
Trion Worlds announced today that the Castithan Charge Pack, the first major add-on content for online open world shooter Defiance will be available for download on the Xbox 360 next week.
The Castithan Charge Pack is rated M for Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and will cost 800 MS Points. Those who have subscribed to a Defiance Season Pass will get this first add-on content pack as part of their subscription.
The Castithan Charge Pack is unlike any other add-on content on the market, as it benefits all players in Defiance, allowing them to experience the evolution of the game together. While the free game content will be released to the entire Defiance player base, the Castithan Charge Pack provides players exclusive access to new story missions, gameplay rewards, vehicles, customization enhancements and more.
As the new add-on content pack goes live, the following additions will be made to the game for all players, regardless of whether they have purchased the new content:
New Charge Weapons – shotguns, sniper rifles and pistols.
Sieges — a new type of dynamic content mode that combines Capture-and-Hold control points with kill scores, as enemies invade various mission locations, forcing players to band together to hold them off.
New Monolith Major Arkfall – highly challenging arkfall event with a tough new boss and loot.
Military Academy – a new player-versus-player capture and hold map.
Duels Game Mode – challenge your friends online in one-on-one combat.
Additional in-game changes, including newly enhanced map, and new chat window.
Players who purchase the Castithan Charge Pack will receive access to the following:
Play as the alien Castithan Species – create a new character or change your existing one
New Battle Arena Game Mode – an instanced single player “horde mode”-style game that opens up a new story mission line, Castithan Charge Blade weapon and in-game item
Unique version of the Raptor – a new four passenger truck designed to help small groups of arkhunters to quickly traverse the terraformed Bay Area
Unique Castithan outfit
For more information on Defiance, please visit www.Defiance.com.
Players of Defiance will notice that a mysterious illness has arrived in San Francisco, and it is up to players to defeat the infected ‘enemies’ and find a cure before it reaches the town of Defiance in the show. In the latest crossover event from Trion Worlds and Syfy, beginning on June 3rd, players will be challenged to eradicate the infection that is afflicting San Francisco’s residents and work through all new content to discover a cure in order to send it to the town of Defiance before the outbreak there gets any worse.
In the Defiance episode airing June 17th, word of the infectious plague has reached the town and fear and paranoia are rampant among the residents. Town doctor Doc Yewll sends a distress call to a former colleague in the Bay Area who might be able to provide a cure, having spent weeks working on an anti-virus following the outbreak affecting residents in San Francisco.
Today’s free TV tie-in game update is packed with new content including The Plague Sieges – an all new game mode, 8 new emergencies, 2 new pursuits, a new data recorder, and an all new mission series that runs from June 10th to 17th.
You may have heard of Defiance before. A new science fiction show debuting on the SyFy network is bound to turn some heads. Usually any game tying in with a TV show or movie is doomed from the get-go. However, Defiance is a fully fledged third-person MMORPG. This has piqued the interest of many as it is also a third-person shooter. Can Trion Worlds’ second MMO become a mainstay in a genre that already has millions committed to their respective titles? Let’s read on and find out.
The place is Earth. The year, 2046. Earth has been forever changed by the arrival of different alien races. The land has been scavenged to all hell and resembles nothing more than a desolate wasteland. War has changed Earth, and not for the better. More of the story becomes apparent as the plot of the TV show will actually change the storyline in-game. It has been said that your actions in-game will actually have the ability to change the plot of the show itself. That still remains to be seen, but it does sound pretty nifty.
Now immediately upon booting the game, you are asked to install the game to the hard-drive. This was confusing at first as I already installed it to the hard-drive via the dashboard. Confusion, be damned. We got it done in a record 17 minutes! The game then demanded that I search for patches and install them. This is inherent with MMOs and expected so no biggie. Another 19 minutes go by and I’m ready to play the game. No? Oh, another patch. So 10 minutes go by and I’m into the gameplay. No, I’m not (there is a slight pattern forming here). So four patches later and approximately an hour gone by, I was ready to jump into the vast world of an MMORPG for the first time.
The very first thing to mention about the game is the bad connectivity. Random disconnections and server downtime comes in abundance here. Trion Worlds have been extremely vigilant in their efforts to correct the situation. They’ve even sent out emails with extra in game incentives and an apology to their faithful consumers. Scenery pops in and out as well as the players and weapons like an old PS One game that hasn’t quite loaded yet. The frame-rate is as erratic as Kanye West at an awards show. Although, despite all of its problems, Defiance is not a bad game.
You’ll start off at a character creation screen where you will choose all the defining features of your ‘Arkhunter’. After choosing your look, race, and traits, you will set off into the wasteland that Earth has become. Right into a tutorial! The game plays quite well in comparison to other MMOs. Judging this game against other shooters will make you notice that Defiance just doesn’t stack up, however. Enemy AI is as gormless as anything. They will spend a lot of their time ignoring the fact that you are even running up their backside firing rounds off like nobody’s business. The lack of any kind of cover based gameplay does make some of the missions a trial. But if you happen to be in the vicinity of any other human players in the world, it won’t be a problem at all for you.
The missions in the game are abundant. A large campaign will certainly keep you busy for a good few days. However, all missions consist of “go here, shoot this, press this”. There is literally no deviation in that process whatsoever. The side missions are plentiful, although these lack just as much diversity as the main missions. There are survival challenges in which you will be forced to use a specific weapon type. There are also time-trial race missions in which you must make your way through various checkpoints and beat the time to your destination. Random events can pop up, however. Most of them demanding that you rescue civilians that have carelessly gotten themselves surrounded by wretched alien hordes.
There are these things called ‘Arkfalls’. Randomly generated missions that only appear at a certain time. Again, these don’t vary at all. A giant red icon will appear on the world map, and every human controlled player in the area will be dashing towards the event. This means excessive lagging, dropped frame-rates, and an annoying amount of people driving around in circles to pick up the free XP. The majority of these will see you and dozens upon dozens of other chipping away at a giant bug’s health for up to 10 minutes until a giant explosion sends him packing. Yet again, no variation and no sense of any unique gameplay whatsoever.
There are some competitive modes that will keep the game fresh for those who will become tired of constantly performing the same menial tasks over and over again. There are deathmatches on a decent amount of separate maps. Then there is also Shadow War. It is almost a domination type game-mode that takes place on the game’s main map. Neither is all that captivating as again, the game just doesn’t stand up to other shooters on the market in the slightest. Although there is a nice little piece of innovation that other games can learn from. Whilst you sit in the lobby waiting for the matchmaking to do its thing, you are actually still on the main game map playing just as you were. It will transport you into the competitive modes once the lobby fills. When the matches are finished, you will be transported to the last checkpoint you were at on the main map.
Getting around war-torn San Francisco can become a chore even with a large variety of vehicles at hand. The controls are stiff and clunky when driving. It’s not like a GTA game where driving is a chore until you get used to it. It is just flat out bad. You might even find yourself using your various fast travels rather than opting to drive.
The ranking system in game doesn’t work like other MMOs. Heck, it doesn’t even work like other RPGs. You will earn EGO for each mission and task that you complete. EGO is an alien implant that allows you to see your hud as well as use your special abilities. Special abilities like invisibility and using decoys would be useful. However, they’re just not necessary at all. Unless you are doing a mission yourself, enemies will largely ignore you if you pick your spots. You can just mow them down without a care in the world for the most part. Defiance is not very good at all at explaining the game to you. You get weapon mods right from the start of the game. However, you won’t be told that you can’t use these mods until you’re a higher level. You either need to be told by someone else who has figured it out, or randomly find out that it finally works much later in the game.
Defiance is a game that has a hell of a lot to do. Albeit unvaried and with almost no sense of accomplishment. It is however nice to see a company pushing boundaries and bringing the first real free-to-play MMORPG to consoles. It’s not the best MMO, but the constant patching leaves plenty of room for improvement. The gameplay is barebones and could use a little work on hit detection and frame dropping. The connectivity issues will continue to be a huge problem for a while. However, Trion Worlds has assured their fans that they are painstakingly working on the issue.
I do have one major gripe with the game. For all the effort that you go through to level up your character and upgrade your weapons and abilities, your character is never yours. There’s no defining characteristic that makes people think “hey, it’s that guy”. Every event and mission you do is awash with a sea of green and brown camo. Hell, the only reason I could spot my friends on the battlefield is because their names are highlighted with blinding neon green. MMOs are supposed to be about defining yourself. It’s the reason people become so enamoured with them.
For all the negativity shrouding this review, I bear no ill thoughts about Defiance. It will continue to get better. A season pass totaling at 3200 Microsoft points almost guarantees that. This was a tough game to review. The game is hilariously bad, and then all of a sudden it’s not. I guess it all comes down to one thing. I had fun when playing Defiance. This in the end is what gaming is all about. For a first console outing on the MMO plane, Trion Worlds show that they have a lot to learn, but they are definitely on the right track.