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