Trove: You make it, we play it

Justin Olivetti
J. Olivetti|01.25.14

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Trove: You make it, we play it
Trove is growing by pixelated leaps and bounds week after week with the community directly contributing to the game's development, Trion Worlds Creative Lead Andrew Krausnick told us in an interview call earlier today.

The title, which is still in deep alpha, has yet to implement core features such as world cycling and additional classes. But what it is adding, day after day, are items and weapons created by fans. Krausnick said that the decision to turn over the item creation toolset to players has been a resounding success, with over 100 weapons created and 10 to 20 player-created items going into the game with each patch. One player even volunteered to create housing trophies for each creature in the game, which the team is now putting in as rare drops.

Trion is rewarding players who create chosen designs with credit in a tooltip for their effort, a special hat, and game access if they haven't paid into it yet. That's right: If you want an alpha invite but don't want to shell out cash, then making a good-looking axe could be your ticket into Trove.

We've got more to share about Trove's ongoing development and a video walking you through player-designed items after the break!

Persistance pays off

Trove's unique design involves a noticable split between temporary content and permanent achivement. While the worlds and gear will reset regularly, the team's promised that players will retain some measure of permanent progression. Following a recent patch, Trove players got to enjoy a greater measure of persistence with their inventory. When world cycling happens -- a feature that is mere weeks away, if that -- a player's inventory will retain any crafting materials and decoration items as he or she makes the jump to the next world.

Trion's been looking at ways to get players to work together and meet up more often. One new tool to encourage this is the town portal. Throw one of these down anywhere and a player can use it to meet up with a friend or head back to the main town hub of the world.

After all, isn't playing with friends one of the big draws of MMOs? Krausnick thinks so, which is why he's looking at lessons learned from RIFT in how to get players to form ad hoc groups with minimum coordination. This is seen in one of the little but important changes for Trove's public events by giving each player involved their own copy of the reward so as to eliminate treasure stealing.

Oh my stars and garters!

Quests are coming to the game next week in their first iteration. Krausnick says that most of these features are what he calls their "0.5 version" -- i.e, very basic with potential to grow once tested. So when players encounter their first quests, they'll be simple kill-10-rats tasks, but that won't be the case forever.

Quests are automatically assigned once you arrive in a specific area. They're area-bound and do not respawn until the next world cycle, forcing players to check out the map (another upcoming 0.5 feature) to see where the remaining quests reside.

So why do quests? Other than for experience and personal rewards, quests will be spitting out stars when completed. This is a simple type of experience that is shared with everyone in your world. Your stars along with others go up into the appropriately named star bar, and once the bar is filled up everyone in the world gets a reward as long as they're logged in. Krausnick said that the bar should get filled up every 30 minutes or so, and at least initially it will be handing out that valuable currency that's used to buy everything from recipes to mounts to other classes.

If doing quests doesn't interest you, then head over to the crafting table and focus on building for a while. Trion's added the first two tiers of crafting professions, allowing players to work their way up the ladder from making simple to complex housing items. Players have to make and unlock each step along a chain to progress. For example, a chair will lead to a table unlock, and a table might eventually lead to a robotic workbench.

Odds and ends

Even with these new features, beta for Trove is currently not on the horizon. There's a lot to do before that happens, but the Trion team is working hard to make sure that something new goes into the game every week or so. The game's second class, the Gunslinger, is just around the corner as is the much vaunted world cycling.

If you're looking to follow Trove, just be aware that Trion has no plan to open up official forums. Instead, the team is using a combination of the website's new blog, Twitter, and Reddit for communication and collaboration with fans.

Massively's not big on scored reviews -- what use are those to ever-changing MMOs? That's why we bring you first impressions, previews, hands-on experiences, and even follow-up impressions for nearly every game we stumble across. First impressions count for a lot, but games evolve, so why shouldn't our opinions?
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