Trove Alpha Impressions

640 wc

I was moderately shocked last night to receive an email from Trion with a code to get into the Trove Alpha. I was even more shocked to discover a complete lack of an NDA. Although, if you think about it, I did actually pay $20 (or whatever it was) to see this alpha, so it would be weird for them to restrict me.

There are very few options in the game right now, which I found surprising. (I just didn’t expect that game options would be added so late in the life cycle of a game.) The only in-game option is to pick full screen or not. If you’re an invert mouse person, you have to edit your Trove.cfg file and set InvertY = true. If you’re not a WASD person, you’re out of luck.

So what is this thing? It looks like it’s half RPG and half building game. You get plopped down in the middle of what I assume is a procedurally-generated voxel world that looks and sounds like you’re in a 3D version of a Mario game. You can switch between two basic playing modes: Adventure mode and Builder mode.

In Build mode you can build and destroy things just like Minecraft. That part of the game doesn’t appeal to me very much, but other people were building voxel houses and sculptures and stuff. I didn’t see anything more complicated than simple blocks, but you can see in the crafting window that there are more interesting parts you can make. Everyone was all in the same space, so I’m not precisely sure how they are going to keep people from destroying each others’ constructions. Unless maybe you can’t destroy the blocks that other people put down? I’ll have to try that out. I’ll be “that guy” who delights in destroying everyone else’s hard work*.

Adventure Mode was much more interesting to me. Throughout the landscape there are things you can collect, like plants, and metal, and so forth. There are also tons of little 8-bit monsters roaming around that you can fight with your little 8-bit sword. The monsters drop gear and potions and parts from which you can craft materials to build with. Many of those monsters can kill you, so watch your health bar. Every time you die, you spawn back at the starting point. I feel like that behavior will change, though, because it’s kind of annoying to walk fifty miles away, die, and then go way back to the beginning.

I don’t think there is any character progression in the game yet. I never leveled up or anything. I only got new items I could equip, like swords. Interestingly, there is apparently some kind of magic system but could not figure out how to access it, if you even can yet.

I really like the exploration aspect of the game. You can just pick a direction and start walking, and stumble across new and interesting things along the way. Right now, most of what you find is material to do crafting. And monsters. And occasionally a shiny chest (most of the ones I found were mimics that attacked me).

As for crafting, I made a couple of things but I didn’t fully understand how it worked. It seemed that the amount of material required to make things was excessively high. For example, I wanted to build a fence, but I only had enough material to build a single fence block.

There were some bugs, but nothing you wouldn’t expect in an alpha. I didn’t experience any lag or connection problems at all, but then there were only about 25 people connected according to the login screen.

All in all, I’d say I enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with it.

* I’m not really going to do that.

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