As I said in my new year’s resolutions, I want to push myself out of my typical MMO comfort bubble to try at least one new game a month or return to an older one that I haven’t seen in a while. My January pick, Trove, is a bit of both. I’ve played a spotting of it here and there, but nothing serious and nothing for quite some time. Now that the game has soft launched (non-wipable open beta state) and has a lot of additional features, I thought it was time to check it out again. I’ve seen some good word-of-mouth from several bloggers and commenters, and I’m wondering if Trove might be a tiny sleeper hit this year.
Upon logging in, I’m right next to the barbershop (new to me) and I choose my character’s look. Because why WOULDN’T I be a robot with “cool goggles”? Seriously, there are so many hairstyles, you guys.
It turns out that this is the beginning of a new area, the “Tutorial Temple.” It’s a nice quick runthrough of Trove’s features: refillable potions, lava hurts, how to build stuff, and that I should find a cornerstone for my house. The whole temple takes maybe 15 seconds to run through. I appreciate succinct tutorials.
I’m kind of wondering where the old world hub went, however. I would love to change my class. In the meantime, I fiddle with my inventory and open a few freebie boxes to loot this weird “fiend” hat. One monster kill nets me a… mace, I think, that was designed by another player.
Ah, there’s a hub portal — that takes me back to where I want to be. The hub is full of Christmas decorations and plenty of people, not to mention a lot of services. One class change, coming up!
You can unlock Trove’s classes via premium or in-game currency. I had a few unlocked (including the Dracolyte, for some reason… PAX card maybe?), and the rest I snagged with the remaining premium currency from my pre-order. I’ve already seen the Knight and Gunslinger, so I’m going to go through them one-by-one, starting with the Fae Trickster.
I did a few laps around the hub, checking everything out. There was the community chest (Trove’s take-a-penny, leave-a-penny of gear), an ice pond (whee… slippery), and several portals that went to featured club worlds. I’ll save all that for later, as the “novice adventure” portal is calling my name.
Inside the novice adventure world is a “rally blade” clickable that apparently transports you to a random player — handy for grouping, I suppose! In practice, it ports me to a field where nobody’s around, so… nice thought, I guess. I do take on a few skeletons to get a handle on the Fae Trickster’s style. As with all of Trove’s classes, it’s pretty simple. The FT has a “glitter bomb” magic attack and can do a quick blink forward while dropping a decoy behind to occupy bad guys. Apparently its ultimate is a faerie pet summons, but I’m not quite there yet.
Simple as it may be, there’s a visceral fun to it — blasting enemies long-range, then blinking past them while dropping a decoy, turning around, and blasting their backs while they are pre-occupied.
While I didn’t find players right away, I did scout a cornerstone spot and plunked down my house. It used to be that the cornerstone came blank, but here it’s already pre-built for my convenience with handy signs. There’s a crafting station, a class changer, and other basic utilities. Don’t like the hot-dog-and-mustard color scheme, however. Also didn’t like how mobs freely wandered onto my plot and attacked me while I was crafting — I thought these were supposed to be safe zones. Oh well, I could always build walls or something. Doors. That’s what they’re called.
The handy signs around the house tell me that I need to craft a hub portal for my cornerstone to finish up this world, and for that I need a lot more basic mats (some from mining, some from fighting. Oh Trove, I see what you did there).
I’m still in that “I have no idea what I’m doing so I’ll just bumble around” stage that makes even the most consummate MMO player feel like a noob. So I stumbled my way right into a teleporting boss (which I killed) and then bumbled into the middle of a mushroom that turned out to be a mushroom-shaped dungeon.
Actually, this was pretty dang cool. It used two jump stones to launch me up into the bulbous area, where several mobs waited to fight. Unfortunately, the Fae Trickster is crap in small quarters and I quickly died. I changed to the Dracolyte class instead and did much better. The Dracolyte is a fire-pumping machine, with both a staff and a familiar that belches out flame.
Once I cleared the bulb, I used a portal in there to take me to an underground area, where an “ominous totem” started summoning waves of bad guys. The Dracolyte does a great job with short-range AoE, so I survived in style and cleared the dungeon, netting me star points or whatever those are.
My game face. Know it. Fear it.
A little more wandering around helped me find the sourcestone I needed to craft the hub portal for my cornerstone. I’ll tell you, that was a satisfying little moment to wrap things up and feel as though I started to get a hang of this crazy cel-shaded voxel world. Plus, I got a chef’s hat. All in all, a good first session back to the game.