A Trove of Voxels

Zyngor | Tuesday, August 19, 2014
I think I'm falling into the same boat as some other fellow Blaugust participants where daily postings aren't really my thing. It makes me feel a little rushed to make sure and get a post out every day, and some days I just don't have anything I really need to post about. That being said, I will do my best to continue posting daily in August as part of this blogging experiment (check out all the great posts at the Blaugust Anook). Beyond that, I can hopefully keep some form of blogging going - I'd like to say a couple times a week, but perhaps my goal is at least once a week, assuming I have something to discuss. I'd also like to continue doing posts at LOTRO Players, of which I have not been doing much lately (perhaps I've spent some of that time thinking and writing stuff for this blog instead).

So lately I've been trying out a bit of the Trove alpha after someone pointed me to a giveaway on Twitter. This game will be a free-to-play voxel RPG, and is currently in development by Trion (Rift, Defiance, ArcheAge). While I have never played Minecraft, it definitely seems to share many of the same blocky-pixelated aspects. I have also tried a couple hours of Landmark (a more realistic voxel builder in development by SOE), but I was having laggy issues up the wazoo. Fortunately, I have not had those issues thus far with Trove, and seems to operate pretty smoothly on my laptop.

Just like Minecraft, Trove currently offers a couple of ways to play the game. From what I have experienced so far, the combat system is very simple, and seems to work as it should (for the most part). I have gravitated toward the gunslinger class (I generally prefer ranged classes), and have a couple of skills at hand. As it is now (other than the main firing skill), they work on a kind of rudimentary refilling stamina orb. As this is just the alpha, I'm sure it will be developed further, but I would expect it to remain a pretty simple action combat experience.

The other big activity in this game, which gives it a lot of depth and aims toward the creative crowd, is the building system. Simply by hitting the Tab key, you will switch to the building mode. From here, you can use the right mouse key to quickly "harvest" the terrain (or use your attacks from your combat mode to harvest these or other landscape objects). You can then put the terrain blocks on your hotbar and go wild building (there are areas called cornerstones that you can call your own and build there so other players cannot destroy it...essentially the housing system).

Get your hard hat on...master constructor at work!
Crafting is also available in the game by building stations to place in your cornerstone. You can then craft various items for either yourself or decoration items for your housing. I have personally not delved much into crafting, so unfortunately I don't really have anything else to say on that subject.

When I first heard about Trove, I was excited to give it a try. I like to have different "types" of MMOs at my disposal (ex: LOTRO as my story-driven title, Rift as my WoW-esque choice, Neverwinter as an action-driven experience). I have not really tried out a voxel title yet, and I think the addition of the RPG/combat elements is a nice touch to cater toward different types of players. From what I have experienced so far, I'll be happy to add Trove to my collection when it comes time for the live release.

As Trove is currently in alpha, I would expect at least one wipe for whenever it decides to move into the next phase of development. If you wish to give it a try, you can try to sign up on their website. They will sometimes also post alpha keys on their Twitter.

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