How’s Trove Holding Up?

 

20190407115049_1.jpgI’ve been away from Trove for over a year. I have a love-hate relationship with the game. On the one hand, it hits the right buttons in my brain that makes me want to play it for hours. On the other, there’s been some shady cash shop practices and bad development choices through the years.  But it’s been a year, I’ve been back in for about 2 weeks and much has changed

For starters, Trion as a company is no longer in control or in existence after it was bought up by Gaming. Many wondered what the future would hold for their games. Unfortunately, one title, Atlas Reactor, is set to sunset in June. It’s hard to say where Trove is at right now. There was a fairly large update last year with the Geode Expansion. Geode added 2 new game modes Bomber Royale, Troves take on a battle royale, and Geode, a timed noncombat gathering activity. They’ve also done away with the old portal system for getting into adventure worlds. No longer do I have to hunt around my club world for the correct portal for the activity I want to do. Now the Trove Atlas I can access any world/ difficulty from anywhere.

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I didn’t plan on getting back into Trove. I was intrigued when one of my friends told me some random person had been promoted to our club leader. After some research, we discovered that Trion had promoted him because he was the most active person. This is a feature in case your club leader quits I guess. It’s a bit weird and Jay was not happy as he had spent years working on that club. The plan was to be active enough and hope that this particular person doesn’t log on in the next 45 days to get our leader rank back.

I ended up reminiscing the night with Jay about all the fun times we had in the game. We tried out Bomber Royale as a joke to see how bad it was and were hooked. Much like Trove itself, it’s not complicated. You can throw bombs that bounce around and explode at other players. This damages the player and destroys part of the map. There are different power-up scattered around the map that gives you your other abilities the stick bomb and the jump bomb. As time goes on the outer portions of the map disappears as a “ring” of sorts. It’s great because the maps all start out looking the same but by the final 5 or 6 people, it’s different every time.

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While I was logging in to play PVP, something I haven’t done in a long time, I decided that I might as well do some grinding. That part of Trove hasn’t changed, the game has and will always be one big grind. I find it quite relaxing and it’s mindless enough but keeps my hands occupied enough to listen to a podcast or 3.General chat is still alive, for better or for worse it’s hard to tell sometimes. I constantly see people around in all of the activities. I’ve gotten into some PVP matches in Trove quicker than in other titles. The population is enough for the game to feel full.

I do wonder about how much longer Trove will be around. There hasn’t been much news about updates in recent months. Just last weekend the servers were down for hours and when they came back up the leaderboards were broken. They stayed broken until late this week with very little communication from the developers. The same old issues are still there. Trove can be a laggy mess where you wait around for chunks of the map to load or rubberband minutes on end. It crashes, there are unexpected downtimes,  it’s not shy about asking you to spend money, and it’s a very simple game.

And yet I’m having a blast with it right now. I’m sure after a month or two I’ll move on to something else but for now, I’m quite content to grind dungeons, progress my classes, and play Bomber Royale much too late into the night.

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My 2019 So Far

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In February, we decided to put the brakes on our Twitch channel indefinitely. If you didn’t know about our Twitch channel, WelpsquadTV, it’s because I didn’t write much about it. We were on Twitch for about 2 years and somewhere along the way, I think we forgot streaming was supposed to be fun and not something we had to do. We were by no means a large channel,  but we had a decent little community of regulars, we made a little money, and we put in a ton of hours Now, it was a 4 man channel, but Jay and I were putting in 4 or 5 multiple hour streams a week, that time adds up.

Stopping wasn’t an easy decision considering how long we’d been doing it but a necessary one. No one was having fun anymore and the time commitment just wasn’t fitting into our lives anymore. Plus, I always felt that blogging was much more of my style than streaming ever was.

For most of  February, I didn’t touch Twitch and had very little interest in games in general. Then Anthem came out. I subbed up to Origin Premier to try it out, flew around and did story missions for 8-10 hours and didn’t go back.

I decided to give Apex Legends a try towards the end of  February and I’ve found surprisingly engaging. It’s been a blast with friends and has quickly become the defacto: “I don’t know what I want to play tonight, let’s see who’s on Apex” I haven’t had this much fun in a multiplayer FPS since Modern Warfare in high school, in fact, I think that’s the last time I enjoyed a multiplayer FPS.  It helps that I have enough people to play it with when I want to play because going in alone is an exercise in frustration.

I started up Black Desert in early March after a recommendation from a co-worker. I had bought the game 2 years ago and never got into it. I have a bad habit of playing something until it gets complicated and then quitting and Black Desert starts off complicated and continues to add to the complexity. The first time around I just couldn’t wrap my head around the combat. This time I decided to power through and see how I liked it. It helped that my co-worker kept telling me it was the “greatest single player game of all time”. And you know what? He’s not wrong. Once I got the hang of the combat and some of the systems the game really opened up and has more to offer than grind to the end to PVP.

Most recently I’ve been playing Trove. I always seem to come back to Trove, especially when I’m looking for a progression fix. It’s been about a year since I last logged in, long before Trion was acquired by Gamingo.  My old max level  Stellar gear is useless but was replaced with a much easier to obtain Crystal gear. There are new gem slots so that your Power Rank numbers can go up even higher. And 2 new modes have been added since I last played: Geode, a non-combat gathering activity, and Bomber Royale. I’ll have to write a whole post on Bomber royale, it’s possibly the most fun I’ve ever had in Trove and probably the only Battle Royale game I will ever win on my own.

Yes, this is yet another one of my many posts where I say I miss blogging and I miss writing and yes, it probably won’t be my last. But I always come back here and I’ve been away from my little space on the internet for far too long.

 

 

 

Trove’s Sort of Megalithic Update

Megalithic Update!

Yesterday, Trove released it’s Megalithic Update for both Consoles and PC. Megalithic is a great word but if your going to use it as a patch name your patch better be big. For console players it’s huge as it will catch the consoles up to the PC version. For PC players,not so much, there’s a change to daily login rewards and a new event.

Console players will be treated to the newest class, the Dino tamer, and complete dungeons in the Juristic Jungle. Console players will also be able to loot chaos chests, a premium lock box, in normal dungeon and compete in mini games for daily rewards. All of these will catch the console versions up to the PC version which has had access to all of this since the last major update in September 2016.

The patch also brings with it a change to the daily log in rewards. Come July 1st the Daily Loot Boxes will be replaced with Daily Log In Tokens. These tokens, which will be different each month, will then in turn be used to earn rewards from the Radiant Dayspring. 18 tokens will get you a shiny new dragon egg, 9 tokens will give a flying carpet mount, and 1 token will give you a lock box. It just wouldn’t be Trove without more lock boxes.

I never really cared much for the daily loot boxes. They never netted me anything but new styles for gear which is great and all but I never got anything else out of them. Trove already has a pseudo-premium currency called cubits that you can collect 500 of once a day and use in the store to buy some items. This alone has been a pretty decent incentive to log on and run a few dungeons each day but now there are other rewards too. I love collecting different mounts in Trove and  the Dragons usually look pretty sharp. Not to mention that they give a permanent stat boost to your character too.

Oh and if you miss a few days and really want one of the monthly rewards you can always buy these daily log in tokens the following month in the cash shop. Now at first I thought that was weird. Shouldn’t daily login rewards be given for, I don’t know, logging in? At the same time it’s not all that different from selling last years seasonal events or a certain Living Story. Some people got them for free, yes, but at least theirs an option to get said item or content instead of missing out on it all together.

There’s also a new dinosaur invasion event on the way. It says there’s a 9 step quest chain but usually all these events boil down to collect all the things and or kill all the things and then collect and kill more things.

Trove in a nutshell.

 

 

Heading Back to Trove

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I’m back to playing Trove again this week. Sometimes I want a game I can turn my brain off and play and feel like I’m getting somewhere. It fills the same role as Diablo 3 for me, grind a few levels get some new gear while listening to music or something. I also have a group of friends who get together to run the weekly Shadow Towers, which are the closest thing Trove has to challenging content.

Lately I’ve been looking for a game I can play with no sound so I can catch up on some podcasts. Trove is perfect for this as I don’t have the game sounds on anyways because they’re a little repetitive. I think the entire soundtrack consists of 3 songs.

This week I took a break from my main class the Ice Sage and have been playing the Pirate Captain. I’ve had him for a long time and I don’t know why I haven’t played him before. He’s got a really great set of skills with parrot manned turrets, explosive decoys, and a giant cannon the fires molten cannon balls. In my adventures so far I’ve leveled him up past the 5k Power Rank needed to do higher level content with my friends. Also I got a class gem that lets me spawn 2 Parrot Turrets instead of just one. And we al know more turrents are always better.

Trove hasn’t had the sticking factor that it once had for me. Jay has been playing it every day for the last year and a half and I can’t seem to get into it for more than a month or 2 at a time. I used to really like unlocking and playing around with all the classes. When the game first launched there were new classes almost every month. As of late the class releases have slowed dramtically with the last one being released in August of last year.

Trove has been really slow with content updates as well. While there have been some major patches since the release of Mantle of Power, which came out last summer, none of them have added new features to the game and have seemed to just added more stuff to the store. In fact there was one “major update” that was just an improvement to the store UI. Apparently they’ll be adding sub-classes and a few more shadow tower bosses later this year but a release date hasn’t been mentioned yet.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be playing Trove this time around. I could be a few weeks or it could be a few months but right now I’m enjoying my time there.

 

Trove Taketh and Trove Giveth Back

 

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Once upon a time Trove used to be my main game for a few months. I would play regularly with a group of friends and we had a lot of fun grinding levels and farming the night away. Then the Mantle of Power patch was released and it took away the ability to get classes through game play as well as adding an endless grinding endgame that didn’t add much to the overall game. Even though I had all the classes unlocked, putting classes behind the cash shop didn’t sit with me quite right. Especially since most of the fun I was having in Trove was trying out all of the classes. While my friends cntinued to play I stepped away from the game. Every time they asked me to come back, my answer would always be when classes aren’t only in the cash shop anymore.

Flash forward to Tuesday. Trove’s Snowfest & Get Crafty patch released. It added a whole lot of changes to the game including simplifying the market, expanding player inventory, and the ability to craft classes, costume s, and even premium items. I couldn’t resist, I downloaded the lottery 1 gig game and sat down ready to return to a game that had given me so much fun in the past.

I actually like this new crafting system for classes. Before they initially took it away you would have to farm a certain never of dungeons to fill up a bar that would give you cubits. The cubits were use to buy various items from the non premium store and it included classes.

In the new system, you unlock classes by gathering a bunch of materials and praying to RNGesus that you get some chaos cores from the chaos chests. While it takes longer to unlock every class at least for me it would give you more time to play around with your new class before unlocking another. It also probably has to do with the fact that I actually like collecting materials.

As always players have gripes when it comes to massive overhauls in one patch. Some players feel the crafting cost is too high and others don’t like how the market place has been cut from 5 currencies to 2. But what really has the majority of players up in arms is the changes to chaos chests aka premium lock boxes. Before Tuesday they were tradable and sold for a pretty penny after the patch their now farmable drops that are essential for the new crafting as they have a chance of dropping chaos cores.

Overall I think the game is taking a step in the right direction. Trove seems to be loosing its death grip on it’s players wallets and making things a little easier for new players. I do wonder if this change has to do with the games recent console release. I almost wouldn’t mind starting over on the PS4 once this patch hits over there. Sure it’s a lot of grind but I’m thinking i would be a great game to remote play on the vita. Though from what I’ve experienced so far, Trove isn’t nearly as fun playing alone.

 

Out with the Old and In With the Older…and Older

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I tried, I really tried to get another 5,000 blocks placed in trove this weekend but my heart just wasn’t in it. As the two week long anniversary event drew to a close so did my interest in doing anything in the game. So I threw in the towel at 6,000 and decided I could live without the extra 5 Golden Ticket Chests.

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I don’t know what this is

This morning I opened my new shiny 13 Golden ticket boxes and got a whole lot of nothing. I wasn’t really expecting anything out of them but there’s always a chance with lock boxes, part of the excitement of opening them I suppose.Honestly, I just wanted some new mounts to ride around on, that would have been nice not sure I’d be all that excited for a full year of patron subscription.

While it was fun for a short period of time, I got bored of the endless zerg in the higher level portals. Plus it always crashes when I launch Spotify along with it. If I’m going to mindlessly grind I want some music to grind to. I’ll definitely try it out when it comes to consoles though.

Dark Souls 2

I’ve played Demon Souls, I’ve played half of Dark Souls, I finished Bloodborne, but I never got around to playing Dark Souls 2. It’s my friend Jay’s favorite game and he’s been bugging me for years to play it. For years I’ve been telling him that if I ever found it for 5 dollars or less I would get it figuring that would by me sometime. Well I walked into my local game store a few weeks ago and found Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin for exactly 5 dollars and, keeping my word, prominently bought it. Which,means yet another game to add to my backlog

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This weekend I started playing and streaming Dark Souls 2 partly because I had some friends who wanted to watch and partly because I wanted to try streaming solo. Me, Jay, and some other friends had been streaming Diablo 3 as a group which was a blast but I wanted to see what it was like by myself. It was a fun time, I’m sure my more experienced friends had a good time heckling me very time I died as well as giving me a few pointers.

I sunk about 4 hours into it Saturday night. I played Demon Souls and Bloodborne mostly Co-op so this is the first time I’m trying to complete a Souls game completely by myself. So far it’s been difficult but fair and I had a good time with it.

World Of Warcraft-Trial Edition

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I never played WoW at all. Ok that’s not true, I played a few private servers in high school with friends but that wasn’t fun. You were too powerful and gained everything too quickly. It probably wasn’t the best way to be introduced to a game. Of course, the game was around when I lacked any sort of disposable income of my own and my parents didn’t understand why I needed to pay monthly to play a game.

With all the hype around Legion coming at the end of next month, I wanted to sit down and try for myself the king of MMO’s.  I started my exploration into Azeroth as a Draenei Monk. It was a pleasant way to pass the time doing quests, killing things, looting things, leveling up. All of it was great, the quintessential MMO experience. I managed to get to level 15 this weekend and plan to get to my account level cap of 20 next weekend.

I like games with a lot of classes. With 13 classes to choose from it looks like it would keep my attention for a while.If it wasn’t for the inability to delete my character I would have re rolled countless times and probably not made it past level 10. But I like my name and being a blue space goat felt right so I stuck with the Monk for the weekend. Plus,those hooves look like they’d hurt to be kicked by.

Though strangely enough, playing World of Warcraft over the weekend actually made me miss Final Fantasy 14. If it wasn’t for No Man’s Sky coming out in a few weeks I would have plunked down some cash for the starter edition of Wow or Heavansward and upped my sub to FF14. I have a feeling most of my gaming time in August will be taken up by my quest to explore the universe and name some plants and creatures. Maybe even fly some spaceships or something.

Creativity is Such a Grind

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I’ve been playing more Trove this week snatching up goodies every day from the one year anniversary event. I have to admit, they have been pretty lack luster. Most of the time its 2 Golden Ticket Chests that are a lot like scratch off tickets. You could win a pack of mounts or a whole years subscription but most of the time end up  getting a measly style surprise.

Trove holds competitions every week and players can compete and climb the leader boards for prizes. This week one of the competitions is Blocks Placed. There are no prizes for being a certain place on the leader board, all you have to do is put down 10,000 blocks to win 20 of these Golden Ticket Chests. So instead of building a 10k block wall I decided to try my hand at actually building something.

My friends who play have always been really into building sometimes more than actually playing the game. They’ve built some interesting stuff including a giant monopoly board,  a large city,giant pinatas, and even a whole club world dedicated to aviation history. They’re creations always look crisp and well planned out.

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Meanwhile I built this Narwhal once while watching Interstellar.  As a result I was banished to building in the desolate corners of our club world.

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So I sat down and thought about what to build as I rode far away from our main hub. I wanted to build a robot, one that looked like one of those tin toy robots with the square body and square head, a classic robot. After about 3 hours and one delightfully awful horror movie later, the Grinda-Tron 5000 was built. While he’s not exactly what I envisioned I think he turned out pretty well. He consists of 5,100 blocks and is my second creation in Trove.

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I was never a fan of building in Trove. It’s kind of clunky and there isn’t a good way to do anything fast. If you’re building something tall and accidentally fall off, better hope you have enough jumps to get back to the top. Sometimes it can be insanely frustrating and it takes a long time. For a game that tries to promote creatively and building, there should be some useful tools in build mode to make it easier and more fun.

Despite this, I am excited to build some more and get my boxes at the end of the week. Building was somewhat fun once I got over all the limitations of the game and things started to come together. It was almost like doodling in 3D. I’m not quite done, I still have 4.1k blocks left to place, maybe Grinda-Tron needs a friend.