Happy second birthday, Trove
! Here, have a slice of cake. It’s somewhat pixelated and the frosting is made out of dirt, but we hear that’s how you like it best. Indeed, back on July 9th, 2015, this odd voxel MMORPG erupted from the mind-womb of Trion Worlds
and has actually become somewhat of a sleeper hit in the industry.
And perhaps for the anniversary or perhaps because Trove loves to throw events on days that end with “Y,” the game is giving out a free golden ticket chest as a login reward from now through July 24th, with dragons and a “ludicrous” number of mounts as potential prizes.
Trove has also activated two weeks of pretty much every bonus event in the game, including double XP and more harvesting. “Two weeks of daily bonuses sounds too good to be true — but this is the truest truth to ever true,” the team said.
Dinos! Dinos! Dinos! Trove’s
anything-goes pop culture umbrella certainly has room enough for our prehistoric best friends, and today’s Megalithic update
brings plenty of them to the console.
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players can now join their PC
betters brothers in blasting dinosaurs while ordering a few about as the new Dino Tamer class in the Jurassic Jungle biome. The biggest game of all, of course, is the T-Rex. Take that down, and you might just become legend.
Trove is kicking off a two-week Dino Attack event to celebrate the occasion. The game also introduced more dragons and created a French and German translation for console players. High-level players will be happy to hear that it now takes less XP to level from 20 to 30.
After some ups and downs this afternoon — everybody loves the “try again later” message, right? — Valve’s summer Steam sale is finally underway and stable. Here’s what we’re looking at in our corner of the gaming world.
Way back in April
teased a “mega” 2017 update for Trove
intended to bring the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game update to speed with the PC version. Now, that update’s got a date, and it looks like the features are intact too:
“On June 27, Jurassic Era dwellers stampede their way into Trion Worlds’ epic block-building adventure Trove on PlayStation® 4 and Xbox One with the release of the game’s first major update on consoles. The Megalithic Update adds hours of new content with the Dino Tamer class, Jurassic Jungle biome, minigames, custom maps, and other features that expand the open world feel of Trove, which now has over 5 million players on consoles.”
There’s a trailer and new screenshots down below too. PC players, don’t despair; the same dev stream back in April promised another update after this one, PC included, featuring sub-classes, club upgrades, mastery rank tweaks, and plasma fishing. There’s a big bonus event running this weekend as well!
Sometimes you just got to get a little nuts, you know? Go crazy and flip on all of the switches, activate every bonus event, and cackle maniacally. At least Trove
thinks so, which is why the devs have activated, well, everything
in the game right now.
From now through June 26th, Trove has activated every daily bonus across all accounts. This means that all players will enjoy boosts to XP, crafting, mining, and more.
Additionally, Trove is throwing a sale on piñatas, slashing the price 50% until the 27th. Oddly enough, console players are only getting this deal for winter piñatas while PC players are getting it for the summer variety.
The ladybugs looked so cute and unassuming in Trove
that we never thought they would attack. When they struck, the terror was… well, not overwhelming. I mean, there are a lot of them, but they’re still ladybugs. So it was… whelming. Exactly the right amount of whelming. But the ladybug invasion is still here
, for the first time for console players, and it’s still up to the players to smack the heck out of the bugs until they are no more.
Successfully telling ladybugs to fly away home will give you a chance to earn two different ladybug-themed hats, or even a pair of ladybug wings for that maximum ladybug feeling. Whether or not you want to smack these bugs for your rewards, you’ll need to do so quickly; the swarm is only sticking around until June 20th. Find ladybugs in Adept adventure zones or higher and get used to clearing out the most adorable sort of bug infestation.
When it comes to text-based MMOs created in the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, the sheer number of them would blot out the sky. There are certainly more multi-user dungeons (MUDs) than I’ve ever been able to get a handle on when I’ve tried creating lists of the most important to know, but I will say that there are a few that seem to pop up more than others. The original MUD1, created by Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw, was certainly a watershed moment for online roleplaying games. Learning about DikuMUD is pretty essential, considering its impact on graphical MMORPGs that we still play today.
But there’s another title that often goes unnoticed, unless you keep an eye out for it. It’s a MUD that keeps popping up when you look into the history of the MMORPG genre, one with ties to key players and design concepts that are still active today.
It’s the MUD that shaped the MMO industry, and it was called Sceptre of Goth.
Are gamers really lonely? Do we flock to MMORPGs as a response to that? I’m pondering these thoughts today following the response of a call for screenshots that captured the emotional state of loneliness. There were several entries, which makes me think that being alone, even together, is something that’s often on our mind.
In this vein, Rees Racer has an example from — of all games — Winning Putt Online. Seriously.
“Despite several different modes of team play in Winning Putt Online, sometimes it’s just you and your putter left to walk off the 18th green after a round, wondering how it all went so terribly wrong,” Rees writes. Mental note: “Rees Writes” would be an interesting PBS kids-type show.
If you play one of Trion Worlds’ online games, then chances are very good that you also use Trion’s Glyph launcher on a daily basis. The studio said that it’s been evaluating the launcher after complaints that it was too much of a memory hog, and as a result, Trion has streamlined Glyph so that it doesn’t take up as big of a footprint when used.
Part of the solution was to drop browser functionality altogether, Trion said. Doing so has cut the program’s memory usage by as much as 75% in the studio’s tests.
“A great many of you mentioned the memory usage and CPU performance that Glyph was gobbling up,” Trion said. “While this won’t be the last time we assess and address this issue, we are excited to talk about the release of an update that frees up more of your computer’s resources so you can focus on crushing that 20-man raid, explore strange lands or bask in the glory of your fantastic creations.”
Last week, Massively OP community veteran BalsBigBrother pointed out — rightly! — that while Trove is amusing, it’s very much lacking in prepared story or even lore, which could be a turn-off to gamers seeking that from their online games.
The topic dovetails nicely with one of the key mainstream gaming conversations from last week on whether video games are even a good medium for storytelling to begin with. “The best interactive stories are still worse than even middling books and films,” The Atlantic declared last week, setting off gamers everwhere. “To use games to tell stories is a fine goal, but it’s also an unambitious one.”
“To dream of the Holodeck is just to dream a complicated dream of the novel. If there is a future of games, let alone a future in which they discover their potential as a defining medium of an era, it will be one in which games abandon the dream of becoming narrative media and pursue the one they are already so good at: taking the tidy, ordinary world apart and putting it back together again in surprising, ghastly new ways.”
Yeah. So. I can think of terrible examples of storytelling in games as well as excellent examples. I’m sure you can too. But I have yet to watch a movie that provided me a sandbox to tell my own stories, so there’s that. What do you think? Should video games stop shooting for narrative elegance? Are MMORPGs better off without stories?
Deep in the comments of the MMOs-vs.-survival-sandboxes thread from last week, reader miol_ produced a beautiful comment about how MMO players have become a minority in their own genre, which he then expounded upon for us in this provocative email.
“I’ve reached the opinion, that since the launch of WoW and its clones, the ‘original’ MMO-playerbase became a minority in their own genre. Before, we were but hundreds of thousands of MMO players, but then came Blizzard with WoW and its legions of fans in the dozen of millions at its peak, starting to dictate what the new success of MMOs should look like. Even if we others tried to vote with our wallet and feet, we became a minority, having only a fraction of our initial influence, while many devs tried desperately time and again to find ways to get at least a portion of the new Blizzard playerbase.
“Am I wrong with that perception of history? Am I totally missing something? Or are ‘we’ are slowly becoming a majority again, now that WoW and its clones are seeing steadily declining numbers (instead of us winning more players to ‘our side’)? How do we lobby better for ‘our cause’? Or can we only wait and see, until the genre is small enough again? Or is it too late? Have we ourselves grown too far apart into our even more niche corners of personal taste since SWG, while production costs and our demands for production value have skyrocketed at the same time? How could we come closer again?”
Let’s tackle miol_’s questions in this week’s Massively Overthinking.
“Magic can be ANYthing!”
The forces of magic run deep within MMORPGs, casting shadows of wonder wherever we look — and listen. In today’s show, Syl sparks a musical revolution as her fellow Bards struggle to rise to the challenge of defining what, exactly, constitutes a “magical” track and evokes that particular feeling. Did we nail it? You’ll have to join us for the journey to find out!
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 97: The sound of magic (or download it) now:
What does a week where the news douses us in a shower of smaller stories look like? Bree and Justin wring out of their clothes, shaking loose tales of metropolises in the planning, console features, anniversary parties, and dance studios. Maybe it won’t flood the world of MMOs, but it definitely waters the lawns of our interest!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now: