trove

Play Trove for free
Official Site: Trove
Studio: Trion Worlds
Launch Date: July 9, 2015
Genre: Voxel Sandbox
Business Model: Hybrid F2P (Cash Shop with Optional Sub)
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

The Game Archaeologist: How Sceptre of Goth shaped the MMO industry

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.

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One Shots: Lonely hearts

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.

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Trion streamlines its Glyph launcher to decrease its memory footprint

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.”

Source: Trion Worlds

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The Daily Grind: Are MMORPGs better off without stories?

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?

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Massively Overthinking: Are MMORPG players a minority in their own genre?

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.

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Battle Bards Episode 97: The sound of magic

“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, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 97: The sound of magic (or download it) now:

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 114: Moving to the big city

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:

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 113: Avatar vs. toon

Do you want to date my space avatar? She’s a star and she’s hotter than a supernova by far. Or maybe you’re a loony tooner? What’s the socially acceptable way to reference your character in an MMORPG without coming across like some weirdo from another gaming era? Bree and Justin will devote their lives to figuring out this question.

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:

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RIFT, Trove, and ArcheAge start accepting Razer zGold

There’s a new way to pay in Trion Worlds’ games, and that way is Razer zGold.

Trion announced this week that all of its games, including RIFT, ArcheAge, Trove, and Defiance, now accept Razer zGold as a payment option. Razer zGold is a virtual payment and rewards currency that can be used in several games while helping players earn special gifts on the side.

Trion is encouraging players to try out zGold with a pair of gifts of its own. Players who buy the RIFT Ascended Essentials Pack with zGold will get the Intermediate Pack for free. Additionally, a free month of patron status will be handed out to anyone who purchases a 3,250 credit pack with zGold. These can only be claimed once each per account.

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Trove’s 2017 patches will catch console up to PC, add sub-classes for everyone

Trove is in the midst of a changing of the guard at Trion, as Producer Andrew “Avarem” Krausnick hands over the reins to his replacement, Rick “Din Othar” White. That means White has the honor of announcing the game’s next big update, modestly named the Megalithic Update. PC players, it won’t have anything for you; it’s aimed squarely at the PlayStation and Xbox One communities and will basically bring them up to speed with the PC edition, which already has the Dino Tamer class, Jurassic biomes, class crafting, and so on.

Perhaps the more interesting news for all fans of the blocky sandbox is what’s happening after the Megalithic patch; Trion is promising that 2017 will see “the ability to unlock and designate a sub-class to gain new unique abilities on your active class”; major upgrades for clubs, including levels, ranks, and rewards; a “massive increase” to mastery rank caps and prizes; and something called plasma fishing.

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Albion Online has huge plans for its player-run economy, including all-crafted drops

Albion Online isn’t letting up on the updates in the window of time from now to July when it launches for real, nope. Today, the studio’s put out its plan for some of the big changes it’s working on. Economy is first up on the list as Sandbox Interactive hopes to make almost all of the gear in the game player-made — even the drops. You know how Trove’s mob drops are actually player-crafted items? So too will it be in Albion once the team has its way.

“The way this works is that all items that can drop from mobs need to be supplied to an NPC black market first. The black market in turn creates demand based on mobs being killed. If the black market’s demand is not met for certain items, prices will increase, until a player is willing to sell the requested item to the NPC. Items sold to the NPC will then enter the drop pool, i.e. mobs can drop them based on the usual loot tables. However, the black market NPC is somewhat corrupt, and some items sold to him will be ‘lost’, hence creating a nice item sink which will be very important at the lower tiers. If we can make it work, you’ll even be able to see which player originally crafted the item that just dropped from the mob you killed!”

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The Game Archaeologist: How DikuMUD shaped modern MMOs

Even though there are hundreds and thousands of MMOs spanning several decades, only a small handful were so incredibly influential that they changed the course of development for games from then on out. DikuMUD is one of these games, and it is responsible for more of what you experience in your current MMOs than you even know.

Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone knows what DikuMUD is or how it shaped the MMOs that came out after it. You might have seen it used as a pejorative in enough comments that you know it is loathed by many gamers, but I find that there are varying degrees of ignorance about DikuMUD in the community. What is it, exactly? Why is it just the worst? And is it really the worst if we like the games that can point to this text-based MMO as a key ancestor?

Today we’re going to dispel the mystery and myths of DikuMUD to lay it out there as it was and is today.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 109: We are all Dragonborn

Roll for initiative! Bree and Justin are getting all kinds of nerdy with this week’s show, in which they talk about Dragon-people, the return of a long-abandoned sci-fi game, a momentous anniversary, and the viability of sandbox MMOs.

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:

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