Fight or Kite: You’re stuck in the house, so PvP with the kids in Trove


It might not be the best time in history to be a human, but it is one of the best times to be a gamer. A lot of us are working from home, self-quarantining out of precaution, or otherwise unable to leave the house for your normal life, so we’ve got more time than ever to watch TV and game the day away – only while we’re on breaks, of course! But if you’re stuck in the house with one or even a dozen kids (whether they’re yours or some other configuration), it can be extremely challenging to try and play any of your typical PvP games.

“I’m hungry.” “Get me some water.” “No, she’s touching me!” “She looked at me!” “Why are you yelling at your computer?” “Is that a bad person.” “I’m still hungry!” “Why are you fighting them?” “Who are you talking to?” It’s a nightmare that never ends.

After struggling and fighting a war without an end, I found that there is a way to get that PvP fix in while also occupying those monsters that are currently sharing your roof: Trove’s Bomber Royale.

Bomber Royale is a good take on the battle royale formula

About two years ago, Trove added the battle royale to the game with the Geode expansion. So it’s no spring chicken at this point, yet it still has plenty of spunk and is a grand ol’ time. I don’t think I need to get into the whole explanation of BRs at this point, so let me just give you my elevator pitch (I need to stay fresh on my business professional jargon somehow!).

You enter a relatively large arena with – in this case – 20 other players and blow each other up as the arena gets smaller and smaller until the last person stands. In Bomber Royale, all your stats are normalized with the other players so that no one going in has an advantage over anyone else. You don’t have any of your typical class skills; instead you simply have a bouncy bomb, a grappling hook, and your dodge. You can run around the arena and pick up some additional skills and other boosts to help nudge you toward glory.

Now, there isn’t really anything revolutionary here, but it is a lot of fun (and it isn’t Fortnite). The kids are, somehow shockingly, able to take turns playing and enjoy watching each other play. There are more than a handful of taunts, both intentional and not from the peanut gallery when it isn’t their turn, “Why did you let her blow you off the edge? You should have stayed on the building.” Yes, thank you for that helpful commentary. Alas, at least we are PvPing together. They say the family that PvPs together, stays together, right?

In addition to that, you actually gain some experience points from the matches as well. We’ve been playing Trove for a few years now and still aren’t max level – kind of a shame, but we usually spend all our game time building on our little house and running around. So, the bonus experience is actually kind of nice.

The mode is straightforward and easy to play

One of the things I really love about the BR mode in Trove is that it is so simple and straightforward that even a child can play, literally. Seriously, this kid is four years old and she’s able to play Trove’s PvP. Not very effectively, mind you, but she is playing and having a blast. Would I pick her first in a lineup of people to be on my team? Of course, you monsters! Geez, sometimes I wonder where your priorities lie.

I think the primary difference between Bomber Royale and many other BRs (and other PvP games in general) for this age bracket is that we can play without having to be very good at all. Since the core weapon is a bouncy bomb, you won’t be headshot out of the blue while running from place to place during a match. I’m sure there are some players very skilled in the art of the bouncy bomb, but typically you can keep running and jumping around even if someone has it out for you. So while there might be a high ceiling for play here, I’d argue the there’s a pretty high floor too.

Matches can be quick and then you move on to the next one

I don’t have any idea how many people are actually playing Bomber Royale, but what I do know is that the matches can start and end very quickly. So those impatient imps will get their turn at the controller without waiting around too long. Most of our fights lasted around 5 minutes. As soon as you get knocked out, the leaderboard pops up with a single button click to queue up for the next match – perfect. That is really ideal because it almost eliminates the downtime between matches.

Also, the matches seem to pop very quickly. One of my greatest pet peeves in PvP is long queues. I’ll rail against them night and day. I absolutely, completely, utterly cannot stand a PvP system with long queues for random pickup matches. Anything over one and half minutes, and you’ve made a mistake. Either your matchmaking algorithms stink or you made a mode so unpopular that you need to go back to the drawing board. You try to tell a four-year-old to chill out because the game is about to start – for several minutes in a row. It’s like negotiating with a Xorn; it simply can’t be done (without the proper legal documents, as my D&D Adventure Zone folks know).

I realize this is a trying time for a lot of my MMO folks out there. I really hope you’re staying safe and that you are finding time to have some fun. You might be looking to play something just because you’re bored, or maybe you’re one of those directly impacted by the pandemic, in which case I don’t mean to make light of the very serious situation you’re going through. For me and my family, though, Trove’s Bomber Royale has been a bit of a light in an otherwise dark time.

How have the rest of you PvPers out there been getting along in your game of choice? Have you been able to get your normal PvP game time in, or has it been a bit more haphazard like mine? If you’re looking for a low-cost, simple PvP game mode to really eat up some time, while also having fun with your family, I’d say give Bomber Royale a look.

Every other week, Massively OP’s Sam Kash delivers Fight or Kite, our trip through the state of PvP across the MMORPG industry. Whether he’s sitting in a queue or rolling with the zerg, Sam’s all about the adrenaline rush of a good battle. Because when you boil it down, the whole reason we PvP (other than to pwn noobs) is to have fun fighting a new and unpredictable enemy!
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