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Trove empowers community to pitch biomes and classes

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Contests, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Music, Trove

Trion Worlds is empowering the Trove community even further by inviting players to pitch ideas for a new biome and class to be added to the game.

A Reddit thread has the details of how this process will unfold. Players will begin by brainstorming ideas for biomes, and after some time, the dev team will pick the best (and top-voted) submissions and allow players to vote on the very best one. Following that, the team will poll players for decorations, dungeon designs, and enemy ideas, and then get the biome into the game within the month. There are also plans for a similar pitching-and-voting process afterward in regard to a new class.

On a phone call, Trion told Massively that it's looking to push the crowdsourcing aspect further and further as time goes on. The team is incredibly impressed with what the community has created so far with weapons, hairstyles, dungeons, and hats, and it can't wait to see what comes from this experiment.

One thing that the team revealed is the upcoming addition of music blocks: Physical objects that make notes (and even chords) when walked on. We asked if Trion was looking to crowdsource the soundtrack for the game as well, and while the devs said that no players had yet stepped forward, they promised that if some did with great tunes, those would definitely be included into the game proper.

Trove offers a peek at March improvements

Betas, Fantasy, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Trove

Lousy Smarch zombies.
If you want to invest yourself in voxel-based crafting and destruction, you're not starved for options. Trove might not be the highest-profile option within that field, but the game is still in heavy development and updating regularly. An official update shares what the team has been working on in March for anyone who hasn't been kicking around in the game itself, starting with laser mining. Yes, you're not hacking away with a pick any more; you're burning things out with laser beams.

March also saw the inclusion of ultimate abilities for the Knight and Gunslinger and the rollout of Personal and Adventure worlds. Players can also forge their own dungeons and wear gear free of the threat of decay. For April, the development team will be hard at work with a forging system to upgrade equipment as well as the inclusion of the Fae Trickster. Isn't it nice to have options?

Trion Worlds introduces Glyph gaming platform

Fantasy, Launches, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, RIFT, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Defiance, Trove

Trion Worlds is getting into the digital gaming platform business, as the studio announced today that it will be releasing its own "lightweight digital hub" called Glyph.

Glyph was created to connect developers with audiences, and is purported to be friendly to use from both sides and DRM-free. The platform will take over the responsibility of being the launcher for Trion's titles, including RIFT, Defiance, and Trove (we'll believe ArcheAge when we see it). Trion says that the studio has already handled "more then 10 million gamers" in the past three years and that Glyph will be a great help to pair those players up with current and future titles.

Glyph will also handle games from Trion's partners, as the studio has already begun signing on developers. It will launch shortly after GDC 2014.

[Source: Trion Worlds press release]

RIFT, ArcheAge, Defiance, and Trove acquire new community managers

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Defiance, Trove

Three weeks after the departure of Trion Worlds Director of Global Communications Elizabeth Tobey comes the news that Trion has appointed two new community managers to helm its core MMOs RIFT, Defiance, Trove, and ArcheAge.

Evan "Scapes" Berman, whom gamers might recall from his days on the TERA community team, will take over the Defiance and ArcheAge communities, while Eric "Ocho" Cleaver of City of Heroes fame will defend Trove and RIFT players from waves of angry trolls. May the planar gods have mercy on their souls.

MMO Mechanics: Procedural generation is the future

City of Heroes, EVE Online, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, RuneScape, Love, EverQuest Next, Sandbox, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Trove, MMO Mechanics

MMO Mechanics title image
MMOs are infamous for the exorbitant amount of both time and money that is required to make a fantastic end product. Much of this effort and expenditure goes into producing very specific content such as leveling zones, quest chains, and dungeons. The classic themepark MMO in which all the rides are carefully engineered and maintained is compelling for a time, but the content therein tends to take longer to create than it does to exhaust. This invariably leads to redundant content that ends up on the scrapheap once it has been enjoyed for a time.

Procedural generation corrects much of this redundancy by providing essentially limitless variations of content, adding replayability and variety to the usual MMO repertoire. It also opens up some unique mechanics, like Elite: Dangerous' planned procedurally generated galaxy that is a full-scale replica of the Milky Way.

In this week's MMO Mechanics, I will look at how the genre is evolving because of how accessible procedural generation techniques have become to developers. I'll also explore how this might affect the future of MMOs by examining the mechanics that upcoming titles will incorporate.

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The Trove Diaries: Exploring the wild, wild... peaceful forest?

Betas, Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Kids, Trove, Trove Diaries

In a recent Trove patch, the team added in a new chest at the central world hub for players to toss in gear to share with others. A community chest. Other than making me think about Monopoly for a minute, it gave me one of those brief, warm feelings that this game tends to do on a regular basis. It's a small thing but a good thing. Trove has a lot of that.

So welcome to the Trove Diaries, a chronicle of my sporadic adventures through this developing quirky title from Trion Worlds!

Let me bring you up to speed: Trove was a side project at Trion that got the internal greenlight to be developed into a full-fledged MMO. However, the team's taken a cue from recent crowdfunding projects by offering fans the opportunity to buy into the game and see first-hand how it's being developed on a daily basis. Trove is a strange combination of building and destroying that bucks the typical MMO trend while creating something that it light, breezy, and quite frankly fun.

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Trove: You make it, we play it

Betas, Fantasy, Interviews, Previews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Trove

Trove is growing by pixelated leaps and bounds week after week with the community directly contributing to the game's development, Trion Worlds Creative Lead Andrew Krausnick told us in an interview call earlier today.

The title, which is still in deep alpha, has yet to implement core features such as world cycling and additional classes. But what it is adding, day after day, are items and weapons created by fans. Krausnick said that the decision to turn over the item creation toolset to players has been a resounding success, with over 100 weapons created and 10 to 20 player-created items going into the game with each patch. One player even volunteered to create housing trophies for each creature in the game, which the team is now putting in as rare drops.

Trion is rewarding players who create chosen designs with credit in a tooltip for their effort, a special hat, and game access if they haven't paid into it yet. That's right: If you want an alpha invite but don't want to shell out cash, then making a good-looking axe could be your ticket into Trove.

We've got more to share about Trove's ongoing development and a video walking you through player-designed items after the break!

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Perfect Ten: New MMOs to watch in 2014

MMO Industry, Opinion, EverQuest Next, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, Shroud of the Avatar, Elite: Dangerous, Pathfinder Online, Trove

perfect ten
Out with the old desk calendars that you didn't use past February 2013 and in with the new, I always say! It's a brand-new year, and while we don't know all of the twists and turns that we'll travel in MMO news in 2014, I dare say it promises to be a fascinating ride.

Last January I gave my list of 10 new MMOs to watch for that year, and I'm a sucker for traditions. With 2014 a mostly blank slate right now, I want to lay out the up-and-coming class of games that at least have a shot at releasing by December. There are the big names, of course, but several other titles that could be sleeper hits if all goes right. Which will succeed, which will flop, and which won't even get out of the door? I don't claim to know all, but I know all, so here are my prognostications for 2014!

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Perfect Ten: Biggest MMO news stories of 2013

World of Warcraft, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, News Items, Opinion, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, DUST 514, World of Tanks, EverQuest Next, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Diablo III, Defiance, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, Star Citizen, Trove

As the light slowly fades from 2013, we spend our final moments quaffing eggnog, putting up President's Day decorations, and reminiscing about the year that was. We stare at the past and realize that it's a mirror reflecting our own journeys through the past 12 months. We contemplate the impact of one small decision that ripples out and touches souls everywhere. And then we stop getting so maudlin and start getting excited for what 2014 has to offer.

For me, I live for end-of-the-year lists. Man, I love 'em. I will devour them, drinking up everyone's opinions about what what the best what, what movies or songs I should check out, and what idiocy drives some people to write top 10 lists. Seriously, am I right? Learn to use a paragraph format, people!

Well, here's my top 10 list covering the year's top stories in the MMO industry. Some are pretty obvious, some will be up for debate, and all will be in the past soon enough. So what will historians say about 2013 and online games?

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Trove will rejuvenate MMO worlds by blowing them up

Betas, Fantasy, Interviews, Previews, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Trove

I'll confess that even after having chatted with Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman about this new Trove project and reading Shawn's very early impressions piece, I was still having difficulty understanding what, exactly, this game was about. Was it just some sort of kiddy LEGO hack-and-slasher with a nod to housing thrown in? How was Trion going to make good on its promise to continually provide a sense of new adventures? And was Trove just a blatant ripoff of Cube World, as some have claimed?

Because Trove isn't quite a typical MMO, I needed another phone session with Trion to get a clearer picture of this game. Creative Lead Andrew Krausnick spent an hour with me patiently answering any and all of my questions. The big one had to be asked from the get go.

Were you really going to be blowing up the world all the time?

Krausnick confirmed that yes, Trion will be doing exactly that. More than that, he said that it would be the factor that would set Trove apart from all of the other games out there right now.

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The Stream Team: Building stuff in Trove with Beau

Betas, Video, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Previews, Hands-On, Casual, Livestream, Sandbox, Crafting, The Stream Team, Trove

Trove screenshot
Trove is an interesting new title from Trion Worlds, a game set in a strange, blocky open world that is there just waiting to be explored and built. Beau Hindman is willing to do it, even though the game is in "open alpha." If you enjoy open worlds, exploration, building, and destroying monsters, you should watch this stream!

Game: Trove
Host: Beau
Date: Friday, November 6th, 2013
Time: 4:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Steam Team video below.

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Massively's first impressions of Trion's Trove

Fantasy, Video, New Titles, Previews, Opinion, Hands-On, First Impressions, Sandbox, Trove

We're really driving home the "first" in "first impressions" with a look at the early-early alpha build of Trion Worlds' Trove. Trove is a voxel-based sandbox game that was first revealed two weeks ago. It's a game that focuses on exploration, building, and adventure, and hopes to do it with feeling. Since the game is still in early alpha, most of my impressions may change when it gets closer to launch, but we still wanted to show off the game in its current state to give you a taste of what's to come.

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Trove starts alpha testing, sells supporter packs

Betas, Fantasy, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, Trove

Trion Worlds has sent out its first wave of Trove alpha invites today as the game moved into its latest phase of testing. On Reddit, Trion devs addressed how players may gain access to the alpha: "We will be inviting people both at random from the pool of everyone who has signed up as well as directly inviting strong Trove supporters: community contributors, streamers, and so on."

If you're not content to wait for an alpha or beta invite, you can cut the wait with a few bucks by purchasing one of Trove's new supporter packs. These start at $5 and go up to $2,500, with perks such as testing spots, in-game credits, in-game items, the soundtrack, and even the ability to help create a biome. Basically, $5 gets you the beta and $20 (on up) gets you the alpha, if that's what you're seeking.

Additionally, the more that the community chips in for these packs, the more additional rewards will be unlocked for everyone in the form of "bonus milestones."

Trion officially reveals Trove: Endless adventures through endless worlds

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Interviews, New Titles, Free-to-Play, Sandbox, Trove

Even with its recent "regroup and reorganize" strategy, there's no doubt that Trion Worlds is an ambitious company that enjoys having its fingers in many pies. But what about that yummy voxel Minecraft pie? So tempting... so trendy... so full of antioxidants. Well, Trion's baking one of those up too, and it's called Trove.

So what is Trove, exactly? It's something radically different for Trion, though it's plainly drawing upon lessons learned from the studio's other titles. Trove is a multiplayer universe of worlds where creation, destruction, and adventure go hand-in-hand. It's a sandbox, an RPG, a toolset, a public space, a private space, a free-to-play experience, and according to CEO Scott Hartsman, a passion.

We spoke with Hartsman to get a handle on what Trove will bring to MMOs and how it's looking to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack. So take one last look at the cute bug above and prepare yourself for an endless adventure through endless worlds.

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Trion starts the Trove teasing

MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Miscellaneous, Trove

Trion Worlds made news earlier this week by registering several domains with the word "Trove" in them. While the studio made no announcement regarding new games in development, most speculation centered firmly on Trove being Trion's next big project.

Today we've received another little tidbit on the topic via Trion's official and brand-new Trove Twitter account. Posting under the name TroveGame, Trion asked simply, "Where will you go?" It's not much in terms of information, but the Twitter username at least confirms that Trove is a game. The profile information says only, "Something new from Trion Worlds."

Stay tuned.

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