Seven Tips for Completing Challenges in Trove

  1. Make sure you are mastery level 30. You won’t be able to participate until you reach this mastery rank.
  2. Work on leveling all of your classes to at least level 10. There are bonuses applied to each boss kill if you use one of the two bonus classes listed for each challenge. Completing the second challenge tier is impossible without these multipliers so taking advantage of them is key. Without any bonuses, each boss kill equals one point. For the first tier you need ten, for the second forty, and for the third, one hundred. However with the 3x multiplier from using the bonus class, each boss is worth three points. This way instead of needing to complete 50 dungeons, you will only need 17 to complete the first two tiers. The class multiplier alone won’t get you through the third tier, but it will at least get you through the first two which means four caches each challenge instead of two.
  3. Mobility is key for keeping up with the crowd. Make sure your gear has plenty of jump, and that you have wings. You automatically receive a pair for mastery rank 20, so you will have them by the time you reach mastery rank 30, but don’t forget to equip them for all of your classes. Lastly, if you don’t have a mount faster than Slow Sebastian, get one. Every bit of speed counts.
  4. Work on obtaining and upgrading a magic based damage set of shadow gear and a physical based damage set along with one of each weapon type if possible. There are two other multipliers available but they require access to the U5 (3x bonus) and U6 (9x bonus) zone and will require some gearing and leveling to obtain. For the most caches during each challenge, your goal is to have all the classes at level 20 with gear powerful enough to enter U6 zones. That will grant you all bonus multipliers and thus allow you to work through the higher tiers of rewards.
  5. Stick with the group. When you zone into a map, check where the correct biome is located and then stay with the crowd of players heading in that same direction. If you work through the dungeons together it will go much quicker. And if you happen to be in the lead, I recommend being courteous and letting other players catch up if they aren’t too far behind before going all out on the boss so everyone gets credit (you only have to be close, you don’t need to tag the boss).
  6. Three star dungeons are your friends. You don’t get bonus points for defeating a three star boss, but there are generally two other bosses in the same dungeon which allows you to get three kills without a lot of travel.
  7. Change maps quickly once one has been completed or if the biome isn’t close to the spawn point. Sometimes you’ll be in a map with a small biome for the challenge and all the dungeons are completed quickly. Other times you may find the biome you need is too far away. When this happens you want to change instances quickly. The best way to do this is to port back to your club world and use the portals there. If you don’t have a club world, you’ll need to port back to the hub, build your cornerstone there, then use your personal portals. If you try to build your cornerstone and use a portal to the same Uber level within the map you are trying to leave it will not switch map instances.

Trove: Enter the Dragon Patch

Last night was the launch of Trove’s new Dragon patch. I didn’t have a lot of time to play around with the changes but I was able to complete one of the new challenges. Challenges are presented every hour, directing players to a specific zone in order to complete a set number of dungeons in 20 minutes. There are several tiers of completion—I was only able to finish the base tier of 10, the next tier up was 40—and each one rewards a different number of Azulian dragon caches. These caches contain the crafting materials and consumables required to unlock the new Azulian dragons. You can also get bonus multipliers for using a designated class or participating at the higher difficulty levels awarding even more caches.

Participating in the challenge was like being in a swarm of locusts descending upon an unsuspecting field of video game mobs ready for harvest. Once entering an instance, I along with four or five other players all jumped up to the skies, popped our wings, and swooped down on the unsuspecting dungeon bosses. Oh, you’re a boss are you? And you were giving me trouble before, I think? Well I brought a few of my friends this time, pal. You’re dead before my feet touch the ground.

It was frantic but fun, and all I could do was hope that I kept up enough to be on site when the boss was killed. Thankfully the game gives you credit for being in the general vicinity. Unfortunately, if you are new to the game you won’t be able to participate in the frenzied mob hazing… mob until you get your mastery rank up to 30, but if you are at least level 10 (the level required for Uber 1 worlds) and can keep up with others doing the challenge, you will level your character insanely fast from all the XP received from downing bosses.

After all the fun was had, I managed to get the first tier of rewards and my first two dragon caches. Unfortunately I didn’t get the Dragon Soul needed for the base dragon pet, but what I did receive was still extremely valuable— 1000 flux and 45 eyes of Q’bthulhu—both of which are great crafting mats. With that many eyes on top of what I already had squirreled away, I was able to upgrade one piece of gear to shadow level 2.

Frantic flying through the frontier biome.

Frantic flying through the frontier biome.

I’m really looking forward to the next time I can participate in these challenges; I can also see how they are designed to keep me playing the game for longer sessions. Before the patch I would often log in just to complete the daily star bar for cubits, and then log off for the night. However now, if that challenge pops while I’m on? You know I’ll be joining in. And then once that’s done and I’ve finished my original goals, well, it will probably only be another fifteen to twenty minutes until the next challenge. I might as well play a little longer…

That said, I also think it will get old in time. I like the idea of challenges, especially ones best completed by groups, but eventually they will need to diversify. Timed challenges can be fun but exhausting. If that’s the only option in a month or two, participation will either decline or become reluctant. I’m not sure what else they could do though. There’s been talk of world bosses so perhaps they will be incorporated, but to be truly different it can’t be more of the same “kill ‘X’ number of bosses in 20 minutes.” Regardless, I look forward to what is available now and eagerly await to see what else Trion comes up with for future challenges.

Trove’s Dragon Patch

Friday’s livestream on Trove provided some much needed clarity on the Dragon patch coming this next Tuesday, June 16th. For a full rundown of what was covered during the live stream on June 12th, I recommend you look at this post on the official forums or watch this video by Koba Games. While there are some aspects of the patch I’m a little confused about, overall it’s looking to be quite meaty and from what I can tell there is still more to come before the official launch of the game on July 9th.

Personally, I’m most excited about the teaser on the new class. I’m an alt fiend; I love trying new classes in this or any other game so no matter what I was going to latch onto this bit of information. However knowing that the new class is likely a necromancer of sorts nearly overshadows all the new features coming next week. Almost. My only level 80 character in Guild Wars 2 is a Necromancer, it’s a class theme I really enjoy but that isn’t represented in a lot of games I play. Granted, Trove’s version will likely be a little campy and paired down (there’s only four active abilities and one passive per class) but nevertheless I’m still anticipating a new main.

A sneak peek at the upcoming class from the livestream provided by Matthieux on the forums.

A sneak peek at the upcoming class from the livestream provided by Matthieux on the forums.

As for next week, I think the most important thing to gather from all the notes available (especially if you’re still new to the game) is that the options for gear progression and the movement progression I spoke of earlier today are expanding quite a bit. As is the grind, unfortunately. Not long ago I stated that I was okay with the grind in Trove, and in some ways I still am. The activities you have to do to earn the crafting materials needed for all the various gear upgrades, professions leveling, and club world building are ones I enjoy regardless. That said, it’s become painfully apparent to me that all of these pathways of progression require many of the same materials (and in large quantities) such that you will have to make decisions on what you want to accomplish. That’s not a bad thing, it extends the life of the game and gives weight to the choices you make, but I’m afraid in the long run it will lead to burn out.

I’m sure the new gear upgrades are a welcome addition to those players who have been dedicated to the game since early beta, however as someone only recently committed to playing Trove I find it daunting. I have to keep reminding myself that we are in beta and that (hopefully) the official launch will bring with it an influx of new players for whom all of these progression paths will be new and I’ll feel less pressure to catch up to the veteran crowd. For now I’ve got to make some decisions, which means I will be ignoring the new gear grind (I’m not ready for it anyway) and focusing on class leveling, professions leveling, farming basic sets of shadow gear for all the class types, and participating in the challenges that will award the materials necessary for “training” a dragon.

2015-01-18 202337

I’m a little disappointed in how the dragon rearing is being introduced, but that’s mostly my own fault. Rather than waiting to hear what the system would actually entail, I started imagining a system similar to ArcheAge’s mounts but more extensive in which you receive a dragon egg as a drop and then through some type of crafting system, progress you’re little guy from cute and cuddly to destructive and terrifying. Instead, players with a level 30 or higher mastery rank will be participating in challenges made available every hour in order to earn dragon caches. Each cache will have a chance to drop a number of different items including large quantities of flux (which I suspect will greatly affect the economy), Penta-Forged Shadow Souls for gear upgrades, and Dragon Souls.

Dragon Souls are permanent consumables that stack with each use. With your first stack you get a dragon pet, at five you receive a “fledgling” dragon which functions similarly to wings but at a slight disadvantage (so as not to replace wings entirely). At fifteen souls your dragon becomes an adult and then finally at thirty souls it becomes a Legendary dragon with the ability to destroy dungeons and the surrounding landscape with fireballs. I see this last stage as the next level of “movement” progression as it will change the way players gather materials and breach dungeons. There is another tier of Dragon Soul collecting after Legendary at 40 Souls, but it provides your character with a permanent stat boost rather than affecting the mount.

2015-06-10 025547

How will you keep track of the number of Dragon Souls you have collected? I’m glad you asked. Trion is also introducing an achievement system, referred to on the livestream as “badges” which along with tracking your Dragon Soul consumption (is that like counting calories?) it will reward you for various achievements like number of blocks destroyed, days played, dungeons completed, and who knows what else. It sounds like an extension of the Golden Thread quest chain, allowing players to continue earning rewards long past the tutorial phase.

The last feature of note is actually tied to the shadow gear upgrades. I won’t go into the details of upgrading because I’m a little fuzzy on them myself and unless you are currently in the process of improving shadow gear it will probably sound foreign anyway. What I would like to point out are the shiny visual effects that will be made available with the new tier of Radiant gear. Radiant gear is higher than Shadow 5 gear (which is also a new tier, I believe) and if I’m understanding this all correctly, crafting a radiant weapon will also unlock a visual effect that you can place on your weapons. The effects listed on the livestream were lightning, fire, magic, undead, and frost but there may be more in the future.

2015-05-31 234918

What’s unfortunate in all this is the incredibly sloggish grind that will be required to craft the Radiant gear and thus obtain the visual effects. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding the details, maybe the Radiant effects are earned or crafted separately. If not, this means a significant form of cosmetic progression is locked deeply behind a wall of challenging combat and the grindiest of gear crafting grinds. If that is the case (and we’ll just have to wait and see), I may hop on the forums and suggest some “scrub” visual effects be made available for those of us without the time or skill to obtain the radiant gear. I would even be okay with these being sold on the cash shop. For the sake of those who earn the Radiant effects, I’d be okay with the cash shop versions being a little less flashy, different color schemes, or whatever it takes to make sure those who earned it the hard way still get the recognition. But come on, who doesn’t want to duel wield flaming peppermint battlehammers?

Other than that last point which may or may not be problematic depending on the details, I’m excited about Tuesday’s patch. It will further flesh out the end game in Trove by providing players with so many new options for personal goals to set and achieve. I may not be able to interact with some of the new features much right away, but I’m glad they will be there waiting for me when I’m ready. In the meantime, I’ll continue leveling the classes and professions I have available as I’m dreaming of dancing with dem bones, dem bones.