World Of Cubecraft: Rift Dev Introduces Minecraft-Like Trove

By Nathan Grayson on November 16th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Monocles and top hats in a fantasy setting? Zaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany

OK, upon second viewing, Rift and Defiance developer Trion’s Trove looks more like Cube World than it does Minecraft. A lot like Cube World. Kind of eerily so. But I suppose it can’t be avoided now that the MMO genre’s been bitten by the voxel bug and– actually, wait, yes it can. EverQuest Next is voxel-based too. Hmmmm. Oh well, enough making block mountains out of block molehills. The truest measure of any game – visual similarities to genre heavy hitters or not – is in how it plays, and while Trion has a framework in place for Trove, that part will largely be up to you.

At this point, Trove sounds a lot like other sandbox role-playing/crafting games – just with all their various easily swallowed bits and bobs rolled into a single whole. There will be countless procedurally generated worlds, freeform exploration, so much crafting that your heart will probably swell with too much contentedness and collapse in on itself, and a glittering bounty of RPG elements like loot, dungeons, and classes. Meanwhile, the ability to create and upgrade your own personal “Cornerstone” might help set it apart:

“We added the ability to create your very own trans-dimensional home. This base persists across worlds and servers, is completely customizable, and will grow and travel with you throughout your adventures. The result? You’ll own a part of Trove no matter where we go or how the game evolves.”

Iiiiiiiiiiiinteresting. Plus, Trion is known for creating generally strong – though often not particularly original – games, so this fits their MMO M.O. perfectly. The developer has proven quite good at intelligently improving tried-and-true concepts, so here’s hoping that trend crisscrosses its way through Trove’s infinite DNA as well.

You can sign up for a soon-to-begin alpha right now. You may as well, given that Cube World isn’t exactly rushing toward completion these days. Then again, it does feel a little icky throwing support behind a game that at least very much looks to have plucked a few ideas from Cube World’s toybox. But then, you could argue that Cube World copied elements of Minecraft, which copied elements of Infiniminer, which copied… etc, etc, etc. Ultimately, genres advance through slow, often risk-averse iteration. Here’s hoping this one grows a few more branches before its roots begin to spoil and, ultimately, rot.

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47 Comments »

  1. Bostec says:

    Is this going to the new thing in MMOs or games in general now? “We can’t be arsed making the levels, you do it”. What next? Send out code so we can find bugs? oh.

  2. yusefsmith says:

    This is my royal decree banning the word “voxel” from game reviews now and forever.

    • RedViv says:

      The Tech That Shall Be Unnamed

    • speps says:

      I wish there was “voxels to bollocks” extension like this one does for “cloud” : https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cloud-to-butt-plus/apmlngnhgbnjpajelfkmabhkfapgnoai?hl=en

    • noom says:

      The three-dimensional-rendering-technique formerly known as Voxel

    • KDR_11k says:

      Voxel isn’t a BS term like Blast Processing, it’s a well defined concept. Though I suspect that a lot of voxel stuff you see isn’t actually using voxels, just cube based rendering (voxels must be rasterized for rendering either way but e.g. in Minecraft the game tracks all the voxels, not just the surface layer). When the outside block layer is never removed you can just use a heightmap instead of actual voxels (or in the case of a character that’s composed of small cubes you could store the shell mesh instead of the full voxel mass).

      • Baines says:

        I want to recall that Novalogic or similar got a patent for “real” voxels. They didn’t invent it, as there was evidence of earlier work. They just added an extra step that was allowed by higher monitor resolutions (which wasn’t relevant in the earlier work) and patented the whole thing.

  3. BTAxis says:

    If it’s anything at all like Cube World, they’ll release an alpha and then never update it again.

    • frightlever says:

      I’ve developed a soft spot for Trion because of Rift, which is still a fun F2P game to at least try out. I can’t see them pulling the same kind of stunt that Wollay did. I’ve defended him in the past but a little more communication would be nice.

      • Drakythe says:

        Wollay is sort of terrible at communication, but he hasn’t died at least, he posted a blog 2 days ago to the front page of picroma.com about the updates being done to the game.

    • Mabswer says:

      well, just because he doesn’t blog everymove he makes to Reddit doesn’t mean its dead.. yet.

      Also he’s been making 4 post’s on twitter these few days, that’s more than we can handle.

  4. Ultra Superior says:

    voxels =/= ugly ass blocks

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Nope, sorry, that’s what it means now. Just like roguelike = any game using randomization.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        You are too kind to the current use of “roguelike”. If there is any consequence to death other than a reload or respawn it’s a roguelike. Pretty much my entire NES and SNES library.

        • The Random One says:

          Pretty sure just “hard=roguelike” is getting more and more use nowadays.

  5. Kitsunin says:

    It looks uncannily like Cube World because they both use overly large voxels without textures. If EQ Next’s voxels were that big and more or less painted with only a single color, it too would look an awful lot like Cube World.

    Honestly, I really want to see an extremely ambitious MMO done in such a way. If you did away with graphical worries, you could probably end up with a far stronger game for the same cost. For the time being, it doesn’t really sound like this is that ambitious, and that’s a problem if it isn’t even going to look as good as Cube World.

    • KDR_11k says:

      The problem I see is that the more power you give players over the world the less suitable it is for an MMO environment. Not for technical reasons but when every random guy can just dig up any part of the world you get a ton of griefing and strip mining. The core concept of Minecraft is that shaping the environment is not separate from the gameplay as it would be in a level editor, it’s a central element of the gameplay. So you can’t have designated digging zones or designing objects in another mode and just plonking them into the world in the regular mode without losing the point and appeal of Minecraft. User Generated Content is a bad idea because users usually don’t enjoy generating content. The difference arises when the generation comes as part of the gameplay: You want shelter so you pile blocks up to form walls. Not because the game opens an editor window and tells you to make a house but because you want something to keep the monsters out.

      Long rant short: In an MMO you’d lose all the benefits of voxels (outside of cheap asset generation).

      • Kitsunin says:

        I still feel like it would be possible to make it work. Just like minecraft, you would build directly onto the world, and you would be given context and reason to do such building, as you would need to build towns and homes for the sake of protection/trade/whatever. You’re operating under the assumption that because people can grief in an uncontrolled environment we shouldn’t even try to make that type of MMO work in any setting other than a separated level editor, which just isn’t true. There are ways to deal with griefers, they just aren’t easy to think of or implement.

      • jonahcutter says:

        What you describe is essentially Cubeworld. Voxels with no ability to mine (short of blowing up a very limited amount of terrain), nor build (short of a bit of weapon customization).

        Which made it extremely bland. The game cries out for players being able to dig deep caverns and build huge castles. It’s perfect for it. But lacking it, it’s just a boring grinder. Without the über cute visuals, I doubt Cubeworld would of received a fraction of the interest it has.

        But if it allowed players to dig and build, it could almost instantly become a deep, fascinating experience. Player agency would make compelling what is otherwise a visually attractive but extremely generic, shallow game.

    • Mabswer says:

      true, and next problem is the Microtransactions. Cause.. well F2p and TrionWorlds.. need i say more?

  6. Mr Wonderstuff says:

    All this says is that Trion are stuck for ideas for their next mmorpg and their art team have little talent. I did play and purchase Defiance and that was mediocre at best.

  7. Spacewalk says:

    Not Trion hard enough.

    • Russianranger says:

      Not sure if I like the Defiance you’re showing to this new IP…

  8. Tei says:

    I don’t like the shader over the world that make it look muddy. I am sorry, but the pristine apparence of CubeWorld was easy on the eyes.

    Since this is professional game devs, and Trion has prove to be very good developers, I hope they push this idea to higher heights than what hobbyist has done. Other than the already implemented ability to build stuff, … that CubeWorld don’t have. To Trove to deserve existing, it must be more than the sum of CubeWorld and Minecraft.

    Speaking of CubeWorld, it has many problem that where in the way of enjoyement:
    - how confusing was being underground, and I don’t think Trove will be able to solve this one.
    - unstability, with constant disconections. I think will do this right.
    - limit to 4 players per server. I think trove will be a improvement here.
    - broken progression wen mixing high level and low level players. a hard problem, maybe find a way.

  9. Lobotomist says:

    Problem is that its not actually MMO limited to only 60 players server. In fact its not much different from VOX.

    With all server capacity and MMO knowledge, I would hope they would make actual MMO.
    Which would honestly be only thing to set Trove apart.

    As is it now Starbound is closest to MMO out of the whole bunch.

  10. Viroso says:

    That music annoyed me, it’s the music you listen on tech ads when they’re trying to sell their product as this exciting, ingenious product. But then the guy keeps talking about stuff we’ve seen in countless game before. Anyway, enough pettiness.

    I say now that the new consoles are probably powerful enough, we’ll see a lot more larger developers tackling the Minecraft genre and embracing procedural generation, voxels, user made content. Maybe 3 years from now we’ll be all like “GOSH ENOUGH OF THIS, where are other genres like FPSs? Damn”

    • Kitsunin says:

      No way will that happen, because if procedurally generated games become popular on consoles, it will only be a few years before we will see Call of Duty: Mine Ops 3.

  11. edwardoka says:

    They aren’t “legos”. And for that reason, I’m out.

  12. phuzz says:

    That screenshot reminds me a lot of Love, but looking less like a water-colour come to life.

    • Kitsunin says:

      My god I forgot about Love, argh how could I, it’s one of my absolute favorite games just for the feeling of wonderful exploration and immersion. I’m so glad you brought that up, and so mad at myself for forgetting! …please let me successfully convince my friends to join me…

  13. Freud says:

    It’s like Minecraft meets imitation.

  14. Inzimus says:

    I’ve waited for Cubeworld since it was announced a very, very, very long time ago; even secured me an alpha version before the shop/site went down; I’ve played it ’til I could play it no more
    and now, as with everyone else, I wait for an update
    sure, it’s long and seemingly hopeless given the lack of communication with fans of the game
    but I can wait
    if nothing else, but because I believe in Wollay and his wife
    always have
    always will

  15. Urthman says:

    Can we just accept that building procedurally generated worlds out of cubes is going to be a genre and quit spending so much time whining about superficial resemblences?

    Blocks are like pixels. You make stuff out of them. We don’t complain that Mark of the Ninja is ripping off Quake because they both have pixels.

    If a game has clones of creepers, dark-spawning monsters, redstone, or some other thing that Notch actually invented, then we can talk about ripping off Minecraft. If it just uses the idea of a procedurally generated destructible world, which Minecraft implemented very well but did not invent, then let’s talk about what it’s doing with those building blocks, not focus on the blocks themselves.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Well said. And for all that I have complained about this being a clone, time will tell. Because, as you said, its really about what you do with blocks, and the world – not the blocks themselves.

      So here is to hoping Trion does something original. Though, to be realistic, ‘original’ – or even ‘innovative’ – really doesn’t seem to be Trion’s thing. But I guess we shall see.

    • WarOnGamesIndustry says:

      That would be a valid argument if it wasn’t Trion. Look at their track record. They do nothing but bandwagon gaming trends.

  16. WarOnGamesIndustry says:

    Trion will turn it into a MOBA in less than a years time.

  17. Neurotic says:

    All they’d have to do is just not mention it again for about 5 months until everyone’s exploding with rage, then casually mention that they shouldn’t worry, development is still on-going, and it’s be exactly like Cube World!

  18. Awesumo says:

    Rift really is A great MMO, certainly better than almost all of them, and the character creation/specing is way ahead of WOW. I have alot of respect for Trion.
    Yes, Defiance was fairly rubbish – but I think most of us knew it was a cheap tie-in to a 1 series then cancel TV show when we bought into it… besides I still had a few fun evenings with that, so it wasn’t such a bad game.