Author Archives: paeroka

The Vox Budgie!

Rift_Vox Budgie_itemTrove is already finished with updating and the first thing I did now was log in, log out, switch to Rift and grab that little mount out of my inbox. It’s “bind on pickup”, so you can’t trade or sell it to other players. You will get this mount with every character on your account! You should probably just make sure that you’re using the same Glyph Account for Trove and for Rift so that your accounts are basically “linked”.

Without further ado, here is my dwarf on her new Vox Budgie which every Rift player can get by levelling one class to level 20 in Trove. Trove is free to play, so there’s no money barrier stopping you from getting that sweet little cutie.

Play Trove for a Vox Budgie in Rift

Update (March 10, 2015): The update is live and it is a mount. You can view screenshots of it here.

One thing I like about game developers having more than one game is the possible cross-promotions. In this case, it’s Trion Worlds with Trove and Rift. Riftgrate reported on the Vox Budgie soon being available in Rift. They found some more info which you can read up on here.

In short: If you level a character to level 20 in Trove, you will get a Vox Budgie in Rift. This will be available starting this Tuesday when it will get patched in to Trove. What we don’t know yet is: What is the Vox Budgie? I would assume it’s a mount because so far, all budgies in Rift are mounts. However, it could also be a companion (non-combat pet). We don’t know for sure, but we will figure it out on Tuesday.

Trove Questions

Level 20 is the maximum level and in my humble opinion, it takes a while to get there. Of course, this is all dependent on your play style and how much time you have for playing Trove. My advice is that if you only want to play because of the Vox Budgie and you want to get to level 20 quickly, then you should give the Dracolyte or the Candy Barbarian a try. I found them the quickest to level while also being easy to handle in solo fights. The Candy Barbarian has a lot of heals available. Fights might last a little bit longer sometimes, but in return, I hardly ever had to use my heal potion (and thus, did not have to look for a cornerstone in order to refill my heal potion). Then again, I can’t really compare the two classes since my Candy Barbarian is level 20 and the Dracolyte is level 14. Both aren’t geared too well. The Dracolyte just seems to deal a lot of damage with ease while also being the most stylish of all classes. Hey, that’s important, okay? ;)

If you want to know more about those classes before deciding, Trove HQ has class guides: Candy Barbarian and Dracolyte.

4 years of Nerdy Bookahs!

On March 12, 2011, we started this very blog here. I did not think that we would still be around 4 years later. I also did not think that the content of the blog would stay this close to its original roots. :p

4 years ago, we started as “Nerdy Bookahs and their travel guide”. We knew we wanted to focus on Guild Wars 2, but that game had not been released yet. “and their travel guide” fit at that time because we were looking for a new MMO home, so to speak, and tried out various MMOs. Rift had just released back in March 2011 and I had bought it for myself as a motivator for studying for my exams. This worked very well, by the way. :)

March 12, 2011 in Rift

March 12, 2011 in Rift

My main motivation to start writing a blog about gaming had been simple: I wanted to practice my English. Living in Germany, this is not exactly easy to do as German is such a strong language that in everyday life, you do not meet a lot of English. Films and TV series are completely dubbed, by the way. Over the years, my motivation has changed. I play in international guilds, so practicing my English skills isn’t such a big issue anymore. But I love being part of gaming communities. I enjoy communicating with others, sharing such a geeky hobby and making new friends (Greece… it will happen… soon!). The only thing I would wish for was an automatic – and good! – translation of all my English blog posts, so we could more easily have them in German as well. ;)

Let’s look at a few statistics: Throughout the past 4 years, we have published 385 posts (386 with this one). We used 576 different tags for our posts. The tags used most often are: Guild Wars 2, Giveaway, Screenshots, Rift, ArenaNet and Bookahneer’s Geekwatch.

The 5 most often viewed posts of all time are

  1. Guild Wars 2: Region by level
  2. How to switch between the starter areas in Guild Wars 2
  3. Guild Wars 2: A FAQ for new players
  4. Rift vs. LotRO vs. World of Warcraft – a closer look at all three MMOs (all entries in one) (possibly also the longest post with 11668 words)
  5. Rift vs. LotRO vs. World of Warcraft – a closer look at all three MMOs (Part 3)
March 8, 2012 in Rift

March 8, 2012 in Rift

The top 6 most often used search terms that led people to our blog are

  1. eligium
  2. lotro vs wow
  3. guild wars 2 map
  4. anno online
  5. guild wars 2 races
  6. guild wars 2 asura

As you can clearly see from these lists: Guild Wars 2 is not the only topic we write about in this blog. But some of those are actually quite surprising, even to me. As I said, I tried out a lot of different MMOs – some of those because of “Project 10/10“, but also because I just enjoy trying out new games. I actually had no idea I had ever used “eligium” in my posts, but I did find one where I wrote about that game: Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (February 18, 2012): Hype, where art thou? – Scroll past my whining about Warhammer Online and WvW in Guild Wars 2 and you will find the small part about Eligium. Quite obviously, I didn’t like that game. Anno Online is quite fascinating as well. I’ve written exactly one post about this game sharing my first impressions.

March 7, 2013 in Guild Wars 2

March 7, 2013 in Guild Wars 2

I am also surprised how many players are still interested in the question “Lotro or WoW?”. Oddly enough, I had seen this search term leading to our blog before I had written the blog posts comparing all the existing and/or missing features of Lotro, Rift and World of Warcraft. It was this search term that gave me the idea to write those posts in the first place. The rest is obvious, I think. And of course, I had to include the asura in the list… they aren’t really a focus of our blog other than them being part of Guild Wars 2, but apparently, we still mention them quite often. For good reasons, naturally. They are superior to all the others, after all.

Of course, Guild Wars 2 has always been the major focus of this blog. There’s no doubt about that when looking at the statistics above. At some point, we also removed the “and their travel guide” part from our blog’s name, because we declared Guild Wars 2 our new MMO home and had no need to travel anymore. After Guild Wars 2 had released, I wasn’t even sure if it was still appropriate to write about other games. But I decided that since we had started this way, we will stay the way we are. Guild Wars 2 is a major focus, but it’s not the only game we write about.

And with this, other MMOs came, were tried out and were left by us again. With one exception, other than Guild Wars 2: Rift. I had quit it while it had the sub fee and only returned once or twice, but jumped back in the minute it went free to play. I have been enjoying my time in the game ever since (while also giving them money. Don’t you worry! I love the game enough to want to support them, after all). The newest addition to our regular “setup” is Trove. These three games couldn’t be any more different from each other if you ask me. Rift being the “classical MMO” with the trinity and an extensive housing feature, Guild Wars 2 with its focus on living story and action-oriented combat (but lacking when it comes to housing, for example) and Trove the voxel sandbox game with blocky graphics. Altogether, a perfect mix for me as one of those three games always offers me something I want from gaming at any given time. ;) So here is to many more years of blogging… hopefully!

***

And In case you’re wondering why I’m publishing this post several days early: Real life. I will very likely be very busy next week and figured I’d rather write and publish this post now rather than later. At the same time, I can already give you a little “spoiler” of what’s going to be posted on March 12. If you’ve been here longer for a year already, you may remember that on our anniversary, we tend to start a giveaway. This year will be a little different. We will have two giveaways! One for Guild Wars 2 and one for Rift. Both ArenaNet and TrionWorlds were kind enough to give us some codes to give away (how about mini llamas or a hellbug mount or demon helms? Does that sound good to you?). So, make sure to come back here on March 12 if you want to win something! :)

March 7, 2015 in The Repopulation

…and their travel guide… – March 7, 2015 in The Repopulation

Coming to Trove next: New UI, tutorial and more…

As is usual for Fridays, we had another livestream from Trion where they showed us what they are currently working on in Trove. It seems that development is going well and fast.

New tutorial

Instead of all the signs that you have to read, they will have more pop-up images that will tell you about the game and apparently, also about its story. It’s not fully done yet and sounds like a work in progress that will get more pop-up images over time.

Spring…

… is coming! The wintery look of the hub will not stay with us for much longer. Winter pinatas will also be removed next week.

Costumes

Two new costumes were shown: The “Sharp Shooter” for the Shadow Hunter: Musically-themed, obviously. The shooting animation has fitting graphics (little notes in the air) and Trion also added sound effects. This costume comes with a hat and a weapon skin, too! Very nice work here.

The second costume is the Blood Knight. Compared to the Sharp Shooter, it does look a bit boring… although it’s also simple and clean. Nice look altogether. Once you use your combat skills, you can see where it gets its name from, though!

Dance Pad

The Dance Pad is a Mag Rider and once you’re on it, your character starts to dance. This also means that Dracolytes can transform into the dragon form, hop onto that Mag Rider and keep dancing in gangnam style for as long as they want! The Dance Pad will drop from Chaos Chests.

Trove_Dance Pad_Dracolyte

Dance Pad with Dracolyte

New UI

Jen and Khari are the people responsible for the new UI. One preview was the window when opening Radiant Chests. More things to come soon in the future.

Trove_New UI Radiant Chest

New UI Radiant Chest

New VFX artist

They mention that a new VFX (visual effects) artist is starting next week.

Other Voxel MMOs

No, this isn’t news about Trove. But they mention a poll from MMOGames right at the beginning of the livestream: This is what they are talking about and Trove even came out in 2nd place! Yes, after heavily advertising in the stream, but I guess that’s what always happens when such polls appear. :p I’m linking it in case you are interested in this genre. Trove by far isn’t the only one, after all. I personally have only played Trove and a bit of Landmark. Completely different games, but both are voxel-based, so there you go.

The Radiant Steed was also shown in the livestream. This mount already is in game and can drop (very rarely, I assume) from Radiant Caches.

Trove Radiant Steed

Trove Radiant Steed

On the forums, the most noteworthy post is probably the one where they give us an update about possible European servers.

“We’re working on it.

There are a few requirements that lead to technical difficulties:
1) Trove needs to remain as one universe. We won’t be splitting into US/EU zones. […]”

Fun with raptors

Lots and lots of raptors (or dragons, yes)… I love Trion’s humour here. The Dracolyte has a mini dragon as its familiar that fights with you. Additionally, this class can transform into a draconic form to deal some extra damage. This transformation usually only lasts a few seconds, but when you’re mounted, the transformation doesn’t end. As soon as you get into combat, you are dismounted and thus, you turn back into your usual form. But they added this as a feature not too long ago, so we can enjoy the view of the huge dragon form on a tiny mount for longer than just a few seconds.

Trove Raptors

Dracolyte dragon form, dragon ally, robo raptor mount and rascal raptor ally

I was lucky to win a robo raptor mount some time ago (Trove streamers on Twitch can get codes from Trion to give them away to their viewers) and I also have a “rascal raptor” ally. Allies are non-combat pets that give you a passive bonus. The raptor gives you a bit of movement speed.

Anyway, I just really loved this picture!

Gold sellers and Trove

Friday’s live stream again showed a few things of what’s coming next. But there was also some other rather important topic: Spam from gold sellers has appeared in Trove! The problem is, apart from the spam, that they often use stolen credit cards or hacked accounts in order to get the stuff they want to sell to you. Trion Worlds was pretty clear how they are going to handle this problem: They will ban the accounts. But not just the gold sellers, also you, the player, if you use the services offered by gold sellers! You can also read their official announcement about their stance in their forum.

So, just don’t do it, please. By not generating any demand for gold sellers, we will also probably see fewer hacked accounts and less spam. That’s always a good thing, right? A girl can dream… :p

In other news

Next week we will see a special event where you will get double the amount of glim when you’re outside adventuring. Get on your mount and run down the grass! :p

Winter in Trove is coming to an end. So, winter pinatas will leave the game soon. Next week, there will be a 50 % off sale for them. Currently, one winter pinata costs 2000 cubits or 250 credits. 5 winter pinatas can be bought for 1000 credits. 50 can be bought for 8250 credits. Just remember: They will be 50 % off next week, so better wait with buying them.

The War Horse mentioned in the last live stream will be added to the store. So, you’ll buy it with credits (real money currency).

Trove_Garden in Club World

Scoops, the ice-cream panda mount, will be craftable for 1000 cupcakes. I assume you will need more than just the 1000 cupcakes, though. But in case those sound scary: You can also craft cupcakes with the gardening profession. The item you want to create is the “Cupcake Seed”. 10 seeds need 3 Rich Fertilizers, 35 Sunlight Bulbs and 15 Bleached Bones. 5 Rich Fertilizers need 1 Water (made by 3 Glim and 2 Mushroom Chunks each), 3 Mushroom Chunks and 13 Glim. Feel free to calculate for yourself if you want to do gardening or go farm cupcakes. In my case, I still had quite a few of those materials in my personal chest, but only 17 cupcakes. So I decided to plant the Cupcake Seeds.

Trove_Recipe CupCake Seed

The third mount announced in last week’s live stream is the Gadget Cat. We will be able to trade with the pirates (cat for glim). But that’s not the news part here as they already said so last week. The news part is that this mount makes adorable cat noises! Awwww. :p

Trion Worlds added a subforum for mods now. So, you can spot the players’ creations much more easily now or, if you want to create items, others can see them more easily than before where those threads were in the middle of the general discussion area.

You can check this thread for more info on what was said in the last live stream or just watch the recorded livestream on Twitch.

Trove: Open Beta Impressions Review

Trove is the first game that I have been following this closely since alpha. And so it’s probably not a big surprise that it did not only get a “First Impressions Review” (in alpha), but a Second Impressions Review (in closed beta) from me as well. But that’s not the end of they journey, of course. Trove went into open beta back in November and with that, everybody can create an account and start playing immediately now without having to pay anything.

I also noticed that in the last few weeks, we have been getting a lot of hits on our “Second Impressions” piece, but that one doesn’t do the game any justice anymore. A lot has changed and in case you have read the Second Impressions review, you may be very pleased to hear that the issues I mentioned with rubberbanding, low FPS, lags etc. are (mostly) gone. Sometimes, especially after logging in for the first time, I still have issues with the world taking a bit to load in fully. If that happens, I have to wait a bit before I start roaming the map. Once that is over, I generally don’t have any problems. What hasn’t changed is the location of the servers. They are still in the US only. I’m pretty sure that especially Australian players will smirk when a European player complains about latency. :p The latest news I saw from the developers was that they still want to give us EU players servers in the EU. However, they also do not want to separate us from the rest of the players. Again, my own latency is not that bad, so I wouldn’t mind keeping it the way it is, especially if that was the only way to keep playing with everybody else. But we’ll have to wait and see about that, I guess.

Another issue I complained about was when adding a new map in your club world, everything bordering that club world (in a pretty big radius), gets destroyed. They have not changed this behaviour, but they have added a warning in the tooltip of the item that you use to expand your club world. So you’ll know about it, at least, and can save all the items from permanent destruction.

Trove_Terraformer_BE WARNED

BE WARNED – this will destroy everything in that zone, as well as borders of adjacent zones.

After having said that, welcome to everybody who may not have read any of my previous posts about Trove! Let’s start with the open beta impressions review and the usual warning: This is me stating my very subjective opinion. Do not expect an objective review (as if those things truly existed anyway… :p).

What is Trove? And what can I do in this game?

No matter what you may have read or heard, it’s not a clone of any other game that I know or have heard of. It shares similarities, for example, with Cube World and with Minecraft. But it has more than enough differences to not be called a clone. It is a voxel-based game where you can roam through non-permanent maps with several biomes that each have a different look and house different (crafting) materials, NPCs and dungeons. You collect equipment items that you can also upgrade to make them stronger. You collect skins to make your character look cooler. And you can build – both in your club world and in your cornerstone (more on that later).

When you first get into the game, you choose a name and that is all there is to customization. Don’t worry, you will be able to customize more later! You can also only have one character per account. While you can only have one character, this character can switch between all available classes. The game currently has 8 classes to choose from: Knight, Gunslinger, Fae Trickster, Dracolyte, Neon Ninja, Candy Barbarian, Ice Sage and Shadow Hunter. The 9th, the Pirate Captain, was recently announced. This already shows you that classes are gradually added to the game. There is an item in the game that looks like a wardrobe, the Class Changer, that lets you change your class. You also level the classes independently. So basically, it’s almost like having several characters. I really love having alts, but I don’t miss having “real” alts at all.

Another item in the game lets you customize your character. You can find both those items in the main hub (entered by pressing H). There are various hair styles and hair colours to choose from as well as eye colours and skin colours. Although I don’t think much of that is really visible to others considering the blocky look of the game. ;) Still, I love my little one’s reddish-brown pigtails. Also of note is that you can hide the look of hat and face items! And you can choose which look to use. I have my hat item hidden, so I can always see the pigtails and am wearing a monocle – because, well, it has style.

Trove Magisterial Monocle

As I said above, the game is about adventuring in the world. You start by going through the level 1 – 3 portal in the main hub. Just look for the huge tower with shiny and colourful portals. Each world is randomly generated. In these worlds, you find dungeons – if you’re new, you mostly notice them because a text appears in the upper right telling you who to kill. Go there, kill the mobs and the boss, find a loot chest. There are also crafting materials in the world that you can harvest. And, of course, lots and lots of blocks! When you collect blocks this way (switch into build mode to do so), you will only get the standard colours. If you want special colours (like the neon green you can see in the screenshot above), you can craft them from those standard coloured blocks with some other materials. You will also need to collect the recipes before you can make those special blocks. The recipes, again, come from adventuring in the worlds.

Trove Dungeon Dracolich

Crafting has several purposes. For one, as I just said, you can craft blocks with different looks. You can also craft things like furniture. All of this is useful for the club world or your personal cornerstone. Trion has also started implementing professions. You can level all of them, so there is no need to choose one. At the moment, we have gardening, ringcrafting and runecrafting. We know that fishing will come soon as well. Those professions let you craft equipment, mounts and more items for your club world and your cornerstone.

Trove

A small corner of my garden in our club world.

You can join up to five clubs, by the way. Clubs are the “guilds” you may know from MMOs. Every club can have one club world which is permanent (that is, not randomly generated whenever you enter it) and it lets you build things in there. Since you can join up to five different ones, you can also create one for yourself and have your own personal world to build in. You also have a cornerstone which is a little place in the adventure worlds. This cornerstone moves with you! You will notice empty spaces in the adventure worlds with a !-sign. Click on this (“E” on your keyboard) and your cornerstone will appear. When you die and previously placed your cornerstone in that world where you died, this is where you will respawn. You can also put everything you need like your personal chest or crafting stations on that cornerstone. Don’t worry, nobody can access your personal chest. If they click on it, they will only get access to their personal chest! Additionally, nobody else can build on your cornerstone. But be careful when fighting while you’re standing on yours. Some of your skills destroy blocks and this means that you can indeed destroy your own creation during a fight.

Other than collecting items to become stronger, you will also want to collect items to get their skins. If there’s green text below such an item, you have not yet collected that skin and can put the item in the “style saver”. It gets destroyed, but after that, you will be able to use that item’s look whenever you want to. Just click on the look you want. The stats will still come from the item that you have equipped. This is one of the aspects of the game that I love! There are already so many styles to choose from that it’s really difficult to take just one. Thankfully, every class has its own equipment and style slots. So, items that you equip with one class will stay with that class even if you switch to a different one. You can have a classy monocle-wearing candy barbarian and a silly tetris-cube wearing knight.

Everything you unlock in the game – skins, allies, gaining a level – will also give you “mastery points”. Every gained Mastery Rank gets you something. It starts with +3% maximum health, but there are also cubits (the in-game currency), special skins, materials and even credits (the currency you buy for real money)!

Since this game is free to play, is it also pay to win?

That always depends on how somebody defines “pay to win”. I, personally, would say no. There are some things that you cannot get without spending real money like extra storage tabs or specific mounts. There are items that you can buy which give your equipment stronger stats or a better stat combination faster. However, it’s just “faster”. You can also get there by simply playing the game. Additionally, in Trove, you always work with your fellow players, not against them. I have never seen or heard anybody complain because you did not have the perfect stat combination on your weapon. In fact, nobody knows what you’re wearing and nobody can even see how much damage you deal. So, you may get some things faster, but they will not make you gain an advantage over those who do not pay. Additionally, for me it’s part of the game to try to get the equipment that I want and buying items just to maybe get a stat combination faster than by playing the game is not how I want to spend my money. So altogether, this part may be something that’s not too nice, but in general, it isn’t important. You are not able to buy a weapon with better stats, for example.

Trove_Mounts in the store

You can buy several items either via credits (bought with real money) or cubits (in-game currency). You can earn up to 500 cubits on weekdays and 1000 cubits on Saturdays and Sundays. This means that in a week, you can earn a maximum of 3500 cubits. Cubits cannot be traded with other players. So, by paying with real money, you can buy some things immediately that are time-gated otherwise. On the other hand, I’m talking about classes (the time it takes you to level the class to 20 can also be spent doing those daily quests for cubits which will let you buy the next class), mounts (a lot of mounts drop or can be crafted), costumes for your character (purely cosmetic, but cannot be bought with cubits) and flasks (can be bought for credits and cubits). Flasks are your healing potion. While they have released new flasks in the last few weeks, I did not buy any of them because the standard flask still suits me the best, to be honest.

So yeah, there are items and things you can buy faster with credits than with cubits or by playing the game and then there are cosmetic items that are exclusive to the shop. Decide for yourself if that fits your definition of “pay to win” or not. I personally say it’s not.

How can I help with the development of the game?

Now we get to the part where I think Trove really stands out! They are a very small development team (we now know that they have two designers and two animators) and as such, they do bring us new content and additions to the game quite fast. However, the community certainly helps out a lot! Players can create dungeons, item skins, mounts and costumes. In their latest Twitch stream, they also said that if your mount or costume gets added to the game, you receive 10k credits and 300 codes of said item to give away as you please. But you don’t really need to create something outside of the game, only so that the developers add it – although I admit, this is very cool! ;) You can also “just” build in your club world or on your cornerstone. Trion Worlds has shown a few of those creations on their website.

You’ll also get credited in the game. Your username gets added to the item’s tooltip, so everybody knows this is your design.

 Now that we’ve covered all of that: My opinion of the game in a nutshell

I really enjoy the game, but it could not be my “one and only game”. There is no PvP nor do the developers intend to add PvP. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think PvP would work well in Trove. I just need some PvP once in a while. And there are no quests or storylines in the game either. So, if you can’t live without PvP or without story quests, then this game may not be for you. But I really like hunting for good items (Diablo-style) from time to time. I also really love building stuff. And I love the look of the game! If you can’t get past those graphics, then yeah, Trove is definitely not a game for you.

In short, it’s a fun game that I’ve already spent playing for countless hours. I don’t really have any big goals in there other than getting all classes to max level and finding nice gear for them (okay, mostly good looks!). I haven’t done much building yet in the club world, but that’s because I want to focus on equipment and levelling first.

One thing I do not like is the user interface. Trying to find a skin I want to equip takes an awfully long time. They are sorted by where you find the skin. But this means that if you want to look for a nice staff skin, you have to go through all the different lists and look for staff weapons – in between the melee, gun, bow, face and hat items. The same goes for the other tabs like allies, mounts and so on.

Trove_UI_item skins

User Interface: Uncommon item skins

Some things aren’t properly implemented yet and you can only use them by typing the command. Taking screenshots, for example. I usually use fraps to take a screenshot because it’s much easier and faster, especially when I’m in the middle of combat. However, the game is still in open beta. The developers said that they want to launch soonish. So, I hope that those areas get an overhaul and added features before launch!

In closing, I do hope that the shop stays as it is and that they won’t overdo it: Mostly fun items, but the majority of cool-looking items are still coming from playing the game and not from opening my wallet. I understand that a company wants me to want to buy something and they need the money to survive, of course. But there’s some balance that should be kept where you can get fun stuff for free and fun stuff for money. Because other than the potential “pay to win” that all free-to-play games have looming over themselves, the game itself is a lot of fun! I like hunting after things I want instead of simply buying them and I really enjoy the creative possibilities that this game is giving its players.