Where is Trion’s head at these days?

I’d say that I’m not sure what to think of Trion these days, except I think I am. In fact, I’m growing more confident in my opinion of them every day. What I don’t understand is where their head is at and why they are making certain decisions which make it easy for people to form such an opinion of them. Let’s take a quick look at their history.

Rift :: 3 monther (later turned F2P and doing decent last I checked). Ultimately “failed” because the me-too product status could not win over the current WoW crowd. Why play Rift when you can play WoW?

End of Nations :: Dead in development. It was a half-baked RTS that tried to turn into an awkward MOBA. I don’t know what End of Nations was, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t either.

Defiance :: Flopped attempt at merging a game with a tv show. It’s… bad.

ArcheAge :: An odd mix of themepark and sandbox elements that never formed the cohesion needed to create a lasting experience. The PvP was ganky, the PvE was boring, and the bugs/cheats/exploits made the game unplayable for most of the people who overlooked or even enjoyed the gameplay.

Trove :: It’s like Minecraft meets MMO meets… I don’t know. It’s a little bit hodgepodge and the production qualify felt off to me. I was hoping for it to be enjoyable, but ultimately I stopped playing because it felt ‘cheap’.

So there’s the history. Lots of half-baked ideas and odd execution and implementation choices. Trion doesn’t seem to be stopping there. They recently announced “Devilian” which not only sounds generic but looks the part as well (as seen on their recent video release below).

[su_youtube_advanced url=”https://youtu.be/r0ZA7LIZjsg” controls=”alt” rel=”no” fs=”no”]

Devilian looks like an outdated Asian Diablo clone supposedly containing PvP, MOBA, and MMO elements. Once again it feels like Trion is making/publishing a hodgepodge me-too product way after the expiration date. It simply doesn’t look to be any fun at all.

I hate feeling like I’m bashing on them. I genuinely don’t have the animosity this might portray. I’m simply confused and honestly a little shocked that the ideas are so poor. Here’s a studio with potential that makes one weird choice after another — namely their choice to continue publishing these games coming out of Asia.

  • I played Rift for about 3 months. Those non stop rifts (read public quests) everywhere dropping that pointless loot (and tons of it) into my inventory at the end of each was my end eventually.

    I had amazingly high hopes for archage as “what we have all been waiting for” but then it came out and the reviews were horrible so I just skipped it.

  • You do know that Trove is actually a massive hit? It’s been hovering in the 6th or 7th spot on Steam since launch, averaging 50,000 concurrent players. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a comparable success in the MMORPG space since GW2.

    So wherever Trion’s head is at, I’m sure a lot of MMORPG developers would like to be there too.

  • I played Rift for a 4-5 months. I had some fun with it but never got hooked.

    Isn’t the Defiance show still going? I watched the first season and it was decent sci-fi. Does Trion get any profit from the show?

  • I played archage when it was released, one of the best MMORPG’s I ever played.

    Then the hacks, exploits and cheats emerged, I left and Never looked back.

  • @Simon: Except Trove isn’t really a MMORPG. It’s an online RPG, and it’s not quite Minecraft, and far from being a MMO. And it’s popular for a Trion game, yes, but poorly put together and lacking lasting appeal. Most people are putting in a few hours then realizing there isn’t much there but grinding a few dungeons and the novelty of voxel customization. That wears off really, really fast.

    Viewing Steam’s stats: http://store.steampowered.com/stats/

    Looks like it is already somewhat leveling off. It’s popular on the charts because it’s new. Once the newness wears off, those numbers will decline rather than stay flat.

    @Baa Baa Black Sheep: I feel very much the same as you. I lasted a few months then ultimately quit because the non-stop rifts and overall game felt meaningless to me. Combine that with dungeons, quests, and characters that felt generic and I didn’t have much reason to log in.

    @Topauz: Yep, I think I saw commercials for the show. I haven’t a clue about their relationship with the show. I doubt anyone would be foolish enough to give Trion a cut of the show.

    @Joy-Energiser: I wonder how many people will trust them for their next endeavor when it’s essentially the same story all over again: Asian developer with Trion publishing.

  • I heard Trion had a lot of staff turnover after Rift. I had no problem with Rift, it actually put Trion on the map for me and made me respect them as a company able to create quality products and looked forward to them trying something a bit more daring than a WoW-clone. Of course they did with Defiance, but something happened internally between the two and it was quite obvious that whatever changed was for the worse. Defiance (the game) fell flat for me, although the TV series was actually OK for SyFy. Since then the company has been putting out more clone games and AA was quite a blow to their name. Now Trion is a name I would put in the same boat as Nexon or R2Games just accumulating more and more unoriginal mediocre or garbage games to throw into their established launcher.

  • You can do one of these for Turbine, Funcom, Cryptic, etc.

    Turbine and Mythic (RIP) even tried MOBAs. They’re all just throwing shit at the wall, trying to get something to stick so they don’t die completely in the post WoW clone era.

  • @AdricLives: Oh you nailed it. That’s what I was trying to convey and you actually put a face to the example. Trion IS turning into a Nexon/R2 Games.

    @Jenks: Yep. The walls are slick.

  • Defiance the game was good enough by my standards. The horrendous server connectivity and hilariously borked PvP (all cloaked swordsmen and imba DoT guns) aside, it has the best shooter mechanics I’ve ever played in an MMO, and is generally an excellent hop-in-for-a-while-and-let-rip-with-friends game. What eventually drove me away was the shoddy quality of its recent content, and the utter travesty of its ‘crossover’ with the TV series (which I ragged on here: http://bit.ly/1ShOgnB).

    I’m still following and liking the show – it’s in Season 3 right now, and actually getting good. But the transmedia fail was too crushing. I’ll never go back to the game.

    As for the rest of Trion’s work, well, I’d never touch it with a ten-foot pole. Was fool enough to try ArcheAge and it drove me away at the tutorial. Trion is now, to me, almost indistinguishable from Perfect World.

  • Trove is a one trick pony. Give it another 60 days or so for people to play it more and once the shiny wears off we will see where the numbers are. I know I played it a few months back and found it enjoyable for a short bit but after a few days I realized there was not much to do. Yes I know, its a sandbox, make your own fun. I just found it very basic. Now that the game is live I logged back in to see what has changed and really I don’t see much different. I ran some dungeons and exchanged some loot but that is about it. While the combat is better than say Minecraft the building features are very weak in comparisons. Even 7 Days to Die at this point has a more robust crafting and building system.

  • Devilian actually looks kinda neat but all their games since Rift have been lacking.

  • I just got an email that said “Patron Perks” have come to Trove and there is a rather long list of benefits you get over free players so the game is essentially doomed now.

  • I liked Defiance when it came out(despite no interest in the show, and the game actors were kind of bad with the forced ‘lets use funny curse words’ dialog) because of the easy drop in/drop out gameplay. It was all pretty well executed and stable. When I last played it last year sometime it was a buggy mess.. I heard that they canned the entire dev staff after launch and the team they brought in introduced a ton of problems over time. Things that worked great at launch for me were bugged when I played a couple addons later, which is a bizarre state of affairs.

    I mean to revisit it again sometime because it’s fun to be able to take part in big public events as a solo player sometimes. It’s the sort of game that I can just play to shoot things, without having to feel big ‘progress.’