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Maximum Power! Our Preview Of Trove’s Mantle Of Power Expansion

There is, or there should be, a motto in MMO design: “When all else fails, add more stuff.” That seems to be the strategy behind Mantle of Power, which is being billed as the first full expansion for Trion Worlds’ Trove. It’s big, it’s bad, and it’s got dragons. And also dragons. Did I mention it had dragons?

I got a brief runthrough of the expansion on Monday from Chief Funmaker (his official title, or at least it should be) Andrew Krausnick and Lead Animator Ted “Ted” Sanger. The basics: a new level cap increase, from 20 to 30; a new gem system that lets you add more power and abilities to your character; and four new worlds to explore. All of this comes in a free expansion that’s available now to anyone making a purchase in the store and in one week (April 26) for totally free players.

You’ll start your adventure in the aptly named Tower of Adventure, which contains portals to the various new worlds of air, fire, and water, as well as the shadow world. The elemental worlds look like you’d expect: floating islands in the air world, rivers of lava in the fire world, and rivers of – gasp – water in the water world.

To not die in these worlds, you’ll naturally need more power. As you level through the world, raising yourself from 20 to 30, you’ll gain access to a new type of equipment slot, gems. Gems come in three elemental flavors and two power levels. Smaller gems just give you a stat boost, while larger gems give you new abilities or change your existing abilities. If you get a gem you don’t need, you can break it down into resources you use to acquire gems you do want.

I had to stop the demo at this point and ask about that hobgoblin of every new MMO, power creep. If all this new stuff makes you bigger and better, does that invalidate old gear and progression? “Since gear in our game is upgraded, it’s never obsolete,” Krausnick told me. “You just take what you have and upgrade it to the next level.” Also, since gems are brand-new, they just add onto existing gear without replacing anything else.