Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Horray Terraria

I took a sudden unannounced break from the internet for the last week or so. I haven't been playing many games and I've mostly been being a busy adult with many important things to do.

My biggest problem when I miss a couple post days is I figure I'll just keep missing them because I already missed so many. I'm not sure that logic checks out, but hey, I never said it was a good argument. To break the cycle, I'm going to share a little bit about one of my favorite PC games, Terraria.

just building a house as an egyptian pharaoh

Terraria is similar to Minecraft in concept, but it has a lot of differences. It was originally released May 16th, 2011 (Minecraft was released almost exactly two years earlier, on the 17th of May in 2009).

There are some people who have put themselves into Terraria vs. Minecraft camps, but frankly I don't see why you can't like both. I think I can safely say I like Terraria more, but I've had some pretty long Minecraft stints.

There are a lot of reasons that I like Terraria more than Minecraft. While both are pseudo-sandbox more or less open world material gathering building games with enemies and RPG elements, Terraria has a refined character and world progression aspect. Minecraft doesn't completely lack this aspect, but Terraria is easily identifiable as having more RPG aspects.

like being mobbed by vultures unexpectedly

There are higher and higher tiers of items, like Minecraft, but in Terraria the items have quantified base stats and can have randomized stats based on word modifiers.

I'm really good at digging

You could craft a dozen silver swords, and some of them will have worse stats, some will have average stats, and some will have better or even amazing stats, to the point where some crafted items may be better than the one a tier above it.

Each actual created character has its own separate progression.

I have a lot of characters for some reason

You can take a character and its inventory contents into other or new worlds - the character isn't tied to the world. You can bring materials in from world to world in a character's inventory, and stuff like that.

As you explore and progress, there are specific boss monsters. One of the very first that you will fight is the Eye of Cthulu.

ut oh

It has two phases,

oh so scary

oh it's an eye mouth no that's totally normal

and of course it drops loot when you kill it.

It can be manually summoned with an item,

but it will normally spawn once you reach a certain level of progression. Once certain world conditions are met, the Eye may decide to come to you even if you haven't summoned it. The same will happen with other bosses and events, like meteors falling, goblin army attacks, and blood moons. These sort of bosses and organized, intentional enemy assaults is one thing that separates the two games and makes Terraria more of a character progression based RPG.

You also attract NPCs to your house by building them suitable rooms. Other requirements must be met before they show up, including saving them from curses, releasing them from being trapped underground, finding certain materials or amounts of things, or doing certain things in the world. The NPCs sell unique things that you can't get without them. You can build giant houses for them and decorate them until you suddenly realize that it's 4am.

this is one of my best houses. the entire thing didn't fit in the screencap

Another difference is that the Terraria world is not infinite. You can build a small, medium, or big world. Every world has one dungeon, two oceans, at least one magical cloud, at least one giant tree, and some other aspects. Larger worlds have more magical clouds and possibly trees, and there are some other things - some that every world has and others maybe not. The surface world is just a tiny portion.

that little blueness is where I built my house and cut down some trees

Even in a small world, the underground is vast. The more you explore, the easier it gets. You start to find trinkets, equipment, and cool weapons in chests, as well as different minerals, gems, cobwebs, and other materials. You find life crystals underground to raise your health, and you are barred from exploring certain areas by being unable to mine through them until you get a better pickaxe.

There are scary enemies,


you can of course die,

by exciting things like falling

and you can choose whether you simply drop your gold, your items, or if your character perma dies.

my vast fortune!

I really enjoy the character progression aspects as well as all the building details. I really enjoy Terraria's visual appearance, especially when it comes to building dwellings. Minecraft homes are pretty cool, but I enjoy all the unique and interesting doohickeys and details you can put into a Terraria home.

I just started this one. I built it into the ground.

One aspect about the world of Terraria is that, in every world, there is corruption. In the corruption, there are gross and terrifying monsters, corrupt ground, corrupt plants and seeds and even the grass is a purpleyish color. There are several outposts of corruption in the world with related bosses and events tied to exploring within it.

There is also a hardmode version you enter into upon finding and using a certain item and beating a scary monster. It changes your world entirely, causing the corruption to spread. You have to work to inhibit the spread of corruption or else it will engulf your entire world. Hardmode also causes a new biome of hallow, which is a counter to corruption. It's full of rainbows and unicorns, but it's also very hazardous.

While being a material gathering crafting and building game, Terraria has a lot of aspects of a traditional RPG. It may be similar to Minecraft, but I feel like they really separated themselves from it by making Terraria more into a progression based game. While you of course can't prance into the Underworld of Minecraft without being prepared, it's overall a little more forgiving than Terraria.

zombies in raincoats! the horror!

From the moment you step into the game, there are monsters to fight - another difference from Minecraft. Enemies are everywhere, day or night, anywhere, any time. Any biome other than the default regular dirt area has much tougher enemies, even if you spawn in or near that biome.

One world I created put me maybe 10 blocks away from a desert, which is crawling with vultures, ant lions, and desert slimes - rather difficult enemies for someone with a copper shortsword and no armor. They had no reservations about trouncing into the area of my house I was building, and enemies will waltz right in if you forget to close the door. With little to no knockback from the starting weapon, the 70 health an ant lion charger has, and the 1 damage I dealt to it per strike, I was pretty screwed.

Terraria has multiplayer capabilities, and with the newest update, you can host games easily through Steam. It's always been one of my favorites, and it's been kept up to date pretty regularly. It's only 10 dollars, so it's worth a try.

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