Terraria is a 2D sandbox exploration survival game. Although many compare it to 2D Minecraft, the only common theme between the two is building. Terraria is more focused on its combat system and bosses. It has 4 main classes, 18 bosses and 14 mini-bosses. With over 550 weapons you can use through your playthrough, there’s a lot of content to go around. Terraria is a game that doesn’t take itself very seriously. There are a lot of jokes in the game with many pop culture references.
The progression in Terraria is tied to its many bosses. Certain things you do in the world will cause some bosses to spawn and most bosses will either give you access to different parts of the world or cause new enemies to spawn. Your playthrough is broken into two main stages, pre-hardmode and hardmode. As you reach the end of pre-hardmode, you start to feel like a god. You can defeat most enemies with ease and you feel nothing can stop you. Then you beat the last pre-hardmode which brings you into hardmode and you immediately realize you’re not very strong anymore. You will need to work your way up to being the god of this world again.
Unlike some games, Terraria does not hold the player back from being overpowered. Once you defeat the final bosses, you feel invincible. But that doesn’t mean the game is not balanced. Terraria is one of the most balanced games I’ve played. Every weapon is tuned to be just powerful enough to be useful but not overpower your level of progression.
The gameplay loop for Terraria is similar in the way your need to kill every boss again, and that’s it. With its randomly generated worlds and multiple different classes and classes inside those classes, every playthrough is different. Or bring a friend or many. Terraria is fun alone but always is better with friends.
There are hours of content to play through. The avenge Terraria playthrough is 50-60 hours, depending on how fast you want to progress and what difficulty you’re on. Its difficulty system is dynamic and rewarding. Unlike some games, as you play on higher difficulty not only do the enemies get harder, but you get your own “buffs” as well.
Terraria’s difficulty system is broken into two parts, world difficulty and character difficulty. World difficulty affects health and damages the enemy, the boss mechanizes, drops, and more. There are four difficulties, Journey, Classic, Expert, and Master. Technically there’s a fifth secret mode but that’s only when you play Master on a secret world seed. The journey is different from all the rest since it’s a pseudo-creative mode. If you want a very easy playthrough, pick “Journey.” You can change many mechanics of the game to make it easier or harder as well as duplicate items you find.
Classic is the standard difficulty, good for first-time players with no experience in 2D platformers or boss progression games. Expert is one level up which in my opinion is the full Terraria experience. This mode adds new mechanics and phases to bosses as well as boss-specific drops. Enemies drop more coins, and most items drop chance is increased. The more important item that Expert mode has is the Demon Heart, which gives you an extra accessory slot when consumed. Character difficulty affects what the player drops on death. Journey only for Journey worlds, Classic is just coins, Medium is items and coins, and Hardcore is death. To be honest, everyone plays Classic or Journey, dropping items is just the worst.
Some relatively important items are hard to find, ex. The Lava Charm. However, with the addition of shimmer in 1.4.4 you can transmute the Magma Stone into a Lava Charm. Although the Guide can show you crafting recipes for items you flow and gives hints to what to do next, the wiki is your best friend. Though with the new Bestiary, you can track in-game what monsters drop what. But some progression for new players to just adventure around until they find the item, however, there’s only one chase of that. Some items can be very difficult to get, but this is because they’re very good like the Rod of Discord which has a 1/500 drop chance (in Classic worlds, 1/400 in Expert).
Overall, Terraria is a must-play game with its $10 price tag, and 50% off all the time, so it is easy to convince your friends to join you on your journey. Just consider the following:
With the average playthrough of 60hrs…
The dollars/per hour is $0.17/hr after one playthrough
But for me, my dollars/per hour is $0.01/hr after many playthroughs
Written by Travis Punko, Lethbridge College
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