Obselescence's Terraria Chronicles

Discussion in 'Let's Play Terraria!' started by Obselescence, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Obselescence Clinger

    The Chronicles of Gandalf - Wizard Extraordinaire - COMPLETED

    Table of Contents:
    -Part 1 (This Post)
    -Part 2
    -Part 3
    -Part 4
    -Part 5
    -Part 6
    -Part 7
    -Part 8
    -Afterthoughts

    The Explorations of Dora - Save the Forest -DISCONTINUED BECAUSE BORING.
    Table of Contents:
    -Part 1
    -Part 2
    -Part 3
    -Part 4

    The All-New 1.1 Chronicles of Gandalf - The Re-Wizarding - Ongoing
    Table of Contents:
    -Part 1

    (Click the Spoiler for the first segment of The Chronicles of Gandalf. Be prepared for long.)

    Show Spoiler

    From the Dev Blog:

    That was an interesting thing to me when I read it. Class-based gameplay. Like Terraria would encourage you to play in line as a Fighter, Mage, or Gunslinger type character? I'm intrigued!

    Not that Terraria's quite at class-based yet. The new armor changes in 1.0.6 were a step in that direction, but for quite a while, your character is forced to play fighter. It's still not possible for you to play a Mage character from the get-go or anything like that.

    Or is it?

    With that basic premise in mind, I set about laying down the planning for a variant character, for use in 1.0.6 (which promised us an improved Mana system). This new character would have a very simple, but very strict rule to live by:

    -You can not at any time kill enemies via Melee or Ranged weaponry. You can only use Magic to slay your foes.

    Now if we're looking for Terraria to present a challenge, this might satisfy. The first Magic item that most players can expect to find is deep down in Corruption. How are you supposed to play this then?

    I decided to find out in a big Terraria write-up.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: Gandalf the Gray!

    [IMG]

    I decided to outfit him in a beard and mostly gray clothing to get him as close to the original Gandalf as possible. Even looked up Gandalf's eye color to try for some authenticity.

    The decision of which "core" Gandalf would be was fairly easy. Softcore would have been much too forgiving about letting Gandalf die, while Hardcore strikes me as a little... unforgiving in that regard. Especially since it's very possible to accidentally fall and cut Gandalf's journey short! Mediumcore seems just right. Gandalf obviously can't afford to die all the time, but with diligence, I can keep it from being the end of the line if he does happen to die.

    For the map, I opted for a Medium size world (which I named Middle Earth -- because Middle Earth). I'm much more used to Small maps, where it doesn't take you very long to run into other biomes, so we'll see how that works out.

    [IMG]

    Ah! A fresh start for a fresh character! Middle Earth seems to be composed of pretty rough terrain. Not ideal for an opening house at all. That should be fixable with time, though. Trusty Pickaxe will be able to level this small mountain in short order.

    But first! Some exploring!

    [IMG]

    Stopping to chop down a couple trees, Gandalf found this treasure of a chest off to the right. A really sweet haul for the first five minutes of gameplay! Obviously, Gandalf couldn't do anything with the Boomerang or the arrows, but the Potions gave him some leeway on taking damage and the Iron/Money were nice finds in their own rate. I was almost halfway to a Merchant in no time flat.

    [IMG]

    With that chest out of the way, Gandalf wasted no time in flattening out his spawnpoint (note the dirt wall on the right built to ward off intruding slimes). In doing this, he accumulated quite a bit of dirt and stone -- all of that would come in handy when he got around to building a skybridge. More on that later, though.

    Unfortunately. night fell before I could finish clearing off the remaining dirt wall. My original plan was to keep working through the night, but I forgot about Demon Eyes. Zombies couldn't reach me, since the left was too steep and the right featured my dirt wall -- flying Demon Eyes didn't have to worry about either of those!

    Remember that Gandalf can only use Magic to defeat his enemies. At this early stage in the game, though, Gandalf has no Magic to speak of. Therefore, for a big chunk of the early game, Gandalf was essentially weaponless! Even a single Demon Eye could prove troublesome under those conditions.

    [IMG]

    Thankfully, I was able to work out a plan that allowed me to deal with the lone Demon Eye: boxing it in with dirt. Dirt and associated materials would prove to be my answer to a lot of problems in the slow-going early game. With no Magic to his name, Gandalf has been forced to live out every pacifist's dream and defeat his enemies with BUILDING.

    Who says this game is about combat?

    With that out of the way, I was able to resume tearing down dirt walls and laying down wooden foundations in preparation for Morning. Gandalf would finally have a house to call his own! Or at least a hovel for the Guide to squat in.

    [IMG]

    There was also this little incident, which I found very sad. The first falling star I could find was down at the bottom of Gandalf's little mountain. There were a couple of Zombies and a pair of slimes down there, so I didn't quite feel confident enough to scoop it up. Gandalf would have to get his first Fallen Star elsewhere.

    I'm going to note here that boxing yourself in with dirt requires you to clear the immediate vicinity of grass and trees. In the chaos of being surrounded by multiple enemies (or one really determined enemy) it can be easy to forget that and frantically try to find a place to lay down some dirt -- and you won't always succeed. That happened to Gandalf more than once over the course of his quest.

    Anyway, on the homefront, trouble was a-brewing...

    [IMG]

    This house has NO LIGHT SOURCE. Since Gandalf was effectively incapable of killing slimes, torches were now at a premium. I would have to get lucky with some chests/pots near the overworld before I could make a true house... or go into any caves.

    The rest of the House is fully stocked, though, thanks to some generous donations from the Ents. :D Once Gandalf finds a torch, it should be good to go.

    [IMG]

    This was becoming an increasingly common way for me to deal with enemies as I roamed the overland. "Caging" them in dirt boxes and mining the dirt back once they despawned. Gandalf found a number of slimes that would simply clip through the ground (disappearing into the darkness of the below) as he boxed them in, but since they didn't return to bother him, it wasn't a big deal. Sort of weird, though. I saw at least three slimes clip through the ground like this. One of them I hadn't even tried to box in.

    [IMG]

    As night fell again, construction of Gandalf's great skybridge began. It was a pretty shoddy work, made mostly out of dirt and stone and whatever else Gandalf could scrape up, but it was the beginning of Gandalf's journey to wizardry. He couldn't just keep trapping enemies in dirt boxes! Eventually he'd have to start using Magic to cut down all those dark forces of Mordor. A skybridge would allow him to scoop up Fallen Stars with relative ease, and he'd soon be able to construct some Mana Crystals and get down to business.

    So work on a skybridge commenced. I tried to make it relatively close to the ground for two reasons: 1. I wanted to avoid lowflying Harpies (which Gandalf could certainly not deal with). 2. I wanted to be able to spot the Dungeon if necessary. The Dungeon contains the majority of Magic items in the game, and Gandalf's going to want a clear path to start plundering it.

    [IMG]

    Gonna take this opportunity to point out that Regeneration is just one of those things I'm not so sure about in 1.0.6. On the one hand, it allowed Gandalf to get health back without using up any resources, and on the other hand... it allowed Gandalf to get health back without using up any resources. There wasn't really a crunch on the limited number of Potions Gandalf had available to him. Gandalf couldn't yet get Gel to alchemize Lesser Healing Potions or the Merchant to buy them, so his Potion total amounted to whatever he could find. With that in mind, whenever he dropped low on health he could just block himself in and wait to recover. Potions were only spent on really crazy situations that Gandalf couldn't immediately dirtblock his way out of.

    I feel like the game should encourage you to spend your resources (instead of your time) on healing up, but that's just me.

    [IMG]

    The next day, Gandalf found exactly what he was looking for: a huge cache of pots (and a Demon Altar!) sitting relatively close to the surface. This made for an appreciable donation to his coffers and the first couple torches that he would require for his house!

    Sadly, there weren't enough torches for Gandalf to make a forge (meaning all the copper and iron that he found was useless for the moment), but there was confidence that he'd be able to find more torches in due time.

    Also unfortunately, it was around this time in my playthrough that my computer decided to crash on me. Thankfully, Terraria is boss and had an auto-save that was roughly around the time that the crash happened. If it hadn't auto-saved and I'd lost all of my progress up to this point, I don't think I'd have had the will to continue.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf's new and improved manor! Still a little on the dark side, but now it counts as a house. Preparations have commenced for a Merchant (who will then be able to sell Gandalf Potions), since Gandalf's Pot-breaking spree has put him ever closer to the 50 silver coin mark.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf's work from that point mostly involved strip-mining the surrounding area of dirt, stone, and wood, and then using that to expand the skybridge. The process was largely a boring mess of dodging Demon Eyes (sometimes Demon Eyes were just everywhere and Gandalf boxed himself in for breathing room) and scooping up Stars as they landed. Eventually, I managed to scoop five Mana Crystals out of the deal, which I deemed enough for Gandalf to move forward. Could have shot for more, but the game had become something of a grind at that point and I wanted some progress. Gandalf could always come back for more Stars later, right?

    Gandalf began to explore the overworld in detail. Dodging slimes (or boxing them in) as necessary. There were some pretty good finds to be found in Middle Earth, including one really sweet chest that contained (holy cow) 66 Glowsticks. A few more torches were found in pots, largely ending Gandalf's lighting-related worries.

    [IMG]

    Oh dear. Gandalf may have stretched himself out a little too far over here. I guess Gandalf's strategies can only take him so far when he's completely defenseless. This was one of those moments where Gandalf panicked and tried to lay down dirt blocks without clearing out the grass. Eventually, I managed to box myself in (just in the nick of time too -- 9 life left!) as a measure against the slimes/jungle bats and began a really slow and arduous process of "getting the heck out of there." Boxing myself in and using Regeneration to heal up in between hiding. I feel like it was a little cheap -- in 1.0.5 I would have run out of Potions and quite possibly died a long time ago -- but I guess I have to make use of what 1.0.6 gives me.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf eventually made his way back home. Using the torches, he was able to build himself a forge and put those Iron Bars he found (remember those? Way back in that first chest?) to good use. The mounds of Copper he was able to excavate went toward a shiny new Copper Breastplate -- a whopping 2 Defense.

    At any rate, this seems like a good place to stop for now. Given that this post is already pretty excruciatingly long.


    Gandalf's Journey: To be continued.
    Bofar, Chokladkakan, Gungnir and 16 others like this.
  2. Fargham Legham Green Slime

    Gandalf was actually an extremely skilled swordsman, even before he killed the Goblin King and took Glamdring. Either way, carry on :)
  3. Nyrax Cursed Man

    It's been a while since I've seen something like this... A game's playthrough being shared, but through writing and not video. I don't know how many Terrarians enjoy RTS, but back in the glory days of Starcraft, before Starcraft 2, there was a site called Battlereports.com Yeah, that's it. It chronicled games and battles(not always Starcraft, other games too, and some times not games at all) through witty writing and pictures, exactly what you did here. It had a great community where newcomers could easily join and try their hand at writing out a battle.

    But it died when Starcraft 2 came out. Everyone there was hyped for its release, but as the launch came closer and closer, the site began to die. Because of Youtube. It's much easier to introduce a game or battle through video, where instead of reading about it you got to see it for yourself firsthand. And as a bonus, if you do it well and do it enough you get paid.

    But screw that. What you're doing here is awesome, and I support you fully. You're a great writer, and it's way too easy to follow this thread like I follow the story you're also writing. Anyway it's pretty much time for me to stop being offtopic. Keep it up, and let's all hope Gandalf can get that Vilethorn before he gets flattened.
    Bofar likes this.
  4. Obselescence Clinger

    Yeah, but I wanted a famous wizard. Dumbledore wasn't cutting it for me and Merlin seemed a little too cliche, so...

    Gandalf. :X

    Thanks! Let's hope.
  5. zappy5443 Demon Eye

    maybe find other people? that would be cool
    (i mean make it multiplayer)
    like maybe more magic folk
  6. Obselescence Clinger

    Part 2 of the epic Gandalf saga.

    Show Spoiler
    Gandalf left off in fairly decent shape. He had just recently managed to craft himself a Copper Breastplate, and he had some Mana to play around with. That was all well and good, but Gandalf's complete lack of Magical Weaponry was beginning to haunt him dearly. This would have to be fixed post-haste!

    There are no magical weapons to be found overground or underground, so Gandalf's journey would force him to explore the surrounding areas for new biomes. Gandalf already knew where the Jungle was to the left (and he would not be going back any time soon), so he decided to head off to the right to seek his fortune.

    Maybe it would have been a good idea for Gandalf to explore underground and try to upgrade his armor, but I didn't quite want to take Gandalf into the underground yet. would be a very cramped locale where too much jumping around could potentially lead to his death -- not the best place to go where his strategies consisted of jumping around and trying to box in enemies. Also, I wanted to have torches available for Gandalf's voyage into the depths. Glowsticks were nice, but they could only do so much for Gandalf long-term. That meant exploring and finding more pots to break, so as to get the Merchant.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf found a Life Crystal near a fairly ridiculous chasm in the overworld. It was a little bit of a chore climbing out without risking him falling to his death, but it was worth it for 20% more life. Really nice find overall.

    The only problem I had with this was that I totally forgot about the Nurse. I had reserved a second "house" especially for the Merchant, and was just a little bit surprised when the Nurse (who is now little more than convenience, since you can just Regenerate for no charge). Bleh. I'd have to build a third house in preparation for the 50 silver coin mark.

    [IMG]

    With some more exploration, Gandalf found enough Copper for a new pair of Greaves! Every little bit helps, I guess.

    The above picture shows Gandalf standing on the edge of the desert, which was the real treasure. Now Gandalf had access to gobs and gobs of sand with which to make Glass. He didn't quite have enough Iron ore to make armor yet, but now he could use Alchemy and fake his way into a sturdy Defense. Access to Ironskin and Regeneration Potions would prove enormously useful tools in keeping Gandalf alive.

    Remember, folks -- Sand is overpowered.

    Gandalf overreached himself again after this point. He was able to cross the desert relatively easily (barely any vultures, if you'd believe that), but he was completely unprepared for Corruption (which was just past the Desert). I wasn't thinking and I thought my traditional "boxing yourself in" strategies would get me through this. Guess not.

    Gandalf found himself dealing with Eaters fairly quickly. He managed to box himself in (after some stupid attempts at trying to lay dirt down on uncut grass yet again) with only a sliver or so of life left -- only to get his head eaten by a Devourer. D: I was so totally unprepared for an enemy who was resistant to dirt-boxing that I didn't even grab a screenshot. It was just a total fiasco and I'm ashamed that I let it happen.

    Thankfully, Gandalf managed to dash in and reclaim his stuff on the next visit (minus his stash of Fallen Stars, since it was daytime). His untimely death was on the whole pretty embarrassing, and not something I wanted to repeat.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf came up with many strategies for traveling through Corruption -- some dumber than others. Burrowing came to mind (obviously Gandalf had not learned his lesson with Devourers), but then I remembered that Ebonstone can't be mined with puny Copper Pickaxes. More incredible stupidity on my part.

    The only good part about this was that at least it gave Gandalf plenty of dirt for his next plan:

    [IMG]

    The skybridge!

    It was becoming increasingly apparent that the solution to all of Gandalf's problems consisted of dirt, dirt, and more dirt. Gandalf expanded his skybridge to build over Corruption, which allowed him some reprieve from the Eaters and total immunity to Devourers.

    As you can see here, the Eaters that managed to get over Gandalf's skybridge were quickly boxed in. The Eater's incredibly simple AI was very noticeable here, since they always tried to take the most direct route to Gandalf -- regardless of whether a wall was in the way or not! With some practice, Gandalf was able to "lead" Eaters by retreating, and then quickly building a wall in front of him. The Eaters would keep trying to ram their way past the wall while Gandalf boxed them in. Easy! Despite some minor annoyances involved in the plan, Gandalf was able to make slow progress through the Corruption using this plan.

    Now, you might be wondering why Gandalf is going to so much trouble to make his way past Corruption. The answer is surprisingly simple: that's (probably) where the Dungeon is!

    Gandalf, as a magic-only character, can't actually damage enemies until he gets some Magical weaponry. Unfortunately, Re-Logic hasn't seen fit to introduce any early-game items that fit that description (though I really think they should try to encourage budding Mages by adding some cheap, low-damage Mana weapons to overworld chests), so Gandalf's options are extremely limited.

    The Vilethorn is the most obvious answer for Gandalf, since it's the first Magic weapon that most players will run into in Terraria (especially in 1.0.6, where Floating Island chests are locked). Unfortunately, Gandalf really can't reach it. The extremely deep chasms, unmineable Ebonstone, and the ever-present Eaters/Devourers make any attempt to find a Shadow Orb nigh-impossible for Gandalf. It might have worked if Gandalf could have found some Explosives for the Demolitionist and boxed his way down into a chasm, but that was much too tedious for me. Vilethorn's out.

    There is, though, a much better solution to Gandalf's needs: the Water Bolt. It's a special case for the fact that it can spawn on any given bookshelf in the Dungeon -- including the buffer space right before the Dungeon Master spawn. If Gandalf got lucky enough, it'd be entirely possible for him to find a Water Bolt without ever having to fight Skeletron! Perfect!

    With Vilethorn out except as a last resort, Gandalf was banking on finding a Water Bolt in the Dungeon.

    Still with me? Good. Let's move forward.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf continued work on expanding the skybridge over time. This picture was mostly taken because I'm convinced the Corruption has received a reduction in its spawn rate since 1.0.6 took effect. Seriously -- where did everything go? Definitely fewer Eaters hanging around in 1.0.6.

    Just noting here too that Gandalf really only worked on the Skybridge at day. Zombies and Demon Eyes hunted him into the Corruption at night, making it really difficult to box everything in. It's one thing to lead Eaters on, with their really simple AI. Zombies and Demon Eyes are slightly more difficult to keep track of (especially in combination with Eaters).

    [IMG]

    Gandalf continued some explorations as he continued work on the skybridge (usually to mine around for more building materials). He eventually stockpiled enough iron for a new Pickaxe, which helped cut down on the amount of time spent digging through dirt. Dirt farming for a massive skybridge could get real ugly and time-consuming, so the new tool was much-appreciated.

    This shot also serves as a nice run-down of Gandalf's resources and home-situation at the time. Note that Guide is hanging out upstairs. He died when he opened the door at night and a literal flood of Zombies rolled into the bottom floor. Gandalf, of course, wasn't having any of that. He barricaded the wooden platform from the second floor and left the Guide to his fate -- serves him right.

    The Merchant arrived shortly after this screenshot was taken. Gandalf found a small pot cache that gave him the necessary cash. Yes! Gandalf was no longer at the mercy of his lack of gel. He could now buy as many torches as he needed!

    [IMG]

    Is that...?

    Yes! It's the Dungeon! After so many days (and blocks of dirt) spent building the skybridge, Gandalf had finally crossed the Corruption and reached his destination! Now it was time for me to cross my fingers and hope that a Water Bolt had spawned near the entrance.

    [IMG]

    Jackpot. After some exhaustive book-searching, Gandalf found the Water Bolt sitting (relatively) close to the entrance. As with any wizard who happened upon their first murderspell, Gandalf wasted no time in testing it out. You can see the remains of Gandalf's first victim up near the top. Sorry. I couldn't help playing around with it a little before remembering to take the screenshot. If you'd been running away from Eaters that you couldn't kill for as long as I had, you'd have done the same. Trust me. :p

    I'm really not sure what I would have done if I hadn't managed to find the Water Bolt near the entrance. If it had spawned deeper in the Dungeon, that could have made for a gamebreaker. I would have had to either make a desperate attempt for the Vilethorn or reroll the map -- neither of which looked particularly inviting. Either way, this turned out to be a really lucky break on Gandalf's part. This variant was now within the realm of the possible.

    Anyhow, this is actually Gandalf's third time in the Dungeon. The first time around, he dug a little too greedily and too deep and got himself eviscerated by a Dungeon Guardian. The second time he accidentally fell off a Dungeon ledge (and it turned out to be a long way down). I had been mostly careful about the possibility that Gandalf would accidentally set off a Dungeon Guardian, so a lot of his stuff (such as Potions and Iron Pickaxe) had been kept safe in a chest back at homebase. Unfortunately, I totally forgot about offloading his money and his armor! D: I still had the Merchant, but I was going to have to start from the bottom. Ugh.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf took this opportunity to pose with Saruman of Many Colours. There was absolutely no way that Gandalf could take on Skeletron at this point, but he would be back for his revenge.

    [IMG]
    Having spent so long without a weapon, the Water Bolt proved ridiculously satisfying for Gandalf. This variant had, with one item, turned from a pacifist run into a true mage's run. Also, I would no longer have to use dirt boxes to deal with enemies. Forget dirt boxes. Dirt Boxes can go die in a... dirt box.

    Or something.

    I actually learned a little bit about the Water Bolt on my way back to homebase. The shot it fires pierces through enemies while knocking them back. If you can get a head-on shot at, say, a Demon Eye or an Eater, you can rack up three hits in a single casting of Water Bolt! Pretty cool. I'd never experimented much with the Water Bolt (since I had always assumed it was a fairly weak spell) but now I'd have to give it another look. Gandalf would probably end up forcing me to give each and every one of Terraria's spells another look. Should be entertaining!

    [IMG]

    Gandalf was having much too much fun on the way back, so he stuck around (and actually managed to land enough Fallen Stars for a sixth Mana Crystal!). Gandalf decided to call a short break at this point. Quick summation of what he had to his name above (with some Copper/Iron Bars hidden in the chest to the left). Note the Mana Potions that Gandalf had managed to loot from the Dungeon.

    That should be enough for now. This write-up is getting way too long. :X


    Gandalf's Journey: To be Continued!

    Gandalf knows of no other people playing this variant, and will continue onward alone. It's a lot easier for me to do the write-up on a single player basis anyhow. I would have had to share the Water Bolt otherwise. :p
    saephin, Bofar, Chokladkakan and 6 others like this.
  7. Ashur Alagondar Green Slime

    I'd join in with you Gandalf, I could make a pure mage run. ^_^
  8. Super Luigi Brothers Floaty Gross

    I remember doing something like this back in 1.0.5.
    However, instead of magic, I used bows. Magic would be harder, but using only bows is no easy task either!
    Anyway, I'm glad you got the Water Bolt, you probably would've been screwed without it.
    Monta likes this.
  9. Zerovirus Green Slime

    This is one of the most novel playthroughs I've seen, and I have trouble imagining a more difficult restriction to impose on yourself save a no-wood playthrough or something.
  10. CrazyBlue Green Slime

    Outstanding, I eagerly await the next chapter.
  11. Dasmatarix Cursed Man

    This is awesome
  12. iiTacNayn Green Slime

    Simply put, Amazing. Eagerly waiting the next chapter :)
  13. Obselescence Clinger

    Part 3 of the epic Gandalf tale now here!

    Show Spoiler

    [IMG]

    With the Water Bolt under his belt, Gandalf was now back in black. Or white, I guess. I was now feeling confident enough to go down into the deep cave system that existed just off to the right of the spawn point (where Gandalf found his first chest). No need to hide from bats when you can blast them with concentrated water magic, right?

    In preparation for his expedition, Gandalf bought a respectable stack of torches from the Merchant and journeyed down below.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    Rocking! Gandalf found some excellent chests as he ventured downward. Notable were the explosives (which would be needed for the Demolitionist), Cloud in a Bottle (for maneuverability), and of course -- fat stacks of cash. The gods were good indeed to Gandalf in the early stages of his expedition.

    Unfortunately, Gandalf's luck slightly further in was much poorer. The cave system was rich in iron deposits, but Silver and Gold were virtually nonexistent. This was an extremely large cave too, so it was a little saddening to see that Gandalf would mostly end up finding Iron.

    Also, the next chest Gandalf found had nothing but an Angel Statue and some torches. That's an omen right there, I can tell you.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf occasionally took breaks from spelunking to rest up at the house and turn his minings into usable armor. You can see him with now with a vaguely acceptable defense. Hooray!

    Unfortunately, the unwieldy chinstrap of Gandalf's Iron Helmet forced him to shave his beard for the moment, but we're all making sacrifices here, Gandalf.

    Gandalf also noticed that Daybloom was ridiculously critical to his Alchemical endeavors. Think about it -- Daybloom is necessary for Regeneration Potion, Ironskin Potion, Shine Potion, and Featherfall Potion. These are widely regarded as some of 1.0.6's better buffs (with advice often being given to make use of Ironskin and Regeneration Potions especially). Fireblossom is also key for some very useful Alchemy, but I feel like Daybloom gets an inordinate share of the most useful Buff Potions. A little... off, maybe, since 1.0.6 has purportedly made the game more about alchemy.

    Anyway, Gandalf started himself a modest Daybloom farm in the midst of his cave explorations. Gotta keep the Potions rolling, y'know?

    [IMG]

    Score! One of Gandalf's expeditions uncovered a natural glowing Mushroom farm, a Life Crystal, and gold! There's Demonite too, but of course Gandalf can't mine that with his wimpy Iron Pickaxe. Gandalf harvested everything. The Glowing Mushrooms especially would prove useful in accessing better Healing/Mana Potions. Life Crystals are always nice finds.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf continued to explore the cave, racking up one or two riches and Life Crystals in the process. Here you can see that Gandalf was also focusing on expanding the House (among other things).

    Now would be a good time to talk about what Gandalf's plan was for moving forward:

    Gandalf was ultimately not in the mood to continue digging around for Gold and Silver and move up on the natural order of progression. To be honest, I don't think Terraria gives you a lot of incentive to do that either right now, since Eater of Worlds has become even easier in 1.0.6, and you can actually match Gold Armor with a full set of Copper and an Ironskin Potion. Gold and Silver seem to be largely a function of convenience right now -- if you can find the ore, use it. Otherwise... eh.

    Maybe the problem is Ironskin's set defense bonus. I personally think that Ironskin's defense bonus should work like a percentage bonus to the armor you have on, so that it wouldn't be possible to "skip" tiers with it... but right now it makes more sense for Gandalf to jump to Shadow gear, instead of piddling around looking for Gold and Silver. That stuff's just proving too rare for Gandalf to bother. Thus Gandalf believed that time would be best spent making preparations for a Corruption run and Shadow gear.

    Anyhow, the core of Gandalf's strategy could be boiled down to the following:

    -Improve Gandalf's Health and Mana. This could be done by running the skybridge for Fallen Stars at night and exploring the Caves by day. Fairly simple.

    -Get Explosives. Gandalf could not mine Ebonstone, but he could rack up enough money from exploring the Caves to buy large quantities of Dynamite. That would prove very useful in getting him to a Shadow Orb.

    -Get a Grappling Hook. Again, this involved going into the Caves, since that's where all the enemies that drop Hooks are. This was beginning to grate a little on me, but I really wanted to be ready for Corruption.

    -Get a Featherfall Potion. This meant Harpie-hunting, but Gandalf did not want to accidentally fall down a Corruption Chasm and get all his stuff stuck where he wouldn't be able to reach it. Preparation is all-important here.

    At any rate, once Gandalf satisfied all those conditions, he would probably be able to get down to a Shadow Orb. Shadow Orbs will unlock a host of goodies for Gandalf (Vilethorn, Band of Starpower, Meteors, Eater of Worlds, etc.), so Gandalf was planning to take them out. All that Gandalf had to do now was get those four conditions settled, and he would be ready.

    Prepare to grind.

    Also, wow, that was a wall of text. Hope you're still with me!

    [IMG]

    Gandalf spent some time with the skybridge and Water Bolt looking for Floating Islands. Eventually he found one relatively close to the spawn, which you can see here. The goal was to find Harpies, so that Gandalf could rack up some Feathers. Experience told me that Harpies would usually hang out around Floating Islands, so... yeah.

    There was only one problem: there were no Harpies in sight! I puzzled over this, so I decided to build higher in hopes of finding Harpies. Gandalf built himself a ladder of wooden platforms up to the top of the map and... still no Harpies? Gah!

    Well, surely, the Wiki will have some answers, right?

    As it turns out, Harpies can't spawn in the middle third of the map. :( Gandalf was simply too close to the spawn to find Harpies. Additionally, the time and effort spent building the skybridge to the Dungeon told me that 1/3 of a Medium map is a long way! Forget that. I'd already spent enough time on this. Maybe Gandalf would search for Harpies later, but at that point, I wasn't feeling up to it.

    The rest of Gandalf's plan wasn't going much better. He did manage to get Explosives, and a minor Mana boost from running the Skybridge, but absolutely everything else was just a huge drain on morale. Gandalf simply could not find any more Life Crystals in the Caves, and a Hook was proving impossible to come by. This would probably be the lowest point of Gandalf's adventure -- a complete and soul-crushing grind.

    [IMG]

    I was ridiculously happy when a Skeleton finally did drop a hook. Gandalf became so desperate at one point that he jumped off a cliff when something that looked vaguely Hooklike fell down into a chasm. Thankfully, Gandalf didn't suffer for it, since the drop ended in water -- but I hope you get a good idea of how long I'd been spending looking for a Hook.

    Also, it was around this time that Gandalf scraped enough Silver to replace his Copper Breastplate with a Silver upgrade. Score! That was one benefit of taking the time to find Floating Islands, I guess.
    [IMG]

    At this point, I was mostly so tired of grinding that I decided to make a quick trip into the Corruption to spice things up (as opposed to more Harpie-hunting). I was a little nervous about entering the Corruption, since that was where Gandalf had suffered his first death, but that proved to be completely unnecessary. The real problem with Corruption had been that Gandalf had no weapon to fight off the ravenous Eaters/Devourers. With Water Bolt in hand, Gandalf found the Corruption to be very sad.

    The spawn rate in Corruption seems to have dropped noticeably from 1.0.5. Gandalf never encountered more than four enemies on-screen at once, and was able to mow Eaters down as they appeared. Never in any danger. Eventually I just found myself so underwhelmed that I said "screw it" and collected enough Rotten Flesh and Vile Mushrooms for Worm Food. My plan to excavate Shadow Orbs had frustrated me so utterly that I decided to go for Eater of Worlds itself.

    [IMG]

    Remember this Demon Altar where Gandalf found his first Torches? I did. I crafted myself some Worm Food (and a Suspcious-Looking Eye for kicks) out of the spoils of the Corruption. Now, I didn't have Vilethorn -- my weapon of choice for dealing with Eater of Worlds, but I did have a decent array of Potions, Buffs, and Armor, and I thought that would be enough to carry me through.

    [IMG]

    Eater of Worlds actually did prove to be about as sad in 1.0.6 as I'd heard. It just couldn't do enough damage to a well-buffed Gandalf to threaten him, and its segments tended to die pretty easily. So long as Gandalf's Mana/Mana Potions held out, I expected an easy fight.

    Water Bolt was an awful lot of fun in this battle, actually -- it rebounded multiple times of Gandalf's skybridge for fun times and repeat hits on the Eater of Worlds. I think if I had to choose a Most Valuable Item for this playthrough, it'd have to be Water Bolt.

    [IMG]

    Unfortunate as the nerfed Eater of Worlds was, Gandalf couldn't actually finish the fight. It wasn't actually that it was about to kill Gandalf or anything, but Gandalf had miscalculated as to the number of Mana Potions that he'd need. He eventually ran out of juice, and that was just the end of things for him. Mana Regeneration in 1.0.6 was significantly faster while standing still, so Gandalf couldn't really afford to dodge the multiple Eater-of-Worlds segments while his ungodly-slow Mana Regeneration kicked in.

    It seems almost like 1.0.6 wanted you to rely on Mana Potion spam as a Mage, since you can barely regenerate Mana while dodging and Mana Potions have no cool down. Am I the only one wondering about this, since apparently Healing Potion spam was considered a bad thing in 1.0.5?

    At any rate, Gandalf couldn't do much more to Eater of Worlds after his Mana ran out, so he decided to beat a retreat (Eater of Worlds, being confined to Corruption, could not follow Gandalf, so eventually it despawned). Despite being unable to finish the battle, I was pretty confident that this was a technical victory for Gandalf. Eater of Worlds wasn't very difficult at all while Gandalf could sling spells -- it was just when Gandalf had no offense to speak of that things started to get hairy. I was sure that if I brought more Mana Potions next time, Gandalf would be able to pull a victory against Eater of Worlds without needing Vilethorn at all!

    [IMG]
    Gandalf managed to pull enough spoils from the fight to craft himself a Shadow Helmet (4 more Defense than Iron? Eater of Worlds wouldn't stand a chance next time). I decided to cap things off here, since grinding through the Caves/searching for Harpies just wasn't very fun for Gandalf. The report also started creeping into "too long" length, so this is where I'll stop for now.

    Next time, though, Gandalf will grind no more forever. He will smash Shadow Orbs, kill the Eater of Worlds, and humiliate Corruption thoroughly. He'll sling spells real cool and doesn't afraid of anything.


    To be continued!
  14. iiTacNayn Green Slime

    I love you (no homo) :) and thanks for the water bolt idea, i went and stole 2 and netted a gold key from the entrance :p Looking forward to the next chapter :)
  15. Obselescence Clinger

    Part 4:

    Show Spoiler


    [IMG]

    After his failed first battle against the Eater of Worlds, Gandalf immediately identified the root cause of his forced retreat: a lack of Mana Potions. Gandalf had been throwing Water Bolts left and right throughout the battle, and eventually he just burned through Mana so quickly that his meager supply of Mana Potions just went and gave up on him.

    Thus, Gandalf spent a quick run or two on the skybridge, gathering the necessary Fallen Stars to craft a much beefier stack of Mana Potions. Next time, there would be no retreat -- only victory.

    [IMG]

    You can see here the extent of Gandalf's new battle preparations. Gandalf had prepared himself a respectable stack of Mana Potions, and dug deep into his supply of Alchemical goodies for two new buffs: a Mana Power Potion and a Thorns Potion. The extra buff Potions really weren't necessary -- Gandalf had been doing fine earlier (until his Mana ran out, at any rate), but Gandalf was not merely looking to win. Gandalf wanted a complete and humiliating victory at the Eater of Worlds' expense.

    Battle Start!

    [IMG]
    Gandalf's battle preparations served him well. The extra defense from his new Shadow Helmet proved especially gratifying -- cutting Eater of Worlds' already slim capacity for damage-dealing even further. Things were going excellently.

    And then they got better.

    [IMG]

    Wooah! That's crowded!

    Gandalf stumbled upon this strategy midway through the battle. Essentially, he got into a tiny hole and proceeded to bounce Water Bolts off the sides as the Eater of Worlds passed through. With Mana Potions to cover the massive amount of Water Bolts he was throwing around, Gandalf succeeded in creating an absolute meatgrinder. The hearts dropped by Eater of Worlds' segments, stacked on its low damage made this tactic minimally dangerous to Gandalf. The fact that he was standing in a hole, letting the Eater of Worlds run all over him was completely a nonissue.

    The Eater of Worlds really -- really -- needs a buff. It's intended to be a gateway boss that leads your character up into Demonite tier equipment. Unfortunately, it's just too squishy to hold that prestigious position. A savvy player can leapfrog multiple tiers of equipment into Shadow (which, as far as tools and armor go, is essentially second-best in the game) if they know what they're doing. Whatever else happens, this boss needs a boost.

    [IMG]

    VICTORY.

    Let's all give it up to Gandalf, guys. Water Bolt owns all comers. :D

    Surprisingly, Gandalf had 19 of his original 28 Mana Potions left. I think that Gandalf's strategy of bouncing Water Bolts off the walls of a hole really ended up shortening the battle.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf spent his newfound bounty of Shadow Scales and Demonite Ore on a Nightmare Pickaxe and some Shadow Greaves. Forget that old Iron Pickaxe -- now Gandalf can mine dirt at ridiculous speeds and puncture Ebonstone! One step closer to invading the chasms!

    But the chasms would have to wait. Gandalf wanted a full set of Shadow gear before moving forward. Which meant he would have to face Eater of Worlds one more time.

    I know I'm going to sound like a broken record here (but this is the last time, I promise): Corruption's Spawn Rate in 1.0.6 is just too low right now. Making another batch of Worm Food entailed getting more Rotten Flesh, but there simply weren't enough Eaters coming at Gandalf to assemble that much Rotten Flesh at a reasonable speed. There were periods that lasted for minutes at a time in which absolutely nothing was coming at Gandalf (and I managed to catch a video of one of these periods, in case anybody wants it). Eaters showed up in spurts of one or two at a time, at which point it was back to waiting around for an enemy to show up -- in Corruption! Tell me there's not something wrong here.

    Okay, I'm done. Not going to talk about Corruption's spawn rate any more. Really sorry for bringing this up in every single part of Gandalf's journey thus far. It just bugs me a lot, and it's been continually noticeable throughout this playthrough.

    [IMG]

    Eventually, Gandalf did rack up the necessary Rotten Flesh for another batch of Worm Food, and Eater of Worlds showed up for another beating. See? There it is now. That thing is going to get beaten down. You can tell.

    Despite the lack of Mana Power Potion this time around, Gandalf pulled off another fairly painless victory. With his new Shadow Greaves, Eater of Worlds was doing even LESS damage. Every tussle with the world-devouring worm only made Gandalf stronger and more capable of crushing it.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf used the spoils to complete his set of Shadow Scale Armor (a little dark for Gandalf the White, but that's the price of sweet armor), with Demonite to spare. Thus, he made himself a Light's Bane. Not to use, of course, but the Light's Bane would become important later on.

    See, I've been thinking a lot about what would constitute a "victory" for Gandalf. Terraria is a very open game. There's not really a point at which you can say you've won. So failing a message from the game telling me that I've won, I've decided to shoot for the creation of the Night's Edge as a measure of Gandalf's technical victory. The components of Night's Edge involve swords connected to every major biome -- Corruption, Dungeon, Jungle, and Hell. If Gandalf could succeed in crafting it, I think I'd be satisfied with the understanding that Gandalf had "won" Terraria.

    Now, bear in mind that Gandalf is not going to be singlemindedly pursuing the Night's Edge. He's not going to try to dip down, mine just enough Hellstone for a Greatsword, and declare himself victory. I fully intend to give Gandalf a fairly comprehensive tour of each of Terraria's biomes, so I think this will work out fairly well, all said.

    Anyhow...

    With a full set of Shadow Armor, Gandalf finally decided that it was time to venture into the chasms of the Corruption. Realistically, he probably should have started breaking Shadow Orbs a long time before this point, but Gandalf had been entertaining a near-pathological fear of Corruption chasms. Sure, his Grappling Hook alone might have been enough to get him down safely -- but all it'd take is one slip-up for Gandalf to fall and not bounce. If all of his gear ended up at the bottom of a chasm, I did not expect that Gandalf would be able to continue the game.

    It might have been possible to retrieve his gear with a supreme amount of dirt-blocking and a lot of effort, but Gandalf simply did not want to take any chances.

    Thus, Gandalf considered it to be supremely important to get himself a Featherfall Potion. His earlier attempts at Harpie-hunting had not been very successful, since Gandalf didn't have enough patience to extend out to one of the outer thirds of a medium map from his Floating Island.

    Then Gandalf realized he had already reached the Dungeon, which was totally a third of the map out. All he'd have to do is build up from there, and there'd almost certainly be Harpies. :oops:

    I am embarassed.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf dropped by the Dungeon and started building upward. Eventually the Harpies -- flying rats that they were -- started showing up.

    The Harpies didn't prove to be all that difficult. Water Bolt cleaned them up fairly easily (dispelling the feathers they launched at Gandalf and continuing to hit the Harpies themselves). The main issues were the slight possibility that the Harpies could have knocked Gandalf into a dangerous fall and the fact that they didn't seem to want to drop Feathers. Gandalf killed enough Harpies to fuel two Featherfall Potions and left, with the understanding that he could always return and farm some more.

    NOW Gandalf was ready to tackle the Corruption in its entirety.

    [IMG]

    Here's Gandalf standing at the precipice of one chasm, ready to go in. He's got his Featherfall Potion, a Shine Potion (one of those that he'd found in his overworld explorations earlier), and the standard Ironskin + Regeneration buffs. With the Waterbolt, some Mana Potions, and a Healing Potion for back-up, there is almost no situation in which I can foresee Gandalf dying here.

    At any rate, Gandalf was really getting a sense of the new importance of Buff Potions in 1.0.6. With Healing Potion Spam destroyed so utterly that Healing Potions had now become almost niche use, the correct approach to every dangerous situation essentially entailed the following question: "Do you have the right combination of Buffs for the job?"

    Now, I think that's pretty cool. It really encourages you to make preparations in a way that 1.0.5 never really did. Since Potion Spam was the rough answer to pretty much everything, it really wasn't all that important if you had made a whole bunch of preparations or not. Not so in 1.0.6.

    All I really wish was that inherent Regeneration was taken out of the picture (healing right now is primarily based on waiting around) Healing Potions were made more viable. You should be able to have 1. more control over when and where you heal, and 2. be encouraged to focus your healing on the use of resources, instead of magical free Regeneration.

    Really, I think the ideal path that Terraria could take from 1.0.6 would involve both Buff Potions and Healing Potions, and a game challenging enough to require both of them. Whether the Devs ever reconsider their stance on Healing Potions -- I can only hope. Still. Should be interesting seeing where they move forward with Terraria's mechanics from 1.0.6.

    But enough about that.

    The chasm that you see Gandalf standing over on the screenshot above was Gandalf's first chasm dive. I was totally prepared to wreck house when I reached the bottom.

    I had not counted on the fact that the first chasm contained nothing but a huge pool of water. :p

    The second chasm down the line was a dead-end also.

    Oh well. They can't all be winners, I guess.

    The third chasm, though...

    [IMG]

    Now that's what I'm talking about! Four easily-accessed Shadow Orbs in this screenshot alone. Closer by, there were quite a few more! This is the kind of haul that would spark gold rushes!

    Gandalf threw some dynamite around and eventually came up with a Musket, an Orb of Light, and... another Orb of Light. Bleh. Not all Shadow Orbs can be winners either.

    Still, the Musket was a solid find -- I'd need it for the Gun Dealer. The Orb of Light was also nice the first time around (even though the Orb has received a heavy nerf in 1.0.6). Can't really find much of a use for the duplicate, though.

    [IMG]

    You might have guessed that Gandalf would have awoken the Eater of Worlds with the racket all his Orb-breaking was causing. You'd be right! Gandalf's third tussle with the Eater of Worlds in a single session.

    Not that it was really a problem or anything, though. Gandalf used his tested strategy of ducking into a hole and bouncing Water Bolts off the walls. His Buffs ran out about halfway through the battle, but it didn't even matter! Eater of Worlds had just become completely saddening with a full set of Shadow Scale Armor and a complement of Mana Potions. Not that Gandalf was complaining or anything -- sure wouldn't have been good if Gandalf had died all the way down here!

    [IMG]

    Gandalf set about breaking a couple more Shadow Orbs and came up with... a Vilethorn! Excellent! Gandalf was no longer a one-spell Pony. He was slowly but surely becoming more of a fully-fledged wizard. He didn't quite have a huge variety of spells at his fingertips just yet, but he was getting there. Once he cracked the Dungeon, though...

    The Second Shadow Orb contained another Vilethorn.

    Actually, that's pretty good. It means that I can store a backup in a chest now. If Gandalf ever does die, he will no longer be completely defenseless until he can reclaim his stuff. That's definitely the kind of insurance I want. The more gear that I can store away, the less horrifically damaging a "Gandalf has died!" will be to the overall quest.

    [IMG]

    Gandalf had originally wanted to find a Band of Starpower, but alas it was not to be. The third Shadow Orb would have awoken another Eater of Worlds, and Gandalf starting to run low on Mana Potions, so he called it quits at 5 Shadow Orbs broken. He used the Demonite from the third Eater of Worlds fight for a long overdue upgrade to his Axe and Hammer. You can see his full set-up in the screenshot up above.

    At this point, Gandalf has effectively conquered the Corruption. Besides that Band of Starpower Gandalf never did find, he doesn't have much reason to go back. Perhaps, if he ever really wants too, he'll break some more Shadow Orbs and fight the Eater of Worlds a fourth time.

    If he ever really wants to.

    In the meantime, though, it's time to move forward! The next biome on the overall scale of progression is the Dungeon, and Gandalf has been looking forward to that indeed. With the spells of the Dungeon at his fingertips, Gandalf could finally embrace his destiny as a Wizard Extraordinaire!

    So that's what the plan is next time: Dungeon Siege! Stay tuned.


    The tale of Gandalf: to be continued.
    Bofar, Chokladkakan, bamseper and 3 others like this.
  16. joejr50 Green Slime

    Wait, it's only on part 4? aww...
    Now to do this for myself.
  17. iiTacNayn Green Slime

    There's something fantastic about the way you narrate this.... Recording your screen and babbling over it like most people do takes no skill or commitment, but writing it out like you have shows your dedication, and its fun to read :)!
    As always, cant wait for next one, and I hope this gets a feature :p
    Bofar likes this.
  18. JamesRaynor Green Slime

    They should add a book called 'Mana Bolt' that has a cast of 5 mana, and does 10-15 damage with a fast cast speed into overworld chests.
  19. illegal danish Green Slime

    Very nicely done! I'll defintly be watchin this thread, I can't wait for part 5 to come out.
    I have also been doing something similar except I've been making a ranger only class. So he can only use bows, short swords and thrown projectiles like throwing knives and shurikens. It's pretty difficult but I 1.0.6 definitely made it easier with the archery potions and the on fire debuff for flaming arrows. Once I get my necro set it'll be game over lol
  20. Obselescence Clinger

    Oh, totally. Water Bolt has been proving an awesome spell, but you're generally not "supposed" to get it in the early game. A weapon for early Mages so that folks like Gandalf don't have to go through the beginning weaponless would rock so hard.

    Also, to everyone else: thanks for the support. Gandalf thrives on your well-wishes. :D

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