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.) Spoiler (Move your mouse to the spoiler area to reveal the content) Show Spoiler Hide 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! 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. 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! 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. 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. 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. 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... 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. Once Gandalf finds a torch, it should be good to go. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.