Anyone else getting disheartened by the Happiness system?

If you liked the idea of the Happiness system, are you happy with its implementation?

  • Yes, it's perfect

    Votes: 9 19.1%
  • No, it needs a lot of work

    Votes: 12 25.5%
  • No, I can't stand it

    Votes: 6 12.8%
  • Yes, but it still could use some tweaking

    Votes: 20 42.6%

  • Total voters
    47

Yvori

Terrarian
I was initially really happy about the NPC happiness system- discounts, actual incentive to build all around the world instead of just in the center, more NPC depth...

But its implementation feels kind of... bleh, and even after a few playthroughs that haven't even gotten to Hardmode yet (I tend to play very slowly, and have also been distracted by other games), I find it more frustrating than fun, to the point where it's sort of killing my interest in building entirely.

It's very clear that the developers intentionally gave lots of contradictory happiness requirements to make it so there's no optimal setup, to encourage putting NPCs with different NPCs each playthrough... But I feel like they should have instead made it so there are many different ways to make an optimal setup, to encourage the same thing. Not giving any NPCs except Santa loved/hated biomes also makes it feel a bit incomplete. Having certain biomes override other biomes (Hallow overrides Desert, Snow ovverides Underground, etc.) for no reason makes things even more annoying. There are also no new additions to help stop these spread out areas from getting corrupted when entering Hardmode, where a good 1/4 of the world gets suddenly transformed all at once, and the spreading speed increases DRASTICALLY until Plantera is defeated. Making every NPC get a bonus from only having 1 other NPC within 25 tiles means you can't chain them together like A --- B --- C if A likes B and C likes B but A doesn't like C, unless you want results that are worse than just spreading them out a bit more. The number of pylons compared to the number of towns you need to make feels too low in some cases... And needing to consult the wiki before building anything so you can remember which NPCs will like which other NPCs, etc. is annoying as heck.

Despite the system being primarily positive in nature, it's only lead to increased stress for me, and agonizing over trying to make every NPC as happy as possible and making builds in places where the corruption can't get them, etc... It makes me spend more time getting fed up by the flowcharts needed, which in turn makes me want to put less effort into the actual builds, especially because the hardmode hallow/corruption generation could completely ruin the biomes they're in after the fact.

So... is anyone else finding the happiness system to just be... more frustrating than fun, more annoying than useful? I understand it's easy to get every NPC to have at least a 85-90% price range, but needing to constantly pick and choose which NPCs to make happy, build temporary houses for NPCs that don't have the other NPCs they need for happiness yet, or for biomes that don't exist yet (coughHallowcough), then needing to figure out all the logistics... Ugh.

I know I could cram them all together and only make the ones I really need frequently for my current playthrough happy... But stupidly, that makes me feel bad. Similar to being an a**hole in RPGs, it just makes me feel kinda horrible. And all the restrictions and requirements and stuff just makes the whole system insufferable...


Edit: Sorry about the poll answer order. Accidentally submitted it early, and had to add the "Yes, but work needed" option afterward, which made it default to the bottom of the poll, with no option to rearrange.
 
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Cakeyeater

Terrarian
Overall, I don't mind the NPC Happiness system but it does feel like it needs some work.

I agree. I think the likes and loves could be a bit reworked. But, overall, putting them in a biome they love with good space gives a good discount, and besides that you don’t need much else. As for corruption, if you can dig tunnels + beat a mech boss, you can cleanse or quarantine all of the corrupting material. Especially if you don’t break any alters, you shouldn’t have too many issues.
 

Banmei

Terrarian
I still like it overall. Especially the 35% sell price increase! The Pylons are a Godsend too.

However, in a sense I kind of agree with part of your statement. There isn't a whole ton of room for variations aside from the Forest Biome. Person Blah must be with person Bleh in Biome Burr. It fits well to my playstyle as I typically only am a repeat customer to certain NPCs. You kind of have to use predefined, matching pairs in some cases just to obtain Pylons.

Speaking of Pylons, I don't feel as though the Terraria Wiki does the system as much justice as possible. I've been thinking about making a Pylon thread/happiness thread. Might get around to it. Things are really far simplier than they seem with getting Pylons, matching, and biome protection. Discounts too. It's a pretty basic system that you can fully utilize even early on in Pre-Hardmode.

The only thing is:

It could be made more user friendly. I am a gamer geek so pencil & paper are almost a given to go along with games. It don't think that is all gamers though. A useful addition could be adding likes/dislikes for NPCS within the Bestiary.
 

Yvori

Terrarian
I think the poll needs a fourth option. "Yes, but I do think it needs more work."
Overall, I don't mind the NPC Happiness system but it does feel like it needs some work.
Funny story... I was going to add it... but then when I was editing the poll I accidentally pressed enter, which auto-submitted the post >_>;;
I can add it in now actually, but it'll be forced to the bottom of the poll, meaning the order will be Yes No No Yes which is incredibly irritating but I guess it's needed.
 

smeagolheart

Terrarian
I 100% agree with you. This happiness system is added stress for little benefit. I too play slowly and plan things out and it's crazy annoying how you have to main and space these guys.

"The Traveling Merchant has arrived"

Uh where? I've got bases all over the place.
 

The Mad Engineer

Steampunker
I love the idea and I kinda like the implementation. I don't really think it's frustrating, and I think it makes Terraria an overall better game, but it has lots of stuff that could be improved. Sadly, 1.4 is the last major update, and we won't see any major changes to the system. That's the risk of adding such a big game mechanic in the last update.
This is what I'd change to make it better
1- Add one more liked/loved biome and one more liked neighbor for each NPC to increase flexibility of builds.
2- Increase the block range to check if a liked neighbor is nearby, to allow for bigger builds to be viable while keeping NPCs happy.
3- Add one or two liked furniture items per NPC. This wouldn't increase happiness, but it would be used to cancel one factor that decreases happiness.
4- No increased prices if the NPC is unhappy. This won't affect me because I love to build towns, but people who don't like that shouldn't be punished, even if it's just a slight price increase, since they already lose the opportunity to get Pylons.
4.5- Maybe to offset all this, since happiness will be a bit easier to achieve, slightly increase happiness requirements for NPCs to sell Pylons.
5- To make things easier, once pylons have been placed, the Traveling Merchant will only appear next to functional Pylons.
6- To add one more small incentive to keep NPCs happy, give them extra HP depending on how happy they are.
7- Give Towns some kind of "Spread protection", to prevent corruption/crimson to spread. Hallow should be allowed since you can make towns there.
7.5- To avoid making things too easy, this protection could only apply to the huge spread of corruption/crimson that happens when the Wall of Flesh is defeated. Protecting towns from corruption/crimson by yourself is a fun challenge. Having town suddenly become useless when you defeat the Wall of flesh is not. It should give you enough time to teleport to that town and dig around it to prevent corruption/crimson to get too close.
8- Some reason to keep the Guide happy would be nice. Don't know what it could be.
9- Make the Truffle able to spawn in underground glowing mushroom biomes as long as there's a couple NPCs and a Pylon there.
 
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starefish

Terrarian
I love the idea and I kinda like the implementation. I don't really think it's frustrating, and I think it makes Terraria an overall better game, but it has lots of stuff that could be improved. Sadly, 1.4 is the last major update, and we won't see any major changes to the system. That's the risk of adding such a big game mechanic in the last update.
This is what I'd change to make it better
1- Add one more liked/loved biome and one more liked neighbor for each NPC to increase flexibility of builds.
2- Increase the block range to check if a liked neighbor is nearby, to allow for bigger builds to be viable while keeping NPCs happy.
3- Add one or two liked furniture items per NPC. This wouldn't increase happiness, but it would be used to cancel one factor that decreases happiness.
4- No increased prices if the NPC is unhappy. This won't affect me because I love to build towns, but people who don't like that shouldn't be punished, even if it's just a slight price increase, since they already lose the opportunity to get Pylons.
4.5- Maybe to offset all this, since happiness will be a bit easier to achieve, slightly increase happiness requirements for NPCs to sell Pylons.
5- To make things easier, once pylons have been placed, the Traveling Merchant will only appear next to functional Pylons.
6- To add one more small incentive to keep NPCs happy, give them extra HP depending on how happy they are.
7- Give Towns some kind of "Spread protection", to prevent corruption/crimson to spread. Hallow should be allowed since you can make towns there.
7.5- To avoid making things too easy, this protection could only apply to the huge spread of corruption/crimson that happens when the Wall of Flesh is defeated. Protecting towns from corruption/crimson by yourself is a fun challenge. Having town suddenly become useless when you defeat the Wall of flesh is not. It should give you enough time to teleport to that town and dig around it to prevent corruption/crimson to get too close.
8- Some reason to keep the Guide happy would be nice. Don't know what it could be.
9- Make the Truffle able to spawn in underground glowing mushroom biomes as long as there's a couple NPCs and a Pylon there.

I think these are good ideas, especially the elimination of penalties related to Happiness. Generally, I've been pretty unhappy with the system and would like some changes. On my old worlds that I've played in for years, suddenly all my NPCs are unhappy living together in one location. Because you save a lot of NPCs or find them in dangerous environments, I always imagined that they would want to live in one central location just for strength in numbers against all the deadly creatures out there. Getting more NPCs together also reduces enemy spawns, reinforcing the sense of security from larger groups. On top of those things, it's much more convenient to gameplay to be able to access everyone's wares without having to travel to a different location (like we've been able to for years without issue). Lastly, I really dislike increasing prices for building a certain way in a game that encourages you to build the way you please. Lowering prices for "happy" NPCs doesn't really ruffle my feathers, although I do think it should be fleshed out more than the current system (preferred walls/block types, number of furniture items in a room, or suggestions made by lots of other users here). However, forcing the player to either build in a way they don't like or grind longer for money is not a nice choice. I do not understand what that was supposed to add to the game.

The Pylon system is really nice for people who like building separate towns before getting loads of wire and teleporters, for sure; I think it's really helpful and a good addition for that reason. I just don't understand why it needed to be tied to an NPC Happiness system that just interferes with the player's ability to build and populate their structures as they see fit for their own enjoyment. I especially don't see why it was a necessary addition now at the end of Terraria's life, unless it was a planned feature for Otherworld that got moved over to Terraria. If Otherworld was supposed to explore a different take on Terraria's formula as a spin-off title, and if it was intended to have a more directed experience, the system makes much more sense there. If the system was introduced with the release of a game, it would not be nearly as frustrating. Now, it retroactively punishes huge numbers of players for building perfectly fine bases in the game for years and years prior.

I actually already thought the NPCs had plenty of personality with their dialogue, and their Happiness comments just feel really forced. Some of their responses also don't make sense to me, like the Party Girl complaining about living near too many people. I don't think the penalties fit the freedoms established in the game already, and it feels severely out of place with the apparent design philosophy of the rest of Terraria. It is definitely disheartening to me when I log into my old world to continue playing and everything I built is suddenly "wrong." I'm really hoping for an update to remove the new penalties so I can enjoy playing in my old home again.
 

The Mad Engineer

Steampunker
I do think it should be fleshed out more than the current system (preferred walls/block types, number of furniture items in a room, or suggestions made by lots of other users here). However, forcing the player to either build in a way they don't like or grind longer for money is not a nice choice. I do not understand what that was supposed to add to the game.
Having preferred block/wall types would be even more limiting for builders, I think biomes make much more sense, though maybe one or two favourite furniture pieces would make it more interesting, as I already stated.
There's not really anything forcing you to build in a certain way, you can still build a huge house of whatever material you want in the middle of the world. And if you give each of them enough space to have only 2 other NPCs nearby (25 blocks), you can even have them all in one big build, and most if not all of them will be happy or neutral. Just make sure to put the few NPCs that dislike forests next to someone they like. Of course, it would be better if they didn't increase their prices when unhappy, though I still think it's not such a big problem, specially in Expert Mode where I always end up with lots of money anyways.

I do not understand what that was supposed to add to the game.
I think it adds something to the game, since there are several benefits from building towns, not only prices. The Pylon system is great, and it makes sense to give an incentive for the player to explore the different biomes and build whatever you want there, even if it's just boxes. Also, the fact that enemies don't spawn in towns synergizes well with fishing, since you'll be able to build fishing spots in almost all biomes and not have to worry about enemies attacking you while fishing, and since town pets can be place anywhere, even in the same house as an NPC, it's pretty easy to build towns.

The Pylon system is really nice for people who like building separate towns before getting loads of wire and teleporters, for sure; I think it's really helpful and a good addition for that reason. I just don't understand why it needed to be tied to an NPC Happiness system that just interferes with the player's ability to build and populate their structures as they see fit for their own enjoyment.

First of all, you only need to BUY them from happy NPCs, they can be as unhappy as you want after you buy the Pylons, as long as you have 2 NPCs near to each one you placed. So you can just put the Arms Dealer and Nurse in a biome, buy the Pylon from the Arms Dealer, and then move them somewhere else.
And the thing is, NPC Happiness is a system that gives you benefits, and thus it needs some effort or sacrifices from the player. For example, I love using the Waterbolt but I don't complain that it's not viable to use all the way until the end of the game because "it doesn't let me play as I see fit for my own enjoyment." If you want to get the benefits of Pylons, you have to play the "optimal" way, and building in each biome is what the devs decided as the "optimal" way, just as they decided that the Golden Shower is stronger than the Waterbolt. What I agree on is that you shouldn't be punished with higher prices for not following the optimal way of playing, and that there should be more flexibility to allow for more creativity.

Some of their responses also don't make sense to me, like the Party Girl complaining about living near too many people.
I thought about that one but forgot to add it.

10- Remove Party Girl's Unhappiness from being around too many other NPCs. Maybe Santa too...
And since I'm adding stuff
11- I don't think it makes sense for the Painter to dislike the Forest. The caves would make more sense because it's too dark to paint.
 

Yvori

Terrarian
I don't think it makes sense for the Painter to dislike the Forest. The caves would make more sense because it's too dark to paint.
He didn't like all the browns and greens...
So I put him in the Desert. How about beige and even less green? He didn't care one way or the other.
...Also the Jungle is still mostly brown and green. Just a more vibrant version of each. Yet he adores it.
The Hallow is as colorful as you can get- but he has no comment about it.
Some of them really just don't make sense when you get down to it, but oh well...
 

Alucard_I

Official Terrarian
It's a really nice system and I like it! However I think it needs to add more than just discounts. Maybe some extra features depending on how well decorated the house of the NPC is they could sell more items, something rare. Nurse could give you a long-lasting buff when healing, Steampunker could sell rare solutions or nozzles etc. I just want to be rewarded for my hard work of building more, not just a small discount.
 
As a player who's typically part of the financial elite in this game, I've largely been able to ignore it completely & play favorites. 🤔🍹
  • I made a private apartment for the Zoologist & randomly built two sets of townhouses.
  • Most the NPCs who started dying in Hardmode started moving into the Hotels, which I assume they did for safety purposes.
  • My very biased & very rich opinion is... if you moved there, that's where you wanna live... now cough up my items!
 

Wyvernil

Terrarian
I'd take out overcrowding penalties, personally (or increase the cap to 7-9 NPCs within 120 blocks). Using pylons for fast travel is already enough incentive to spread out your bases.

This way, you could still put all of your NPCs together as long as you give them discrete "houses" rather than shoving them into tiny floating boxes(which I assume the happiness system was created to discourage).

Another possible upgrade to the pylon system is the ability to upgrade them to Gold Pylons - which have the additional ability to prevent biomes from spreading within a certain radius around them (as long as they're active). The Hallow pylon would still allow Hallow to spread through, naturally. That would solve the issue of towns getting destroyed after beating Wall of Flesh.

One more idea might be favorite furniture that boosts an NPC's happiness if it's in their house. For instance, Dryad might like Living Wood furniture and other 'natural' decor, while the Pirate might prefer palm or gold furniture.
 

sillybunneh

Plantera
As a player who's typically part of the financial elite in this game, I've largely been able to ignore it completely & play favorites. 🤔🍹
  • I made a private apartment for the Zoologist & randomly built two sets of townhouses.
  • Most the NPCs who started dying in Hardmode started moving into the Hotels, which I assume they did for safety purposes.
  • My very biased & very rich opinion is... if you moved there, that's where you wanna live... now cough up my items!

Omg thank you for this comment, I love it ! I'm a bit late to playing the new update and my mind is now a little mush after reading up on the whole NPC Happiness + its calculations :nurseconfused:

That's it, I'm ditching the rules and will now work on becoming one of the financial elites too, it sounds so much simpler to me! :nursegrin:
 

scientistB

Dungeon Spirit
Not sure if I said this before.
But I'd prefer it more if the unhappy price increases were straight-up removed. A strong opinion, I know, but as someone who likes building stuff, it's sad to know that my NPCs will punish me for the epic town/superbase I made for everyone. Semi-forced building styles/locations in a sandbox game does not feel right whatsoever.
Sure, it's okay if the NPCs complain and tell me what they prefer. But why the price increases? Having the discounts and extra items being sold depending on the biome is plenty enough incentive for me.
Also, +1 to Party Girl and Santa's dislike for crowds being changed. This makes literally no sense as it stands.
 
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