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Cactus armor is OP, let's fix this.

TurretBot

Terrarian
Okay, I know what you're thinking: "Dude, just skip all of these." Well, you might be right, but hear me out anyway.

First, I apologize if this has been said before, but I couldn't find a similar thread to this.

Anyway:

I just recently got back into this game. I like to do hardcore runs, but I also suck, so you can imagine how that turns out.
To keep things interesting, I decided to only make my house at the Ocean. However, in the process of doing that, I think I've discovered an issue in the game: Cactus armor is OP.

Now, seeing as this is the earliest of early game. We need to think about it in two ways: veteran players and new players.

So, let's walk through both.

New players: They'll only craft Wood armor (or Booreal Wood armor, if they spawned in a snow biome).
They probably won't craft any other Wood armor (or Cactus armor), since going underground is what the game points you towards, getting the other wood is too difficult if they don't go underground, and who would expect Cactus armor to exist without prior knowledge?

Veteran players: They'll only craft Cactus armor (assuming they don't just skip this tier entirely).
Cactus, Ebonwood, and Shadewood are currently the strongest armor that can be acquired at the start of the game using only surface materials. Seeing as cactus is so easy to get, there is no reason not to just craft that and ignore the rest.

So as you can see, the Shadewood, Ebonwood, Palm Wood, and Rich Mahogany armors aren't going to be used in any playthrough. I have two solutions.

My first solution: Buff all of the useless ones up by 1. This will make Palm Wood and Rich Mahogany armors (which always require a little adventuring) slightly stronger than the Booreal Wood armor (which is sometimes available at spawn, but sometimes isn't, so it stays in a middling tier). This also makes Shadwood/Ebonwood armors stronger than Cactus! So, problem solved, pretty much?

Now, before you say this makes a wood armor as strong as copper - you're right, but getting Shadewood/Ebonwood is far riskier than getting copper at this point in the game. In fact, the evil & jungle woods could probably be buffed up more than 1, or even given a new set bonus, without ruining the balance. But if you're still hung up on it, my second solution bypasses this.

My second solution: Change Cactus armor to a different point of progression. If we look at the Jungle armor, it's crafted both from a plant and from enemy drops. I think this idea could be transplanted into Cactus. What if we added Antlion Mandibles to the crafting recipe for Cactus armor? Then Cactus armor could be buffed up by a lot. A thorns buff of some kind could be implemented, too. I mean, you'd expect thorns from a Cactus armor. (Though, I also think the Underground Desert enemies are way too strong and seriously need to be nerfed, which might throw a wrench in adding Antlion Mandibles here, but that's beyond the scope of this suggestion.)

Anyway, that's about it. I know Rich Mahogany, Palm Wood, and Pearlwood armors would still pretty much be useless, but having Shadewood/Ebonwood armor be appropriately leveled for the risk it takes to get them is enough, in my opinion; the others just need to be appropriately scaled to match. This is already the case for the swords (Cactus sword is 9 damage and evil wood sword is 10).

Imagine making an account just to suggest a couple armors no one uses should get 1 more defense.
 

Derpling Ω

Plantera
I don't really see the point in this. 5 defense is really just 2-3 damage taken off, which ends up being inconsequential at all points of the game. It's no crimson armor, which boosts all damage and gives way too much life regen and you don't even need to kill the brain for it (just some minions). Even in expert mode which buffs defense cactus armor ends up protecting against 4 damage, so this isn't really needed... It's honestly fine where it is.
 

TurretBot

Terrarian
Okay, I think I may be in the wrong here, or rather, I wasn't looking at the bigger picture.

This all stemmed from simply wondering why I am getting Cactus instead of risking my life to get Ebonwood/Shadewood. I mean, the latter should be somewhat viable before going underground, right? But maybe the problem is that I think any of these armors are supposed to be worth a damn. Pearlwood is the definition of useless so it's not like the Terraria devs are against adding useless crap for no reason at all.

As far as improving the early game goes, I've obviously stumbled into a balancing issue way over my head, and it isn't a simple fix, as other threads in here trying to improve the early game can attest to.

Ciao.
 

Baconfry

Terrarian
Cactus is appropriately powerful for its respective stage of the game... that is to say, it doesn't improve your performance by much, nor is it supposed to. It's not OP. It just happens to be the best choice available.

The real problem you pointed out is that Ebonwood, Shadewood, and Rich Mahogany are far too weak relative to the danger involved in gathering them. I think an appropriate buff to them would be to slightly reduce enemy spawn rate when in their respective biomes. Like just reduce the maximum number of enemies by 1 or something. Still not very good for actual combat, but it's a reason to use them over Cactus armor at least.
 

Derpling Ω

Plantera
The real problem you pointed out is that Ebonwood, Shadewood, and Rich Mahogany are far too weak relative to the danger involved in gathering them. I think an appropriate buff to them would be to slightly reduce enemy spawn rate when in their respective biomes. Like just reduce the maximum number of enemies by 1 or something. Still not very good for actual combat, but it's a reason to use them over Cactus armor at least.
Maybe just the peace candle buff (or something similar.) Reducing the entity limit by 1 wouldn't be noticeable until you get to 199 enemies nearby at once, which basically means your dead anyway. Plus I would have at least an excuse to consider equipping pearlwood armor if it reduced spawnrates in the hallow.
 

Nazor

Terrarian
I actually love this idea. I hate it when most people skip ideas just because they are small or early game. Player suggested quality of life changes are usually the best, and some balance changes can be very helpful as the players know what it feels like. I hope this gets seen by more people.
 

Spazmatism7

The Destroyer
Cactus armor is not OP for the stage of game it is got at. You have to fight your way past Antlions and Vultures to get it.
 

Heckraiser

Terrarian
if I'm not deliberately forgoing bows, the first thing I do is slap on some wooden gear and head to the nearest evil biome to grab a decent bow with a good modifier. if I find cactus, I either use it for the massive sword hitbox or go for a copper pickaxe range upgrade, potentially with a mining speed bonus. the +1 defense over wooden armor isn't really worth it over the sword and pickaxe upgrades, unless you want it for vanities sake.
 

Derpling Ω

Plantera
if I'm not deliberately forgoing bows, the first thing I do is slap on some wooden gear and head to the nearest evil biome to grab a decent bow with a good modifier. if I find cactus, I either use it for the massive sword hitbox or go for a copper pickaxe range upgrade, potentially with a mining speed bonus. the +1 defense over wooden armor isn't really worth it over the sword and pickaxe upgrades, unless you want it for vanities sake.
I generally save my wood for arrows and houses, so I never end up crafting wood armor.
 

Derpling Ω

Plantera
only thing is the merchant makes both those uses for wood obsolete with cheap arrows and hay blocks, and for taking less than 20 damage 2 damage reduction is at least 10%.
Yes, but 2 health can literally be recovered in 2 seconds without regen accessories. And you can't make chairs, torches, and tables out of hay.
 

Heckraiser

Terrarian
Yes, but 2 health can literally be recovered in 2 seconds without regen accessories. And you can't make chairs, torches, and tables out of hay.
if that note about regen is true it only makes defense more powerful, as the health you recover can now theoretically tank more damage. and yeah you need wood for those things but not so much you can't spare some for extra defense.
 

Derpling Ω

Plantera
if that note about regen is true it only makes defense more powerful, as the health you recover can now theoretically tank more damage. and yeah you need wood for those things but not so much you can't spare some for extra defense.
I don't get hit enough by early game enemies for the extra 2 damage prevented to matter, meaning by the time I get hit next I've already almost fully regenerated.
 

Heckraiser

Terrarian
I don't get hit enough by early game enemies for the extra 2 damage prevented to matter, meaning by the time I get hit next I've already almost fully regenerated.
for that to work while getting wood from an evil biome, which is the next thing I usually do, you'd have to play super carefully. you'd ultimately spend more time with precautions than on crafting the wooden armor. but if you go to caves first that decision makes more sense, even though rushing jungle with evilwood gear makes accessing cave items easier.
 

Derpling Ω

Plantera
for that to work while getting wood from an evil biome, which is the next thing I usually do, you'd have to play super carefully. you'd ultimately spend more time with precautions than on crafting the wooden armor. but if you go to caves first that decision makes more sense, even though rushing jungle with evilwood gear makes accessing cave items easier.
The thing is, wood from an evil biome isn't strong enough for me to go out of my way for, when I could go underground for 10 minutes and make something metal and stronger anyway.
 

Bry-ccentric

Steampunker
The thing is, wood from an evil biome isn't strong enough for me to go out of my way for, when I could go underground for 10 minutes and make something metal and stronger anyway.
Exactly; if I don't skip straight to Shadow/Crimson or Meteor Armor, I just go mine for Silver/Tungsten since they're not really required for much else. Wood armor is severely not worth it, as I could be using that wood for Torches, Campfires, buildings, etc.
 

Heckraiser

Terrarian
The thing is, wood from an evil biome isn't strong enough for me to go out of my way for, when I could go underground for 10 minutes and make something metal and stronger anyway.
if you're rushing jungle it's not out of the way, also good luck getting half the ore for a full set of silver/tungsten in 10 minutes. mostly you get evil-wood for the bow, with a good modifier it can outperform a silver/tungsten bow, which is a huge upgrade with minimal investment. even if rushing jungle is impractical because you're in expert, the bow alone is worth the trip, as it can actually dish out enough damage to kill stuff, especially with frost-burn arrows.
 

Derpling Ω

Plantera
if you're rushing jungle it's not out of the way, also good luck getting half the ore for a full set of silver/tungsten in 10 minutes. mostly you get evil-wood for the bow, with a good modifier it can outperform a silver/tungsten bow, which is a huge upgrade with minimal investment. even if rushing jungle is impractical because you're in expert, the bow alone is worth the trip, as it can actually dish out enough damage to kill stuff, especially with frost-burn arrows.
It takes me about 2 minutes to get the ingredients for a spelunker potion, and then after that I can EASILY get all the silver I need in 10 minutes. You're forgetting that I don't have to deal with walking all the way to the jungle if I actually use the resources available to me.
Edit: I forgot I need moonglow for spelunkers, but you usually get enough from pots anyway that my point still stands.
 
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