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Expand Your Terraria Empire - Pylons, Town Building, and NPC Happiness

Demonides

Terrarian
The fact of increasing prices just because i don't want to explore other biomes and waste time to build castles for each NPC is terrible.
Developer telling me how to play the game, rewarding one playstyle and punishing the other one, used for years without problems...
I really hope it will be cut-out of final version or made ON/OFF in options, otherwise it's slap in the face for me and many other players who want to play this game as they decide.
 

Tmachoman

Terrarian
Love the hint towards Back to the Future. Can’t wait for people to come up with crazy base designs!

Could be cool if in the snow biome, you could use boreal wood and get a small bonus!
 
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Carisei

Official Terrarian
Probably somewhat telling the devs haven’t said anything to allay concerns people have
It's kinda bothering really, I know they don't want to spoil too much of it, but telling us under what conditions will unhappiness and increased prices happen would end most of the negative feedback that's being based on our assumptions due to the reality that our extremes and "spectrum" of builds are not the same as theirs. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt with it being the weekend right now, but it makes me think they didn't consider what it might mean to change a play style that's as old as the game in the broader sense of what it could mean. My hope is that they are actively taking this feedback seriously and not just glossing over it for the echo chambered praise and make adjustments to the system while there's still time.

Leinfors was kind enough to reply to me earlier and cleared up my aesthetics concerns for this new system, but my concerns right now are that this may ultimately effect more then the NPC prisons it sounds like it's intended for, the same techniques used to make those are also used to make NPCs roommates, have them share a building like co-workers, things like micro builds, among the countless other uses I've seen in extremely creative builds throughout the years. I fear that somehow this was a possible oversight while making the system. No amount of "Oh you can still do this" matters if at the same time those NPCs who I've spent time building for, builds that were perfectly fine for years now, will cause me to be negatively impacted because of what could be described as a stray bullet scenario.

I know my concerns are fringe cases. I approve of the benefits of NPC happiness, it will be interesting to play around with it when the update is out. I don't approve of it coming with the downside that it does, as it's retroactively hurtful to what has been built as a community over the past 9 years, all the maps and stuff we've made, all the building methods and techniques. We all know the people it's targeting are going to laugh it off and proceed to min-max their builds to completely dodge the negative while gaining all the benefits. So this seems more like a "bombing the civilians" move.
 

Derunih

Steampunker
Stuff it all. A picture paints a thousand words... So, I have a question for the team:
Capture 2020-05-03 12_27_58.png
This is my current base, in 1.3.5. A castle, not a prison, and not a squishy set of minimalist apartments. SO.
Does this count as neutral, or would this get me a negative penalty?
 

Nicol Bolas

Terrarian
Use a Pylon (which you wrote to sound incredibly over-complicated when it takes 2 seconds)
Does it?

If you have 8 Pylons in the world, figuring out which one the Dryad is at takes more than 2 seconds. You have to search through the map (which may be rather big), looking at every Pylon location until you find her.

it honestly sounds like it'll take a shorter overall time using Pylons because you dont have to maneuver through your base and NPC prison to get to an NPC in the far corner of the top of the prison.
I don't know what you mean by "NPC prison", but my bases are designed for easy navigation from room to room.

Also, the new depth is MUCH more interesting than what it was before. Before NPCs had no personality to them, and now they do. Is it so unrealistic for a character to have preferences? Would you enjoy it if you were a nature lover stuck in a tiny wooden box crammed into a huge NPC prison system nowhere near any interesting nature? Now they have personalities and preferences like any normal person would have, and letting them enjoy their preferences makes them enjoy you as a person and give you rewards.
When I said that this mechanic had no "depth", I was referring to the gameplay depth, the mechanical complexity of the actions the player takes and the variety of choices the player has. I don't care if this mechanic allows an NPC's personality to be imposed on the gameplay. What I care about is how that imposition affects the gameplay.

From a gameplay perspective, this mechanic is exceedingly shallow. Every NPC has one or more preferred biomes. They have one or more un-preferred neighbor NPCs. And you can find out about any/all of these... by asking them.

This has all the complexity of a game of Go-Fish with all the cards face-up: just pair the ones who match. Problem solved.

So where's the depth?

Look at Stardew Valley. The game is, at it's core, about farming. There is absolutely NO requirement to go and make friends with the NPCs in the game, but if you make friends with them, they give you a lot of nice items and make progress easier to achieve. That game is a masterpiece and people LOVE the NPCs because they actually have depth and don't just unconditionally send you nice trinkets in the mail every day. It gives you a sense of accomplishment for making friends with them.
I've never played this game. However, I imagine that, from a gameplay perspective, "making friends" with them requires more effort than just asking them their preferences and moving them to that preferred location, right?

Because that's all Terraria is bringing with this change. There's no "sense of accomplishment" to be had for a task that is rather trivial.

Again, the feature does not require you to be good at building. You can get along with your NPC prisons, but the update itself was made for the purpose of giving incentive to build in new locations, which allows for more creativity and diversity in your builds. What's more diverse, one castle made of stone brick and wood, or a town of igloos in the snow biome, a western bar in the desert, a jungle treehouse in the jungle, a pirate ship in the ocean biome, a sky castle in the sky, and a mining quarry underground? Of course you don't HAVE to build those things, but the fact that I was able to just come up with nice build ideas is exactly my point. Without this update, I'd just keep throwing my NPCs into a wooden box with no thought or inspiration whatsoever, but now I can come up with creative houses for each of the NPCs that matches the biomes they live in.
For you, a specific game feature was able to inspire you to consider what might be an interesting home tailored to an NPC. That's great for you, and I mean that sincerely.

But do not mistake a source that managed to inspire you as being the only possible source for similar inspiration for others.

There is nothing that prevented anyone from previously coming up with those ideas. In fact, I rather suspect many people have used these ideas to varying degrees previously. This feature is not empowering you to do something you could not before; at best, it has inspired you personally. But that's just you, personally.

Creativity, or a lack thereof, is not why people don't commonly build these things in their runs through Terraria. It's because, as I have stated before, NPCs are game mechanics; they exist for the player to be able to use them. And the most convenient way to use them is if they are all right there next to each other.

If you play Terraria for long enough, and are trying to just experience the content of the game, NPCs are just a means to an end. So you spend the bare minimum of time on them that the game requires and you move on. And people will continue to do that in 1.4.

All 1.4 did was change what that bare minimum would look like. Instead of one set of boxes, you have several. But they'll still be cookie cutter, minimum effort boxes, because that's what it takes to get to what they feel are the good parts of the game.

Easy solution to this is have a bed near the dryad or particular npcs house,
You can only have one active spawn point. I picked the Dryad as an example because, by and large, you only rarely need her services. If your bed will only be near a couple of NPCs, you won't pick the Dryad as one of them.

plus you'll eventually get used to the layout of your world anyway so no biggie.
I can get used to a lot of things. You haven't explained why I should have to get used to it. It's not improving my play experience. Or at least, not in a way that couldn't easily be achieved in another way.

To be honest, throughout the fifty+ runs I've made of the game, I never had an incentive to not just shove my NPCs into commieblock towers. If I have to suffer higher prices as a result, that seems like a good incentive to give them some room to breathe. It'll be more challenging, for sure, but I don't think we should discard it as bad right off the bat.
The question you're not asking is why people build these so-called "commieblock towers" in the game. You seem to think of it purely as a stylistic choice. It's not.

It's a choice that favors player convenience. It allows me to see the greatest number of NPCs all at once, and to quickly and efficiently access them if I need to. They're right there; I don't have to go looking for them, or activate a Pylon or whatever else.

It's just like when the devs nerfed various cheese strats against the moon lord. Sure it might've ruined some fun here and there, but it did improve the game overall. I even heard these same arguments used to blast the nerfs that were happening, talking about how it ruined their fun and how the devs were "forcing you to play a specific way". If it wasn't for that, the Moonlord would be trivial.
But that's kind of the point. See, the correct way to deal with cheese strategies against the Moon Lord is not to make the Moon Lord arbitrarily invulnerable to cheese strats. It's to not put cheese strats into the game. I mean, Vampire Knives. That doesn't even rise to the level of a "strat"; it's just a weapon you pick up that turns the game into easy mode. If you put an easy-mode weapon in the game, it's silly to give the final boss a "you can't use the easy mode weapon against me" ability. It's a bait-and-switch: you teach the player to use easy-mode, then you take it away when they need it the most, forcing them to learn all the stuff they didn't learn when they were relying on easy-mode.

Your analogy is good, because this feature comes from the same kind of thinking. This mechanic feels very artificial, something bolted onto an existing system in order to forceencourage players to play in a way that isn't necessarily how they would play otherwise. The devs don't like people making tight-knit homes for NPCs, so they hurt you if you play that way.
 

Martoshe

Duke Fishron
Great addition to the game! I just came back after 6 years to the forum and everything is as good as i remember. Can't help but cringe from my old comments tho...
 

rubeszilla

Terrarian
....I can get used to a lot of things. You haven't explained why I should have to get used to it. It's not improving my play experience. Or at least, not in a way that couldn't easily be achieved in another way....
The gift of fast travel to any biome in the world without having to pay for and setup wiring is a very powerful gift. You, and others, have stated that it will be more time consuming to approach NPCs but you're neglecting the gift of fast travel. Just think about how much time you will save with the ability to fast travel to any biome on the map? It's not even currently possible in the game without massive amounts of teleporters, wiring, and ca$h.

I think the mcguffin here (and lower prices) is worth the effort of simply building a few houses around the map - I mean, you're there anyway, or can you play the game without leaving the forest biome?
 

Mihn

Steampunker
Already replied once, but...

To be honest, all we can do now is wait until the update is out to confirm what the new prices will be and what is the condition for them. Speculative doomsaying won't be of much use when it turns out that what we have been doing isn't impacted, and the devs doesn't seem to want to give more detailed information.

From what I have gathered, the aesthetic don't matter and this is mostly to punish the highly compact 10x4 tube houses, so maybe the old box stacking strat won't be punished. It depends on how this "happier when not overcrowed" thing works. Though others are right that more non-vague clarifications would shut off most of the fear mongering immediately.

I still think that there should be different bonuses for mirco vs marco builds. Because what I get from the main post is that marco builds are heavily favored with the price and the pylons. I personally like having 1 main hub that expands over time, really makes you feel like the community is growing, you know? Collecting NPCs is a neat sidequest and it's nice seeing everyone at one place.

Also, I would rather have more clarification to people raising legitimate concerns about the new system and whether or not their preferred building style is going to be punished instead of snarky replies, thank you.
 
The next person who complains is gonna get the penalty increased.

View attachment 269262
What an awful way to respond to people asking for clarification. You're only going to punish others if you really try to "get back" at the folks in this thread. People who will probably just mod these penalties out of the game. Your sights are misaligned and are hitting those who don't deserve it.
 

Wombat

Terrarian
What an awful way to respond to people asking for clarification. You're only going to punish others if you really try to "get back" at the folks in this thread. People who will probably just mod these penalties out of the game. Your sights are misaligned and are hitting those who don't deserve it.
his point is that the feature is there and there to stay, no point in complaining

cryogenBanner.png
 

Cyan

Terrarian
Raising worries and concerns is not necessarily complaining. There is nothing wrong with developers discussing their thoughts on why they added a feature and going into specifics on how said features work. Maybe that will lead to some changes, maybe not, but the important thing is that there is a back and forward. I often read things from other indie communities such as Factorio and Starsector and those devs are always glad to engage in polite discussion with the community over updates and changes. It's disappointing to see this jokey approach being taken here.
 

Pendromeda

Terrarian
Raising worries and concerns is not necessarily complaining. There is nothing wrong with developers discussing their thoughts on why they added a feature and going into specifics on how said features work. Maybe that will lead to some changes, maybe not, but the important thing is that there is a back and forward. I often read things from other indie communities such as Factorio and Starsector and those devs are always glad to engage in polite discussion with the community over updates and changes. It's disappointing to see this jokey approach being taken here.
It's mostly relegated to the forum here. They're being very helpful on the discord, if that makes it any better. I think they're just taking the wind out of everyone freaking out and doomsaying about how this will ruin the whole update.
 

Pokenar

Official Terrarian
To be honest, throughout the fifty+ runs I've made of the game, I never had an incentive to not just shove my NPCs into commieblock towers. If I have to suffer higher prices as a result, that seems like a good incentive to give them some room to breathe. It'll be more challenging, for sure, but I don't think we should discard it as bad right off the bat. It's just like when the devs nerfed various cheese strats against the moon lord. Sure it might've ruined some fun here and there, but it did improve the game overall. I even heard these same arguments used to blast the nerfs that were happening, talking about how it ruined their fun and how the devs were "forcing you to play a specific way". If it wasn't for that, the Moonlord would be trivial.
I'll also throw out I remember similar backlash to when the healing mechanics were changed way back in the old days, people thought potion sickness would ruin the game forever.
 

Lucasness

Terrarian
It's mostly relegated to the forum here. They're being very helpful on the discord, if that makes it any better. I think they're just taking the wind out of everyone freaking out and doomsaying about how this will ruin the whole update.
Probably because no one on discord has any issue with this, so they don’t have to explain anything.
 
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