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How to make suggestions people will support

Baconfry

Terrarian
The Player Suggestions section of TCF is usually a lively place, and everyone is welcome to share their ideas there. It's very collaborative, and it feels nice to work together with others to try and make vanilla Terraria a more enjoyable experience for all.

But it's not always easy to get suggestion-related advice from forum veterans. This is because many of our forum old-timers have posted essentially the exact same replies to many different threads over the years, meaning that they may not have the patience to reply to yours. And though that is no fault of your own, it will make it difficult for you to improve.

Which is why this thread is here! I'll be addressing common mistakes, giving advice for making your ideas more compelling, and probably most importantly, laying out a foundation for the attitude you'll want to have towards making and improving suggestions. This is not a walkthrough, and it's not something I expect you to follow to the letter or take extremely seriously. (No one could possibly respect me that much, right?) Think of it instead as an introduction to what you should expect from the Player Suggestions community, and a loose guide to what tends to work well.

tl;dr for those who just want to avoid common mistakes:

-Don't make overpowered stuff.
-Don't make underpowered stuff.
-Don't make anything excessively rare.
-Unique is not always a good thing, especially if you're inexperienced with this section.
-Punishment with no counterplay is bad content.
-Show your effort and make it readable. People don't like low-effort threads suggesting high-effort content.
-Don't post it with a vague title like "an idea I had" or "cool stuff".
-Don’t stick a bunch of unrelated ideas into one thread.
-Don’t split one idea across multiple threads.
-Try to improve parts of the game that need improvement.
-Finish it before you post it. Don't use the WIP tag.
-Don't post major biome suggestions if you can't make artwork. It might not be a bad suggestion, but people won't like it regardless.
-Don’t add new NPCs if you can easily accomplish the same thing without a new NPC.
-If people tell you to change something, listen to them.
-Don't write rude things in the poll. This includes rude statements towards yourself.

The most important thing to remember is that these are suggestions for vanilla Terraria. The more it seems to fit with content in the rest of the game, the better. Good suggestions directly incorporate and reference things that already exist in Terraria: NPCs, crafting materials, biomes. If your suggestion includes new weapons crafted from new materials obtained from new biomes, dropped by new bosses, and sold by new NPCs, you should consider pitching the idea to a team of Terraria modders, instead.

Another thing to note: for the sake of organization, please post one thread for each idea! To reduce clutter, we prefer each thread to be dedicated to the discussion of one main idea. This also means that you should not unnecessarily split one idea into multiple threads. (It's something I've been guilty of in the past.)

There are several ways you should approach creating content that seamlessly blends into vanilla Terraria.

-Crafting recipes. You should try to use existing, underused crafting ingredients if possible, but if the situation calls for it, don't be afraid to introduce a new crafting ingredient or two. Just keep in mind:

Simple is best. The most compelling crafting recipes are the ones that use only what is necessary to place your item in the stage of the game it needs to be. The fewer crafting ingredients you need to use, the better.

Terraria rarely uses existing weapons as crafting ingredients for other weapons, and does so only when the crafted weapon makes the ingredient weapon obsolete. The Terra Blade is currently the strongest crafted upgrade to an existing weapon, and it will likely remain that way.

Terraria NEVER uses (non-informational) accessories, armor pieces, or weapons as crafting ingredients for anything other than accessories, armor pieces, or weapons, respectively. Any combined item should retain most/all of the functions of whatever was used to create it.

Terraria (and by extension, the Terraria community) prefers when an item's crafting materials are not too rare.

If you introduce a renewable resource, you should also introduce recipes for consumable items (ammunition, buff potions, building materials) that utilize that resource. If the resource you introduced is not renewable, you should not.
-Game mechanics. I know, most of us are gamers, not programmers. Still, if you play the game often and have a lot of hours clocked, and if you've been studying the changelogs throughout Terraria's version history, you should have some idea of what is realistic and what is not. For instance, "pocket dimensions" or "capturing and controlling enemies" may sound like cool concepts, but would require too much work to realistically add. This might be the most difficult thing to explain to someone with no experience, but it's very important; content will only be added if it can be added. A few things to remember:

Content doesn't have to cater specifically to multiplayer, but it should at least work in multiplayer. If you cannot think of a way to make it work in multiplayer, that's fine, but you should acknowledge it in your main post.

In-depth familiarity with the game is extremely helpful for judging what can be implemented and what cannot. People who post here are generally expected to know somewhat obscure details, such as how piercing damage works. This knowledge will also help you defend/improve your ideas as you receive feedback. Also, try to familiarize yourself with gaming lingo such as “aggro”, “kite”, “noclip”, “AoE”, and “hitscan”. Don’t be afraid to pull up a Google search; we’ve all been there.

As demonstrated by the heavy limitations on the existing "Confused" debuff and Stardust Guardian, messing with monster AI movement is tougher than it may seem. If you are thinking of having a weapon slow down enemies as part of its secondary effect, consider using additional projectiles and/or existing knockback mechanics to accomplish the same thing. As of 1.3.5.3, no weapon inflicts the Slow or Frozen debuffs on its targets. Think about why this might be the case.

Most damage-over-time debuffs are completely inconsequential. Frostburn, On Fire, Poison, Venom, and Cursed Inferno all contribute virtually nothing to a weapon's DPS. Try to come up with more creative secondary effects.

Worlds cannot be drastically modified after world creation. If you want to suggest a biome that will only be accessible in the endgame, it must still exist at the very start of the game, and you'll definitely have to think of a way to keep people out of it before they're ready. Other than unfairly beefgating them with overpowered enemies!
-Game balance. Part of Terraria's appeal is the large variety of viable weapons and other equipment available to the player at each stage. Introducing new equipment that greatly outclasses everything else in its tier reduces the variety of equipment that the player is likely to use; rather than making the game better, this would make it worse. A few other things to keep in mind, though:​

While you should avoid introducing overpowered content, you shouldn't be afraid to make your suggested content useful and reasonably powerful. It should be tempting enough to be worth considering for at least some situations. If something is too gimmicky to be practical, it will not be received well, and if you're too zealous in trying to make your content not overpowered, it can backfire.

There are several ways to balance equipment that most would consider overpowered. Making it extremely rare is NOT a proper way to achieve balance. Even an overpowered weapon with a 1 in 10,000 drop chance will still be overpowered if people get it, and for those who don't have enough luck to get it, it may as well not exist at all. Including this kind of content would reward players for luck rather than diligence or skill, and is generally bad practice.

Balancing a weapon also does not mean making it heavily polarized, as the word "balance" suggests. Extremely long cooldowns, extremely short range, extremely high mana cost, direct penalties for usage — you should avoid resorting to measures like these unless you're absolutely sure that they're uniquely deserved. Identify what makes the weapon overpowered, and tone it down to a reasonable level without destroying its appeal altogether.

———

A lot of the time, people will talk about "tiers", and how a piece of equipment matches up with everything else in its "tier". What they mean by that is, how does it compare to the other equipment that becomes available at the same time? Tiers are mostly decided by boss kill order, so when you're trying to make something balanced, try to compare your content to another piece of existing equipment that's obtainable using roughly the same amount of effort. For the sake of convenience, I will roughly list the tiers that most people should acknowledge, in order of increasing power. If applicable, I'll also include a common crafting ingredient from that tier.

  • Pre-hardmode, no bosses defeated.
  • Pre-hardmode, Skeletron/Queen Bee has been defeated, and/or the player has access to a Nightmare Pickaxe or better. (Bones, Sturdy Fossils, Hellstone Bars)
  • Hardmode, no mechanical bosses have been defeated. (Souls of Light, Souls of Night)
  • One mechanical boss has been defeated. (Hallowed Bars)
  • Three mechanical bosses have been defeated. (Chlorophyte)
  • Plantera and Golem have been defeated. Items that drop from the final versions of the Dungeon and Solar Eclipse also belong in this tier.
  • Difficult events that can only be triggered after Plantera/Golem have been defeated. Includes Pumpkin Moon, Betsy, Martian Madness, Frost Moon, and Duke Fishron.
  • Everything obtainable only after you kill the Cultists at the dungeon entrance.
  • There is no tier after this. No equipment should be stronger than what you obtain from the final boss.

This applies to enemies, too. Enemies should be compared to other enemies that you might encounter at that stage of the game. Don't worry about being precise; the people who reply should help you come to a decision on what would be fair.
All in all, remember that you are suggesting content for the benefit of the game, and that you and the developers should be on the same side.

-Creativity. Terraria is a fun and imaginative game, and when browsing through suggestions, people are less likely to support a generic-looking gun and more likely to support a potato-shaped gun named "Loaded Baked Potato", even if they work exactly the same. This is not an absolute rule, of course. Not all Terraria content is ridiculous, and not every suggestion should be ridiculous. But if you think you can add a bit of harmless surrealism, your idea will probably be better received for it.​

Another important thing to remember is that ultimately, suggestions should be made with the intent to make the game better.
This sounds obvious, I know. But I often see threads that seem to be introducing new content simply for the sake of adding new content. Which is perfectly fine, but as I've said earlier, you may want to consider approaching a team of modders with those ideas instead. No, the most compelling reason for adding new content to vanilla Terraria is to make the game feel more complete. Perhaps you feel like a certain existing biome, such as the Ocean, Sky layer, or Underworld, is too barren at a certain stage of progression. Perhaps you think there was a missed opportunity with an existing piece of equipment. Whatever the reason may be, something compelled you to sit down and think about typing up a new thread to post in Player Suggestions.

To put it simply, the best suggestions are the ones that solve a problem. This is a game in development, so you're bound to find some here or there. You can also talk to your friends, or strangers on Discord to see what they think.

Even if it doesn't directly solve a problem, any suggestion can benefit from a touch of creativity. Simply put, something that will make people stop and think, wow, that would be really neat to have in the game. An old friend of mine said it best:

It should feel inspired.

A bland suggestion which doesn't introduce anything new or exciting into the game is likely to be a flop, and will only appeal to a few people who share your quirks. Try to branch away from common suggestion stereotypes, and come up with creative solutions to problems rather than going with the obvious. If your suggestion feels fresh and contributes a new, original idea, you will attract more attention for your thread, which gives your thread a much better chance to survive for longer and get more support.

———

You also must be very cautious when suggesting things that will make part of the game easier or harder. For the latter, consider making it an expert mode-exclusive suggestion, because those guys are asking for it. For the former, you should probably create a thread in General Talk to see if the majority of other people share your opinion, just to test the waters a bit.

Terraria players have a very wide range of skill levels and experience, and there are millions of them, so there's a lot of pressure for Re-Logic to release updates that will be well-received by all.​

Finally, the effort that you put into making the thread really matters. People are more likely to support suggestions that the creator put a lot of care and thought into. There are several ways for to demonstrate that you really care about your idea:

Try to format the thread for readability the best you can. Break up your paragraphs, and use bullet points when appropriate.

Type out your sentences properly. Make it look official. If English isn't your native tongue, just do your best, and people will respect your efforts.

If you can make pixel art, consider illustrating your thread with sprites if your idea calls for it. Even (neat) concept art drawn by hand or with MS Paint can be used if you think it will help. You can also recruit the help of the spriting community, some of whom might be willing to take requests. If you're interested in joining the spriting community yourself, this guide can help you get started.​

That should be most of it. The rest of the thread is going to be for scattered tidbits of advice that you might want to keep in the back of your mind.

Minor suggestions are still valuable. In fact, they have a better chance of being added into Terraria if doing so would be relatively simple. I would recommend starting off with simple, easy suggestions rather than something really ambitious that you may not be able to handle on your own. Even after you've gained some experience, you will still find yourself coming up with relatively small, but valuable ideas. Post them!​

Use the title as a description. Writing a title that simply says "Cool stuff" or "An idea I had for the next update" will most likely attract the wrong kind of attention. If your suggestion is worth viewing, then a brief description of its contents should be enough to grab people's interest. If you've ever written a research report or any academic paper before, you know what I'm talking about.​

Read and respond to other suggestions. Not only will you gain a better idea of which elements are frequently found in popular suggestions, but if you can remember which ideas have already been posted, you'll avoid the embarrassment of posting threads that are highly similar to ones made by others. Also, replying to other people's suggestions gives them publicity, which they usually appreciate.

Speaking of which, you should search before you post a thread so you can be sure your idea is not a duplicate. This is listed in the Rules and Guidelines, but I'll repeat it just to be sure. And even if it's not a complete duplicate, it is better to have at least two people discussing their thoughts on similar ideas than to keep them separate.

You might notice that there is a WIP tag that you can add to suggestions that are not fully complete when posted. I advise against using the WIP tag. Generally, it is much better to submit your thread in its final form; it will be much more impressive and probably better received. You should take as much time as you need to polish your ideas.

You have the option to include a poll. Avoid using the poll as a measure of your thread's popularity. It's unnecessary; people can just like your post to show support. The poll is mostly there for fun, or you can use it to find out the public's opinion on a topic directly related to the topic of your suggestion. Just don't use it as a popularity gauge (or unpopularity gauge) when it can be used for more productive purposes.​

Respond properly to feedback. Some people might love your suggestion, some people might not. But the good thing is that everyone who disapproves will give a reason for their disapproval. Always consider that they may be right, and be open about modifying your suggestion to accommodate their concerns. This is how suggestions improve over time!​


There are also certain guidelines that you should try to follow when posting on the suggestion threads of others.

If you like the idea, then you should like the post. This is very simple, and recommended for at least one good reason: If the thread creator gets an alert that tells them that someone quoted their post, they will probably be on the defensive unless you also leave them a like. It's reassuring. Plus, the thread creator might be puzzled if you voice your approval without liking the main post.

And if you're replying to a thread you don't agree with, don't say "no support". If you don't support an idea, then it should be apparent from the rest of your reply. It is far more productive to explain exactly what it is about an idea that bothers you, and if applicable, what the thread creator could do to address your concern. Just try to avoid being hurtful if you can. The gentlest way to tell someone that his/her suggestion shouldn't be added is to say "it would be more suitable as a mod", though of course you should say that only if you believe it.​

You should try to reply when possible. Especially on straightforward suggestion threads that most people would agree with, liking the main post without replying is a common thing to see. But keep in mind that replying to a thread gives the thread attention, which is the best gift you can bestow upon a suggestion, especially if it's clearly the thread creator's labor of love.​


On a final note: remember, you're here to have a good time. As Tunnel King says, the suggestion forums are primarily for fun and entertainment. Among player-made suggestions, Re-Logic usually prefers to add simpler, easy-to-execute ones that pertain to quality of life. But hey, as long as we get to discuss our favorite game, everybody wins. Thanks for reading my guide, and I'll be seeing you around the forums!
 
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FlakMaster

The Destroyer
Still think this should be stickied, just in case it somehow gets lost.

I'll add though that while a lot of suggestions may not directly get implemented, a few could indirectly be so by inspiring the developers with an idea linked to such. It could be that the mechanics of a suggested weapon is considered and developed, but the theme/tier it is set in is left behind.
 

Baconfry

Terrarian
I'll add though that while a lot of suggestions may not directly get implemented, a few could indirectly be so by inspiring the developers with an idea linked to such. It could be that the mechanics of a suggested weapon is considered and developed, but the theme/tier it is set in is left behind.
True. Even if you don't really expect your ideas to be added the way they are, just throwing out ideas for weapons/set bonuses, etc. is really valuable, and your ideas might influence the next update indirectly.

Developers are very good at hunting gems. So keep that in mind, and format your suggestions for maximum readability. Piece of advice for everyone!
 
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Fruitbat

Terrarian
I love this thread, it could be more organised though
Pre-hardmode, pre-Nightmare Pickaxe. Example: Gem Staves, Jungle armor
the jungle tier is at the same place as the dungeon tier
the only difference that you don't need to kill a boss to get to the jungle
Pre-hardmode, post-Nightmare Pickaxe/dungeon. Example: Molten armor, Dark Lance.
the dungeon and hell tier are different tiers, the hell is higher than the dungeon tier
 

zimberzimber

Terrarian
I have a few things to add:

Don't forget to make the thread fun so the reader won't get bored with reading, reading and reading.
- You could use certain jokes or puns
- Add images or colors (This will also help against making a blunt wall of text)
- Use your imagination

Don't try to implement logic
- Terraria has nothing to do with logic, people will simply break the argument with an infinite amount of examples.

Don't repost ideas
- Use the search function before you post an idea, maybe it was posted before but there was a good reason not to implement this.
- Also this step must be followed according to the rules of the forum, so you might get yourself in trouble if you don't.

Be mature
- We all love smileys, but using them too much will just end up taking more space
- Don't use childish speech unless you are 110% sure its fitting

Add sprites to the thread
- Even if you are bad at spriting, you should still try.
- Or ask someone with spriting skills to make a few for you.
-- Take my desert suggestion as an example, I am horrible at spriting, but I still added them

Advertising the suggestion
- Add a link in your signature or make support banners for the threads.
-- You can ask me for a banner, and I will try to do my best.

Conclusion:
Suggestions shouldn't be just a cluster of words that describe what YOU want in the game, it should be a well formatted post that describes what might be a great addition to the game, but it can sometimes be the small things that matter.

The guide is great and I really hope that people who have suggestion will read it and it will make their suggestions a lot more attractive and thought out.
 
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Fruitbat

Terrarian
the jungle tier is at the same place as the dungeon tier
the only difference that you don't need to kill a boss to get to the jungle
the dungeon and hell tier are different tiers, the hell is higher than the dungeon tier
y u no reply ;_;
 
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