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Imp/Spider/Twins AI changes

Vikilum

Terrarian
About Me:

I have beat the entire game as a Summoner on Master Mode, For the Worthy. Twice. 'Cause I can. However, after I played Mage, I got a little jealous on how good the Mage class is, in that it takes half the time to beat Wall of Flesh. These changes aim to bring Summoner up to par.

Currently, Imp/Twins are pretty much unusable in the boss-fights where it counts (WoF for Imp, everything for Twins). I suggest buffing their AIs in order to make them properly viable and on par with other classes.

Imp

The Imp will have the player's velocity added to it, such that whatever velocity the Imp has is now relative to the players. When returning, the Imp will constantly check if it can shoot at an enemy. If it can, it will switch to attacking mode.

Reasoning

The Imp is pretty much worthless during the Wall of Flesh fight, as it is permanently retreating. This aims to give the Imp the ability to actually attack the wall, by allowing player movements to also move the Imp around to a place where the Imp is closer to the Wall.

Spider

When the Spider latches on an enemy, it will no longer lose its latch. It will now teleport to the target it latches on until the target dies, or the Summoner switches target.

Reasoning

The main problem with the Spider staff is that you are better off just farming for the Blade staff. There's really no point going through the pain of re-summoning Spiders on enemies when something you can somewhat AFK farm literally deals more damage anyway.

Allowing the Spider to permanently latch onto enemies increases the viability of the Spider as a focus-fire minion, and, more importantly, allow the summoner to move further away from enemies during the time when Summoner is at its near-weakest (pre-Twins, second only to pre-Leather Whip).

This will also allow Summoner to actually farm Wyvern and the likes and remove a major grindy part about Summoner - the Blade Staff grind.

Twins

Twins can now attack and move through, but not target through walls. Twins have their target's velocity added to them, and would hence move in tandem to their target. Twins will also take 1 second to return to the player.

Reasoning

Right now, Blade Staff is simply superior to Twins Staff in every way possible. It latches, it deals more damage, and it's faster. This change to the Twins staff will accomplish multiple things:

1). Make it mimic the real Twins more

2). Allow it to deal with Skeletron Prime better, as it is no longer hampered by the fast-moving nature of the boss

3). Increase the viability of re-fighting Twins with the Twins staff
 

Scratch Lunin

Eater of Worlds
Yes. These minions are terrible as of now, and have been for a long time. Some revamping of their AIs is practically mandatory.
 
About Me:
I have beat the entire game as a Summoner on Master Mode, For the Worthy. Twice. 'Cause I can. However, after I played Mage, I got a little jealous on how good the Mage class is, in that it takes half the time to beat Wall of Flesh. These changes aim to bring Summoner up to par. Currently, Imp/Twins are pretty much unusable in the boss-fights where it counts (WoF for Imp, everything for Twins). I suggest buffing their AIs in order to make them properly viable and on par with other classes.
This is an interesting take! As a person who beat both Master Mode & ForTheWorthy (you, not me), I did have a few questions for you. 🤔🥤 I found Master Mode pretty challenging myself, but I did also play to the Summoner's strengths, coming into the game as organically as I possibly could. I did as much Fishing as I could tolerate & I did the Cooking, Ingredient Farming, Enemy Farming, etc. Summoner is allowed to skip quite a few steps that other Classes cannot IMHO, so I'm curious as to what ate up the most time for you.

Before I get into any of that, I do have some thoughts on what you've shared so far...

Imp
The Imp will have the player's velocity added to it, such that whatever velocity the Imp has is now relative to the players. When returning, the Imp will constantly check if it can shoot at an enemy. If it can, it will switch to attacking mode.

Reasoning
The Imp is pretty much worthless during the Wall of Flesh fight, as it is permanently retreating. This aims to give the Imp the ability to actually attack the wall, by allowing player movements to also move the Imp around to a place where the Imp is closer to the Wall.
During the WoF fight, I was using the Hornet Staff & Vampire Frog Staff. I couldn't figure out how to properly mine Hellstone in 1.4.0, so I came back later to explore the Underworld & farm WoF in Hardmode. The following fights, I didn't see an Issue with the Imp Minions at all, their range seemed pretty good, I was using Bee Armor & a Star Cannon if that changes things in some way. I'm also not sure if the combination of Minion A.I. is supposed to be exploited in Master Mode fights, but I did notice that a mixture of Minions did often lend to an almost constant attack. If the Imps weren't being aggressive, the Vampire Frog was & vice-versa.

Spider
When the Spider latches on an enemy, it will no longer lose its latch. It will now teleport to the target it latches on until the target dies, or the Summoner switches target.

Reasoning
The main problem with the Spider staff is that you are better off just farming for the Blade staff. There's really no point going through the pain of re-summoning Spiders on enemies when something you can somewhat AFK farm literally deals more damage anyway.
This is just wrong & I'm sorry I have to say it, but the Spider Minions are invaluable, especially for the stage you get them. I can only speak so strongly to them, because I actually needed them to survive once Hardmode started ramping up & my current loadout wasn't cutting it anymore. Though I do agree that Blade Staff is a direct upgrade to Spider Staff, I would never see a reasonable way of dealing with the Underground Hollow & it's enemies with pre-Hardmode gear. In addition, the Spider Gear is an entire package deal, with a Sentry included, I really feel like this critique is a reach. 🤔🥤

Side Note: Queen Spider Staff gives Summoner access to Insane Knockback in addition to more, free DPS.

Allowing the Spider to permanently latch onto enemies increases the viability of the Spider as a focus-fire minion, and, more importantly, allow the summoner to move further away from enemies during the time when Summoner is at its near-weakest (pre-Twins, second only to pre-Leather Whip).

This will also allow Summoner to actually farm Wyvern and the likes and remove a major grindy part about Summoner - the Blade Staff grind.
I feel like you're skipping steps here, because grinding for Blade Staff isn't an issue if you've been doing your Fishing & Ingredient Farming. Battle Potions are pretty easy to craft & by this time, the Dungeon should've been thoroughly explored, which means you have Water Candles. Additionally, as a Summoner, you've been able to skip a LOT of mining for ores, so there is a certain point in the game you're gonna have to grind too, which I don't see an issue with. Increasing enemy spawn will likely net you a Hallowed Mimic as well.

Also, in addition to this, you're collecting Souls of Light, among other useful goodies. If the next logical step is to fight a Wyvern, you should be more-than-equipped at this point, I'm not sure where the hole in progression is at this stage... 🤔🥤

Twins
Twins can now attack and move through, but not target through walls. Twins have their target's velocity added to them, and would hence move in tandem to their target. Twins will also take 1 second to return to the player.

Reasoning
Right now, Blade Staff is simply superior to Twins Staff in every way possible. It latches, it deals more damage, and it's faster. This change to the Twins staff will accomplish multiple things:
1). Make it mimic the real Twins more
2). Allow it to deal with Skeletron Prime better, as it is no longer hampered by the fast-moving nature of the boss
3). Increase the viability of re-fighting Twins with the Twins staff
This I have to totally disagree with, Blade Staff Minions are possibly slightly better than Twins in some cases, but when taken into full consideration, are about equal in power & should probably be used together in concert. Now I don't disagree that their progression paths might not match up entirely, but there are some Boss fights that Twins are still useful in, where Blade Staff is mostly useful at all stages of the game, until you obtain Celestial Orbs or Stardust Dragon (although I do still feel that Blade Staff is useful in concert with UFO Minions as well).

20200628211545_1b.jpg


Here I wanted to showcase the vast difference in Minion range & A.I. between the Blade Minions & the Twins; it's quite a bit of divergence in utility.
 

Vikilum

Terrarian
You feel that way because you aren't a pure summoner. Summons don't show their primary drawbacks (returning time) until you are pretty much forced to rely on them solely, without things like Star Cannon to shore them up.

If you move one pixel too far, you can enjoy having useless Twins until you re-summon them. Or Imps.

Spiders are invaluable...versus non-bosses. A.k.a pretty much making the non-Blade Staff summoner trash.
I feel like you're skipping steps here, because grinding for Blade Staff isn't an issue if you've been doing your Fishing & Ingredient Farming.
The thing is that you have to go for Blade Staff. Summoner is already weapon-starved, and two of its weapons are pretty much outclassed by Blade Staff. You are going to use Blade Staff all the damn time. Vs. Twins, Vs. Skeletron Prime, Vs. Plantera, even summoning one vs. Destroyer for probes.
 

Spookigman Δ

Retinazer
skanippety
Well, a lot of the things you say there are wrong...
I do agree that spiders are pretty strong, but the problem is, as the above poster said, they are useless for bossing.
I think the only necessary Spider change is to make them less stupid and to give them the ability to fly at enemies in the air.
Imps, are, well... terrible. The range is good, yes, but the DPS is just abysmal.
The Twins are possibly even more terrible, and outclassed by the Sanguine and Blade Staves in every way.
 
You feel that way because you aren't a pure summoner. Summons don't show their primary drawbacks (returning time) until you are pretty much forced to rely on them solely, without things like Star Cannon to shore them up. If you move one pixel too far, you can enjoy having useless Twins until you re-summon them. Or Imps.
Well, I did admit that I was playing 1.4.0 organically. I wanted to see what the game intended to show me, not what I wanted the game to be. Relying strictly on Minions never felt organic to me & using Whips only felt appropriate in close quarters; in addition to feeling like Boss health erasers, when experimenting in an optimal scenario. Keep in mind, this is me expressing my Master Mode experience to you, where a single mistake would end in death. If a strategy wasn't working, I adjusted it, which may explain why I never encountered what your describing, I guess. 🤔 🥤

Spiders are invaluable...versus non-bosses. A.k.a pretty much making the non-Blade Staff summoner trash.
Again, playing organically, I never saw the Spider Minions as a direct upgrade to the Imps, so I was using both sets of Minions in concert. Up close the Spiders would wreck havoc, but the Imps would ensure that I kept inflicting reasonable DPS at range. The first Mech Boss I killed was Twins, to replace Imps with Twin Staff. As i said earlier, the Blade Staff Minions, in my opinion, are a direct upgrade to Spiders, so of course, Twins & Spiders work well in concert. Playing on these difficulties really made me think about the game differently, so if I ever felt an obvious weakness, I addressed it when possible.

If Minion A.I. was one of your biggest gripes, why didn't you address it in real time? Spiders are always useful up close, I feel as if every Summoner knows this, but if their A.I. was an issue, why weren't you using Imps to compensate for this, or even Queen Spider Staff? Something here feels off to me... 🤔🥤

The thing is that you have to go for Blade Staff. Summoner is already weapon-starved, and two of its weapons are pretty much outclassed by Blade Staff. You are going to use Blade Staff all the damn time. Vs. Twins, Vs. Skeletron Prime, Vs. Plantera, even summoning one vs. Destroyer for probes.
No, you don't actually. A combination of Spiders & Imps was all I needed to obtain Twin Minions, to replace Imps. In addition, killing the first Mech Boss gives access to a new Sentry from Barkeep NPC. 🤷‍♂️🥤
 
Well, a lot of the things you say there are wrong...
🤔🥤

I do agree that spiders are pretty strong, but the problem is, as the above poster said, they are useless for bossing.
I think the only necessary Spider change is to make them less stupid and to give them the ability to fly at enemies in the air.
All you need is the proper Boss arena. You get to learn about the strength of Spider Minions by using them in caves & you'll notice that they climb walls, both the Enemies you get them from & the Minions you Summon. If you have walls in your Boss Arena, the Spiders have no issue flying around, they're actually much faster. I'm not sure where I'm wrong here. 🤔🥤

Imps, are, well... terrible. The range is good, yes, but the DPS is just abysmal.
The Twins are possibly even more terrible, and outclassed by the Sanguine and Blade Staves in every way.
If the goal is to ensue that your Minions are always doing DPS, this is provably false. As you can see below, the Blade Minions don't outclass the Twins in any way, the range of the Twin Minions is nearly off-screen in reach, the Blades don't even come close. A mixture of the two ensure that a Summoner is covering all ranges, as you can also see below. Sanguine Staff is in a class of it's own & I won't debate my stance on it, but I do genuinely feel that the power of the Spider Minions is being severely underrated here.

20200628211545_1b.jpg
 

SaltyDog

Retinazer
The spider minion already stays latched onto enemies and is good at the point you get it. Now I never used the other two you named but in my opinion the minion that really does need to be buffed is the hornet summon.
 

Hauntling Ω

Plantera
These really wouldn’t harm balance at all. It mostly just feels like fixes to me that improves consistency, not necessarily dps, and therefore it would be a good thing for summoner in general, both pure and impure. Rather than plan around your minion’s limitations, it would allow you to plan around their strengths instead of dividing your focus. I support this suggestion.
 

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
I agree that the imp and optic staff need buffs, but not the spider staff.

The spider staff is very easy to get and getting it is one of the first things I do in hardmode. It may not be able to keep up too well in the twins fight but its extremely useful in just about every other situation. I don't think every weapon needs to be good at everything.

As for dealing with the twins I think the sanguine staff does that job pretty well, I just wish the drop rate on it was higher say 50-100% drop chance, since fishing for dreadnautelues is such a pain.
I haven't used the blade staff yet since I can't be bothered to farm for super rare items. I think it should be moved to the hallowed mimic's drops. I don't mind it if some items are rare but in the case of minions there just aren't enough of them, I'm stuck using the spider staff for 80% of hardmode on most playthroughs.
 
If it was left up to most Terrarians, each set of Minions would be a group of zero-targeting Stinger Missiles. 😒🥤 I can already assume the most sought-after, top three Minions.
  • Blade Staff Minions
  • Sanguine Staff Minions
  • Xeno Staff/ UFO Minions
  • Terraprisma Minions
As cool & effective as these Minions may be, they lack any real character or identity. It could even be argued that they have similar functions. "I don't think every weapon needs to be good at everything." -qwerty3.14

Let's look at some Minions that have a ton of character though...
  • Finch Staff Minion
  • Vampire Frog Minion
  • Hornet Staff Minions
  • Twin Staff Minions
  • Spider Staff Minions
  • Desert Tiger Staff Minion
The reason these top three Minions stand out, is because those listed above allow them to be unique, even though they are extremely bland Minions. I personally don't want every Minion to be obnoxiously good as Blades or Sanguine Bats. It makes sense that they're tougher to obtain, now that I think about it. Part of what makes something interesting is working around its limitations, but its as if every suggestion for Summoner is an attempt to make it more & more generic. No thanks... 😒🥤
 

qwerty3.14

Terrarian
Let's look at some Minions that have a ton of character though...
  • Finch Staff Minion
  • Vampire Frog Minion
  • Hornet Staff Minions
  • Twin Staff Minions
  • Spider Staff Minions
  • Desert Tiger Staff Minion
The hornet staff is just plain too weak, it barely breaks 10dps, and when you consider that ranged/magic weapons at this point can do 150+dps at base it's hard to argue using bee armor for the +2 hornets instead of just using a ranged/magic armor. I don't really have issues with its AI since pre hardmode is pretty slow paced but I feel it needs to do twice as much damage as it currently does.

The issue I have with the twin staff is that the spider staff outperforms it in 90% of situations that you want a crowd control minion. Since most crowds are grounded the ability to fly doesn't do much for it.

The desert tiger looks cool and it is a fun minion but it doesn't have any strengths to justify its weaknesses, its restricted to the ground and its damage output isn't any better than the raven staff. I think it should get a sizeable damage buff so it can mow down grounded enemies to make up for its almost nonexistent anti air abilities.
 
The hornet staff is just plain too weak, it barely breaks 10dps, and when you consider that ranged/magic weapons at this point can do 150+dps at base it's hard to argue using bee armor for the +2 hornets instead of just using a ranged/magic armor. I don't really have issues with its AI since pre hardmode is pretty slow paced but I feel it needs to do twice as much damage as it currently does.
I've never been in a position where I've ever felt Summoner was lacking, which is why posts like this always seem to confuse me. 🤔🥤 I guess there's something I'm missing, as I consider Summoner an entire kit, Table included, Potion included, whatever weapon I'm using included. I never look at Minions in a vacuum, because using them that way never felt beneficial, 'less I'm building something or fishing for something. 8pts, 9pts, whatever points of free damage is free damage. 🤷‍♂️🥤 Hornets, for when you get them, always felt appropriately powerful, even in 1.4.0.

The issue I have with the twin staff is that the spider staff outperforms it in 90% of situations that you want a crowd control minion. Since most crowds are grounded the ability to fly doesn't do much for it.
I find it difficult to compare Minions with different, overall functions, as I'd rather get the benefit of both, but I can't say I agree or disagree. The Twins are great Minions though, IMHO. I'm not sure what happened to make them stop being good from 1.3.5 to 1.4.0, aside from the obvious DPS tug-a-war of the past. I will admit however that I do have starter Minions in my kit (Minions who lead the charge), Spiders being the first & Blades being the second, many others are stand-alone, & then finally Stardust Cells.

The desert tiger looks cool and it is a fun minion but it doesn't have any strengths to justify its weaknesses, its restricted to the ground and its damage output isn't any better than the raven staff. I think it should get a sizeable damage buff so it can mow down grounded enemies to make up for its almost nonexistent anti air abilities.
I can't say I disagree with you on this, but the critique on Minions seem to be too all-over-the-place to know which are exaggerations, & which are actual problems that need to be addressed. There's no way I could ever see a person critiquing 1.4.0 Spider Minions as if they need a buff, seriously!? You think they need to be stronger, really!? 😑🥤
 

Vikilum

Terrarian
The spider minion already stays latched onto enemies and is good at the point you get it.
It needs to latch better.
but in my opinion the minion that really does need to be buffed is the hornet summon.
The problem with the Hornet minion has nothing to do with the minion itself, but the fact that it's locked behind Queen Bee, where you would already need Imp Staff to kill.
 

Vikilum

Terrarian
If Minion A.I. was one of your biggest gripes, why didn't you address it in real time? Spiders are always useful up close, I feel as if every Summoner knows this, but if their A.I. was an issue, why weren't you using Imps to compensate for this, or even Queen Spider Staff? Something here feels off to me... 🤔🥤
Imp AI are even worse than Spider AI for hardmode bossing.

Queen Spider, being a ground sentry, is just atrocious.

Well, I did admit that I was playing 1.4.0 organically.
Nobody plays one class only organically anyway. The "organic" way to play was always using the most broken thing for every encounter.

Imps would ensure that I kept inflicting reasonable DPS at range.
If you actually relied on them you will realize that their DPS is anything but reasonable.

A combination of Spiders & Imps was all I needed to obtain Twin Minions, to replace Imps.
More like replacing your Star Cannon with Super Star Shooter
You get to learn about the strength of Spider Minions by using them in caves & you'll notice that they climb walls
and if you actually relied on them you would realize that they crawl at a snail's pace.

the Blades don't even come close
Git gud.

But at the very least you can keep the boss at the edge of the screen rather than keeping your slower minions at the edge of the screen.

Let's look at some Minions that have a ton of character though...
Pirate is the only staff whose raw damage outweighs the drawbacks of its "character"...yet you failed to mention them.

Vampire Frog is also obnoxiously good at permastunning imps.

I've never been in a position where I've ever felt Summoner was lacking, which is why posts like this always seem to confuse me.
Stop using Star Cannon and you will start to find them lacking.

I guess there's something I'm missing, as I consider Summoner an entire kit, Table included, Potion included, whatever weapon I'm using included.
Whatever weapon you are using is NOT part of the Summoner kit. It's Melee or Ranged or Magic or whatever it is.
 

Bame Jouvier

Terrarian
I'm not sure what happened to make them stop being good from 1.3.5 to 1.4.0, aside from the obvious DPS tug-a-war of the past.
Back in 1.3 people were also disappointed with Optic Staff. No one has any issue with their DPS, it's the lack of LocalImmunity, their slow speed (which means they spend more time chasing fast bosses rather than attacking them) and the fact that they usually get stuck behind blocks while underground.
 
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qwerty3.14

Terrarian
I've never been in a position where I've ever felt Summoner was lacking, which is why posts like this always seem to confuse me. 🤔🥤 I guess there's something I'm missing, as I consider Summoner an entire kit, Table included, Potion included, whatever weapon I'm using included. I never look at Minions in a vacuum, because using them that way never felt beneficial, 'less I'm building something or fishing for something. 8pts, 9pts, whatever points of free damage is free damage. 🤷‍♂️🥤 Hornets, for when you get them, always felt appropriately powerful, even in 1.4.0.
Let's look at your WoF example, you used a star cannon along side some hornets.

star cannon has a base dps of 255, the hornet staff has a base dps of 9.

Let's say you have 2 options either use bee armor for more hornets, or use necro armor to buff the star cannon.

Without armor you have a total single target dps of 255 + (3 minions)*9 = 282dps

With bee armor you have a total single target dps of 255 + (5 minions)*12 = 315 dps

With necro armor you have a total single target dps of 255*(1.15)+ (3 minions)*9 = 320 dps

And this is with a ranged weapon that can't crit! if you were to use a slightly weaker ranged weapon the difference would be bigger since it would benifit from necro armor's critical bonus. You also have to factor the other advanteges to the necro build like how most of its dps can pierce or that it isn't hindered by enemy defense as much.

What I'm saying is that the hornet staff should do more damage so that it would actually be worth investing into summoner gear pre hardmode. Compare this to early hardmode minions which are easily 4-6x better just in terms of raw dps. Early hardmode weapons are usaully 1-3x stronger than thier late prehardmode counterparts.
 
Imp AI are even worse than Spider AI for hardmode bossing.
I mean, I don't completely disagree with you, but if you're trying to insinuate that Imp Minions aren't effective against the Twins, who tend to stay in place during certain phases of the battle; you're reaching. Actually, when fighting this Boss, I believe I was still using a Blowdart Gun w/ Cursed Darts as a Main Weapon. 🤔🥤

Queen Spider, being a ground sentry, is just atrocious.
What boggles my mind, every time I see posts like this, is that I know a majority of you are very smart. It's obvious that just because something is intended to work a certain way, especially in Terraria, that you can't adjust or create workarounds. All you'd need is a high-placed platform & the range of Queen Spider is increased tremendously. There's no way you don't know this! I refuse to accept that you don't experiment with Summoner Class...

Nobody plays one class only organically anyway. The "organic" way to play was always using the most broken thing for every encounter.
No, that's called Metagaming. You can't use the most broken thing if you don't know it exists, or you aren't able to sequence break because a hurdle is beyond your current skill-level. For example, most players who want to grind Summoner Class into utter mediocrity, want easier access to Sanguine Staff, but Bloodnautilus is in the way. I personally enjoy hearing the groans & complaints, because I finally got to see how people have been exploiting Duke Fishron for his gear all these years.

It doesn't make sense to create the same problem again, after you've fixed it in 1.4.0, but who doesn't want their Nikita Missiles if they're easy to get, right? Also I'd like to point out that Master Mode was created to be conquered, not to cater to a small group of players who set certain restrictions for themselves. If enemies can kill you in 1-2 hits & you aren't Metagaming, that's on you. When I made it clear that I was playing organically, I was doing what I felt made sense & because I have no real complaints about Summoners progress, I have a feeling I'm probably right on this one. 🤷‍♂️🥤

If you actually relied on them you will realize that their DPS is anything but reasonable.
I did rely on them, which is why I'm telling you with confidence that Spider Minions are fine as-is! They've saved my backside more times than I can count on one hand! If you can sit here & tell me that Spider Minions need a buff, you're doing something severely wrong! I'm far from a pro-player, but I'm competent enough to know that even if I consider Blade Staff to be superior in many ways, Spider Minions still rival it in some instances, that alone say a LOT!

More like replacing your Star Cannon with Super Star Shooter
Never used Star Shooter actually, couldn't figure out how to craft one. Actually, the main weapons that got the most mileage out of me as a Summoner were likely Blowdart Gun, Dart Rifle, Cool Whip, Nail Gun & Heat Ray. 😏🤷‍♂️🥤

and if you actually relied on them you would realize that they crawl at a snail's pace.
I did, but I also had two Imp Minions summoned for back-up, which means I never expected them to be top-flight, Russian homing missiles. I don't enjoy playing a game where I can turn my brain off & win, letting the A.I. do everything for me, just like the top three Minions I'm sure everyone loves so dearly.

I'm pretty decent at Terraria, but I've never considered myself within the Top 3% in any of the games I've ever played that had a community behind it. However, I have been able to compete with that small group on occasion, because I focus on synergy & making a strong build, less on what is considered the "best". That's neither here nor there, but you said "Git Gud" & I'm replying with... "yeah, I think I do ok actually". 😏🤷‍♂️🥤

But at the very least you can keep the boss at the edge of the screen rather than keeping your slower minions at the edge of the screen.
I'm pretty good at leashing my Minions, but I have no idea how to keep Minions at the edge of anything. I tend to assume their A.I. will continue to be consistent & work around it, only breaking form if necessary. I'm sure I don't have to state the obvious on how to go about doing that, since we all play Summoner Class here.

Pirate is the only staff whose raw damage outweighs the drawbacks of its "character"...yet you failed to mention them.
I don't know everything about everything... so??

Vampire Frog is also obnoxiously good at permastunning imps.
Vampire Frog is just good altogether, so I always took the position of, why not just have Vampire Frog? Have you had a Vampire Frog Minion, plus 2-3 Hornet Minions summoned? What I'm saying is, it's possible to do this, so if A.I. is an issue... fix it yourself maybe!?

Stop using Star Cannon and you will start to find them lacking.
a.) I did, at a certain point it stops being effective, b.) even with newer gear, I have no idea why you wanna buff Spider Minions... 😑🤷‍♂️🥤

Whatever weapon you are using is NOT part of the Summoner kit. It's Melee or Ranged or Magic or whatever it is.
I actually used Cool Whip as utility, all the way until Hardmode Dungeon. In fact, it's the main weapon I used to cheese Flying Dutchman. 😏🤷‍♂️🥤
 
What I'm saying is that the hornet staff should do more damage so that it would actually be worth investing into summoner gear pre hardmode. Compare this to early hardmode minions which are easily 4-6x better just in terms of raw dps. Early hardmode weapons are usaully 1-3x stronger than thier late prehardmode counterparts.
I mean, I always respect the numbers, but considering just how easy Hornet Minions are to get, not locked behind anything but a readily available, summoned Boss; I really feel like buffing them is a reach. 🤔🥤 I'm not saying you're entirely wrong, but on the other side of this, what obstacles in early-Hardmode really call for it? There's no Boss or enemy I can think of that calls for a major buff to Hornets, even in Master Mode. 🤷‍♂️🥤

In addition, the Bee equipment is getting a buff, to include the added bonus of pre-Hardmode Pygmy Necklace. It really feels like this kinda stuff is being analyzed in a vacuum, when it shouldn't be. Just think about how powerful the Bee equipment is... really, Ranger stuff aside (let's also consider that 1.4.1 is buffing them). Summoner is just fine now, but will also get to use Stinger Necklace, Beenades, Honey Comb (+ healing buff), Hive Pack & Bee Gun! What more can you ask for, that's crazy!?

I'm sure I also don't need to add just how quickly Hornets are replaced with the notorious Spider equipment, just as soon as Hardmode starts.
 
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