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[Sprites] Hidden Hearts: Rethinking health progression

Snickerbobble

The Painter
Throughout Terraria, you usually upgrade most of your health early on, up to 400 HP in pre-hardmode, and an extra 100 in the late game. With life crystals available at the very start, a player can upgrade up to 400 HP before they even fight the Eye of Cthulhu. The game was originally designed with (pre-nerf) Skeletron as the final boss, which was about the time the player was expected to have 300 or more HP. With the final 100 HP locked away until the end of the game, the progression feels tacked onto the end, because it is. My plan here is to spread out the health upgrades across the whole game, to avoid sequence breaks in pre-hardmode, and to give the sense of upgrading continuously throughout most of the game.

Life: 100/100

First off, new characters would spawn with 10 hearts, however each heart would be worth 10 HP rather than 20. The player would still start off with 100 HP total.



Life Crystals
Through mining, the player can increase their maximum HP by 10, up to 200 HP. Trying to consume a Life Crystal at 200 HP will only make the clinking sound.


Life: 200/200


So, now what? The player's got 20 hearts but only half the health! Our brave adventurer would soon come across the Underworld and discover..



Blazing Hearts
"Burning with passion.."
These demonic hearts require a Nightmare/Deathbringer Pickaxe or better to mine. This means the highest health the player can have against the Eater of Worlds or Brain of Cthulhu is 200 HP. With these spooky hearts scattered around the underworld, it encourages exploration through hell, as right now, all the player really needs to do is mine hellstone safely from within hell towers for a molten pickaxe, fight Wall of Flesh, and move on. Due to multiplayer issues, as well as old worlds without Blazing Hearts, these will also be craftable with 1 Life Crystal and 8 Hellstone Bars.

Life: 300/300


With all hearts blazing, each heart is now worth 15 HP. The highest health available to fight the Wall of Flesh would be 300. Could be difficult, but keep in mind we've been getting more and more buff potions, stronger weapons, and gear, since 1.1. Looks like our adventurer defeated the Wall with only 300 HP! Now what?

"The ancient spirits of light and dark have been released."

Time to check out the Hallow!



Dazzling Hearts
"Breaking good"
Blue, crystalline hearts can be found in the Underground Hallow, giving this easily skippable biome another reason to visit. They grow similarly to Life Fruits. These require an Adamantite/Titanium Pickaxe to mine, finally giving those tools a purpose. Upon each one used will give the player 5 additional HP, up to a maximum of 400 HP, surely enough to face the mechs. As mechs now spawn on their own, with Dazzling Hearts, there would now be a pre-mech flag, where mechs will not spawn naturally until a player has 400 max HP, similar to how the Eye of Cthulhu won't spawn until the player has 200 HP (which is a little too late I think, 150 sounds more like it?)


Life: 400/400


All hearts are now a shimmering crystalline blue, now worth 20 HP each. The brave warrior takes down all 4 mechs like a boss! Time to head on over and become king of the jungle.


Sweet Hearts
"Hard as a rock!"
Pink candy hearts are located within the underground Confection, and grow just like their Dazzling counterparts. They function nearly the same.

Life: 400/400


With all hearts encased in rock candy, it's time to take down rock 'n rollin' Plantera! ..after the mechs, that is.


Okay, I think you know how this part goes. The player collects Life Fruit to increase HP by 5 again, up to 500 max HP.

Life: 500/500


With max health reached, the player continues on and finishes the last few challenges left within the world. Good job player, thanks for playing!


Wait..

That's it?


NOPE! With new hearts, there would be some new items to craft as well!



Heart Lantern
This thing slightly increases regeneration and is made from a Life Crystal and 4 Chains. It is hung from the ceiling.


Blazing Brazier (Oops, dark background, click here to view it better)
When placed on the ground, all nearby players gain a 15% increase in movement speed, perfect for the Wall of Flesh battle. When players run within its area of effect, a fire trail blazes behind them as they run. Made from a Blazing Heart and 4 Iron/Lead Bars.


Dazzling Mirror
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall.."
Hang this thing up on a wall and it will increase all attacks by 8%, as long as you're within the mirror's area. As the mech battles are timed, this will help those struggling to finish before dawn. Take that, Skeletron Prime! The mirror is crafted with a Dazzling Heart and 20 Pearlstone.


Box of Candies
"Eat me."
This delicious box of goodies are placed on tables and platforms. The dangerously sweet taste causes your blood sugar to rush, granting you an extra 5% critical strike chance. These confectionery dishes are crafted with a Sweet Heart and 20 wood.


Tree of Life
The little tree sways joyfully with 3 bouncing heart fruits within it. You can't help but feel inspired by this happy plant. You reach into your potion bag and take a swig, to realize you feel more revitalized than ever. Potions consumed around the Tree of Life heal by 15% extra, as well as an extra 5 defense of protection. The tree is crafted with 3 Life Fruits, 5 Chlorophyte Bars, and 10 Rich Mahogany. It must be planted within a pot to function.

That's about it! I'll leave you with a little animation of health upgrades, a Hallow version and Confection version:




These changes will help prevent sequence breaking (a new player might find themself with too much health, decreasing challenge and fun in the early game), spread health upgrades across the game for a more accomplishing feeling, and give us fun new items to use as decorations or minor buffs. Buffs and stats are up to change. What do you think?

Special Thanks to @AntithesisEK for the Blazing Heart idea. 200 HP against WoF and into Hardmode would've been rough without that extra 100 HP! Also, for that cute Tree of Life!
 
Last edited:

ZemmySix

Retinazer
Throughout Terraria, you usually upgrade most of your health early on, up to 400 HP in pre-hardmode, and an extra 100 in the late game. With life crystals available at the very start, a player can upgrade up to 400 HP before they even fight the Eye of Cthulhu. The game was originally designed with (pre-nerf) Skeletron as the final boss, which was about the time the player was expected to have 300 or more HP. With the final 100 HP locked away until the end of the game, the progression feels tacked onto the end, because it is. My plan here is to spread out the health upgrades across the whole game, to avoid sequence breaks in pre-hardmode, and to give the sense of upgrading continuously throughout most of the game.

Life: 100/100

First off, new characters will spawn with 10 hearts, however each heart is now worth 10 HP rather than 20. The player would still start off with 100 HP total.



Life Crystals
Through mining, the player can increase their maximum HP by 10, up to 200 HP. Trying to consume a Life Crystal at 200 HP will only make the clinking sound.


Life: 200/200


So, now what? The player's got 20 hearts but only half the health! Our brave adventurer would soon come across the Underworld and discover..



Blazing Hearts
"Burning with passion.."
These demonic hearts require a Nightmare/Deathbringer Pickaxe or better to mine. This means the highest health the player can now have against the Eater of Worlds or Brain of Cthulhu is 200 HP. With these spooky hearts scattered around the underworld, it encourages exploration through hell, as right now, all the player really needs to do is mine hellstone safely from within hell towers for a molten pickaxe, fight Wall of Flesh, and move on. Due to multiplayer issues, as well as old worlds without Blazing Hearts, these will also be craftable with 1 Life Crystal and 8 Hellstone Bars.

Life: 300/300


With all hearts blazing, each heart is now worth 15 HP. The highest health available to fight the Wall of Flesh now is 300. Could be difficult, but keep in mind we've been getting more and more buff potions, stronger weapons, and gear, since 1.1. Looks like our adventurer defeated the Wall with only 300 HP! Now what?

"The ancient spirits of light and dark have been released."

Time to check out the Hallow!



Dazzling Hearts
"Breaking these must be Bad?"
Blue, crystalline hearts can be found in the Underground Hallow, giving this easily skippable biome another reason to visit. They grow similarly to Life Fruits. These require an Adamantite/Titanium Pickaxe to mine, finally giving those tools a purpose. Upon each one used will give the player 5 additional HP, up to a maximum of 400 HP now, surely enough to face the mechs. As mechs now spawn on their own, with Dazzling Hearts, there would now be a pre-mech flag, where mechs will not spawn naturally until a player has 400 max HP, similar to how the Eye of Cthulhu won't spawn until the player has 200 HP (which is a little too late I think, 150 sounds more like it?)


Life: 400/400


All hearts are now a shimmering crystalline blue, now worth 20 HP each. The brave warrior takes down all 4 mechs like a boss! Time to head on over and become king of the jungle.


Sweet Hearts
"Hard as a rock!"
Pink candy hearts are located within the underground Confection, and grow just like their Dazzling counterparts. They function nearly the same.

Life: 400/400


With all hearts encased in rock candy, it's time to take down rock 'n rollin' Plantera! ..after the mechs, that is.


Okay, I think you know how this part goes. The player collects Life Fruit to increase HP by 5 again, up to 500 max HP.

Life: 500/500


With max health reached, the player continues on and finishes the last few challenges left within the world. Good job player, thanks for playing!


Wait..

That's it?


NOPE! With new hearts, we get to craft some new items as well!



Heart Lantern
This thing slightly increases regeneration and is made from a Life Crystal and 4 Chains. It is hung from the ceiling.


Blazing Brazier (Oops, dark background, click here to view it better)
When placed on the ground, all nearby players gain a 15% increase in movement speed, perfect for the Wall of Flesh battle. When players run within its area of effect, a fire trail blazes behind them as they run. Made from a Blazing Heart and 4 Iron/Lead Bars.


Dazzling Mirror
"Mirror, mirror, on the wall.."
Hang this thing up on a wall and it will increase all attacks by 8%, as long as you're within the mirror's area. As the mech battles are timed, this will help those struggling to finish before dawn. Take that, Skeletron Prime! The mirror is crafted with a Dazzling Heart and 20 Pearlstone.


Box of Candies
"Eat me."
This delicious box of goodies are placed on tables and platforms. The dangerously sweet taste causes your blood sugar to rush, granting you an extra 5% critical strike chance. These confectionery dishes are crafted with a Sweet Heart and 20 wood.


Tree of Life
The little tree sways joyfully with 3 bouncing heart fruits within it. You can't help but feel inspired by this happy plant. You reach into your potion bag and take a swig, to realize you feel more revitalized than ever. Potions consumed around the Tree of Life heal by 15% extra, as well as an extra 5 defense of protection. The tree is crafted with 3 Life Fruits, 5 Chlorophyte Bars, and 10 Rich Mahogany. It must be planted within a pot to function.

That's about it! I'll leave you with a little animation of health upgrades, a Hallow version and Confection version:




These changes will help prevent sequence breaking (a new player might find themself with too much health, decreasing challenge and fun in the early game), spread health upgrades across the game for a more accomplishing feeling, and give us fun new items to use as decorations or minor buffs. Buffs and stats are up to change. What do you think?

Special Thanks to @AntithesisEK for the Blazing Heart idea. 200 HP against WoF and into Hardmode would've been rough without that extra 100 HP!
Heh. "Lover"

Anyway. This is a great idea!
It really would be cool to use different crystals. Support!
 

Enjl

Cultist
I like the idea of having a more strict health progression and you did a good job of providing multiple points in the game at which the player can upgrade their health. 300HP for the Wall of Flesh actually sounds rather amazing as this boss is barely a challenge once you're running at it with 400 HP and numerous buffs and know what you're doing.

Despite all that I think the Underworld progression still seems a bit wacky to me. Finding them lying around, as well as being able to craft them, just seems wrong. I'd go as far as to say that breaking one in the underworld will drop some kind of crafting ingredient [1-3 at a time, to make them more accessible in multiplayer], which can be combined [1 of these ingredients + 8 Hellstone Bars or 1 Heart Crystal] into the Blazing Hearts you can use to power up your health. If there's not enough of these hearts in the underworld, the special crafting ingredient could be a 1% drop from pots in the underworld, similar to how Golden Keys can be found in Dungeon pots.
 

AntithesisEK

Duke Fishron
This definitely feels like a more natural health progression and everything came out so much more adorable than I had imagined. Despite seeming like a fairly serious nerf, with the inclusion of more heart-based support auras, it actually incentivizes further exploration to become even more powerful than currently possible.

I can't tell you how much I want those Trees of Life now. My main base is in an artificial swamp after all. Nice approach to balancing them as well with the Chlorophyte requirement. Algae powered trees!

@Emral, Blazing Fragments sound pretty neat. Although maybe just (15-20) Hellstone Ore since bars require Obsidian. I think finding them whole is a good immediate reward for reaching the Underworld and a good visual cue for their existence. :D But having them craftable seems wise because the Underworld can potentially lack surface area and as you said, there might be multiplayer surplus concerns.
 
I am not too sure of the 2 different textures for the Confections hearts and the Hallows, what if I ended up using both varieties? (Or all 3 if a cyber variant gets added)

Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent suggestion that I welcome.
 

Aurora3500

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
This is an interesting idea. It has certainly opened several minds including mine today. At a glance it looks like upgrading your health has been nerfed while in reality it is just making increasing your health a more natural progression and still contains the same result that is in the endgame. Being restricted to 200 health is a great way to make the EoC and EoW/BoC more challenging. As it is now, it's easy to get up to 400hp and have increased health come to a screeching halt until hardmode begins.

It's also perfect for making the Hallow more valuable, since the main things there are only Souls of Light, Crystal Shards, and a small chance for a Rod of Discord. The Dazzling Hearts would make it very fun to naturally explore the underground Hallow similar to how Life Fruits make the Jungle exciting. And remove the temptation to go to the Jungle in early hardmode just to get life fruits.

It seems a little tricky with the Blazing Heart placement in the Underworld. Being able to craft them does fix the multiplayer issue that would arise. Allowing Blazing Hearts to spawn in the lava level of the Cavern layer along in the Underworld would allow the Blazing Hearts to be more evenly dispersed than just being in the straight Horizontal area of the Underworld. Since they can only be broken with a Nightmare/Deathbringer Pickaxe or higher, players who go to the lava level early wouldn't be able to get them anyway until beating EoW/BoC. And the ground they're on wouldn't be able to be destroyed, similar to how blocks with a chest on top can't. It would also give the player a greater sense seeing normal Heart Crystals changing to Blazing Hearts at lower levels of a "Upper Norfair to Lower Norfair" Sense of progression which is one of the best feelings from Metroid. Which is similar with Terraria's Surface>Underground>Cavern>Lava Cavern>Underworld type of structure.

Naturally the items that can be crafted would be very fun to use for arenas and give players a passive edge without making them overpowered.
 

Dakota Spine

Headless Horseman
I dunno, it seems like a pretty good idea. Part of me feels it to be a bit unneeded, but at the same time it could be interesting. But again, however, it might make the game fairly harder for other players who aren't really experienced with it/not very skilled. I know part of having skill is improving, but we can't leave others behind a wall they can't get past because they aren't good enough, or suitable for the challenge that others are.

I might be making progression with this health system to be more difficult than it really would be, but that's just me.

Regardless, overall, the idea is an interesting one. It makes me wonder how the game would change with these health limits. And the sprites are very nicely done as well. Maybe Blazing Hearts can just be orange hearts, and Dazzling Hearts could just be blue hearts? Having more than color change on the hearts seems kind of strange to me. But once again, that's just my opinion on it. The sprites are still very well done.
 

Ambitions

Skeletron Prime
I really, really like this, and the sprites are just amazing! One thing I think would look nice, though, would be if you changed the Blazing Hearts (the sprites for the hearts on the top right of the screen, not the item sprites, they already look great :) ) to look like they have a red heart inside of them, instead of just a black, heart shaped hole. The red hearts could also have burn scars or something just to make them look different. When you get a Dazzling Heart the outline of the fire on the Blazing Hearts could, instead, be crystals, and there could be bits of crystals over the burn wounds that were made on the red hearts when you acquired the Blazing Hearts. Then, the Life Fruit sprites could be the Life Fruits but with the crystal outlines. Just something I thought might look good, I'm not asking you to make new sprites. :)
 

Fortanono

Retinazer
When I saw this suggestion on my school's iPad that blocks imgur, I thought "you know what would be cool? If the Blazing Hearts were bronze and the Dazzling Hearts were silver." And now I completely regret thinking that cause these sprites are epic.
 
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