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The big problems with the Martian Madness, and a possible solution.

Do you agree that the Martian Madness needs to be changed?

  • Yes

    Votes: 18 62.1%
  • No

    Votes: 4 13.8%
  • Yes, but not like this.

    Votes: 7 24.1%

  • Total voters
    29

Jota Bame

Terrarian
The introduction of the Martian Madness in 1.3 added some of the most fun, unique and efficient weapons in the entire game, and one of the most prevalent examples of powercreep in gaming. In case you haven't noticed, all Post-Plantera weapons are currently stuck in a loop, where even if they are efficient weapons on their own there is no point on even getting them since you can immediately get a much better weapon from a Martian Saucer.

Imagine you are playing as a mage: You've just killed Plantera, and your current goal is to get a Razorblade Typhoon from Fishron to stand a chance against the Pillars. You can spend an hour grinding in the Dungeon for an Inferno Fork and a Magnet Sphere, and then use those two weapons to kill Golem, and then use the accessories crafted from him (Celestial Shell and Destroyer Emblem) to summon a Pumpkin Moon, and finally use the Bat Scepter you got from it to have a fair fight with Duke.

You can also just kill Golem with your Sky Fracture and then cheese a Saucer with a Meteor Staff to get a Laser Machinegun, and then completely destroy Fishron with it.

You can easily tell which one of the two methods takes more effort, and which is more rewarding. This is a huge problem with game progression that all classes suffer from, as there is currently no reason to even bother getting post Plantera weapons as they immediately get replaced by one of the Saucer's drops. In fact, you barely even need the rest of the post Golem weapons (Fishron, Frost Moon and OOA), as the Saucer's drops can easily kill a Pillar and get you a Fragment weapon.

And this is all caused by the Martian Madness being way too easy to farm: It is easy to summon (Standing on a platform in Space at the Ocean spawns a Probe in a minute at most) and killing the Saucer is trivial since none of its attacks can go through blocks. Buffing the Saucer to make it attack through blocks sounds like good solution to this problem, and it is, but it will also make the biggest problem the Martian Madness has worsen: The Saucer is omnipresent during the event,and therefore you can barely enjoy killing the martians since you always have to be focusing on it. Now that it can hit you from everywhere, you can't even afford to ignore it or cheese it. And don't even get me started on how this would affect endgame players that just want to build in peace.

The Martian Madness as it is right now is rarely played as an event, and instead it's just a gateway for powerful weapons that completely powercreep all others you had before. And if you try to not cheese it and fight it in the open... well you better know what you're doing as you'd probably end up getting destroyed by both the Saucer and its minions.

I have a solution to both of these problems, that may fix the event as a whole: Rework the Martian Saucer, making it an actual boss you have to fight at the end of the event.

The idea is simple: Once the progress bar hits 99%, the normal martians will stop spawning and instead a single Martian Saucer will appear, with the bar being stuck at 99% until it is killed. If you died while fighting it, then the Saucer would despawn and the event would simply end right there. This turns it into the boss it is supposed to be, and also calls for some very needed changes to the fight, since it would be way too difficult and unfair as it is right now:
  • The most obvious and most needed first: Its attacks can now go through blocks; or at least the Deathray can. This officially stops the era of cheese and skipping Post Plantera weapons, and in fact gives them another purpose.
  • The Deathray's damage on Phase 2 is reduced from 450 => 350 on Expert Mode. I like the idea of an notoriously dangerous attack that always needs to be avoided, but I disagree with the idea of completely removing all room for mistakes.
  • The Saucer's hitbox on its second phase now covers its entire body. The fact that this boss has the hitbox of a Demon Eye is the thing that makes it so damn annoying to fight.
These changes would make the Saucer a short-lived, albeit challenging boss that will completely destroy an undergeared player, forcing actual preparation before starting the event. It also keeps the "branching path" progression system post Golem has (You would do Fishron, Frost Moon, OOA or Martian Madness in any order), and those skilled players that still want to skip post Plantera can still do so, albeit it will be much more difficult. And you will get the chance of fighting the actual martians now, instead of always taking cover from the Saucer.

However, this rework also creates a small new problem: The Saucer has 9 different drops, and since it would only be fought once per invasion instead of multiple times farming it will be an absolute pain as you'd have to do the whole event again each time you want to try to get the item you want. I believe that the simple solution to this is to make it drop 2 different items per kill and/or reduce the amount of martians needed to reach 99%, so it's not too bad.

So, what do you think? I gotta say that the Martian Madness weapons are some of my favorites in the entire game, but the fact that you can easily get them after killing Golem with minimal gear is a huge problem that can make people skip a part of the game. This change would fix that problem while also making the Martian Madness more fun to deal with.
 
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Derpling Ω

Plantera
I for the most part agree with this suggestion, but I feel like this is meant to be a "secret" event. I mean, if no one had told you or you hadn't looked online, how on earth would you have found this event? Think about it, NOT killing something isn't exactly a terraria theme...
 

Jota Bame

Terrarian
New Players not being able to figure out that X part of progression exists in the game is a separate problem. The Pillars were definitely designed with gear from this event and Fishron in mind, so ignoring this issue in progression because "they are secrets" is flawed reasoning. Not to mention that the Martian Madness isn't exactly a secret because it was greatly teased in the 1.3 spoilers back then, and even then new players are probably used to using the wiki for everything up to this point so they probably found out about the Martian Madness in some way or another.
 

Sora_92

Terrarian
I can kinda agree with several points, indeed, you barely fight martians most of the time, because you have to pay attention to the saucer, and as soon as you kill it, a new one appears. But if the deathray would pass though blocks, it would make it significantly more difficult (even if there would be just one saucer) it would massacre your NPCs too if you're fighting near town (and that's usually where you fight them, isn't it? - there are mods that prevents NPCs getting killed by monsters, but in vanilla, they're very fragile. also, in case you don't have adequate gear, you would stuck, kinda, because if you can't kill the saucer the event won't end, and if you exit, the even will start again from the start. (I think?).

Martian invasions can be very annoying, because (if you not use some mods that can disable certain monsters from spawning) probes are way too common, and if you're fumbling with building something in an area in the outern 1/3 or something of the map where probes might spawn... yeah, no fun when you have to go though the whole thing, sometimes even more times than once while you just wanted to finish a building, but you will spend hours more building it because of the martians...

as for drops though, if there is just one saucer, you could just have it drop something that can be crafted into any of its drops. maybe use that + martian conduit platings that drop in the events anyway. that way, you can craft the item you need. (that would be a nice thing with other bosses too in general, IMO)
 

Lord Garak

Retinazer
Post-plantera progression has always been completely borked, a few choice weapons completely outclass everything else

I for the most part agree with this suggestion, but I feel like this is meant to be a "secret" event. I mean, if no one had told you or you hadn't looked online, how on earth would you have found this event? Think about it, NOT killing something isn't exactly a terraria theme...
Most players will not be able to kill something moving so fast in time, it's a natural event
 

Derpling Ω

Plantera
Most players will not be able to kill something moving so fast in time
It doesn't move fast until it gets close though, and even then it stops for a full second before zooming up. I don't know about you, but when I see something I've never seen before flying towards me in a vaguely menacing fashion I generally shoot it before the familiar harpies and wyverns...
 

Jota Bame

Terrarian
also, in case you don't have adequate gear, you would stuck, kinda, because if you can't kill the saucer the event won't end, and if you exit, the even will start again from the start.
If you failed to kill the Saucer then the event would just end, sorry for not making that clear.

If the deathray would pass though blocks, it would make it significantly more difficult (even if there would be just one saucer) it would massacre your NPCs too if you're fighting near town (and that's usually where you fight them, isn't it? - there are mods that prevents NPCs getting killed by monsters, but in vanilla, they're very fragile.
I legit think NPC's have some sort of damage reduction because i have seen them get hit by the Death Ray but they didn't immediately die unlike the player does, I don't even think they go below half health. The problem of it massacring NPC's is still there though, there is not a lot you can do about that one.

And honestly I don't believe the Martian Saucer is that hard of a boss fight, especially if the Deathray's damage is nerfed on phase 2. The pattern is super linear and it's really easy to get used to; the problem right now is that there is no room for mistakes when the Saucer goes berserk.

as for drops though, if there is just one saucer, you could just have it drop something that can be crafted into any of its drops. maybe use that + martian conduit platings that drop in the events anyway. that way, you can craft the item you need. (that would be a nice thing with other bosses too in general, IMO)
Funny, I thought about the exact same thing while writing the suggestion, but then I decided against it because it really feels like something straight out of a Mod, lol. RNG and grinding is part of the game, and tbh with a shorter event and 2 dropped items it wouldn't be too bad.
 

Derpling Ω

Plantera
Perhaps an anti-cheese measure would be adding a new attack, something like an energy ball which moves through blocks and then splits into four diagonal ricocheting lasers upon reaching the position the player was in when the attack was first fired. It wouldn't be difficult to dodge unless you specifically were cheesing it...
 
-Deathray able to go through blocks-
-every NPC-
:eek: :dryadeek::merchanteek::nurseeek:~:eek:':eek: -is about to die instantly-

Also I personally think the UFO fight is hard as hell in Expert mode, like you said there is no room for error once the Deathrays come out.
 

Jota Bame

Terrarian
For some reason the Deathrays deal way less damage to NPCs. I have seen them get hit by those many times before and none of them died to it.
 

King Victor

Skeletron Prime
I completely agree with this suggestion. In fact, it's probably one of the best game mechanic change suggestion I've ever seen.

∞+ Support
 

CrabBar

Official Terrarian
Apparently, 1.4 did exactly that for the fix of Martian Madness: added deathray ability to pass blocks, reduced overall saucer aggro, and spread a few drops from saucer to regular enemies.
That's awesome!

Now though that I discovered the topic, there are much worse offenders to the system: Golem and Lunatic Cultist. They are lowkey easier than Plantera to fight if you know what to do and both open up serious power-jumps (especially pillar weapons after Cultist). There is still no real reason to branch after Plantera if you can just streamline your progression with same weapons, and at least 2 pillars can be easily cheesed: Vortex and Stardust, as well as being able to finish any of pillars regardless given enough suicide runs.
 

a31337

Terrarian
I don't agree that making the Saucer's weapons rarer will balance the meta. Most weapons in the post-Plantera dungeon are optimized to be used in Classic worlds, not Expert/Master. For that reason you need to either retroactively buff said weapons (when was the last time you used a Magnet Sphere? Inferno Fork?), or nerf current meta weapons. The biggest current victim of powercreep is the Terra Blade, a weapon you spend nearly the entirety of your gameplay grinding for, which is then immediately superseded by the Influx Waver. And there's no real solution to rebalance both of those weapons. You can't nerf the Influx waver, it does come at a later time and so must be stronger than the Terra Blade. But getting the weapon takes insultingly less time than Terra Blade.

Alternatively, you could choose to not balance these weapons, and instead lock the Martian Madness away for a later point in progression. That also comes with its own problems however. Golem is the last boss you fight before the celestial invasion and Moon Lord; An intermediate boss, situated between Golem and Lunatic Cultist, would require implementation, and you can use it as an excuse to be able to upgrade your weapons acquired in the post-Plantera dungeon, or even the Terra Blade (and make them drop some sort of "Guardian Essence" you can use to upgrade your weapons?).

I don't consider Duke Fishron to be said intermediate boss, but rather as a side quest you can take before the main route. Maybe make the Empress of Light non-optional to fight? Seeing how the Hallow is considered by the lore as a temporary world guardian while it recovers from the Wall of Flesh's defeat, I don't see why lunatic zealots wouldn't mind trying to take opportunity of the situation and summon an entity capable of destroying the world. Wink wink. Nudge nudge.

Unfortunately it sounds like we're going to have to live with these changes, seeing how Terraria has received its final content patch.
 

Tarluk

Terrarian
Unfortunately it sounds like we're going to have to live with these changes, seeing how Terraria has received its final content patch.
I mean, it's not like every content patch has been the final one in Re-Logic's eyes, has it? I remember when 1.1 was confirmed to be the final content patch.:p

Anyhow, regarding the topic at hand: I don't think the Influx Waver needs to be stronger than the Terra Blade. It would still be perfectly usable as a weapon you can get if you don't want to go through the grind required to obtain the Terra Blade or if you're wanting to make the switch from another class into melee, since it doesn't take much effort to obtain. And considering how the Terra Blade is the most iconic weapon in the game, made out of weapons which all also hold honorable mentions for that award, the Terra Blade should be viable all the way until at least the Lunar Pillars, even if doing so would require adding in an additional requirement to craft the blade.

Personally, I'd make it so that there's a boss in a hidden chamber within the Dungeon that you can only get to after obtaining certain Hardmode Dungeon items, similar to how you need a Temple Key to access the Temple; either you can unlock the door to the chamber with the Keybrand, or blow that door open with the Rocket Launcher, the Inferno Fork, or a post-Golem Old One's Army staff. To unlock Martian Madness and the Lunatic Cultist, you'd have to defeat Golem and either the new Dungeon boss, Duke Fishron, or the Empress of Light to do so. If not that, then maybe there could be something to do with the Pumpkin Moon or the Frost Moon where you'd have to defeat one of those Moon events to progress to Martian Madness and the Cultist; it makes sense, considering that both are heavily related to the Moon itself.
 
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