Welcome back, friends, to another installment of the critically acclaimed, always fresh, never frozen, Terrarian Times! I'm your humble host, and we have quite the tasty platter of news today! With 1.3.3 on the horizon, we're almost to that wondrous oasis of a new update! Wet your whistles, folks, as we come closer to quenching our thirst for new content. Don't worry, though, we'll keep the Darude - Sandstorm jokes to an almost tolerable amount. Table of Contents Click to easily navigate this issue! Table of Contents: You are here! 1.3.3 Spoilers: A look at some of the new features and tidbits happening in 1.3.3 Otherworld News: Some news regarding the state of Otherworld, and spoilers! Introducing Pipeworks: Changing of the guard New Moderators: Welcoming @Unit One and @Aurora3500 Terraria Community News: Let's check out some awesome things Spriting Carnival: Show off your sprites! Fluffy Bunnikins: A cute, engaging story with several twists. Izzabelle's Illustration Academy: Hone your artistic skills Portal Adventure Maps: Thinking with portals Conclusion: Not a "Goodbye" so much as a "See you later" 1.3.3 Let's cut right to the meat of the matter here: the thing most of us are waiting for. I'm talking about the 1.3.3 update, of course! What does this update consist of, you might ask? Well, the chief theme seems to be large changes to the desert, both underground and surface! These were widely regarded as one of the least fleshed-out areas of the game, but now it seems they'll be privy to a bevy of changes. But there's more in store for us than just sand and sand sharks (yes, sand sharks); we have glimpses of some snow changes as well! Perhaps a blizzard event of some sort? Or are we just getting some extra style in other biomes? How exciting and mysterious! Well, without further ado, let's get right into it! A prudent start would be to mention this. What is "this" exactly? Well, it's a sandstorm. But not just any sandstorm. It's a sandstorm that has beautiful visual particles that are sure to distract and inhibit our vision in the desert. The wonderful combination of foreground and background particles create a very atmospheric feeling in this video. I'm sure I speak for many of us, when I say I can't wait to build a mesmerizing oasis in the middle of the desert, just to see how it looks with this effect. Moving right along, is this interesting device. This is clearly some sort of miniature sand-tornado! It's reminiscent of leaf-tornadoes, in the autumn winds, where leaves seem to form a little cyclone with how the wind passes over them. Perhaps this is the same idea, and it might be related to the above sandstorms, but the question remains: What does it do? Is it going to injure, harm, or detriment the player in any way? Or is it just much-appreciated eye-candy, giving nuance to the fact that not everything has to have a clearly defined purpose or effect, that sometimes things can look good or exist solely to look good. Or it could tear us apart with the gritty reality that sands at high speed are dangerous! Grit. Sand jokes! While on the subject of much appreciated visual treats; this outfit. Lamia vanity has been a fairly requested vanity set for Terraria, and it looks like these people will finally get their wishes! They will get wiggly tails of their own, and rule the terrors of the sand as a lamia themselves! Purple not your color? Well, if it behaves like other vanity, and there's nothing indicating otherwise, you'll be able to dye it with whatever your heart prefers. I'm thinking reflective metal mecha-lamia, myself. To boot, it comes in male and female varieties! Snakemen as well as snakeladies! What a world we live in! Remember when I said sand sharks? Yes. My personal pièce de résistance of this update. Just look at this monstrosity, as if ocean sharks weren't terrifying enough, we get this. The only saving grace seems to be that escape will not be entirely impossible, as it seems to interact with the stone, whether by bonking off the top of it, or switching directions abruptly when it collides with the stone under the sand. Keep in mind, that all of this is entirely subject to change, and sandsharks may in fact not care about the concept of solid objects, and seek you out to destroy you. Faster, smarter, and more dangerous than the average shark...probably! Arm yourselves with knowledge, and read these 100% accurate facts about sand sharks: Sand sharks are like sharks, but in sand. It took this long to discover sand sharks, because anyone who ever found one died before they could report it. Top scientists have henceforth theorized that 100% of all deaths before this discovery can be attributed to sand sharks in some way. The eyes of a sand shark are covered in a glass-like protective layer, to shield their eyes from sand. Sand in your eyes is the worst. Fact. The appearance of a sand shark is indicated by an epic mashup of Darude - Sandstorm and the Jaws theme, faintly heard beneath the sand. Despite popular opinion and any scientific study suggesting otherwise, it was actually sand sharks that built the pyramids. Lastly, to complete our spoiler recap: Blizzards or heavy snow! So it might not be just the desert getting some love, but the snow biome seems to be receiving some pleasing aesthetics well. The real question is: "Will there be snow sharks too?" Are sharks slowly taking over our world? Hopefully not, but we can at least bask in the beauty of a serene, snowy night with these updates. An immersive atmosphere isn't something I always expect to encounter in a sandbox game, but something about these snowy scenes makes me want to just stay in my disgusting excuse for a house and stare out into the blustery, snowy night. Well, that about wraps things up for the spoiler recap, but stay tuned! There's still plenty of news to go! We have some community news to go through, and some official, mega-important news concerning the state of things! Hopefully these pictures of the coming update gives you all a jittery, excited feeling. I know I'll never look at a beach the same way again. Beaches are where ocean sharks and sand sharks could meet and potentially create a devastating offspring. Be careful! So, while all this hubbub and hullabaloo is happening about the forthcoming update for PC, we have several other interesting occurrences happening on the other fronts. Like what, you may ask? Well, we have some news on Terraria: Otherworld, we've had some changes in how the console versions are going to be managed and handled, and we have some new faces here who are going to be involved in said handling and managing of the console versions. All of which spell great things for the future of Terraria on consoles, and the expansion of Terraria as a brand, in the form of next-gen consoles and Terraria: Otherworld. Let's dive right in, shall we? Terraria: Otherworld. Newcomers to this community might not yet know what it is, but that's because there's been a bit of a news-gap when it comes to this game. With this being the next advancement in the Terraria franchise, it's important not to misstep or mishandle it. This is exactly what Re-Logic is avoiding, as they shared with us in the last update. During the development and management process of games, books, (Or almost anything, really) it becomes paramount to step back and evaluate your progress and the direction it's going. By doing so, one is able to determine if this is how they envisioned their project or product going. Such was the case of Terraria: Otherworld, hereafter abbreviated as ToW. ToW had gone almost silent, as far as news and such was concerned. But what was really going on behind the scenes, was that the team was reconsidering the direction the game was going in, and it was understood that changes had to be made. Discussion with Engine occurred as a result of this, and a new lead designer, as well as a new lead artist. The team stands true to their vision of "release it when it's done, and not before." There are still no plans to release any sort of early access or beta deal, and that is extremely unlikely to change. Protective purity bubble! This aesthetic does a great job creating a sense of impending danger, as you're surrounded by a menacing presence encroaching on your home. That being said, we did recently get blessed with a couple spoilers in recent times, so whatever shift in direction the game has taken, it seems to be working quite well! The news is coming a bit more steady, and progress is looking great! It seems like the team has been hard at work, making sure each biome looks and plays differently, relative to the others. To make each biome feel truly unique, visually and mechanically, and not just a place to go because logical progression puts you there. This seems to be paying dividends; each biome shared gives off a feeling quite unlike the others. Each biome, present with its own evils, its own dangers, and its own rewards for visiting them. Silicon confirmed in game! Among the fantastic aesthetics being showcased, and talks of biomes being revamped a little bit, we also got word that they're working on tweaking and modifying the gear leveling system. This might not mean much to us, as people who haven't played it yet, but what it means is that the team saw room for improvement and are taking this opportunity to improve it. This is a good sign, no matter how you look at it. Among the tantalizing teasers we've received, and some insight at the inner workings of how Re-Logic routinely evaluates their products and intellectual properties, we also received a righteous new spoiler. So get your surfboards, your preferred method of not drowning, and follow me as I take you on a much needed respite to the Ocean Biome! Where the sun is shining, the water's great, there's no imminent death from Corruption or Crimson, as well as --- Sharks! Not just any sharks, either! Super Sharks! They're like regular sharks, but super! And if there's one thing sharks don't need, it's to be super. (Also they don't need to be incredibly fast, lurking beneath the desert sands!) But there you have it. The ocean is right up there with its own fresh dangers, and creative ways to kill you. Besides simply revealing new content, we can take a few seconds to truly appreciate the eyecandy this game provides. Just looking at the multiple layers, the ocean really gives a sense of, well, an ocean! The graphics do wonders to give the impression of being deep underwater. The fish in the background, the plans in the foreground, even the coral and even the far off pinnacles of rocks and coral, must fill the player with a sense of wonder. The game is really shaping up to be an excellent, aesthetically pleasing entry into the sandbox genre. We'll continue to track the progression and development of ToW, as I trust it'll be every bit as beloved as Terraria is. Until then, that concludes our news for this stellar-looking game...for now. So, console news. Well, we do have some good news regarding the console and mobile versions of Terraria. Re-Logic has ultimately decided that it would benefit the future of these versions by uniting them under one banner, so to speak, to better allow for Quality Assurance ↔ Developer interaction. I don't need to tell you that this is a good thing! Being able to relay feedback and information seamlessly is so extremely important for any team, and any product. In addition to this, the wonderful folks at Pipeworks are very much into Terraria, and can provide excellent work in making sure the game is up to scratch on other platforms. Which is exactly what they're setting out to do, having already outlined a few key tasks that will help them in achieving their goals. Like what, you may ask? Well, the massive task at hand is essentially rebuilding how the console versions play. They want to create a seamless experience, to help bring console versions up to the same degree of quality that PC has, while also retaining the unique identity that playing a game on a console can bring. They'll help bring the Xbox 1 and PS4 versions up to par with the PC, and hopefully shorten the time between update cycles. We're rooting for you, Pipeworks, and welcome to the community! I trust you all will do a good job at making them feel at home with fans of the game, be they console, mobile, or PC players! New Moderators Unit OneAurora3500 A few months ago, the forum staff sent out the call, in order to bolster their ranks with a few recruits. The conclusion of this search has since passed, and they gained two new members in the form of @Unit One and @Aurora3500. We can only imagine the decision was a difficult one, as there are so many members that are very much qualified to be a moderator, but in the end, the decision to take these two was made! A very solid choice, at that. Unit One, even before being made a moderator, could be found assisting in the bug report sections. It shows a clear dedication towards aiding the fellow forum member, even when nothing is expected in return, other than gratitude. A very invaluable quality for a moderator, as enforcing the rules is only a sub-task, the main brunt of the forum staff's duty is to aid and assist others. Aurora3500 has a very friendly disposition, and is quite the sociable, respected member on the forums, herself. She, like Unit One, was very helpful in assisting forum members with core functions, such as changing their name, and other things, while also engaging members in lively chats. Her curious nature, and willingness to help others, make her a great candidate for moderator! The choice was likely very tough, as there's so many influential, helpful individuals on these forums. That said, these two will most assuredly be a boon to the forum staff; fresh faces, fresh ideas, and fresh views all improve the quality of any forum staff. For those who did not get picked, just keep doing what you're doing! You don't necessarily have to be a moderator, to improve the quality of the forum. No good deed goes unrewarded, and no good action goes entirely unseen, either. People can, will, and do notice. With that in mind, I'm sure we're all eagerly waiting for these two to fall into their groove and comfort zone. In the future, once they're settled in, an interview may be in order to see how they've adapted and are enjoying being able to help on this level. Until then, they'll do this community proud, I'm sure! And to top off this installment of The Terrarian Times, we're back at work tracking down which community members have done awesome things! It's not necessarily an easy task, when there's so many of you guys showing your talents and such! But I think I've done a decent job at getting a few of you all together in this issue! Terraria Spriting Carnival Our first entry into awesome things, is the Terraria Spriting Carnival, mk II. The first iteration of this showcase of spriting prowess could be found at Terraria Online, (goodnight sweet prince), but our very own @DerpoTheMagnificent has brought this wonderful exhibition to TCF. This is a place where those who are inclined to spriting could get together and discuss their tricks and show off their work, and those of us whose only association with a sprite is drinking it could gaze in awe. It was established the very first day these forums were made public, and to this day, receives quite a lot of use, especially as the spriting community increases in numbers, strength, and talent. I've never had any interest or experience in spriting, and I've found myself browsing page after page, just to watch what interesting thing is up next. It's always a treat to see people so passionate about their sprites and works, sharing it with others. So if you're interested in a spriting museum, of sorts, I strongly recommend checking it out! Fluffy Bunnikin's Snuggle Diary For our next piece of community news, we have a story written by the talented @Derunih. This is a unique story, in that it's told from the perspective of a non-player character, while also basing itself around an actual playthrough. I'm speaking, of course, about Fluffy Bunnikin's Snuggle Diary~. Recently concluded in the past few months, the story is told on a day-to-day basis. But don't let the initial cuteness fool you! There is more to this story than meets the eye. Much more. One of the most viewed stories on the entirety of the forums, at that! I read a little bit each day, but it's hard not to binge and read it all at once. Need to save some of the excitement, suspense, and curiosity for another day. So I invite you all, fans of literature, to come and see what the fuss is all about! Make sure you give it a fair chance, you won't be disappointed. Take a trip and see how far the rabbit hole really goes, with this wonderful story. Izzabelle's Illustration Academy Our next foray into awesome, is @Izzabelle, and her illustration academy. Aptly titled Izzabelle's Illustration Academy, the title says it all. Izzabelle is lending her talents in order to help the apsiring artists of TCF to hone and improve their skills. Besides boasting impressive credentials, being a freelance artist, and being well versed in many styles of art, she also has quite the knack for creating lesson plans that are easy to follow and understand! All this, together with the willingness and patience to help out others and sharing knowledge, makes her Illustration Academy an amazing place to start your journey on the path to being the artist you want to be. I shouldn't have to explain exactly why this is awesome, but I will, for everyone's benefit! Knowledge is one of the single most valuable things you can pass from one human being to another, and it's amazing that Izzabelle would take the time in order to help educate and teach others, that which she knows. The lesson plans are very well put together, showing how serious she is in her academy. If she's taking the time to teach, the least you could do is take the time to learn, if you're interested in artistic tips, critiques, and more! Portal Gun Puzzles For our last segment in this issue, and what I'm hoping will be a recurring segment, I'll be reviewing adventure / custom maps, and eventually mods and the like! Which is exactly what I did this time around. I've been wanting to scratch that Portal itch, so I found a couple adventure maps strongly revolving around the usage and mechanics of the Portal Gun. Both of these maps were created by @JereTheJuggler, not too long after 1.3 was released. Yes, that does mean that I am over an entire year late to the punch! This map has seen reviews / playthroughs from such youtubers as Pedguin, and ChippyGaming, and several others, but I'm here to tell you directly to your beautiful faces that you should go check it out yourself. (If you already haven't, since I'm over an entire year late to this portal party.) That being said, I decided to take my partner in crime, @Flan, on an expedition to see these adventure maps in motion, or at least, us in motion around the adventure maps. This may mark the beginning of taking guests on adventure maps with me, to talk about the maps, or mods, or whatnot. That being said, you would think a single player Portal map would be easier with two people...you would be mistaken! It was quite the mess, having to navigate each other's portals while trying to solve the puzzles. The puzzles which, might I add, were a tad more complicated than I expected. But we persevered, and before we knew it, the map had already came to an end. Feel free to check out the spoiler-free screenshots, of some of the puzzles you can expect should you go through this map. And if you're sold on the pictures, do yourself a favor and check out the map HERE Pictures! The major downside of the map was that it was too short. By the time we got finished with it, (30 minutes or so, and we were being silly about it), we were just getting into it. Thankfully, I came across the sequel to the map! Created only a short while after the first, this one is an improvement in every single way to its predecessor. More puzzles, more challenging, with much more creative usage of mechanics. Some of the puzzles had us stumped for longer than my pride would let me admit, but it was also a refreshing challenge. The only nitpick, and it's a minor one at that, was that some of the proper portal placements were a bit finicky, and difficult to get the right angle to create a portal. But a very minor gripe, that didn't inhibit my enjoyment of the game in any way at all. This one took us almost two hours, with our tendencies to fight and bicker and attempt to murder each other with portals, but we enjoyed every moment of it. So soon after 1.3, and this wonderful Portal map came out with such challenging, think-outside-the-box puzzles! I'll leave you with some screenshots of this one, which is very much a visual upgrade over the previous one, and I can only hope the creator of these maps will one day give us a lovely treat in the form of a 1.3.1+ Portal map! I can only imagine that a portal-based adventure map, mixed with some of the advanced mechanism / logic functions would be quite the combination! Until then, enjoy the eyecandy, and pick up the map for yourself, HERE! Spoiler-free candy, maybe. In Conclusion: So, you've managed to make it to the end. Congratulations! I hope your minds remain relatively intact, after the sheer, raging power of hard hitting news. But if you're here, chances are they were not fully blown! That said, I can't thank you guys enough for reading. If a news story falls in the forest and nobody's around to read it, does the journalist even exist? If you'll forgive my senseless butchering of a well-known colloquialism, of course. I just wanted to extend yet another "Thank You" to everyone who reads and has read. It's worth thanking the readers every issue, because every issue is created to be an entertaining, engaging, and exciting experience for readers. That said, we've arrived at the end of this one. I do hope you enjoyed yourselves, and though you most assuredly came down with a bad case of galeophobia, with all these spooky sharks around. Hopefully, I've done my part to increase the anticipation of the forthcoming update, or Otherworld, and brought attention to some of the awesome things our community is doing! As always, feel free to contact me if you have ideas for segments, for features, or any other newsworthy things you may wish to get off your chest! I'm Tsuki, and it's been fun. See you next time!