• Journey's End on PC - Find info here and here. Please report bugs and issues for PC 1.4 and 1.4.1 to Re-Logic here.
  • Journey's End on Mobile - Find info here. Report bugs for Mobile 1.4 to DR Studios at this link and give as much detail as possible.
  • 1.4 will bring many changes to the PC version. We strongly advise making plans to back up your worlds and players prior to updating your game. More details here.
  • Console and Switch - The latest news can be found here. To report a bug, please use this link.

PC Why I think NPC Unhappiness and how Pylons are locked are a HUGE mistake

Snickerbobble

The Painter
(This is a lot- skip to spoiler for a TL;DR)

Now first, I want to say I've had a lot of fun with this update so far. I'm very grateful that the devs have continued to update this game for NINE years now despite not really needing to. Terraria's one of my favorite games, but I don't think it's without faults, and as a constantly changing game (though maybe not for much longer), I'd like to see it become as best as possible before development truly ends.

That said..

As a sandbox game, Terraria has always advertised itself with the line "The world is your canvas" since the very first trailer, implying you may build the way you like. The NPC happiness system clashes with this since now the game pushes you to build one way and not any other. You can still build rooms close together, but not only do you miss out on the amazing addition of Pylons, but you also incur up to a 50% increase to item costs from NPCs (this makes items like the clentaminator, solutions, and wire CRAZY expensive). This means the game actually punishes you for building the way you like, and hides an amazing QoL item if you do not conform to the game's one way of setting up your NPCs. This is not "The world is your canvas," but more "Build this way only, or suffer higher prices and miss out on these quality of life items."

Some of us have spent hours, some of us dozens or HUNDREDS of hours designing very creatively built towns. I'm no master builder, but I've seen some amazingly intricate village designs that blow my mind. It's sad that these builds will now be punished, and that the game now discourages them. Some people already had single rooms or groups of rooms spread throughout the world, with others having them all consolidated at main base either in simple square boxes or cleverly created villages, but now we'll mainly see just the former. The game actively encourages just one way of building, and I think this hurts the Terrarian experience.

To my understanding, the given reason this system was made was to encourage players to build across the world, but to that, I wonder why? That seems to imply NPCs grouped together was overpowered or something. I think it should be fine if a player wants to keep them close, or spread out. Let the player decide! ..without punishment. The world is their canvas! It is a good idea to promote unique creations to make worlds distinct from each other! If only one way of building is encouraged, worlds and playthroughs will become more stale. The Dryad will always be in the Jungle, when even the Forest or the Hallow she seems to fight for would seem fitting for her. The Angler will always be at the ocean, even if a lake or river build could thematically work for him. The Steampunker will always be in the desert even if a player-built airship or clockwork tower would arguably suit her better.. see where I'm going with this? It's better to encourage the player what they'd like to make, not influence their decisions by imposing punishments and locking away content.

I'm also kind of sad that the Mechanic likes the Snow biome, but the Goblin likes it Underground.. they seem like they have something going on, why is the game trying to separate them..?

What if the Happiness mechanic instead used a system based on quests? These could be as simple as basic fetch quests- perhaps a lost item that'll spawn around the player much like a tied up NPC, or an existing item- maybe the Hair Stylist needs some pink gel to use as hair gel. Maybe the lost item's been stolen, like imagine if the Clothier lost his red hat and you'd come across a skeleton underground wearing it (it would drop a special version, perhaps named "Wilson," as he mentions he "made a friend out of leather" named that). The zoologist might have lost a pet.. etc. Performing quests could increase NPC happiness which could net you some new rewards as well as discounts. Angler's quests would work towards his happiness, as well as bringing Strange Plants to the Dye Trader (buuut could they be pre-hardmode again?) Buying stuff from an NPC can increase happiness too, say spending at least 1 gold per week at the Merchant will increase his happiness. This number can vary per NPC, accounting for their item prices and how often an average player may buy from them, capped per week to prevent easily instantly maxing out their happiness. NPC happiness can lower if another nearby NPC is killed, and significantly more if they themselves are killed, along with taking enough damage. Throwing rotten eggs, stink potions, and party girl bath water (except for her) at them would likely lower their happiness. There are a lot of more engaging, less limiting options here!

With the above idea, pylons could be sold when NPCs reach a certain happiness level... OR perhaps, they could be crafted with the use of gems and a magic mirror to keep them somewhat rare- and perhaps have a substitute hardmode Hallow ingredient (Maybe the Queen Slime can drop a Chaotic Crystal?) as magic mirrors are technicality limited in supply (or maybe magic mirrors could drop from Hallowed crates? They could use some unique items). Emeralds, spores, and a magic mirror could make a jungle pylon; amber, sandstone and a mirror could make a desert pylon; sapphires, coral, and a mirror could make an ocean pylon, etc. If needed, they could be crafted at a special crafting source, perhaps a crystal ball, or to make them pre-hardmode, enemies could drop a rare crafting ingredient. Maybe the desert one requires a drop from a sandstorm enemy, and an ocean one from the ocean when it's raining. There's a few solutions here I think. Pylons ideally wouldn't need NPCs near them, but only one of each biome's pylon can be active at a time- or maybe two or three. The reason being that pylons siphon a biome's energy to remain active to transport players, and with one (or the max) active, no more can be activated. Teleporters would still retain the use of being unlimited and having the ability to warp mobs and have the ability to be wired up.

Clowns used to explode blocks with their bombs, which discouraged use of any block beside dungeon bricks and hardmode ore. Wyverns are now less likely to spawn if you're behind a wall, making sky buildings less punishing. NPCs used to be defenseless, so you'd always have to design bases where enemies couldn't get in. Point is, all these changes were for the better- they removed punishments and encourage more freedom with building, but the current Happiness system does the opposite of this. This sandbox game that calls its worlds your canvas punishes you depending what your build style is.

These builds now receive a punishment with the current Happiness system:


w4dopvkl6zwz.png

D69AD42C1B59703C839A7AA33947DD4BE6474C51

cenxs-castle.jpg

D2zHaP-UcAAhzkn


These builds are now frowned upon by the game, sadly.


Anyway.. this was a little longer than I thought. I'm really loving this update so far! But I do feel the punishment for building how you want is a very negative aspect to the game, as well as locking the very useful pylons behind one way of building. I really really really hope the dev team can reconsider this system.
 
Last edited:

Sonnette

Retinazer
My personal thought upon launching the game and making somewhat substantial progress (I'm taking it slow as of now, so that I don't get burnt out) is that there should be an enable/disable feature in Journey Mode for NPC happiness (if there already is one, I completely missed it - certainly a possibility, but it seems somewhat unlikely to me), now that it seems that Journey Mode has taken over the "sandbox" aspect of the game and the other modes take over the various difficulty levels of "challenge" or "survival."

I don't know. I agree with you that it hinders creativity, but I also feel it adds a certain level of charm to the NPCs that most players wouldn't experience otherwise. While mega-village builds such as the ones you included are super impressive, a vast minority of players actually will create those. While I have no real idea what percentage of players do create more aesthetically pleasing builds, I'd be willing to wager that well over 90% of players just created the megatower tm.
 

Snickerbobble

The Painter
My personal thought upon launching the game and making somewhat substantial progress (I'm taking it slow as of now, so that I don't get burnt out) is that there should be an enable/disable feature in Journey Mode for NPC happiness (if there already is one, I completely missed it - certainly a possibility, but it seems somewhat unlikely to me), now that it seems that Journey Mode has taken over the "sandbox" aspect of the game and the other modes take over the various difficulty levels of "challenge" or "survival."

I don't know. I agree with you that it hinders creativity, but I also feel it adds a certain level of charm to the NPCs that most players wouldn't experience otherwise. While mega-village builds such as the ones you included are super impressive, a vast minority of players actually will create those. While I have no real idea what percentage of players do create more aesthetically pleasing builds, I'd be willing to wager that well over 90% of players just created the megatower tm.
That's true, however if the player wants to build a simple wooden box tower? That should be fine, since one can just as well have simple boxes spread across the world. Point is, it's okay if the player builds simple rooms or more complex buildings. Some people might just not wanna spend the time to put much effort into their creations, or maybe they're more in for progression and not in for the building part of the game. That's what's great about Terraria, as a sandbox game, you can do whatever you want in your world.. except now the game tries to influence just one way of building which hinders creativity. Even to those who don't create these amazingly detailed towns, part of the fun is seeing OTHERS' creations.

I already thought the NPCs had some character, for example, the goblin and mechanic often referencing each other, the arms dealer and nurse.. the arms dealer and demolitionist, the truffle and clothier.. the merchant and traveling merchant.. and so on. They had character before these limits were placed.
 

Sonnette

Retinazer
That's true, however if the player wants to build a simple wooden box tower? That should be fine, since one can just as well have simple boxes spread across the world. Point is, it's okay if the player builds simple rooms or more complex buildings. Some people might just not wanna spend the time to put much effort into their creations, or maybe they're more in for progression and not in for the building part of the game. That's what's great about Terraria, as a sandbox game, you can do whatever you want in your world.. except now the game tries to influence just one way of building which hinders creativity. Even to those who don't create these amazingly detailed towns, part of the fun is seeing OTHERS' creations.

I already thought the NPCs had some character, for example, the goblin and mechanic often referencing each other, the arms dealer and nurse.. the arms dealer and demolitionist, the truffle and clothier.. the merchant and traveling merchant.. and so on. They had character before these limits were placed.
What I was trying to get at was that, to me, it seems more of an attempt to inspire variety in the game - though it does hinder creativity. As I said, I feel that the new "Journey Mode" has taken over as the more sandbox-ish aspect of the game, whereas the other modes are easier played in terms of the survival aspects of the game, hence why I think NPC happiness should be toggleable on Journey Mode.
 

Nicol Bolas

Terrarian
Happiness should not be a Journey Mode toggle. You don't toggle bad mechanics; you remove them.

It's a poorly-designed mechanic that forces people to do tedious, inconvenient things for reasons that don't really make sense, even from a role-playing standpoint. Why should it be togglable? Just take out happiness and give us Pylons simply by putting the right NPCs in the right Biomes.
 

Ezel

Official Terrarian
I mean... that only affects you if you want pylons to work in a certain part of the map, as there have to be NPCs nearby. If I'm not wrong, happiness only really affects shop prices, as you can just have any NPC nearby as soon as you already bought the pylon before.

I think that this mechanic was added to encourage players to build in different biomes and to mess around with building villages. While I don't think it's a terrible mechanic, I think giving the player a choice to enable or disable it would be fair.
 

Voyager

Headless Horseman
Now that I have a lot of NPC's I have to agree with the OP.
They "fixed" the problem of NPC jails by forcing a tedious build-all-over solution that takes away from the fun of the game.
NPC housing is a chore early in the game whilst you are trying to advance to the next level of gear.
They come again and again and you end up spending most of your time building and not exploring.
You know you can't use the best blocks until later in the game but now you are forced into creating simpler structures just to get them out of the way.
No more palaces. No more grand cityscapes. And no more temporary housing until you get the blocks you want in hardmode.
 

Zerobillion

Terrarian
Just take out happiness and give us Pylons simply by putting the right NPCs in the right Biomes.
That's... Already how it works? The NPCs don't have to be happy for pylons to work, that's just for selling them, but if your putting NPCs in the right biomes, just as you said, that's all they need to be happy enough to sell pylons. Once you've obtained it, you're set, you don't even need the right NPCs near the pylon, it can be anyone, regardless of their happiness level.
 

Mituna

Terrarian
My biggest issue with the happiness mechanic, as it is now, is that it actually encourages building NPC jails even more, but with the cells spread out.

Why? Because NPCs moving around even just inside their house affects happiness. This encourages building tiny boxes with the NPCs unable to leave so that they are always the proper distance from other NPCs. And visiting NPCs like the traveling merchant can still walk though the town and cause overcrowding unhappiness.

The biggest change I would suggest is that instead of distances being calculated between NPCs themselves, the distances should be between the NPC houses (spaces between house bounds). Then this leaves more room for creativity and allows for NPCs to visit each other without messing up happiness.

I would also suggest removing negative happiness altogether, or at least make it toggleable in Journey mode.
 

Zerobillion

Terrarian
My biggest issue with the happiness mechanic, as it is now, is that it actually encourages building NPC jails even more, but with the cells spread out.

Why? Because NPCs moving around even just inside their house affects happiness. This encourages building tiny boxes with the NPCs unable to leave so that they are always the proper distance from other NPCs. And visiting NPCs like the traveling merchant can still walk though the town and cause overcrowding unhappiness.

The biggest change I would suggest is that instead of distances being calculated between NPCs themselves, the distances should be between the NPC houses (spaces between house bounds). Then this leaves more room for creativity and allows for NPCs to visit each other without messing up happiness.

I would also suggest removing negative happiness altogether, or at least make it toggleable in Journey mode.
I have absolutely no clue how you came to that conclusion.

Terraria Wiki NPCs (scroll to happiness)

"Note that for the purpose of calculating distances below, the position of an NPC's home tile is considered instead of the NPC itself, unless the NPC is homeless in which case its actual position is considered."

You can see that this is the case when you look at pylons, if you set an NPC to a house near a pylon, the pylon will be considered active before the NPC even teleports there. (I've used this myself to get quick access to pylons)

People really need to stop pulling things out of their butts when discussing things.
 

Mituna

Terrarian
I have absolutely no clue how you came to that conclusion.

Terraria Wiki NPCs (scroll to happiness)

"Note that for the purpose of calculating distances below, the position of an NPC's home tile is considered instead of the NPC itself, unless the NPC is homeless in which case its actual position is considered."

You can see that this is the case when you look at pylons, if you set an NPC to a house near a pylon, the pylon will be considered active before the NPC even teleports there. (I've used this myself to get quick access to pylons)

People really need to stop pulling things out of their butts when discussing things.

Huh... I looked at that page many times and somehow missed that...
I also tested this and saw happiness change based on NPC movements, but I guess that was from a homeless NPC instead.

Thanks for pointing that out!
 

TMB50

Terrarian
When the Happiness mechanic was announced, I was more or less expecting other factors to come into play, such as the type of furniture or the size of their houses. I feel like those could be involved so there's ways for players to max out the happiness of NPCs while keeping them together.
Adding to this, the fact that all of them get grumpy over living with too many NPCs feels rather cheap, specially in cases such as the Party Girl or Merchant that one would expect to think the opposite way.
 

Dungeonbubble

Skeletron
I don't see the problem in the happiness mechanic. If you want to bunch up your NPCs in small blocks or creative big towers at the centre of the world, you can, you just won't be able to buy pylons. If you don't want to play with NPC happiness, you don't have to. Admittedly, making the prices fluctuate depending on NPC happiness does cause a problem and I do think that prices shouldn't go higher than they originally where just because you don't want to build all over the world, but NPC happiness really isn't that big of a deal. Making the NPCs ask you to do quests for them, that would be really annoying. Imagine instead of just building a house for the NPC, you'd have to go out of your way to search for an item somewhere. Pylons where implemented to make pre-hardmode navigation around the world better too so making them out of hardmode materials is a no-go. Overall, if you're not bothered to make a bunch of towns, just use traditional teleporters.
 

Snickerbobble

The Painter
I don't see the problem in the happiness mechanic. If you want to bunch up your NPCs in small blocks or creative big towers at the centre of the world, you can, you just won't be able to buy pylons. If you don't want to play with NPC happiness, you don't have to. Admittedly, making the prices fluctuate depending on NPC happiness does cause a problem and I do think that prices shouldn't go higher than they originally where just because you don't want to build all over the world, but NPC happiness really isn't that big of a deal. Making the NPCs ask you to do quests for them, that would be really annoying. Imagine instead of just building a house for the NPC, you'd have to go out of your way to search for an item somewhere. Pylons where implemented to make pre-hardmode navigation around the world better too so making them out of hardmode materials is a no-go. Overall, if you're not bothered to make a bunch of towns, just use traditional teleporters.

But why lock those with big central builds away from using Pylons?

Also why is it a no-go to make them out of hardmode material, but you say "just use teleporters" which are later hardmode items?

Also I was saying there could be a recipe with limited pre-hardmode items (Magic Mirrors), but later on mirrors could be renewable from Hallow crates and/or have Queen Slime drop a substitute recipe item that could be used in place of the mirror, giving you three options on Pylon acquisition.
 

Gotcha!

Pumpking
I agree. I like it for the most part, but it's a shame that we're being penalized.
I'd just have kept the prices the same, but give price reductions if you do choose to make them live where they want to live.

My main map has a large building where all NPCs live together. It dates from 2013 and has been renovated 10 times over.
All NPCs have 3 rooms in this building (utter luxury in my opinion), and decorated according to their personality (or how I perceive it anyway).
I feel the building is now pointless.

Aside from that, you never know how defeating the WoF will work out. Will 2-3 of your towns suddenly be in the middle of corruption? Veterans know to expect this and will try to make their towns as safe as possible and have a previously created character with a clentaminator stand by, but I can imagine this will utterly frustrate new players.

I like it, but it'd be nice if they'd just drop the price increase, and let people live on with the buildings that they're attached to.
 

Snickerbobble

The Painter
I agree. I like it for the most part, but it's a shame that we're being penalized.
I'd just have kept the prices the same, but give price reductions if you do choose to make them live where they want to live.

My main map has a large building where all NPCs live together. It dates from 2013 and has been renovated 10 times over.
All NPCs have 3 rooms in this building (utter luxury in my opinion), and decorated according to their personality (or how I perceive it anyway).
I feel the building is now pointless.

Aside from that, you never know how defeating the WoF will work out. Will 2-3 of your towns suddenly be in the middle of corruption? Veterans know to expect this and will try to make their towns as safe as possible and have a previously created character with a clentaminator stand by, but I can imagine this will utterly frustrate new players.

I like it, but it'd be nice if they'd just drop the price increase, and let people live on with the buildings that they're attached to.
yeah.. this happened to me on my 1.4 playthrough. Corruption slashed through my underground homes- generated right over them. At least they're just boxes, but it'd be frustrating had I spent a lot of time designing them.

The game actively encourages something that can easily lead to frustration and disappointment- not just with corruption taking over, but meteorites too. Hardmode stripes and meteors never hit the middle of the map, so that's where it's best to build, but the game doesn't want that. We're being encouraged to build further away, but the game also discourages that too.
 

Dungeonbubble

Skeletron
But why lock those with big central builds away from using Pylons?
Where would they use pylons? If you have one central building you wound't need the pylons to visit your NPCs. I should have elaborated on this. Pylons, in my opinion, reward players who make the most of the game. They reward people who use the world and don't just leave it barren and bland. Of course there is no problem making one large build in the middle of the world, that how I made all my worlds before, but pylons are an incentive for players to build in the world around them. They don't force you to make use of the land, they give added benefits.
Also why is it a no-go to make them out of hardmode material, but you say "just use teleporters" which are later hardmode items?
I actually don't think that using hardmode items to craft pylons wouldn't be a good idea, but the current system works fine, as I mentioned previously, pylons are there as an incentive for players. You can play exactly like you would before 1.4, just flying across the map to your destination and later making teleporters. Just because you don't want to make a bunch of houses around the world doesn't mean that you are being robbed off of a cool item, you're choosing to not use it. it's like farming for the rod of discord. it's tedious and hard to farm for, but you aren't forced get it, you choose to obtain it or not. And if you do get it, its extremely useful.
 

TMB50

Terrarian
But why lock those with big central builds away from using Pylons?

Also why is it a no-go to make them out of hardmode material, but you say "just use teleporters" which are later hardmode items?

Also I was saying there could be a recipe with limited pre-hardmode items (Magic Mirrors), but later on mirrors could be renewable from Hallow crates and/or have Queen Slime drop a substitute recipe item that could be used in place of the mirror, giving you three options on Pylon acquisition.
On principle, pylons are designed around making it easier to navigate between NPCs, which is why they're required by all but the Universal Pylon, which can be bought from the Zoologist (Which could be made available earlier on to offset this, since currently it's post-Moon Lord, as well as making it usable without needing other Pylons)
 

Greystillbrynns III

Skeletron Prime
On principle, pylons are designed around making it easier to navigate between NPCs, which is why they're required by all but the Universal Pylon, which can be bought from the Zoologist (Which could be made available earlier on to offset this, since currently it's post-Moon Lord, as well as making it usable without needing other Pylons)
(I’m just going to add to that post moonlord thing, it also requires 100% of the bestiary completed)
 

Snickerbobble

The Painter
Where would they use pylons? If you have one central building you wound't need the pylons to visit your NPCs. I should have elaborated on this. Pylons, in my opinion, reward players who make the most of the game. They reward people who use the world and don't just leave it barren and bland. Of course there is no problem making one large build in the middle of the world, that how I made all my worlds before, but pylons are an incentive for players to build in the world around them. They don't force you to make use of the land, they give added benefits.

I actually don't think that using hardmode items to craft pylons wouldn't be a good idea, but the current system works fine, as I mentioned previously, pylons are there as an incentive for players. You can play exactly like you would before 1.4, just flying across the map to your destination and later making teleporters. Just because you don't want to make a bunch of houses around the world doesn't mean that you are being robbed off of a cool item, you're choosing to not use it. it's like farming for the rod of discord. it's tedious and hard to farm for, but you aren't forced get it, you choose to obtain it or not. And if you do get it, its extremely useful.
Pylons make it easier to navigate around the world, not just NPCs.

Again, my idea is to use magic mirrors which are not a hardmode item. Just that you could also use a hardmode item.

I still don't get why you think a hardmode recipe is a bad idea, but you're telling me to use teleporters.. that's hardmode too. I'm suggesting both a pre-hardmode and a hardmode method of obtaining them. Like I said, three methods.


On principle, pylons are designed around making it easier to navigate between NPCs, which is why they're required by all but the Universal Pylon, which can be bought from the Zoologist (Which could be made available earlier on to offset this, since currently it's post-Moon Lord, as well as making it usable without needing other Pylons)
Same as above, they also make the world much easier to access.
 
Top Bottom