So I don't have a lot of time to write this because I need to go play more Terraria so let's just get this shit done up front.
Minecraft is fucking boring.
I mean, I like it. It's not a bad game, it's just boring. The only real excitement I ever got out of it was building the one thing, being happy with that, and then causing rampant destruction with complete disregard for those around me.
I set the whole island on fire.
But, that isn't really fun.
Or at the very least, it stops being fun when everyone else notices that everything is on fire and you have to deal with the consequences of that.
Terraria is fun though, and I'll tell you why. Terraria actually feels like a game. I'm not saying Minecraft isn't a game, that would be stupid, but it sure doesn't feel like game.
And that's probably because it was never really designed as game.
Now I'll admit, I never followed the development of Minecraft that closely, but I did pay attention. I was in pretty far back before Beta, when the water still flowed forever and all the servers had infinite resources. I remember seeing the videos, reading some of the blogs. Minecraft was always something that was played, an interactive experience, but there was never really any objective to it all, it was pointless. It was just a world this Swedish guy had built, and there's was something kind of fun and exciting about having things just be that simple.
The motto of Minecraft has always been "Sure, whatever."
And before we go any farther, let me just say it outright. Terraria wouldn't exist without Minecraft, It just wouldn't. A world in which that happens does not exist. It borrows too many elements, too much of the core gameplay is nearly identical. You could try to make that argument, that Terraia is something completely, totally new and fuck me for even insinuating that the developer might have borrowed any ideas for this astonishingly bround greaking gift from god, but you're not gonna win that.
Terraria was built on the shoulders of Minecraft.
And that's not a bad thing, that's how development works. That's how invention works. That's also what makes Terraria so great.
They took Minecraft and turned it into a fucking game.
I'm not just mining to mine now, there's actually a purpose to it all. There's structure, it feels like you're actually accomplishing something.
The basic flow of a Minecraft session goes something like this: Mine to build, build to survive, survive to mine deeper, mine deeper to build stronger structures, build stronger structures to make survival easier. Throw in some wanton exploration and a little whim of wanting rarer items just, well, because why not, and you have what amounts to the entirety of all of the thousands of millions of hours ever spent in Minecraft.
Now of course there is create mode, which is the real bread and butter for some people, but you can only get so far with blocks. It's really impressive what some people turn out of this fairly simple process, but I do not have time nor desire to figure out how to build complex geometry using such basic tools or the technology to import pre-made models because that's just a dick move.
That's a dick move you people who do that. Except you Kinect video guy, you're okay.
But to get back to the point, Terraria just feels more like a game. The flow of Terraria goes something like this, and you'll notice some similarities here: Mine to build, build to survive, survive to mine deeper, mine deeper to get better equipment and build a larger home to attract NPCs, get better equipment and attract NPCs to fight bosses, fight bosses to get better equipment and access new areas, explore new areas to get better equipment.
When you write it out this way, it becomes apparent that this is much more than a Minecraft clone, it's a game that took the base the Minecraft laid out and built something much more complex and engaging on it. When you finally take down one of the huge, "I will fuck you over in 10 seconds flat" bosses that would have completely floored you just hours prior, it feels like an achievement. That's something tangible, that's something you can hold onto emotionally and remember. That is one of the moments that makes any game worth playing, a return on your investment. That's the pay off for time spent.
And that's just the one fucking part, it goes way deeper than that. You have to fulfill special requirements to get NPCs you can buy useful items from to come to your house, there's special events that will trigger randomly like Blood Moons and Goblin Invasions, there's tons of craftable recipies to take advantage of, secret areas to discover like floating islands and underground jungles, and then there's the loot.
Oh god, the fucking loot.
Terraria is the type of game that makes itself on its loot, this is why you fucking play, this is the real leg up it has on Minecraft. There are so few games with exciting loot, loot that actually lets you do cool things you couldn't do before or that actually increase the functionality of your character. The first time you break open a shadow orb and find a Ball-O'-Hurt or Orb of Light it's like fucking Christmas.
I mean just look at some of this shit I have.
I'm not even that far into the game yet, and I am very excited to explore more of the world and find more crazy shit. If there is one flaw with Terraria, it's that there isn't nearly enough of it. I'm quite a few hours in, but I already know where the cap is. It's going to take me quite a while more to make it there, and by there I mean HELL, but knowing that end is there, and that I am quickly approaching it, is somewhat disheartening. My only hope is that the Redigit keeps churning out more content as time goes on and creates even more perilous lands for my chums and I to explore.
I'm of the mind that, given enough time grow, Terraria is a real threat to Minecraft.
Terraria is everything Minecraft could be, but Terraria is already here.
So yeah, I'd pay attention to Terraia if I were you. I'd also play it if I were you, but that's just me, and I'm not you.
But if I were you I'd play it, because it's really fucking fun.
And on that note, I have to go figure out how I'm going to murder this old man after his morphs into a giant mother fucking skeleton.
Oh, and, just for shits and giggles, if you want a cool server to play on I totally know one.
YOU DON'T GET TO COME ON THE SERVER ANYMORE. YOU SHOULD HAVE BEHAVED.
Additional Author's Note:
As I'm writing this, the patch notes for Minecraft 1.6 have been posted.
Fire no longer spread indefinitely
Fuck you Notch. Fuck. You.