I originally thought this idea out for a mode to accompany Zombies in the Gamemodes Dimension, but I only just got around to typing out the idea today. I present it now, under the name of “Boss Fight Simulator”. This will be a long post…
One of the issues with the PvE mode (as of current) is that players are allowed to bring in their own character, and thus, everything they would need to destroy anything that might stand in their way. Player power was already very high in the endgame, and Journey’s End amplified that with the introduction of the pinnacle weapon that we acknowledge as Zenith. Players could shred any boss with ease in seconds, and face tanking was hilariously easy as well, which led to the big buffs for PvE bosses so that they could actually stand a chance of winning against players flying at upwards of 83 MPH, dealing tens of thousands of damage per second and, before the buffs, being able to just leave their keyboard while on a tank setup, because nothing could threaten them. However, one of the defining aspects of the basic game of Terraria is that the bosses exist as a challenge within progression. What if we were able to have that challenge in a close to “normal” environment compared to the vanilla game?
I was thinking about how this could all be put together, and to start, the intermission lobby could remain the same as it is in Zombies currently. Players could mess around with all of the overpowered/fun things on their characters within the lobby, before the game starts. Upon a new lobby’s creation, there would be a short delay to allow more players to join, before voting for various different settings for the lobby would start. The “settings” are mainly for world - states, to figure out what players would be fighting against and what they would have access to. These settings will be listed, in order, below.
World Difficulty - This should be self - explanatory. Player votes for this would determine the difficulty of the simulated world the players would be fighting the bosses in, which would determine whether Expert/Master - exclusive equipment is available, the 6th and 7th accessory slots (based on progression in the “world”, which is also voted on), and most notably, boss’ stats and AI, as those change based on the world difficulty.
World Evil - This should also be self - explanatory, but to summarize, whichever world evil players have access to would limit the options for equipment they can have. As of 1.4, though, this doesn’t hold as true as before, because an artificial biome of the opposite world evil can be created in Hardmode thanks to the Dryad selling seeds of the opposite world evil in a Hardmode Graveyard.
World Progression - One of the core aspects and gameplay parts of Terraria is empowering player characters in order for them to be able to face down and slay bosses. Naturally, whatever bosses are defeated would roughly determine what players would have access to at that point. Player votes for this lobby setting would determine what is available to players during boss fights, with my proposals for different world states being Pre - Boss (no bosses defeated), Pre - Hardmode (Wall of Flesh not defeated), Early Hardmode (less than all Mechanical Bosses defeated), Hardmode (all Mechanical bosses defeated), Post - Plantera (Plantera defeated), Post - Golem (Golem defeated), and pre - Lunar Events (Lunatic Cultist and Celestial Pillars not defeated). After the world progression state is determined, players can further narrow down what bosses have or haven’t been defeated based on what’s most relevant for that stage of progression.
Bosses Defeated - This is another setting I believe players should be able to vote for in lobbies, because different bosses means different equipment will be available to players, which can make a LOT of difference in ease of a fight. As an example, it is entirely possible to progress and attain Hellstone equipment without defeating the world’s evil boss (Eater of Worlds for Corruption worlds, Brain of Cthulhu for Crimson worlds), and if Queen Slime is defeated in the world, players would have access to her drops, such as Crystal Assassin Armor.
Those are all the things I believe should be vote for on a per - lobby basis. If it’s possible, players could then, instead of just dropping into a portal like with Zombies to randomly queue, can instead invite others to a lobby, or search for lobbies within preferred parameters. If a preferred lobby is not found, players could choose to either just go into another open lobby, or create one of their own. If that isn’t possible, instead allow players to vote on a per - fight basis.
And now, a few other details I didn’t touch on earlier in this forums post.
First, classes. Despite Journey’s End cutting ties with one of the classes present within the game, I believe players should still have the option to choose what they want to play as in order to suit their playstyles, and choosing among the four classes is a great way to express themselves. Allow players to choose their overarching class, and their equipment could be based on that class (e.g. a pre - Hardmode Ranger could have Necro Armor, Phoenix Blaster, and Meteor Shot).
Second, a personal difficulty setting for equipment, which, out of all settings, I believe should be chosen on a per - round basis. It’d be as boring as PvE if players were fighting bosses while massively overprepared whilst still staying within the realm of reason for the stage of progression and other factors mentioned above. Each player, based on their skill level, could choose different amounts of difficulty based on a scale of, say, 1 to 10. 1 being the easy side, the player choosing that difficulty would be incredibly overstacked for the fight, not to the point of trivial, but enough so that there would only be a few troubles throughout the fight. 10 would be the absolute hardest, where the player choosing that difficulty would be understacked, having to contend with several disadvantages in addition to the threat of the boss, but the fight for them would still be doable (kind of as if they were speedrunning and don’t have extra luxuries).The overall average of players’ personal difficulty levels would determine the quality of the arena for fighting, whether just a row or two of platforms, or something else.