I was tired of seeing my daughters slaughtered repeatedly.
They couldn’t even get from the spawn point to the little shelter we’d built without dying. Over and over. It was turning out not to be the family co-op experience I’d hoped.
Yes, I know Terraria is a teen-rated game, and that there’s blood and violence. But there were not many high quality co-op sandbox games to choose from. We had Minecraft, of course, but I couldn’t play Minecraft every day. And there was something about Terraria’s side-view platform style that was soothing to me, someone who cut his teeth on 80s platformers. And apart from the gore and scary boss monsters, there wasn’t anything objectionable in the game.
So, my girls were being slaughtered. Their armor was crap. And we don’t play long when we play, a half hour on average, so it was going to be weeks before they’d get any decent armor.
This left me with a fatherly dilemma. On the one hand, I’m supposed to help them learn to be independent, to fight their way through challenges, to have grit. On the other hand, I’m supposed to protect them from harm. I don’t know if that rule extends to virtual places. But we all just wanted to get to the point where we could explore and build cool stuff. And to get to that point, we needed decent gear. And it was up to me to provide.
So I set out on a personal quest into the murky world of game modders. This would be a two-week quest, and when I returned, I wouldn’t be the same. A few of the many challenges I had to face along the way:
- face off against unconscionably offensive modder trolls
- modify a flash drive to fit my Xbox
- edit out offensive NPC names from the disturbed minds of the modder trolls
At the end of this quest, I brought home the epic loot. Chest after chest of it. Excaliber, Megashark, Gungnir. Platinum bars. Dragon Armor. Candy cane building blocks. I had provided for my family.
And now the game is fun for all the three of us. Occasionally I feel a twinge of regret that we didn’t mine for every block and shed blood for every weapon. But now we can build cool stuff and go tear up monsters when we feel like it. And there are still enough tough bosses to keep things challenging and build character.