Game progression design concepts:
1. Hard spawns- in order to create a new spawn point , you need wood, silk, and iron. Moving any one of those resources away from the spawn creates a travel challenge.
example: desert island start
2. Progression alternatives- not knowing what the next step will be encourages exploration and adaptation.
i. No corruption. No corruption means no shadows orbs, no meteorites, no demonite.
a. Alternate low-level boss that must be found. Killing a boss summons dryad, allow purchase of corruption powder.
b. Cthulu cult. Cult has a church. Killing the cult (or aiding them?) creates the corruption. bonus for lore and world-building
c. alternate ore- see ore thieves.
ii. Ore thieves. Remove all of a progression ore, create faction that has stockpiles it defends. could be cobalt or mythril or adamantium at random, stops progression.
a. Dwarves. Series of dwarven mines, using procedural generation. All ore overwritten goes into dwarf vaults stolen ore, creating a lucrative target. Dwarves are not hostile until a vault is broken. Could require special tool/gadget to break vault, creating another goal.
b. Elves/treetop dwellers- similar, but in new treetop canopy biome. mythril preference?
c. Ancient ruins - all of an ore type is available only in lost city (jungle underground) or sunken city. This would also work with shadow orbs.