Calamity is a mod that has a lot of weapons. Some good, some bad, some questionable, and some really aesthetically pleasing… which is where this weapon comes into play.
My goal is to beat Calamity with just the Aestheticus. I did it with the Lunic Eye already, so surely things can’t go that much worse, right?
This is how Pre-Hardmode went…
So, being a challenge run, there are obviously some rules:
So, obviously, the main rule of the run is that I have to use Aestheticus as my only weapon and thus my ‘main’ source of damage. No other weapons are allowed.
Aestheticus is… very similar to the Lunic Eye on-paper. You rapidly fire homing projectiles that scale with all your damage stats that debuff enemies. This means DPS is fairly consistent overall, since the projectiles are fast enough to keep up with most bosses.
However, there are some extra things to note. First off, Aestheticus has 1 less base damage than the Lunic Eye. Normally this would be trivial, but it means that all damage buffs will be a little weaker and thus the weapon will actually be dealing less and less damage as the game continues, even compared to the Lunic Eye. Furthermore, the projectile splits in 4 smaller homing projectiles upon hitting an enemy. I didn’t think at the time but these smaller projectiles deal less damage than the Lunic’s ‘explosion’, so even more damage is lost.
Other Forms of Damage:
As usual, to prevent this becoming an easier weaponless run, I have banned most of the usual extra forms of damage. Some are allowed, still, so the list will generally be the same as usual.
-Accessory-Summoned Minions (e.g. Heart of the Elements)
-Town NPCs (Fairly Self-Explanatory)
-Traps (Includes Lava and Explosives)
-Armour Set Bonuses (So we can actually use Post-ML Summoner Armour, etc.)
-Potion Effects (e.g. Inferno, Thorns)
-Misc. Accessory Damage (e.g. Shield Bashes, Nebulous Core Stars)
Other changes I’ve allowed in order to make the challenge either easier or harder on myself. Probably the category most up to interpretation.
I allowed myself 3 more accessory slots throughout the run, unlocked throughout progression: 1 at the start, 1 more Post-WoF, and 1 more Post-Moon Lord. This is mainly to mildly offset the Aestheticus’ sharp falloff in terms of damage.
However, like a moron, I decided that this challenge wasn’t bad enough and activated Defiled Feather throughout the entire run: a decision that would come back to bite me late in the run…
Worse yet, I banned Rod of Discord/ teleportation methods…
Anyways, with that aside, on with the run.
So, I went into this run already dreading it very early-on as I quickly realised that, without the Lunic Eye’s explosion like I had in that run, my damage would be awful. Thus, I decided to explore the world and pre-prepare as much as humanly possible. Aestheticus handled slimes decently, but the fact it couldn’t reliably take on a Purple Slime was a bad omen.
I got some bad world gen consisting of Crimson at both sides of my spawn, a jungle already mostly consumed by Crimson, an ice biome that was almost entirely flooded and a janky Sunken Sea. I managed to mostly evade this and save my jungle for later, since 5 bosses are tied to it.
Ultimately, I got the Goblin Tinkerer, Melee Wulfrum Armour and a Sandstorm and a Cloud in a Bottle before even thinking of fighting a boss. Oh, and, of course, an Abyssal Amulet.
-Now, with some other preparations like making an arena, I deemed it was time to try and fight a boss
King Slime went well, overall. A little lengthy considering the weapon I was using here would in-turn be used for all the bosses up until the endgame, but it did well for now so I’ll think about the future when it comes.
Aestheticus dealt with the slimes King Slime spawned well enough, especially since I fought on platforms so the splitting projectiles wouldn’t hit the ground and disappear before doing anything.
-The Slimy Saddle and Slime Hook are always appreciated, the former especially
-The Solidifier being used to make Balloons was also a big help, since it allowed me to have a Bundle of Balloons and a Horseshoe Balloon before even heading for the next boss
The quickest and easiest boss in the entire run, mainly for the fact I have Crush Depth and a fast-firing ‘projectile spam’ weapon. My mobility allowed me to out-maneuver Scourge and target segments not already affected by Crush Depth, allowing me to deal in excess of 400 DPS at times.
There was also an incident where Aestheticus’ Vaporfied debuff slowed Scourge mid-jump, causing it to slowly fall and letting me debuff all of its segments at once. As you can guess the fight didn’t last much longer.
Overall, I wish later bosses went as smoothly as Scourge did. Unfortunately, I’m playing the game in a stupid way, so that’s not happening.
-Victide Armour and the Shield of the Ocean are good
–I went with the summoner Victide set since it summons the Urchin. Not good damage, but it does allow me to inflict Crush Depth even more and the defence from the other sets didn’t seem worth it
—I do wonder, though, if the seashell boomerangs would’ve worked with Aestheticus…
Eye of Cthulhu
The Eye of Cthulhu was, much like the Lunic Eye, easily dealt with since the weapon counters its 2 main strengths.
First of all, it fires fast enough and deals enough base damage to deal with all of the Servants of Cthulhu easily, removing them from the equation almost entirely.
Secondly, the Eye’s fast movements in Phase 2 are soft-countered by the homing and fast projectiles of Aestheticus, as well as the slowdown from the debuff when it triggers. Overall, not a tough fight either.
-The Shield of Cthulhu is always appreciated, but that is the only direct EoC drop worth getting in this run
Crabulon is fairly similar to the Eye of Cthulhu’s first phase in concept; summoning lots of lesser minions that follow the player. Thus, Aestheticus and the Abyssal Amulet were a great combination for dealing with them consistently.
Crabulon itself, on the other hand, caused some minor problems. Primarily my mushroom biome was far too small to fight Crabulon in, so it was enraged and thus much faster throughout most of the fight. Aside from that, however, there wasn’t much of an issue here.
-Unfortunately, you get nothing for defeating Crabulon during this challenge run
-It also came to my attention, as of writing this, that the Fungal Clump is no longer needed for the Amalgam… darn
Brain of Cthulhu
The Brain of Cthulhu was the final boss I’d say was trivially easy in this challenge, and for much of the same reasons as both the Eye and Crabulon before it.
Crush Depth combined with a fast-firing weapon decimates the Creepers, leaving only the Brain itself to worry about. However, Aestheticus also warded off the Brain quite nicely with its consistent fire rate and decent knockback, allowing me to breeze through the fight with relative ease.
-You can now craft the Nightmare/Deathbringer Pickaxe, as well as a set of Crimson Armour which provides a total of +30% damage for Aestheticus
The Perforators are the first significant boss in the run, taking over a minute and, unlike King Slime, actually posing somewhat of a threat; having multiple ‘phases’ of worm enemies and lots of projectiles.
Fortunately, Crush Depth can affect worm segments individually, and it especially decimated the 2nd worm with its individual segments’ health bars. Aestheticus’ projectile spam only made this easier to inflict.
Overall, though, not entirely a pushover like some previous bosses.
-Aerialite Armour can now be obtained, however I decided that I’d rather keep Victide for the Shield’s defensive buffs.
Queen Bee, like with the Lunic Eye run, is an actual threat during these playthroughs. This is mainly because my weapon has low base damage and thus Queen Bee’s expert gimmick of gaining defence is such an issue.
By the time Queen Bee was down to below 50% health Aestheticus started sometimes only dealing 1 damage, drawing out the fight greatly, however my sheer quantity of projectiles meant that even those 1-damage projectiles added up.
-I once again get nothing for defeating Queen Bee, though this is becoming the norm for these runs now
Skeletron was, purely, just a worse version of the Lunic Eye run in every single way, sharing weaknesses and actually gaining new ones, too.
So, obviously, my base damage is still quite low due to my weapons, reaching a point where Aestheticus begins struggling even now before we’ve reached Hardmode. Furthermore, like Lunic, Aestheticus’ projectiles will still target Skeletron’s head even while the hands are alive, so I don’t even have consistent damage to rely on.
Skeletron’s head is also immune to Crush Depth so even when I did reach Phase 2 I had to rely on the Urchin and Aestheticus’ raw damage in order to win, which worked but felt slower than it actually was.
-Now being able to access the Dungeon I can get a Cobalt Shield, but aside from that and things like the Nazar and Kill Counter there’s not much else directly obtained from this fight
Taking the crowning spot of longest fight in Pre-Hardmode is Slime God, surpassing 200 seconds. However, unlike Queen Bee and Skeletron, there were actual good parts that almost balanced things out a little.
Annoyingly, the large slime being occupied by the Core took negligible damage from Aestheticus, so when the Core was inside a slime I targeted the other, all until only a single slime remained, where I had no choice.
The Core, however, was not so bad. Aestheticus’ slowness effect triggered and slowed it down long enough for me to be able to rain damage upon it with a flurry of Aestheticus shots and, a short while of dodging later, the fight was over.
-I will now upgrade my armour to Statigel, going for summoner once more for the armour set bonus minion. Aside from this, and by proxy ditching the Shield of the Ocean, not much else could be upgraded before Wall of Flesh
Wall of Flesh
Wall of Flesh, as a boss, was concerning for me. Because of Defiled Feather I am unsure if I actually ever prepared Lightning Boots for this fight, but I assume that I must have in order to outrun the Wall at low health.
Some issues persisted from the Lunic Eye run, mainly the weapon’s homing often targeting Hungries instead of the Wall, which in turn caused the fight to be more drawn-out. It wasn’t as bad, however, as the number of fragments from the splitting projectiles meant I, at the very least, had the Wall permanently under the effects of Crush Depth.
The battle went on for 2,150 blocks, roughly, a fight so close that only 20 blocks remained across my WoF bridge beyond that point. Very close, but I persevered.
-With the Wall of Flesh defeated the world now enters Hardmode
-I gain 2 accessory slots here; 1 from the challenge rules, and 1 from the Heart dropped by the Wall
-I also took time to grab some Emblems from this boss for later…
And that was the first of three parts of the Aestheticus run. As usual this will be broken up into three parts and published as I prepare the art and stuff for them, so stay tuned.
I must, also, warn anyone:
If you genuinely want to do one of these challenge runs yourself, do not do this one.
I’m serious, of all my challenges across my time playing Calamity, this has been the toughest and more annoying to beat.
Worse than the other documented ones.
Worse than Bees-only.
Worse than Revengeance weaponless.
Worse than even the Slime Staff SCal kill.
But, I finish what I start (most of the time), so I have persevered for you guys.
And, thus, I hope you enjoyed, and I’ll see you next time 😛
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