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Hey everyone, Mathmagician back again with another little Hard Mode guide. This time I'm just going to talk about a few farming tricks that might help you to progress through Hard Mode in patch 1.1 and 1.1.1. I may be updating this blog post in the future.
One of the simplest, fastest, legitimate (non-cheating/hacking/modding) ways to farm money is to use the Fish Statue. The Fish Statue spawns Goldfish (up to 3 at a time) when connected to a Pressure Plate, Timer, Switch, or Lever with Wire. Each goldfish (mob) drops a single goldfish (item) upon death, and this item sells for 2 silver. With the right set up, this can be exploited to gain vast sums of money, which can be very helpful for purchasing items in Hard Mode or doing lots of Reforging.
Spawning The Goldfish
There are many different ways to spawn the goldfish. Some examples include: 1) wire the fish statue up to a 1-second timer, 2) wire the fish statue up to a switch/lever and flip it manually, 3) wire the fish statue up to a pressure plate and step on it yourself, 4) wire the fish statue up to a pressure plate and use another monster to step on it. Out of these options, it turns out that Option 4 can spawn goldfish the fastest, and it's also automated.
Killing The Goldfish
There are many different ways to kill the goldfish. Some examples include: 1) kill them yourself with a sword or other weapon, 2) set up Dart Traps to kill them, 3) spawn other monsters that will kill them, such as Piranha from the Piranha Statue, 4) use lava to kill them. The option that kills them most quickly and painlessly out of these is to use lava.
My Goldfish Farm
This picture above shows my goldfish farm set up. Crabs (spawned by the Crab Statue) trapped in a 2x2 box step on pressure plates very rapidly, causing goldfish to spawn. These goldfish are instantly killed by the thin layer of lava, and I can obtain their items by standing nearby. With 1 fish statue and 2 trapped crabs, I get a full stack of 99 goldfish in about 26 seconds. That stack of goldfish is worth almost 2 gold coins. Extrapolating, I get one platinum coin in about 22 minutes. Adding a second fish statue gives 99 goldfish in just 17 seconds (both fish statues connected to both pressure plates via wire), which translates to a platinum coin in approximately 14 minutes. Adding a 3rd fish statue doesn't actually improve the rate at which the goldfish spawn in this particular case. So, with 2 Fish Statues, a Crab Statue, and the right set up, I can get 4 platinum coins in an hour.
Note: As the picture shows, you can put your goldfish farm near your house where you'll be completely safe and then go afk. Even if it's a blood moon, my house is built in a such a way that mobs cannot reach me. Even Wraiths, which pass through blocks, will not be able to reach the upper regions of my house--this is because wraiths cannot hover above 3 blocks high in an open space such as the main floor of my house. So wraiths cannot reach my NPCs or my goldfish farm. Of course, you still can't go completely afk. You have to come back once every 10 minutes or so to sell goldfish and clear out inventory space again.
As of patch 1.1, there are 6 Souls in the game which are used as materials when crafting various Hard Mode items. I want to spend a little time talking about ways to farm these souls.
Souls of Light
A decent way to collect large amounts of Souls of Light is to build a farm in the Underground Hallow. For the farm, you will need 1) a large, open area for mobs to spawn in, 2) a trap to kill the mobs, typically lava, and 3) you need to deny mob spawning outside of the wide open area by filling it in with blocks. Once you have the farm built, you can just sit back with your Water Candle and Battle Potion and let your trap do the rest. The picture above demonstrates this.
The farm can take a long time to build, possibly up to a couple hours or longer depending on how many mobs spawn, how good your equipment is, how good of an area you choose, how much Dynamite you have, etc. etc. Try to be as prepared as possible and wall yourself off for protection from mobs while building. If you decided to fight the mobs, building the trap will take longer. It's probably a better idea just to put a wall between yourself and the mobs so that they can't bother you and that no more spawn. Unfortunately, Chaos Elementals are going to be extremely annoying here. Once the farm is built, however, you'll have quick access to an unlimited amount of Souls of Light. Enchanted Swords can prevent you from being able to go afk safely, however, as they must be killed by hand.
Souls of Night
You can build a farm in the Underground Corruption to get Souls of Night. The only significant difference between the Underground Corruption and the Underground Hallow when it comes to farming is that over time, a lot of Clingers will spawn. Clingers are immobile, so they have to be dispatched by hand--an automated trap won't really work against them. If you just kill off the clingers from time to time, allowing other mobs to spawn again, a lava trap is still useful. Again, Cursed Hammers tend to prevent safe afk farming here.
Souls of Flight
Souls of Flight aren't really worth farming, except when you need to get Angel Wings. Basically, you can build an arena at the top of the world and fight the Wyvern over and over again. I think that's fairly self-explanatory.
Souls of Might, Sight and Fright
The Soul of Might is only dropped by The Destroyer. The Soul of Sight is only dropped by The Twins. The Soul of Fright is only dropped by Skeletron Prime. You can farm these souls by killing these bosses over and over again. I already have a walkthrough that describes a decent way to do this. Note that these souls sell for 2 gold coins each, so selling them after you no longer need them as a material is another decent way to earn money.