Why can't I use the mouse?
Where did the shield spells from the first game go?
From CEO/Founder Chris Park:
Both of these things have an enormous impact on balance. You could argue that these things are a matter of taste and customization, and I'd have to agree -- that's why they are in the first game, and why they remain there. But these were one of the biggest ongoing challenges to balance in the first game for me, and they are things that really put large segments of the player populace at a disadvantage if they don't use them.
Here again, it comes to getting back to the roots of what we were trying to do. Yes, Terraria uses the mouse controls -- so do numerous other PC action-adventure games with a 2D sidescroller view. So do a lot of MMOs and RPGs.
In the first game we were really enticed by the allure of all those things, and so we let our design drift and become unfocused. In other words, the design tried to become all things to all people, and Environ became a world that you could come and do whatever you wanted in. That's pretty fun! But it's very difficult to make a truly compelling game that way. What we needed to do with the sequel was really focus, and make the original game we set out to do.
In terms of Mario Bros. games, what if Mario had a rocket launcher he could aim in any direction? What if he had a force field he could toggle on and off periodically at will? That might be entertaining for a bit, but that would fundamentally make a different game, I think. And I don't think a better game -- for Mario, all the enemies are designed around him not having abilities like that. So to give him those abilities means the levels would be crazy easy and hollow.
On the flip side, the game Intrusion 2 uses mechanics like aim-anywhere firing, and it's a brilliant game. All the enemies are designed around the powers that your avatar has, and so everything fits together just right. But of course the character there doesn't have the movement abilities that Mario does -- if the character there had that kind of speed and jumping ability, then I suspect its mechanics would really start to break down -- in the same way Mario would if you gave the wrong weapons to him.
What I'm saying is, games are additive in nature -- you can't just throw any old thing in there and expect it to be the same game. If you add a single new piece to Chess, you've dramatically changed that game. It doesn't matter what the piece even does.
In the case of AVWW1, we had the movement speed of Mario 3 or so, and the aim-anywhere nature of Intrusion 2. We also had control schemes that did not support aim-anywhere, and that made it so that players were playing two different games. And that meant that enemies really couldn't be balanced around either, since in some cases could aim super-precisely and in others they could not aim remotely that well. What a mess.