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The (gamepedia) wiki claims that "every enemy" has a chance of dropping a dungeon key for the biome that it is in, and I see nothing to suggest otherwise in the other wiki or update logs, yet it seems strange that all farming tutorials for the keys are making use of spike traps and meteor heads rather than statues hooked up to a timer.

If it were the case that statues could spawn mobs that could drop keys then I'd imagine people would be making massive statue farms for insane rates rather than an unexpandable meteor head farm. Or is there perhaps some reason why this method would be slower or wouldn't work?

Was it confirmed by somebody that statue summoned mobs can't drop hardmode keys, or was it just assumed to be the case? Is it true?

Edit: (For bounty I'd rather the answer to show the code or an official dev statement, not from the wiki, it appears that the wiki has now changed its statement)

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You sort of answered your own question. If statue-spawned enemies could drop keys then yes, people would be using that instead of meteor, as statue spawns are more controllable than meteor heads. –  Katustrawfic Oct 15 '13 at 20:45
    
The wiki still says any enemy could drop it, and statue spawned mobs can drop other biome dependant things such as pirate maps. I feel that people have probably just assumed that it could not drop as I haven't really seen any tests or searching through the code to see if it does or doesn't drop. –  colorfusion Oct 15 '13 at 21:30
    
@DomenikVanBuskirk But getting your hands on tons of statues is harder than getting a meteor to spawn. –  3ventic Oct 16 '13 at 7:50
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted
+50

Enemies spawned from statues cannot drop a dungeon key.

Below is the code that spawns the key drop as you kill an enemy in a biome (the only code that spawns a dungeon key in the game). As you can see, the chance is one in 4000. (On average, every 4000th enemy drops a key.)

I changed the random number to be a confirmed key drop instead, and built a contraption with statues to spawn enemies in an ice biome. I killed a few normally spawned enemies in the biome and all of them dropped a key. Then I spawned a few enemies from the statues and none of them dropped a key.

if (Main.hardMode && this.value > 0f)
{
    if (Main.rand.Next(4000) == 0 && Main.player[(int)Player.FindClosest(this.position, this.width, this.height)].zoneJungle)
    {
        Item.NewItem((int)this.position.X, (int)this.position.Y, this.width, this.height, 1533, 1, false, 0, false);
    }
    if (Main.rand.Next(4000) == 0 && Main.player[(int)Player.FindClosest(this.position, this.width, this.height)].zoneEvil)
    {
        Item.NewItem((int)this.position.X, (int)this.position.Y, this.width, this.height, 1534, 1, false, 0, false);
    }
    if (Main.rand.Next(4000) == 0 && Main.player[(int)Player.FindClosest(this.position, this.width, this.height)].zoneBlood)
    {
        Item.NewItem((int)this.position.X, (int)this.position.Y, this.width, this.height, 1535, 1, false, 0, false);
    }
    if (Main.rand.Next(4000) == 0 && Main.player[(int)Player.FindClosest(this.position, this.width, this.height)].zoneHoly)
    {
        Item.NewItem((int)this.position.X, (int)this.position.Y, this.width, this.height, 1536, 1, false, 0, false);
    }
    if (Main.rand.Next(4000) == 0 && Main.player[(int)Player.FindClosest(this.position, this.width, this.height)].zoneSnow)
    {
        Item.NewItem((int)this.position.X, (int)this.position.Y, this.width, this.height, 1537, 1, false, 0, false);
    }
}
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The wiki says on the Statue page that:

Enemies spawned from statues do not generally drop coins or other items (with some exceptions; see below), though they do drop stars and hearts at the usual rate.

the items listed in the exception list do not include dungeon key.

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