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I spawned the Eater of Worlds twice and both times he mysteriously went below the surface and didn't re-surface.

In fact, I eventually received the message "Eater of Worlds has been slain!"

What gives?

Where is he going and mysteriously getting himself killed?

Can I find his drops, eventually?

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This needs more context. Where were you fighting him? Corruption or otherwise? If not corruption, how did you travel there? What weapon were you using? Were you on a platform? Were you over lava? More info! –  Neil Jun 28 '11 at 14:42
    
@Neil I don't think any more context is required considering jaminja provided a perfect answer. –  Robb Jun 28 '11 at 16:35

3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The behaviour of the Eater of Worlds has been changed in the 1.0.5 version of Terraria.

I cannot find an explicit reference to the behaviour change in the changelog, but the following line could be interpreted that way:

Changed the way worm enemies spawn.

The wikis don't seem to have been updated yet, but I have observed that you can no longer fight the Eater of Worlds in any biome other than Corruption. If you move away from a corrupted area during the fight, you will see the Eater of Worlds has been slain! message.

If you managed to destroy any of the segments before you received that message, the loot that was dropped will still be there (unless you have saved and exited the game), so you can go back and pick it up. However, if you moved off the corruption without destroying any of the segments, I'm afraid that no loot will have been dropped.


Update:

With the 1.0.6 version of Terraria, you should no longer see this message in this scenario, and should instead be notified that the Eater of Worlds has fled.

From the 1.0.6 Changelog:

NPC Bug Fixes

  • EoW is no longer "defeated" when he flees.
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The history section in the official wiki for Eater of Worlds mentions this behaviour, but I'm guessing it hasn't been confirmed yet, which is why it is not in the main description yet. –  jaminja Jun 28 '11 at 14:52
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I definitely left the corruption. That would be the answer. –  Robb Jun 28 '11 at 15:10
    
It caught me completely off guard the first time it happened. After summoning the boss I fell down a chasm and had forgotten to bring torches, so I couldn't get out, D'oh! I thought I'd lure it to a nice battle area I had created once I re-spawned, but it looks like that's not going to work any more. –  jaminja Jun 28 '11 at 15:18

I think the message saying the Eater of Worlds has been slain instead of saying he fled is just a bug. The first bullet under the "Mr. Fix-It" section of this post says that the version 1.0.6 update will correct the message so that the Eater of Worlds will "no longer list as 'Defeated'" when he flees.

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Just to add to Jaminja's post.

Eater will die with no loot if you left the biome for too long, e.g. using Magic Mirror to go home then run back to Corruption for round 2.

I suggest that you build a outpost closer to Corruption, with a bed as spawning point.

Another suggestion is to prep the area into an arena hall to better your odds in fighting it. This can not be easy as the little Eaters will literally swarm you.

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Yes. You can easily spread the corrupted area (just transplant some ebonstone) to make a sufficiently "corrupted" arena to fight him in. –  Raven Dreamer Jul 16 '11 at 3:01

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