tModLoader、TShock、 Vanilla

you should make you vanilla to grasp all the basics and not be overwhelmed, terraria is a very big game, i’d say ut has more than 5x the amount of content than minecraft even, and mods such as calamity and other bug ones can add 4x times more content than vanilla, so if you don’t want to be confused and lost about the progression you should really start a vanilla server with your friends

tShock isn't modded, it's just custom Terraria server software. If you want more control with the server, go with tShock.

If you’re new I’d definitely run vanilla. It isn’t “hollow”