In light of the devs suggestion to start a new world and the fact that I don't want to give up on all those sweet, sweet builds we've made, we are gonna take new characters and drop them on a nearby island and start over from there. This way we get to unlock all the new H&H content the way the devs suggested/intended, and when we've gotten to the point where we can start exploring the world with ships again we can head back home.
This does have a few drawbacks, like possibly not being able to do certain bosses and separating yourself from the cairns at the starting point, so we're gonna leave some antlers and maybe the swamp key and "unlock" those once we've progressed to that point before using them. But I think it'll be really satisfying to spend time away from all our work and eventually make it back to the place (or places) we call home.
Anyway just figured I'd share the idea cuz I thought other people might enjoy it. While I am aware I will probably need to abandon it at some point in the future, I am pretty attached to our world and not yet ready to give it up or start a new one, and I'd be surprised if I were only one who feels this way.