Posted in Valheim

Valheim – Hearth and Home Exploration

This weekend, we updated Valheim and explored a little bit about the new Hearth and Home patch. We didn’t get to test out the changes to battle yet because most of our focus was getting crafting stations updated, specifically the cauldron.

I know there was a bunch of unhappy feedback about this patch initially and I also know that the team has already hotfixed the game to respond to this feedback. I expect there will be continued tweaks in the long run, but props to them for making quick fixes where they’re needed.

I am a little worried because I’m hearing the game is harder than it was before. We were just finding our stride in defeating fulings and had yet to beat the last boss, so it was at an agreeable difficulty, at least for us, before the patch.

Amoon also joined us for the first time in a while, so we helped to get him up to date on his gear. Thankfully, we had enough resources stashed away to create almost a full set of padded gear for him, though we need a bit more to get it all upgraded.

The most exciting item I explored is the Incinerator! Finally, we have a way to destroy unwanted items! And boy did we have a lot of them.

While Valheim Plus does allow items to eventually disappear after a while, we still had a little fenced-in part of our base where we basically just chucked unwanted trophies and other things into it while we awaited removal.

This is so, so much better! It only requires one cheap item from the merchant. Though I suggest that you put it well away from other objects unless you want the process of incineration to damage everything around it… (learned this the hard way).

OOPS! I guess lightning striking would cause damage.

Thor apparently bestows upon you a gift for offering up stuff in the Incinerator, though it’s not as glamourous as you might be hoping. Still, what you get is far more useful than what you put in. 😉

The cauldron also now has several upgrades it didn’t have before, and these upgrades gate the types of food that you can make. For example, you can’t make fish wraps unless you have a higher level cauldron. Things like pots and pans, butcher blocks and spice racks need to be placed near the cauldron, much like upgrades to workbenches.

Cauldron Upgrades

We messed around with the food stats and tried to find foods that would balance health and stamina. I’m not a huge fan of how they broke things out because fighting doesn’t just need health but the stamina to fight.

I know they’ve patched food to make it better, but stamina has always been a pet peeve of mine in Valheim. I do think that there needs to be a limitation on what you can do in the game, but even leveling up and using a slight boost from Valheim Plus, stamina depletes far more quickly than I feel it should. It makes the game more frustrating than challenging, IMHO.

Anyhow.

Complexity of making food has expanded. You have to have a special type of rack to cook certain meats now. And if you want to bake anything – such as pie or bread – you now have to make the pie at the cauldron, then bake it in the new oven to complete it.

I’m not sure how I feel about having an extra step just for baked goods, though it makes it more realistic than baking a pie in a cauldron. Also, it’s fun to watch the pie baking, and see how the pies fly out when you retrieve them once they’re done.

On the downside, I’m not sure if this means you can burn the baked items… which given the resources that go into making a pie, would be a bummer.

We haven’t looked into the new housing building pieces yet. But I am glad to finally be able to plant birch trees now. Fine lumber was becoming more scarce before this.

I’m sure there were other things I noticed about the update and haven’t talked about yet here. For now, I’m going to reserve my final judgement until we get out on the plains and see how our weapons and shields work against a fuling camp.

Posted in Valheim

Valheim: Preparing for Yagluth

It’s been a while since we’ve explored Valheim, but with a new patch coming just around the corner, Syn and I decided to pick up where we left off in our adventures. Last time, we were just learning our way around the plains, figuring out what we could and couldn’t handle when it came to battling the creatures out there.

As our garden in the plains became more fruitful, this time around, we were able to finish upgrading all of our gear except for the shields (we need more chains). Syn made herself a spiffy spiked Porcupine while I just opted to upgrade my black metal sword as far as I could.

Armed and geared, we decided to move towards exploring around the location the game marked as Yagluth. I marked all the Fuling camps as I went because we are still lacking on totems we need to actually summon the boss.

We overshot the altar since there was a camp right next to it and found a fairly safe location along the ocean to build a tiny outpost that could house a portal nearer to Yagluth. This was nothing fancy or large, but we did go with stone buildings just to make sure it was strong enough to withstand an attack if we needed to retreat to it.

We also experimented with making new kinds of food beyond fish wraps, and this helped by boosting the overall health cap quite a bit when it came to raiding the camps. The one star (and sometimes two star) Fulings still do a lot of damage, but with a bigger health pool, I was able to survive a few fights I couldn’t have before.

I know that food is going to change in the next patch, so I’m a little worried they’ll take away the higher health cap effects. Guess we’ll have to see!

That’s not to say we didn’t die a few times, but death was easier to recover from with an outpost located where we built it. I’m still learning how much I can survive with this new gear and how much damage I can do with the upgraded blade. Despite having what I think is the better stuff in the game, Fulings are still a big challenge and quite tough when they gang up on you.

Deathsquitos are thankfully not so much of a danger anymore, and in fact have become coveted as we need the needles to make new stacks of arrows – we go through quite a bit.

Not every camp we raid has a totem, which is making things slow going. We actually have more black metal than we know what to do with due to our efforts. Where we left off, we have four of five totems we need to summon Yagluth, and a couple more camps we’ve scouted in our explorations of the area.

So my hope is we can down him the first try (though I haven’t read up on any of the strats) and not have to go out hunting more totems if we should fail. I’m honestly not sure if that’s how it works if everyone dies at a boss seeing we’ve never had it happen, and I hope it won’t this time around.

I’m not sure that we’ll get this fight done before the Hearth and Home patch drops, but it would be nice to be able to focus on whatever the new content is going to be in the patch. I’m happy to see new stuff coming for Valheim!

Also, Valheim has become my second most played game in Steam, only second to 7D2D (which has an insane number of hours and probably won’t be unseated in first place anytime soon).

Posted in Valheim

Valheim: Becoming Hunters on the Plains

On our last session, we’d started to build a new base on the multi-biome island where Yagluth resides. We ran across a deserted village and used that as a foundation for our new base.

As of this weekend, we’ve upgraded the walls to stone and now have a nice little tame wolf pack multiplying within it to help with defense. With that all squared away, our next step was to see what we could find on the plains.

I headed out for some solo exploration of the nearest plains while Syn finished up the base. This covered the length of a peninsula, and I was able to locate a couple of Fuling camps for later. Fulings are tough customers, so to get an entire camp swarming you is extremely dangerous. Especially if some of those are one star Fulings.

Syn came up with a great idea, though – spikes and decoys.

Taking a page out of our 7D2D experience, we turned raiding camps into a mini-tower defense event. She’d build a workbench with some spikes and walls around it, then we’d rush into the camp and pull a group back down towards the structure.

Interestingly, the Fulings almost always were more interested in our structure than us… until they destroyed them, of course. So we had a little time to pick them off while they were beating on spikes and workbenches. They also took damage from the spikes, so that was a bonus.

Building a decoy structure at the base of a hill camp

We’d repair whatever spikes made it through, replace the structures that were destroyed, then do it again until we got the camp population to a point we could come in and clean up.

On one such run, I rushed to the top of the camp where I found a farms of both barley and flax. I stole away with as much of that as I could… and we were in business!

Just as I thought, the flax makes thread which was the missing link for our next set of gear. Funny enough, the armor doesn’t require black metal, but rather more iron. So, we did take a couple-day detour into the Swamps where we’d marked tons of crypts for iron runs.

However, we needed lots and lots of flax. And it only grows in the plains biomes, so it was time to set up a new farm. We learned really quickly that growing barley and flax unprotected in the plains is a terrible idea. Fulings can and will attack the growing plants, just as they did structures.

This means that we had to fence in our farm for protection… so the next project was a nice big stone-walled farm.

Now that we have barley, I was able to put my new windmill to use making flour. This was something I was excitedly waiting for because flour plus cooked fish turns into fish wraps!

I’ve set up a little cooking station next to the windmill – rain or shine, fish wraps are in the makes!

This also gives me an excuse to fish again in game. When we’re not out raiding camps, I’m finding places to fish along the shores. We have plenty of cash for bait, and barley is growing in the farm, so it’s my turn to have fun while providing for our needs.

We were able to craft our first new padded armor from the flax we’ve been growing, and in successfully taking down both Fuling camps, we got a bit more bold.

The Lox have been a terror to us since the first time we ran across them. So, armed with frost and poison arrows, we decided to see what we could do against them. We found that as long as we stayed divided up, we were able to take the Lox down one at a time by ranged kiting.

Considering the last Lox in a Fuling camp

After that, we started hunting the plains for Lox, pretty much taking down every one we could find. I scored a new Lox hide cloak and we added a new Lox hide rug in our main camp. Not to mention meat, which we still need to cook.

We have lots of upgrades to make – I got a new blackmetal sword, too. But gear-wise, we’re waiting for the flax to grow and weave before we can upgrade more. Luckily, the padded gear only seems to require iron for further upgrades. We have tons of iron stashed away at this point, and the ability to get even more if we need it.

So, for now, we’re sitting pretty as we continue to explore the plains and work on gearing up for the last boss fight!

Posted in Valheim

Valheim: Making Moder Cry

So, where we left off in our last Valheim adventures was the long search to find the runestone that would point us to the location of the next boss, Moder. We explored mountain after mountain after mountain with no luck until we exhausted all the mountain biomes that we’d brushed up against during our earlier travels.

We had to set out to see to find new islands with mountains, all the while trying to avoid the plains as much as possible – which isn’t always easy as these biomes often fall next to each other. Despite finding another larger mountain biome on the next new island, we didn’t find the Moder runestone… and instead found the runestone for the next boss!

It’s been a couple of weekends of play that we’ve been on the search, so when this past weekend rolled around, I looked at what we’d uncovered on our map and made a suggestion. Since we were going to be sailing to find new locations anyhow, and we don’t know the location of Moder, why not sail towards the next boss since we do know that location and see if we can find mountains around there to search? That way, we’re making some sort of progress that we can use later.

That’s what we did.

It was quite a sail from the known lands to the south east, but we made it down to the island very near where Yagluth resides. Along the way, we found two Leviathans side by side, so made a quick stop for chitin.

We also had a humorous moment where we became hunted while out on the waters. This usually means a wolf pack is coming to attack on that location, but seeing we were in the ocean, we just sailed away from the spot, and it wasn’t very effective. The event still remains on our map, however.

When we finally got down to the Yagluth island, we did run across some mountain biome. So, just as before, we tossed up a quick outpost (we’ve been building them into the side of the mountains lately) and a portal for quick access.

Guess what we found?

Not one… but TWO runestones for Moder in those mountains!

Seeing that Syn and I split up a bit, we also found them at just about the same time in the same sort of structure – tucked up under the stairs in those tall stone towers.

That’s just painful irony right there. But at least we knew where to finally find Moder.

Though on the map, this looks like quite a distance, it turned out to only be a day’s sail from the closest Outpost. Luckily, we haven’t had any more run-ins with the serpent, either.

So, we made the trip to Moder Island, built a little outpost in the side of the mountain fairly close to her altar and got ready for the fight. I knew from briefly reading on her mechanics what we were looking at – this is the first and probably last boss fight that I read up on before we went in. But I’m glad I had a little guidance because she could have easily been fatal otherwise.

We had a few close calls during the fight, and it was especially irritating when wolves and drakes started to interfere. But having two people working on her – one to keep her distracted while both players worked down her health – was a huge help.

We took her down on the first try and retrieved her tears — which allowed us to make some new crafting stations back at the base! And, of course, gave us a new trophy to hang.

We only had a few pieces of black iron from our short ventures into the plains. And crafting the first ingots using the new blast furnace didn’t open up as much as I’d hoped in terms of gear. Just a couple of shields. So we’re missing some components somewhere that we haven’t discovered yet to make progress.

We then went back to Yagluth Island where there were plains near our little mountain outpost, but we got too close to an enemy village and they ganged up on us pretty fast. After that death, we had to consider how we were going to approach this.

So far, what we know is that the little Fulings drop the iron. You might be able to get it another way, too, but that’s all we’ve found so far. I have a thought about what the missing component might be seeing we were also given a spinning wheel station to make so…

Doing some more exploration on Yagluth Island, we found that the landmass is large and there’s a lot of biome variety there. In fact, we found an extensive meadows including a large deserted village. We’ve found smaller villages, or farms, of course. But this one had large buildings that looked like meeting halls – even had a raven throne!

We had to clear the draugr out of the buildings – interesting – is that what became of the inhabitants that once lived there? But once we did, it made for a great starting point for a new base on Yagluth Island.

Thus far, we’ve built several outposts, but no real major bases. Since this is at the foot of the mountain, Syn wants to bring down some wolves to tame and see if they can be a help to us in the plains.

So while I expected to be raiding the plains at this point, instead, we’re setting up a new base!

This one puts us close to all biomes, though, which will likely be helpful going forward. Plus, it was just a really cool find to begin with.

That’s where we stand as of this weekend. Setting up a new base and getting ready to explore the plains next time!

Oh, yeah, and several times now lately, we’ve caught Odin creeping on us. I’ve never been fast enough to get a picture, but it’s a little unnerving to see him watching us from the shore as we sail by…

Have a nice comfy portal picture instead.
Posted in Valheim

Valheim: World Wandering

Last time I left off in my Valheim posts, Syn and I had reached the mountains and were making good progress on upgrading our gear. I was enjoying my time in the mountains, which I said was far easier than the swamp had been.

I’ve learned since then that this is only true during the day. At night, things get real. We’d already run across the Fenring that comes out at night in the previous play sessions, so that didn’t take us by surprise. It’s really the wandering wolf packs of 5-6 wolves, often with a one star wolf, that did me in.

Unless you can make yourself a cozy cave hideout – or you have a safe base in the mountains – staying overnight isn’t usually a good idea. Wood cabins don’t hold out against drakes or wolve packs for long.

That’s not to say I like the mountains any less. I just wish… the mountains would finally give up their secrets. That is to say, after searching for hours high and low in mountain range after mountain range, we still haven’t found the runestone that uncovers the location to the next boss.

See that picture at the top? That’s a Maypole.

There’s a toss-up if this structure even appears in a world at all. But I found it in our game… of all things. And yet, I still haven’t found the location for Moder.

Note: A new patch has added the Maypole as a craftable object so it is no longer a rare find. Back when I discovered it, however, it was still very rare!

This is slowly becoming an issue. Syn has upgraded all of her silver gear as high as it will go, and I’m getting very close to be fully upgraded. Not finding the next boss location is stopping our progress hard at this point.

See this?

In between mountain ranges as we were searching for Moder’s rune we find…

A rune that points to the Yagluth boss instead! I’m assuming that’s the next boss beyond Moder, and while it’s very nice to have this already on our map, it’s crazy that we’ve spent hours in the mountains only to stumble on the next boss location before we have found our current boss location.

Of course, this forces us out into the world to explore, especially since we’ve already exhausted all of the mountain biomes we’re aware of. Even this huge mountain biome below gave us nothing but silver, snow and my night wolf-pack death.

We also ran face to face with another Serpent in our travels. This time, armed with poison arrows and Draugr Fangs, we were able to kill it. It was still a close call as one more strike would have taken our little Karve out from under us.

In the meantime, the main base has continued to expand and thrive. We did end up building a more distant wolf pen to help with the constant howling sounds that started to drive me nuts. But then, we had so many wolves that they were somehow making it out of the pen by stacking on top of each other to do so (when they got riled up over a monster being outside).

Syn began to form wolf packs that she takes out and about for the fun of it since we have so many wolves… and after hunting through so many mountains, we don’t really need extra wolf parts anymore.

W

While exploring the world is fun (we even joked that we’re going to go to the north pole!), finding the next boss location would be even more fun. Eventually, we do want to explore more of the world, but it would be really nice to be able to finally break into the plains and have a wider access to whatever Moder will unlock for us first.

Until then, we keep searching!

Posted in Valheim

Valheim: The Wolf Pack

This last post for the week will finally catch us up to the point we left off in the game the past weekend! Told you that we’d accomplished a lot!

Once the silver in the mountains started rolling in, we identified the bottleneck in materials to be the wolf parts. We knew that wolves were tamable – though we didn’t know that wolves followed when tame. So, we headed up to the small mountain biome near our base in search of wolves.

We found exactly two of them, and between Syn and I, we led the angry critters all the way back to our base. Looking back on it, if I’d known that tame wolves followed, I’d have done it differently. But what we did worked more or less. We just had to keep the stone walls of the pen we’d built reparied because wolves pack a punch!

In the middle of trying to tame the wolves, we got a new type of attack on our base – the smell of sulfur that indicates surtlings are on the rise.

Though these things move crazy fast in the open area (compared to the ones in the swamp), they weren’t all that difficult to fend off. I don’t know if their flames would have been bad news for things built out of wood, but we also didn’t experiment to find out.

Surtling cores are always welcome, so we didn’t mind this attack so much.

Finally, after appeasing our new wolf additions for a couple days, they became tame and began to produce cubs. I’m going to have a harder time using these wolves for what they were intended – parts for gear – simply because they do follow and stay and fight for you.

To help myself feel a little better about this situation, I picked out one wolf to be my pet and built him his own wolf house away from the others. Syn was gracious enough to let me take from our resources – and while it’s silly… I just want a wolf pet!

The only thing that’s annoying about having a wolf pack around the house is all the howling! I wish there was a way to lower the frequency of wolf sounds. We might eventually have to build a pen somewhere else so that we can sleep at night.

In the meantime, Syn had continued to cull the boar population until we had nothing left but two star boar stock. She also began to further extend the boar pens, eventually taking down the walls between the massive turnip gardens and the boars so they could roam free.

While she worked on her farming projects, I headed out to the mountains to mine silver, explore and take down monsters. I noted that I really could use an upgraded bow for the drakes – I was still only using the fine wood bow at the time. It got the job done, but butter is better.

So that started us on a mini-quest for guck, which is needed to craft the Draugr Fang bow. This led us back into the swamps for a short time, but it didn’t take too long to get what we needed to make a bow for each of us.

This was the first weapon that really made me go “wow” in this game. Just look at that glow!

Bringing back wolf parts from my expeditions – we haven’t started culling our tame wolves yet – we were also both able to create new wolf cloaks which look equal parts cool and somewhat disturbing with that wolf head on there…

That’s where we left off in last weekend’s playthrough. We still need to upgrade the gear we’ve made. We have lots of mountains to explore yet. I have found one dragon egg, and I know what it’s for.

Not a bad bit of progress for a long holiday weekend, indeed!

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Valheim: Into the Mountains

After taking down Bonemass and earning the wishbone item, we brewed up some frost resistance potions and headed out to the next biome – the mountains. Without the potion, the freezing effect will eventually whittle down your health, like poison does. Thankfully, the potions last quite a while and aren’t too difficult to make.

The only other thing you have to watch for is rain or water in general. Even with frost protection, if you try to go into the mountain biome while wet, you’re going to hurt! Of course, this means that Valheim had to storm just when we were going to set out to the mountains time and again…

There was a small mountain zone near our main base on our home island. So we decided to get our feet wet (well not really wet) and see how things worked. All we found here were a few wolves and no pings from the wishbone. This was okay, because this was actually something that would work in our favor on down the line.

We got our first wolf drops from fighting the wolves, got an idea of what the biome felt like and how difficult the creatures were there. After the big difficulty jump with the swamp, where we didn’t dare tread the area alone, I was expecting something just as challenging.

It turns out that mountains are my new favorite area. Not only is it really pretty up there, but the difficulty curve when first entering the biome is so much better tuned than the swamp was. Whereas the swamp was so oppressive and the death count was high – we almost quit the game from the frustration of the zone when it was new to us – I had no fear of walking into the mountains and exploring on my own after our first couple trips.

There was a larger mountain area near our trader, so we set out to explore there with our wishbones ready. Again, I really enjoy the treasure hunt mechanics, and I get so excited anytime the wishbone starts to ping!

Up on this mountain, we found our first silver vein.

I’d go on to find about four or five of these viens in this area. Silver has been far more plentiful than the iron was so far. In fact, we have so much silver that it’s really wolf parts that we’re missing when it comes to crafting new gear.

The very first thing we both went for was the new chest piece which has frost resistance built into it. Testing it somewhat warily at first, I confirmed that the gear did take the place of the frost potions – again as long as you’re not wet. There’s also a new wolf cloak that protects against the cold, and looks pretty cool as well!

I upgraded to a silver sword and we began working on getting a baseline of silver gear across the board. This has been helpful in taking on the new encounters – things such as drakes and golems.

At first, the golem was a bit intimidating, but once I figured out his patterns, I’ve been able to roam about the mountains solo whenever I wanted to. This is a huge step up from the swamp, again, where we were afraid to solo much (until now, of course).

While we haven’t totally dumped the frost potions (never know when you might need one), I’ve been much happier and feel much more free in the mountains. And as I already mentioned, it is really a pretty area and a nice change in scenery. I wouldn’t want to set up a base there, but it’s fun to explore.

Now, we just needed to get a whole lot of wolf parts for our gear and upgrades. That was not a problem at all, as it turns out. I’ll talk about that next time.

Posted in Valheim

Valheim: Taking on Bonemass

Due to Syn’s preference for the karve’s easier handling, I built a second karve at our boathouse. The nice thing about the boathouse is that it’s on the side of the island we’d need to launch from closest to Bonemass’ location.

So that’s what we did.

Not far into the expedition, we came upon an island. Since the map was still hidden from us, it was hard to tell if this was a small island next to the island that contained Bonemass or the island we needed to travel to. It was also hard to tell how far north and south this landmass extended.

Syn gave me the option – sail north or sail south.

I chose north. After sailing all the way around the island northward, I think I chose wrong.

Okay, yeah. We took the long way around.

However, that trip was not wasted. We found a good stretch of plains, for one. We also found a large mountain biome on the island as well. It will make for some good exploration in the future.

Not to mention, as we were sailing, I saw a strange island that contained what looked like barnacles at first glance. Syn and I had rarely stopped for anything in our expeditions, but I asked her to park the boat for this out of curiosity.

Mining the barnacles, I began to gather chitin. I also began to hear a strange whale-like sound, and took note that the island was rumbling – we became very suspicious that this island wasn’t an island at all. After mining three barnacles, the island suddenly submerged, leaving me in the water.

Thankfully, the Syn sent the boat my way and we were able to beat it out of there. After the run-in with the serpent, we didn’t know if this creature was going to come after us. Looking it up, I discovered this was not the case – it merely sinks. It was still a fun encounter and I marked the location in case it should rise up again.

Eventually, we came across to the west side and found some meadows to set up an outpost (we try not to make a base in the swamp). We were further away from the Bonemass location than I’d wanted to be. The last thing we needed was to die on the boss and have to try to make a long run through the swamp with bronze gear to get our corpses.

As we started to make our way northward, we discovered a thin strip of black forest that ran parallel to the swamp. So we decided to make a second outpost as close to Bonemass as we could, moving the portal to the new location.

Once that was complete, we set out into the swamp to take down the boss.

The summoning spot

Bonemass was fairly manageable as a boss. I’m not sure if there were any tricks to him other than to keep a poison resistance potion up at all times. That, and constantly being wet, were the two things that hindered the fight – especially since you can’t use a new potion until your current potion wears off.

There was a point where we each had to take a step back from the fight to wait for the potion counter to time out before using a new potion. With the amount of poising flying around and the adds Bonemass summoned, I think it would have been a lot harder solo. It was good to have someone to juggle boss aggro with throughout the fight.

Once we defeated the boss, we got a new special item…

I immediately liked the idea behind the wishbone. I was also glad that Hugin gave us a lot of information about the kind of things the wishbone could find – including the next step up in crafting gear – silver.

Returning to main base, the Meadows didn’t have silver to offer, but I did run across some of those treasure chests! Once I got to play with it some, I really like the treasure hunting aspect of the wishbone just as much as I thought I would.

Treasure!

Meanwhile, back on the farming side of our base, Syn found and lead a two star boar into our tamed pig pens. Taming this boar would allow us to start breeding two star stock into our current one star boars.

She was also hard at work with the turnip crops – expanding our harvest from the few starting seeds to hundreds of turnips! The meat from the boars combined with the turnips make for fantastic stew that has become a staple of our food source, along with sausages.

We were already very self sufficient – and even able to fight off the troll invasion that rolled down on our base – but increasing the quality of boar stock could only make it better.

The next step in game progression was to head into the mountains. We knew from past experience that walking into the biome started to freeze you. But we also knew that there were frost resistance potions to make.

Armed with our potions and our wishbones, we were more than ready to leave the swamps behind.

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Valheim – Dangers of the Deep

Syn and I spent a lot of time in Valheim over this past three day weekend. We’ve made so much progress – finally getting out of the swamp slump – that I’m going to have to break up our adventures into several posts.

We’ve mostly remained as spoiler free as we can, which leads to lots of fun discoveries and surprises. I say “mostly” because we’ve been a bit more open to looking up things when we discover them if we have questions or curiosities about them.

That lead to the realization that the plains were not the next in order for us…

So we finished upgrading all of our iron gear to as high as our forge would allow. Having done that, we turned our sights to locating Bonemass. We knew that this would involve sailing. We just didn’t know the adventures that sailing could bring.

Thanks to a comment from Bhagpuss, we knew that we could break up our little Karve that was on the other side of some islands to make an easier trip. However, there was a great big area of unmapped waters between the swamp island and our original home island.

So we decided to set out on a side adventure to sail between the islands and see what all was there. This didn’t seem to be an issue since we’d always had peaceful sailing before, but we also didn’t realize the dangers of sailing during a stormy night.

We weren’t too far from land in either direction, but far enough away that I knew we were in trouble at the first sight of the Serpent that was suddenly following our Karve. At first, we tried to speed away from it (in a storm) towards the nearest island.

This was the best shot I got of it before we had to try to engage and fight it off

We realized quickly that the Serpent was faster than our little boat, so we began to try to fight it off with swords and maces. This… wasn’t effective at all and was starting to damage our Karve instead. So, out came our bows.

We only had fire arrows on hand, but that did damage it. It almost seemed like we’d frightened it off at one point as well, but then it came back around. The Serpent made little work of destroying our Karve (it didn’t help that we probably damaged our own boat trying to swing weapons at the monster).

And while we were in sight of the shore, neither of us made it out of the shipwreck alive.

The one positive thing about all this was that we learned that dying on the ocean leaves a floating tombstone. I was afraid that death on the ocean meant the loss of everything as it sank to the bottom. I had opted to leave all of my iron gear back in the base for this expedition, so all that I lost was the old bronze set and my tools. But we still wanted to get our stuff back if possible.

The one negative thing – looking up information on the Serpent – we learned that the Serpent would probably be hanging around our death spot.

We took the new longboat out for this run – though Syn decided she didn’t like how bulky it was in handling compared to the Karve. So the maiden run of the longboat is probably going to be its last (I know it’s faster and it can carry more, but maneuverability is important too).

It took a while for us to sail back out to where our corpses floated. We were really antsy after our first Serpent run-in, and my eyes were ever on the ocean when it rained or was night. I know there’s just a small chance of one popping up but… hey… it happened once, right?

Between our new-found fear of the deep and struggling with controls of the bigger boat, this took some time to do. When we approached our tombs, the Serpent was still very much out there and in sight, but at a good enough distance that we were able to sneak in and sneak out with our stuff.

Once we got back to our base and shook ourselves out from that adventure, we decided to build another Karve and set our sights on finding the location of the next boss, Bonemass.

Posted in Valheim

Valheim: Into the Stone Age

This past weekend, Syn and I dove back into the world of Valheim. When we’d left off, we were hitting up some swamp crypts to bring back iron and upgrade as much of our gear and tools as we could.

We did a little bit more of this, too, but then our gaming sessions went wildly astray in many different directions. This was especially due to the fact that we had a TON of stone lying around and could now work at replacing our wood structures with sturdier stone.

Boar Loves You

I don’t think I ever blogged about my tamed boars.

Way back in the original gaming sessions, I somehow managed to pen up a couple wild boars in a small abandoned farm just over the hill from our base and tame them. It was close enough that we could keep going over to check on them but far enough that sometimes we forgot to feed and breed them.

The original slapped-together pig pen

One of the major base expansions that Syn started working on was really putting to use the open space we have in our meadow. She set up some nice farming blocks and a new and much more improved boar pen.

We then built what we called a “boar highway” that consisted of a fenced road from the old pen to the new pen, transporting about 5 adults and 1 piggy successfully. I wish I’d taken screens of that, but for some reason, Valheim decided to bug my screenshot button for a while. It fixed itself on its own, so I have no idea what cause that.

After that, Syn managed to capture a one star boar. She’s been breeding that into the old stock and now we have a group of one stars to provide a renewable source of meat to go with the radishes she’s been growing for stew.

New improved pig pen with a stock of one star boars
New gardening area next to the pig pen

Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

Since we have a lot of sailing ahead of us in the direction opposite of where our little karve resides, and we had the extra iron to do it, I decided to experiment with building our first longboat. But in order to do that, we needed a bigger dock out by the shiphouse.

These docks weren’t as frustrating to build as my original docks, nor did they take anywhere near as much time. While we’re not quite ready to sail off to the island where the next boss resides just yet, we now have a larger boat to make that journey on when we decide to explore!

Loooooongboat

Expanding the Main Base

Not only did we start restructuring the outer walls and garden area in stone, but Syn vastly expanded the area within the walls giving us much more room for portals and structures.

Then I took on a particular pet peeve of mine – the mish-mash of forge upgrades that were littered around the yard. When we first put down the forge, we had no idea that we’d need space near it for six or so other objects that further upgraded that forge. Same for the workbench to a lesser extent.

Since the forge was up against an outer wall, I’d started just throwing these things out in the yard as near to the wall as I could. And that became a cluttered mess.

So I set about tearing down the wood wall and expanding it out in stone so we could have a properly organized forge and workbench area. So much better!

New Forge Workstation Area

Syn also reworked the layout of the entire house – reorganized our storage chests, upgraded the floor to stone, and added a nice big hearth.

Much, much better!

The Swamp Stinks

We’ve started to get the warning “A foul smell from the swamp” popping up lately. The first time this happened, we were at our little docking outpost that was actually near a swamp. So we thought that maybe we’d built a little too close to the swamp and were being attacked for it.

But no.

They’re attacking our main base now, too, despite the fact there’s no swamp on the island that we know of! We’ve had no problem fending them off between the stone wall and our upgraded gear. So that’s an encouraging thing!

Phew! You need a bath!

Trying out Fishing

After raiding the crypts in the swamps, we’ve accumulated a big stack of gold and valuables. So, I decided to take it to the merchant, sell it off and invest in a fishing rod and bait. I know that the fishing system is pretty barebones right now, but I fish in any game that has fishing. Valheim is no exception!

I’d taken note that fish were around the longboat dock area when I was building there, so I settled in for a bit to see what fishing was like.

I learned that fishing is an active hobby in this game. It’s easy to lose bait (which costs gold – but we have plenty). You can also fish out an area quickly – I wish the spawn would last a little longer, to be honest.

It was fun to try, though I can’t really do anything effective with the raw fish I took from it. I know later you can make high quality food from it, but we don’t have all the materials for that just yet. So, for now, I’ll poke around at it here and there, but we have more important things to do!

Exploring the Plains

…Like exploring the plains!

Or, well, a little tiny bit of plains. Basically, now that we had some rank 4 iron gear, I wanted to see if we could take on deathsquitos. After being slaughtered by one due to accidentally stepping into the plains for just a moment, we’ve been avoiding the zone completely.

We’ve come a long way in terms of confidence in moving through the swamps now, so I was super curious to see how we’d fair in the plains.

Things we learned:

  • Deathsquitos still hurt, but with good food, we can take them down easily
  • There are huge scary beasts in the plains that can tear us up badly (I survived and ran away)
  • There are small little creatures in the plains that can tear us up, but we can kill them

The area of the plains that we explored was very small, just a corner of the island. So we didn’t really discover anything of interest out there aside from some cloudberries.

It was getting late at that point, and we’d played more than our fill, so our adventures into the plains will have to hold off for a while longer yet. We still have more crypts to dig out and a boss to find!