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.

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!

Posted in Valheim

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.

Posted in Valheim

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!

Posted in Valheim

Valheim: Swamps Give Me a Birthday Present

Yesterday was my birthday!

While I did get a copy of Monster Hunter Rise (I hope to get into that this week), my request to Syn was to continue our adventures in Valheim. When we last left off, we’d sailed around an entire island and discovered most of the shore was covered with swamp. Our goal was to find more crypts in order to bring back more scrap iron.

During our last play session, we struck out through the long stretch of swamp on the north part of the island and looped around northwest until we reached about halfway down the side of the island, opposite of our little makeshift base. During that time, we ran across a couple shacks, but no more crypts.

This play session, we decided to go the opposite way, to the south and the west, to meet with the point we left off at in the previous session.

It wasn’t long before we found a crypt! However, upon entering, we were disappointed that it was small and only contained a couple of nodes to mine from. Not even any monsters inside!

We took our resources back and upgraded from the bronze pieces that we could. Then, reinforced, headed back into the swamp.

At that point, I didn’t know if a swamp could have more than one crypt – like the Black Forest does – or not. But we still had a pretty good chunk to explore, so it didn’t hurt to look.

It wasn’t very long before we ran across a second crypt – confirming swamps can have more than one. Not only was this a much larger and more dangerous crypt, but it contained a rune stone that gave us the location of the next boss!

The next boss location compared to our first island – it’s going to be a bit of a trip!

We cleared that crypt (with surprisingly no deaths this time) and I was feeling like we had a pretty lucrative session already. We took the iron back, continued to upgrade gear and our forge – we now both had a full set of iron gear, mostly upgraded to the second level.

Feeling even more confident about making our way through the swamp, we set out to clear the last chunk we’d not explored yet. What a big difference it was – from cowering and avoiding creatures to openly, eagerly hunting leeches and draugr for their resources!

Much to my excitement, uncovering the rest of the south swamp revealed more crypts than I could have hoped for!

Holy cow! What a nice birthday gift from Valheim!

We started clearing the southernmost crypt since we finished uncovering everything to the south and were moving back north. This turned out to be quite a large one. We haven’t quite finished it yet, so there’s still more resources to bring back from that and the other two we haven’t entered yet.

To add to it, Syn’s begun to expand and reinforce our original main base with stone structures now that we have the ability to do so.

I’m hoping those additional crypts are large ones with lots of resources to bring back. We haven’t begun upgrading our gathering tools yet since weapons and armor are more important. But if we can bring back enough iron to continue upgrading our gear, we may be able to turn our eyes towards the next boss a lot sooner than I thought possible.

We’re not in any rush, though, and have plenty more swamp out there on other nearby islands if we need them. I also have a feeling the area around the next boss may be swampy as well.

We’ll just have to find out!

Posted in Gaming, Valheim

A Return to Valheim (Plus)

I haven’t written about Valheim for a while because it’s been a bit since we last played. I know that just about everyone is far beyond this point or has “finished” what the game has to offer in terms of boss progression, but Syn and I left off in the Swamps.

So we’d just beaten the tree boss a while back and decided to do some exploring of the nearby swamp area on the second island we’d found. We knew that we needed iron next, so we did an extensive search for iron nodes (we didn’t know) in the zone.

Of course, since there are no iron nodes (we didn’t know), we came up completely empty handed. Not only that, but the Swamp handed us our butt over and over again to the point of frustration.

There were no Crypts in the swamp on that island to boot – we did know that we had a key to enter Crypts, but didn’t know how that worked. So after a fairly frustrating couple of hours – thankfully we didn’t lose anything – we put it away and just haven’t come back to it.

I broke my non-spoiler pact with this game to read up on where iron nodes were (oh…) and to find tips on how to survive the Swamps better. But neither of us were motivated to come back to the game at that point.

Fast forward to this past weekend. I’ve been having an itch now and then to return to Valheim, but I knew the frustration we’d dealt with in our last play was a bit of a turn off for Syn (and even myself a little). We talked about it and I said something along the lines of: “It’s too bad there aren’t modifiable difficulty settings on Valheim like there are for 7D2D.”

That’s when Syn brought up the idea of game mods. We’d heard about the mods that gave more gear slots and that sort of thing, so we went on a hunt to see what was out there. And we found Valheim+.

Now, to our credit, we didn’t do anything to decrease the difficulty of the monsters as we didn’t want to make the game too easy. But we did add a lot of convenience to the game – crafting out of containers, more space in our inventory and less stamina usage so that we weren’t completely crippled and unable to do things every couple of minutes of gameplay.

This has made the game so much more enjoyable for us, while leaving the overall challenge of figuring out how to navigate the land and fight of monsters. Each section of the mod is something you can turn on and off at will – so, for example, if you decide less stamina usage is taking the challenge out of it, you can turn that off.

Valheim+ is very, very flexible and I really like it.

So, inspired to try out this new mod, we set sail for a new island to the south, where I knew I’d seen a patch of swamp before.

This time, we found our Crypt! And while there were still a few deaths (thank you, two star Draugr), we had a good bit of fun mining the iron and finally getting much-needed gear upgrades. Of course, one Crypt isn’t enough to outfit and upgrade for two people completely, so once we’d explored the length of that Swamp, it was time to hit the boat.

Neither of us had really sailed much in Valheim, but we picked it up pretty quickly. In fact, Syn did most of the sailing as we scouted out the perimeter of the nearest two islands – both abundant in swamp land.

We did dock and take on a second Swamp area – and met up with the scary nasty things that come out at night there! – but haven’t had any luck finding another Crypt. I can say that with our new gear – even partial and not upgraded – our survivability in the Swamp has increased immensely. Not that we can’t still die there – oh yes we can – but we have a bit more confidence in our ability to explore and make our way through the area. Which is all we really wanted from the start.

Oh and… opps!

I told her not to chop that tree so close to the boat!

Don’t worry, the boat was fine.

Posted in Valheim

Valheim: Boss Fight and Trader Discovery on a New Island

Having charted most of the perimeter of our first island in the previous play session, when we came together last weekend, we decided to see if we could find the trader. So our first order of business was exploring the black forest areas more, and marking any burial chambers we found in the meantime.

During this, Kade joined our game. On his own playthrough, he’d already beat the Elder, and was poking around the swamps hoping to find iron. So while we were just a little behind, in terms of gear, we were about the same.

Turns out that there was no trader on our first island. That was fine – we just turned our attention to exploring the new island where we’d previously made a little portal camp.

Having four of us now, and two who already beat the Elder, we made our way in that direction with every intention to take him down. Thankfully, it seems as if there was a mountain range to the west, a protective barrier between the swamp and the meadow/black forest area that we needed to traverse to reach the Elder. So, actually getting there wasn’t difficult at all.

Thanks to the experience of the others, we were quickly shown how to fight the Elder – using bows and ducking behind pillars to avoid his massive AOEs.

The problem came from the forest itself, however. We must have had a spawner somewhere out there because we were getting a trickle of Greydwarves coming through from time to time to cause trouble for us.

Sadly, I didn’t get to see the boss go down because in one such Greydwarf attack, I was paying more mind to the Greydwarf Shaman than the boss. I thought I was shielded, but I was not, and he made short work of me with his vines.

I was the only death we had during that fight, but we all scored a Swamp Key.

More excitingly, as I was running back to find my gravestone, Kade asked, “Hey, what’s that bag icon on the map?”

Turns out, the trader was located only a short distance away from the Elder’s boss fight!

Uplifted by this turn of events, we quickly went to investigate and see what he had to offer. Most of it was quite expensive, but the two items we were advised to pay attention to were the circlet and the belt.

Quickly, we set about making plans to put a portal near the trader’s camp. We’d run across burial chambers on the way, and had the cores we needed. So I circled back to the meadows to get the fine wood.

This would result in my second death of the night.

In returning to the trader’s location, I passed a little too much to the east, unknowingly stepping foot in the plains for all of two seconds. I already knew what waited in the plains, and made a quick turn-around. But it was too late.

Deathsquito found me. Just that fast, too.

I’d just eaten, so I survived the first two hits it scored on me. But it followed me deep into the forest and my stamina couldn’t hold out. So, the third hit took me down.

Bummer.

Well, now we knew that this island didn’t just include swamp, but also plains. Lots of death and discovery.

It was yet another corpse run for me, but once we got back together, we set up the portal next to the trader. Now it was time to head back to the Forest Base, gather our gold and valuables, and see what we could buy from it.

We had enough to buy one circlet and one belt. Seeing Amoon already had a belt from his own playthrough, we began to focus on gearing up everyone else.

I suggested that Kade hop back on his game and bring his gold and valuables to purchase himself something from the trader, since he hasn’t found one on his game yet. He did that and was able to pick up the belt.

I opted to take the circlet and be the light for the time being. We had a bunch of burial chambers marked that we hadn’t explored, so that was our goal. We began to systematically hit up the chambers and trolls to gather gold and valuables, bringing that back to purchase pieces of gear bit by bit.

By the end of the play session, everyone had a belt and almost everyone came away with a circlet as well. All in all, a lot of progress for one night!

Next up for this upcoming weekend (hopefully), avoiding the plains and exploring the swamps!

Posted in Gaming, Valheim

Valheim: You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

Syn and I found ourselves at a point where we’d just about upgraded everything we wanted in terms of planning for taking on the second boss, the Elder. It was just a matter of trying to find where he was. We had a mark on our map, so we knew the location, but had never explored further north.

We decided to make an expedition in that direction… only to discover land didn’t actually stretch all the way up there. We were met with the shoreline to the north (and discovered that Mountain was only a little mountain location on the map and not an entire zone). This prompted an exploration session in which we followed the shoreline down to see what the perimeter of our island looked like.

The shape of our first island

We quickly came to the conclusion that the Elder was on another island somewhere else and that we’d need to build a larger boat to make it up there. And so, I journeyed back to Meadows Base and began to work on what I call the “Boat House.” I did some research on how to set up a dock so that boats don’t just float off on the ocean, and that seems to have worked overall.

This also gave me a chance to play around with building a bit more. Up until now, Syn and Amoon had done most of the structure building. I spent a good chunk of the play session building the Boat House, getting docks ready for a boat, while Syn decided to go back to the Forest Base and expand on it.

I was happy with how the Boat House turned out – it was just a little location on the coastal rocks right outside our Meadows Base. But I got to explore nice big windows and decorating with furniture – that sort of stuff.

Inside the Boat House
Nice Ocean View

Building the docks were a little more tricky because building on a rock near water is not quite as straightforward as building on dry land (which isn’t always straightforward, either). But finally, once I had the docks set up, I built us a bigger boat.

Not long after that, Amoon logged in to join us, and because he’s had some experience sailing in his solo play, we decided it was time to set sail and at least explore the area nearer to the Elder. We brought materials to make a portal – oh, yes, we’d made a portal system between the two bases at that point – and intended to create an outpost on the Elder’s island.

Sailing for the first time in Valheim is quite an experience, even if you’re not the one controlling the boat. We crossed over into open ocean for a little while, but most of the sailing was in the shallows. Nighttime ocean sailing was a bit tense and adventurous feeling.

We docked in a little bay once we reached the opposite shore and began to explore the area. It was only a little way in when we hit our first Swamp. I believe it was night time, so it wasn’t the best time to be exploring the area.

We skirted the swamp for a bit, travelling through black forest and fighting things off. Eventually, we came a bit too close to the swamp and creatures called draugr took interest in us. Our adventure nearly came to an abrupt end at that point as the draugr scored a kill on Syn and Amoon. I managed to survive the onslaught and was able to sneak over to Amoon’s gravestone to loot the items he was carrying to create a portal.

I did that, and they were able to come through the portal and loot their stones. We then broke down the portal for the materials and decided the best course of action was to go back to the boat and sail further around the island if possible… rather than try to push east through the swamp.

Sailing around the island, we discovered swap reached a larger area than we realized…

But we were able to find a Meadows on the coast almost directly south of the Elder’s location. So we docked, built a little portal outpost on the south coast and called it a night.