I guess you could say I’m taking my time in Valheim. Maybe compared to others. It doesn’t feel like I’m going slowly, rather the fact that there’s always 2 things left to do at any given time. It helps a lot that these things never feel tedious, and that every act makes you better at that act.
I can recall the first few minutes I was playing. I punched a bush for some wood, tried in vain to find a rock on the ground, and was mauled to death by a boar. Welcome to Valheim! Now I’m chopping down giant trees in a couple strokes, taking down giant trolls with well placed shots, and harvesting carrots.
I’ve spent the last few sessions taking pains to harvest as much copper/tin as possible to craft some bronze items. A bronze shield (with an ok amount of skill) can negate pretty much everything but poison and a giant troll smash. I’m not rolling through the countryside immune to everything, but the feeling of perennial dread has abated. I can risk entering a crypt without large sweats that I’ll die in 2 hits. Maybe it’ll be 4 this time.
My first large camp was on the border between Meadows and Black Forest biomes. You know the spot, a large open area that just screams BUILD HERE! Slowly, every so slowly, I keep unlocking more things to do. A kiln/smelter to make bars. A forge to smash things to be better things. New trees with new wood to improve my bow and arrows. Rain is a great thing, it causes all the birds to stick to the ground – so there’s 100 feathers for more arrows. I’ll spend an entire day just harvesting food items – mushrooms, berries, queen bees for honey, thistle, dandelions… everything seems to be used for something, There’s no such thing as junk.
Which comes to the next point about stuff in general. There’s so much of it and so little room to store any of it. I don’t mind at all the smaller personal inventory – I think that adds choice to any particular run. The fact that I need 12 chests, stacked on a wall, that’s a problem for a future update. Having to move things from a chest next to a crafting station to my inventory – that’s a quality of life item I would like to eventually see. But this is a quibble, a minor annoyance.
This stands out when you look at Valheim in general – the map for each seed is HUGE. Walking in a straight line for an entire game-day would maybe cover 2% of the map. When I found a rune telling me where the 2nd boss was located, I honestly thought it was joking and there were multiple spawn points. It was 5x farther than my furthest exploration point.
I took enough tails/meat to survive 5 days, the material to build a portal, and enough wood for a workbench and set out to see how I could get to the boss. While the world is made up of various islands, most of them are close enough to swim rather than build a boat. I figured I’d just take the time to explore my local coast line and see what happened. I did luck out and find a spot where I could swim with only minor HP damage. When I took the other shore, sure enough there was a portal with Greydwarves waiting for me. Cue the running around to lose them, in the dark no less.
The other short didn’t have any meadows, so there weren’t any easy access huts to repair and spend the night. I ended up creating a super simple shack (no door!) to sleep through the night. Morning came around, I broke it all down, then continued on to the marker. Only took a further half-day to get there, dropped the portal, and got attacked by skeleton archers. The boss area was standing on a crypt. At least there were no Frost Giants! I opted to clear out some nearby trees to give more room near the boss pillars before heading back home. I then prepped all my gear (bronze gear, fine bow, fire arrows, 2 cooked meats, royal jam, healing potions) and went to bed for the night.
New day, I filled up on food, took 3 seeds to summon the boss and went through the portal.
tldr; the Elder boss is really quite simple. Stand behind a pillar to avoid the vines shooting towards you, shoot fire arrows, and move to another pillar if ground vines spawn. It’s a LONG fight, it was dark by the time the fight ended, but I was never in danger of dying. I am so happy other bloggers got to do him before me!
Next up is trying to find a swamp. I really don’t have a clue where that would be given my current discovered map. Think it’s time to build a big boat and go sailing. I’ll need to do that no matter what in order to transport any metals. Act 3 here, I come.
There definitely can be multiple spawn points for the bosses. I had two widely separated markers for The Elder almost from the start. I ended up killing the closer of the two but later, out of curiosity, I trekked out to the further marker to see if it was genuine or some kind of bug and yes, there was a whole set of pillars and an altar there. I don’t know how common that is. I only had one marker for the deer god and i only have one for the third boss.
I have a ludicrous number of chests scattered far and wide. I make houses everywhere I stop for the night and anywhere I find a repairable ruin or a good-looking spot. Almost all of them have chests in and I have no clue what I left where. It would be more of a problem if I didn;t also have portals all over the map, too. If I want something I just zip round all my portals and look in all the chests. Takes less time than looking through my vast vaults in EQ or EQII.
You get recipes for two different chests when you open iron but I haven’t made them yet (low priority for the iron supply I have). One is “reinforced” and the other is “personal” so I’m not sure if they hold more things or are just less prone to destruction and/or theft. I have a lot of iron now, though, so I’m going to find out soon enough.
Multiple markers makes sense. The world is just insanely massive and getting the Elder to spawn half way around the world would be crazy punishing. I have a post coming about searching for the swamps, what a crazy ride.