With Bonemass down, it’s time to find some mountains. Or at least, that’s the suggestion you get from Hugin. Since I had a longship, I knew I could transport a whole whack of iron back home (8 stacks I think it was), but also wanted to take a detour before the next step.
And here we enter my only real issue with Valheim, and it’s the breadcrumbs, the small bits of information that lead you from one area to the next, or that options even exist in the first place. It could be an item that you can only craft once you’ve found all the potential items, no matter how rare. It could be a nuance to a given zone that just isn’t really explained. And importantly, it could be the ability to just find a boss. It’s really cool in terms of exploration, no question. Yet you can hit some rather painful walls and finding the solution may simply require luck.
The detour was to find the world vendor, Haldor. I knew he existed from other blogs, but I had never found him on my map. He had 2 key items I was looking for, most importantly an item that increases carry weight by 150 (50%!). When you first enter the Swamp, you’re more likely to lose durability on the pickaxe that be full-up on items. When you finally get an Iron Pickaxe… well storage starts being a problem. Long runs between the mining spot and the smelter are not fun, and more carry weight is super helpful. His second item was Ymir Flesh, a rare crafting material (only from him) that allows crafting some neat items.
The trek to Haldor starts back at home base with a new portal, then collecting the items needed for its partner (and wood for a bench). The search for Haldor took me around quite a few large islands. I’d heard that his icon showed up on the map at a decent distance, but in order to make sure I was maximizing my chances I had to go extremely close to shore. It took nearly 90 minutes of sailing to find a decent landing spot. One portal at shore, then a trek across the plains (and the deadliest mosquitos since Fallout: NV) to finally find Haldor! I sold all my treasure, bought what I needed, and still have about 4000 gold to spare. Maybe there’s a way to trigger finding his location (stone or the bird), rather than this crazy large trek. Even an item that had an arrow for direction would be a neat exploration tool.
More storage on hand, I took a long trip back to home base, and started prep for the mountains.
It’s Darn Cold
I had found some nearby mountains early on, and noticed that I took cold damage – close to 1hp/sec. When you have 25hp, that’s a death clock. Now that I was a bit stronger, I could take the hits a bit more. A Frost Potion will protect you from the cold for 10 minutes, which seems like a lot, but really isn’t. Mountains also come with 3 main enemies – wolves, drakes, and golems. With Iron gear, all 3 can kill you in 2 hits. Which they did.
Back to breadcrumbs again. The Wishbone you get from Bonemass “finds secrets”. The odds of you finding any secret are quite low, so even with it equipped you probably won’t know how it works. And it works differently depending on the zones – it either points to graves, points to muck in swamps, or points to silver in the mountains. And in the mountains, you need a decent sized biome to even spawn silver. If you figure the typical open meadow size, you’re looking at something 4x that size to spawn 1 silver node.
I explored 3 mountain biomes with no luck. Well, maybe bad luck is the better statement. I died 4 times. I did finally find a biome on my main island that had silver, and proceeded to head down the hill to set up shop. Recall that any smelting shop has 4 requirements – a workbench, a portal, a smelter, and a forge. You probably want walls and a chest, but that’s easy enough. You can use the portal to transport all of that stuff – except the copper needed for the forge. Preparation is super important! Also of note, silver requires a level 2 forge – and the only non-metal upgrade is a bellows. Long story short, if you are setting up ANY smelting shop – have the material for a portal and at least 6 copper.
Mining the Nodes
The fun part about silver is that the nodes are massive, 3x as large as the typical copper one. It’s shaped as a sort of elongated Y, and you will probably mine close to 500 stone before you get all the silver out. Once you’ve got a bit ready, you want to craft any silver armor (chest, legs, helm, or cape). Just one will make you immune to mountain cold (and night time cold too!) The small downside is that this protection does not work while you are wet – so make sure it isn’t raining before entering the mountains.
My personal order of priority tends to be be as follows:
- Wolf Fur Cape
- Silver Shield
- Wolf Armor Chest / Legs
- Silver Sword
- Frostner (which deals blunt/frost damage, which golems are super resistant)
The mountains are quite a bit different than other biomes, primarily because you can’t really hide, and moving often requires running up hills. Wolves attack in packs, and very quickly. Parry timing is hard because of this, and further drains stamina. If you can, pluck them with a bow. Drakes will show up with little warning, you’ll hear a scream, and then get pounded with ice shots. You need to take them down with a bow while they are hovering, then dodge after your shot to avoid taking damage. When you have 2-3 at the same time, you really should focus on one at a time.
Golems. Ugh. Think tolls but super resistant to all damage except a pickaxe! You can shoot them with about 30 arrows, or you can dip/dodge/dive your way to hit them with a pickaxe. The downside is that it has a very small range, if you miss you’ll make a hole in the ground, and you can’t block. Even in full silver gear, you’ll take 50-60dmg from a golem hit.
You’re going to die in the mountains. Less than the swamp, way less, but getting your corpse is a lot harder. Depending on where the corpse is located, you may need to take a frost potion to avoid cold damage before you can re-equip your gear. And if wolves did you in, they will be there when you get back. Naked you + wolves = another corpse. And gosh forbid you died while having MORE than 350 weight, you won’t automatically loot your corpse.
I’ve now mined 2 nodes of Silver and have level 1 items of pretty much all I need. I now need to find another mountain biome for more silver, and at the very least find a stone that will tell me where the Mountain boss is located. I could use a bit more upgraded gear too…a shield most of all. Getting my block to 85 would be awesome.