I’ve now finished the swamps and (after many journeys) finished the mountains. After that, I did some much-needed renovating of my base.
I love the swamps. It’s moody, dark, full of nasty monsters, and poison is not to be underestimated. And I like the little touches the biome has from the creepy statues, green torches, and gnarled trees. Night is especially to be feared. I think more than any other biome, the swamps feel the most fleshed out. Diverse enemies, feels dangerous, lots to explore, a variety of recipes to unlock, and a great aesthetic.
I definitely noticed some problems with the mountains, which is unfortunate because they’re gorgeous to explore. While the previous biomes all had a variety of enemies, harvest-ables, unique wood types, new recipes to discover, and loot to be had in addition to the necessary ore for progression—the mountains, on the other hand, lack most of these.
Mountains only have 4 primary enemies, and two are uncommon (the Fenring specifically only being at night). It’s also possible for a mountain biome to be so small it only has wolves (I’ve had 2 of my 7 explored mountains so far be only wolves). There are no food or plant items to harvest and no new wood. There’s obsidian, but it appears to be only for arrows (and one crafting station)? There are no dungeons, and the rune stones are so rare, it wasn’t until my 6th mountain that I found one. I’m on my 7th mountain and still haven’t found the boss stone (or the boss for that matter). Compared to other biomes, the mountains feel more empty, and there’s little to do other than farm silver. And silver itself is pretty rare (only 3 of my 7 mountains have had silver). Again, some mountains are so small, they have no resources or ruins.
Mountains could use 2-3 more enemies, maybe some ice caves to explore (frost trolls or yeti?), and something else to harvest. And I think mountains should have a larger minimum size; it’s disappointing to venture out to a mountain to find it’s so small, there’s nothing there. At least for other biomes, it may just be that water has cut the biome in half, and more is nearby. But for the mountains, you’ll likely need to travel far to another land to find the next mountain.
I tore down and rebuilt the workshop from scratch. Due to new crafting stations, I had to adjust the old one until it had turned into a Frankenstein monster.
The new downstairs with all of the crafting stations, kilns, and smelters. The back was meant for bees, but it wasn’t large enough, so it’s for fermenters now. I’ll probably still move stuff around some. The crafting stations can be hard to manage because of proximity and spatial requirements.
The back end. You can see the new portal room on the second floor.
The old portal room was turned into a loft bedroom. Comfort level 14!
More Things I Appreciate
- Greydwarfs dropping basic building materials. After a lot of adventuring, you likely have the materials to make a workbench and maybe some basic tools if needed; everything you need to chop trees and slap together some shelter.
- Reasons to visit old biomes. I like that certain resources can only be found in specific biomes, and they continue to be of use later on, like Blueberries used in cooking or birch or oak trees that provide Fine Wood, pine for Core Wood. Though, I think some biomes could use more of this; it doesn’t feel like there’s much reason to revisit swamps unless you run out of iron, same for mountains. Fewer resources mean fewer reasons to return.
Other Things to Add/Improve
- More light armor. While I usually lean towards heavy armor, it’s nice that there are options. However, it appears that there are only 2 light armors in the game (unless one comes from Plains). Seems like there should be light armor options for those who prefer speed over defense. Having a frost troll or yeti type monster in the mountains would be perfect for adding a new tier of light armor.
- A Farming stat. Maybe it increases the growth speed of plants a small amount and reduces stamina drain while plowing/planting. Even better if crops could come in tiers, and cooking with higher-tiered food increased the health/stamina/duration of the food. A high farming stat is required for a chance to begin yielding tier 2 or 3 crops.
- Cooking stat. Similarly, a cooking stat could increase the effectiveness of food a small amount, but maybe even unlock new recipes. There’s definitely room for a lot of recipes to do different things like giving increased carry weight, a small amount of poison resist., damage or armor buffs, etc. in addition to health/stamina increases.
- Deposit button for chests/storage. Automatically stacks items of the same type. A “Deposit All” to fill all spaces would also be really good.
- More NPCs. The merchant is nice (but can be very difficult to find), but there could be more NPCs in the world. It’s a very lonely experience solo, and there are all those empty houses. Having some side quests or something to get for finding NPCs would add a lot to exploration late-game.
- More uses for bones. For as many places as you fight skeletons, there are very few recipes that use bones, and after a point, they seem to be completely useless. I wish there were bone arrows, bone furniture, or bone armor.
- Chains should be craft-able. It’s just metal.
The Controversy of Repair Costs
I know many (most?) players are against repair costs, but I think it could be added without affecting the game too much. Repair costs could be very small amounts of common items based on the damaged item’s tier. The main benefit of repairing as it is now is the convenience of not needing to fish for items in order to repair, but this could be implemented by “loading” crafting stations with the required items whenever the player wants, then the items are consumed when they repair at the station.
- Tier 1
Rocks/Wood repair costs. 1 above 50%. 2 if below or broken.
- Tier 2
Greydwarf eyes/Resin. 1-2 above 50%. 3 if below or broken.
- Tier 3
Bone fragments/(something else). 2 above 50%, 3 if below or broken.
It’s only an idea if repair costs are to ever be a thing. This would help give players use for items that easily pile up while not losing the current convenience of repairing.
An Idea for NPCs
This idea comes from a budding genre of economic games where you, the player, are the merchant in a fantasy world where the adventurers come to you to buy and sell items. Recettear is often credited for starting it (and is arguably still the best in the genre). But this could be adapted to Valheim too.
At some point along progression, maybe after the second boss is killed, the player can create houses with unclaimed beds (and maybe one other specific requirement (a rare item?) so it has to be something the player intentionally sets up), and every day or few days, an NPC has a chance to show up. The NPC is a new arrival in Valheim and wants items to help them out. This could be bundles of gear (weapons/armor), or sets of tools, or amounts of basic materials to help them get started. Once their request is fulfilled, they reward the player with a special item of some kind (something rare that’s not harvestable in the world), then they leave.
Using this system, a player could artificially create a town by not fulfilling NPC requests (though maybe a limit of how many NPCs could be in a world at once). The player would also have to provide protection for NPCs as they become focus targets for enemies. And maybe the biome in which the house is built affects what kinds of items the NPC wants and what they reward. I’m sure many players would also enjoy finding ways to build impractical housing for NPCs to torture them SIMS style.
This would be a pretty big new system for the game and more aimed at solo play. Understandable if it’s not suitable for Valheim.
I will definitely keep playing and return with more in the future.