Daily Archives: February 17, 2021

Tunnels and Trolls and Teens and the Bronze Age in Valheim

I have been attempting to write the narrative of our adventures in Valheim, the way I have for WoW and WoW Classic and what not in the past.  But, with a new game that has been keeping us invested, I have been falling behind.  Unlike WoW Classic, we haven’t been meeting up just one day a week, leaving me ample time to write up a blog post.  Yesterday’s post about making our new base camp covered events that were almost a week back at this point.  Updates come at you fast when you play every day.

So, time to summarize a few events to get to the current state of our world.

Trolls

I mentioned seeing a troll for the first time in the last post, wandering around up the hill from our new camp on the edge of a Black Forest biome.  The trolls wander about, and the next day when I logged in I walked out of our longhouse to find the troll out in our front yard.

Troll at the gate

They have quite a bit of visual range when it comes to spotting players, and he came towards me and started smashing up the place.  I got on the other side of the wall to try and repair it a bit and found out that palisades are not particularly troll proof.

Troll makes a mess of me

I respawned and dragged him off into the distance, which saved our camp for the moment, but he was definitely in the area.

He came back around later when we were all on and started attacking our camp again.  He went around the back and destroyed both rafts and was banging away at the back door when I ran up to help with the defense.

The troll at the walls again

Our combined effort managed to take him down, but it is clearly something we need to get better at.  One smack from a troll is enough to do you in if you haven’t buffed up your health before hand.

Troll head trophy

Trolls do not respawn, so at least the immediate vicinty of our camp was safe from that.  Of course, I spotted trolls both up  and down the coast from us, so we would need to take care of more later.

Dungeons

We ran up the coast from our base later to explore the burial chamber that Ula and I had discovered the previous day.

Into the dark

These are small bites of content, in their own instance.  The very much have an old school, single file hallway, Dungeons & Dragons feel to them.  This one was populated by more skeletons as well as a ghost.  We got in there and cleared the place out.

Down in the depths

Skronk died to a room of skeletons, including two star skeleton that poisoned him, but was able to run back quickly.  For the most part the skeletons were not that tough, we just needed to show a bit more care jumping into rooms.  We changed up and put somebody with a shield in the front and then held torches behind.  Torches are required unless you can see well in the dark. (I cannot, and fighting in the dark is one of my failings so far.)

In addition to some treasure and a new type of mushroom, we came up with five surtling cores, which are required to build a kiln or a smelter.

Bronze Age

With the cores we went back to camp and build a kiln, which turns wood into coal.  We chose that first since you need the coal to power the smelter for refining ore.  We figured we would build the smelter with the next cores we came up with and started stockpiling coal in advance of that.

We also started mining some of the local ore.  There was some tin ore down by my first foothold, and some copper ore up the hill from us.  One of the copper supplies was near where another troll had been seen wandering and the sound of us mining seemed to draw his attention.  This led to some situations.

Don’t provoke the troll unless you are ready

The troll came back and started beating on our camp again, destroying our kiln, before Skronk was able to draw him off in another direction and lose him.

There was a kiln here before the troll came by

Fortunately it appears that when you destroy and break down the kiln or smelter, you get the surtling cores back.  After we rebuilt and repaired the perimeter, we decided to use the ore and coal that we had collected, so built a smelter instead.

Hugin came by once that was built to tell us all about it.

Smelter lessons

Smelting ore unlocked the plans for the forge.  Skonk build a working area for that around the back of the base and we forge a couple bronze plates, which unlocked more recipes.  I coveted the bronze axe, naturally.

New Players and New Characters

Over the weekend Mornoae from the instance group, along with his son, who was Obama in the early WoW Classic runs, grabbed the game and joined our server.  At that point Skronk and I made a couple of new characters in the world to link up with them and help them get started.

Having a second character didn’t set us back much, given what we had learned so far.  You just have to make space for a couple new beds.

And, of course, having a teen let loose on the game meant that there was quickly very little he could learn from us and a much we could learn from him.  And the three of them had Monday off for the President’s Day holiday, so when I logged on late that afternoon I found that they had been all over.  Skronk sent me a screen shot of his current map of our original area, annotated with the map markers the game allows. (Select the marker from the side bar, double click where you want to put it, type in the legend for it.)

Skronk map

We had only really explored a small part of that area previously.

Our resident teen was already out killing trolls and spotting dungeons for us when I got on.  I ran up to his new compound, built on an island on a lake.

Lake base

Then it was on to Skonk (now Fergorin) and his new hunting lodge, to join up with the party.

Fergorin’s lodge

All classic norse names there I am sure. (My alt is Sigwerd.)

We ran around and cleared out more burial chambers, collected more surtling cores.

Fergorin marked the spot with his corpse

Skronk and I split off to take care of some things, then met up with the two, traveling by raft, over in a Black Forest area that had several dungeons.  We also found a place with some copper ore and set up to mine that.

Copper ore area

That ended up turning into an on and off melee with the local greys who seemed to object to our mining the ore.  We ended up building a sheltered workbench to be able to repair our gear as we worked and fought.  Once we had finally mined what we could and were nearly over weight with ore, we split up again, with Skronk and I headed to the raft to sail back to the main base.

There we assembled a forge and kiln.

The bronze age has truly arrived

Skronk built a crafting pavilion at the camp and we put up a forge for metal working as well as an upgraded workbench to craft and repair as well.  After smelting the ore and making some bronze, I made the first bronze axe.

Portals

With the bronze axe came the ability to cut down trees previously marked as “too hard.”  I immediately attacked some of the nearby oak and birch trees, harvesting both some fine wood and some core wood, both of which are needed for advanced recipes.  The bronze axe is good, but it wears out kind of quickly and you need to go to the forge to repair it.  The workbench won’t do.

With new wood came new recipes.  I crafted a fine bow as an upgrade, but one key item we wanted was a portal.

With surtling cores and fine wood you can build a portal for travel.  The plan was to make our original base the central crafting and storage location and use some portals to connect other bases.  Skronk built the portal in the main base and named it “A Train” in a nod to fast travel.  Unlike Minecraft and the netherportal linking issues we sometimes had, in Valheim you connect portals by giving them the same name.

Then I ran up to the base on the lake up north and built a portal, gave it the same name, and the two bases were connected.

The portal flares as you get close

We now had some fast cross country travel.  We also had enough surtling cores left over to make another pair of portals.  So I built a second portal and named it “Island,” that being easy.  Then I built a raft and sailed over to our foothold base in the Black Forest… sixth trip across the water in that direction and no serpents yet… to build a portal at that end.

Once more landing on this shore

There I took down our smelter, collected the cores from it, and built the portal and gave it the name “Island” as well.  We were now connected to the main base.

I then figured I would pick up the ore and metal that we had already collected and take the portal back.

It was then that I found out that you cannot take ore or refined metal through a portal.  And we had a bunch of ore sitting around.  So I loaded myself up to maximum carrying capacity, got back on the raft and sailed back home.

That was a bit of a nerve wracking trip.  I was nervous on the trip over because I was carrying our only bronze axe.  On the way back I had that, a bunch of ore, and the weather set against me almost soon as I set sail.  The swells were big enough that the raft was taking damage when it landed in the trough.  It was raining and dark.  And the wind seemed set to blow me back the way I had come.

I made it, though I had to put ashore a bit up the coast from our base.  I ran over to deposit my ore, then ran back to the raft only to find that it had been destroyed by the waves knocking it against the shore.  It held out as long as it needed to.

And that brings us up to almost where we stand today.  We need to get out and find some more copper and tin ore so we can work on more equipment upgrades.

Addendum: Also, since I wrote this, I was able to log back in and solo the two other trolls near our Black Forest camp site.  The first was a near run thing, as I managed to get every other aggro mob in the area on me as I kited him, which meant killing a bunch of those while I was trying to slay the troll.

A final clear shot

That let me mine a bunch of copper freely… or free from trolls.  The greys keep showing up.  I also rebuilt the smelter to refine the ore since I would haul coal from our main base through the portal.

The second troll I managed to backstab with a freshly made copper knife that took down half his health in one go.  I have come to Bhagpuss’ opinion about a knife as a weapon.  Then I ran him around the burial chamber we had cleared, peppering him with arrows.

I also destroyed a greydwarf spawner up the way after stabbing all the locals to death.  So our camp at the Black Forest is a bit more secure and I am now wearing a troll hide tunic and pants.