Battling The Elder in Valheim

Having set ourselves up with a portal to an outpost close to The Elder, all we had to do was get together and fight him.

Of course, having gone into the Eikthyr fight after reading some “it’s easy” comments, I was a bit paranoid.  But I had an opportunity.  Having prodded Liore, formerly of the Herding Cats blog and the Cat Context podcast, and her crew about the game, they jumped on board with it, rolling up their own server.  So I have been over there to visit and build things now and again, though Valheim is one of those games where there is always a bunch of things to do, so playing on two servers can be a bit much.

However, thanks to the youthful enthusiasm of Corr, whom some will remember from the now dormant Fantasy Movie League runs, they quickly caught up to our level of progress and they were looking to slay The Elder on Saturday, while we were not going to get together for the event until Sunday, so I had a chance for a practice run.

I put my first character, Vikund, onto their server… though again, having two characters is like having two servers at times, it just doubles the things you want to do… because he had okay equipment.  I upgraded him to a fine bow and made sure he had a stack of fire arrows and a stack of flit arrows.  I did this because Corr had done some research and came back saying that melee is bad, ranged is good for this fight.

So we got together and rolled on out to the site of The Elder, three ancient seeds in hand, the requirement to summon him.  The Cats had a base close to the alter, so it was a short run.  We setup around the place, each of us taking a pillar to shoot from as that was alleged to be solid enough to block the ranged attacks we would be facing.

Setting up with the cats

Corr threw in the seeds and the battle began.

As with Eikthyr, you get the big boss health bar on the screen so everybody can see the progress at taking them down.

The Elder shows up

Fire arrows nicely set him ablaze and put a little DOT damage on him for effect, though I wouldn’t swear to them necessarily being better than flint arrows.  I am not sure it the DOT effect stacks or not, for example.

The fight was very active, and there was a lot of running about and avoiding attacks.  He summoned some greys in the back half of the fight and I think everybody besides Corr died at least once.  But the run back was easy and you just pick up your stuff and carry on.  Victory was inevitable.  Once slain, his head was brought back to the henge to be displayed on its anointed hook.  A celebratory screen shot or three was taken.

Whatever you do, nobody look at the camera

So I came away from that with the blush of optimism.  Hell, I was nearly full on Sir Robin at the Bridge of Death declaring, “That was easy!”

When the next day came we spent a full day cycle at our main base gearing up, upgrading, grabbing food, and collecting the health potions that had been cooked in the cauldron then simmered in the fermenter.  As night fell we got into our beds for a night’s rest.

Skronk/Fergorin has invented the footlocker in Valheim

When the new day dawned we went through the portal to the outpost and ran over to the altar of The Elder.  We got a bit wet on the way because our main gate opened onto some standing water.  I have since fixed that with the hoe.

Dripping wet still on arriving

I had the seeds and had explained what I had seen the previous day.  The sun was rising and for once it didn’t look like rain.  We spread out, each taking a pillar and then I went up and put the ancient seeds in the fire, summoning The Elder.

Time for The Elder to rise and shine

The fight started off as expected.  We started peppering him with arrows and he lit up nicely when hit with fire arrows.  We dodge the tendrils he throws your was and stayed clear of the roots as well as we could.   I think we had an early death, but the run back was quick.  And then things started to derail.

First, there were the greys, who seemed to be out in force.  So there was time out to turn and take them down.

Then there was the troll.  I mentioned the troll cave near the outpost and my suspicions that its presence foretold future spawning of trolls.  Well, now was apparently that time.

So we were shooting The Elder and kiting the troll… when the second troll wandered into the fight.  So, two trolls to deal with.

Kiting a troll

I had been doing pretty well until the second troll showed up.  I tried to kite him away from the fight so I could safely set him up and kill him.  However, he had other ideas.

The troll kills me instead

Deaths began to mount and it became clear that dying by the altar was going to make getting your stuff back to resume the fight difficult.  My corpse, having kited the troll down to the water, was a relatively easy recovery.  Both Crowbar and Unna had problems at points getting to their gear.

And then the skeletons showed up.

Unbeknownst to me there was a burial chamber just over the rise from the altar and somebody got too close to it and brought the skeletons who were guarding it into the fight.  They were not a huge threat, but they just added to the chaos on the field.

We died some more, but eventually got a handle on things and managed to kill off both of the trolls and were able to return to The Elder as night fell.

The Elder, on fire, shooting his tendrils attack as the sun goes down

Then, of course, the greys came again and the battle carried on, but as night came one, it was clear we were going to take it.  We had managed to brute force our way through a variety of unexpected turns.  But this is the afterlife, so “live, die, live again” is par for the course.  I have to think this explains the trolls and the greys constantly showing up.

The Elder defeated

That was a hell of a fight.  On death The Elder dropped four swamp dungeon keys, which get you access to… dungeons in the swamp biomes.  That is important because that, as I understand it, is where one collect iron for the next layer of crafting.  We stopped and collected ourselves and bits and pieces all over the place, then took a victory shot in front of the rune tablet that gives you the vague instructions related to summoning The Elder.

Again, nobody look at the camera, it might steal your soul

I love that there is a little Crowbar death marker behind us.  I could have cropped that out, but felt it was better with it in the background.  Also, I think the death markers are pretty cool.  They sit there glowing and bubbling, waiting for your return.  They even float on water… which I will get to in another post.  It is the afterlife.  Why shouldn’t we have happy little markers?

We also got a trophy for The Elder.  We ran that back to our main base and hung it up on the appropriate hook, so now we have defeated two of the bosses that Odin set us to get.

Trophies in the night

Having that gives us access to the next buff, which for The Elder is enhanced speed at cutting down trees… which seems like something from the ironic punishments division of hell.  I don’t know.  Eikthyr’s buff gave us enhanced stamina for swiftness, like a deer, while The Edler gave us the ability to murder his children more efficiently.  Go figure.

Anyway, with keys in hand, we now needed to go find a swamp biome, as we had, so far, not seen one.  Time for more exploration.

Addendum:

Bhagpuss beat me to a post about defeating The Elder, but I’ve done it twice now!

5 thoughts on “Battling The Elder in Valheim

  1. bhagpuss

    That must have been one heck of a chaotic battle! Trolls are a real pain in the neck in Valheim although I did enjoy watching one squashing draugs in the swamp earlier today. I wasn’t impressed by the fire arrows either. Well, not by the damage they do. The visual effect on something that big is spectacular.

    I spent far too long today searching every inch of two large areas of swamp for the crypts that key unlocks. So far I haven’t found a single one. I even looked them up online just to see what they looked like in case I was walking past them without recognizing them but they’re unmistakeable. I just can’t find any. It’s frustrating. I was thinking I’d cleared the bottleneck to the next tier of crafting by killing the Elder. It didn’t occur to me I wouldn’t be able to find the place they hid the iron.

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  2. SynCaine

    Having explored a bunch of the map (maybe 15%?), it seems that some areas spawn with say a swamp or mountain, but its not a ‘real’ zone and doesn’t have most of what that zone offers. Only by finding the larger examples of those zoned do you see things like dungeons.

    Swamp is a big jump in difficulty, but has lots of fun stuff to do/collect. It’s really well done IMO.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @zaphod6502 – I saw that earlier while I was doing the SuperData post for tomorrow. We’ll see if it makes the PC chart for February.

    @SynCaine – Skipping ahead, I actually found a swamp with only a narrow strip of black forest between it and meadows, so built a small base there are started to explore. The leeches were something, but I had to flee when I got in too deep with the skellies and dragur. We’ll have to go in as a group this weekend. But I killed enough to make some sausages.

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