Daily Archives: March 18, 2021

From the Shore to the Mountains in Valheim

Since we had polished off Bonemass it was time to turn our eyes towards the next target biome, the mountains.

We had run into mountains quite a while back, including the freezing effect that drains your hit points once you wander into that biome, the gate to keep those unprepared away.  Mountains are all over as the map tracking my explorations shows.

However, there are mountains and there are mountains.  My map also shows a bunch of small mountain biomes you could walk across and still have most of the day left to go elsewhere.

But we were in luck when it came to mountain biomes.  We had stormed ashore and set up an outpost across the water from our main starting base early on in search of a black forest biome.  That turned out to be somewhat unnecessary as there were other block forest biomes to be found closer to home, had we ventured far enough.  Our outpost was perhaps better known to us as being a place where trolls and greys wandered and sometimes a starting point for exploration.

I mined quite a bit of copper and tin out there, and had even set up a smelter and a forge in order to avoid shipping it by boat to the main base, but the base we ended up fortifying for our assault on The Elder received more attention, getting our first stone walls and a nice stone building even before our main base.  I did eventually put up some stone walls at Dieppe after an incident, but that was after Elder base and our main base had been redone in stone.

Dieppe with stone walls up front now

With focus on the swamps, that base, named Dieppe, sat neglected for a stretch, save as a harbor for exploration runs.  And then, in the prep for Bonemass I needed to get some drops to make frost arrows and of all our bases, Dieppe was by far the closest to a mountain biome. You couldn’t actually see the mountain biome from the gate of the base, but you didn’t have to walk very far to see the snow.

Me on the map maybe 50 yards from the base

I had brewed up a few stacks of frost resist meads, which give you 10 minutes of frost protection in the mountains, and headed up there to hunt for supplies.

In the mountains clad in iron

I managed to run around without dying, though the mountains come with their own challenges.  I was glad I took a pile of sausages with me, as they give both a lot of hit points and stamina when consumed, and I needed both.

I have mentioned before that stamina management is very much a thing in Valheim, but it is all the more so in the mountains, where scrambling up hills requires you to run and jump quite a bit.  You end scrambling half way up a slope then looking for a rock or flat spot to perch on to rest as you stamina bar runs down.

And then there are the wolves.  They are not as tough as I thought, though they can show up in packs at times and if they catch you unaware, you will find yourself losing hit points fast.  I was two shotted by a one star wolf who I didn’t see.  But if you see them first they pop with a good bow shot or, if they are close, a blow from my iron mace knocks them below half heath with a single blow and stuns them for a moment, so you can bring them down before they even get a hit on you if you’re careful.

There are also the drakes, which were much more of an initial terror.  They scream at you as they fly in to attack, then stop, hover, and launch their frost attack down at you, which can be quite surprising.  Fortunately, it is a frost based attack, and since you probably have your frost resist on if you’re traipsing about the mountains, it barely does any damage.  Once I figured that out, they became more of a nuisance than a threat.  You hear the scream, equip your bow, spot them, pull back, and wait for them to hover for a nice clean shot.

Lining up another drake with my bow

With iron or obsidian arrows they are down in two hits.  If I am feeling cheap, wood arrows will kill them in three hits.  I generally keep a stack of wood arrows on me for hunting deer or seagulls, and sometimes I forget to swamp.

There are also werewolves out and about at night, but they are basically wolves without any good drops.

The main menace of the mountains are the stone golems, which are basically the trolls of the mountains, except that arrows are not very effective against them.  Like trolls, they are drawn to the sound of you digging with your pick axe, so if you’re out harvesting silver or obsidian or stone… we’ll get to that last… you have a chance of waking one up or drawing its attention if it is already up and wandering about.

I have yet to work out how to attack them.  As noted, arrows do not do much damage, though obsidian arrows will chip off a bit of damage with each hit, but you would need a full stack of arrows before you committed to that.

I read that the pick axe was effective against them, but you have to get in close to use it and if you mis-time and take the full blow from the golem, you’ll lose a lot of hit points.

I did have some luck using terrain against them initially.  They cannot go down steep slopes.  At one point I managed to get one trapped down in a bit below me, so I could rush in, hit him a few times, then pull back if I was taking too much damage.

Stone Golem in a pit

I also found that worked if I had dug myself deep enough mining, only I was down in the pit and the golem couldn’t reach me.  At one dig I sat there working away with a golem just above my head flailing away, unable to get at me.

Stone Golem above me as I worked

However, if you give them an opening, they will jump in the hole with you.  That generally gets them stuck in place so you can close with them and retreat as needed.

Time to finish him off

While I can divert most of their damage with my shield, their attack has such a knock-back that, unless I have something at my back to hold me in place, by the time I can close with them again I have to block once more.

You can juke their AI with the terrain by running up a slope they can’t use, which will send them off in another direction.  When you come back down and they’ll start back towards you.  Overall though, fighting them still involves trying a bunch of things looking for the best method.

Anyway, I got my supplies and enough silver and wolf hides to make the cloak that gives you frost resist and we went off to slay Bonemass.  After that, with the wishbones in hand, Fergorin, Crowbar, and I went to Dieppe so they too could learn about the mountains.

Crowbar and I considering a sleeping stone golem

Of course, hilarity ensued and everybody died.  Fergorin learned that you cannot hide in one of the many towers seeded about that mountain biome, as the stone golems will knock holes in them.

Fergorin’s corpse in a tower with a bite out of it

Before long we set up a little camp in a wooden building not too far off from that tower and decided that setting up a portal in the mountains would save us some running back and forth.  We would have to haul silver down the hard way, it being a “no portal” like other ore, but as a base camp to haul things up, and haul things down, it would be a boon.  Stone for base building seemed especially easy to find up on the mountain, it being made out of stone, so we could collect and portal it back easily.

That first portal stood for a bit, but I logged on to find it disconnected at one point.  As it turned out, a stone golem and a drake had a fight next to the house with the portal, and the golem knocked the tar out of the house, the way he did that tower, breaking the portal in the process.

But the house was only a temporary base in any case.  Fergorin had already been working on digging out a base to be fortified with stone and given a steep moat to keep the golems away.  I collected the bits and bought it down to the work in progress and set up the portal down there, then started digging some stone to help the building effort.

The fortified mountain base in progress

As for the biome itself, it is the biggest mountain area I have found so far.  While the trip to it from Dieppe is a short run, walking around its perimeter takes a full day/night cycle and I have yet to explore the whole thing.  Granted, that is due in part to the mountain terrain, which has its share of drops and steep slopes.  But there is a lot there to find.

Our mountain biome map

In the center there is also a wide are of lesser slopes to explore.

And, as I mentioned, there are stone towers around, often near peaks, several of which have the runstone that reveals the next boss, Moder.  You can see that is now marked on the map above.

One of the runestone for the reveal

I have actually been out to where the Moder fight will take place, so unlike the past two bosses, we won’t have to mount an expedition just to get ourselves set up for the fight.  There is even a tower close by, which seems like an opportune place to put another portal when the time comes.

The location to summon Moder

Also marked on the map are some locations where dragon eggs spawn.  You need three of them to summon Moder.  They also weigh 200lbs each, so they aren’t something you’ll just carry around in your back pocket.  When I found one the first time I struggled to get it back down the hill and through the portal to our main base, only to learn its sole use was to summon Moder, and for that I would need it back up on the mountain.

The comically heavy egg back at base

Well, there were plenty more back up there, so this one can just hang around the base.

Now we just need to gear up.  There is, of course, a whole new set of gear we’ll all need, and one of the prime ingredients is silver.  As I mentioned previously you need the wishbone from the Bonemass fight, the magic metal detector, to find most silver nodes in the mountains as they are hidden below the surface.  So we will be working on that.