With every boss defeated there is a new tier of materials and gear unlocked in Valheim. This is a very MMO-esque aspect of the game, and not one without a hint of peril. Too much of that and it becomes a grind.
But Valheim’s range of gear isn’t all that extensive, and upgrades don’t leap ahead in stats or protection with each upgrade, so it is a rather calm progression that works for me.
Collecting the resources, on the other hand… well, I seem to enjoy that, but if you’re not an explorer type who wants to see the world, I could see it becoming a bit of a drag. Logistics as well, with metal being forbidden from portals. It has become a bit of the challenge of the game for us and where we end up playing is somewhat dictated by that.
We started in our main base, which is pretty much at the world spawn point. When it came time to refine bronze, much of our work was done in the base we built in the black forest to battle The Elder. With iron we were back to our main base, shipping loads of iron across the water to it. And now, with silver as the focus, the base named Dieppe has been upgraded to handle our current crafting needs as it sits at the foot of the largest mountain biome area we have yet found.
And it is there I have been on a bit of a silver binge. I take the portal up the mountain, run over to the current silver node, mine out 20-22 units of ore, about all I can carry, then run back down the mountain to our base, start it smelting, and take the portal back up again. This has left us with a couple of chests full of silver and I have been using some of it to outfit myself.
Armor was first, especially since the frost resist effect, so necessary in the mountains, was part of a couple of the pieces. But after that it was time for weapons, and the first on the list was a new bow.
The Dragur fang bow is currently the best bow in the game and I was happy to get my hands on it as soon as I could.
Making it requires silver, which I was hauling down the mountain, and ancient bark, which we have in abundance, as you find it in swamp crypts as well as in every ancient tree in the swamp.
Then there was guck, a material I had only discovered by accident when I was trying to figure if those green blisters on trees in the swamp might be used for something. A bit of trial and error with one at blister at ground level showed that a pick axe would pop them after a few blows, and I received one unit of guck, which unlocked the recipe for the bow.
But you need 10 guck to make the bow and 22 guck total for a fully upgraded bow and I wasn’t seeing a lot more guck blisters down at ground level in my swamp exploration. There are, however, more further up in the trees, though the trees they inhabit cannot be chopped down. So I built a work bench nearby and then some ladders to get up into the trees to harvest.
On the bright side, the higher up the blister, the more guck that seems to come out. Three ladders up I got one that dropped 6 guck, so at least I did not have to find 21 more such blisters.
My guck in the bag, I was able to go back to base and craft my bow… and then immediately upgrade it all the way. And I am pretty happy with the bow.
It has a bigger knock-back than the huntsman’s bow I was using, which comes in very handy at times, like when I am on alone and I get that “The Ground is Shaking” alert that a troll raid is on the way. Then I scurry up to the stone tower at the front of the base and start shooting trolls. The knock-back puts them off balance for a bit so that swapping targets, along with a bit of luck, has kept them from tearing the guard tower down.
If I remember to swap to obsidian arrows and get a good opening shot, a troll is now down in 3-4 shots. Maybe 5-6 if I forget and am still using the wooden arrows, which I carry around to shoot lesser mobs.
The poison damage the bow has, which seems to get applied as a DoT, is fun as well. There have been a few times that I have failed to kill a drake up in the mountains with my second shot, only to see it fall out of the air a few seconds later because the poison finally landed.
The bow has also made sea serpents fair game. Early on I would run for shore when I heard the cry of a serpent. With the huntsman’s bow I could drive them off at sea, occasionally killing one before it got away. The Dragur Fang bow, with obsidian arrows, now makes a serpent a fairly reliable kill. When I hear the cry I stop the boat and get ready to shoot.
I have started killing them regularly enough when I am afloat that we have begun to build up a supply of serpent stew, which is the best food we have access to right now, and which we save for big fights.
I have even managed to kill a couple close enough to shore to retrieve their scales which, unlike the meat that floats on the water, drop to the bottom of the sea if you’re out too deep. I collected enough to make the serpent scale shield.
It is a tower shield, which slows you down a lot when equipped, so I tend to just use the silver shield I made. But if I need to go toe-to-toe with trolls, this works nicely.
So the bow has been pretty great so far. It is accurate, hits hard, and looks good. But it does have an issue. That glow on it looks cool, right up until you’re trying to hit a target moving from left to right in front of you. Then that glow has a bad habit of obscuring the target.
But otherwise, the bow has been a very good upgrade for me, and worth the effort in silver mining and guck harvesting.