As I wrote previously, it seemed clear to me that we were going to have to build a base in the plains once I had read that barley and flax would only grow there. Some sort of farm would need to be set up. And then, of course, there was the next tier of metal. While we could haul it back to our ever sprawling main base, my experience with collecting silver from the mountains indicated that a forge and smelter in the area would be viable.
So when Crowbar pointed out a likely island in the plains, we set about making a somewhat utilitarian outpost on the spot.
The first priority was production and a few of the first items laid down, once we had laid out a stone pad foundation, were, from left to right, a windmill, a smelter, a kiln, and a blast furnace.
The windmill might be my favorite of that group, if only because it made the behavior of the wind in the game something to notice beyond when I had set sail. The wheel and tail assembly at the top rotate with changes in the wind, facing into it like a real windmill. But it also brought to my attention that the wind doesn’t blow at a fixed rate. While I suspected that it might when out on the Karve, it is hard to tell. But the windmill blades spin relative to the speed of the wind, or not at all if the air is calm.
Which would all be so much trivia if it didn’t affect how well the windmill worked. You use it to grind harvested barley into barley flour for cooking, and how fast it grinds is directly proportional to the speed of the wind. I understand that you can mess up your production with poor windmill placement, though we seem to have done okay. It grinds away and we have an excess of flour now. The only bothersome bit was the sound of the spinning blades, which in the right wind sound a bit like heavy footsteps running towards you. Tuned into sounds, as you have to be when you play Valheim, that gave me a start a few times before I got used to it.
The smelter was built to process iron scraps, since I knew we would need some of that. I also hauled some copper and tin from another base to get us some bronze in case we needed a bit.
The kiln I might have skipped on. All it does is make coal, and you can bring coal through a portal. But it also doesn’t take much to build. I remember when five surtling cores seemed like a big investment. Now we have a chest full of them sitting around. So there it is.
And then there is the blast furnace, which makes all sorts of noise as it smelts black metal scraps. My main disappointment was that it doesn’t replace the smelter. Oh well.
But not everything can sit around outside, so we put up some buildings.
They are in the form of my “I ain’t building no damn chimneys” mis-matched roof design, something I borrowed from the roof venting in our own house. They started as a mirrored pair, then I roofed over the part in the middle since I was tired of getting wet walking between the two or when using one of the portals there.
The building on the left became the indoor crafting area.
There we have some large storage chests, which was as good of a reason as any to get some iron, as they keep down the chest clutter a bit. I am also all in on iron torches, which stay lit much longer than the wooden kind.
Next to that is the spinning wheel which turns flax into linen thread. That thread is required for many of the gear upgrades. The spinning wheel is dull compared to the windmill. You just fill it up and it spits out spools of thread.
Then there is the artisan table, which requires Moder’s tears to construct, and which enables to building of the blast furnace, spinning wheel, and windmill.
And then there is a fully upgraded forge for crafting with our new found materials. Behind me in the screen shot is an upgraded workbench for items requiring that.
That is used mostly for making needle arrows and the occasional lox hide cloak.
The other building is the sleeping quarters, which is pretty compact.
There are four beds on a platform over the hearth, which seemed very Russian to me, though maybe having a bed over the stove in a peasant izba is a bit out of date.
There is also enough decoration to boost the comfort level to 14, which gives 18 minutes of rested state, something that boosts stamina and health regen. I also put up cooking racks to roast up some lox meat on demand. I thought about building a cauldron as well, but the cooking area at the main base is just a step through a portal and we have a lot of supplies built up there for food.
Finally, there is the field. We split out the compound to give us room to grow barley and flax when we found it. I started off with just a bit of barley too.
Soon though I had a field of barely, enough that we pushed out the far wall to give ourselves a bigger field. And then we found some flax and I went to town on growing that.
You can see I have the flax well spaced. Early on, when we only had a little, I was paranoid about losing any of the crop. Now our chests are spilling over with the excess and I am a little more free with it. But I have still stored some away at other bases just in case. We have a strategic reserve of flax and barely stashed away.
Overall, despite the utilitarian plan for our base, it has actually shaped up into a nice little outpost. Things are handy but not in the way, the island location keeps us safe, and supplies are just a portal or a short walk away.
And, of course, it is on the plains, which can give one quite a pleasant view when the weather and the sunlight decide to cooperate for a bit.
We’ll probably get in trouble with some eco type for importing a few firs and a strand of pine trees into the plains… invasive species… but they look pretty good out there.