Daily Archives: June 10, 2022

A New Base on the Plains in Valheim and the Tar Pit Next Door

I am a bit behind our progress now.  One of the reasons we were in a bit of a hurry to take Moder down was that we had our eyes on a nice piece of real estate in the plains that Brynjar had spotted on a exploration run and it felt like time to build a new base.

We have been avoiding going all out on base building so far this time around.  Last time we built a series of pretty solid, do all the things bases as we moved from one biome to the next… I think we ended up with two full bases in the black forest… because advancement means leaving biomes behind.  So we have tried to make do with base camps and outposts connected by portals, shipping materials by boat when we need to, and keeping ourselves otherwise concentrated on the one main base we built up on the coast some time back.

But the plains put a kink in that plan, as we knew it would.  Because some of the resources we will need to progress only grow within the plains biome, we knew we would have to commit to a full on base.  So we had been keeping an eye out for a potential location.  When Brynjar found the spot, we were ready to go.  So once we had slain Moder, we headed back to our main base, loaded up the longboat with supplies… especially metal that we couldn’t just portal out there… and set sail.

Setting sail for a new base in the plains

We had a ways to go to get to our destination, a peninsula on the coast of a plains biome near a couple of furling encampments.

On our way to a new home

We hadn’t explored very much there.  The plains were still pretty dangerous to us when Brynjar was out scouting.  But he had put up a portal and I had built a small stake wall to give us some semblance of protection.

On the way there we managed to sail over the only rocks sticking up in the middle of the ocean, hanging the boat up for a bit.  There was also a narrow channel between some islands we had to navigate.  And, of course, when you’re out with a loaded boat trouble will be looking for you.

Always something else to deal with

Fortunately the longboat sails faster than the sea serpents swim and, for once, the wind was blowing our way.  I had gotten the Moder power to change the winds, but we ended up not needing it.  The wind did not call our hand.

We arrived on the shore and began to throw up a perimeter around the potential base area.  We decided to go with a trench and raised earthen wall.  Brynjar set to work on that while I started hauling stone through to build up a supply for construction.  One thing the Moder fight left us with was a lot of stone.  At one point we linked the portals from the mountain base to the plains base so I could haul stone directly without making three stops.  Our hub and spoke transit system can be annoying when you are making a lot of trips.

A base began to form.  A stone cutter was built and I kept hauling stone, laying out piles of 50 stone along the ground, while Brynjar laid out the base.  A stone outpost began to rise from the plains, though not without some trouble from the locals.

Flaming Lox!

We had lox and deathsquitos and the occasional furling wander by, but the real trouble began when I spotted something happening up the hill from us.  I wasn’t sure what was going on.

Something going on up there…

And that was when we learned all about tar pits and the growths that live in them.

The growths are like the poison blobs in the swamp, only they are black and they shoot streams of tar at you.  The tar is both poisonous and slows you down for a while, and the streams can hit you from an annoyingly far distance.  Also, the growths seem to be able to sense you from much further than any other creature in the game.  And when there are three of them coming for you, you’re probably going to die.

Of course, we know what day it was

It took a bit to defeat the three growths, and they made it into our base and their tar blasts did a number on any wooden structure that got in the way, but eventually enough fire arrows sent their way managed to kill first one, then another.  A single growth is still a challenge, but manageable if you take care… and have a poison resist mead and maybe a healing mead as well.

Once they were down I went to take a look at the tar pit they came out of. It was, indeed, a pit full of sticky tar.

A tar pit up close

The growths drop tar, which is an ingredient for a bunch of new black wood building materials.  The growths only drop one per kill, but a tar pit is full of tar.  However, you can only get it if you drain the pit.  Otherwise anything in the pit is stuck in the tar.

So I began digging a trough to try and drain the pit.  I wasn’t sure how that was going to work, but I aimed to try and drain it down into the ocean, because polluting the ocean is one of those things that humans do best.

In doing that I discovered that the growths will respawn.

They just won’t leave you alone

And they remain a pain in the ass to deal with, even if they do fight with literally every other mob in the plains.  I saw a lox come over and smash the hell out of a couple of them at another pit.

Lox versus growths

But you can’t depend on a lox to be there when you need one… also they are happy enough to stomp on me as well.

I was hoping that fully draining the tar pit would keep the growths from spawning, but that didn’t seem to be the case.  The consensus I found indicated that they will just keep spawning, but I went the extra mile to test a few theories.

The tar pit surrounded

Fencing the empty tar pit in, with a couple of campfires in the middle just for good measure, has done the trick so far.  And that is good, because that tar pit was uncomfortably close to our new base.

Meanwhile, the base has come together.  We have found some flax and some barely to start cultivating.  Aside from the occasional death on the plains, always a hazard, things are going pretty well.  Granted, the base has a bit of a water level problem now and then.

Is Ula’s hot tub leaking again?

But we sleep on the second floor, where the ocean swell doesn’t reach us.