Tag Archives: Black Forest

Storming Ashore in the Black Forest

Back to Valheim.

In planning for our return to the Black Forest… well, my return and a first visit by everybody else… Skronk put together a spreadsheet to calculate what supplies we would need to carry over with us in order to make a defensible base.

The biggest element was going to be wood.  We would need to build a palisade wall around the camp as swiftly as possible and then some minimal shelter within that in order to hold out against the anticipated onslaught.  That meant more than 300 units of wood.

50 units of wood weighs 100 pounds, so 600 pounds total.  As I mentioned last time, one person can carry 300 pounds before movement is seriously impaired.  With gear and other supplies it seemed we could split the wood out between the three of us and be able to get over there with almost enough to get things going.  Skronk revised his shelter estimate down and under 300 units seemed viable.

I did point out that in my previous expeditions I had discovered the area was populated by fir trees, which we could chop down with our flint axes.  Wood seemed to be in ample supply over there, so long as we were able to find the time to cut it down.

Laden with supplies, we gathered on the raft to set sail to the Black Forest.

Setting sail for a new land

There was some discussion as how to best ride as a passenger.  Falling overboard could mean death.  Skronk had already drowned just steps from the shore as I stood watching, helpless to do anything.  There isn’t a “grab somebody and haul them up” command that I know of.

Skonk had read that remaining seated was a good option, and so he and Ula… Unna in our world… started.  And then we got into open water and the swells started to roll the raft and water came over it now and again up to the chins of those seated before the raft bobbed up to the surface again.  It wasn’t as bad as my previous rides at their worst, but it was disconcerting.

Ula opted to stand up and hold onto the mast, which you can do.  If you target over the mast, there is the option E to hold on.  She rode that way through the rough weather.

Unna at the mast

Also, I might take a moment to note how you can see other people’s health bars floating above them quite vividly.  Your own health is tucked way down in the bottom left corner of your screen, which on my monitor puts it outside of my peripheral vision if I am focused on tasks at the center of the screen.  So we’re often prompting each other about health status.

With rough seas and an uncooperative wind blowing against us, it took more time than expected to get over the water to our destination.  We could see the campfire left from my first attempt and sailed a bit up the coast to a point where there was a sheltered bay and a bit of a peninsula.   That looked promising, so I put the boat against the shore and we leaped off and began hurrying to set up.

There were some dangerous creatures about made worse by the fact that it was the dark of night as we landed.  The initial thought was to put a palisade wall across the head of the peninsula to keep creatures out.  As we were working on that a group of greys showed up and I went out to cover Skronk as he threw up a base and ended up dying.  That was awkward.

When you die you go back to your spawn point, which is your bed.  That put me back at our first base, where I had to scrounge about for the parts to make another raft.  The one thing I was missing was wood.  We had scraped up all we had to bring with us.  Fortunately I had stuck my old stone axe in a chest, so was able to run out and harvest some in the dark.

Meanwhile, I could hear Skonk and Ula scrambling on coms to build their perimeter.  They were also facing a wood shortage as I died with 100 units of wood on my corpse which was no longer available for them to use.  I could hear the rush to chop down nearby trees as they fought off greys and avoided the crashing timber.  I had the distinct impression that at least one tree fell on their work in progress and set them back.

I made my raft and sailed back to them, arriving with the dawn to find they had a palisade perimeter setup.

Arrival back at the new base

I had now crossed the water five times in that direction and only three time in the other.  That is like a pilot whose takeoffs and landings don’t match.

I hopped ashore, grabbed the stuff off of my corpse, dropped half of the wood I had in a chest Skronk had built, then tried to help get things settled.  We needed beds to set spawn points and a roof and a fire to be able to sleep, and more things besides.

Just to keep us on our toes we got one of those events.  The signal came that the forest was moving and the greys came out of the dark to attack us.  We threw up a ladder against the wall and build some platforms to stand on in order to use bows to thin out their ranks.

The forest is alive tonight

That subsided are a bit.  We eventually got beds setup and spawn points set, the started working on defense some more, refining our archery platforms and clearing our the space before the gate and adding a fire to help illuminate targets.  The greys seemed keen to visit over and over.

On the wall again

As we developed our defenses, we pushed the front wall out to encompass the cleared zone to give ourselves a bit more of a buffer and some space to stack wood and rock for use later.

A new fire set out to illuminate… and distract attackers

Skronk was able to setup a nice longhouse for us with beds, a fire for cooking, a storage area, and a work bench with all the upgrades we could manage.

Our new home over the water

Then it was time to strike out and see what was about.

There was copper ore right up the hill from us.  Upon reaching it Hugin showed up to tell us all about it.

Hugin explains about ore and cores

There was also a neighbor up the hill.  I heard some new noises… Valheim is definitely a game where you need to pay attention to the environmental sounds… and I saw the source through the woods.

A troll spotted

That was one of those moments, like when I first spotted a cyclops striding around West Karana back in early EverQuest where I said, “Wow!” and was surprised and impressed.  He seemed to be content in his spot up the hill, so I left him alone.

We went up the coast to retrieve the raft that was left behind from my first failed expedition.  We found lots of tin ore along the water there and I was able to grab the remaining items off of my corpse, still down in the hole, before grabbing the raft and sailing it back.  We needed that raft as the greys had destroyed the one parked in front of the base in the sheltered bay.  You cannot leave items unattended.  Even the greylings back at our old base destroyed some of our stuff outside of our perimeter… including another raft.

Down in the other direction Ula and I discovered some skeletons guarding what looked to be a tomb of some sort.  The skeletons were fighting some greys when we showed up, and seemed to get the better of them.  Then we got a little too close and the skeletons came for us.  But we were able to dispatch them readily.  As we got closer to the tomb Hugin appeared once again to tell us all about our find.

Time for some dungeons

So we were clearing in the right neighborhood for further adventure.

Of course, it became clear to me later that this who expedition was not strictly necessary.  As I noted in the comments on the last post, I had misunderstood Hugin’s mention of the Black Forest, thinking it was a specific fixed location we needed to find.  Instead, the Black Forest is just one of the biome types in the game.  We just had not stumbled upon one in our initial exploration, though later one was discovered back by our initial camp in a direction we simply had not explored.  We could have had trolls and such there if we had looked about more.

But we had fun.  It was quite an adventure and now part of our tale in the world.

Traveling to the Black Forest in Valheim

In the previous Valheim post I mentioned that, on slaying Eikthyr and crafting the hardened horn pick axe, Hugin had swooped in to tell us about the mineral riches of the Black Forest.  Since we were keen to make metal tools that seemed like our next destination.

But I had already found the place.  Before we got to Eikthyr I had been out exploring on the raft and had sailed to an island across the water from our camp.  There, on landing, it announced that I had arrived in the Black Forest.

Welcome to the Black Forest!

Hugin showed up as soon as I got that message and told me I had things to take care of first.

Hugin speaks of other things

If I was not convinced by his statement about danger, the locals showed up… greylings and others of their family, whom I will refer to collectively as “the greys” going forward… and set upon me quite viciously.

It was very much a “Jock, start the plane!” event as I ran for the boat, jumped aboard, and started backing away from shore, a number of the greys still in pursuit, swimming after me.

Paddling backwards as fast as I can

So it was that later, after we had defeated Eikthyr, I knew where to set sail.  I thought I might be able to slip in a ways up the coast from where I first landed and build a little base that we could use as a foothold from which to operate in the Black Forest.

I loaded up some supplies and set sail once more.  It takes about half a game day minimum to sail across the water from our base to the land where the Black Forest lies.  Of course, that is when the wind cooperates and the seas are calm.  Sometimes the seas are pretty rough… rough enough to damage to raft as you ride up and crash down on the rolling swells.

Riding up a swell

Unfortunately for me, both the sea and the wind were working against me, and by the time I arrived at the far end of my journey, it was night time… but still stormy and raining and otherwise inhospitable.

Land ho in the dark and stormy night

Things went poorly from there.  I started trying to build a palisade wall perimeter as soon as I landed, but in the dark and rain it was difficult to adapt to the terrain.  If I had waited for light I might have noticed some spots that ended up thwarting my original plan.  And then the greys started showing up.  There was off and on fighting as they dribbled in.  I was also trying to harvest more wood and my axe was wearing out.

At one point I needed some more stone so retreated back to a rock outcropping on the water to use my pick axe to dig up some.  However a network glitch got me, the pick didn’t swing for a bit, buffered my clicks, then suddenly I found myself in a hole that I couldn’t jump out of… probably because I was over weight due to having just picked up a bunch of stone.

There is a weight limit of 300 pounds, after which your character struggles to move.

I started trying to dig forward to create a slope which would let me out of the hole when six greys showed up above me and started beating on me.  I died.

That was a very inconvenient place to die, as you respawn back at your bed, which for me was back across the water at our base.  I had actually built a bed, but never got walls and a roof over it, so could never use it.  Now I had to collect some supplies and put on my backup gear… my tattered rags and stone axe… build another boat, and sail back to see if I could collect some of my stuff.  That hardened horn pick axe was a difficult item to replace to start with.

Fortunately, the weather was a bit more cooperative on my return voyage, and I arrived in daylight and was able to spot the camp and my first raft.

The scene of the crime

The stone outcropping is dead ahead in the screen shot.  I pulled up, jumped off the raft, and jumped back in the hole to get my stuff.  I equipped the pick axe and dug the sloped ramp to get myself out and looted some more items off my corpse, but it wasn’t too long before that group of greys showed up again.  I had to fight my way out of the hole, leaving behind quite a bit of stuff, but nothing critical, and run for the raft.  Once again I sailed away with greys swimming in pursuit.

I made the trip back as the sun set, sailing in the dark and cold.  The good news is that being wet and cold and tired won’t kill you.

But it was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to just half ass myself into a foothold in the Black Forest.  I spoke with Skronk and he started working on a resource plan to allow us to make the voyage and setup a defensible perimeter.  This first attempt was my Dieppe, a raid gone bad.  Next time we would shoot for something more akin to Normandy.