Last play session, I made my first trip to the Valheim black forest. It was a great set of emergent adventures with sailing, mining, dungeon crawling, troll fighting, metal work and a ton of building.
Building my First Valheim Boat
My first Meadows house is located on a penninsula far from the Black Forest, so I setup an outpost near the entrance of the black forest. I wanted to build my first boat to sail between the two.
After gathering the ingredients and building my small raft, it was time to go sailing. I did not see any obvious instructions except for wind direction and how open my sail was.
After plenty of trial and error, I found pressing “W” activates 3 different speeds. First is a rowing action for when the wind is not in my favor. Next was a half sail and then last is full sail. The rudder controls left to right and “S” slows down the raft or rows in reverse.
It’s so much fun to sail through the waves with the sun or moon shining on the water’s surface. Unfortunately, monsters do try to attack my boat when parked on the coast and storms can damage the boat against the shore.
I built a boat houses to hide and protect my expensive raft. It is great fun to set sail in the morning and come back to the boat house at night with my torches lit. Eventually I need a proper lighthouse.
My later exploration found a river near the Valheim black forest where I found tin. It’s a fun little adventure sailing out to gather the tin before coming home to start smelting the tin. Now I want to gather resources to build the upgraded boat, the Karve, for faster travel.
Exploring Valheim Black Forest Burial Chambers
Before I could start building better tools to cut down harder wood, I needed copper. I found in deposits in the black forest, but needed to smelt the ore I gathered. To smelt that, I needed to build a smelter that required surtling cores.
Surtling cores hide in Valheim black forest burial chambers guarded by skeletons. Skeletons killed me before, several times in an earlier session. This time I brought my stag breaker weapon to damage several skeletons at the same time and knock them back.
My weapon prep was good, but those burial chambers are pretty well hidden behind large rocks and require to break the entrance open. Venturing into those requires a torch for light, food to keep health up and good blunt weapons to knock on some bones.
These stone mazes are also procedurally generated, so I could not be sure what I’ll find. Lucky for me, I found all the surtling cores I needed for smelting and some valuable gems (apparently there’s a merchant somewhere in the game).
Mining my Way to the Bronze Age
After building the first smelter, I started processing metals. The smelting process requires charcoal. Burning food will produce charcoal, but not nearly enough to process decent amounts of metal.
I needed large amounts of charcoal to smelt the metals I need to craft bronze. My best option was to build a charcoal kiln, but I was a few surtling cores short. It required me to find and explore another burial chamber.
My second burial chamber adventure almost killed me, but it was worth those surtling cores. With that haul I built my charcoal kiln. Now I only need to feed the thing wood and get all the charcoal I need.
My smelted copper plates helped build my forge to combine my copper with tin to create bronze.
I did not have enough metal to reach my goal of building a bronze ax. The ax was my first choice to get the hard wood I crave. It also doubles as a weapon. More Valheim black forest mining trips were needed.
My trip to copper deposits was its own adventure when I was attacked by 2 giant blue trolls. Running and shooting my bow over and over kept me safe.
Killing both trolls felt like an accomplishment. I was rewarded with wood, gold, troll hide and a trophy head. The hides I crated into upgraded armor in case I ran into more.
My tin trip started with sailing along the coast and river. A little mining tin here and killing greydwarves there, then I sailed home in the dark. All before the monsters in the forest came to get me.
Those trips gave me enough bronze to finally craft my bronze ax. At that point I was ready to cut down a ton of wood to expand my outpost.
Expanding my Valheim Black Forest Outpost
With my bronze ax ready, I was finally able to chop fine wood like oak and fir. That opened a ton of new recipes for me to start the rat race for supplies again, but it’s fun in this game.
My plan with all the new wood was to expand the protective fence around my outpost to keep monsters out. The expansion made room for a proper Viking longhouse, a garden for carrots, a pen to tame boars, a workshop for all crafting needs and an expanded longhouse to hold my future boat upgrade to the karve.
Expanding the fence line and building all the other stuff requires a ton of wood and it was taking way too long to go all the way back to the tree line. The weight of the wood did not take long to hit my inventory weight limit.
My solution was 2 part: built a cart to store a lot more wood for transport to my base and planted a small beech tree farm (they grow in just a few days in the game). Those will accelerate my Valheim black forest outpost construction.
My longhouse floor and chimney are setup. I need a ton more wood to build up the walls. It’s worth mentioning that after hours of playtime (many in game days), I still have not ventured to the Elder altar (second boss to kill).
Next time I hope I can at least finish my longhouse before I get back to gather metal ore for armor and more tools. Again, get the game if you have not already.