So, I decided to play the game without fighting any of the bosses, to see how it went.
Early game is quite simple, just gather wood, hides, flint. Build a base and ignore Eikthyr. He continously sent food to my base throughout the playthough. He is a very kind fella.
When I felt I had geared up enough, it was time to head into the black forrest. Ran through the thing like a scared rabbit, marking all copper, crypts and troll caves I came across and located an area with plenty of copper near a crypt. Cleared it out and familiarized myself with the layout, where were the chests, etc. And then I went troll hunting. The objective wasnt to kill the troll, but to employ his services to mine some copper and tin for me. Rather than heading back to base I went into the nearby crypt to unload metals whenever I got full. And so I went on until I had enough for a pick, a forge and then some. Waited awhile inside to have it lose interest in me, and began hauling my loot back home.
With a pick in hand I went at it, knowing Bronze to be the only metal I would have easy times to get, I decided to get enough to upgrade everything, it would have to last me some time… axe, shield, cultivator, armour, pickaxe, karve, cart, fermenters, workbench and forge upgrades are well over 380 copper… it took some time.
The swamp was an interesting experience. This is the first time the 'no boss drops' really hit me in the stomach. My main source of iron was from Oozers, which arent all that common… and muddy scrap piles were even rarer to find, sticking out of the ground… chains were also a pain, as the only source I could find were the wraiths that spawn in the swamp houses. The spawn rates are low. Very low. I ended up charting multiple swamps to have a bunch of portals to swamp houses so I could jump between them and look for wraiths. Iron equipment was on a bare minimum, concentrating on pickaxe, longship, and workbench+forge upgrades.
After the swamp I had a choice. Go into the mountains, and grind wolves… or go to the plains and kill loxes. I went with the plains, as it didnt require me to get lucky with wolf trophies or nothing. Then I just needed to get lucky in the mountains, and find a silvervein, protruding through the ground… needless to say, it was very time consuming. But eventually I got a vein, and permanent frost resistance was acquired. When I well had frost resistance, and enough silver for a draugr fang… I had enough protection to start stripmining an entire mountain biome for silver. Thank the gods for portals. Quick repairs, refill of rested buffs and drop off for stone. Though the mountain did become quite taxing on performance due to the terraforming…
The plains proved completely useless. Both barley, flax and black metal are locked behind the artisan table, which requires Moder boss drops. The only interesting resources in the plains proved to be lox, deathsquitos, cloud berries and fine wood.
My conclusion: it is a very interesting way to play the game, and I do enjoy finding alternative methods to play… but the Moder boss drops locking away the plains content do bug me. I do intend to keep playing in this world, and I look forward to future updates.