Note that I am going to rephrase, reorder and filter the questions & answers. You can always double-check the link to the answers to read the original context by clicking on the name of the person who I’m quoting!
Also, a warning: this post is LONG!
Firstly, I think many of you are interested in what did the Early-Access success brought to the table and what sort of issues Iron Gates faced and how they intend to solve those:
What's been the greatest challenge with the game blowing up and becoming such a hit?
By now I'm sure that most haven't escaped the fact that we're quite the small team actually developing Valheim, and having 7+ million customers puts a lot of pressure on us to live up to our own standards of what one should reasonably come to expect from the game in terms of quality in both content and gameplay.
In hindsight, putting out the roadmap with four updates for the first year was (obviously) not a good decision, as this only exacerbated the pressure with the days going by without us being able to actually work on those promised updates.
So that has been a great challenge, learning to balance the work needed to be done to improve your experience and the new stuff that we want to implement.
Another great challenge has been taking care of the community. When we released into EA our small Discord channel blew up, with quite a rapid increase of more than 100k members. Our sole community manager (Lisa) was overwhelmed quickly so we had to scramble to try to find some more Community Managers to help her out (which we thankfully did).
How has Valheim's success impacted your lives?
For me.. it has been great.
Before I started working at IronGate I always wanted to work at Riot Games and Blizzard, but the more I worked with the gang at IG the more I just felt that this company is more than just a company, it's my family.
With the Early Access release, people from Riot Games and Blizzard contacted me and asked if we were looking for people. THIS for me was such a huge thing, it's humbling and puts things in perspective.
That was probably the biggest thing. also having other developers who I constantly look up to, congratulate us for what we did. This was a reward greater than money.
With the new roadmap focusing on Hearth & Home and Mistlands afterwards, what is the plan for the rest of the previous items and updates in the future?
We feel like we want to go back to how we worked before the Early-Access release; where we pushed out smaller updates as soon as they were done.
To be honest, the other updates that were on the roadmap (Cult of the Wolf, Saga Worthy Seas, Even More Ships) were not that big and we feel like we want to get Mistlands done first.
With that being said, we still want to push those updates, but rather than putting them in a box of Content, we just want to be able to push them out as soon as we have done them. that could be this year or next year.
Do you have any plans to hire a bigger team so you can push out updates faster, or are you more of a fan of the slow and steady approach to adding to the game?
As of last week, we've hired three developers that will start working on the game at the beginning of August. So things will definitely pick up a bit.
But why not hire more people? I hear you ask.
Well, we kinda want to make that process more slow and steady, as hiring too many people at the same time would only worsen our velocity, rather than improving it.
We will hire more people, but at a 'natural' pace in which we can properly assimilate them into the team without too much overhead.
Many have asked about various Quality of Life features, some extensions to the current features and some ideas that we have never really got an official answer to until now:
Will we be able to trash/delete items?
We're aware that this is something people want, and we have been looking into it!
A note here: The current way you can “trash/delete” items are to drop them on the ground outside of any base buildings or drop them into deep enough water, and they should be deleted within two in-game days.
Will we ever be able to ride Loxes?
Very good question!
We have talked a lot [internally] about mounts and what kind of mount would be suitable for Valheim.
There are so many things that would make things more complicated as we dont just want to put a rideable animal into valheim. We want to give it mechanics and love. Not just have the mount be a pair of speedy boots for traveling. When we put a mount into the game, we want you to care for the animal, manage it.
The Lox is a great first choice for our first rideable animal. It won't be coming in Hearth & Home, that is for sure. We can't give you an exact date, all I can do is promise you that I will fight tooth and nail for Loxs or something even more epic to come to Valheim, as your riding companion.
Are there any plans on adding more land transportation options besides the Cart?
Variants of the existing cart are definitely something we should consider.
Adding different types of land transportation sounds like an interesting challenge (I always love to play around with physics), but it's not something we currently have planned.
Are Quests considered for the game?
Quests, the big question, you either hate or love quests; We have no current plans for implementing quests or questlines right now.
Do you have plans to add more NPCs to the game?
I believe we do want to put in more NPCs. There are so many mystical and epic NPCs we could do, everything from the Bog Witch to Baldor, Haldors competitive trader brother. I think they give a nice flavour to the game. ooooh, I'm getting ideas now!!!
There are rumours that more of the Dvergr-kin are making their way to Valheim. Haldor was something of a trailblazer you might say.
Will we ever get Cheese in the game?
I love your question! who wouldn't want some cheese right??!!
But the simple answer is: when there is Milk!
Can we expect more farming animals in the future?
We will definitely add more animals to the game as we go, with some animals being more probable than others.
However, with every new thing we add to the game, we also need to make sure everything still serves a purpose and gives you interesting resources, so it's hard to say when more animals will enter Valheim.
Will we be able to name tamed animals?
I will fight everyone at IronGate… I will win… Therefore… you shall be able to name your animal Bob… or your desired pet name!
Are there any plans to make variations in biomes, like as a reward for exploration?
I feel you. We have this discussion [internally] quite often, we don't have a specific solution to this right now. But we have some nice ideas on how to reward exploration.
The thing is, it's not always about the locations, but what the location "could" hide in a box, resource, enemies. There are many things we can do. and we will be doing something about this, sooner or later. =)
Will you consider adding one or more “peaceful” biomes such as the Meadows?
No, not really, at least not any concrete plans. We are currently planning on adding 3 more biomes (Mistlands, Deep north and Ashlands) before we exit Early Access. What happens after that we don't really know at this point =)
Can we get used to trophies, like grinding them up to feed our wolves?
We don't have any solution in mind for this just yet, but we would absolutely want to find more additional uses for trophies in the future.
Are there any plans to make bigger locations than the current small villages?
Yes, there are plans for bigger locations.
Building these locations are quite big tasks already though so it may take some time to build even more impressive stuff. But it will be done sooner or later.
Will we get dedicated weapon inventory slots?
We don't have any plans for dedicated inventory slots. But we have talked [internally] about perhaps implementing bags or other similar ways to give you additional inventory slots.
Will things like dyes and customisation options added?
I love the idea of dyes, being able to customize and your own thing that you love. Right now we have the "style" you can choose on your shields. Maybe we might expand that in the future.
on a similar note:
We definitely want to add more options for ships! However, we're not quite sure when it will be implemented into the game.
Are rivers & water physics planned?
To add fluid simulation to the rivers and oceans would mean that we'd have to re-implement the whole water system, which is quite a big task.
We would love to add it since we would also like to build dams and the like, but it's technically difficult and something we'd really have to think long and hard about before even starting working on it. Short answer: It's improbable to happen, but not impossible.
Any thoughts on adding skills for cooking, farming/husbandry, sailing, smelting, crafting or even gathering?
Definitely have thoughts on adding crafting skills!
The challenge is figuring out a way to do it that works well with the existing system (quality & extensions etc).
I hope we will figure something out in the future. Sailing skill is also something we have talked about [internally] but not a high priority at this point. But definitely something we will consider in the future.
Will Dual Wielding of one-handed weapons be a thing?
IF we put dual-wield into the game, it will probably be called "twin – – – -", Twin Axes, Twin Blades. You will not be able to choose different one-handers and customize which ones you use. Not saying we will put that in, but if we do, I think that would be badassery deluxe!
Could we get items from the nearest containers automatically for building and crafting?
Not planned feature. Valheim isn't meant as a factory style game.
Some topics that were touched on but have already been known – meaning, there is no new information, just a reiteration of previous statements:
Underground terraforming is considered?
With the current world system. Tunnels and cave building aren't possible.
We also don't want the players to be able to hide from dangers in the world of Valheim.
How many biomes are planned, and when they come out, do we need to start a new map?
First, this is a pretty complex question to answer.
As already stated, all our current planned biomes are technically already in the game and depending on what kind of changes we will do to them; it will affect the rest of the game world in different ways.
We will try not to break any existing worlds and allow you to continue playing in them after updates as much as possible. However, already explored areas will most likely not get any new content, and you will have to visit unexplored areas to experience the new content added.
Depending on what kind of changes we make to the world generation, you might have to create a new world to get the new changes.
Short answer: it all depends on what changes we will make to the world generation, but we will try to keep your existing worlds as working as possible and allow you to continue playing in it…but no promises 😉
Are there any plans to add farming of the various food items that only can be obtained by scavenging right now?
We don't want the players to stay comfortable and behind safe walls all the time.
Some plants in real life are the same; you cannot plant them in your own backyard =)
(Btw, in our latest patch, we fixed an issue with respawning objects that didn't work as intended. So the forests should respawn things more than before)
Are you considering adding more dangerous “water” creatures such as the serpent?
It's pretty funny how the Sea serpent actually came to life, and after all the positive response; screams of terror stemming from the Serpent, I would say YES.
There are so many awesome things we could do. The ocean biome needs the same love and attention as other biomes. And with love, I mean doom, terror and nightmare fueled creatures!!!
Are there any plans to add difficulty settings?
This is something we could consider when the whole game is out of the Early Access stage =)
HEARTH & HOME
With the next update coming fairly soon (in about 3 months at max), some extra details were also revealed or, more like, pointed out that was already hidden in plain sight:
Will we get 45° and 26° wood wall variants upside down?
Have a closer look at the images in the latest Steam announcement 👀
I understand that Hearth & Home cover buildings and food. Will there be other additions aside from that?
Correct, the main focus of Hearth & Home was initially to do some changes and re-balancing to the food system, which has been the main focus of it.
That said, we still want to add some new fun stuff for you to find and explore in the world. But of course, we don't want to spoil that for you =D. In addition to the changes in the food system, we have also made some pretty big changes to the blocking mechanics. I will probably talk more about this at some later time.
Will there be any mobs or interactive creatures added with Hearth & Home?
Yes, but you will have to wait and see 👀
Amongst many important questions, there were some great heartwarming ones for closing this summary up:
With getting a horse (pony), who in the company has been riding it the most?
The horse is technically not owned by the company.
We simply chose to sponsor the town's riding school with money for a new pony, since we believe it's important to be a part of the local community and create connections with our neighbours.
We haven't actually had the occasion to meet Valheim the horse yet, but we will take plenty of cute pictures when we do!
With your team rocking some nice beards, who has the most Viking-like beard?
This is a good question and we had to do a vote internally:
Errik has the most viking-like beard in the dev team.
And that's about it; which answers did you guys liked the most, and did I miss some important ones?
Let me know in the comments, and thank you for your attention!