For solo newcomers, current Valheim may be too much.

How to build a large and tall house in Valheim

It's been a long time since I've tried to dedicate myself to Valheim. My friends don't like survival crafting games so whenever I boot this game up I'm fully solo, which I think I've grown used to. I wanted to wait until Hearth and Home because I really wanted to see the direction the developers would take with the crafting progression system, combat AI, and personal leveling mechanics.
As far as I can tell, Iron Gate has been very hard at work fleshing out the available content and expanding on the areas which they introduced but have not fully expanded upon. They have also worked tirelessly to expand upon the current available content, making some of the earlier progression hurdles feel less artificial and more dependent on the players' persistence and perseverance.
However, I think the current state of the game is hostile to new, solo players. I also feel very skeptical toward the state of the multiplayer experience for newcomers. So far, after creating a new character and a new world I feel the most pressing matter for newer players reads as such:
The Dark Forest thinks you should uninstall
Hitting a fir or pine tree with an axe will cause nearby hostile units to become aware of a player's presence. In the best case scenario, a few nearby skeletons guarding a ruin will become aggro'd to their character but will not approach because they cannot see them and will therefor not be bothered to give a heck.
Next best scenario involves a group of (usually) three greydwarves who hear the player's lumberjacking and hone in on their geographical position based on the vibrations of the earth because they are attuned to such a thing.

Based on my experiences however, the player is most likely to run into a shaman (or two or three or four or five or six or seven ffs) and a brute regardless of how deep they are trespassing into the Dark Forest of their choice. In my most recent experience, a sliver of Dark Forest biome that melded with a majority Meadows biome consistently spawned 2 shamans, a brute, and 6-9 greydwarves who interrupted my material gathering with EVERY TREE I FELLED. There are no spawners in the limited Dark Forest biome space which I am concerned with, yet there is a constant flow of overpowered and overtuned Greydwarves which spawn and swarm every time I interact with this area or any "natural" resource within.
With the latest round of balance patches, I have found my stamina depletion to be so great and my recovery to be so slow that, even with cheat-spawned food supplies, expeditions tend to conclude with myself being surrounded by enemies who stunlock me to death. Wearing even rags to my expeditions slows me to the point of feeling like a sea bass in a catfish's mud bath. The only respite I've found in this ruthless grind is with console commands, and only for the sake of making the risky expeditions with hyper-limited inventory space worth the fuggin' effort.

In the current state of the game, I think Valheim needs a serious difficulty overhaul before any other content patches. Group-size scaling needs to be reworked in a big way – not just health and damage scaling, but hardcore spawn scaling as well. I've hardcore cheated my way to a very rudimentary base and I still feel grossly outmatched by the barrier of entry set by the rest of the game's content. Otherwise I can hardly recommend this game as an alternative to Ark: Survival Evolved, let alone as a standalone worth its own merits.


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