My brother and I began playing Valheim on August 24th, 2021. Since then, Steam tells me, I've played 250 hours. Here is a bunch of notes and suggestions. I have tried to avoid anything particularly spoiler-ish, but opted to hit the spoilers tag anyway, just in case.
1: Automatic item pickup reverts to "on" if you die. This killed my brother and I several times in our Yagluth fight, because we became encumbered when we retrieved our gear after dying. The random stones that we had picked up on the way back put us over the weight limit when we added our gear on top of that. Yagluth then murdered us more because we were encumbered, unarmored, and couldn't move fast enough to flee. So: when you turn off auto-pickup, it should stay turned off until you turn it back on. I have posted this one as a bug report.
2: Allow numpad Enter key on server password field. When completing a password on the server-join, pressing the Enter key on the number pad does not submit the form. For some reason. I haven't filed this one even though I consider it a bug, because it's such a low priority item.
General UI Improvements
3: Items should be thrown the direction the camera is facing, not the character. This was a constant annoyance. I would be looking at my brother's character and attempt to pass him an item by throwing it out of my inventory, only to chuck it in whatever random direction my character was facing.
4: Passengers on boats should be able to zoom out as far as the pilot when holding fast or sitting down. It's hard to see around the sail on a longship when you're a passenger. Being able to zoom out further, like the pilot can, would help with that. I don't understand why the two have different zoom lengths.
5: Crafting should be allowed if the new item would stack with something in your inventory, even if it is otherwise full. For example, if you have one sausage, and the ingredients for 8 more sausages, it should allow you to craft the 8 sausages even if there are no open slots in your inventory. They can just stack with the existing sausage.
6: Allow finer rotation adjustments. It looks like it moves in 15-degree adjustments. It would be nice to get finer control by holding down SHIFT while rotating the object. This was done in the shared-world building software Active Worlds back in the '90s, and it was a game changer when they introduced it.
7: Add a crafting recipe compendium. There is currently no in-game way to check what ingredients you need for a particular item unless you happen to be standing at the appropriate crafting station. It would be very nice to have some way to look that up when you're standing in the middle of a swamp and wondering how many bloodbags you need for a medium healing mead base.
8: Add a "Store It" button. I want to be able to open a chest, click a button, and have it automatically store any item in my inventory that matches one already in that chest. I am told Stardew Valley already has a feature like this, and it sounds a million times better than manually emptying my inventory one item type at a time.
9: Improve stack-splitting. A slider is cumbersome. Let me pick a stack up by left clicking it once, then drop items one at a time by right clicking while holding it. Minecraft uses this mechanic, and it's very handy when you need, say, 4 items out of a stack of 50.
10: Add stack-spreading. That is, let me pick up a stack with left-click, then spread it across the slots in a chest by holding down right-click and swiping the cursor across the slots I want to fill. This would help with sorting chests, because you could quickly establish rows of item types that would "fill up" later as you empty recent acquisitions into the chest. Again, Minecraft has this mechanic and it's very helpful. For bonus points, add the ability to hold down Shift while doing this and have a stack split evenly across the number of slots I swipe over, instead of depositing one item in each slot. That would make it easy to divide a stack in halves, thirds, fourths, etc, by spreading it across several slots.
11: Add key-binds for inventory modifiers. Valheim uses CTRL+Click to move a full stack from your inventory to a chest (or vice versa). Meanwhile Minecraft uses SHIFT+Click to do the same thing, which Valheim uses for splitting a stack. I am undoubtedly biased in this area, as I have played an awful lot of Minecraft, but it took me several dozen hours of Valheim to not hit SHIFT+Click instead of CTRL+Click to move a stack. If I could re-bind that key to match Minecraft it would decrease the cognitive load from switching between games.
12: Why can't two people look in a box at once? I mean, really. Why not? I don't see why chests are only operable by one character at a time.
13: The Vikings look like hunchbacks. 'Nuff said.
14: Toggle Helmet display on/off. I'm pretty sure others have suggested this, so count me as another vote for it.
15: Grass grows through floor tiles. It's pretty hard to get grass up against the edge of your outside building without getting it growing through the floor also.
16: Cattails/Reeds stick through boats. It looks weird when those stick through.
17: Coin piles don't quite fit on tables. If you place a large coin pile on a table, some of the coins will extend over the edge and hover in mid-air. This may be pretty difficult to fix, programmatically, as people are free to position things where they like.
18: Coin piles don't jingle when you walk on them. It's a pretty minor thing, but I immediately noticed that jumping onto piles of money like Scrooge McDuck still sounded like walking on wood.
19: Stats. Having sunk 250 hours of my life into playing Valheim, I'd like some record of what I've done. How many times have I died? How much damage have I dealt and taken? How many times have I eaten each type of food? How many of each mob type have I killed or been killed by? The list of things that could be tracked goes on: building pieces placed, wood used, stone used, tar used, ore mined by type, ore smelted by type, damage dealt by weapon type, experience gained/lost, etc.
20: Feeding Trough. When my brother fed the loxen, I would accidentally pick up the cloud berries he left out for them if I walked through the pen. It would be nice to have a feeding trough you could load up with suitable food for your boars/wolves/loxen. I could see adjusting the AI so that only fully tamed critters use one, so that you still have to work for that first couple of animals of each type. And it would still need to be filled up when it's empty, of course.
21: Make the Elder's power last longer. It's not a combat buff. The five-minute time limit doesn't make much sense when all you're doing is chopping trees. It would be a kindness to set that limit at 20 minutes, so that the player could just do a bunch of tree-chopping all at once.
22: Fuling villages should have cultivators. They've got fields. It would make sense to find cultivators as a rare drop in the boxes within a Fuling village. In theory, you could jump the tech-tree ever-so-slightly by running into a Fuling village before you have copper to grab one. But it would be hideously difficult to make it out alive and provide almost zero benefit compared to just killing Eikthyr and mining some copper.
23: Re-tagging a portal should force an immediate re-connect. At one point, I trapped myself by changing a portal tag and stepping through it before the reconnect happened. It sent me to the old portal — now disconnected and on a different land mass than any other portal. Getting back was a major hassle.
The style is visually cool, and the building UI is pretty good. The necessity of planning buildings around chimneys took some getting used to, but I think it's a good restriction that encourages at least moderately realistic building designs.
Generally solid. My one real complaint is that I hate, hate hate it when I swing at something and miss because we're standing on a slope and it's technically two inches higher up than I am. The world of Valheim has more slopes than flat spaces, so that bug makes combat considerably more annoying than it has to be.
The ascending difficulty of the boss fights was generally appropriate. Yagluth was a particularly tough nut to crack. After summoning him, we died so much that we burned through all our reserves of high-tier food just running back to get our gear. Eventually we had to lure him away from the summoning portal and spend a further eight hours grinding up more food to go back and try again. We did finally beat him, though my brother died five or six more times and somehow Yagluth killed me after dying.
Yagluth's power was distinctly underwhelming as a capstone reward. Yagluth gives you a power that's only useful for fighting Yagluth. By the time you get it you don't need it any more. I assume that it will be relevant to future updates with more bosses.
Lots of this. Often it felt like the game was grind and little else. I think perhaps the low point on that was the four hours we spent doing nothing but growing barley, which was deadly dull. But honestly, grinding for iron was almost as bad. The first swamp crypt was cool and interesting. The tenth, not so much. Let us not speak of the twentieth.
I did not initially see much point in upgrading tools. Aside from greater durability, an iron pickaxe offered no real advantage over an antler pickaxe. I think they may have adjusted that in Hearth and Home, making iron picks work slightly faster than lower-tier picks. If so, that is a step in the right direction: the reward for upgrading your tools should be that they work a bit faster, easing the grind.
As it stands, considering the quantity of resources needed to craft and upgrade each new tier of armor and weapons, and the difficulty of transporting ores and ingots, upgrading tools is generally not worth it. We never upgraded our cultivators, for example. We also never experimented with any of the more exotic build pieces. Iron torches? Ha! We needed that iron for many other things; and having to refill them with guck just made it even less attractive. No, I will not spend my hard-won iron on a cosmetic piece that requires me to go spend ages gather guck to keep the lights on. Green torches are nifty, but not at the price of so much more time and effort.
I am ambivalent about the difficulty of transporting ores. It was clearly a deliberate design choice to make those ineligible for transport by portal. In practice, we quickly settled on the following pattern: Step 1, find a place to gather ore. Step 2, establish a portal. Step 3, bring the ore back to our main base of operations for processing by bringing the components of a boat through the portal and then sailing home. So we made one outbound sea journey to locate a spot, then the same homeward-bound sea journey over and over and over bringing ore home. Once the novelty of sailing wore off, it rapidly became boring, and then annoying. But at the same time, it was interesting to explore and discover things, which I think is what the devs were going for. So I don't think I can complain too much. It's their game; I just play it. I kind of wish it were a setting that could be adjusted, so that each group of players could decide for themselves whether they want to allow ores to be teleported or not.
The lore is clearly still under development at the moment. I enjoyed finding the occasional runestone from previous wanderers recording their experiences in Valheim. But it made me wonder: why did those previous wanderers fail? Why is it that Odin still needs assistance with the creatures of Valheim? I think the developers could still integrate a bit more story into the game without compromising its primarily sandbox play style.
I am interested to see what they do with the mysterious cloaked figure that showed up a few times.
The game has much to recommend it. I will keep an eye on its development going forward. But after putting so much time into it so fast, I think I need a break for a while. There are other things I'd like to do with my life, too.