I see a lot of people complaining about the grind for copper early game. And I sympathise with it. I'd like to build some interesting bases using stone. But it seems that to get to this next level of base building you have to slog through a lot of ore grinding to reach the stone cutter.
I don't think the solution is reduce the amount of grinding you have to do, but instead add more intermediate steps for base building to break up the monotony of the grind. You start off being able to build wooden bases and manipulate terrain and once you get a bronze axe you have access to a few more wooden pieces. However, there's little to no change in base building ability until you get to said stone cutter.
It would really help break up the gameplay and allow players to create smaller meaningful goals if there was something like, woven fabrics or wood to build with or any other different texture based materials that stay true to the viking style. Something that needs some other material other than copper, bronze and tin or surtling cores to craft in order to open up the goals in that part of the game.