("Best" being highly subjective) So I spent quite some time researching and writing this post yesterday and for some reason it got deleted with no explanation. I've checked and it does not appear to break any rules. I'm guessing it might have been due to my title saying "mods I wish were in the game". Anyway. All I really want to do is share the mods I've really enjoyed, maybe learn about some I missed and possibly have a nice discussion on what people enjoy and the direction the modding community is taking things.
So brace yourself, for a wall of text:
I aim to create more immersion and engaging gameplay with mods, not so much 'quality of life' that makes things easier. In fact some of the stuff I like actually makes things a bit harder. Anyway here goes. Feel free to add any that you love.
(All of these can be found on Nexusmods and installed with Vortex)
– Speedy Paths: Possibly my all time favorite. It makes you move a bit faster and use less stamina on paths made of dirt or cobblestone as well as wood, stone slabs, etc. Also allows you to make the terrain in some biomes slow you down and use more stamina. This mod adds a huge amount of immersion to the world with roads going all over. Playing on a multiplayer server, we would plan out our roads into areas we were harvesting resources so we could move carts faster between them. Really adds a lot to immersion and gameplay without really being game breaking in any way. It's also inline with the devs philosophy of everything having a purpose instead of just being cosmetic.
– Gathering Skill: This one could be considered a bit game breaking and I was a bit against it until I tried it on a server. It's a skill that gives you back more from pickable items as it levels. Works with crops as well as stuff like berries and thistle. The increase is usually maybe 1 extra now and then at lower levels, up to a max of 3 extra at high levels. It can be adjusted. I know some people complain about the constant grind of looking for thistle. It's more pronounced in groups where one person is say handling all the food production. This offsets the grind a bit and gives a sense of progression. I really hope something like this does make it into the main game. I don't feel it trivializes any gameplay, as you still have to gather stuff, it just means you're not spending as much time gathering stuff in order to reach what you need to, allowing for more gameplay variety in your session.
– Map Sharing Made Easy: Adds a craftable map to the game that players can use to share their map data. Absolutely brilliant with friends. Makes scouting an actual role that needs to be performed in a group.
– Cartography Skill and Spyglass: Adds a craftable spyglass which is kinda neat for scouting. I don't think it really does too much gameplay wise. Also increases your map reveal a bit more based on a few different factors. Your cartography skill increases as you reveal more of the map and that slightly increases your reveal distance. Also reveals more when you are on a ship or at a higher elevation. Makes climbing up places to scout a part of gameplay. Also reduces map reveal in forests and dense terrain (I think this is off by default).
– Beasts of Burden: Allows you to hitch a cart to tamed animals (boar, wolves, lox). Also adds the ability to follow that wolves have, to tamed boar and lox (so you can get them to follow you with the cart). Bigger animals can pull heavier loads. It's a bit wonky due to the default animal behavior. You'll be running along with your pet wolf pulling your cart and suddenly the wolf sees a deer and takes off after it, dragging the cart behind it and possibly smashing it to pieces on rocks.
Boars are still afraid of fire, so sitting in the cart and pulling out a torch makes the boar drag you all over the place. All in all, it's not quite as useful in practice as it sounds, but it adds massive cool factor to the game. I really hope it gets some improvements to make it more viable. Also really hope it gets added to the game in some way.
– Combat Overhaul: A pretty conservative rebalance of shields and the bow. The author tries really hard not to make massive changes, and rather go for small tweaks that improve things. The primary thing this mod does is make tower shields more viable. In vanilla there is very little reason to use a tower shield. This mod reduces the block angle of both round shields and tower shields, but keeps tower shields much higher than round shields. Also you can always block a hit with a tower shield, even if you're out of stamina, however it will cause you to go into negative stamina. Negative stamina punishes you because you're going to be out of stamina for a lot longer.
Round shields can still parry, but the time you have to parry is halved (it's pretty forgiving in the base game).
Movement speed with a drawn bow is also reduced. In vanilla valheim the bow is pretty much the best weapon in almost any situation, since you can just keep kiting away from anything indefinitely. This aims to stop that and make combat more varied. I find all of it works very well and creates a much better experience.
– Creature Sense: We're getting into game-breaking territory here, but this is just so much fun and at lower sneak skill levels it really doesn't add much. The mod allows you to send out a sonar pulse that reveals the hp bars of all animals in a 30 meter radius around you and puts them on your minimap. As your sneak skill goes up, the radius gets bigger, up to 60 at max sneak. It uses a massive chunk of stamina though, so you can't spam it.
I love it for the feeling of stalking through the forest as a hunter, sensing prey ahead. Allows you to sneak up on those deer a bit more effectively.
I would actually really like to see a suite of 'hunting' changes made to the game, including some kind of spoor tracking (which this mod kind of simulates), wind/scent modeling, camoflage and whatever else to make hunting deer even more fun. For now, this is pretty cool and I don't find it to be particularly game breaking.
"Quality of Life"
We now get into the area of stuff that just makes the interface better. This is stuff that I believe the devs will probably add in the future. Things that should be part of the UI. They do things like reduce mouse-click spam or copy pasting. I really don't feel that having to click the 'craft' button 50 times to make 50 carrot soups is adding anything to the gameplay for anyone. Same with adding ore and fuel to smelters piece by piece. I do however want to stay away from stuff that automatically fills smelters from a box. I feel that for gameplay, you should have to be aware of stuff that's going on. So having to keep an eye on your smelters and fill them periodically, to me, is a good thing. It makes it feel like your base is alive and you need to be there to perform tasks. If you could just leave your smelters running for days it wouldn't have that. YMMV.
– Multicraft: Adds a + and – button to the craft screen. You can hold shift and click the + to set it to the max number of items you can craft based on what's in your inventory. You can then hit craft and it will craft each item one after the other without you having to spam the 'craft' button. Absolutely essential. My mouse and my RSI have thanked me.
– Add All Fuel: Hold 'shift' and hit E to add as many items in your inventory up to the max that can be inserted into the kiln/smelter/windmill with one keypress. This has also been a godsend. My 'E' key almost has the letter worn off it.
– Hold to Attack: Lets you hold down your mouse button to keep swinging your weapon or pickaxe instead of clicking for each swing. I mostly use it for mining and chopping trees. In combat I don't find it as useful as you rarely just stand in one place swinging. Saves my mouse and my RSI a bit. Really should be added to the default game as an option in the settings.
– Interact While Building: Lets you use the 'E' key to interact (open doors/chests use workbenches) WHILE you have a hammer, hoe or cultivator equiped. There really is no reason to not allow this in the base game and I feel like it was an oversight that will be corrected soon.
– Remember IP Address: Keeps the IP address of the last server you joined so it's filled in for next time. Holy crap was this amazing. I was so tired of copy pasting our server's address in. Pretty sure this will be added to the base game or there will be some kind of overhaul to the join server screen that makes it less painful.
– Give em the boot: Adds a hotkey to allow you to kick at any time, even if you're holding a weapon. Character will also shout something random when they successfully kick something, such as: "GTFO" or "HOOF!" (Would really like the mod author to add "This. Is. SPARTS!/VALHEIM!" to the list of phrases) Doesn't actually change the strength of the kick or anything like that.
Stuff to keep an eye on
I haven't tried these but they look promising. There is a suite of mods that all start with 'RRR':
– RRR Core
– RRR Spawn Variants
– RRR Monsters
– RRR Non-player characters
– RRR Better Raids
For one, these add additional varieties of monsters (just reskins) and human NPCs (hostile). Better Raids makes raids a bit more terrifying. There are a lot of settings that can be changed for it to increase or decrease frequency of raids. Adds additional raid types. Raids are also in waves now, not time based, so you have to defeat everything in the raid instead of hiding till it goes away. Raids will also make a much better attempt at finding players and wrecking their face.
As I said I haven't tried it, but I'm very excited to see how it goes and start experimenting with it.
Congratulations, if you survived the wall of text. Would love to hear what mods other players are enjoying and why, as well as your ideas on the mods above.