I have (or had) 270h into the game. I completed all the previous content more or less (up to beating Yagluth), then did a lot more hours with friends and so. But since then, I never played again.
I love the food rebalance, I still need to get the hang of it but now I can do things that before I couldn't. For example, if I want to play the "intouchable archer" then it's mostly all stamina. If it's front, tanking, then mostly HP. It's interesting that you need to know what it will fit better as isn't easy to change midway.
The fact that now there are more foods makes you able to go all in with a few options; not like before where I was always forced to just use "the best three".
I just got to the swamps, and oh boy, these feelings of terror that I forgot… I know now a lot of stuff, but still is terrific to go in. I'm also scared of the sea serpent and still haven't seen them. The swamp I located is too small and doesn't have catacombs so I'll need to sail, and I'm very afraid of the ocean… (I'm playing solo)
Up to this point I played 21.5h on this new attempt.
I'm stubborn on using a Troll armor on the swamp until I get iron. This gives me 33 armor points and a bronze armor would raise to 39, but for 69 bronze I don't think it's worth the hassle. The main problem seem to be the 1-star Draugr, the bow hits very hard (60% of HP) and the melee ones my character can't stand a hit with the shield even I'm using the new Bone Shield in Lv2. I died like 3 or 4 times.
I was expecting to be able to make better foods (sausages) after killing a few, but turns out now I need a spice rack. And for this I need turnip which at least before was hard as hell to find. As the swamp biome I found is very small I suspect there won't be a single one there.
I also thought on getting the troll armor upgraded, but for that I need Workbench Lv5, which needs Iron and Obsidian. And there is no Obsidian on the current places I'm on, so that's also not possible for now.
The two only viable alternatives that I might have now are going all out in HP food to compensate for the lack of armor (wonder if parrying will work better with more HP) for the swamp and going to the sea to explore and expect Serpents (while using stamina food). While on the ocean the HP really doesn't matter, so the food rebalance will hopefully help me on this.
I fought serpents before and I know they cannot be killed with a Finewood Bow and wood arrows in time before the Karve sinks. So this means I need to prepare a batch of bronzehead arrows just in case the monster appears.
Let me know if you have any other suggestions.
This game is very very nice, sometimes a bit too difficult, but very rewarding. Time passes very fast and I'm enjoying it very much.
Thanks a lot to the devs! Such a lovely game for a very cheap price. Lots of hours of entertainment .
Just FYI, I'm streaming the progress at Twitch (see my Reddit profile if interested), all progress is uploaded uncut. (no cam or mic as I have zero viewers, if you pop in say hi and I'll turn on stuff)