Valheim can be a bit too difficult for some players and I thought that a good compromise would be something that gives you an easier game if the player is willing to take the game at a slower pace.
The game could have as crafting items a pair of gauntlets and shoulder armor, each one taking 1 inventory slot. These would have the durability much reduced from the regular armor tiers, so players are enforced to have a base nearby to do constant repairs, or carry more than one of each to change them while doing long trips. The tradeoff here is armor rating vs inventory space.
These would have an armor rating of 1, starting with deer hide / leather. Upgrading gives only durability. Upper tiers would have +1 armor.
A cool thing would be if these items could also have an additional effect on block and parry without shield. This would make this items stack onto two-handed weapons for blocking purposes. This would make archers and other two handed weapons more interesting for close combat.
Another option would be making them non-repairable, single use, breaking down once the durability is reached (in this case upgrading would make no sense as it would "repair", or it can be left in as a way for doing a finite amount of repairs). This goes in-line with the idea of, if you want an easier game, you need to spend more time hunting deer.
It would look like this:
|Leather Gauntlets||Bronze Gauntlets||Iron Gauntlets||Wolf Gauntlets|
|Build Cost||4 Deer Hide + 2 Wood||6 Deer hide + 2 Bronze||8 Deer Hide + 2 Iron||2 Wolf pelts + 1 Drake trophy + 2 Silver|
|Shield-less Block Power bonus||+10||+20||+30||+40|
|Shield-less Parry force bonus||+10||+15||+20||+25|
|Upgrade cost (all tiers)||2 Deer Hide + 1 Wood||3 Deer Hide + 1 Bronze||4 Deer Hide + 1 Iron||1 Wolf pelt + 1 Silver|
The shoulder armor would be similar, without the shield-less bonus and 1.5x durability of the gauntlets.
What do you think? these would be totally optional to use for experienced players, but would benefit others that find the game too difficult. Those would be also very useful on boss fights, but they probably won't survive the whole fight.