Background: I'm learning game design, and just stretching my legs, so to speak, while I'm still trying to bash my head against the brick wall of scripting. So, this isn't something I'm gonna make, just an idea I had while derping around in Valheim. If you know how to mod Valheim, and you're interested, consider it yours to use however you want.
So, Valheim, for whatever reason, makes my think of Runescape, like, a lot, and, as I've been walking through my world, I've been slowly thinking of things that could be added to make a Runescape version of Valheim. None of it is super crazy, nothing like recreating the Runescape world map or anything. RS already has lore about other worlds people can travel too, so why not just say players are traveling to those worlds, and keep the world generation system with a few changes?
Things I'd want to bring into Valheim with this mod:
RS crafting material progression (wood<oak<willow<yew for wood, and bronze<iron<steel<mithril<adamantite<rune<dragon for metal)
More variety in equipment types(ie metal armors for melee, leather armors for ranged, cloth armors for magic)
Crafting Based Magic System using Runes
Naturalistic enemy spawns(ie enemies have homes and have a pretty natural feel to them, rather than each biome just being "harder" than the previous)
A new story to set the stage for our quest: I'm thinking a new Godsword. Each boss has a piece we need to recover to forge the 2h Greatsword.
Starting off, the biggest change: Biomes.
So, I have a problem with Vanilheim's difficulty. Not that it's too hard or anything like that, but thejumps in difficulty F E E L gamey. I know that's a weird complaint, but I can't tell you how many times I've died because I got my big toe a little too close to the plains and gotten swarmed by mosquitos. I think a more horizontal difficulty curve would be better. Most instances of the different biomes would be fairly safe, with low level enemies being the norm, and higher level enemies only spawning rarely, until you get into areas that are more difficult to get to. This also means changing up bosses. Rather than an alter to summon a boss and having each biome hold a higher level boss, we have one off "strongholds" that player get to storm or sneak into to take on the bosses. This makes a nice, visible area players can avoid until they're ready, but it's also gonna change how progression works if we don't plan for it, so it's going to be important to make the boss stones system from Vanilheim easier to find. Simple enough, put them all at the spawn and make them only activate in sequence. I'm sure a better system could be made, but this is what I've got for now.
So, we've just made a huge change to Valheim already, but let's look at how I'd do this change more in detail:
The Meadows is where we spawn, so some care has to be put here to maintain the tutorialized nature of the biome. Beach trees are staying the same, Birch trees are getting downgraded to only give regular wood, but they'll still need a bronze axe to cut. This might seem unfair, but we're also moving copper and tin deposits to spawn in the Meadows. Oak trees will still be in the Meadows, but now you'll need an iron axe if you want to cut them down. Common creatures in the Meadows will remain largely the same with boars, deer, and lizards(Necks) just being around, but our enemies won't just be Greylings anymore. We're gonna repurpose Fulings as "Goblins" and drop their villages into the Meadows. Most will just be low level, easy to kill enemies, but the tougher versions like the Berserkers and Shamans are gonna be deadly at low levels, so taking on an actual village(as opposed to roaming parties) will take planning and preparation. Importantly, this means flax will also be available earlier in the game, and that gives us our completed T1 equipments(Bronze, Leather, and Cloth.) To accomodate this shift in equipment crafting, some of the current late game crafting stations in Vanilheim get shunted down to be easier to make(such as the spinning wheel.) The stronghold for the boss in this area would be something like a Goblin Fortress.
Rather than the next tier in difficulty, the Black Forest is going to be our primary place for harvesting wood. Pine trees no longer give special wood, but they're the most common tree in the black forest, while Firs are replaced with Yew trees, which you won't be able to cut til late game, but are much rarer. The other big change we'll find here is the dungeons. Burial Chambers and Troll Caves are replaced with Mines. Mines potentially offer a pretty wide range of ore deposits(iron, coal, mithril, adamantite.) Obviously, higher tier ores are rarer, with iron and coal being the most common types of mines. The common creatures in the Black Forest would be largely similar to those found in the Meadows, with the addition of wolves now. This means wolves are leveled down from Vanilheim, but are gonna be more common. Wolf pelts are still valuable for wolf armor, because we're gonna be changing a few equipment characteristics later on, but it's not gonna be the late game material it is in Vanilheim. The REAL challenge in the Black Forest is gonna come from Ogres(trolls,) and Werewolves(Fenrings,) For the most part, these aren't going to be enemies we want to fight early on in the game, and the Boss Fort in the Black Forest is a pretty big cave probably full of them.
So, the Plains are getting a pretty major downgrade in difficulty. That is, they're getting squared with the other biomes to make exploration easier. This is where we have the introduction of rune essence. Magic in RS is centered around Runes, which are crafted at elemental altars, so that's what we're doing with the giant stone pillars in the Plains. They're now going to be full of Rune Essence deposits, which we gotta mine if we want to get into the magic system. Magic attracts dangerous forces though. Repurposing the ghosts, along with a little reshading/retexturing, we get elemental whisps, which will be our more common enemies in the plains, but rarely, we may find a Pure Essence vein, which will be guarded by elemental warriors. the warriors are very tough, but pure essence is required if we want the end game magic recipes. the Boss Fort here is a tower, full of magical enemies we need to fight out way up if we want to claim the next piece of the Godsword.
So the swamps suck no matter what version of this game you're in. The swamps are full of giant spiders, mosquitos, and leeches, and our reward for fighting through those nightmares are the Tombs. Tombs are getting replaced with Dungeons, which are important because we want gold, silver, and gems for crafting trinkets(more on that when I go over the changes to crafting later.) Dungeons are dangerous because they're full of undead: Zombies(draugr) and Skeletons, and occasionally more dangerous enemies like Imps and Demons, which we can make by combining various aspects of greydwarves and surtlings. One of these Dungeons will be bigger and nastier than all the rest, and that's where we'll find our Boss waiting for us.
The mountains seem like the strangest part of Vanilheim to me. They are the hardest biome to get into and explore, but only the second to last(currently.) We're changing that. Because mountains are always so small compared to the other biomes, we're putting our endgame stuff up here. You want that Adamantite, or Rune gear? You gotta plan for the cold. That means Mines are making a return in the mountains, but, this time, there's some really scary enemies waiting for you: dragons. Specifically, you're gonna find green, blue, red and black dragons. Weakest to strongest in that order. Green dragons are the weakest, but their probably around the level of Drakes in the current game. The Boss Fort in the mountains is going to be something cool. I envision a Helmsdeep style mountain fortress with frost giants(golems) patrolling its gate and frost warriors manning the walls.
Farming and Crafting
Okay, so this is the stuff I'm really feeling the inspiration for, tbh. Crafting is such a huge thing in RS and Valheim. I'm gonna try to take everything in Tiers, so as I talk about each material category, I'm gonna start at the lowest, easiest material in that category, and make my way up to the endgame stuff. I won't be touching on anything too specific, like legendary weapons, or enemy weaknesses, but I'll at least touch on every material I can think of. Starting with
Wood in RS goes Regular<Oak<Willow<Mahogany<Maple<Yew, and this progression is going to replace the wood in Vanilheim. So, Beech, Birch, and Pine trees will give regular wood, mostly used in building. Oak is the T1 wood, and it comes from Oak trees, found in the Meadows and requires a bronze axe to cut. It's used primarily for crafting T1 Ranged weapons and ammo, and T2 Melee and Magic weapons, but it has a few building applications, similar to Core wood in the base game. T2 wood comes from the Willow trees, and requires a T2 axe to cut, it's used for T2 ranged weapons and ammo, and T3 melee and Magic. Willow trees are found mostly in the Swamps, and rarely by rivers in other biomes. Mahogany and Maple make up our T3 and T4 woods. They're both found in the Plains and follow the same cutting and crafting conventions as the previous tiers. Yew is the capstone on wood. Yew trees are found rarely in the Black Forest and in the Mountains.
Metal ore goes Bronze<Iron<Steel<Mithril<Adamantite<Rune. The progression is largely liniar, with each ore needing a pickaxe made of the previous tier to mine it, similar to the base game. One thing that people unfamiliar with RS may find different is the use of coal and charcoal as separate ingredients. In Valheim we make charcoal from burning wood in a kiln, or farm it from surtlings, but coal is used to refine higher tier metals in RS, so we're adding a new type of coal for that purpose. Coal is mined like any other ore and then used at the forge to refine the different metals. coal from the kiln is renamed charcoal and can't be used at the forge. So now, you'd mine your ore, smelt it in the smelter or blast furnace(for Adamantite and Rune) using charcoal, and then refine it at the forge into useable ingots with the mined coal. Each tier needs more coal than the previous, so finding sources of coal becomes increasingly important. This process doesn't apply to Bronze and Iron, as Bronze is the starter metal so you won't have even been to the Black Forest yet when you first find it, and Iron is just unrefined Steel.
Leather doesn't really have it's own thing in Valheim right now. It's just regular leather and Troll Hide. So, we're expanding that list to it's own armor line. Leather<Lizard Hide<Green Dragon<Blue Dragon<Black Dragon. So, the first two tiers are simple enough, but there's an obvious disconnect in the leather armor compared to the Metal armor. I haven't thought of a great way around this, other than spreading dragons out, so maybe have different color dragons spawn in different biomes? The trade off is that Leather is meant for Ranged fighters, so at least you'll have an easier time avoiding damage compared to melee fighters while you have shittier armor.
As mentioned in the section on the Meadows, Flax is available at the very beginning of the game now. This is because Cloth has become the armor for mages. In Runescape the tiers go like this: Linen>Mystic>Infinity>Lunar. This is obviously less that the other armors, which might be a problem, but I'd say the flexibility of magic makes up for it. Worst case, we add Splitbark armor between Infinity and Lunar. The important thing to remember is that Mage robes should be more about enhancing the user's magic than deflecting damage. While Leather armor wearers are fast and able to kite enemies, and Metal armor wearers have high damage resistance for tanking, Cloth armor wearers should be casting spells that either do elemental damage which most enemies have a weakness too, or have non damaging effects that are equally useful. "Glass canon" is the design philosophy for this.
Magic and Prayer
Okay, we all knew this was coming. Can't have a Valheim mod idea without magic in it. So, there's clearly a system for magic already in Valheim, there are magic skills in game that just don't have anything tied to them yet, so we know it's coming. The Rune system in Runescape is perfect for a crafting based magic system. You mine Rune Essence in the Plains(or Pure Essence for the end game runes) and then take them to Rune Altars that spawn throughout the game world to infuse them. Finished runes are then used to craft spells and equipment, which have different effects when cast. The way I'd do it is to divide spells into cast types and tiers. Cast types is pretty simple; every spell can be a ranged attack, a melee attack, a timed buff, or one off effect. Examples: Fireball, Frost Touch, Swift Running, Alchemy(convert items into gold without a Trader.) Magic equipment would simply act like weapons with magical effects(ie staff of lightning, healing wand, whatever.)
Prayer was a huge part of RS, with most endgame content requiring high Prayer levels to complete. I think Valheim's boss powers make great prayers, so we could simply expand on them. To start with, you no longer have to go to the Spawn to switch them. Instead you just have to build a Prayer Altar in your base using Silver for level 1 and Gold for level 2. All the boss powers currently in the game are great, I'd just set Moder, Eikthyr, and Elder to level 1 Altars, and Bonemass and Yagluth to level 2 Altars. Then I'd start adding new appropriate powers. Maybe something like faster mining, and immunity to Freezing for x minutes.
New to crafting in Valheim, but not really new to the game is Trinkets. Trinkets are repeated use magic items like the Swamp Key and Wishbone. To make a trinket you need gold or silver, and a gemstone. These are found in Dungeons in the Swamp, and different combinations create different trinkets. For instance, making a ring with gold and sapphire, gives you a Ring of Recoil, which reflects 25% of damage done to you back at the source of the damage for three attacks before it breaks. This use of magic means we're gonna need a new crafting station. I think the artisan's table in Vanilheim makes a pretty cool enchanting table. So, you get silver, gold and gems from dungeons, melt the metals down into ingots, craft the ingots into jewelry at the forge, and enchant the jewelry at the artisan's table.
Okay guys, so, we all love the legendary items in Valheim, and the legendaries in RS are classic memes. But there's a problem: You can't craft legendaries in RS, just the opposite in fact. Many legendaries in RS degrade and have to be reobtained or repaired after they break. So, my thought is to make them ultra rare drops from high tier enemies, for now, and see how that goes. My current list of legendaries from RS that I'd want to bring over would be: Dragon Lonsword, Abyssal Whip, Crystal Bow, Armadyl Crossbow, Ancient Staff, Iban's Staff, Granite Maul, Dragon Chainmail, Dragon Medium Helm, Poisoned Dragon Dagger, Anti-Dragon Shield, Barrows Sets, Void Knight Set.
Got your own ideas? Thoughts? Wanna tell me how this is a bad idea and I should feel bad? Let me know.
Edit: I will be editing this post for formating.