Stamina nerfs and why it feels bad

How to build a large and tall house in Valheim

Recent update has nerfed stamina heavily across the board in the form of:

  • food

  • bow

  • shield

I'm here to put into words why a lot of people hate it.

As an inspiring armchair game experience balancer, it sucks when a game offers no challenge and it also sucks when a game offers too much UNAVOIDABLE challenge.

The new updates to Valheim does not affect difficulty in any significant mechanical way. What it does, is it delays the speed of the game and reduces player agency.

What is player agency? Player agency is the term for 'decisions a player can make in a game'. Having no stamina and forcing the player to wait for stamina regen is reducing player agency.

Forcing the player to choose between a health-focused build or a stamina-focused build does not increase agency, it is an illusion. Regardless of how large your stamina bar actually is, you will still regen stamina at the exact same rate, a drawn out fight is still heavily limited by the natural never-increasing stamina regen.

Most people prefer the original food values because it allowed players to pool stamina regen and hold a bigger bar when they're avoiding damage. Now, having a smaller stamina bar means players are forced to over cap their stamina and waste stamina regen because the window to attack is not available yet. Leading them to have less attacks when the attack window is available, and making the fights even more drawn out.

If the player decides to go for a stamina centric build, they lose the safety net of a big health bar, but their fights are ultimately still heavily dependent on the stamina regen. Yes, they'll be able to attack more often, dodge more often, but when you're taking on a whole fuling village, your stamina isn't going to regen fast enough, leading eventually to drawn out fight where, again, the stamina regen is a huge limiting factor.

What most of the player base has issues with is not the actual food bonus values, but the complete lack of any ability to boost the regen of the resource that gives player agency: stamina.

Having a large stamina bar in the previous food values only served to mask the real issue. Now that the food values have been adjusted, the issue has surfaced.

My biggest question is: why do foods give additional health regen, but not additional stamina regen? If the devs were going to split up foods into stam/hp, then stam/hp regen should also be split up appropriately.

if stamina foods gave stam regen, i'm fairly sure there would be much less complaints regarding food values.

Does serpent stew suck now? Depends on what you're using it for. It's a great health food for added security during boss fights, or dangerous adventures, just pair it up with 2 good stamina foods and you'll likely find yourself having the same experience as before (albeit with slightly less health buffer)

Top tier foods are too heavily focused on health and that could be the reason a lot of players are now disappointed about the changes.

Consider changing values of the loxpie to be a balanced food. I think the tediousness in making one warrants the balanced values. Having serpent stew + lox pie + bread (3 plains-tier foods, of which, 2 can only be gotten after defeating the 5th boss) should not force you into a health-centric build.

This still opens up food options in the 2nd highest tier for players who prefer hp over stamina or vice versa.

If serpent stew is the strongest hp item, then there either needs to be another option for the strongest stamina item, or to rebalance loxpie to give 45/45 (numbers can be adjusted) instead.

As it is now, players who don't favour hp builds are not only punished by having less food values, but they're also punished by having no equivalent tier of stamina version of serpent stew.

Hp players already have the advantage of foods giving hp regen, stam players don't have a single option of increasing stam regen.

In conclusion: I present the following proposals

  • add increased stamina regen to stamina-focused foods

  • rebalance the highest tier foods to offer balanced options between both resources (serpent stew and loxpie both favour hp atm)

  • increase tasty mead's stamina regen increase to 5 or 10 minutes instead of the current pitiful 15s or something


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