Silver End

I’m done with Valheim for now.

Where we last left off, I had already committed 4-5 real, prime-time, father of a 2-year old, I-should-be-sleeping hours finding and “exploring” mountain ranges bereft of silver. I had contemplated either uncovering the map with cheat codes or using an online tool to explore my world seed – somehow the latter seemed less morally questionable – but then decided against it. When you’re already this far up shit creek, you may as well keep paddling and see how much further it goes.

The answer is: seven. I explored seven mountain ranges before finding one that spawned any silver.

Quality gameplay

If we want to get technical, the first two mountain ranges were on my starting continent, and even I figured they had a low likelihood of having silver. From there, the modus operandi was to set sail towards any landmass that appeared to have a mountain on it. Luckily, you can tell from quite a distance whether there is a mountain – much farther than the tree-spawning distance, which otherwise tells you whether you’re heading for a swamp, plains, or forest. Unfortunately, all mountains have a similar skybox at range, and thus you do not know whether it’s going to be the size of those open meadow areas, or something more substantial. In my experience though (n=7), if you do not immediately see any drakes flying around, you are wasting your time at that location.

In any case, I finally hit pay-silver on mountain #7. And just like with the swamp, there were at least three separate silver nodes within about a 40m distance from one another. And one of those towers and give you the location of the boss. I had heard those were an extra layer of RNG I could potentially enjoy, but my tower had the location stone. Neat. I set up shop in the tower, moved my smelting infrastructure via portaling, and began getting my dwarf on.

That was convenient.

Then… I was done.

The final nail were Stone Golems. As enemies, they’re fine. I had heard they took extra damage from the pickaxe, but honestly it’s way easier to just bash them with a mace and use your shield to almost negate all their attacks. The problem is that they drop Crystals. And Crystals have zero use in the game. Not “limited use” or “decorative item that grants no bonus,” I mean this is an item the devs put into their Early Access game but didn’t bother attaching to any recipe. It was a stark reminder that whatever the game is now is unfinished. Any of the frustrations I have experienced up to this point may not have been intended. The devs might have just not gotten around to it.

Suspension of disbelief: collapsed.

So now I’m off playing other, more finished games. Steam shows 46.6 hours played with Valheim, which is worlds more than I spend on 90% of the games I do end up playing. Other bloggers have already defeated the remaining bosses and still others appear ready to continue onwards past the edge of the page. Which is fine. But if there is any hope that I will feel motivated to play Valheim 6-12 months from now when it will (presumably) be more feature-complete, I had to call it. Should have called it after the swamp fiasco, honestly. But there it is.

Posted on March 17, 2021, in Impressions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. More than reasonable. The plains don’t have any meaningful purpose right now, so you’ve seen pretty much all there is.

    I’m personally trying out construction items given I’ve reached the end of progress. Figure another few days if trying stuff out, then probably give Loop Hero a try. Its still the best return on money spent since Hades.

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    • It has indeed consumed a lot of my life in the last two weeks or so, but there is something deeply dissatisfying about stopping play because you got worn down or ran out of road. Are Game of Thrones or the Kingkiller Chronicles quality novels? Yes. Are they satisfying book series? No. Because they’re not done.

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  2. You’re surely not suggesting “finished” games don’t have umpteen things in them that have no actual in-game purpose, are you? EverQuest was positively famous for it. People spent huge chunks of their lives trying to find out what certain drops were “for”. There were discussion threads on some that went on for literally years about some of them. Many were only laid to rest when the shroud of secrecy occasionally lifted and some dev would pop up and say “no, we never did come up for a use for that one”.

    As for the mountains not having silver, my starting island has two huge mountains, both of which seem to be pretty much made of silver. On the other hand, it has almost no swamps and the ones it does have don’t have any crypts. It is a bit of a lottery.

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    • I think the bar is higher on crafting survival games than MMOs, as the latter are built around the concept of vendor trash and in-game economies. If Crystal could be sold to Haldor for coins, that would be disappointing (considering the danger of Stone Golems), but understandable. Hell, given the prevalence of trophies from all the other mobs, I would even accept Crystal as being the Stone Golem version of that.

      To have no use though… well. Early Access is Early Access. But that fact was shoved rather enthusiastically in my face when I hit the Wiki page wondering why I hadn’t seen any new recipes pop up.

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  3. This is both the best and worst problem of procedural generation, sometimes you get a good and sometimes a bad map. Replayablity Vs Possibility of dissapointment. Sounds like you#ve reseached the fed up point, no point in forceing yourself to play a game your not enjoying especially when thier are so many others.

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    • Yeah, maybe it’s just general burnout. After all, I have a few hundred hours in 7 Days to Die and never really got fed up with the fact that RNG plays a HUGE role in what items you can scavenge.

      On the other hand, progression in 7DTD is not so… strictly tied to defeating bosses or finding X resource in Y environment. The biggest bottleneck there would be whether you can loot a Crucible (required for Steel), and the devs have since put in a failsafe such that you can craft one yourself if you can’t find one via RNG out in the world. Haldor selling Silver ore or something would break the entire game, but maybe he can sell maps or something in the future.

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  4. I figured there must have been a mountain post here and found it! :D
    Wow, you really did have a bad time finding silver, sounds painful! We had a very frustrating first mountain expedition too but it got better after that. What helped us was that we had already done plenty of naval exploration before and I always marked down mountains and other biomes when we passed them. So we knew where to go look for mountains.

    We’ve had one mountain with just one silver source but then we struck gold (or silver /cough) very quickly on our next tries. Some silver mines were even protruding out of the ground so we could spot them easily. Seems very random! On the other hand, our swamps are pretty bad with very few crypts for some reason.

    Any way, no reason not to take a break for now and come back when the game is more finished.

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