UPDATE June 10, 2021: Hearth & Home moved to Q3 2021, Valheim no longer getting four updates this year.
Viking survival game Valheim is off to a good start on Steam, having secured an Overwhelmingly Positive rating three days after launching into Early Access. With tens of thousands of players exploring its procedurally generated world, the team behind the title has put together a 2021-2022 roadmap, highlighting its plans going forward.
Valheim's 2021-2022 roadmap initially revealed four planned updates aiming to improve different aspects of the game, alongside a series of other changes that will arrive "if Odin wills it." Specific details were going to be shared closer to release, however, developer Iron Gate has announced, in June 2021, that it would not be able to deliver all of them over the course of the year.
"As we’re sure lots of you suspected, we won’t be able to deliver four updates this year. Instead, we’re now planning to launch Hearth & Home in Q3 2021, and we’re temporarily taking down the roadmap whilst we make some changes. We are sorry it’s taken us so long to update you," it wrote in a Steam post.
"We weren’t prepared for such a large influx of players, and this highlighted a thousand new problems and bugs that needed to be fixed urgently. Our priority has been to make the current experience as stable as possible and this has meant new content has taken a backseat. To put it clearly; we haven’t been able to focus all of our resources on Hearth & Home until May. "
The new Valheim roadmap will be "much smaller," according to the developer. Planned minor updates will be put on hold and work on the major Mistlands update will start after Hearth & Home will release.
Major Update 1: Hearth & Home
Release Date: September 16
Hearth & Home, Valheim's first major update fleshes out player housing and base-building, as they're both important parts of its core gameplay loop. Darkwood roofs and window hatches will be introduced as new build pieces, while new cooking station extensions – such as the spice rack, butcher table, pots & pans, and more –, are also on the way.
Valheim is also getting a new food system "that places more importance between boosting health and stamina, making food choices more interesting based on your playstyle." Food items will come in three separate categories, while the food bar is getting replaced with timers for each item.
Stamina and health will also affect poise in combat differently but also let you attack for longer. Tankier Vikings will want to get more health, as it increases the ability to "deflect incoming hits and mitigate damage," since blocking power will be based on maximum health. The stat also affects the stagger bar which, once full, seems to render you vulnerable for a brief moment.
Tower shields will have more knockback, making them the best choice for tankier builds looking to hold their ground against multiple enemies. At the opposite end is the buckler, which lets players parry strikes. If you're opting for a more balanced playstyle, round shields remain your go-to choice.
Deer, boars, and wolves each drop distinct types of meat when killed, while more than 10 new recipes and plantable onions also count among the features of Valheim's Hearth & Home update.
Bread and pies need to be baked in the oven before you can eat them, and you'll also need to upgrade your cauldron with cooking extensions. If you're unhappy with your food choice, eating a special berry lets you remove active buffs through the power of vomiting.
Coin piles, treasure chests, and iron grates are also on the way. All weapons have been rebalanced, with the two-handed axe having a faster wind-up alongside increased stagger damage and cleaving capabilities. The bow has had its draw speed adjusted, and cannot be drawn instantly, but requires a bit less stamina to be kept drawn.
Valheim Mountain Update
Release Date: March 1
Valheim's Mountain update is a smaller addition that bridges the gap between its two major content drops. Expanding the biome that gives it its name, it adds brand-new instanced dungeons called Frost Caves.
They're quite similar to the Burial Chambers and Sunken Crypts, introducing three new enemies alongside new resources and materials required to craft a new armor and weapon set.
The Mountain update also adds full controller support, the option to pause in single-player, alongside additional optimization settings.
Developer Iron Gate Studio also revealed that the Frost Caves "are essentially" Valheim's Cult of the Wolf update, which was part of the original roadmap.
Valheim Major Update 2: Mistlands
Initial expectations around Mistlands involved the addition of a new biome which comes with "new enemies, new items, a new boss, new resources." On October 22, developer Iron Gate confirmed that work on Valheim's second major update is underway but didn't lock in what the new biome would be.
Mistlands will take a while to develop, but Valheim will receive smaller updates in the meantime, the developer teasing a handful of new additions to the game's Mountains biome.
Later in November, another screenshot was shared from the in-development build, helping us better understand why the game's second major update has the word "mist" in its name.
In February 2022, around Valheim's one-year anniversary, the developer shared a new piece of concept art while confirming that "the phase of nailing down the core concept is done" and it has decided upon the new biome's inhabitants. Work now moves towards new build pieces, enemies, and "defining more of the new mechanics we will be introducing."
An additional piece of concept art was shared in March, giving us a look at the Mistlands fauna.
New hairstyles and a rather feathery cape are also confirmed for Valheim's upcoming Mistlands update.
It's unclear where this leaves Ships and the Sea, meant to introduce ship customization and flesh out the overall seafaring experience, but we'll likely learn more about them in the future.
Valheim's 2021-2022 roadmap remains promising, although it's considerably smaller than its original incarnation. Even so, it's worth keeping in mind that development may impact the features on it in unexpected ways.
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