UPDATE June 10, 2021: Hearth & Home moved to Q3 2021, Valheim no longer getting four updates this year.
Viking survival game Valheim remains quite popular, having secured an Overwhelmingly Positive rating on Steam. With tens of thousands of players exploring its procedurally generated world, the team behind the title has given us a first taste of what its 2023 roadmap looks like.
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.
Valheim Roadmap 2021
Major Update 1: Hearth & Home
Release Date: September 16, 2021
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 Roadmap 2022
Valheim Mountain Update
Release Date: March 1, 2022
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
Release Date: December 6, 2022
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 2021, 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. On November 22, it was made available for public testing. It was pushed to live servers in early December, concluding the length wait.
Valheim Roadmap 2023
Valheim Major Update 3: Ashlands
Release Date: TBA
As 2023 begins, Valheim's third major update is confirmed to introduce the Ashlands biome to the survival game. Located at the far south of the map, the developer describes the Ashlands a "a land of the dead, as well as a place with quite a volcanic nature," noting that it's also a "large chunk of land."
The team behind the game aims to be more transparent throughout the update's development.
"This will mean you will see things in their early stages, and maybe even things that won’t end up making it into the game at all, but you will also hopefully have a better understanding of how far along the development has gotten."
Valheim's Ashlands update wasn't given a release date in January 2023, when it was revealed. While it remains the studio's main focus, other things are also coming to the game.
Aside from its console release, new difficulty settings are in the works, as is Hildir’s Quest, and new clothes for player characters.
The developer also plans to increase the number of accessibility settings and is seeking feedback from players.
Hildir’s Quest introduces a new NPC, alongside "a way for you to re-style your existing characters’ hair."
March brought us a new look at Ashlands' terrain alongside the news that quality of life changes, including the ability to move items to and from chests in stacks alongside a way to toggle manual snapping when building are on the way with Hildir's Quest.
In April 2023 , we got a look at a work-in-progress version of the game's upcoming customizable difficulty settings. They include several sliders for combat, death penalty, and resources, alongside a couple of presets.
During the same month, we got a glimpse of siege engines that are bound to prove useful when taking down the biome's fortresses, alongside work-in-progress models for the Charred and Fallen Valkyrie enemies.
One month later, the developer revealed some of the items that Valheim Ashland's monsters drop alongside an eagle that's not too friendly looking but supposedly doesn't want to outright murder us.
On June 16, Hildir's Request was made available for public testing.
As work on the update continues, we got a look at a fiery new foe we'll get to kill (or get killed by).
The developer later shared a look at a very dark and ominous armor design, fully modelled and textured, while also giving us a glimpse at one of the fortress that wait in Valheim's Ashlands.
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 2023 roadmap remains promising, despite being considerably smaller than its original incarnation. Even so, it's worth keeping in mind that development may impact its features in unexpected ways.
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