Exploration & The Sea

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I decided at first to ignore the call of immediately heading to the Mountain and instead go off script and spent a bit of time exploring at sea. Wanted to explore some uncharted islands along the sea and seeing what’s there. It felt like something interesting to do as well as relaxing. It filled the need to get out and explore. So spent a whole lot of the game sessions I had over the weekend at sea in Valheim.

First, I decided to move much of the Scrap Iron Ore from Outpost-DELTA at the Black Forest next to the Big Swamp on the far North East Island and ship it back to the main base. So finally built the Longship and loaded it up with all the Scrap Iron (13 Full Stacks), some Tin, and some Copper and set sail on the long ocean trip back to the main base. A long trip and one in which I also slay my first Sea Serpent while on the Longship. Jumped overboard to collect the huge hunks of Serpent Meat. Unfortunately not much else was to be had. It was a really long trip, to say the least.

Unloading the ship at the base was no short endeavor going back and forth unloading all the metal ore. I had added a new Smelter so now had two of them running to smelt all the Iron Ore which was surely going to take forever to refine down into Iron Bars.

Exploring The Neighboring Islands

Anyway, I had plans in just wanting to head to sea and explore around some of the adjacent islands and decided to do just that. For this trip, I wasn’t going to take the Longship but instead take the much smaller and easier to handle Karve ship. Gathered the construction material and took the portal back to Outpost-DELTA at the Black Forest on the Big Swamp Island and constructed the Karve. It was a nice clear day and a good day off to journey at sea exploring the unseen islands and anything interesting that what was there to see.

I Think I Found A Private Island Project.

Thus spend several hours charting uncharted adjacent neighboring islands and updating my maps along the way. One of the things I also hoped to find on the exploration journey was interesting places that could possibly make for a future base as well spotting a nice big Mountain to later explore.

Thus my exploration trip at sea in a slideshow. Spotted some Trolls stranded at sea on a tiny island which was funny. Got chased by a Deathsquito on coastal patrol in the Plains on more than one occasion at sea and escaped. It was funny to see the biomes at war at night as they clashed in fights.

Being Chased by Deathsquito at Sea!

The weather at sea was ever-changing thru all its various moods. Spotted what seems to be one of the smallest Meadows ever on the plains and a house right there sandwich between the plains. Found a possibility for a nice private island staring at the Plains and the Black Forest from across the sea. Came back later and dropped a portal there.

Ran Into The “Mistlands” far north.

Encountered the thickest fog ever running into The MISTLANDS. Also ran into the giant  Leviathan creature at sea off the coast in The MISTLANDS, looks more like a giant turtle. Found quite a few interesting locations and from that, I later went back and dropped a total of 7 new portals at various explored locations including one later at a huge mountain location.

Setting up Portal on tiny Meadows sandwich between the Plains.

Spent a lot of time at sea exploring around the islands, setting up portals, and then later heading off to the mountain. For the most part, it was a relaxing time at sea. Enjoyed much the changing color and lighting of the land and sea as the cycle of the day changed into the night and back to daylight. The game does look very pretty in the transition cycle between day and night.

It’s a long way up there!

It was then time to head off to that huge towering mass of a mountain I had found while exploring the seas.

VALHEIM: The Time In Between

Valheim Workshop
Organizing and Increasing Inventory In the Workshop.

As of this writing, I haven’t had much time to endure life in purgatory this week in Valheim. Since the defeat of BONEMASS in the Swamp, I kinda decided to chill a bit, relax from life in the darkness of the swamp and enjoy some sunlight. Do some neglected things that are much needed to do and that help improve life in general. But first had to do some writing for a couple of Real Life office reports that were needed. That took away the focus of trying to sneak off and play some Valheim with those reports nagging at you constantly to get done.

So for Valheim & Chill, I really needed to do more organizing and inventory improvement at the Main Base and at the Workshop. Reorganized the storage trunks in the workshop for more efficient placement, space, stacking and just room to store more of the stuff gathered since all the swamp adventuring. More space in the same space to store everything with extra boxes for more stuff to store later. You tend to accumulate more stuff as you adventure to new biomes.

Valheim Crop Farming
Crop harvesting long overdue.

Crops have gone unharvested for quite a while now after seemingly spending like eons in the swamp. At least I get to enjoy the sun, clear weather a bit harvesting the Carrots and Turnips. Turnips to be replanted for the purpose of generating more Turnip seeds to make more Turnips. That’s Valheim for you!

Valheim Crop Farming
A little bit of farming.

Replanted Carrots and Turnips to make it all self-sustaining with an adequate amount of seeds. Excess of the harvest for making delicious stew. I’ve got a box almost full of carrot seeds at this point. Not that much yet for extra Turnip seed supply. A good farmer should always have a good stock of seeds!

Valheim Inventory Management
Reorganizing my Inventory storage needs.

I had storage boxes all around the wall at the main house in a single file which consumed space and wasn’t efficient for storage and utilization of space. So cleaned things up by making new storage trunks close to the door entrance and stacking the boxes up together. Now all the storage boxes are all in one area in the house and I even added a good few more boxes to store more stuff in when needed. With that done added four new Portals to the main house. There are now a total of eleven portals here at the main base to other Outposts and Field Bases.

I wanted to update the fireplace with a newer Hearth fireplace now that I can craft stones. But then I realized after destroying the current one that I needed to make a Stonecutter and to make that I needed Iron. Ahh Damn! There’s no Iron here at the main base, it’s all on that other base island really far away. So had to rebuild back the old fireplace. So an ocean boat trip for bringing home some of all that Iron from across the sea is on the TO DO Calendar.

Some work around the house. More Portals!

In doing some home renovations decided to relocate the bed to the 2nd floor which didn’t exist. I wasn’t inclined at this point to do major renovations to widen the house and make it elaborate to add a huge 2nd floor. So did some woodworking and made the 2nd floor adding some stairs. Moved the bed upstairs. That freed up the 1st floor a bit for extra room.

I think that Troll Trophy looks better outside out front.

I hadn’t really taken much time to ever hang all the trophies I’ve collected instead of having them all stored in boxes aplenty. Did some woodwork and mounted at least one of each trophy I’ve collected across the four walls. Hung some Banners. Added both a new table and chair for extra comfort. I probably need to add yet another of both. However, it all did also increased my Comfort Level buff duration. I’m not quite digging the placement of that Troll trophy. I’ll probably move it outside and mount it above the door on the house.

Few are the moments of real relaxation in Valheim.

Before all the base and home improvements were done, got raided two times first by Skeletons and then not seemingly long after by Trolls. That’s a lot! But delt with both no problem. In the end, just took some time to relax for a bit at the main base. You always seem to be on the go in Valheim to do something, build something or go somewhere. Few are the times you actually sit down and try to get a moment of zen relaxation while in purgatory and contemplating your next move in what to do next.

VALHEIM: Farming Surtling Cores & Coal In The Swamp

Surtling Cores. Farmed from the Swamp.

Surtling Cores are one of the precious items in the game needed for constructing Portals that allow instantaneous travel to any part of the game with a portal at the other end. That can save so much time in VALHEIM traveling to any distant place, traveling to outposts and other bases far away. You can also find Surtling Cores starting the game going into Burial Chambers in the Black Forest. You won’t find them in Sunken Crypts in the Swamp, but you can find them wherever there are Surtling’s spawn points in the swamp.

Surtling farm close by just over there.

And there are certainly many Surtling spawn locations all around the swamp areas especially big swamp areas. You can usually tell wherever you see a shooting jet flame from out of the ground that it is a Surtling spawn point. The flame really lit up the area around it and can be oh so easily spotted in the darkened swamp and at night way in the distance.

It a bit like trying to spot a Sunken Crypt when standing still sneaking around by trying to find a rectangular block in the distance or a glowing green torch. Anyway, one of the things among many that made selecting the Stone Tower I had found and making it a new base for Smelting and Forging Iron Operation was a Surtling spawn point really close to the stone tower. It’s maybe a 10-sec walk from the stone tower gate perimeter. This made obtaining Coal an easy breeze.

Surtling creatures spawn point.

If you ever come across a spawn point for the first time you usually will see some Surtling’s a fire-looking creature at the area location and will fireball attack you. They are easy to kill and being wet from the swamp their attack barely affects you much with their fire attack. It’s easy to clear the location around the flame jet from the ground. However, if the flame jet for the spawn point is on the ground and not in the water you can use your pickaxe and moat the area all around it enough so that when the Surtling creature’s spawn they spawn in water and instantly die leaving behind Surtling Cores and Coal.

Occasionally you also get a Trophy from a higher level Surtling creature spawn. At the spawn point, you can find Surtling Cores as well as Coal which you need for running the Smelter to refine the metal ore. These creatures spawn relatively often around every 1-2 minutes or so and the Cores and Coal count can really add up as you will see all the sparkle in the water where the creatures died and left the Core and Coal behind.

One of the things I noticed operating in the area extensively and going back and forth to the main base via the portal is that there is some game detection mechanic at play. The mechanic at play seems to detect your proximity to things and thus affect their spawn rate or if it even keeps spawning continuously. I took the picture above just quickly logging into the game to travel to the base to snap the photo’s for this post thus traveling to the spawn point to pick up the Cores and Coal there.

What I have noticed is that as long as you in the area close to a Surtling spawn point they will continuously keep spawning ongoing. If you can hear them screeching, your close enough I think. Thus it helped me just being at the base doing Smelting and Forging activities. When you leave the area entirely the game detects and knows and seems to stop the spawning of the Surtling creatures thus the rate of Cores and Coal reduces as a result.

So the rate of accumulation will vary based on your proximity to the spawn area and how long you’re around. It helped that my base is barely a 10-sec walk away from the gate. But just being at the base doing the forging activities is enough to keep a continuous spawn of the Surtling creatures going as I can hear them screeching when they spawn and die in the water from my base at the stone tower close by.

The result is for all the activities involved in refurbishing the tower, smelting, and forging all the iron armor and weapons I’ve now accumulated over 3 complete chests full of Surtling cores. That’s 100 Surtling Cores a chest max storage which is over 300+ Surtling Cores total. So much so I have to make new chests to store them all for future use making portals everywhere. However, it’s a good way to passive farm for Surtling Cores and Coal in the swamp if you have a base there or operating much in the area.

All the Coal I used for operating the Smelter came from the passive farm and have an entire chest full of Coal which is over 500 pieces and that’s a lot. That’s wood I didn’t have to use to make Coal. I can remember just how many trees I had to chop down in the meadows to get enough wood for smelting Bronze and making Coal using the Charcoal Kiln. It’s much faster this way to get lots of Coal in the swamp and a whole lot of Surtling Cores.


SWAMP Operating Theater

The state of things is, I feel like I’m two weeks behind and playing catchup in VALHEIM. Not much real sitdown gameplay over the last week either having to travel all last week for work out of state for the week. I will just have to settle at going at my own pace going forward as I’m also looking at an unfinished worksite report I also have to complete from last week’s travel. So with that, It wasn’t until the weekend I had some time to sit down and consider life in purgatory in VALHEIM. As well, a whole different kind of purgatory running operations both day and night in the SWAMP close to BONEMASS location.

Sunken Crypt’s Operation

Previously I had only completed Mining Operations at three Sunken Crypts for Muddy Scrap Iron which was also a good score for obtaining Scrap Iron. Running operations back and forth thru the swamp, around the Sunken Crypts, as well transporting of the Scrap Iron other locations of Sunken Crypts was noted and updated on the operating theater map. With that, I was able to increase mining operating at five more crypt locations bring that to a total of eight sunken crypts completely mined out and plundered of found treasures. The swamp is a very dark and uninviting place at night with a lot more hidden as well unsuspecting enemies everywhere. Thus roaming around at night or doing logistics was self-restricted.

With that, the plan was to mine in the sunken crypts at night and when daybreak came as well during daylight in the swamp perform logistics. That included moving all material from the crypts to either the Black Forest Stone Tower Outpost at the southeastern end of the swamp. It was still being determined if I would set up a refining base at the outpost or transport all the scrap iron on a very long journey across the sea back to my main base. I was still considering the thought of it all. However, I also didn’t have a Longship as yet which can transport a lot more material storage and which also required refined iron to make the Iron Nails to construct the ship.

Stone Tower – New Base

After clearing out a sunken crypt close to a stone tower and what also seems like a good strategic location I decided to clear out the Draugr spawn location at the stone tower. This took some effort as several elite Draugr spawned from this location once I started to clear it. However, I was able to duck into the sunken crypt nearby for a breather as needed with the elites. The Stone Tower was a good strategic location close to BONEMASS, central enough to many crypts around, and a good location for a swamp base for refining the muddy scrap iron ore into Armor and Weapon Upgrades. It was also very close to a crypt a stone throw away in case I needed to duck and hide from invading trolls and take the focus away from my swamp base. The tower location was also close to a Surtling spawn point from which to very easily get lots of coal for smelting the iron ore thus not needing to construct a Charcoal Kiln.


After fighting the Draugr’s for the stone tower and deciding to make it a swamp refining base it took a considerable amount of time to repair and fix up the tower to make it habitable. There wasn’t much at the time I could do about the unrepaired walls or the missing stones. It also had a whole quarter section at least of the tower that was missing and it needed a roof. So fixed it all with wood. The outer perimeter grounds of the tower needed to be leveled and made safe from swamp leeches. As well the stone tower area perimeter also needs to be made more defensible especially considering the stone tower walls were much in disrepair at the time.

From the Black Forest Outpost back to the Main Base I set up a new portal meant for the new swamp stone tower base to allow quick easy access and logistics. Once that was done, it was repairing and fixing the tower which I will also admit consumed a considerable amount of time including figuring out how to make a good roof at top of the stone tower with three quarts of the stone missing at the top. That took a lot of time to think about as well as a fix in a decent manner for a permanent new base


Iron smelting and refining operations should help with repairing the tower but I needed to build a Forge first along with a Smelter. For building the Forge I needed Copper which meant I would have to find Copper in the Black Forest at the eastern side of the swamp in the Black Forest from the tower. To put things short, I needed a lot of different things as well mineral ore between Copper and Tin mined on the island to construct forging operations for the muddy scrap iron.


So I needed to go exploring the Black Forest a bit to find Copper as Tin was easily found along the coast. I found a meadows area that I didn’t know was there but didn’t get to explore much. Fortunately, I found Copper not too far away to the southeast of the island from the Black Forest outpost. It was then a lot of logistics moving it over to the swamp base for refining as needed but not before several rounds of fighting Trolls for making noise in their forest.

Stone Tower Base – Forging Operations

Setting up the new swamp base and Forging Operations took some time as well as obtaining Copper Ore. Constructing the Smelter wasn’t much of an issue. The alternative was to ship all the scrap iron ore across a long ocean voyage to the main base. But I would still need to have built a Smelter and Forge to craft the Iron to make a longship. So I was ok with the decision to just make a new base to do all the necessary operations and crafting in an inhospitable place in the swamp.


Once I was able to start making the new Forge as well upgrade things all the way for upgrades things started to move along much faster. Smelting went without much issues with Coal needed from the Surtling spawn point close by as well plenty of Iron to be refined. Figuring how to keep a warm fire going in the swamp was a source of frustration playing with making campfires. But eventually, I figured I could make a Bonfire and tried that option instead and it was the very best of choices as it burns in the constant rain and dampness of the swamp. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it earlier. Frustration fixed for warm fire!

Swamp Base all fixed up!

Upgrading Armor & Weapons

I crafted a set of Iron Nails with the first batch of refined Iron for use in making a Longship if and when needed. The ship will likely be used for transporting over 400+ pieces of Iron Ore currently at the Black Forest Outpost back to the main base or even maybe a different future main base yet TBD. However, immediately after crafting the Iron Nails I set on fully upgrading my Armor from Bronze level 3 to Iron. With the continuous operation of the Smelter going for refining the scrap Iron ore I upgraded all pieces (3) of Armor to Iron level 4 which was also the most the gear could be upgraded. That consumed a lot of iron in the process but I had a lot of iron on hand I already mined from the other 5/8 sunken crypts. I was now officially in The Iron Age in VALHEIM!


Things now felt like it was all progressing much faster once Smelting and Forging Operations was in full swing. As much as I do use a bow weapon for range use, I’m more a shield and weapon kinda player. So I already was using a Bronze Mace at level 3 fully upgraded at the time. I could upgrade it to level 4 but that required much more Copper along with Tin to make bronze to upgrade but mostly needed Copper. However, it was much easier to craft and get a better upgrade with an Iron Mace which I crafted straight to level 4 for a huge upgrade. Then crafted a new Banded Shield to max level 3 to replace the Bronze one. A new Huntsman Bow crafted to level 4 to replace the Finewood Bow. With that, I was fairly set for the usual usage of weapons. I had mined a whole lot of scrap iron.

Upgraded the Mining Pickaxe to level 4 Bronze with some the extra Bronze made from the Copper smelted and forged with Tin. At least the pickaxe is now more durable for mining with and needs fewer swings mining. With all the armor and weapon upgrades I burned thru usage of lots of refined Iron bars and still had a bit of Iron left over for crafting other weapon pieces. Some weapons I’ve not used much even for their former bronze counterpart with the exception of the Axe which I’ve often use when I needed a sharp-edged weapon. For now, I’ll just save the spare refined Iron and use it as needed.

BONEMASS Tree House Platform

Valheim Swamp

Naturally as crafting armor and weapons upgrade seems adequate the thought turns to more immediate preparations for fighting BONEMASS. Popular Viking consensus seems to speak of tales of others constructing a treehouse platform around the fight location for range attacks, temporary escape for recovery, etc. Though I wasn’t really sure about what range strategy I would use for the boss. I figure best prepare anyway and better have a tree platform in case I needed it vs wish I had it and never took the time to build one just in case. Still, though not a popular approach my strategy was a face-to-face approach with the boss with Mace and Shield.

However, it consumed a considerable amount of time to make a seemingly ad-hock platform up into an ancient swamp tree. At the end with BONEMASS, I never needed it or used it. However, I did also construct a portal house on top of the sunken crypt right at BONEMASS location for a quicker return in case of a death run. If I needed to hide for a min, I could slip into the sunken crypt as well which I did eventually use as such. So I set up a campfire inside the crypt as a strategy for health recovery. Yet, the swamp base also wasn’t far away either. Also cleared out a few Draugr spawn locations around as well Draugr sentry’s around the area.

Tango and Rumble with BONEMASS

At best I seemed prepared at this point and just thought why not make a go of things. Food and everything were ready, I have plenty. My spawn location was still back at the main base as I never made a bed in the swamp at the base. I figure a good strategy was to make a fire at the boss location to aid with a warm fire rested buff so I made a Bonfire close to the skull. Set Shield and Mace equipped and were ready to go. Activated the Eikthyr buff for stamina regeneration and decided to spawn BONEMASS. It was then I realized that I needed 10 withered bones, but only brought 8. Thus had to run back to the house on top of the crypt, portal back to the main base to get the needed bones which wasted precious time and the buff.


Attempted to respawn Bonemass again while also close to the Bonfire. In an unfortunate turn of events, the boss spawned right on top of the Bonfire and also destroying it in the spawning process. Uhh! You’re kidding me of all places to spawn on top of the Bonfire. Things seemed to be chaotic already with the screen shake. I think a good strategy with this boss is to also turn off the screen shake setting for spawning the boss in hindsight.

Got a few initial hits in on the boss and was then also surprised just how many adds for Blobs as well Skeletons that was showing up from seemingly nowhere. They got the best of me for sure. A couple rounds of deaths and running in and out from the boss around the area to avoid all the adds were how things seem to go for a while. Skeletons seem to be everywhere including a few archer’s that set up sniper camp on top of the crypt for sniper action against me. Crazy! They got me a few times which all helped to result in death along with my own mishaps in all the chaos.

A few things that resulted in my death were just accidentally hitting the wrong buttons on my MMO Mouse that caused the weapon to switch and equip something else like the torch instead of Shield and Mace. Death! Trying to select to drop another Bonfire while on the run from Skeletons and Blobs. Yeah, that just doesn’t go well doing that. Death! Not getting all armor properly equipped on pickup after respawning. Death! Sniper action from lots of archer Skeletons. Death! The day seems to merge into the night in the swamp and back to daylight having to respawn and run back to the boss to evade and pick up everything. The boss’s health seemed to hover around the 50% mark with all the running around as time went on.

I figured a better strategy was to encircle the skull outrunning the boss which seems to move fairly fast for a huge chunk of mass. But in doing so being able to kill the skeletons and blobs in a more manageable way.  Also, it helped to line of sight avoid the skeleton archers on top of the crypt as well others at range. This seemed to work better for me and in being able to get some hits in on Bonemass managing the adds better vs being overwhelmed with so many of them in the open. In this entire process, I completely forgot to activate the Eikthyr buff again when it was off cooldown to better manage the low stamina which was a huge issue. Just too much going on in the fight to remember. But if I had remembered it would have certainly helped.

Fighting the Big Boss BONEMASS

I stuck to the strategy of encircling the spawn point skull while fighting the boss, getting a few hits in, and evading running around the skull to get back some stamina and evaporating health. I had a good couple of deaths just due to my own mishaps getting caught up in the moment. But in the end, the huge hunk of BONEMASS was no more!


I prevailed in what seemed a whole lot of chaos with the fight and a whole lot of skeletons and blobs for adds. I was just all too relieved when I saw the boss died as this solo fight seemed to have gone on for quite a while.

A view from the Swamp Battlefield

In the end, I never needed that tree platform over yonder in deciding to face tank the boss. Range attacks wouldn’t have been effective anyway as I didn’t use the strategy that some others have used with Frost Arrows from the Mountain Biome. I haven’t been there and it wasn’t part of my strategy. I shall later tear it down and repurpose all the wood from the platform.


On returning to the main island I set my hard-won Trophy to the gods and know that one more major enemy has been vanquished from this realm of purgatory. While adventures in the Snowy Mountains await I shall take a little rest from the constant of the darkened swamp area, just rest a bit and do some house and storage improvements, explore the map a bit and hopefully look for a place more fitting of a new base with adequate access to the various biomes. I know the Snow Mountain awaits me. However, I can still take my time getting there and deciding just what to do next!


Mining Operation continued for Scrap Iron at the 3rd Crypt. The yield of the Scrap Iron obtained I consider a really good haul at 109 pieces obtained after purging all enemies within and clearing out the crypt. Lots of coins and other treasures as well looted from here and transported during daylight with all the scrap iron back to the tower outpost. Much more skeletons seem to be around and roaming about today as well and made for some little encounters. Maybe a spawn point is somewhere close by. I stick to just daytime activity roaming thru the swamp as much as possible as it’s just too dangerous at night to be roaming around.

Swamp vicinity location of BONEMASS

After hauling everything other than Iron Ore back to the main base via the outpost portal I considered what to do next. So far it’s been crypt after crypt mining. I decided to go on an excursion in search of the exact location on the map from the runestone for Boss BONEMASS. I Figured it was just easier to follow the normal safe path I’ve taken to the other crypts at least and make a beeline to BONEMASS location to see exactly what the geography is around the location.

On my way just paid attention to what I can see well into the distance in the Swamp. Not that you can really see all that much with clarity either there during the day. But I did happen to notice quite a few locations for Surtling’s spawn activity, Elite Draugr Spawn Camps (2), a Stone Tower Outpost and quite a number of new crypts found all along the way. Thus I updated my charted map as always for the notes of interest. I basically though just avoided being too close to the Draugr Spawn Camps. I remember how much work it was the last time to clear one of those camps out while also spawning an Elite up close which made me take a dirt nap in the swamp. Dying is off the menu for today if I can help it. However, it was great to find a lot more crypts to explore and mine for more Scrap Iron as needed.

BONEMASS Spawn Location Skull

As well, very much made use of the Hoe to level a walking path through the swamp to the intended runestone location of BONEMASS. Well, I found him! The spawn location is on elevated soil and not in the middle of a swamp lake of sort of water, so that’s great. However, lots of water around nevertheless and will have to do a lot of work to fix all of that. The crypt close by might also pose some strategic advantage for setting up another portal location or at a high stone tower spotted not too far away so less trekking thru the swamp. Will have to explore that tower later to see what is over there as well.

But for today’s excursion, I can now say I have the exact location of Boss BONEMASS charted and I’m exactly there. A whole lot of preparation will now need to be done for my solo affair fight with the boss and I have yet to move a single scrap of Iron out of any of the Swamp areas I’ve been to. Lots of work ahead. And since I have to do some traveling this week for real-life work, it will be a bit slow going for yet another week with Valheim.