The boss order in Valheim is a double-edged sword
Progressing in Valheim can be slow, but world modifiers and mods can help solo players and multiplayer groups accelerate their progress.The linear n...
Progressing in Valheim can be slow, but world modifiers and mods can help solo players and multiplayer groups accelerate their progress.
The linear nature of Valheim ensures that players are prepared for each biome and boss fight, but it limits exploration and the range of choices.
Valheim lacks significant optional content and could benefit from additional bosses, weapons, armor, and biomes to provide more freedom and variety.
The grinding in Valheim is quite slow due to the combined time required for building fortified bases, exploring the map, gathering supplies for sustenance, and collecting enough resources to craft the next best equipment set. This can be particularly tedious for solo players, although a recent update introduced world modifiers in Valheim that can help adjust the individual pace of progression, difficulty, and survival elements throughout the game. Playing in multiplayer mode, using mods, and/or adjusting custom world modifiers is a much more efficient way to make progress in Valheim, although the grinding still remains extremely linear despite all these aids.
However, the linear nature of Valheim is not exclusively negative, primarily because it ensures that players are always adequately prepared for the dangers and enemies in each successive biome and the final boss fights. For players who enjoy taking their time in the various biomes of Valheim and the associated stages of development, the natural progression order in the game allows them to master and fully complete each biome without potentially having to return there ever again. The downside, however, is that there are very few opportunities to deviate from the intended path, at least for a player who is playing the game for the first time.
Valheim Is an Extremely Linear Game
For players who simply want to explore freely, the order of the main bosses in Valheim can be quite unforgiving. Players who are looking to find the wandering traders in Valheim may also encounter this issue, as the difficulty difference between certain biomes is so extreme that it discourages players from exploring biomes outside of the intended order.
World modifiers and unofficial mods for Valheim can significantly enhance players' freedom in their progression. Although players potentially risk compromising their gameplay experience in Valheim by using these features, it ultimately becomes a delicate balance to navigate the game with these tools.
While the grinding in Valheim is extremely linear, the pace of the game is actually a symptom of another problem, namely that Valheim doesn't offer much significant optional content to explore, at least in its current form. In comparison to other groundbreaking games in the survival-crafting genre, such as Minecraft, their reputation has been built on the freedom of choice provided by optional progression elements. For example, in Minecraft, players can completely forgo crafting potions from the Nether biome. In Valheim, however, regardless of the game progress, it is always mandatory to engage with core survival elements such as food, armor, and weapons in Valheim.
Valheim undoubtedly needs more optional bosses and progression steps between the mandatory milestones. Ultimately, there is a wide range of untapped potential that could help steer things in the right direction, such as optional bosses, additional tiers of weapons and armor, and/or completely new biomes. The Leviathan monsters in Valheim are actually a great example of how optional encounters can be extremely rewarding, but few other experiences in the game have such an impact. Hopefully, this will change in future Valheim updates.
Another potential solution that Valheim should consider is to increase the impact of player abilities. One of the few noticeable abilities in Valheim that can be improved is the jumping ability since it is a universal skill that players are likely to upgrade faster than other more specialized abilities. Given the difficulty of enhancing some of the other abilities and how marginal their benefits are, it may not be worthwhile to focus on improving them. Most abilities in Valheim need an upgrade, and this could also be a great way to provide players with the freedom to progress in alternative ways and potentially loosen the linear order of bosses.
Valheim is now available for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.