New Valheim video outlines upcoming changes to blocking and staggering

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Iron Gate Studios, developer of Valheim, is currently in drip-feed mode when it comes to sharing information on the Hearth and Home update that's scheduled to arrive sometime in the coming months. That's not really a bad thing—the studio has been sharing videos about some of the changes on the way, and so far they've been pretty interesting, if brief.

Last week we learned about how Valheim's food will change in the update. In Hearth and Home, some foods will mostly increase your health and others will primarily boost your stamina, along with balanced meals that will (as they do now) improve both. This week, another short video appeared that explains how health and stamina will change when it comes to combat.

The video is under a minute long, but here's what it tells us. Stamina will remain responsible for determining how much you can attack and deal damage, but the effectiveness of blocks will now be based on your maximum health rather than your stamina. Want to hold off monsters with your shield? Then eat some health-focused foods beforehand.

One thing not mentioned in the video is parrying, which is blocking an attack just at the moment that attack lands. It's highly effective and useful for staggering opponents, giving you a nice window for a counter attack. Since parrying is a form of blocking, I assume it's also based on maximum health, but it's not expressly stated in the video.

Speaking of staggering, a stagger meter will be added to your UI. When it's filled, it means an enemy attack will stagger you. It's not the most graceful addition to a UI I've ever seen, with a single bar floating in the air next to your character, but I suppose if it were off in a corner with your other status meters you simply might not see it.

This is all fine, I guess? The idea is it'll make it easier for players to focus on a specific playstyle, either berserker-style, jacked up with stamina, or careful and cautious with a bellyful of health. Maybe I just never really developed a playstyle because I kinda like both wildly attacking and carefully defending in the same fight. I have a feeling I'm just going to stick with balanced foods and trying to keep both my stamina and health as high up as I can get them.

The next video, which will presumably arrive next week, will tell us more about shields and blocking, and hopefully, parrying.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.