As Viking survival game Valheim edges toward its fourth month of release, during which it's accumulated an astounding 7 million players, fans are still waiting (mostly patiently!) for its first major update. Hearth and Home, as it's called on the Valheim roadmap, will "focus on the house building aspect of the game, with more building pieces and stuff to do in and around the house," Iron Gate Studios has said.
We got a teensy glimpse of the Hearth and Home update last month in the form of an image of a wooden raven, and today the developers revealed, somehow, an even teensier look.
Two images, really just small portions of two screenshots, hint at something new coming in Valheim's first major update. What these image fragments show is already being speculated on in the game's busy and curious subreddit and we've got our own theories as well. Here are the images Iron Gate posted. Prepare to squint.
The first image shows what looks like the boots of a Viking, possibly seated on a throne which may (or may not) be the Raven Throne already in the game. Or, as some speculate, it could be the bottom of an armor stand, which would be a fun way to display your unused armor sets around the house. Or maybe it's just showing us some new boots (technically some new leggings, since boots aren't a separate armor item).
And in the upper left-hand corner of the image, there's something that could be, well, we don't know what. Potatoes? Gold coins or gold nuggets? Lumps of clay? It's difficult, if not impossible, to say. Any of those could be part of the Hearth and Home update: gold for gilding or crafting ornaments, potatoes for cooking, clay for making bricks in the kiln to build with.
As for the second image, it looks like a trench dug in the earth, and at the bottom… water? Maybe running water is being added, and Vikings will have proper irrigation for farming—if the farming system is getting some changes as well. A new terrain system was recently added, along with a hoe buff (and a hoe nerf), so new water physics could be a possibility.
Or perhaps it's tar, as Tar Pits have been mentioned as something that may be included in the future. Tar could also be used for building improvements, like waterproofing wood, which would be nice for outdoor structures that get warped and degraded when they get wet.
There are some small lumps shown in the trench as well, which could be the gold nuggets, or the clay, or something else entirely. "This last picture will be a pretty big part of the update, with many new items relating to it, can you guess what it is?" the devs ask.
Guessing is all we can do for now. My personal bet is on clay as a new resource that can be dug up near water, and new building items like bricks can be made from it. As for the boots image, I'll put money on some sort of armor stand. But I really don't know.
Vexing! And sounds like we still may have a while to wait before we find out. "Instead of rushing it, we want to let it take the time it needs to get in a state that we’re happy with," the developer update says.
In the meantime, at least you can entertain yourself by driving around in Valheim, since one clever modder added an actual car to the game.