Valheim Hearth and Home Update Making Changes to the Tower Shield and Blocking
The sandbox Viking-themed survival game Valheim, developed by Iron Gate Studio, launched in early access in February 2021. The Hearth & Home update, which the team has been working on since March, is planned for a Q3 2021 release and will now take precedence over the four smaller updates originally planned for the year.
The update will bring noticeable changes to Valheim’s overall gameplay and will expand on the game’s base building options. Among these are new Darkwood roofs and window hatches; extensions for cooking stations like a spice rack, butcher table, and pots and pans; and there will also be plantable onions coming to Valheim.
Iron Gate has released a video detailing some of the changes being made to the tower shield and the game’s blocking mechanic with Hearth & Home. The tower shield is slower than other shields in Valheim. It will receive a significant buff in Hearth & Home to give it higher knockback than other shields, making it particularly useful for those who play defensively or like to tank by taking on multiple enemies at once.
With Valheim’s Hearth & Home update, a player’s blocking power will now be determined by their maximum health. Rather than a block failing when stamina runs low, blocking will instead be affected by a new stagger bar. This bar fills as attacks are successfully blocked and, once it is filled, the next enemy attack will break the bar and temporarily stun the player.
Other changes coming to Valheim with the Hearth & Home update are a reworked food system and 10 new recipes. Currently, food tends to grant players similar amounts of stamina and health. With Hearth & Home, food will be divided into three categories: mainly health, mainly stamina, and a somewhat equal split of both. The food bar will also be removed, replaced by individual timers for each food item, but the food icons will still blink when the buff is halfway through its timer.
This change to the health and stamina buffs provided by food is intended to give players more efficient options when deciding what to eat. For example, people who plan to build at their base in Valheim for a while may prefer to eat stamina food, while those heading out to explore would be better served with a health food buff.
Deciding which type of food to eat in Valheim will also be impacted by a person’s play style. Those who like to stealth a lot or prefer to charge into fights with their sword constantly swinging would do well to increase their stamina. Tanks or those who use the newly buffed tower shield, on the other hand, will probably choose health food since blocking power will now be determined by a player’s maximum health.