We've already seen some pretty funky physics from Valheim's abyssal harpoon, but beyond NASA space programs Valheim players have now found a more practical use for the weapon: as a way of transporting heavy goods by waterski. Or maybe it's more like those inflatable tubes you can tow behind boats - but close enough.
Over on reddit, user LostYugen yesterday posted a video showing that a player can be harpooned while holding a cart, then towed by boat, allowing for the transportation of a huge number of items. The maximum number of slots in a Valheim longship is 18, and by towing a cart you can double this amount to 36. Previously, some players had attempted to balance upturned carts on their boats to haul massive amounts of ore, but this technique can easily be scuppered by a storm - or simply some bad sailing. In fact, LostYugen explained they discovered the waterskiing method after one of their carts was knocked out of their longship by a wave. Others have found that placing a heavy cart on a boat can also make it much harder to steer. Could the cart-towing method actually be more reliable?
To test this out, I enlisted the help of Eurogamer video producer Ian "Tippy Mcgee" Higton and hopped on a longship to
use him as serpent bait try some Viking waterskiing. To our surprise, the method worked, and Ian was dragged along with a cart full of stone. Ian said he didn't lose any stamina as he wasn't actively swimming, and therefore didn't take drowning damage while being dragged behind the ship.
Something that might be a bit of a limiting factor for this method, however, is the very slow stamina drain experienced by the player holding the harpoon. Once a player runs out of stamina, the harpoon line breaks, potentially leaving the cart (and your friend) stranded in the ocean. There are ways to counter stamina drain in Valheim - such as by drinking tasty mead and stamina mead, using the Eikthyr power, and making sure you're fed and rested before embarking - but you still might need to re-harpoon your friend if you're going on a long voyage. The good news is that your friend can float indefinitely with the cart without losing stamina, giving you a fair amount of time to re-hook them. Just don't leave them floating out there too long, however, as I can't vouch for the safety of your cart buddy if a serpent shows up.
So it might be a little risky as a transportation method, but it works, and could come in handy if you want a dramatic way to transport silly amounts of stone and ore. And it's also just a good way to goof around if you fancy some Viking watersports - perhaps we'll see some organised Valheim waterski races in the near future.