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Along with fixing a glitch that's been bugging players for 8 years, Stardew Valley's 1.6 update will also fix a glitch that's been bugging Eric Barone for 8 years

 Stardew Valley screenshot - player swinging a sword in a fight against a monster in a mine.
Stardew Valley screenshot - player swinging a sword in a fight against a monster in a mine.

"Ever notice that swinging the sword downward put you at a big disadvantage?" Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone asked earlier this week on Twitter. "It's always bugged me, but I had tuned it that way so that the area of effect would match the visual. For 1.6, I decided that game feel is way more important than precise visual accuracy."

I will admit that melee combat is not the first thing that leaps to mind when I think about Stardew Valley. It's all about festivals and farmer's markets and bringing in the crops and finding a life mate and hats and cats and hats on cats—but combat?

Well, yes, that's all part of the farm life too. And that's not entirely inaccurate: Farmers typically pack heat in one form or another, although explosive ammo and bombs are a rarity, at least around my neighborhood.

Of course, this particular patch is strictly about melee combat, not shooting things or blowing them up.

  • Extend the area of effect of downward facing melee attacks.

Ever notice that swinging the sword downward put you at a big disadvantage? It's always bugged me, but I had tuned it that way so that the area of effect would match the visual. For 1.6, I decided that game feel is way more important than precise visual accuracy
Ever notice that swinging the sword downward put you at a big disadvantage? It's always bugged me, but I had tuned it that way so that the area of effect would match the visual. For 1.6, I decided that game feel is way more important than precise visual accuracy

(Image credit: Eric Barone (Twitter))

Barone confirmed in response to an inquiry that the fix is for "every weapon, including clubs and daggers," but won't have an impact on things like picks or axes, which are more general-purpose tools: Handy for clobbering in a pinch, but not really built for that sort of thing.

Barone also said that the change emerged at least in part from his work on Haunted Chocolatier, the Stardew Valley follow-up he is 100% for sure going to start focusing on once Stardew's 1.6 update is out.

"For HC I had this in mind from the beginning and drew the player animations in a way that should match with the hit boxes better," he tweeted. "And I'm being way more deliberate about making sure each direction you face is equally viable. But yeah I think it did cause me to rethink Stardew's."

The Stardew Valley 1.6 update is set to roll out on March 19. The full patch notes will be revealed when it goes live, but in the leadup Barone has been amusing himself by tweeting out individual patch notes at a rate of one per day. You can keep track of all the changes in our not-at-all-hyperbolic rundown of everything Barone's revealed so far.