Eric Barone goes mad with power: He's revealing a single Stardew Valley update patch note every day

Eric Barone
(Image credit: PC Gamer)

"Power tends to corrupt," Lord Acton warned us in 1870. "And absolute power corrupts absolutely." Those words carry no less weight today than they did 150 years ago, and I can think of no more pointed example of the truth of his caution than that of Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone, who has clearly gone mad with the kind of power only attainable as a successful indie game developer: Stardew Valley's tyrant king is now taunting his long-suffering followers with a slow-drip release of patch notes for the upcoming 1.6 update.

The March 19 release date of the Stardew Valley 1.6 update was announced in February, but with no patch notes or even a rundown of highlights, leaving players desperately craving more information. Last week, Barone further tantalized his fans with a promise that the patch "adds so much stuff to all the different aspects of the game," but still refused to say more. 

What stuff, Eric? Which aspects? Why won't you tell us?

Today, feeding on the fervor of his following (or so I like to imagine, anyway), he took the teasing a step further. "I'll post a random non-spoilery patch note line each day until the 19th," Barone tweeted.

Like a contagion, the madness quickly spread:

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But where does the true madness lie: With the madman, or in those who choose to follow him? Let's try not to think about that too much as we run down what we've got so far.

DAY ONE: FRUIT TREES

DAY TWO: TIME-VS-DIRECTION AS IT APPLIES TO THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF CROPS

DAY THREE: BETTER SWORDPLAY

DAY FOUR: FASTER PUSSYCATS (AND DOGS)

DAY FIVE: THE NEWLYWED GAME

(Image credit: Eric Barone (Twitter))

DAY SIX: JELLY, PICKLES, WINE, *AND* JUICES? IN THIS ECONOMY?

(Image credit: Eric Barone)

Color-coded, ingredient-based jelly, pickles, wine, and juices. We didn't realize we were living in Plato's Cave until Eric Barone finally opened our eyes to a whole new world of possibilities.

DAY SEVEN: TIME FOR A MAYONITA

(Image credit: Eric Barone)

But will there be a debuff for swigging the forbidden milk?

DAY EIGHT: CHEWY BLUE GRASS

(Image credit: Eric Barone (Twitter))

Your animals are gonna love it, and you might too.


We have just a few more days of these cryptic utterings before the 1.6 update, and the full patch notes, finally arrive. And all we can hope for is that when the day arrives, Barone will revert to the noble, fair-minded man he was, and put all of this behind him once and for all—or at least until the inevitable Stardew Valley 1.7 update comes out.

(To be perfectly clear: Power does corrupt, but in this case Barone's just having some fun in the leadup to the 1.6 launch, and so are we.)

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.