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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: It’s time to start a new ‘Stardew Valley’ game

Cameryn Davis

After an endless stream of late-game content, “Stardew Valley” has finally given you a reason to make a new save file.

Created and maintained by one-man show ConcernedApe, “Stardew Valley” has recently undergone one of the biggest updates ever seen. The release of update 1.6 packs improvements in everything, from layout to bug fixes to entirely new content.

Fuzzy friends

Most important, though, are the changes to pets.

Farmers now have the ability to have a cute gray dog with a red bandana as a pet. In addition to this new dog, the game now offers three other pet colorings, though none are quite as cute. 

On top of the existing cats (ginger tabby, gray tabby, light yellow) and dogs (original brown dog, German Shepherd, light brown dog with floppy ears), players can now choose from a light cat with blue eyes, a black cat with yellow eyes, a dark brown dog and the highly superior gray dog.

Even better, all these animals can now wear hats. Horses, another late-game asset, have been able to wear hats since August 2018. Now, all we need is more horse colorings, and then all your pets can wear hats together. 

Early-game content

One of my biggest complaints with “Stardew Valley” prior to this update was the lack of new content distribution. Previous large updates, like the movie theater and Ginger Island, have catered toward late-game farmers, with features that take a long time to reach for the average player. 

These additions are far from unwelcome, but I feel like catering only toward experienced players damages the replayability of the game. If it takes so long to get to any new content, why not just stay on the same save file eternally? 

This new update, though, has fixed that, with updates ranging from dialogue options with NPCs to new events and festivals throughout the year.

Some of the updates are expected, like the addition of carrots as a spring crop, but others are entirely unique. One such example is the Giant Stump, a large tree found in the northern sect of Cindersap Forest. New quest lines like this really breathe new life into the game. 

New horizons

The update also features a completely new farm layout, the meadowlands farm. The eighth map and the first new farm since late 2020, the meadowlands farm follows the precedent set by the prior farms in which one pursuit, such as fishing or foraging, is granted leverage at the cost of farmland. The riverland farm, for example, grants additional access to fishing but packs less farmable land. 

The meadowlands farm is geared towards livestock. The game warns you that farmland is limited, but you’re granted a special blue grass that animals love. One thing that separates the meadowlands farm from the others is that the player is granted two chickens upon spawning. In the house is a package for 15 hay instead of 15 parsnip seeds.

This shocked me, as hay is a hot commodity at any point throughout the game. Parsnip seeds would only set the player back 300 gold at Pierre’s General Store, but swapping the seeds for hay grants the player a huge advantage, as 15 pieces of hay would cost 750 gold from Marnie. 

Another leg up the farmer gains with the meadowlands farm is a starter coop and fenced-in area. I found that my chickens only ate hay on rainy days (admittedly, I thought this was a glitch instead of animals actually eating the grass). With a steady income from eggs, farmers can focus on expanding their farms and exploring Pelican Town. I wouldn’t be surprised if this farm gets nerfed here soon due to its obvious upper hand, but I hope it doesn’t.

A full list of updates can be found on the Stardew Valley Wiki, but I recommend jumping right in and exploring the game as soon as you can, with as little prior knowledge as possible. Choose the new farm, revel in your free chickens munching on the blue grass, and then definitely choose to adopt the gray dog. 

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About the Contributors
Sascha Harvey, Opinion Editor
Sascha Harvey is the opinon editor for The Sunflower. A junior majoring in graphic design, this is Harvey's third year on staff and second year as a section editor. He is originally from Arkansas but has no accent to speak of (unless you listen really hard). The graphic design major enjoys covering feature stories and local news. Harvey uses he/him pronouns.
Cameryn Davis, Illustrator/Designer
Cameryn Davis is an illustrator and designer for The Sunflower. She is a freshman at Wichita State University majoring in secondary English education and hopes to become TESOL certified. Davis plans to eventually teach the English language in Brazil. She uses she/her pronouns.

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