I'm not sure if this is the intended behavior, but I noticed this :
As mentionned in april's patch note, if you have merm followers and kill a fish as Wurt, they make an angry face and stop following you. But I did some tests, and if you use the clever disguise to recruit a merm as another character, it seems like you can kill fishes withtout any problem and the merms will keep following you.
I tested this with Wilson, Maxewell and Wickerbottom, killing a freshwater fish every time
Sorry if this is intended, I know this change was under Wurt's section in the patch note, but the term used seems pretty broad : "Merms no longer tolerate their leader murdering a fish.", so I thought surely this should apply to anyone who recruits merms
Play with any other character than Wurt (only actually tested with Wilson, Maxwell and Wickerbottom)
Use the clever disguise item to allow merm recruting
Recruit a merm by giving him food
Kill a fish (tested with freshwater fish)
Tested with and without the King of the Merms present on the map
A developer has marked this issue as fixed. This means that the issue has been addressed in the current development build and will likely be in the next update.
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