I actually enjoy the combat loop of running back and forth in Don't Starve and Don't Starve Together, but it has some problems that make it very unapproachable to most players. My friends haven't defeated anything more dangerous than a spider on their own, and from what I gathered talking to them, it's because when they tried to learn how to fight they just got confused and gave up.
I honestly can't blame them. A pigman and merm will punch in front of themselves, but not only can they hit you twice as far as their arm reaches, they will also get you if you're to the side of them. I think having a larger update that would make hitboxes more precise and maybe tweak the animations to better represent what's actually happening, would do a lot to make the game more accessible. There's a ton that can be improved without remaking the entire combat system.
I may get some hate for it, but I also think that some monsters are too strong. Not in that they deal too much damage, but in that the timings when you fight them are a little too tight, which is more visible in Don't Starve Together since you also have to account for lag. I think this is best shown by tentacles.
To hit a tentacle, you have to wait out the first attack, approach during the second attack, hit, and then run during the stagger animation.
It's very easy to start running at the tentacle too early, causing you to run into the second attack. You can also stop to attack too early or too late and get hit, and if you want to run away after hitting a tentacle, you have to press the button during the attack animation of your character, or you likely won't make it back in time.
I don't think I've ever killed a tentacle without getting hit, and I tend to spawn monsters and fight them on a private server just to brush up on combat. Giving players just a tenth of a second more time to react against some monsters would make the game feel much more consistent.
Other potential ideas include:
Make it so that using a weapon always works as if you press F by default, since the press and hold option just can't accomplish anything anyway. New players often don't realize that they're supposed to use a different button when attacking than when using tools.
Scale the amount of HP Giants have depending on the number of players on the server. This would make a great optional setting, and help out on servers that often see three or fewer players online at a time.
Display the player's attack range when holding a weapon. Should also be optional, as many players now have a feel for it.
I don't know what ideas Klei may have for combat, but I really hope some updates to it will come soon. With new monsters and bosses being added regularly, I wish the combat system was more welcoming to players.