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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Unpopular opinion (on the internet): BotW and TotK's weapon durability feature is one of these games greatest mechanics

Seriously? People stumble into a battle and then forget all the options to kill enemies? Set them on fire, yeet them in the air, toss metal crates at them, place some meat nearby as a distraction and approach from behind. Also, how about shooting some arrows to the face? Highly effective, you know. And let's not even start with flurry rush where the weapon's durability is greatly enhanced. If all else fails, just throw a damn rock at them.



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Am I in an even more unpopular opinion that I don't mind the weapon durability but would prefer it not to be in the games?



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GoOnKid said:

Seriously? People stumble into a battle and then forget all the options to kill enemies? Set them on fire, yeet them in the air, toss metal crates at them, place some meat nearby as a distraction and approach from behind. Also, how about shooting some arrows to the face? Highly effective, you know. And let's not even start with flurry rush where the weapon's durability is greatly enhanced. If all else fails, just throw a damn rock at them.

And why is a weapon breaking mid fight always framed like a negative? It frees up space for the weapon of the monster I'm fighting. You can equip a new weapon literally instantly.



Kakadu18 said:
GoOnKid said:

Seriously? People stumble into a battle and then forget all the options to kill enemies? Set them on fire, yeet them in the air, toss metal crates at them, place some meat nearby as a distraction and approach from behind. Also, how about shooting some arrows to the face? Highly effective, you know. And let's not even start with flurry rush where the weapon's durability is greatly enhanced. If all else fails, just throw a damn rock at them.

And why is a weapon breaking mid fight always framed like a negative? It frees up space for the weapon of the monster I'm fighting. You can equip a new weapon literally instantly.

Right? The two most popular complaints are 'My weapons break way too soon' and 'There is not enough inventory space'. So what is it? Decide already.

Now imagine if weapons wouldn't break and the inventory was twenty times larger, what would happen? Nothing. People would still only use their one favorite weapon, shove every other in the depth of the inventory and never look back, then still run into the same inventory limitations at some point after hoarding and collecting things to never use but which surely might be handy sometime. Yes, aha.

Just use the weapons like they are intended to and don't worry about having to fight with a slightly weaker weapon once they break. Use your Megalixirs, use your Magnum bullets, use whatever the game gives you, and enjoy the benefits. The breaking mechanic is really no big deal at all and the issue is blown waaaaaay out of proportion.



GoOnKid said:

Right? The two most popular complaints are 'My weapons break way too soon' and 'There is not enough inventory space'. So what is it? Decide already.

Now imagine if weapons wouldn't break and the inventory was twenty times larger, what would happen? Nothing. People would still only use their one favorite weapon, shove every other in the depth of the inventory and never look back, then still run into the same inventory limitations at some point after hoarding and collecting things to never use but which surely might be handy sometime. Yes, aha.

Just use the weapons like they are intended to and don't worry about having to fight with a slightly weaker weapon once they break. Use your Megalixirs, use your Magnum bullets, use whatever the game gives you, and enjoy the benefits. The breaking mechanic is really no big deal at all and the issue is blown waaaaaay out of proportion.

False. That's not what happens in RE8, TWD S&S, Horizon games.

'My weapons break way too soon' and 'There is not enough inventory space' That is the same complaint. You need more inventory space BECAUSE the weapons break so easily. I could not take 'fun' weapons along to experiment with in BotW because I needed a certain set based on the environment I was in and enough weapons to last through a tough fight. 

There isn't enough inventory space BECAUSE weapons have so little durability and you basically need a bunch of generic duplicates instead of carrying around a set of different specialized weapons that match different enemy types.

If weapons wouldn't break I would only need one of each kind and have room to experiment and switch it up. The low weapon durability pushes me to use generic weapons that fit a lot of enemy types, and stock up on those to have a reserve.

It's is a big deal because it stifles experimentation and limits the tactics and fun you can have during combat.



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SvennoJ said:
Slownenberg said:

Agreed with the OP on weapon breaking being good. There is too much hate in general around the weapon breaking mechanic. The whole picking up weapons throughout the game idea wouldn't work at all without weapon breaking. And it makes it so you use a bunch of different weapons which is fun.

That said, I do wish the weapons lasted a bit longer. Fewer breaks in the middle of battles would be nice. Or like say have a meter of the weapons durability so you can see how low it is getting rather than just it flashing red when its about to break, so you can go into battle with a different weapon if you don't want to make a couple hits and then suddenly your weapon if flashing red about to break.

Reforging weapons in towns with like say the metals you've picked up in the wild would be cool too. That way if you get a weapon you really like you can reforge it rather than having to wait until you find it again.

So yes I think the weapon breaking system could be improved, but I have no problems at all with the idea of weapon breaking in general. Definitely think it is a good thing, and not a bad thing like so many people think.

TWD S&S Chapter 1 gets the balance right. Plus you can still harvest materials from nearly broken weapons by recycling them. It would be nice if it had a repair option but it's easy to just build a new weapon. Plus the inventory is all together so it's up to you how many fun toys you take around vs how much room you leave for loot to bring back. (Chapter 2 breaks the balance by throwing double the amount of enemies at you still with the same weapon durability, forcing you to bring twice as many weapons along as in Chapter 1) And you can always use a spoon or whatever else lays around to use as a weapon.

The issue with BotW is that weapons don't even last one fight. I routinely needed 3 to 6 weapons for the harder enemies. Just leaves no room for experimentation. Can't afford to give up the space.

Agreed with the weapons breaking TOO often. As I said, it'd be nice if they lasted a bit longer. Especially the stronger weapons I would think should have decent durability. I mean I don't mind that much having to switch weapons mid battle, it kinda makes me think to myself 'oh what would be a cool weapon to finish this battle off with', but at the same time at least the stronger weapons should have good enough durability to not be wondering every fight if its gonna break haha.

Overall I like weapon durability a lot, I just think it could be tweaked to be better. Since the weapons break so often I find myself saving weapons I think are really cool and not even using them because I don't want them to break haha. So definitely being able to reforge weapons in villages would be something to make me not concerned if a weapon breaks right now if I know I can reforge it later if I choose, as well as weapons maybe just lasting 50% longer (at least the more serious weapons) so that breaking every time you fight a few enemies isn't a concern.

But not a big deal. Just a minor issue I wish was tweaked, like how I feel about the cooking in BotW. I liked Pokemon Arceus' system of saving meals, that'd be great in BotW so I don't have to try to memorize how to make meals with certain effects and whatnot. Just a small QoL streamlining issue. But in comparison to the overall game those things are like 0.1% downgrade, they don't really take away from the experience at all. It's like enjoying a sunny day and then having to deal with a cloud passing by for 10 minutes. No biggie.



SvennoJ said:
GoOnKid said:

Right? The two most popular complaints are 'My weapons break way too soon' and 'There is not enough inventory space'. So what is it? Decide already.

Now imagine if weapons wouldn't break and the inventory was twenty times larger, what would happen? Nothing. People would still only use their one favorite weapon, shove every other in the depth of the inventory and never look back, then still run into the same inventory limitations at some point after hoarding and collecting things to never use but which surely might be handy sometime. Yes, aha.

Just use the weapons like they are intended to and don't worry about having to fight with a slightly weaker weapon once they break. Use your Megalixirs, use your Magnum bullets, use whatever the game gives you, and enjoy the benefits. The breaking mechanic is really no big deal at all and the issue is blown waaaaaay out of proportion.

False. That's not what happens in RE8 (1), TWD S&S, Horizon games.

'My weapons break way too soon' and 'There is not enough inventory space' That is the same complaint. You need more inventory space BECAUSE the weapons break so easily. I could not take 'fun' weapons along to experiment with in BotW because I needed a certain set based on the environment I was in and enough weapons to last through a tough fight. (2)

There isn't enough inventory space BECAUSE weapons have so little durability and you basically need a bunch of generic duplicates instead of carrying around a set of different specialized weapons that match different enemy types. (3)

If weapons wouldn't break I would only need one of each kind and have room to experiment and switch it up (4). The low weapon durability pushes me to use generic weapons that fit a lot of enemy types, and stock up on those to have a reserve. (5)

It's is a big deal because it stifles experimentation and limits the tactics and fun you can have during combat. (6)

Thanks for your reply. I'll try to go through it piece by piece. Some of my comments might fit in several positions, I hope one can still follow what my thoughts on this are.

(1) It was you yourself who said that you like using only knives in RE games because bullets are too valuable, plus knifing led to creative ways of killing enemies. But I don't understand how you couldn't come up with creative ways in BotW when there are so many. For instance, you can always use the bow, that is the first thought. Many enemies can be dealt with bows and arrows perfectly fine and you most likely have enough arrows with you at any time. Plus the standard arrows can be recollected. Also, when we think of enemy camps and hideouts, most of them have some sort of twist or gimmick that you can use to your advantage, like a big puddle of water so you can electrocute your enemies, or explosive barrels lying nearby. And let's not forget about bombs. They never run out and can be used as an effective weapon. I argue that running out of options to defeat enemies is barely possible.

(2) Look, I know that you had a very restricted way of playing the game because you refused to use the teleport function, instead you traveled everywhere by foot and therefore you reached the woods very late where you could upgrade your inventory. I get that, that's fine and cool if you wanted to do that. So this leads to situations in certain hot and cold areas where you needed the required weapons while having to manage a very small inventory, I get that. But come on, let's face it, you are the minority. Most players don't restrict themselves like that. 

(3a) About matching different enemy types: You mean like regular Lizalfos, Fire Lizalfos and Ice Lizalfos? Where the elemental ones can be one-hitted with the opposite elemental arrow? Okay fair enough, but even the elemental ones can be killed with regular weapons and even the regular ones can be killed with elemental weapons if you just so happen to not have any other ways. When you don't have the optimal methods, you are supposed to come around with a different solution. This new solution may be less efficient, but that doesn't matter if it still works.

(3b) Or do you mean different enemy types like Moblins, Hinoxi, Lynels and so on? I definitely agree that a lot of weapons are required to bring these down, no question about that, but when I encounter one and I think I'm not prepared enough I simply walk around, mark the spot on the map, return when I a have better gear and then get the job done. That's a valid tactic. All encounters are optional except for bosses in the titans but I argue that you will be showered with strong weapons along the way so that is also not a concern.

(4) Sorry I do not understand this logic. When you travel through Hyrule and your weapons break along the way and you find other ones instead that means that your inventory is constantly switching up, isn't it? Therefore you experiment by default because you're more or less forced to do so.

(5) See 3a. It's not required to use the best weapon against a certain enemy, just use whatever you have at hand and what the situation allows.

(6) To me it is the polar opposite. It pushes new approaches and makes you plan ahead much more. Sorry but your arguments do not hold much weight, if I'm being honest.



Dunno about TofK but it was probably the worst part of BotW by a long shot.
It was simply ridiculous to have to spend like 4 weapons to kill a Lynel early on, there is just no defending it IMO.



Playing TotK right now I am being showered with strong weapons and sometimes just throw weapon out even when fused with good monster parts because better stuff comes along. Anything can become a strong weapon. Good status effects are more important now.
There's literally no issue.



curl-6 said:
Hiku said:

Not at all.
Running out of ammo doesn't permanently break your gun, does it?
The weapon may be temporarily unsuable, until you refill the ammo.

I like limited ammo in games like Resident Evil.
I don't want my Magnum to permanently break just because I reached 0 ammo with it though.

You can promote usage of a variety of weapons and strategies without permanently breaking them.

For example;
- Cause a temporary stat debuff on a weapon that you've used for a certain amount of consecutive attacks, which wears off once you have used another weapon for a certain amount of attacks.
- After using a weapon for a certain amount of attacks, buff (temporarily) another weapon in your inventory.
- Have the weapon be unsuable at 0 durability, but allow it to be repaird at some NPC later.
Etc, etc.

The problem with weapons permanently breaking for me and why I hate it, is because when I find some cool weapons, I don't want to waste them on some weak enemy, so I end up saving them for another time. Which ends up being never.
I have the exact same issue in every game with this kind of permanent weapon breakage system (like certain Fire Emblem games), and Megalixirs in Final Fantasy games. Gotta save them for a reallly tough boss. And then I see the end credits without ever using one.

That's just my personal preference, but I'm definitely not the only one.
The other day Moist Critical said the exact same thing about the weapons in BOTW/TOTK.

He ends up never using them.

The weapons aren't the guns. They're the bullets. Getting attached to a specific sword is like getting attached to a specific bullet in Resident Evil. You use them, you get new ones. They're there to be used, not hoarded.

I had a feeling someone would say this. But that'd be ignoring the fact that you cannot take the guns out of the equation. They are what gives attacks their unique characteristics, just like the weapons do in Zelda. If the weapons (in Zelda) are the bullets, then what are the guns? They're certainly not the durability bar. The closest thing to that would be the bullets.

Permanent breakage being a prominent factor in one game and not the other means they have different resource mechanics.

Generally speaking, the closest analogy while not conveniently leaving out any of the main factors (guns, weapons, bullets, durability) would be to liken the durability to the bullets. And the weapons to the guns.

The durability/bullets are what allows the weapons/guns to function, and dictates how much they can be used.
While the guns/weapons are what dictates what you get out of those bullets/durability.
The same bullet in a different gun will have a different effect. The same durability in a different sword will likewise have a different effect.

And durability is a resource you can farm in TOTK to restore durability in most weapons, as long as you don't allow them to reach 0.
But it can be a tedious process.

Weapons in RE can have sentimental value because of their design or playstyle. Not really the case for bullets, is it?
Weapons in Zelda can have sentimental value because of their design or playstyle. Not the durability meter.

There's no use for the bullets without the weapon.
In some cases there are special ammo that give the weapon unique characteristics depending on which type you chose to load it with. But even then, the gun itself is very important.

Right now in RE4 I'm working on the Killer 7 gun instead of the Handcannon I've been using.
Both are magnums. Both take the exact same bullets. But they handle very differently in almost every metric.
The Handcanon fires very slowly and has one of the worst spreads (aim) of any gun in the series. You can miss enemies at almost point blank range. The Killer 7 has fast firing speed and a laser sight dot. So it is pixel accurate with its aim.
It also sounds more satisfying when it fires to me.

Same bullets.
Different gun. Different feel.

The designers spent most time on the appearance and functionality of the weapons. Not so much on the bullets or durability.

I can get attached to the way a weapon looks and handles in Zelda for the same reason I can get attached to how a weapon looks and feels in RE4.
Or I can simply want to save a particularly strong weapon in a game like Zelda for when 'I need it'. Which unbeknownst to me at the time, usually turns out to be never.

I generally wouldn't care about breaking a tree branch in Zelda. But I do care about breaking certain interesting/stronger weapon. Or a weapon that reminds me of something fun/interesting I went through when I look at it.
I don't know why that seems to be a forreign concept to you. Because even if you're not like that yourself, you should know that there are plenty of people who are.

I would use the weapons more often and not hoard them if they didn't permanently break. The breaking mechanic is actively working against its own purpose for me there.
And I challenged whether the breaking is even neccesary to accomplish the things people argued it promotes. And I don't think it is.

curl-6 said:

The problem here is not the game design, it's that people are bringing the wrong playstyle and mentality to it.


I was careful to characterize this as my opinion. I use the term like "I think" a lot.
But you are coming on agressively, telling people how they should think and playYou were on the recieving end of people telling you how to feel about something a while back, and I defended you, and reminded people that everyone has their own unique circumstances that that affects their perspective. So I'm a bit surprised to see you essentially shoving your opinion down people's throats here...

You say people should have a different mentality. But that doesn't work when it results in the opposite of having fun. Especially if it's not neccesary.

I've played dozens of games with permanent breakage for equipment over the course of several decades. There will always be the chance that I'll end up not having fun because of it. (Unrelated to the survivability/resource management aspect, which I usually enjoy).
The more well made the game is, the higher the risk.

If there are no problems with the system, why not break the Master Sword permanently as well in a few swings?

Because of sentimental value? Because it feels good to use? Because it's powerful? Etc.
All concepts that can be applied to other weapons people find throughout their adventure to various degrees.

(You can avoid story issues with some imagination. The broken Master Sword could 'lend its energy and appearance' to a normal weapon. But still function and be as weak and durable as the actual weapon would be during gameplay. And if you break all weapons in a fight where you are supposed to have the Master Sword, an ally will teleport a tree branch into your inventor, etc.)

If the reason for the permanent breaking is to 'encourage different playstyles' and/or 'resource management', then keep that same principle with the Master Sword. Because there are other ways to accomplish these things without alienating the other camp.

Speaking of which, I don't know what percentage of players enjoy or dislike this mechanic. Although I'd bet that most people enjoy it. But I wouldn't gauge that based on how praised a game is overall.
(Nor how many don't percieve flaws because they like the rest of it. Which is a human thing.)
There can be something in a game that most people don't like, but still love the game in spite of that. For example, how rain affects climbing in BOTW seems very unpopular.

curl-6 said:

Having permanent weapons would completely undermine the game's survival elements

How so?
I hear a lot of proclamations, but no examples of why.

How does it 'completely undermine the game's survival elements' if weapons simply became unusable at 0 durability? And you had to leave the area or dungeon and go to to some NPC in a town to replenish the durability? By paying with some other resource (like Rupees, or something similar.)

Or if the process of replenishing the durability of the equipment is the equivalent of finding a new copy of that same equipment, then how does that undermine the survivability aspect?
Inventory management can easily be adjusted to accommodate for that as welll.

Since there are no explanations attached to these claims, and the examples I pointed out just now seem very obvious, it genuinely feels like people who make this argument don't think things through. But I'm open to the possibility that maybe I just missed something very obvious. In which case please do tell me, because I'm genuinely curious. Right now I don't see it, at all.

curl-6 said:

not being able to just pick one weapon and play nothing else is the whole point. You are supposed to be making do with the resources you have at any one time, much like a survival horror game might require you to make do with limited ammo or items at any one time. It's a resource management mechanic.

You are not supposed to get attached to the weapons, you just use them then get new ones.

I was about to say that survival horror games manage to do this without permanently breaking your equipment, but then I see you went on to liken them to one another again in spite of that.

I've gone over why they are different takes on resource management, and some examples of the many many different ways games can handle survival elements and encourage usage of different playstyles and weapons without permanently breaking equipment, off the top of my head. And a development team would be thinking about these things over the course of 5+ years.

But regarding your last sentence, saving certain weapons for when you need them (which may be never) has more to do with being strategic than attached.
Though it's not uncommon that people can end up liking a weapon due to its design or functionality, etc, and may want to keep it for whatever reason. Developers know this.

You claim people are not supposed to feel or think this way, yet the game allows you to to repair almost any piece of equipment, as long as it didn't reach 0 durability. If we are just supposed to use and discard everything, then I don't think that feature would be in the game.
But let's say the repair system wasn't in the game, and the developers wanted to try to force a portion of players to play in a way they know they won't enjoy. Then that's where constructive criticism comes in.

If the answer to every single instance where players don't like the direction a developer chose is "just shut up and do what they wanted you to do", then a lot of these dicussions wouldn't exist.

Last edited by Hiku - on 19 May 2023