Gavin Lane, editor
Weapon degradation was a great way to encourage experimentation in the BOTW Hylian sandbox. I appreciated that it contributed to your journey through the game and the weapons were numerous and varied enough to be worth trying just to see what they do, from a rudimentary blade to a wooden spoon. Not once did I find myself in a situation where I had nothing at hand; for me, the balance achieved by the developers was masterful.
My only annoyance with the mechanics is based on the Master Sword, specifically the level 60 max version that I got when I cleared all the DLC challenges. I understand why, in terms of design, it was given its own brand of durability earlier in the game and needed to be “recharged” periodically. But once I proved myself, passed the tests, and gave Calamity Ganon a good thrashing, my victory lost its edge when I discovered that Evil’s Baneblade still ran out of juice.
So, it would be just dandy if the crude master sword we saw in TOTK – once sufficiently rejuvenated and tempered and whatnot – forever retained its craftsmanship in itself, very end of the game. Otherwise – degradation.
Keith Gray, staff writer
To be honest, during the passage I was not worried about the durability of the weapon, but after a while after the release of the game, it turned into a meme, where every worried about it. But that didn’t change my mind! I think weapon durability can create very organic moments where your sword explodes at the most inopportune moment during a boss fight, and I think they’re worth something.
However… I still think it could be improved because I’m pretty sure swords don’t actually explode, so I wouldn’t mind if the durability system was switched to more monster hunter a case where you have to keep your weapons sharp and finding a sword is rarer than the swords that exist in every corner of the world.
Alana Haig, staff writer
Let’s start with the fact that I was not satisfied with the durability of weapons in Breath of the Wild. I’m so used to approaching all enemies and attacking them in just about everything, and I thought I could do the same here, willy-nilly. In the early hours of BOTW, I often ran out of weapons. I often competed for resources, making my way through Hyrule using Sheik’s Slate and throwing rocks or branches at the moblin. Have I always been efficient? No. But was it fun? Yes.
I think it was then that I realized the beauty of the BOTW weapon system. Everything in BOTW is basically a subject. Something to use, a resource to survive. The weapon was no exception. no matter if my ax breaks in two or if my sword splits in my hand, something will be waiting for me nearby. And I need to learn how to deal with it.
In Tears of the Kingdom, I will return this mechanic almost 100%, but with some adjustments. All things considered, and their mother needs a crafting mechanic, I totally see crafting being added to TOTK to my chagrin, but if Pokémon can do it, then Zelda can probably do it better. Make a new weapon or repair an old one? Sounds good, right…?
Jim Norman, staff writer
I love the weapon degradation in Breath of the Wild. What started out as a frustrating trip with a pocket full of sticks soon became a tactical twist on the show’s format, and I had a great time organizing it. Discovering a new weapon brought me great joy, and despite the fact that it broke before I could say goodbye, I experienced a lot of grief, but this adventure made it even more intense.
Of course, there are certain settings that I would like to see in Tears of the Kingdom. Making weapons last a little longer would obviously be a bonus, but wouldn’t it also be nice to see that we get to add some (limited) durability boosts to some of our favorite weapons? This is a tricky question and should definitely be used in moderation – good job, I’m not a game developer, hey – but it might make the sense of customization a bit more personal.
It would also prevent idiots like me from going through Ganon’s final phase with only a branch, but I guess that’s a different matter.
Ollie Reynolds, staff writer
The strength of the weapon never really bothered me. To be honest, reaching the maximum number of weapons in my inventory and having to sacrifice one to make room for Wild Lynel’s Sword was a lot more annoying (although thankfully it got easier as I found more and more Korok seeds).
Like everything else, this is a mechanic that needs to be massaged a bit, although what Nintendo does with it is beyond my comprehension right now. I’ve been toying around with the idea of having a single-use item in the game that would give one weapon unlimited durability, but that’s fraught with potential problems. Why would you even use anything else if you have a weapon that does decent damage and doesn’t break, for example?
I think the best thing Nintendo could do with this is just adjust the time it takes for the weapon to completely break; maybe give us a little more time with each weapon or let us repair them easily. I don’t want Tears of the Kingdom to feature a crafting mechanic or anything that stupid, but there definitely is. something to study here.
What do you want to happen with the TOTK weapons? Maybe they could take the advice from Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and expand the upgrade options for individual weapons? Would you like more crafting style mechanics? Fill out the following surveys and then let us know in the comments.