The Jimquisition: Weapon Durability, Fanbase Fragility

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The first portion of this video is some performative yelling about weapon durability, specifically in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The second portion is about something less durable than any weapon in any game – the psyches of Zelda‘s most viciously defensive fans.

  • Alt+Doom

    I got through the wall of whiny man children, hello world ๐Ÿ˜€

    • TheSeventhOfSix

      Me too. Shall we start a mosh pit?

    • Octopus Grift

      It seems like the review itself is still having some issues.

  • TheAzureDream

    Keep up the good work Jim! ignore the haters! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ohbaaskah

    Are you being DDOS’d?

    • Ohbaaskah

      Looks like I’m late to the party.

  • Pookie101

    It honestly makes me scratch my head. What sort of life do you have to lead where your entire identity is based around your fandom of a video game to the extent that you take criticism of that game as a personal attack?

    its frankly scary and dumbfounding

    I had no idea that the weapon degradation system in breath of the wild was so bad, ive never found a system that was actually good but this sets a new low.

    Thank you for another interesting video Jim

  • Jorge

    I made through also ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Jorge

    I made it through also ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Supercrotchinator

    Did Jim have to disconnect Disqus due to the DDoS?

  • BobLoblaw

    The relative anonymity of the internet is inspiring the worst kind of tribalism in people. As someone who wasn’t raised religious, I can’t understand this sort of zealotry. This must be the same mindset that leads people to commit terrorist acts or swat streamers or make death threats over twitter. Is gaming a religion for some people? It seems to have its holy books, zealots, high priests, and apostates…

    I wonder if this (8.8/hate) is why Giant Bomb had its resident Zelda fanboy Dan review BotW instead of the more critical Jeff Gerstmann. This shit is crazy–it reminds me of the No Man’s Sky worshipers, or the people blaming Alison Rapp for Nintendo’s localization, or both sides of Gamergate.

    • Khasym

      It isn’t tribalism. As bad as it’s gonna sound, this is a lack of morality. And NOOOOOO, I DON’T mean that BS bible thumping nonsense. Morality isn’t what you do according to what others think. It’s what you do when the only person to hold you accountable, is yourself.

      These whiny script kiddies who are hacking and cracking websites, do so with relative impunity. Not just from criminal authority, but the views of their friends and families. Imagine if around the dining room table, or hanging out with NON computer friends, one of them said “Hey, I had a blast this week hijacking a website so I could pointlessly try and silence a critic because he reviewed a game differently than I did.” At best, their friends wouldn’t be calling anymore. At worst, their parents would be yanking their computer out of their hands.

      All it does for me, is remind me how little I should trust others when that trust isn’t backed up by anything. Because the people who pull this crap, are the same kind of people that’d steal money out of your wallet, then give it back to you while saying “Hey, it was empty when I found it.”

    • Michael Prymula

      I have to wonder just how many of those perfect Zelda scores were truly honest, did people just ignore the problems the game had and gave it a perfect score because they were terrified of fan backlash? Or did the critics really think the game was that good? We just don’t know for sure.

      There was actually a case over a decade ago where a Gamespy reviewer tried to give Donkey Konga a 1.5 out of 5, but the editor changed his score to a 3, and after he complained his review was totally removed.

      • BobLoblaw

        I really wonder that myself. Most of the traditional gaming websites have pretty precarious business models, still dependent on advertising revenue, and it’s probably easier for them to go along to get along. Doubly so for Zelda, since there is already the 8.8 precedent for fanboy rage. I’m a fan of Giant Bomb and Gerstmann in particular, and it seemed cowardly that he assigned the review to the most ardent Zelda fan they have on staff while being very vocally critical of the game himself on their video streams and podcasts. I don’t follow other sites very closely but I could certainly imagine similar editorial processes going on all over.

        I also wonder if Nintendo didn’t have a hand in it themselves. They’re complete dicks to “influencers” and may have made behind-the-scenes hints that they would go the Bethesda route and stop supplying review code if scores for such a marquee launch title weren’t up to snuff. All speculation though.

      • Andrzej Sugier

        Yeah, It seemed a bit weird for me that Jim was so annoyed about the weapon fragility… until I dwa the gameplay footage. This looks like bollock, not a 10/10 material.

        • Andrzej Sugier

          …I cant edit my comment? That’s bollocs too. I *saw* the gameplay footage.

  • scott stewart

    I to have been through that wall and once emerged I saw himโ€ฆ beheld him, in one hand a golden boglin held skyward and beneath his foot layed crushed and broken those foolish enough to challenge him, and upon his head sat a mask of golden light shining upward onto the heavens and as that light reflect upon me a voice spoke โ€œHere stands a man, a game pundit, a profit of the ages, and the number one boglin boy. Thank me for himโ€ Upon hearing this I dropped to my knees humbled and blessed my life now fulfilled

    Thank good for jim sterling

  • 09philj

    Hm.
    Yes.
    The comments here are made out of comments.
    Fascinating.

  • Nekowolf

    HOOOOOOOOOOOOLY FUCK ME IN THE ASS!

    This shit has gone so off the deep end, it’s digging through the dirt to reach the other side of the world just so it can make its way back around here again for a second time. Fucking hell.

  • I’m am in disbelief that your site was attacked over your Breath of the Wild review score. I shouldn’t be and that’s sad.

    As for weapon fragility in video games, I always hated it in Dead Rising, even if it fits with the theme of survival. My favorite game series, Drakan, has a weapon fragility system. It was never really an issue in the first game, Order of the Flame since most of the weapons are decent, have a fair fragility rating…at least until I got the best flaming sword ever that would set things on fire, was armor piercing and could cast a ring of fire around Rynn. I was sad when that sword broke and the ice sword & lightning axe I found were crap compared to the fire sword. The sequel, The Ancients’ Gates did have a black smith who can fix weapons and recharge the magic but fixing weapons reduces their maximum fragility levels each time. The best weapons in both games were either indestructible or had a very high fragility level that it really won’t matter that it wasn’t indestructible. So, yeah, I agree, weapon durability systems are dumb and either need a major overhaul in the gaming industry or need to be done away with.

    • Michael Prymula

      At least in Dead Rising you could find books that would make your weapons last for a good long time.

  • MattyG

    Hey, I’m really sorry that the site got DDoSed. I just wanted to note really quickly, it might be wise to give some kind of spoiler warning for your segue into talking about the ending of the game (when you have Ganon’s face on-screen). Some people might not consider that a spoiler, but for me it came out of nowhere, and I wouldn’t have watched the video if I had thought it was going to appear. Saying what happens after beating the end boss (and in fact confirming that that character is, without doubt, going to be the last enemy you face), even when fairly innocuous, can negatively impact someone’s enjoyment of a game. It’s up to your discretion as a creator of course, but I thought I should just share that. Thanks.

  • Drake Warnock

    It IS more accurate that weapons break. They don’t shatter but they will have the tips break off and stuff. Even if you have a well made sword you’re only going to be fighting a handful of people before this is going to happen and you’re left with a sword that won’t really help. That is only true of bladed weapons. Blunt stuff is always going to work no matter how beat up it gets. I mean, that lead pipe is going to eventually bend and break after years of use I guess.

    Now that all said, just because bladed weapons in reality can chip and break and become dull doesn’t mean it’s fun in a game. I personally hate weapons that break in games for a lot of the same reasons as Jim. Fun should always be more important than reality unless you’re trying to make some kind of real medieval soldier simulator.

  • Chris

    It’s sad. I love Breath of the Wild and have been playing 1-3 hours per day since release.
    But that love is soured with the knowledge that these sad bastards ALSO love this thing I love and I feel like I’m a sad bastard by association. Oh well, back to Zelda. Good luck dealing with the shit stains of the world Jim!

  • John

    Nincultist. They always get a free pass and no one ever does anything about those enabling bastards. Maybe now, after all of this, someone will stand up to them and shine the spotlight on them.

  • Fuzzy Barbarian

    Congrats, Green Tunics. The most damage you’ve done is make it so we can’t use Disqus here for a little bit. But hey, 7/10 for the effort.

  • Christian

    I’m so sorry this rubbish is happening, Jim. I respect your opinions and I may not always agree with them (a rare occasion I might add) but the amount of despicable abuse that has been thrown your way as a result of liking a game just blows my mind. I think it’s fair to say that at least certain games have become religious places of worship in a very real sense and as soon as someone has an opinion that perhaps a majority of people don’t agree with, they are in some form or another crucified. Hopefully you don’t pay too much mind to those ‘fans’ of a game or your work. Their words and their actions are utterly shameless. Thankfully, I think I speak for a vast majority of your readers/watchers/fan base when I say that your opinions are highly respected and always worth hearing.

  • DDR

    Zelda hipsters prove once again how salty and retarded they are.

    Well done! 7/10!

    Also, I ve been loving Nintendo way before all of you assholes came and ruined it with your fanboyism, and apologism. Be used to criticism, you will forever be criticized for whatever you do in life, and if you can’t take that… you can joint eh SJW and feminazis in the “safe zones” where no one can tell you things that can “hurt your feelings”.

  • SilentPony

    Breath of the Wild is literally the worst Zelda game on the Switch. Literally.

    • Chris

      Well played

  • Ruder9

    I totally disagree. Weapon durability systems can be alot of fun, not if they’re handled right but just by how they make the game around them function. My first time playing Fallout 3, I had no idea the game even had a durability system like Oblivion did, so when I ran off into the metro and started getting outnumbered and backhanded by ten or so ghouls, only to have my gun start “jamming” it made the whole situation feel more intense and wild. Even though if memory serves I was on such a low difficulty I probably could have just punched my way out.
    Crafting heavy games without weapon durability often just feel boring too soon after starting. “Oh I found the best sword, guess if anything ever comes for me I can deal with it in about four seconds of furious left clicking.”

    And it’s similar in Breath of the wild. Yes, logically the weapons breaking so easily is nonsensical, and without context it’s even laughable. But you aren’t supposed to be the run in, eviscerate everything by holding down charge attack over and over again type of hero, (Like 99% of the other Zelda games) you’re supposed to be smarter. Environmental hazards are everywhere to abuse, you have an infinite supply of upgradable bombs, the game’s massive cliff faces make it easy to knock enemies off and you can avoid combat altogether, which, don’t forget is the most important part of combat.

    This doesn’t function like an rpg. The only reason you would attack a group of enemies, is to get more food /shields/weapons. If you have weapons and shields, why would you charge into a band of Bokoblins? You aren’t getting XP, and the world is massive. Rarely is anything TRUELY in the way of your adventure. If and when you do need to engage enemies you can spy them from a distance. Open up the spyglass app on your Sheikah slate and make markers around things you should investigate before diving in. Rocks posed precariously on a cliff face above? Exploding barrels? A distracted guard? There’s so many ways to find the depth in the combat that you would have otherwise ignored, if you just had your 3 foot murder stick on at all times. And YES, giving you the option to ignore it would be more variety. But the people touting variety as the game’s strengths are just looking for ANYTHING positive they can say on the spot when they don’t want to put the thought into the gameplay as a whole. It’s not about variety. It shoves it’s style of combat in your face like every other game on the market. And that combat is heavily environmentally focused, and tries to get you to think about the game the same way you think about it’s puzzles. Which from the way you’ve been talking about the game, you really didn’t seem to do.

    You say in your video “That’s not what I play Zelda to experience” but aside from the setting this game hardly handled and plays like Zelda at all. It’s unique, and while that in itself isn’t necessarily a good thing it does mean you shouldn’t denounce a mechanic because it’s not what the game did before.

    And let me be clear. Even though I love Breath of the wild. I can understand a review not giving it excessive praise. It has issues. The LEAST of which being it’s frame rate. (Avoiding Spoilers)

    All of the puzzles in the Death Mountain dungeon are completely disconnected, and getting to said dungeon is the easiest of all four, while simultaneously being a drag because it introduces a mechanic where you need to sneak around the mountain, FOLLOWED BY A 9 FOOT ROCK EATING TROLL.

    The area where you acquire the Master Sword, while the puzzle to GET inside is really interesting and charming, and gave me of the most satisfying “Ah-ha!” moments I’ve had in years, is an absolute mess. It features the WORST Ubisoft tailing mission I’ve ever experienced, even ignoring the part where walking a meter off the path sends you back to the start.

    You are at one point in that same area tasked with getting through a gauntlet of enemies that is nigh-impossible unless you packed up on arrows, as the mission says if you unequip any of the WOODEN gear you are forced to carry, you lose. Meanwhile it puts you up against fire enemies who will burn the equipment off, and thunder enemies who will make you drop the equipment immediately if you take any damage. As well as then needing to dodge Octorok the American sniper while jumping from tree to tree over a death pit. It’s all really badly designed and out of place when the other puzzles are almost all more interesting and actually test you with the mechanics the game has been forcing you to use since the very beginning.

    Acquring the Master Sword also feels ridiculous. The game from the very start gives you the OPTION of upgrading your stamina and health. But the Master Sword ONLY drains hearts when you need to pass it’s test. I was lucky since I had found the respec stone so early on but for people who missed it, they might end up thinking that they put too much into stamina, and that they’ll never get a chance to earn the sword.

    It’s not a perfect game. No game is. But you really seem like you’re trying to wedge what you WANT the game to be, into the filled up hole where a complete game already exists.

    I should probably clarify I’m a huge fan of Jim. And even though my tirade is way too long, I never attacked him during the whole thing (I know the assumptions people make when they see a wave of text) I rarely agree with any of Jim’s reviews. I just find him entertaining. But this one instance I just felt the need to say something. It wasn’t because he said “Oh this aspect is bad” he’s a critic with different opinions, I can like something he doesn’t if I want too. It was that he didn’t seem to want to experience the game for what it was, and demanded it function like older Zelda games.๏ปฟ

  • RenaissanceSpam

    On the subject of Weapon Durability, one system that I found worked rather well was that of the Fallout games (well, 3 and afterwards), specifically because weapon and armour durability dictated their effectiveness, not how many times you could use a thing. It made repairing the items an upgrading goal as opposed to a maintenance chore and made discovering duplicate weapons a moment of triumph because it meant another couple extra HP of damage or some more damage soak.

    Additionally I found it helped with the setting as it showcased the wear and tear the wasteland had on things, and on the rare occasions one found a pristine weapon or piece of armour it was usually in a vault or special location where you were effectively finding it still in its original packaging.

  • Anton

    Oh, man… old-timey comments are back. Here’s hoping for a swift un-fucking of Disqus.

  • kimiyoribaka

    I concur on the terrible-ness of weapon durability, at least in a real-time game with a single player character. For me though, it’s for a different reason. I’m perfectly happy to believe that the amount of blood and flesh a sword has to go through to defeat a demon from one of these games will break the sword quickly, but I’m not willing to believe that a single hero with a normal sword that can only beat 3-4 demons can somehow beat the 100’s of demons most games would have them beat. I think if a game has to keep track of durability, it should be proportional to how many enemies a proper hero in that world could beat with their precious sword.

  • moon1337

    On weapon durability, I generally do not like it in games. It CAN work though. I found it effective in the Dark Cloud games. You had really strong weapons that broke easily and weaker ones that lasted quiet awhile. It took skill to know when to swap out. Usually though it is poorly implemented.
    On thin-skins, it saddens me that people get this upset over a video game. I honestly don’t understand how something like this can be so earth shattering for them. There have been games I thoroughly love that barely scraped a 5 or 6. A score really should not affect peoples’ enjoy of something at all. On a side note, from what little I have played of BotW I would have given it a 7 or 8. As far as Zeldas go it really hasn’t impressed me much.
    To Jim, I love you mate. Keep up the good work.

  • Michael Prymula

    I see the Nintendo fanboys forced Jim to get rid of Disquis, oh well.

  • Allaiyah Weyn

    As I see it….. 1-2 = F, 3-4 = D, 5-6 = C, 7-8 = B, 9-10 = A.

    A B is a perfectly reasonable rating. I would have bumped it down a whole grade for the unconstrasted desaturated colors alone. I have a hard enough time telling green from grey as it is.

  • Germanicus

    So are the Zelda snowflakes all back in their safe spaces now?

    Not surprised at the vitriol directed towards Jim for his review, essentially these people are grown ups who rave about games where the main character is a pre-pubescent boy dressed in a cutesy Peter Pan outfit who runs around fighting monsters with a little toy bow and wooden sword

    Even the look of Zelda games with their crayola/fisher price colour palletts and character design looks like it’s aimed at kids.

    It’s no wonder they couldn’t take Jim’s review objectively and instead starting throwing their toys out of their prams. Embarrassing really.

    • Andrzej Sugier

      Your comment seems a bit miss guided, people go apeshit about nintendo games because they link them so much to their nostalgic childhood memories they are so protective of.

      It’s a shitty reason, but games are constantly being called out unfairly for being children toys, it would help if we didn’t resort to such accusation in our own community when there are other, legitimate reasons.

      • Germanicus

        Doesn’t mean they have to act like Fanbabies just because someone doesn’t give their precious game a perfect 10.

  • Austin_SJ

    Nice to see the Internet being reasonable again.

    • Dawn

      Are we on the same internet? o_O

  • BobLoblaw

    The upshot here is that Jim’s Patreon donations will probably double, if only so that he can afford better DDoS protection.

    • Harzzach

      And THAT is a thing of beauty, truly!

      Jim does not make money off Youtube or adventising on Jimquisition. He does make a little from selling merchandising, but all in all, he lives from Patreon. Which means … ddossing the website or dmcaing videos on Youtube DOES NOT harm him financially at all, all the fuzz makes him more wealthy because he gains more attraction, which leads to more support from patrons.

  • Moribunderast

    I’ve never played a Zelda game before and haven’t owned a Nintendo console since the 64 but, that being said, I believe ALL Zelda games are bad (7/10 or even lower!) and the Switch has less use than the thin rod of wood it’s named after. And if ANYBODY disagrees with that I will DDoS them because that is how we deal with disagreements now.

  • Ahhh, no more Disqus?

    But I had the perfect gif for the video!

  • Simon

    Wow new commenting system!

    100% on point in this video, Jim. Love it!

    I was reading those comments on YouTube and was laughing. I couldn’t reply (because I don’t have a YouTube account… I’m above that! :P) but my thought about the bleach comment and others was “Take some fucking drugs, you fucking need to!”

    Thank used condoms sent through the mail…and you!

  • Harzzach SeniorGamer

    Is this thing working? Is this on? Hello?

    Yeah, well, as i said before … na, too long. Thank God for him!

  • thegreatpumpkinking

    like some else said I have emerged from the wall of whiney fan boys and I have made it through that wall and once emerged I saw himโ€ฆ beheld him standing before me, in one hand a golden boglin held skyward and beneath his foot laid crushed and broken those foolish
    enough to challenge him, and upon his head sat a mask of golden light shining upward onto the heavens and as that light reflect upon me a voice spoke โ€œHere stands a man, a game pundit, a profit of the ages, and the number one boglin boy. Thank me for himโ€ Upon hearing this I dropped to my knees humbled and blessed my life now fulfilled

    Thank good for Jim sterling

    • Tord Laudal

      i guess is entirly opinion , but eh yeah well is a opinion and all, is fair that, but eh no i am sorry ,but there like one time that a review score Jim sterling has made that actually eh this i can actually agree with

    • MM

      beautifully written!

      Long live the Boglin King!

      • thegreatpumpkinking

        long live the boglin king indeed

        • MM

          btw, only now did I realize you’re also a king. ๐Ÿ™‚ haha

          • thegreatpumpkinking

            not just a king but a great king

          • MM

            hahahaha so are the realities of being a pumpkinG. : )

          • thegreatpumpkinking

            yes yes I am king of Halloween and tormentor with some kid with a blue blankie

  • Peter Quint

    Ah, the comments are back and the site seems normal.

    It’s like opening the door and going outside after a massive storm; everything is calm again, the sun is shining.

  • Trav

    Makes you wonder why anyone actual follows any reviewer if all they want is validation of their opinion, one which has largely been pre-baked by brand affection and hype (wonder how many Zelda fanboys will be holding this one as the one that can’t be topped when the next one is just about to come out).

    It’s entirely rational to disagree with a reviewer, even to dislike the opinion of the reviewer. However, as soon as you attempt to inflict retribution for a perceived slight when said reviewer expresses an honest opinion, you clearly no longer value that reviewer’s impartiality as you’re clearly not looking for an honest piece of journalism.

    That’s when it’s time to f*ck off and get your priorities straight. Maybe stop reading reviews and decide for yourself if the game is good?

    • Tord Laudal

      i mean, sure every game i guess can be toppped… doesnt mean is allowed for the majoirty of ppl i guess to say this arguably the best… my 20-25 hrs has been fantastic and is at least leading me towards thati overall think the majority of critcs for once actually is right this game is good imo… 7/10 is a good score, but if stamina and weapon is his major problem and that is enough to let it go from 10-9-8-7 i mean i dont agree… weapon works fine and so does stamina, is more his problem ,but eh i guess thats why is a subjektive review… usually i disagree with critcs ,but for once i dont… i still have yet to find a reviewer i kind of trust or feel that eh his opinions fits what i think… kotaku and Gr is the closest… but yeah is an opinion, i just disagree with him… why is he critical to this game…. but wait, he ignores major flaws i feel in the last of us, yeah that is fair i guess.

    • Harzzach SeniorGamer

      “Makes you wonder why…”

      You know why … emotional dependency. Which is a bitch. Actually, those dickheads need help and we should feel sorry for them. Yes, i’m serious …

    • Marcus Cohen

      Fair point, but you operate on the assessment that whoever attacked the site and/or threw around death threats were completely rational at the time. I think there’s a strong possibility that at the moment they just saw red and acted in a state of frenzy.

  • Stelios Markios

    There’s nothing wrong with weapons breaking. Even mighty Narsil shattered and had to be re forged, and that sword wasn’t even made of steel or mythic but of imagination.

    • Harzzach SeniorGamer

      And how did Narsil served its wearer in the end? Elendil died, because his weapon broke ๐Ÿ™‚

      Weapon Degrading makes A LOT OF sense in a sword fighting simulator including sudden breaking. Or in an RPG to generate some atmosphere/mild realism or even an emotional bond to a weapon, for which the player has to care, so that it can maintain its awesome power of Snail Hitting +7. And i mean care in spending hard earned gold on a blacksmith or hard earned character points in the ability “Fixing stuff”.

      But there are also examples of weapons degrading in games which went horribly wrong. Like for example System Shock 2:

      The release version had a very punishing weapons degrading system, initially designed to enhance the survival aspect of SS2. In reality, too many players soon faced mutants even in the first level without any weapon at all. In a patch, Irrational heavily patched this feature to way more manageable levels.

      Here in BOTW, there is no fear of having no weapons. But there is a fear of using your strong and good equipement, because you will surely (!) loose it after only a few blows.

      Which is bad, because its demotivates the player to strive for better equipement. Why quest for hours for a supierior weapon/shield, when it breaks annoyingly fast after a few seconds? This is not my definition of fun gameplay.

      • Stelios Markios

        I was kidding. Of course I agree with the notion that breakable weapons more often than not is rubbish.

        In order to implement such a feature, you need very careful planning and consideration to make it work correctly. I’ve yet to see a game where weapon degradation brought anything good, and specifically in Zelda, it completely strips all of the enjoyment of acquiring new, stronger or special hidden weapons. Also, it consistently breaks the flow of combat, forcing the player to navigate a quick selection menu.

        All in all, not only I find this particular mechanic completely annoying, even in games like DS2 which implemented it better, but also, in regards to Zelda, it is implemented in one of the poorest ways possible and certainly deducts major fun from the combat.

  • Daniel Gallagher

    I’m a Die Hard Zelda fanboy but breakable weapons are horrible and ruin this game.

    • Can you tell me why Link having an arsenal of deadly weapons at his disposal doesn’t ruin the game? I just cannot understand how Zelda got to here from the traditional Link, who has a few swords, silver arrows, and bombs. It strikes me as tasteless sacrilege. But then, I suppose young people don’t know Zelda from Dark Souls. No?

      • InfamousDS

        Some of the disconnect comes from the series most iconic weapon having fragility as well. The Master Sword also has a health bar, and it can break temporarily. Combined with the 4 unique dungeon-reward weapons completely shattering (permanently, needing to be recreated by a heroic blacksmith), it feels disingenuous at best and insulting at worst.

        The rest of the disconnect comes from a poorly designed system being shoehorned into the game without the rest of the proper balancing it would need to keep it from being a chore, such as a proper repair system or longer usability at the cost of fewer weapons able to be scavenged.

        when you break 3 weapons on 7 enemies, and only get 2 usable weapons back, then there is a fundamental flaw in your design.

  • RipTide

    There is only one game i can think of where I appreciated weapon durability, and that is, surprisingly, Dying Light. Yea that first person zombie/free running game that only a few people probably remember at this point. Early game weapons were crap braking after fighting pretty much only a single zombie, sounds annoying yea, but it actually fit well with the game. It added to the sense of fear because even a hand full of zombies was a challenge, it even fit game play mechanics forcing you to realize that running is always an option and making you get comfortable with the free running system. As you got to the mid to late game weapons started getting pretty durable, able to cleave through hordes without fear at the highest end, and any special weapons were just blueprints you could make again and again. It made the whole desperate scrounging for survival in the early game that much more thrilling, and by the time you were getting the flaming lighting katana of zombie destruction weapon durability had fallen off to something you rarely had to worry about.

  • Germanicus

    Of course Nintendo wouldn’t be considering decent indestructible weapons as some sort of paid DLC would they?

  • arketiat

    This is what happens when you base your identity around a thing and feel threatened when thing gets a bad review.

    • Artemiy

      It’s not even bad FFS. 7/10 is a GOOD review.

  • I’m a lifelong Zelda fan, and I disagree with your review, particularly the weapons degradation system because it feels perfectly balanced to me.
    But whatever. I’ll still enjoy your content Jim. You’re alright.

    • Harzzach SeniorGamer

      You are not real. Don’t lie to us!!!

      No, just joking, have fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Arella Jardin

    I’d like to see a kind of weapon durability return the The Elder Scrolls. Though, instead of breaking, weapons and armor had a base effectiveness that they never dropped below. You then used the Blacksmith skill, not to add permenant bunuses in quality, but to temporarily add a buff to the item. Sharpening a sword, patching armor, this makes the item better for so many hits, then the item returns to its standard usefulness. You’d add these buffs at the forge, or using repair kits, and have perks based on improving the effectiveness and duration of the buff. Also, sharpening weapons would be a better way to level up the skill, instead of making 100 Iron Daggers.

    • Yes. It may be silly but I was kinda disapointed they took away durability in Skyrim, especially since they has a smithing perk tree rather than a repairing skill. They could have done a lot more for it than just have a perk tree that unlocked different armor and weapon types; but even if weapon durability doesn’t return, maybe they’ll add something similar to FO4’s weapon modding system to weapon repair/smithing? Be rather neat to be able to add more to weapons, customize them a bit more, in the next TES game.

      I wouldn’t mind being able to make a silver sword with, idk, enchanted jewels encrusted in it with a nice hilt that added some more blocking power than a standard sword would, as an example, and I wouldn’t mind having something like that if they don’t put durability back in.

  • Allan Weallans

    I kind of (kind of) liked Minecraft’s take on durability – some jobs you can pretty much use any tool for, but tools will break faster if you use them for a job they weren’t intended for. It’s not hard to see how that could be applied to combat mechanics, particularly since so many games already employ the slashing/crushing/piercing trinity. In fact, I would almost say don’t have weapons degrade at all when they’re used properly, but do have them take a durability hit when they’re misused. For melee weapons that’ll mostly depend on your opponent, but for guns and stuff it wouldn’t take too much imagination to come up with ways they could be misused. That would certainly offer a middle ground between forcing you to use different weapons and too-subtly encouraging it.

    But ultimately the question isn’t whether the mechanic is good or bad. It isn’t whether it’s “realistic” or not (realism arguments can fuck off, because life isn’t fair, but it’s absurd to claim that that means games shouldn’t be fair – hell, it doesn’t even mean life shouldn’t be fair, but let’s both focus on what we can achieve right now and stay on topic). It isn’t even whether it’s annoying. It is, always, whether it’s a good fit for the title. That’s where I’m going to have to shut up because I haven’t played Breath of the Wild (or any Zelda game after Ocarina), so I can’t know whether it’s a good fit or not.

    • Minecraft’s durability system is pretty good from what I remember (I haven’t played it for a bit). But from what I understand, most if not all weapons will break but only a few can be repaired in Zelda, so you have to farm for weapons and shields to have a surplus just in case until you can get one of the few that can be repaired.

      • InfamousDS

        A quick refresher:
        Each core material has a fixed number of uses, regardless of the final tool they craft. To counter-balance this, they also have fixed stats (speed, defense, damage, so on). The implements themselves are all virtually identical regardless of material, with the exception of pickaxes. Armor typically lasts longer than tools, both because of its nature and because they have different durability mechanics.

        It started to get more complicated when they added new tools separate from the core SPASH, like Shears and Flint+Steel. These have their own unique stats, but can only be crafted in one specific way. It uses the same core mechanic on a new item under new rules. They have also added item repairs to the game now, with a workbench that itself has durability.

        • Wait, the workbenches have durability now? That seems a little much.

          • InfamousDS

            Just Anvils.

  • Shui Gor

    You should trademark the term “weapon fragility”, Jim: I’m betting developers will take a cue at what exactly is the difference between the words “durable” and “fragile”.

  • Exley97

    Maybe some high profile YouTubers could spend less time going to bat for JonTron and more time sticking up for Jim. Just a thought.

    • I think TotalBiscuit probably counts as a high profile YouTuber ๐Ÿ™‚ He has commonly offered support for his colleagues such as Jim. TotalBiscuit hasn’t even played Zelda last I heard. He’s just not that interested. The good news is that Jim really isn’t in a vacuum.

      • Exley97

        I don’t think he really needs to play Zelda to believe and say what’s going on here is bullshit. If he spent half the time and energy on that instead of carrying water for JonTron, I think we’d all be better off.

  • Muddy Scarecrow

    I’m absolutely with you on weapon durability, Jim. I’ve never liked it. The game where it caused me the most headache was in Fallout 3. Now I know that the weapons there aren’t nearly as brittle as they are in BotW. But what makes the system especially egregious to me is that they get weaker the more you use them. So every time I use my beloved Chinese Assault Rifle the fact that every shot is slowly killing its effectiveness is always in the back of my mind.

    Every time I play FO3 or New Vegas I always get the repair skill because I don’t wanna be stuck having to pay hundreds of caps to get my weapons repaired by ten percent. Like what you’ve complained about with Breath I feel like the game is railroading me to make that choice. And don’t even get me started on Oblivion. The weapon fragility there made me feel like I was never on the same level as the enemies. I mean, THEIR weapons never get weaker.

    • Charlie Koszulinski

      I had the same problem with Fallout 3, but instead of upgrading my repair skill, I horded every weapon i came across. If I cleared out a bandit ridden dungeon, you better believe I will leave no stone unturned. I’d grab everything from weapons to armor to crafting items and if I became over encumbered, I’ll stow some away in a box and comeback for it. I’d make multiple trips back and forth, hauling tons of garbage back to Megaton and dump it all into a bottomless locker. I had to have dozens of every weapon and armor piece jammed into that locker, and you know what? I never used any of it. It would be a VERY rare occurrence for my weapons to break. Although, my pre-war hat and suit always broke, but repairing them was dirt cheap. I never replaced them with the hundreds in my locker.

      And yes, I was even worse in Fallout 4 because of the new crafting and armor systems. Thank you, Bethesda, for helping me realize I’m a chronic hoarder that’ll be buried alive in all his junk. (which brings to mind the junk-jet and how I never use it because I waste time picking up the junk I shot. I need help, it seems)

  • Nemrex

    I figure this is perfect for the second part of you video:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b7abc83cebb3e33626258ad6043200b58acddd14a5ffe144cfb179fedfc01ede.gif
    Remember, this only pertains to those Zelda fans who attacked Jim and his site, and not the sane ones who still have fun with BoTW.

  • Jiryn

    I cannot think of a single game where durability actually was integral to the game, and was better because of it.

    I can handle it in MMOs where it’s a slow decline and can be repaired at any time, and while still annoying, I can handle it in the dead rising serious but… really durability has no place in gaming, even in horror themed games.

    As for the 7 our of 10, sadly to many idiots are spoiled by the U.S. Education system where a 7 is an average, C-level grade… where on a 1-10 scale, a 70 is above average/good, while 5 would be average. That, and the way many websites and publications give out 7s like candy, it’s become ridiculous.

    • Sapphire Crook

      MMO’s can usually handwave it as a moneysink to prevent inflation, though.

    • I think it’s lost if you can carry around an arsenal of a hundred alternative implements. I’d use it for a game I’d make, but I’d also limit the inventory to 2.5 weapons or so, and demphasize combat, so to facilitate organic improvisation that forms a story in your head you can recount long after your experience.

      It cannot just be based on uses. If used properly there should be minimal degradation. If misused, you live and learn.

    • Armored Core briefly had a breaking system, where body parts and weapons would break. I thought it completely elevated the entire experience to a whole new level. It was only a brief dalliance though. What a pity. I don’t know why these things cannot be optional.

      (In Armored Core you have mecha fighting mecha. So a stray this or that hits a weapon or something, and it creates a unique experience, since there’s a sudden need to improvise. It creates so many opportunities for variety.)

    • Artemiy

      Mmm… Can Transistor’s four-stage health bar count as a durability system? Because that was cool. And while it did force you to use other functions… It was kinda your fault really.

    • Polishfury5000

      Only time I really enjoyed weapon durability was in Fallout 3/NV, and FarCry 2.

      In fallout it made sense there because you’d expect to find shoddy weapons while scavenging a wasteland. And at least when they lost durability they still worked. You just took a damage penalty and risked having the weapon jam during a reload.

      FarCry 2 was pretty neat in that weapons you bought would last a while, longer if you bought maintenance manuals. Scavenged weapons risked frequent jams and could break apart in your hands if used for too long. They wouldn’t break after only attacking a handful of enemies, like BotW, though.

    • THAT guy

      Jim referred to Dark Souls when talking about weapon durability, and I think weapon durability works as a balancing feature for some overpowered weapons. Washing pole is a katana that is way too long and is thus very powerful, but it breaks easily. A few other weapons have special attacks like AoE fireballs or green magic lasers, and these special attacks rapidly decrease weapon durability. This makes sense to me. What doesn’t make sense, however, is why any other weapon in Dark Souls 1 and 2 doesn’t have effectively unlimited weapon durability. Thankfully, Dark Souls 3 essentially ignores weapon durability and only the weapons with special attacks ever have the slightest chance of breaking. I don’t even know why the system is still there to be honest, but I can see why it was there in the first place.

  • Atis

    Hey, negative durability is still durability. Don’t be so critical. Next time you’ll say that negative numbers are not numbers and can’t be used to measure up fanboys IQ.

  • Salador

    Weapon durability is basically the fantasy/melee version of ammo systems. Powerful weapons need to be balanced in some way if they’re going to exist and not break the game. While games could just have weapons be not that powerful, having powerful items gives the player an interesting level of decision making. Do I use my superweapon, or do I save it for another fight? Zelda’s problem is that it never had that level of decision making because weapons degrade too quickly. Powerful weaopns were never worth using, so there was no decision making to be had.

    Maybe Zelda got durability wrong, but I think saying games should just allow for unlimited use of its most powerful tools is a balance nightmare waiting to happen. If ou see durability as a version of ammo systems, by Jim’s logic, most FPS games suck because they give the player incredibly powerful weapons with limited ammo. For a while, it might be ‘fun’ to have infinite rocket launchers, but it would make the game a cakewalk and harm the tension. Combat should not always be ‘fun’, at least not at the expense of tension and decision making. Though, many FPS games are built around liberally picking up and switching weapons, something that Zelda could have been doing too if it autoswapped, or something.

    I like the way durability is used in the Dark Souls games, especially DS2. They actually made weapons more fragile in DS than DS1, and gave an extra quick slot in the inventory. This was to encourage players to invest their resources in more than one super weapon like the lightning zweihander +15, and worked in tandem with increased and more varied resistances among enemies. Fromsoft used durability as part of a set of design decisions to direct the player away from the more easy or gamebreaking strategies that DS veterans were accustomed to. And this also allowed for equipment destruction to function as a trap or hazard in PVE, and a viable and unpredictable strategy in PVP. Removing durability would, in my opinion, make the game much worse.

    • InfamousDS

      The problem with this Zelda is that weapons are roughly durability-equivalent to the super-powered gear you could yank from Darknuts, Moblins, and other monsters in Wind Waker. This is the 4th console Zelda in a row to use this mechanic in a nearly unaltered state, applying it to different aspects of the game each time they try it. It has been terrible every time, but nobody cared because it was optional before,

      Instead of actually balancing it, they took this minor thing nobody ever cared about and copied it with a wide brush to the entire game. I hate it, and wasn’t fond of it when they came up with it in the first place.

      • Salador

        Exactly. When this was a minor thing that was optional in WW, it added to combat. When it became the meat of the entire combat system it became worse.

        • InfamousDS

          I hope they patch it before they they trot out the DLC. At least make the one of a kind weapons more permanent or easier to deal with. Master Sword becoming useless is inexcusable, because that flies in the face of a lore they chose to self-reference.

          • Miliardo

            …is that a thing that happens? Does the Master Sword break? Where did Hylia get it from, the sporting section in the back of Walmart?

          • InfamousDS

            Yes, it breaks and then you have to wait until it unbreaks. Someone else told me I’m too stupid and don’t “get the game” because I have an issue with this.

          • Miliardo

            What the actual fuck? I don’t know what the rest of the game did, maybe something involving a fetish, but a 7 now looks to be quite generous from where I’m sitting.

            Breath of the Wild is notably inferior to Darkest of Days in weapons systems. I’m gonna go lie back down for a bit.

          • InfamousDS

            The guy that called me stupid is still calling me stupid, and continues to suggest I’m incapable of using not only other weapons, but entire weapon categories. This is after I had told him I did in fact use other weapons and weapon types.

            Only the internet.

          • InfamousDS

            You probably don’t care this late out, but the Hylian Shield also breaks. It has 800 durability points (whatever that means), so it is “practically unbreakable” according to the internet.

            Except it was literally unbreakable in every game before now, even Skyward Sword. No amount of being able to rebuy it after a long and somewhat complicated sidequest series can change that.

    • makiHyunda

      I like durability in such games but I also like options and the choice to repair weapons.

      Zelda fails on this one major point and I hope they patch a system where you can use your rare materials like a diamond , to sharpen or strengthen weapons.

      Where people really miss the failing of the current system is in the commitment.

      No one has pointed out that my armour will last for ever but my shield which is designed to be hit, breaks after a few encounters.

      This is a logic break and so any argument that the weapon system is true is invalid.

      Like witcher 3 commit to an entire system or not at all.

      Zelda has had a half measure approach clearly because of their inexperienced and lack of trust in new systems which makes sense as they don’t wish to alienate fans but they’ve come so far with so many other aspects it’s a genuine Shane they couldn’t fully committed.

      I look forward to a patch or a sequel where this system is fairer and more balanced and committed to one idea or another.

      Thank you for reading my opinion.

    • Artemiy

      I agree that, to some extent, Jim’s revulsion is caused by the subversion of expectation (ammo systems in FPS are common and expected, weapon durability in action RPGs are not). Maybe the issue is that BotW didn’t implement the system very well, forcing the player to hoard their weapons lest one of them breaks. Maybe letting repair the weapons using other weapons would be better, for instance.

      • Salador

        I just think that his stance kinda falls apart once you take it away from the BOTW example. If Jim had stopped there, or pointed out a few other examples, then that would be reasonable. But he says that durability is a negative in EVERY game, which is reductive and silly and obviously not true.

        Jim kind of comes across as saying ‘why can’t I play the game I want to!’ without thinking about what that means for the design of the game. OP weapons can only exist if their use is limited, and that is universal to all design in all genres, not just FPS games. Otherwise, the game becomes too easy, so you end up buffing up the enemies to the point where the weapon isn’t OP any more. He assumes that the momentary fun of OP weapons can just stretch out for the entire length of the game if you can have unlimited use of them, but the fact that they can only be used momentarily is what makes them fun.

        • Artemiy

          1. He did mention survival games in one of his previous JQs, namely “The happy few”.

          2. I think progression of enemy power is a much better design choice than making weapons that are OP but then shatter lately. That’s what most RPGs I know do.
          3. Jim doesn’t talk about the fun of using an OP weapon for an unlimited amount of time. I think it’s quite the opposite: he’s talking about the frustration of having a weapon that can give up on you in any moment, no matter how OP it is, so you’re just afraid to use ANY weapon that you can’t easily get because it might break and you might have no means to defend yourself.

  • coinup

    Absolutely agreed. I don’t like durability systems in any game, but I understand that in some way they serve the purpose of having the player to do a little planning and preparing and force them to put the continuos slaughter on hold to enjoy crafting and enhancing weapons.
    But in Zelda is complete bullshit. Is really this stupid: attack a enemy camp for the loot -> lose 2/3 decent weapons during the fight -> be disappointed by the one bad drop from a chest-> leave the fight with inventory full of craps dropped by enemies.
    You can’t even decently fight the very same enemy that drops the weapon with it.
    So why should I ever engage an enemy? Why should I grind the game for loot I will never use?
    Also, inventory is not unlimited and I keep on being forced to discard weapons that I didn’t even used because I was afraid to break them!
    This is pure nonsense and I can’t believe anyone can think this is funny.
    It’s ok, the game is addictive and puzzling is fun so I just put up with that shit and go around looking for shrines and side quests, the game is not unplayable.
    For sure it’s far from a 10/10

  • makiHyunda

    I don’t always agree with Mr sterling but his points on botw are valid.

    It’s his opinion and he’s entitled to it.

    I ways expect something different from Jim which is why I vocally support him and salute his stances may they be many and hard earned.

    I personally would have awarded it a higher score but the frame rate and nagging issues like the stamina and the weapons fragility are concerns.

    Jim is most correct when he says that a game like this praised for options actually fails completely to give you the option to repair your favorite weapons.

    It also fails to allow you to store them in any meaningful way.

    It’s not a perfect game and some zelda fans are clearly unhinged but I’m not perfect and neither is Jim…thank God for that!

  • Miliardo

    I’m glad things are closer to normal now. I hope this makes you smile, Jim: I watched this Jimquisition three times on Monday. Truth seems to find its way, it seems.
    Durability systems have their place in some games, but only some. The problem with BotW’s weapon fragility system is it’s between two positive ideas. Idea #1: You should have a few staple, boring, practical weapons and be able to gather and use the exotic weapons like you did in Wind Waker. However, you can now carry them between areas. This still requires weapon experimentation. Idea #2) The weapons are more durable, can all be repaired, and the repair fee is light. The Souls games have shown that this system works, and provides room for weapon experimentation.

  • Dariush

    i had fun commenting the YT video, and this episode sparked some decent conversation! Too bad for the terrible Youtube comment system that makes following discussion a total pain in the butt.

  • MM

    oh, so that’s what happened yesterday… pricks.

    On-Topic: I also always hated durability systems but, I have come to realize it was just an obsession. Entropy is actually crucial to any non trivial world. (Just look at this universe)
    In particular, games with any semblance of an economy, and most certainly multiplayer (i.e. mmos), must definitely embed all sorts of entropy if it is to, ironically, last.

    • I’ll add that breaking the toys can be a good experience for people who develop an unhealthy emotional attachment to possessions. Or at least letting people hoard their little statistical trinkets isn’t helping anyone’s emotional state.

      • MM

        Why sometimes I feel there is a personal hidden message on some of your posts, dear Stormbringer? : ) am I just paranoid or is this still a reminiscent from that ‘anxiety’ indie haven post? hehe (listening to Metallica’s Call of Ktulu, right now)
        I already have very little possessions, so I hope they don’t break, lol

        Back on topic: Well, most games don’t have the player’s emotional state at their best interest, except if it causes them to quit (well, assuming there was any thought to design of course, which we know is rare anyways). Hoarding would in fact be quite the measure of success for addiction. “Helping” their ‘real life’ be d***ed, sadly.

        I do agree with Jim however that it should last a lot, at least enough to get reasonable replacements, considering progression of pcs/npcs (if that’s a thing, which most of the time will in such games).

        The design I came up with, which I don’t mind revealing as I most likely will be dead by the time I’d come around to implement, is to respect the player’s attachment by, 1st allowing all sorts of MacGyver style repair to keep the thing ticking, (some ideas similar to that PS1 final fantasy, with the rocks, for instance? or Diablo 2 runes, etc), 2nd, the thing don’t simply vanish after “breaking”, the player can still have a collection of ‘retired’ gear, possibly with snapshots from the most important battles they helped in. Before the release of Diablo 2, they had an idea about a “clan’s guild/hide out”, the player/party could have such a ‘mansion’ they can display their exploits to others, including teared gear.

        But I’d still have very powerful items last little, the player should view these more as “potions” or scrolls (1 shot spells) than really analogous to real world swords.

        • I try not to speak to people individually in comments. So no. Just because something is profitable, by taking advantage of people, doesn’t make it admirable, or acceptable. On the contrary, not doing so is admirable. Short term gains tend toward long term loss.

          • MM

            Totally agreed. (I did place a “sadly” there :)) Thanks for easing my paranoia, hehe

  • Rapeallfeminists

    Maybe you should consider the fact that you’re a fat retarded neckbeard with shit opinions and the world would be better off if the diabetes finally got you lol

    • Miliardo

      I hope that’s not the name your parents gave you. What kind of mother would want their child to grow into a fat, retarded neckbeard with shit opinions?

    • Bork Lazer

      The retard with the name Rape All Feminists is calling Jim a neckbeard with shit opinions.

      :thinking:

      Brexiter

  • Charlie Koszulinski

    I might be in the minority here, but I like the way Dead Rising handled
    their weapon durability. Sure, they’re all fragile, however, there are
    books and magazine’s that increase their durability, among other stats.
    Unfortunately, some of the weapons are way too OP (mini chainsaws) thus
    breaking the balance and making the game way too easy, especially
    considering you can get the chainsaws on the first night and they
    respawn every time you leave and re-enter Wonderland Plaza.

    BUT!
    with a few tweaks here and there, Zelda could adopt a Dead Rising-esqu
    durability system. Maybe they could have items that act like the books
    in DR, make the weapons respawn after 1 in game day (or one real life
    day), as for the OP factor, it’s a singleplayer game, so I’ll let
    Nintendo decide.

    I haven’t played Zelda yet (still playing
    Horizon and loving it), so I don’t have an exact idea of how flimsy the
    weapons, but from what I hear, it’s pretty bad. Who knows, though. Maybe
    Nintendo is working on a patch as we speak.

    • InfamousDS

      The weapons are very brittle. Jim exaggerated for effect, but they are about as reliable as the weapon pick-ups from Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. The shields are less durable than their Skyward Sword counterparts, but you also don’t have to buy them.

      I hate the system with a fair amount of passion not conveyed in this short post or while I’m actually playing the game, but that’s probably bias coming from them pretending that the Zelda formula was a bad idea.

  • Joccaren

    I disagree with Jim on the weapon durability front, at least in principle, however the whole Zelda thing… Yeah, fuck fanboys – and I say that as someone who is obsessed with Zelda.

    Weapon durability though is flawed in BotW, its drops aren’t balanced terribly well sometimes, however it is a necessary and beneficial idea for the game.
    I think many people get fooled by the ‘freedom’ line of BotW. Zelda is a problem/puzzle solving exploration game. Its not Skyrim where you just wonder around exploring the scenery, where everything is meant for you to express yourself. Yes, you CAN do that, and it is a fairly large focus of the game, but the other half isn’t expressing yourself, but instead in solving the problems and puzzles sent to you by the game. Which weapons to use, and when, is an important distinction here, and durability plays a role in that. It means you can’t be always prepared for every possible situation, and need to plan for which situations you’re likely to get into, and improvise when something different happens. These are engaging mechanics. ‘Fun’? Maybe not, but fun isn’t everything, other parts to the experience are just as important.

    Additionally, the game would feel a lot lesser without the ability to pick up weapons after every fight, and the freedom wouldn’t really be there as much. However, if you always had the best weapons in the game, and they never broke, this entire mechanic would just be needless fluff that slowed down the game, and combat enconters would both be less rewarding, and less interesting without the ability to steal enemy weapons ect. But such a mechanic wouldn’t have a place without weapon durability. It would be a useless gimmick subsystem. The only alternative is severely limiting your inventory even further, and having all weapons be mostly balanced, with different types in a rock/paper/scissors formation where you can’t have one of each all the time. That introduces its own suite of balance issues as you gain hearts and stamina and become more effective in combat.

    I also contest that late game weapons don’t last long enough. Almost every weapon I’m finding ATM has a level 2 or 3 durability enchant on them. This means they easily last through 2-3 encounters most of the time, or a good 20+ with basic tier enemies. The exception to this is when fighting mini bosses or silver class enemies – which are designed to be a challenge and a reason to use the rare weapons Jim mentions never feeling compelled to use. I mean, I agree. Bioshock games I always get to the end and have a full inventory of everything because I just used the pistol and machine gun all game to savemy good weapons for when they’re needed. However fight a Lynel, or a Silver Lizalfos, or a “Major Combat Trial” scout guardian, and dear god do those strong weapons come in handy. I tend to go through 2-3 in one of those encounters, and use the weaker weapons on weaker mobs. It keeps my inventory in constant flux, I get to use all the cool weapons I acquire, and they feel like they last a, mostly, acceptible amount of time. The system feels like its working as it should, and enhances the game.

    The flipside to this is that yes, the fucking Bokoblin clubs are dropped way too late into the game. Part of this is a double edged sword; damage in the game is 100% based off the weapon being used, rather than any internal stats, so give them better weapons and they’ll almost 1 hit the player [Not that this couldn’t be easily designed around, but there are merits to doing it this way as well], however at the point in the game I am most weapons up to Knight class deal 1/4 heart damage thanks to my armour, so dropping knight+ tier equipment, or using it, would be completely fair at this point. Also, too many enemies use electric arrows, which instantly wipe out 5 hearts, drop your weapons, and mini stun you, with 5 bloody archers constantly shooting you at once with them. That’s just fucked, and needs to happen waaaaay less often, or at least give a very easy way to tell electric arrows will be in the fight BEFORE I engage the enemy. Normal arrows? A joke I’ll ignore. Fire arrows? Painful, but not broken. Electric arrows? Fuck you game. Let me know which is coming. That’s a necessity.

  • I haven’t exactly been following Nintendo over the years; but I don’t understand how The Legend of Zelda got to being a Dark Souls, Link the Ripper, clone, from its wood sword, silver sword, master sword roots???

    I don’t understand what people find appealing here. I don’t suppose you can just give it a “1/10” for being a stupid waste of time. But that’s what I’d do! Did you see that man with a shark for a head?

    • Joccaren

      Its actually gone back closer to its original roots TBH, with greater focus on exploring and the open world, and they’ve doubled down on that through the weapon durability system. Zelda has also had a variety of weapons for a long time; Ocarina had your 3 swords, plus your bow/slingshot, plus the hammer from the Fire Sage dungeon, Boomerang, Clawshot, Deku sticks that are basically torches, Goron Knife, and probably more besides that I’m forgetting. Maybe we didn’t have spears, but otherwise the main weapon types from this game were covered there, and honestly even that’s a maybe.

      As for the second half of your comment… Blatant trolling. Maybe the game isn’t to your interests, but a 1/10 implies bare functionality, and your reasoning for it being the very slight change in design for the Zora is just asinine.

      • Sorry, I thought 1/10 implies dislike, or contempt. No offense. I guess if you are submitting critical assessments to some database you go by their terms. These terms are my own. (Clearly.)

        • Joccaren

          Generally people try to be at least slightly impartial in their reviews, for obvious reasons.

          If Zelda is a 1/10, what is Big Rig Truckers? a -10/10? It barely even functions, if you can even call it that. I think its also pretty easy to see that while Zelda may not be to ones taste, its a mile ahead of Big Rigs in terms of, well, nearly everything.
          Or Batman Arkham… What’s the most recent one that was literally unplayable on many people’s computers because it just wasn’t ported properly? Yeah, that one. How do you rate something that doesn’t even run, as a AAA game, when you’ve given out a 1/10 to something that runs and is a competently delivered game, however isn’t something that you personally find appealing in any way.

          When 1/10 means “I dislike this game regardless of any quality behind it”, you leave yourself no room to review things that you dislike and that have no quality.

          Hence, generally, a portion of the score tends to be afforded to ones own enjoyment of the game, and a portion to actual execution of the game – so you can measure review scores out more evenly. It tends to also be what most people react to when reading review scores – see Jim’s 7 out of 10. He’s going to have awarded full points for technical execution, and a fair number of points for the games positives outside that, however he feels that there are some core underlying issues that make the whole experience less than enjoyable at times, docking a fair number of points. People read that as he didn’t like it – which is wrong, but not entirely off the mark; he found it a deeply flawed experience.

          Honestly, I’d probably give it a 4 or 5 / 10 at the lowest, as from a technical perspective it is masterfully created, with almost no bugs of any shape or form, excellent execution of their chosen visual style, and being all round a seamless experience. It implies not enjoying anything outside of that, however, and finding the music, visual style choice, gameplay, story and everything else unenjoyable – merely competently executed.

          This is probably why Steam’s Recommend/Don’t Recommend system is a better fit overall though. Scores are highly subjective but contain an obvious layer of objectivity that everyone approaches slightly differently. Recommending or not is a purely subjective front that simply displays whether someone thinks the game is worth playing or not.

          • If I were assigning single scores to works of art, I’d do it based on their long term value to humanity. 1/10 is all things being equal, better than 0/10. Most works would fall into the 0 or 1 out of 10 in the big picture.

            Critics don’t usually operate on this level because they cater to an audience that is tracking new products because they are to be very generous providing a kind of news.

            That said, many critics do universally pan things. Jim came out of Escapist (before that Destructoid) where Yahtzee Croshaw weekly pans everything, because he takes the same all of history view, even though still providing what is functionally a news service. Now let this be the end of this. You’re speaking to someone who firmly believes almost all video games in this century are of little to no significance.

          • Joccaren

            While Yahtzee does rag on things, he does it primarily as an act, not because he truly believes everything is terrible. You can go to any of his videos, and despite him spending the entire time insulting a game, you’ll end up with very astute comments of ‘Crap, Yahtzee actually liked it!’, because its possible to see through the act of ridiculousness for entertainment, and gauge how he felt overall about the title without the exaggerations of its flaws.

            I also think judging ‘art’ by its long term benefit to hunanity is… deeply flawed. Almost every single book, song, movie, poem, game, tv series, painting, sculpture – ect – ever created would rank as a 0. Even universal favourites like the Mona Lisa, or the Thinker can’t really be said to have had any long term benefit beyond allowing museums to milk them for money.

            I mean I won’t disagree that most if not all games, not just this century but last as well, have near 0 long term benefit to society, but the same is true of books, movies, TV shows, songs – ect. It results in you having an extremely compressed scale where most things ranked between 0-8 normally are between 0-1 for you, and 9-10 is theoretically your entire 2-10 range, but such ‘detail’ is entirely subjective and impossible to predict, visible only in hindsight.

            Put simply, its more of an ‘edgelord’ everything sucks rating system than a practical one for providing recommendations or judging a creation and such. Its so binary that honestly you really should just use a recommend/don’t recommend system.

            This also doesn’t factor in the whole questionability of what we count as long term benefit and how to measure it, but hey.

          • I said value, not benefit. Not everyone values art. We call them philistines. I’m not having this conversation. My comment was flippant. I did read your reply. Thank you.

          • Joccaren

            That somewhat implies you yourself as a philistine, considering you’ve just said that you don’t value a lot of modern art. And moving to “Value” just makes the whole discussion even more… sheltered? I’d dare say. If not talking about benefit, we therefore have to talk about the influence that piece of art has had in order to have any remotely meaningful conversation about the long term value of that art, and I think its pretty fair to say that a number of modern games have had a huge influence on the industry as a whole, making their “value” score shoot up.

            It again more seems you’re simply rating based on whether you liked a game or not – which fair enough, but again I feel a recommend/don’t recommend system is far better than a numerical score system, which belies some semblance of objective scoring, for such purposes.

          • Generally a philistine values bad art because they are not curious enough to explore their options or branch out in terms of their interests. Perhaps their minds are at a fundamental disadvantage.

          • Joccaren

            Also not meaning this as a “You’re wrong” statement or comment, after explanation I can see where you’re coming from. I simply am a bit of a philosopher at heart, and improvement of both understanding and action through dialogue is something I definitely find valuable. I can understand your position, and it has assisted me in further defining how a scoring system should work, and how other 1/10 styled reviews may actually have some level of thought behind them.

            My statements aren’t meant as corrections, but more points to think about, and expand my understanding of your position, or your own, and my own solutions to the problems of how to ‘rate’ subjective experiences given the tools we have, and hopefully it has lead to some growth of understanding on your side as well.

            Of course tone on the internet can be hard to convey, but hey. Regardless of whether you want to continue the conversation or not, it has been pleasant talking with you.

          • Well ๐Ÿ™‚ We could have maybe hashed this out when the comments were fresh-8 days ago. But truly I only made a quick, snide-offhand remark. Suggesting that time is unlikely to remember this game and that in the spirit of the discussion and to put things into perspective that these scores are pointless, the game is pointless, there’s much better things for people to be doing in their pastime, and so being upset about it is comic if not tragic. (This is in the context of many losing it because Jim and others caused some arbitrary scores to shift a fraction of a point.)

          • Joccaren

            Haha, yeah, probably should have, but sometimes you don’t realise the difference in tone the internet can convey, so I thought I should clear that up now.

            I think that time probably will remember BotW, much like it remembers OoT, or the original Mario Bros. They are examples of excellent design that revolutionised genres, and I’d expect open world games to take some lessons from BotW – unfortunately thanks to budget constraints not as much as probably should be, but we’ll see some shift in design principals, and in another decade or so, game designers who grew up with BotW will enter the industry, and carry its lessons into a new generation of games.

            Of course, it all is a bit pointless, and it is really pretty… silly of people to be getting so up in arms about a simple review score. There are definitely better things to do with ones time, and the idea of getting outraged at someone else’s opinion is just… absurd, to be entirely honest. Sadly that seems to be a wider problem with the world and society that we live in these days, and will be an interesting social problem to try and fix – though I’ve got little clue as to how you’d go about that on a large scale.

          • Education. In the U.S. it’s difficult to be educated, much less live; so people are predictably mentally impaired and exhausted.

          • Joccaren

            That would require teachers that don’t get outraged at others opinions, which is also becoming rarer and rarer – and hypocritically firing any teacher that doesn’t share an ‘acceptable’ opinion for teaching wouldn’t send any good messages either.

            I reckon we’ve just got to wait for a culture shift as the generations change. The younger generations see how stupid the whole thing is, come into power, and start teaching the generations after about the futility of it after seeing our mistakes. Of course, that relies on the younger generations not making the same mistakes, and I have no faith in that happening…

          • Teachers teach a curriculum. Private opinion doesn’t enter into it. A teacher can only be a catalyst for education. A liberal arts education can streamline access to many things but it is not necessary. What’s more important is that a society values education-its future.

          • Joccaren

            Curriculum, however, isn’t unbiased, and curriculum itself isn’t going to teach people not to get outraged at other people with different opinions – in fact, without the private opinions of a teacher informing their students not to do that, it can do the opposite; give a superiority complex that you’ve learned this, so everyone else is wrong.

            One area is economics. There’s libertarian and conservative views on economics, both with value. Which should be taught? Teaching one doesn’t help things overall, as what needs to be taught is an extra-curricula attitude of empathy, and the willingness to continue learning into later life.

            This, however, falls more into philosophy and “Raising” a kid, and most parents would be annoyed if schools tried to raise their kids for them, rather than just teach them a curriculum.

            And of course, when the parent teaches the child to get outraged… The cycle continues. Really do just have to hope the younger generations see the absurdity of outrage, and start rebelling against it – as younger generations often do. I’m not holding my breath though.

          • Education produces more learned and well tempered people. If our societies make an honest attempt at education and it doesn’t improve things over generations, well then it’s in god’s hands. Right now the prevailing attitude is opposition to education in all forms.

          • FYI: Yahtzee does mean what he says. He believes they’re all terrible more or less. It’s not an act. He does praise titles he feels are not terrible. I don’t think he’s ever praised a title that’s newer than 2005. He believes nothing has been good since the PlayStation 2 era. I share this feeling.

  • Bitcoon

    I made a stupidly long comment on Youtube, but I’ll give the TL;DR here.

    If the durability system wasn’t there, they’d have to do more to stop you from getting powerful weapons without “earning” them by slowly building up from early-game gear. You wouldn’t have all the fun effects like triple arrow firing bows, lightning/ice stunlock swords, and generally powerful gear before you’ve naturally progressed to where that’s ‘normal’. You’d never be allowed to ‘break’ the game because, without durability, your power to ‘insta-win’ in combat scenarios would be a permanent fixture of your strategy until you beat the game. One sneaky little trek into Hyrule Castle would permanently endow you with weapons that come fairly close to trivilizing the Master Sword, something you’re intended to have to play a pretty long time to get.

    It’s not just that you’d always be using one weapon until it stops being the most powerful weapon in your inventory. You’d also lose out on the strategy and the resource management that comes with this system. Yeah, I’m with you in that I’m the kind of guy who gets a Mega Elixir or some such rare healing item in a Final Fantasy game and hoards it until the credits roll, but this Zelda broke that ‘hoard good stuff’ mentality in me. I used fairies, I used powerful weapons, because the game put me in situations where I felt like I needed them, and I rarely wanted to load the game because it’s such an immersion-breaker. Truly, living with the consequences and always moving forward makes games like this a lot better. And when something was about to break, or I was running low on items, or a thunderstorm was approaching and my weapons were all metal, or I needed to carry a blue flame and didn’t have a torch handy, that very fluid weapon system made these experiences all more dynamic and interesting. Breaking your weapon by throwing it at an enemy’s head, stacking damage multipliers and getting that satisfying audio/visual feedback really does feel good. Even realizing that a powerful weapon you’ve been relying on is about to quit on you in the middle of a hectic battle where you have no good alternatives, that makes combat a heck of a lot more fresh and interesting than the predictability of previous Zelda games.

    To say Breath of the Wild would work without a durability system because previous games didn’t have one is basically to say you want BOTW to have the same level of limitation on weaponry that previous Zelda games had. Enjoy your 2 swords; at least they never break!

    • Bitcoon

      To make it clear, I don’t respect or appreciate anyone attacking Jim over his review score or his opinions on the game, I merely wish to offer a counterpoint to his appraisal of this system. I don’t care if Jim didn’t like the game, and I don’t too much care if he can’t articulate why as well as others can articulate why they liked it. I merely want to defend this system because, as a wannabe penniless hack fraud of a game designer I like to think I know a thing or two about game design.

      Jim comes at this from the angle of a gamer, one who wants to see some “simple” changes to improve the game. But I know it’s not that easy. BotW would be a very different game if weapons were permanent fixtures of your inventory. Not that it wouldn’t be possible to design a system without tissue paper weapons that’s fun and dynamic, but I personally feel that not only does the one they designed have benefits, those benefits greatly outweigh the annoyances that come with it.

      • Andrzej Sugier

        That’s a really well worded and though-out argument, now I’m intrigued if I could come to like this system despite absolutely hating non-renewable vital resources in games. Kudos to you, Bitcoon.

      • Miliardo

        The problems are the unoptimized system and, more importantly, the lack of respect for the player’s time. That second one is something I have a hard time dealing with in regard to FFXV, which is otherwise a fanfucktastic experience. But, the immense lack of respect leads to lots and lots of wasted time on the player’s end of the gameplay, and we all have better things to be doing with our time. A video game should not consistently remind its player that he or she has other tasks that need getting done. It is a failure of entertainment design.

        That’s the problem at the heart of Breath of the Wild’s weapon system: it disrespects the player’s time. And, not just the time spent fiddling with menus, submenus, and field menus to make sure this or that piece of equipment is in your hands or worth keeping around. The mental processing time required of the player is in minute amounts once the game gets rolling (and a player should always try to meet the game on its terms at the start), but those amounts accrue into something immense nonetheless. The way Dark Souls does its durability system works for the player because the durability is largely vestigial. Equipment durability in Dark Souls is largely a matter of PvP balancing; without the ability to savage someone with bleeding damage or protect yourself from it with an acid cloud, durability in Dark Souls is largely pointless. Breath of the Wild quickly loses further ground with its weapon system because it discourages some players from utilizing their best or favorite weapons. Not every player will do what Jim professes to do, but he was (and may still be) holding on to some seriously good stuff because he didn’t want it to disappear. That kind of design may work for a niche title, but it’s a poor choice in a game that wants to do what Skyrim does and provide a grand, wide, immersive open-world experience. I feel that BotW largely succeeds on that score, but the weapon system runs counter to that design.

        Breath of the Wild’s design speaks to its creators’ desire to streamline the play experience. But, the inclusion of weapon durability, as implemented, fights that. The desire to flow from one part of the narrative to another is immense, but it gets constantly interrupted by the need to fiddle with your gear in bite-sized portions. Where previous games in the series leave that interior time to the player to think about the game world and ponder what the dungeon is and what it asks for, BotW fills that interior time with gear management. When you don’t have to do that, and you can just putz around, BotW is amazing. Reducing the amount of things you can have to perform actions with and focusing on the many ways those things can interact with each other and the game world is godamned brilliant, and was a great design choice. The game ends up working better when you don’t bother with your weapons. That’s when a design team should know to cut, trim, and rework something.

        The problems inherent in the weapon system leave room for serious improvement, which I think Nintendo can do. Who knows if they will, because Nintendo has doubled down on some strange decisions in the past, but the end user experience has always been at the forefront of what they have in mind in-production. I’ve mentioned it… somewhere around this site, but the weapon system is a part of why I feel like BotW is a design/tech demo for where they want to take the series. I can’t say it’s a burner game, but it does feel like Nintendo is more about testing ideas here, more than the open-world design of the game.

        I want to highlight a minor, but important point in the Master Sword. The Blade of Evil’s Bane should not be snapping into pieces like a cheap rattan chair. It disrespects the series’ history and consistent lore, which is something that could be gotten away with in a better weapon system, and that’s dangerous ground to tread. Zelda, as a series, does not have a lot of consistent lore to begin with (remember that lore and game design are different things; fluff, versus crunch), and it’s usually a bad idea to drastically alter a core concept like the Master Sword. Where the series’ non-Ganon villains have been largely effective, they’ve stayed villains; their core concept never changed.

        And, here’s the weird, funny thing about great game design: if the weapon system was implemented better, it could support an unbreakable Master Sword and not limit the player’s desire to utilize the system. In point of fact, the currently implemented system can support that. Having a reliable fall back does not occlude you from your other weapons. Rather, it allows the player safe room for experimentation. Go ahead and break things, go and play with all of the stuff, just ALL of the stuff, because you have something you can use if everything goes sideways for you. The Master Sword is supposed to be the pinnacle weapon, but it is Breath of the Wild’s pinnacle poor decision.

        • Bitcoon

          I sort of see what you mean but where you feel it wastes time, I feel it adds to the experience. Not always in positive ways, maybe, but never did I notice this system wasting any quantifiable amount of time. I rarely spent more than a few seconds at a time figuring out what to change to, what to drop in favor of a nice new weapon, etc. The worst time-waster, and really the only one I noticed actively, was when my inventory was full but a chest had a weapon in it. The wait for the chest to open and see what’s inside is effectively doubled, plus the time taken to examine my weapons and determine what to drop. Outside of that, the system rarely felt like it was really wasting time, so I really don’t feel you on the time-wasting-ness of it being a major factor.

          Though time-wasting is what I feel almost every entry into this beloved series does, with rare exception. (BOTW definitely being an exception) Ocarina of Time, often seen as the series’ golden standard, hardly lets you do anything without a lot of waiting, or being sent off on time-filling fetch quests. The chests make you wait, enemy attack patterns make you wait, overly-long cutscenes pointing out the effect of a switch make you wait, and really I feel the more experience you get with OoT, the worse the wait gets because so much of it just doesn’t do anything for a person who already knows the game. Twilight Princess was a particularly bad example due to having an intro sequence so long it’s painful the first time, and much moreso in subsequent playthroughs.

          Maybe these minor annoying time-wasters are all the more obvious now that there’s a Zelda game that happily lets you find your own path, miss its tutorials, easily skip pointless cinematics, etc. It seems for the most part they’ve polished it down to a point where nothing really feels like it’s wasting any amount of time, and perhaps that makes those little remaining time-sinks more noticeable.

          Honestly, I’d say the weapon management is, at worst, as bad as item management in earlier 3D Zelda games. Having to go into your menu any time you wanted to use an item that wasn’t one of the 3 you had equipped at the time was just as bad; a minor inconvenience. Putting weapon swapping (and shield swapping, bow swapping, arrow swapping and rune swapping) on the D-pad made changing weapons on the fly quite easy.

          • Miliardo

            I definitely feel you on Ocarina of Time. It has not aged well, and is practically The Legend of Zelda: Wasting My Time. The constant item management is a big offender there, and it’s why I don’t play my favorite, Majora’s Mask, all that much. The mask management gets nutty sometimes, but it’s usually not too, too bad.

            But, that’s the problem. It’s a lot of very small pieces of time that you don’t really get to choose to say no to. It adds up fast, and keeps summing up as you play more and more. There’s the other rub, they’re good damn games. I haven’t played a mainline Zelda game that wasn’t good for its time. Nintendo knows we’re going to dig deep into these games; there’s still a strong speedrun community for OoT, and some speedrunners haven’t even engaged the game on ordinary terms. I am Not A Fan of Skyward Sword’s back half, but it has the best and second-best boss fights in Zelda (haven’t seen all of BotW’s bosses).

            That’s actually a good point. Breath of the Wild is a serious and commendable step forward from Skyward Sword’s disregard for the player’s time. I really wish the back half was as good as the front, and the tadtones are the single worst section of a game that simply dragged on far too long.

            I think that’s the sum of it, though. Breath of the Wild is Nintendo exploring new ground, and the weapon system will be improved in subsequent games. Maybe we’ll even see a second Zelda title on the Switch before the next Nintendo home console releases — I certainly hope so. I can’t get behind the way that Breath of the Wild does its weapons, because it discourages combat by forcing experimentation. There are better ways to do that, ways that don’t involve people opening a chest so they can shut it, finagle a menu, radda radda, open it again and get a weapon they probably already have. At least opening the chest is super-quick now.

            I am going to upvote your posts here, because this is a cool conversation. Thanks for having a cool discussion on the Internet that didn’t involve anyone calling anyone a Hitler. You are a good dude/ette.

  • Marcus Cohen

    And I used to think catholic crusades were weird…

  • PeteThePenguin

    I really dislike jumping into menus mid-fight, that’s just bloody bad game design.

    • MM

      Well, it could have its place. Seiken Densetsu 2 used it quite well (more strategic). Chrono Trigger added the option to real time too but kept the strategic element there.

    • I think it’s partially a limitation of console games. On PC this sort of thing could be assigned to hotkeys like most shooters do, but on a controller you’re forced to use quick menus, there’s no real way to win since I’m sure switching to a weapon the player DOESN’T want to use would annoy them more.

      • FuzzyWupkin

        An easy fix to that would be to have it automatically switch to another weapon you have. The game might also let you arrange items in the order you want them brought out so you don’t switch to your torch in the middle of combat. It would make prepping for combat a layer deeper, planning on which order of weapons you want to use, and doesn’t draw you out of the flow of the game during combat making the only times you need to access the menus is if you needed to change up your strategy.

        • PeteThePenguin

          I like you idea re: order weapons are brought out. Yes, that would add depth to the combat system.

        • Steve Walsh

          yup. all it wouldve taken is you manually set weapon order in the menu, and when one breaks, the next one in line pops into your hand. of course, you could still manually switch out of order if you like, but that simple, small change wouldve made a world of difference.

  • James Russel

    I guess you would know a lot about fragility seeing as you probably break half the chairs you sit in

  • Just Some Guy

    I’m usually fairly indifferent towards equipment durability, although if stuff just breaks too easily, that’s not good. Only game I can think of where I experienced something like that was Vindictus, where your high level helmet could at times shatter from one hit by a low level mob, right near the start of a dungeon.

    Then fanatics seem to be getting worse over time. They just can’t seem to accept that someone else could not like a game as much as they do, and worse still, that such people would dare to tell other people that they don’t view it as a perfect game. If you look over in the reviews on Steam you can see all sorts of people arguing with others in reviews, negative ones in particular, over things that are subjective, that the fanatics seem to view as objective facts the reviewer, and others commenting got wrong.

  • David Rodriguez

    wow This guy is really insane, a video full of crap just to badly justify weapon system design preferences?! You have generous patrons supporting your cause …

  • Rafael Bronzatti

    Fire Emblem had degradable weapons at a reasonable rate. Although even there it was not the best game design choice.

  • ThePhilosopher

    I won’t understand why ‘fanatics’ get so het up about other’s reviews of games. They do not understand that a review is someone’s opinion and not an objective fact. If someone was to only like and play racing games then they wouldn’t like or enjoy Zelda, they’d most likely give it a 0/10. They’re not wrong, they are just expressing their own view. The inability to accept and tolerate other people’s views and opionions is extremely worrying. It truely is ‘fantacism’.

    Furthermore, what do these people gain from insulting someone else’s opinion? I think there is merit on debating someone and engaging with the finer points. As we have seen from this video they are not doing that, they are just expressing rage, and to what end? I’ve never seen Jim back down before, it would be ludicrous to think he would now, so what goal do they think they can or will achieve? In the end, I agree with Jim, why are they wasting their time here and not going something positive to enrich their lives?

    I agree that equipment durability as seen in this video would annoy me. I haven’t played the game. I do love Devil May Cry and similar games, where constantly breaking up the action to change weapon or not being able to use certain weapons because they have broken or you don’t have them would completely break the flow. However, the video did concentrate a little too much on that aspect and more could have been said about the other factors in play in the game.

    I could go on, but this post is getting too long already…

    • Wraith Magus

      Not to disagree with your overall point, but if people disagree with something, I sure hope that they recognize it’s opinion and not objective fact. Otherwise, I’d expect to get more complaints where people argue that someone should be out of a job for saying things fall down instead of up or that the capital of England is actually Dublin.

      People argue with opinions they disagree with because opinions actually can be changed (even if it’s not necessarily for the best reasons if expressed opinions are different just because of fear of a backlash).

  • Wraith Magus

    Sidestepping the whole Nintendo and Zelda thing…

    Weapon durability/fragility does have its place, and rather than calling it “weapon durability” or “weapon fragility”, I think a better term for it is, “limited-use tools”.

    In fact, if you’re frustrated by the whole concept, I think a better way of looking at it is through the lens of weapon ammo in FPS games, especially classic FPS games like Doom and its mods. Levels in Doom were as often differentiated by the ammo they gave you as what enemies or map layout they put in front of you, forcing you to adapt your playstyle to the tools at hand. The concept of ammo makes a huge difference in how you play. If you throw in cheat codes so that you need never worry about it, there’s no reason to use anything other than the BFG9000, but with ammo concerns, the BFG becomes far more special, that thing you use only when you REALLY need it because you know you’ll go several levels before you get the ammo to use it again. Doom would inarguably be a much more boring game if there wasn’t something “forcing you to use more variety” in tackling its levels, since why would you want to play a game where every situation is handled exactly the same way for years on end? (*COUGH* *COUGH* MODERN MILITARY COVER SHOOTERS *COUGH*)

    Likewise, many (classic-style) roguelike games (I.E. Nethack) rely upon limited-use tools for nearly every aspect of gameplay. Not all that many outright have shattering swords, but roguelike games frequently focus upon forcing players to deal with problems that swords, alone, cannot solve. You need wands that cast spells that do things like dig out walls or even outright genocide a whole enemy class from the game, which other, infinite-use tools cannot do. This also serves as a balancing factor on the randomness of loot drops in roguelike games – they can feel free leaving an overly powerful weapon or tool in a possible random drop for players to find without worrying that one playthrough may be made massively easier than another based upon one lucky drop because making very powerful tools limited-use, much like the BFG, makes them something precious to be hoarded until you absolutely need it, rather than something that breaks the game as soon as you get a single really lucky drop.

    (To give an example of this in practice, how many games of FTL have you played where after getting a single really powerful weapon fairly early on was like the difference between night and day in how much you had to struggle to survive up until the very end? FTL has some ammo, but no tools that are forever lost after being used a couple times. Getting one really good weapon, depending on the ship, can make or break the game early on, and be the difference between desperate struggle to hold out one more node and bowling through enemies, gleefully raking in more and more powerful weapons and tools that further cement your odds of survival.)

    Potions in most RPGs are, themselves, limited-use tools, but nobody really ever complains that you can run out of health potions. It’s just accepted. People seem to focus in on weapons breaking in particular because it’s not a standard feature, whereas any time a potion exists, it will ALWAYS be single-use. (But, say, inns or campfires healing you infinitely, are a totally different thing from a potion that heals you. People don’t explicitly think of them as an infinite-use healing tool versus a limited-use healing tool, and complain that the potions “break” after every use.)

    Probably the most extreme example of a limited-use item is the “bomb” in
    shooting games, especially the more modern “bullet hell” types, where
    you get a severely limited number of bombs that completely clear the
    screen of all bullets and massively damage the enemy at the same time.
    These basically exist as the “panic button” for more skilled players
    that recognize when they are in a bad situation in time, so that they
    have to be trapped four or more times (depending on the number of bombs
    they get per life) to actually die, while a player who doesn’t actually
    see the bullet about to kill them dies from that first bullet they
    didn’t notice.

    Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t some really, really stupid ways to implement this concept. I like them in (classic-style) roguelikes, because roguelikes are games where you are trying to ad lib solutions to very odd problems by exploiting the quirks of the tools at your disposal. (I.E. facing a troll that constantly returns from “death” no matter how much you chop it to bits? Stuff its corpse into a box to prevent it from having space to regenerate.) Roguelikes, however, are turn-based games that move at the pace of the player specifically to allow players to execute some very deliberate, complex maneuvers in between long stretches of very simple commands like just moving around the dungeon or standard melee combat. The pace of gameplay is one such that complicated inventory management is incorporated into how you interact with the world, and the constant risk of instant death from one wrong move makes players err towards being slow and deliberate with their actions, lest they be surprised by some action they didn’t think through.

    In the middle of what is basically a button-mashing brawl like a 3d Zelda game or a Dynasty Warriors game, however, isn’t where you want players sitting there making slow, deliberate, contemplative choices about the value of pulling out a rare powerful weapon or sticking to the cheap durable expendible stuff. Again, there are limited-use tools in Zelda, like bombs, arrows, and magic, which people generally don’t complain about, but there should also be the ability to just hone in on the enemy patterns and jab them when they’re in their windup phase and dodge-roll when they swing.

    Bombs and magic are probably the better metaphor, here. You’ve never wanted to use them more than necessary in a Zelda game, not just because they run out fast if you use them willy-nilly, but also because the mandatory pot-smashing refill period afterwards is a pain. It’s fine to have a few really powerful moves that are also really limited in their use, but you also need to have the baseline fallback stuff that always works, even if not nearly as well as a specialty tool in a given task. I.E. one unbreakable sword that’s good enough, but also some really good weapons that are limited use. At the most, making Link have to choose between a single default sword and whatever is at hand or on the ground right now, without a menu to pause the game would be the best idea. (Basically, the Halo inventory system – you can only carry two weapons at a time, so that switching is at least really fast, and it makes choices about taking what you need more meaningful.) Because, as you say, that sort of mentality basically mandates you treat those other weapons as completely disposable, fungible things not worth even bothering to remember what you picked up last the instant it leaves your hands. (Which is exactly how Halo or any of the games that copied its mechanics worked… And why do you drop most guns in Halo? Either because you ran out of ammo/limited uses, or you found a better weapon and want to take that one until it runs out of limited uses.)

    And again, that’s a nuanced defense because I think it’s a nuanced issue. I think looking at weapons in games like these as though it’s some sort of severely isolated instance is a mistake. Weapon durability in Dark Souls isn’t such a great idea, but I think you’ll agree that handing out infinite healing items in Dark Souls would severely disturb the gameplay balance. It’s about recognizing the impact limited-use items have upon player mentality. Everyone knows how some players will keep an iron-fingered clutch on ANY limited-use item like a potion, even if it’s meant for fighting level 4 enemies, and they’re already up to level 20 enemies “because they may need it later”, while at the same time, spamming whatever infinite-use items they have with reckless abandon.

  • Sd S

    Games media is crap. I love dark souls 2 but everyone I know would give it a 0 for being unplayable yet not 1 critic on metacritic even gave it a bad review

  • adampoole

    when does today’s episode upload to youtube?

    • InfamousDS

      Shorter episodes are up by 11AM Eastern unless he is busy/forgets (which is extremely rare). Longer episodes will be processed by YouTube for longer and on their schedule, sometimes as late as 4PM Eastern depending on just how long it is.

      • adampoole

        thanks.. it’s just not monday for me unless i see a new jimquisition.. hopefully it’s gets uploaded soon

  • possiblecabbage

    I feel like weapon durability/fragility systems can work well, but it’s the sort of thing that’s much more easy to do very poorly. In addition to the “survival horror” example Jim brought up in the video, a game I think that does weapon fragility fairly well is Fallout: New Vegas.

    Specifically the fragility system in the game underlines how the world blew up and everything from back then is falling apart, but all of the best stuff comes from before the world blew up, so you’ve got to dig through rubble to find it and maintaining that stuff so it keeps working is pretty important. So the mechanic actually conveys meaning. Moreover, however, it’s implemented in a manner that’s fairly unobtrusive. There’s lots of different ways around the problem: delaying your stuff falling apart is the primary use of the repair skill, this gives you a reason (other than sale) to pick up and save items similar to the stuff you’re using it, you can find repair kits, there’s plentiful junk that can be combined into repair kits, and there are NPCs you can pay to repair things for you.

    So in addition to “you’re trying to make the player feel vulnerable” there’s a cast to be made for weapon fragility in a context when you’re trying to tell a story about things falling apart, maintaining what you’ve got as best you can, and you provide people with a lot of different solutions so they’re not annoyed.

  • The game is great by any means. I can live with weapon durability no problems.
    I really REALLY liked the exploration, liberty and huge world.
    But I would lie if I say I don’t miss acquiring new items to interact with the world and more traditionnal dungeons.
    I still thinks this would have worked greatly in this open world and would have given further use to the marking system on the map.
    Sadly, with the incredibly high ranking this game got, I doubt this will ever go in this direction now.
    But yeah, personally I still think it deserves at bare minimum a 8.5

  • Almost two weeks later and I’m still amazed by the insistence that 7/10 is an abysmal game review score.
    Just rewatched your very fucking old “Hate out of Ten” episode and don’t know whether to laugh or cry how not only it remains a problem almost 5 years later, but how in many respects it gets worse, with the ddoxing from AAA game fanbois and the rise of thin-skinned asset-flippers raising hell over any sort of critique.
    Backlash over game criticism seemed so trivial back in the day, those last few years really dragged the whole community’s standards so low that the bottom became the ceiling.