Breath of the Wild 2: Should breakable weapons return for the sequel?

A brand-new trailer for Nintendo’s follow up to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild awakened an ancient evil on Tuesday. I am, obviously, describing the somehow-still-ongoing discourse about breakable weapons in Breath of the Wild, among the more controversial style choices in the 2017 open-world Zelda video game.

Weapon toughness might extremely well be back in the follow up to Breath of the Wild (however, Nintendo hasn’t validated that) introducing a new age of dispute over whether weapon toughness is a good idea, a bad thing, or a dark and unpleasant blight upon humanity.

I lobbed the Breath of the Wild breakable-weapon-discourse grenade into Polygon’s Slack chat just recently, then left while my coworkers tore each other apart. In the wake of the turmoil, I asked to nicely discuss the benefits of things that breaks in Hyrule, which you can check out in the remarks listed below. Your finest argument for or versus the merit of weapon deterioration is welcome in the remarks.


Weapon toughness is clever style, however clever isn’t constantly enjoyable

Folks have actually supplied numerous intellectually enticing factors for Breath of the Wild 2 to consist of weapon toughness. Hell, I’m persuaded that eliminating weapon toughness would adversely affect the video game. I still can’t bring myself to protect its addition, which’s due to the fact that weapon toughness eventually avoided me from ending up the initial Breath of the Wild.

I understand, heresy. I like Breath of the Wild, especially its then-transgressive method to open-world video games. Gone were the many worthless subquests and hectic work, and in its location stood real expedition. Nintendo removed away a lot of the gamey-ness of open world video games. That’s why weapon toughness felt so incompatible with my technique for delighting in the world. Fretting about busting my weapons avoided me from exploring with them. It used my worst practices of product hoarding in more stiff RPGs to an open-world asking me to take dangers and be imaginative with my resources.

I had actually almost made it to the video game’s conclusion when I quit out of aggravation. Look, I’m happy to make a compromise. Y’all can keep your weapon toughness however please let me browse on my guard without being penalized for experiencing pleasure. Offer? — Chris Plante

Weapon toughness is much better storytelling

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is quickly the most enjoyable post-apocalypse I’ve ever experienced in fiction. It’s downright beautiful to travel through the ruins of a horrible, kingdom-leveling war to fix puzzles and forage for Korok seeds. I like returning to this world — in reality, I may do it once again this evening. The huge paradox obviously, is the scary radiating out of the castle in the center of the map, usually in sight.

Regardless of that continuous monolith to catastrophe, Breath of the Wild is a video game with extremely little friction. Its most significant constraint is Link’s endurance meter, which at first identifies just how much you can climb up — something that you can render moot with food or upgrades, to the point that it matters less the more you play. That leaves 2 other sources of friction: weather condition, and weapons. The previous is a systemic marvel that permits all way of cool interactions at the expense of a couple small hassles, and the latter is a questionable constraint that has actually annoyed masses of individuals who comprehend why it exists on paper however typically counter with an easy, engaging defense: It draws.

I will provide this much: They’re ideal! It does suck. But you know what also sucks? Hyrule, man. There is a story being told here: that you are trekking your way through a somber place, that the calamity — always in sight — has irrevocably changed this world and made it a place reclaimed by greenery and wildlife, a world that exists in opposition to you. People like you, who chop down trees and build houses and cook steaks over little campfires? Maybe things shouldn’t be so easy for them. Maybe the countless weapons you find and shatter — remnants of a terrible war you only see fragments of — are a reminder of an old way of living that should be replaced with something new. Feel frustration when a weapon you like breaks? Maybe that’s good. Maybe it should be difficult to exert your will on the world around you. Maybe there are some things bigger than you. If the wild does breathe, as the game’s title suggests, perhaps it should also be respected. — Joshua Rivera

Weapon durability stymies the late game, but I still support it

Breath of the Wild broke the tired Legend of Zelda formula that guides players by the nose through sequenced areas and slowly layers on the difficulty. Previously, each puzzle had one key item to solve it, each dungeon or boss fight relied on one tactic — arrows, hookshots, bombs, whatever. Breath of the Wild smashed the mainstay idea of each problem having a specific solution, and I’d argue weapon durability is an extension of that. There are so many ways to fight whatever comes my way, but rarely could I depend on a single one.

I’ve played too many Zelda titles, and I was ready for a change. The fragility of early simple weapons made the game’s early hours thrilling. It’s fun to be on the ropes against Zelda enemies I wouldn’t offer a second thought to. A Bokoblin gang could actually prove to be a challenge if my sword and my backup club (and my other backup club) all crumbled to dust in my hands. And it’s not the same type of challenge of the rhythmic combat of a Dark Souls boss. It’s chaos! And the Zelda franchise avoids chaos, especially the 3D iterations.

However the weapon durability actually grates when I spend money and resources — sometimes a lot of money and resources — on some Ancient weapons. I get that a scavenged shield and longsword are flimsy and have taken hits from their previous owners, but I paid a man with hard-fought Guardian bits and he turned them into a new weapon, not just a “new to Link” weapon. As a result, I’ll hoard anything I spent a lot of time on in my weirdly unfurnished home, thus ensuring I’ll never use it to smash up more Guardians. So yes, keep the weapon durability, but give me a forge or smithy or easier ways to repair items of greater value. — Chelsea Stark

Nintendo, please just let me keep my shields a bit longer

To those who are anti-weapon degradation, here’s what I offer to you: Untether yourself from your earthly desires and start playing the game like a true scoundrel. Just pick up random stuff in the environment and throw it at enemies. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of knocking over a powerful Moblin just to steal their weapon, then throw it right back at their face and watch it break. (I always try to keep a slot or two open just for this.) Sure, a sword shattering mid-flurry rush is not ideal, but intentionally using and destroying as many weapons as you can was a fun way to play.

Do I wish I could always keep a complete set of every weapon for vanity reasons? Sure. It would be nice not to have to pair a honking Lynel shield and a glowing guardian sword with my pretty Hyrule military guard outfit. But life is messy, and so are the ways I customize Link’s armor.

That being said, with such a weighty and hotly contested question, comes nuance. I think shields specifically are an issue when it comes to weapon degradation. I remember the first time I went to explore Hyrule field in earnest. I was doing my best to deflect the Guardian’s lasers but I lost all my shields just because I have poor timing. It only took a shot or two from them to destroy my best shields. I just didn’t have enough slots to hoard disposable shields. I felt like a defenseless baby on the outskirts of Hyrule’s most dangerous region. To this end — a shield that replenished on a timer would have gone a long way. Still, the experience drove home this idea that if I wanted to face such grand monsters and challenges, I had to be ready to give something up. — Ana Diaz

I love trying new weapons, but weapon durability cheapens my rewards

I came late to the Zelda franchise, but fell deeply in love with it during my college years. So when Breath of the Wild rolled around, I wasn’t sick of the formula Nintendo set in place 35 years ago. I enjoyed my first playthrough of Breath of the Wild but ultimately came away frustrated. The source of my frustration was, like many players, the weapon degradation system.

I love the way Breath of the Wild forces you to gain personal proficiency with every weapon type. You’ll never understand when you’re in a serious Test of Strength Shrine and run out of everything except for a spear. But there are certain weapons that I never want to use, out of fear that I’ll break them, even if they’re fun and powerful. What about the spear I get from the Zora? Or the claymore from the Gorons? Those weapons are meaningful to me. So in my playthrough, I did what any logical player would do: I bought a house and hung all my reward weapons on the walls.

I recently replayed Breath of the Wild and ended up loving it for what it is. But even going in, knowing what I was getting myself into, I ran into new ways to get frustrated by my weapons shattering mid-combat. I abandoned my quest to start the Master Sword DLC because I didn’t feel like spending hours farming weapons after a single Guardian fight cleared out my entire arsenal. I reloaded my save, killed Ganon, and started playing something else. I would love to see all that Breath of the Wild has actually to offer, however grinding out powerful weapons just for them to break a few minutes later isn’t my concept of enjoyable. — Ryan Gilliam

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.