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Item Durability  

249 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you want items to have durability?

    • Yes
      65
    • No
      155
    • I do not care
      29
  2. 2. Should you be able to repair any item anywhere?

    • Yes
      49
    • No, only at a blacksmith's forge
      19
    • No, only at a blacksmith's forge or a special place for magical items
      96
    • I do not care
      85
  3. 3. Should magical items be included in a separate category when it comes to durability or repair?

    • Yes to both
      41
    • Yes, but only when it comes to durability. Magical items should be unbrakeable
      45
    • Yes, but only when it comes to repair. Not every blacksmith should be able to repair a magical item.
      42
    • No to both
      40
    • I am not sure
      17
    • I do not care
      64


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No, it is pointless, annoying busy work. Swords and Armour would not wear down significantly over the time scale the game will (probably) deal with, and the wear and tear they do suffer could be mitigated with basic maintanence.

That said, items wearing down to a minimum level of usability that could be mitigated by visiting a blacksmith and clicking "repair all" or buying whetstones and stuff so that my characters will automatically repair weapons when we rest would be ok. It could even function as a useful money sink to prevent players being incredibly wealthy by the end of the game. But having a bunch of swords disintegrate mid-dungeon is annoying and doesn't add to the fun. IMO.

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I also want items breaking because it adds to strategic considerations - just like provisions.

 

My sword broke! Do I have a spare? No? Bob do you have a spare? Can I borrow yours? Do we go back to town? Do we push forward?

 

We're half way to the ancient temple and have already spent half of our provisions. Do we backtrack to the village we passed a day ago or push foward? Should we conserve rations or just endure a day or two without food? But what if we get jumped on the way back, weakened by hunger?

 

 

All valid strategic considerations. I dont' wnat hand-holding, I want to SUFFER for bad and stupid decisions.

 

And before someone sez "do you want to simulate taking a piss"? - nope. It's not a strategic consideration as you can do it in every bush or room corner if necessary.

 

A valid point but implementing something like that without it becoming more of a hassle and less of an interesting strategic choice is quite difficult.

So let's imagine a game where swords break. Fine, what do I do? Well, if I know that my swords can break in this game, I turn my strongest party member into a pack mule (Hello, Minsc) who lugs around, depending on how frequently swords tend to break, half a dozen or so spare swords for my party. Not very interesting at all. Just means I have one dude who carries around a backpack full of sharp implements in case on the implements being wielded breaks.

Fine, you say, swords have a high volume and therefore we shall also implement (in addition to the more common weight limits) a limit based on the volume on the item, whether through a grid-based inventory or something more abstract like, say, in Ultima 7. Have you ever played Ultima 7? Hassling around with both item weight *and* item volume is not fun at all, if you ask me. It just adds a layer of micromanagement with dubious benefits in game enjoyment.

 

Anyhow, let's assume that we have found an inventory system that effectively limits my party from carrying around enough deadly spare cutlery to last them through the apocalypse if I so choose because I would have to balance between picking enough food or whatever, as well.

Well, then my sword breaks and I find myself without a spare. Faced with one of these strategic decisions, I see the following options:

 

1) Continue onwards, hoping I find a spare

Thinking back on all the RPGs I've previously played, I find it extremely difficult to think of an example where I couldn't find at least one chest or dead kobold from whom I could loot a spare weapon from inside of one or two simple encounters. To be prevented from doing this, I'd have to be in some sort of a... spider cave? With nothing but spiders? Not even a dead adventurer or two.

In other words, in most cases I would find a spare. I would mutter in an annoyed fashion, equip the axe from that dead kobold that my friends will kill in ten seconds or backtrack to the site of our rather recent battle with the kobolds and loot one of the axes, because I hadn't already looted them due to inventory limitations or whatever. I make a mental note to visit the blacksmith when I get out of here, even though I would really just prefer to get on with the plot.

 

2) Backtrack to a place where I can repair my broken sword

This really depends on what happens as a result of my backtracking. So I'll split this down further.

2a) Nothing happens. The dungeon will be just as half-empty as I left it when I come back with my repaired sword

I sigh, trek through the now half-cleared dungeon and travel to the nearest village and get my sword fixed. Then I go back to the dungeon and get on with my dungeoneering right from where I left it.

2b) Monsters respawn or whatever while I'm out getting my sword fixed

I grumble. If option 1 is unfeasible due to inconvenient spider-cave or whatever, respawns means I would have to hack and slash my way through the same spider-cave again. I don't want to kill these spiders again. I've been killing enough spiders today, thank you very much. I just want to find the spider queen and get out of here. However, I know I can't kill the spider queen without my sword so I guess I have to kill some more damn spiders. Yay.

2c) Plot-related time limits mean Bad Things™ would happen if I go fix my sword

This means that I would have to make a choice of dealing with the Bad Things™ or trying to do without my sword whatever I came to do in the spider-cave. This would, however, assume that not only did my sword break in the spider cave but that somehow no spare swords would be readily available and I just happen to be on a quest with a time limit on it. Seriously, how likely is that if it's not something that's been pre-scripted to happen? Not very likely. Unlikely random events do not make for any more interesting strategic choices than having my entire party roll nothing but misses three times in a row, if you ask me.

2d) Getting the sword fixed would mean I have to deal with random encounters on the way back to the fixing-place

This is something of a mix between cases 2b and 2c. If your slightly underpowered party runs into a random encounter on the way back to the fixing place, what do you do? You deal with the random encounter as well as you can. Considering the usual threat level of random encounters, this likely means that you'll do just fine without one sword. If not, you reload and try again. In any case, nothing particularly interesting happens aside from you getting sidetracked from the main quest by doing some extra chores as a result of your sword breaking.

 

 

So I guess my point here is that, unless swords breaking are pre-scripted to happen during that one critical moment where it actually matters, dealing with durability mechanics tend to involve nothing but some combination of micromanagement and chore-like encounters. There's no interesting strategy to be found there, only boredom.

The only times when I can imagine item durability mechanics posing an interesting challenge in an RPG is when said RPG is of the pen n' paper variety and is being run by a GM both sadistic and creative enough to make the choice of continuing on or running back to town to get swords fixed actually meaningful and not just a chore.

 

The best implementation of durability mechanics that I can think of come from S.T.A.L.K.E.R with its rather strict weight limits combined with heavy weapons and ammo, with the aforementioned weapons also having a durability meter. The strategy here came from not using the really good weapons unless you thought you really needed to because, due to the setting, the weapons couldn't actually be repaired. The rest of the strategy could be summarized as "Oh for f's sake, I have to run back to town to buy more ammo again?"

Edited by RiceMunk
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No, it is pointless, annoying busy work. Swords and Armour would not wear down significantly over the time scale the game will (probably) deal with, and the wear and tear they do suffer could be mitigated with basic maintanence.

 

Everything can be described as poinless annoying busy-work.

 

And swords, especially thin ones, can be broken. Chips and material fatigues cannot be fixed easily.

 

 

But having a bunch of swords disintegrate mid-dungeon is annoying and doesn't add to the fun. IMO.

 

And I say talking is annoying. I say selecting spells is annoying. I say clicking is annoying.

 

Do you have any proper obejction other than "I do not want to loose my precious sword for 5 minutes"?

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

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A valid point but implementing something like that without it becoming more of a hassle and less of an interesting strategic choice is quite difficult.

So let's imagine a game where swords break. Fine, what do I do? Well, if I know that my swords can break in this game, I turn my strongest party member into a pack mule (Hello, Minsc) who lugs around, depending on how frequently swords tend to break, half a dozen or so spare swords for my party. Not very interesting at all. Just means I have one dude who carries around a backpack full of sharp implements in case on the implements being wielded breaks.

 

Well, assuming some realism your characters wouldn't be pack mules that can caryy an armory on them in the first palce, so you'd have to sacrifice something for those reserve weapons.

And why on earth would you have one character be a pack mule in the first place? Every smart character should have a secondary/backup weapon at all times.

 

Also, how is that different from half the other stuff in the game? Like potions.

You have to carry them around and once your out of them you have to go back to town to replensih. If you don't the battle gets harder.

 

 

 

 

 

1) Continue onwards, hoping I find a spare

 

Why is that problem? Of coruse, assuming you find a spare you are proficient with. Or that the spare would be as good as your prefered sword.

 

 

2b) Monsters respawn or whatever while I'm out getting my sword fixed

I grumble. If option 1 is unfeasible due to inconvenient spider-cave or whatever, respawns means I would have to hack and slash my way through the same spider-cave again. I don't want to kill these spiders again. I've been killing enough spiders today, thank you very much. I just want to find the spider queen and get out of here. However, I know I can't kill the spider queen without my sword so I guess I have to kill some more damn spiders. Yay.

 

Why couldn't you kill it without your sword?

 

 

 

 

So I guess my point here is that, unless swords breaking are pre-scripted to happen during that one critical moment where it actually matters, dealing with durability mechanics tend to involve nothing but some combination of micromanagement and chore-like encounters. There's no interesting strategy to be found there, only boredom.

 

I can say that for half the stuff in RPGs in general....

 

Getting back to town is a chore? And killing the spider queen ISN'T a chore?

Both involve going to a location and doing stuff.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Well, assuming some realism your characters wouldn't be pack mules that can caryy an armory on them in the first palce, so you'd have to sacrifice something for those reserve weapons.

And why on earth would you have one character be a pack mule in the first place? Every smart character should have a secondary/backup weapon at all times.

 

Also, how is that different from half the other stuff in the game? Like potions.

You have to carry them around and once your out of them you have to go back to town to replensih. If you don't the battle gets harder.

It's a matter of balance between realism and fun. If you think implementing a pack-mule-annoyedness-meter would somehow make the game more interesting, please tell me so. Arguing who carries the hypothetical spare swords is pointless anyhow, because my point is that durability mechanics add nothing to an cRPG but pointless busywork.

 

1) Continue onwards, hoping I find a spare

 

Why is that problem? Of coruse, assuming you find a spare you are proficient with. Or that the spare would be as good as your prefered sword.

 

 

2b) Monsters respawn or whatever while I'm out getting my sword fixed

I grumble. If option 1 is unfeasible due to inconvenient spider-cave or whatever, respawns means I would have to hack and slash my way through the same spider-cave again. I don't want to kill these spiders again. I've been killing enough spiders today, thank you very much. I just want to find the spider queen and get out of here. However, I know I can't kill the spider queen without my sword so I guess I have to kill some more damn spiders. Yay.

 

Why couldn't you kill it without your sword?

Both of these replies miss my point. You argue that durability mechanics add interesting strategic elements to RPGs. I argue that at most durability mechanics add minor annoyances and busywork to them. Neither have any meaningful strategic value.

 

So I guess my point here is that, unless swords breaking are pre-scripted to happen during that one critical moment where it actually matters, dealing with durability mechanics tend to involve nothing but some combination of micromanagement and chore-like encounters. There's no interesting strategy to be found there, only boredom.

 

I can say that for half the stuff in RPGs in general....

 

Getting back to town is a chore? And killing the spider queen ISN'T a chore?

Both involve going to a location and doing stuff.

If you play RPGs where half the stuff you do are chores, you need to find some better RPGs.

Also, do you truly equate killing spider queens with sword-repairing trips? I know I would most definitely play the spider-killing game over the sword-repairing game.

Unless it's a really nifty sword-repairing game. Having a hard time imagining how that would be so, though.

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Not a big fan. It tends to become a resource sink more than anything tactical. In Oblivion/Morrwind it was a gold sink or, more commonly, a skill sink where you carried around a bag of hammers. Sadly, they would not let you use this bag of hammers as your weapon. It served similar functions in Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

 

The ONE interesting consequence it had was in Fallout 3 and New Vegas where it encouraged people to stick to weapons that were popular in the dungeon they were visiting instead of just using their favorite gun. This fell by the wayside later on when people tended to have built giant stockpiles. But I don't see them replicating that part of the system here anyway.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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And I say talking is annoying. I say selecting spells is annoying. I say clicking is annoying.

 

Do you have any proper obejction other than "I do not want to loose my precious sword for 5 minutes"?

 

Reading well written dialogue is always a pleasure. Selecting the right spells for the right job is fun, and most importantly I can see and understand and learn the system so that I can succeed through my own skill. Clicking is what makes all the fun happen, but if the option to control games with my thoughts existed that would be fine.

 

Also, my objection wasn't about "losing my precious sword", there is no need to be rude. My objection was that repairing weapons and armour is not fun for me, losing a battle because the RNG decided my sword should break in half is not fun.

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This is my own, very general idea of how this mechanic might be implemented in a way I'd enjoy it; everyone should feel free to post their own that we might have the broadest of all possible discussions on what could be an important nag-factor in the game.

 

Proposition One: Looks Used

 

Not everything pre-owned is rusted, but if I take a helmet off someone who just got their head bludgeoned I should have a dent in it-- perhaps it's even unusuable if a warhammer was employed. But leather stuff should be cut a bit and seeing wear and tear like dirt would be nifty but not a need to have. Basically if new stuff looks new and things people war in a sword fight look cut up a bit I'd be appreciative.

 

As a side note, most plate that can withstand gunshots should have a ding somewhere on it from being hit by a bullet-- a mark any buyer looked for in the comperable Euopean/Japanese time period before purchasing armor.

 

Proposition Two: Looted Armor

 

You've killed someone and take their crap or found it in a chest or abandoned armory et ketra. If the place was recently vacated, particularly in a haste, or if the deceased were wealthy or well equipped by association (I.e.: soldiers and guards) it should be just about as good as of you'd bought it new (unless there's maybe some aforementioned visual marks on it.

 

Conversely in an ancient fortress or battlefield the armor ought to be crapped up to a high degree, possibly requiring

 

Proposition Three: Metal Armor

 

Metal armor shouldn't lose armor value with durability. When durability hits rock bottom it should break into halves or components or some such; repairing them should require the proper facilitaties and a degree of skill at least approaching that required to make it. It shouldn't be instant, either: you should have to leave it with a smith for a day or so while you're about town.

 

I'd think normal metal armor should start to get close to broken around two dungeons or an equivalent amount of encounters "on the road." Patching should forestall but not stop completely the degradation process.

 

Bullets should do lots of durability damage, so even if it doesn't pierce the armor it gives much incentive to not just run at someone with a pistol.

 

Proposition Four: Leather Armor

 

Faster to degrade but easier to repair (and make). Maybe after being slashed it's more susceptible to piercing damage? Not sure how it'd work out.

 

Proposition Five: Cost and "Creative Capitalism"

 

Mining towns should have the ore cheap but refinieries elsewhere, where the armor will be a bit cheaper. Skilled smiths should make turn around time for repairs and armor creations shorter and more plentiful armor around. Slightly more expensive, but sells better elsewhere… however, if a smith was at master level of skill and s/he's relatively well known than their befalling a tragic accident might drive a spike in prices for the materials everywhere.

 

 

This got a bit rambly but hopefully someone else has ideas to throw out.

Edited by Azrayel

CORSAIR, n. A politician of the seas. ~The Devil's Dictionary

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Durability in a game is an instant "never ever try to play a fighter since mages don't get hit to the head" for me.

So no. I'm not strictly opposed, but durability doesn't add challenge to me, it just adds annoyance.

Edited by alphyna

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It's a matter of balance between realism and fun. If you think implementing a pack-mule-annoyedness-meter would somehow make the game more interesting, please tell me so. Arguing who carries the hypothetical spare swords is pointless anyhow, because my point is that durability mechanics add nothing to an cRPG but pointless busywork.

 

They add nothing to you.

 

You really think every single thing in rolepalying game should be only super-fun? Roleplaying games exists to roleplay. That means, to give you character a space in which to express himself. Not ot jsut swing sword.

 

You know what I don't find fun? Dying. Thereofre, dying is pointless since it's no fun and adds nothing. Let's remove it.

 

 

How is sword repair lees "pointless" than healing?

 

 

 

 

Both of these replies miss my point. You argue that durability mechanics add interesting strategic elements to RPGs. I argue that at most durability mechanics add minor annoyances and busywork to them. Neither have any meaningful strategic value.

 

But they do have meaningfull strategic value. You just refuse to accept it.

You can't seriously tell me that WHEN you arrive somewhere and with WHAT equipment has no strategic and tacticla implications?

You can't serisouyl tell me that choosing between risk A and risk B is not a meaningfull choice?

 

 

 

 

 

If you play RPGs where half the stuff you do are chores, you need to find some better RPGs.

 

If you consdier armor repair a chore, but heling you're OK with, maybe you need to find some other games.

 

 

Also, do you truly equate killing spider queens with sword-repairing trips? I know I would most definitely play the spider-killing game over the sword-repairing game.

Unless it's a really nifty sword-repairing game. Having a hard time imagining how that would be so, though.

 

Hey, your lack of imagination is not my problem.

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* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Aaaah don't I feel dumb now; sorry, should've just searched beyond t'first page.

 

I'm obviously pro, but not in the WoW sort of way where it jus drains your money and adds another thing to do between having fun. If that's what it'd be than I'd say throw it out, but iDon't think Obsidian would do a bad job with it like that.

CORSAIR, n. A politician of the seas. ~The Devil's Dictionary

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@op, no. For the last couple of days I'm at war with you realistic RPGers. So I'll tell you to go get a hammer and repair your granddad's sword for the best kind of realism.

 

And I'll tell you to go on an acid trip for that fantastical experience.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Also, my objection wasn't about "losing my precious sword", there is no need to be rude. My objection was that repairing weapons and armour is not fun for me, losing a battle because the RNG decided my sword should break in half is not fun.

 

If you didn't brought a spare you deserve to die. If your sucess in battle depends soley on one sword, then you suck and deserve to die.

 

I don't need the game to hold my hand an overly simplfy anything. Just because you are lazy doesn't mean I am.

 

FUN is relative. Some poeple have fun in micromanaging. Others hate it.

 

I don't want games to ignore my bad decision and put safety nets. In PnP you DO pack provisions. CRPGs mostly ignore it. Sometimes the DM punishes you for going into an artic region without preparing (barbaian loincloith without thick clothing). Game mostly ingore it.

 

I want the game to be unforgiving.

I want to be forced to think and plan ahead.

 

 

If you can't think of a good durabilti mechanics, doesn't mean others are incapable of it.

Instead you avoid it because how other games handled it didn't suit you. you are looking for a problem, instead for a solution. Of course you will never be satisfied.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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You know what I don't find fun? Dying. Thereofre, dying is pointless since it's no fun and adds nothing. Let's remove it.

 

Dying isn't fun, overcoming the challenge that results in death through planning and skill is fun. Having your best laid plans fail because your armour fell to pieces isn't fun, it's frustrating.

 

This is obviously something you want in the game, but I bet it won't be in the final product as most people simply don't enjoy it. It may be more productive to push for the devs to release mod tools with the game so that the people who want it, can add it.

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This is obviously something you want in the game, but I bet it won't be in the final product as most people simply don't enjoy it. It may be more productive to push for the devs to release mod tools with the game so that the people who want it, can add it.

 

Most people are incapalbe of thinking outside of the box and equate durability with a chore, because that's how it was in other games. And if you're readin the posts carefully, that's EXACTLY what is happening.

 

It makes as much sense and declaring that inventory managment is a chore and no game should have it because it was a chore in Ultima.

And funnily enough people did declare it.

Edited by TrashMan

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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It's a matter of balance between realism and fun. If you think implementing a pack-mule-annoyedness-meter would somehow make the game more interesting, please tell me so. Arguing who carries the hypothetical spare swords is pointless anyhow, because my point is that durability mechanics add nothing to an cRPG but pointless busywork.

 

They add nothing to you.

 

You really think every single thing in rolepalying game should be only super-fun? Roleplaying games exists to roleplay. That means, to give you character a space in which to express himself. Not ot jsut swing sword.

 

You know what I don't find fun? Dying. Thereofre, dying is pointless since it's no fun and adds nothing. Let's remove it.

 

 

How is sword repair lees "pointless" than healing?

 

 

 

 

Both of these replies miss my point. You argue that durability mechanics add interesting strategic elements to RPGs. I argue that at most durability mechanics add minor annoyances and busywork to them. Neither have any meaningful strategic value.

 

But they do have meaningfull strategic value. You just refuse to accept it.

You can't seriously tell me that WHEN you arrive somewhere and with WHAT equipment has no strategic and tacticla implications?

You can't serisouyl tell me that choosing between risk A and risk B is not a meaningfull choice?

 

 

 

 

 

If you play RPGs where half the stuff you do are chores, you need to find some better RPGs.

 

If you consdier armor repair a chore, but heling you're OK with, maybe you need to find some other games.

 

 

Also, do you truly equate killing spider queens with sword-repairing trips? I know I would most definitely play the spider-killing game over the sword-repairing game.

Unless it's a really nifty sword-repairing game. Having a hard time imagining how that would be so, though.

 

Hey, your lack of imagination is not my problem.

I have already expressed reasons on why I do not consider durability mechanics to add anything interesting, least of all meaningful tactical elements, to a cRPG yet you keep making vague statements about how they do and invent new ways to sidetrack the discussion.

Please either reply to my points directly or ask me to clarify myself. If you have no interest in that, I consider this discussion closed on my part.

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I don't mind if items break from magic or special feats but only very powerful characters should be able to break items meant to withstand warfare. I don't mind if items can then be repaired. However, items built for stress should not break from normal use. Magical items should only break from very special conditions. Remember only a supernaturally strong person can break a well-made steel weapon by using it to slice even at steel. Any blade that isn't clumsily made won't loosen from its hilt and handle. If twenty smiths each made fifteen swords, not one would break nor shatter during battle. If there is an armor so strong that steel blades break on it, it would smash the flesh of whomsoever touched it. So it's magic that can break steel, not force, not a million normal blows.

 

Now, I don't mind that steel items need to be repaired from being subjected to magic spells, when specific magic spells to destroy steel has been cast. As to leather armor and weapons of softer metals, yes, these need repair sometimes.

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If the developers want to incorporate some sort of modification system to items to make them more powerful that's one thing, but a 'durability' system doesn't realy add a depth of realism to the game, only stands to make your average player feel frustraited or annoyed if the item breaks right when it's needed most.

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Remember only a supernaturally strong person can break a well-made steel weapon by using it to slice even at steel.

 

Actually you can't slice trough a sword. It may appear that that is what is happening, but if you ever look at sword-fighting or sword fight in slow-mo, you will see that swords bend A LOT.

And you know what happens to metal when you bend it - fatigue. So what effectively happens is that the sword at one point snaps (if subjected to enough force...a LOT of force. A normal swing is unlikely to be enough)

But it almost looks like it was sliced trough.

 

As I said, durabiltiy like in Diablo or Morrowind is a no-no. It's tedious.

If there is durability, it should be handeled a different way mechanicly.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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I have already expressed reasons on why I do not consider durability mechanics to add anything interesting, least of all meaningful tactical elements, to a cRPG yet you keep making vague statements about how they do and invent new ways to sidetrack the discussion.

Please either reply to my points directly or ask me to clarify myself. If you have no interest in that, I consider this discussion closed on my part.

 

Pardon me for saying this, but your reasons are vauger and more pointelss than anything I wrote.

 

You simply keep saying "X isnt' tactical/strategic because I dont' find it interested."

Or

"I'll aways do X anyway, so it's no choice"

 

That is seriously flawed thinking. If loosing your main weapons (especially if you're specialized) isn't a tactical/strategic factor, then waht is?

If you consdier having to repair armor/weapon a few times during the course of entire game tedious, what about resting? Or inventory managment?

Something you have to do a LOT more often?

 

 

Long story short Rice, I see zero value in your objections. Zero. Because they all boil down to "it's not interesting to me".

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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