Praise The Sun! Dark Souls II Fixing Weapon Durability Bug

Once an obvious bug has been in a game long enough, one comes to accept it’ll always be there. You learn to play around the bug, knowing when it’ll strike and what you can do to avoid it. It’s one of those quirks that makes a game more personal, a little more human. “Oh sweet little Jimmy Buggletons,” I imagine you sigh when you find a weapon cracking in Dark Souls II [official site] thanks to the durability bug, “we meet again!” You insufferably twee git.

Well, dear reader, I’m afraid Jimmy is going away to a farm where he’ll be very happy playing with the other glitches. The durability bug’s finally being, ah, sent to a better place.

The bug makes weapons lose far too much durability when they strike targets like enemy corpses (including folks who die mid-strike) and friendly characters. This is made worse by the durability loss being linked to the framerate and calculated based on 30fps, so anyone running at 60fps (which, y’know, is a bonus of playing on PC) could chew through weapons at a terrible pace.

Players did address the fps problem by making a tool, continuing to fix the shoddy work of developers From Software, but couldn’t do it all. Now From are finally addressing the bug, though it’s not entirely clear how.

Publishers Bandai Namco announced an upcoming patch yesterday, with changes including:

“Fixed issue whereby weapon durability was decreased drastically when used on enemy corpses, friendly characters, etc. (Especially apparent for users running the game at 60 fps as the durability decrease rate was linked to the frame rate).”

So will folks running at 60fps still lose durability at a higher rate? The “was” in “the durability decrease rate was linked to the frame rate” would seem to suggest they’re fixing that as well as the mega durability hit of striking corpses. Either way, addressing the corpse problem will help a load.

The patch is due “in the coming weeks” with a handful of other fixes too. Do check the notes if you’re curious. It seems that yes, it is for both the original Dark Souls II and its recent weird/confusing Scholar of the First Sin repackaging.

One of my most tense moments in the original Dark Souls came from weapon durability. Over a long, slow, death-heavy slug down into Blighttown, my fragile Uchigatana started to give, and was almost gone as I neared the Quelaag boss battle. I probably would’ve given up if durability had sapped faster (and if someone watching my stream hadn’t magically invaded me to deliver a fresh sword – in desperation I took it but felt weird about that, and resolved to accept less help).

22 Comments

  1. Ansob says:

    Also quite importantly, this fixes the really shoddy command input detection for guard breaks and leap attacks:

    Fixed issue whereby actions requiring both button and stick controller input (Jump Attack, Guard Break) were not properly registering in-game.

    • Oktober Storm says:

      That’s even bigger news, to finally be able to reliably do those moves with a gamepad.

    • mechabuddha says:

      I’ll finally be able to guard break? Praise the sun! I’ve sunk hundreds of hours into Dark Souls the Second, and have never once been able to pull off a guard break.

  2. meepmeep says:

    Why is durability even in the Souls games? What does it add? There is some interest in having unrepairable Crystal weapons which must be used sparingly. but otherwise it’s not really something that improves the experience, as it creates little additional strategy beyond ‘carry a spare weapon in case’.

    • Steve Catens says:

      I expect it’s a measure to balance melee builds with other builds that rely on limited resources like casters and archers. It’s a game of scarce resources that require careful management in between strategic resting. It would be hardly fair if a caster had to rest every 5 minutes to replenish offensive potential, and melee builds could whack away all day with their metal sticks.

      It also discourages careless combat and button mashing. It makes you wince if you take a wild swing and bounce off a wall, because you know you just dented your awesome claymore of fiery crotch implosion.

      • klo3 says:

        Well in DkS it doesn’t, and what I’ve understood from this news it now doesn’t balance the game in DkS II either.

        You can basically travel between 5 bonfires and beat a couple of bosses before you need to repair your weapon, so it’s more like “hmm I’ve got these extra souls, maybe I could repair some items now that I’m by the bonfire/at Andre or another BS”. Yes – if you forget to repair your weapon/armor might break, but there is hardly any strategy in remembering to repair my weapon at some point in the next hour when even the cost for repairing (at least in DkS) is something you literally farm in a couple of minutes regardless of your level.

        I’m not against the mechanic per se and think it add some ‘realism’ to the game but strategically it adds nothing in comparison to a magic user limited attunement slots (arrows are cheap so you really should not run out of them either).

        • Tacroy says:

          Weapon durability in Dark Souls 1 was a mechanical extension of the theme, not a mechanical extension of the gameplay. Thematically, Dark Souls 1 was about a world in which everything is winding down, dying out, and breaking apart – that’s why your initial quest is to rekindle the flame, to restart the world.

          Hence, it has to be possible for your your weapons to break, because everything in the world besides you is slowly getting worse and worse.

          Dark Souls 2 just has the mechanic because Dark Souls 1 had it and they pretty much imported mechanics uncritically.

          • Fiyenyaa says:

            But the durabilty system in 2 is way different. I think it was a concious effort to make durabilty mean more on a moment-to-moment level, since in 1 it didn’t ever become an issue if you repaired every time you sat at a fire (outside of some rare special attack weapons).

      • Geebs says:

        Although to be fair, magic is always pretty overpowered in Souls games.

        I never even noticed that weapon durability was a thing on my first play through of Dark Souls, probably because I chose not to ponce about with a katana.

    • golem09 says:

      I like durability since it’s connected to the bonfires as well, which repair all your weapons. I like that extra layer of needing bonfires.
      The question is, if the 60fps version has less durability than intended, why did they bother with the whole system in the first place? I’ve had one weapon one single time go into the durability warning phase in all the time I played the 60fps version. So in 30 fps they could just as well leave durability out entirely.

      • Steve Catens says:

        The impact of the durability bug varied with the type of weapons used. Some weapons had particular animations that caused them to linger in the ground or objects longer than others, vastly amplifying the effect of the bug. It’s just a matter of a console developer not being used to the potential side effects of tying combat mechanisms to framerates when those framerates are no longer locked at 30fps on a console.

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        basilisk says:

        For what it’s worth, I played and finished DS with a 100% melee build last year, and I quite literally forgot that weapon durability even existed in the game; upon reading this, I was idly wondering if that was something they added in the sequel. So as far as I’m concerned, the mechanic is essentially pointless.

        • Steve Catens says:

          I never struggled with durability in DS either. In DS2 at 60fps I had certain weapons that would break after just minutes of use. Others seemed much more reasonable. As I said above the effect varies with the type of animation the weapon had.

          The far bigger issue for me was the second thing this patch supposedly fixes. The fact that at 60fps, certain advanced combat maneuvers were nearly impossible to pull off because the timing window was out of wack from the 30fps.

          • Caelyn Ellis says:

            I played DS2 for the first time the other day. I picked cleric, got to what I’m told is the hub area, and my mace had broken before the first bonfire after that.

      • JakobBloch says:

        As said it was very dependant on the weapon you used. With my sword and board build there was never any trouble. But when I opted to make a full strength big hammer build, a lot of my combat started to revolve around using attacks that left the weapon in the enemy for the shortest amount of time. As the game went on I started using the bone knuckle ring to keep my weapon in good condition. Finally I was pushed into splurging into sorcery to get the repair spell just to get from bonfire to bonfire. Had I not used all these things my hammer would never have made it through the DLC’s.

    • Monggerel says:

      The games’ worlds being what they are, it is rather appropriate that absolutely everything is infused with elemental decay.
      (that might be the worst pun I ever made in the last 15 minutes)

    • The_Ramen_Within says:

      ITT: People who don’t use special weapons. There are plenty of unique weapons with special R2 attacks that use durability to limit your use and weapons like, the Old Whip, which have variable durability lose depending on the target that limits your use of such an OP weapon. Without durability you’d have people spamming special attacks which is why the mechanism is useful.

      Too bad this fix comes ridiculously late for anyone who has been playing since launch.

  3. drumcan says:

    I personally enjoyed the much lower durability of weapons on DkS2. I thought it helped to give the game more of a personality of its own, which to be honest it sorely needed. I won’t mourn its patching though, as long as it helps people enjoy the game.

  4. Geebs says:

    The amount of bitching between the “it’s a bug” and the “it’s intentional design, how dare you question art” factions on this issue has been terrifying/hilarious to behold

    • that_guy_strife says:

      This !

      Although playing at 30 FPS on my decrepit hardware would have caused me quite the scare if I ever switched to 60 FPS. That part seems more like a bug, honestly.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      The Souls series are amazing games that spawn some of the most ridiculous arguments. It’s like people bring all the anger they built up while playing the game and vent it onto other people.

  5. sicbanana says:

    Man! This is great news! Finally!
    I got a full dex+fth katana ninja build and this DID provide some problems for me.
    They could have just made it a tiny bit earlier as I’m nearing completion in my first playthrough… :/
    Oh well, at least I don’t have to worry about that in NG+ then, lovely!