The Legend of Zelda : Tears of the Kingdom is a massive game full of secrets, one of which concerns its weapon damage stats. Combine this with returning weapon durability, and fans already alienated by Breath of the Wild’s innovations could be in for even more curveballs.
Multiple weapon types were a feature first introduced in The Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild, and unsurprisingly brought back in its sequel The Legend of Zelda : Kingdom Tears. While the aesthetics of weapons vary widely, they all fall into just three types: one-handed swords, two-handed swords, and spears. The latter are generally considered superior due to their weaker but faster hits (combined with the flat damage bonus increased by fusing materials to them), and the fact that despite leaving Link more exposed when attacking, They have the ability to stun enemies. All three types are pretty fragile anyway, and will break apart when hit hard enough, although Kingdom Tears’ new fuse ability corrects this a bit.
A Reddit user named fallen_corpse posted a PSA about Tear of Kingdoms weapon damage stats. Apparently there was a hidden stat change that gave each weapon type its own damage modifier to prevent each type from being overpowered, but this resulted in spears being weaker than advertised, making them less powerful than listed Other weapon types of the same number are weaker. It turns out that the light sword’s damage attribute is unchanged at 1.0, while the heavy sword is 1.05 (5% stronger than assumed) and the spear is 0.75 (25% weaker than assumed). These changes should make the more difficult early game a lot more interesting in terms of combat strategy.
Many Redditors seemed eloquent about the news, with some acting as if they weren’t terribly surprised, while others dismissed it as small arms are now considered a higher-level weapon due to the discovery. Some have even pointed out that the returning champion tunic no longer displays enemy health, a change that may make the stat changes less noticeable.
Why did Nintendo make such a change when developing Tear of the Kingdom, let alone why it wasn’t revealed to fans. The company has been known to modify the sequels based on fan feedback, hence the new sublimation abilities of Tears of Kingdoms, but while series producer Eiji Aonuma has detailed the thought process behind the change, neither he nor the other developers have said why they feel Weapon types need to be rebalanced this time around. Maybe they know how many players seem to prefer spears to other weapons, and want to encourage more experimentation, as has been the case with the past two Zelda games.
The Legend of Zelda : Tear of the Kingdom is available for Nintendo Switch.