Low Durabiity? No Problem!
Weapon durability is back in Tears of the Kingdom and while this is a bit of a sore subject for many, it's not all doom and gloom. With the new Fuse mechanic, you can give your weapons a ruddy good dura-boost by simply fusing an item to them. Is your Zora Sword about to break? Stick a boulder on it. Problem solved.
More Useful Icons
Sometimes, it's not always easy to judge what kind of weapon you have in your inventory by its image alone, especially if it's something that's been created with the Fuse mechanic. What's good, then, is that there are now icons in the weapon menu that indicate whether it's a standard sword, a heavy weapon, a spear, and so on. It's good if you're quickly swapping out weapons on the fly.
Not only is there now a quick-menu option for your basic inventory, but you can actually drop items at any time without going into the full-fat menu itself. This is obviously good if you want a bit of a purge, but it's especially useful when you need to break out a Zonai Flame Emitter or Hover Stone.
A shout-out to the Stables, which now emit puffs of smoke from the giant wooden horse's head! It's definitely a small addition, but it makes spotting these landmarks much easier from a distance.
More Is Better
More what, you ask? Picture slots, that's what. Yes, you can now store more pictures from your camera in one go, as there are now a total of 64 slots instead of 48. For those of you who like to break out the camera every two minutes — or those with a Purah obsession — this is sure to be a welcome addition.
One Giant Health Bar
When you come across a group of Bokoblins that's supported by one giant 'Boss Bokoblin', instead of having a bunch of individual health bars crowd the image, you now have one big health bar at the top of the screen to indicate the overall state of the group as a whole, not unlike Age of Calamity.
This means that even when the health bar is very low, you'll know that there is still at least one Bokoblin still lurking in the vicinity.
Sort Yerself Out!
Sorting isn't a new thing to Tears of the Kingdom, but the way you can basically sort any set of items in the inventory by 'most used' is most definitely a big step up. It's especially handy for the standard quick-menu; some of us tend to gravitate towards things like the Bomb Flower or Splash Fruit, so it's nice that you can sort these in a way that makes them instantly accessible.
More Stamina Goodness
Jumping and then shooting an arrow is cool, right? All that slow-motion effect and whatnot. The problem in Breath of the Wild, however, was that your stamina would decrease constantly when utilising this move. In Tears of the Kingdom, however, your stamina will only drop as you shoot each arrow, so you've got more time in between to plan your attack without having to worry about your stamina depleting.
Don't Slip Up!
Trying to climb when it's raining is, quite frankly, a nightmare. It's so easy to slip down and drain your stamina, and we're not sure if you agree with us, but it seems to rain a lot in Tears of the Kingdom. That's why it's good that you can now obtain anti-slip elixirs and clothing to prevent such atrocities. Now you can climb with ease!
Gotta Find Those Fairies
Finding a Fairy Fountain in Breath of the Wild would add it to your map, but only if you zoom in close enough to make out the details. This time, Fairy Fountains now have their own icon, so it's now easier than ever to scope them out on your travels.
We were going to put a pic of a map as an example above, but spoilers innit. So here's a random pretty picture instead.
More Accurate Sensor
Locating shrines with the sensor could be annoying in Breath of the Wild, because it would only ever give you a vague indication of where you needed to go. In Tears of the Kingdom, the sensor will now actually point out whether a shrine is above or below you. It's not a perfect improvement, but it makes things much less frustrating.
Less Annoying Sensor!
Speaking of the sensor, it now sounds much less annoying than it did in Breath of the Wild. The *boop boop* sound is still more or less the same, but it's a lot softer now, and less grating as a result.
Keep Track of Deaths
And finally, Hero's Path is back, giving players an easy way to effectively track their journey through the in-game map. In Breath of the Wild, each time the animation came across a player death, it would pause momentarily, needlessly adding time to the entire process. This time, the animation is a lot smoother and no time is wasted.
Which is just as well. We've got many hours still to go with this one and we need to get cracking.
So there you have it, 26 little tweaks that we think make Tears of the Kingdom an improvement on its awesome predecessor. Special thanks go to our lovely video producer Felix for coming up with the list that we've adapted here!
Reckon we've missed anything crucial here? What new things have you discovered on your own journey? Let us know with a comment below.
I kinda agree with just about everything, but to me the biggest positive change WAS weapon durability. Fused weapons lasting at least a single large fight without exploding was so nice.
I say WAS because I'm to the point where I've scaled the world to include a silver monster with almost every camp, and that thing can still shatter a fused weapon on it's own. It's really made me appreciate how nice not having to swap multiple weapons in a single, trivial fight really was. Maybe I was just spoiled by path of the sword.
The tweak where you have time to aim your shots while you're in the air without your stamina meter draining the whole time is so good!!
TOTK is BOTW: Second Quest.
So, if you fuse a weapon that is close to breaking does it get a fresh durability? Can you unfuse and re-fuse to soemthing else for more? Just curious - I haven't gotten too far into the game yet.
@BrianJL You cant unfuse. But yes it will get a bump of durability
The biggest change is the dungeons for me. Yeah, you still need to find the five things, but everything else is better. Theming, bosses, music, and the puzzles are all major improvements over BOTW. And I did find that turning on pro hud, and not opening my map, helped with the whole “ go find the five things.” It felt like I was actually going through a dungeon instead of going from point A to point B.
@DwaynesGames BOTW is TOTK’s first quest.
@AndreyBoarao You can't unfuse once it is close to breaking? Because you can normally - it just destroys the fused item, but not the base weapon.
Big +++ for the newly added volumetric clouds and general fog/smoke effects in general.
I noticed when running through fog on the ground, it actually billows around like real fog and reacts to Link's footsteps.
Not only can you unfuse, but you there are two ways to do so. One is in the menu, which destroys the fused item, and one that an NPC can do that returns both the weapon and fused item.
Without looking at hex values in real time I can't 100% say what is happening, but it LOOKS like it's using percentage conservation.
So let's say you have a weapon with 20 durability and fuse it with an item with 20 durability. You then "use" 20 durability. When you unfuse the weapon, it will be at 10 durability, the same percentage that it was at as a combo.
Fused materials returned by the NPC seem to be at 100% durability. So using the example above, if you re--fused that material you would now have 30 durability (10 from 50% of the weapon and 20 from 100% of the material). It costs money though, so it's not that viable to repeatedly do this. Also some weapons change the properties of the fused material, like doubling it's attack while not adding any durability.
It's a pretty meaty system.
Correct. Volumetric fog IS a stock, completely automated part of the unreal engine that can be utilized to do this with zero programing experience using a drop down menu.
That's what you meant by "it's unreal", right?
Sorry, I didn't mean to rain on your enthusiasm, but at someone who's coded with it ... I had to.
In fairness, the Splatoon 3 engine (which TOTK was made in) handles volumetric objects MUCH better then almost anything else I've seen, and with much lower overhead. Only the new CS2 engine dose a better job, and giving that smoke grenades are literally the most important part of that game, that's to be expected.
@DwaynesGames Pretty sure that was Master quest
@HeadPirate Hahaha I am fond of puns, but unfortunately I didn't have that foresight on that one, so I can't take credit.
It wasn't in BOTW and I believe it was also mentioned in the Digital Foundry review, but I appreciate it either way, even if it's a stock feature for the new engine.
@HeadPirate That's helpful to know - thanks.
@HeadPirate @BrianJL Nice discussion!
I have started to play 2 days ago. I'll take a look at that then!!
It's funny ... I've played BOTW 3 times, including completely maxed out playthroughs of the expansions pass, and I've never really consciously considered the Divine Beasts as underwhelming. But as soon as I read your comment and gave it some thought ... yeah, spot on.
They still don't feel like a full on dungeon from the non-open world games, but TOTK does a much better job at approximating that feeling. I actually really enjoyed the Fire and Wind Temples, while none of the Devine Beasts ever felt like anything more then busy work.
@HeadPirate Riffing off what you said about dungeons, I appreciate the ability to return to them and explore them even after they are completed.
This was something I wished I could do in BOTWs Temples/Beasts, if for nothing else, just to take in the sights and appreciate the design.
I was confused that I had completely missed the sensor and hero mode in my play through but turns like you need to complete one of the four “regional phenomena” to unlock that. I’ve been putting off doing those to explore first but I might need to get just one out the way sooner rather than later.
Same here, now I’m wondering how much shrines I missed exploring over in Hebra without the sensor.
@BongoBongo Yeah, the game is a little bit more linear than BotW in that regard. You actually need to complete stuff to unlock certain features.
"Keep Track of Deaths" - where exactly i select Hero Mode?
I dont have it in my options in game
"-" to open your map.
While on the map screen, hit "x"
@BongoBongo I completely forgot about the shrine sensor from BOTW, I guess I assumed they removed it but it makes sense it's unlockable, just like the camera, which I unlocked after all the other abilities.
I've honestly been enjoying the peace without the sensor and detecting them by sight alone, but it's likely there are some that can only be found with the sensor so I should probably nab it soon.
I completed only the wind temple so far but didn't hear anything about new features, I'll keep digging around and talking to people, hopefully I stumble upon them soon.
@HeadPirate that does nothing. Nothing happen when i click X.
You got L - Move, R - Zoom, A - Select, B - Return
Probably i need to unlock sensor or something else. Too bad its spoiler
Maybe it's my experience,But the lightening seems to be toned down as well. Botw, nearly every time it rained,it seemed like I was swapping my gear so I wouldn't be electrocuted. Totk,it seems like less lightening storms thus less time in the menus
@Surv It's not really a spoiler, just easy to miss. Unless you've completely ignored any main quests Robbie will tell you how to unlock it in the first hour or so of play.
Or if you're like me you'll do half the main quest over 2 days before your wife points out all the stuff you missed in the first area ...
@MitchaK I agree the rain feels less frequent compared to BOTW, which I welcome because it was a pain to wait until the rain stopped before I could climb something big.
Even though TOTK introduces a way to mitigate slippery surfaces when raining (which I won't spoil), I much prefer this frequency of the weather changes for simple exploration reasons. There are still parts of the map where it's always raining, of course.
The Digital Foundry review also mentioned pretty drastic changes in lighting when comparing footage side-by-side at the exact same locations and the exact same times of day, but to me it just looked like BOTW had more frequent weather effects compared to the TOTK footage.
I'm impressed the sunlight/moonlight is blocked by objects way high in the sky and draws them over great distances to the ground far down below, many other AAA games don't have such range with shadows reaching this far. I imagine the new sky islands may have to do with why the lighting/weather feeling so different from BOTW.
I love the weapon swap option, but am kind of shocked it only works at chests and not when you find weapons (much more frequently) elsewhere in the game, like those lying around all over the place. Unless I'm blind...
Also, they should allow fusion within the inventory menu.
Am I crazy or could you not tap left or right on the dpad to quick equip and unequip your weapon or shield?
@Gryffin I'm not qualified to deem you as crazy or not, but I can confirm the d-pad works for weapons/shields the same as it did in BOTW, meaning you hold it down and it shows the full weapons/shields inventory and if you tap it, it shows the same menu briefly. I don't believe we could quickly equip/unequip weapons and shields in BOTW, but that would be a nice feature. I guess they felt sheathing and unsheathing with Y and B was enough.
They did some minor swapping with the L button and up on the D-pad however.
BOTW Controls: holding up in the D-pad showed the Tablet powers and you would equip or unequip them with L, it didn't matter if you tapped L or held it down.
TOTK Controls: holding up on the D-pad shows quick select for inventory items, which wasn't a thing in BOTW. Also, holding the L button allows you to select Ultrahand Powers from the wheel, while tapping it equips/unequips that power.
The changes are so subtle, but I have to say I love the Quality of Life features in TOTK's controls with inventory items.
I want this game SO badly but I can NOT afford it atm so hey let's wait I guess
Jokes aside, I can't wait to get this. Gonna be a BLAST!
@Astral-Grain hey thanks for the explanation. It's been a few years since I've played, but my thumbs apparently remember quick tapping the dpad to unequip weapons. Because I keep doing it and nothing happens haha.
"And finally, Hero Mode is back, giving players an easy way to effectively track their journey through the in-game map. In Breath of the Wild, each time the animation came across a player death, it would pause momentarily, needlessly adding time to the entire process. This time, the animation is a lot smoother and no time is wasted."
That's not Hero Mode, that's Hero's Path. Thus far the game is only available on easy mode, though the DLC will surely change that (otherwise they would've put in gold enemies). On the one hand, there's no more Kass and (until DLC is out) the game is only available on easy mode. On the other, Purah has been greatly upgraded and there is even more to do. Look forward to playing it.
Great list, all these tweaks are just one of many reasons why so far (admittedly still relatively early in the game) I'm loving this game even more than Breath of the Wild!
And lots of interesting stuff in the comment section too between unfusing, dungeons, volumetric clouds/fog/smoke, weather frequency etc.!
@Olliemar28 There's a typo in the "Drop It!" section, "Zonai Fame Emitter" instead of "Flame" if you want to correct it!
@imagazelle I disagree. When I'm trying to pick up monster pieces around a bunch of garbage weapons, I don't want to be prompted for a swap each time. I'd prefer no prompt at all, even with chests, but it's a good compromise.
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