Developer From Software has finally decided to address a bug that has affected players of Dark Souls 2 on PC since release.
The game across all formats features a weapons degradation system that sees the durability of an equipped weapon decrease every time it stikes. How quickly it decreases depends on a number of factors, such as the statistical strength of a weapon or the object being struck.
One thing that takes a particular toll on weapons is striking dead corpses. This can also come into play if an enemy dies while the player in unleashing a flurry of strikes – every blow that lands after the death has registered chips away at the weapon's durability total.
The real kicker, though, is that the way the game was built tied this degradation to frame rate. Therefore, a user playing at 30fps (or sometimes below) on console would suffer less degradation than someone playing at 40fps, 50fps or 60fps on PC, as the amount of frames that a weapon is in contact with something (such as a corpse or scenery) seems to dictate how much damage it will endure.
PC players have been complaining about this since not long after the game's release in April 2014 (it was released a month later on PCs than it was on consoles). Some, such as Reddit user and famed Dark Souls modder eur0pa, even released a patch designed to fix the bug (whether this has or has not led some of those who used it to suffer a soft-ban from the game's multiplayer functions remains an entirely different debate).
From, however, has said very little on the subject. At one stage it even insisted that this mechanic was deliberate, leading to an ongoing dispute between the fan base about whether the ‘bug' was actually a feature.
The whole debate was stirred up again recently when it was discovered that Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, a remastered version of the title released earlier this month, still contained the bug. Perhaps most tellingly, with the PS4 and Xbox One versions now running at 60fps console players were for the first time no longer spared.
And this seems to have proved be a tipping point.
Recently released notes on SOTFS's upcoming patch stated that the update Fixed issue whereby weapon durability was decreased drastically when used on enemy corpses, friendly characters, etc”. In further confirmation, publisher Bandai Namco told Kotaku:
The fix will be issued for PS4, Steam and Xbox One, and will be apparent for people running the game at 60fps as the durability decrease rate is linked to the frame rate. We are still working on the exact release date for the patch, which will also fix additional issues not just durability, and will follow up with the date as soon as possible.”
It's not yet known whether the game's core coding has been tweaked or whether some other workaround has been implemented – such as a doubling of each weapon's durability. That, however, could conceivably lead to an advantage for anyone who then chose to deliberately cap their framerate at 30fps, providing an even greater durability gain.