Removing repairing as we know it and adding faults and mending to all items

This would be pretty bit thing to develop. A bit unrealistic idea but I’ll throw it here anyways.

You find or make a new and great piece of equipment.
Then you use it and the zombies tear on you and your equipment. The equipment is damaged.
You spend few minutes repairing it and the equipment is good as new. Maybe even better!

I think this devalues salvage and turns the player into one person industrial powerhouse. Once you have the equipment and materials for maintainance you are able to sustain your current level indefinitely.

The repair system is also very simplistic. Item has material, repair requirement is solely based on that one material.
Metal item? Repair with welder/soldering iron.

Engines have faults. You can’t just repair them with tools. Instead you need to get your hands on some spare parts and then fix the thing.

Lets expand this to all items and add new details to the faults system.

Damage on items can not be repaired at all. The damage level becomes a more abstract “how worn out this thing is” indicator. Once item is damaged enough it is destroyed. Damage level has no impact on item usability.

All items have faults. After item takes certain amount of damage it receives a fault. Each fault has its own repair requirements. When a fault is repaired part of the damage that caused the fault is repaired. Higher skill repairs larger portion. Each fault has its own effects on the item.

Example situations:

Jacket worn by the player. After taking 10 damage on the item it receives “tear” fault. This reduces the effectiveness of the equipment and “10” damage is stored in the fault.
This fault is easy to repair and with just a sewing tool and some thread the jacket is good again. But only 8 of the 10 damage is repaired in the process. The remaining 2 damage will stay on the jacket permanently.

Same item could have multiple faults at once.

This would mean that even after you get good equipment you still need to occasionally salvage areas to get new replacement items. you won’t be ble to just repair the same item with the vehicle welder indefinitely.

Fault ideas:

Tear/hole/large tear (reduced warmth and protection), missing sleeve (removes bonuses from that body part), torn pocket (reduced capacity).

Some clothes could just fall off randomly if they have too many faults (gloves, helmets, shoes, strapped things).

Faults on tools could cause extra battery power to be consumed and items that are turned on could turn off randomly or require multiple attempts to turn on.

Wheels could get punctured causing them to have extra drag and wobbly ride.

Cracked armor could let some hits through without damage reduction.

Tanks and liquid containers could leak or have reduced max capacity.

Some faults could add to the item name (for example “torn jacket”. Max one fault addin to name) but mostly they would be shown as “-” symbol at the end just like mods add “+” symbol.

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It’s certainly an interesting idea on the face of it, right now gear and vehicle maintenance is kind of a PITA in the early game, but something of an afterthought for a high skill character.

In game it gets pretty substantially more difficult to repair items as they become more damaged, skill wise, but the material requirements don’t go up much. Just another piece of leather or cloth, usually. That could go up more dramatically with escalating damage and for gear with much greater crafting costs, such as survivor armor.

Specific gear and vehicle component faults would certainly be fun and add a neat layer to items in the game - but it will probably be tough to come up with an appropriate array of ‘faults’ that can apply correctly to most/all items without it becoming insanely complex to implement and maintain.

Alternatively it might be possible for items to suffer irreparable wear, such that you eventually have to replace them, though this would of course increase the total maintenance time for gear/vehicles considerably in game. Relatively realistic, but I’d be careful about how you do it. Also not as colorful and fun as specific faults might be, such as a worn out action on a gun, a faulty vehicle control panel, or a leaky water tank.

It’s tricky though. On the one hand, you don’t want repairing such problems to be onerous, but on the other, if repair is always just another minute with the welder and a piece of scrap/plastic/cloth, then it’s going to be a lot of work for not much actual game-play difference.

In real life we tend to let minor faults like this slide for quite a while because it’d take a couple hours (or a couple hundred bucks) for us to fix, and our lives aren’t usually on the line if they don’t work perfectly, so we let our cars or other complex devices accumulate a small array of minor faults before we finally give in and do something about them.

It kind of sounds tedious tbh and at least in some cases unrealistic, maybe if all items had some sort of damage resistance it could work? And careful consideration was put into what items you applied this to, I could understand with clothes maybe but anything metal seems unrealistic.
As an example: full plate simply shouldn’t take damage easily and if reforged should be just as good as if it was new forged. Same with a lot of things, if you are replacing parts completely an item shouldn’t be weaker for it. Patched tanks shouldn’t leak because you haven’t actually mended it if it leaking, properly maintained and used tools shouldn’t get harder to use etc

Another problem at least in terms of armour is how currently outer layers don’t seem to protect inner layers properly, as an example: if you are wearing RM13 armour and flame resistance gear you’ll spend a lot more time repairing your flame resistance then your RM13 even though RM13 is supposed to be 100% coverage.

Increasing repair times might be a better idea?