I have managed to script a fair amount of the system I want in place to differentiate between the two types of weapons that will be found in the new era upon Althéa: Living and Dead Weapons. The main difference between Living and Dead Weapons is that Living Weapons (from the old era) do not lose quality through use and appear to have a self-maintaining quality about them, whereas weapons of the new era, called Dead Weapons, gradually degrade with use.
The system works differently from any used in previous adventures, and reflects a quality of a weapon rather than any sort of direct damage as such. That said, a weapon used in combat will gradually lose quality if the PC does not maintain it and feedback currently still suggests that a "weapon is damaged". At the moment, the system only relates to weapons, but I may consider expanding on this to cover armour as well.
Dead Weapons can currently be in four states: Poor, Moderate, Good and Exceptional. Their current quality determines how many properties they can hold during enhancing. Poor weapons cannot be enhanced, moderate ones can hold one property and good or exceptional weapons can hold two properties. Only a Living Weapon can hold more than two properties. Furthermore, if a weapon has a property and the weapon degrades through use, then the weapon will lose a property. Therefore, it is wise for a fighter to ensure they keep their weapons in the best condition. This is something they can do themselves with the correct skill (Craft Weapon) or take to a Weapon Smith with the same skill.
There will be different levels of skilled Weapon Smiths around and it may pay the PC to keep track of where the best smiths are as they require better skilled smiths to keep their better weapons in good condition.
If a PC fails to have their Dead Weapon maintained and it reaches a quality score of zero, it will break and become useless. Therefore, it may pay the PC who wanders far into the wilderness to have at least some skill in Craft Weapon, to ensure they do not lose their weapon along their adventures. On the other hand, if they are fortunate enough to find or win a Living Weapon, then weapon degradation is one less thing for them to worry about.