There was no modification of the weapon durability system. It feels like they break all the time on your first playthrough because the mechanic is having the desired effect of bringing a sense of tension to the player and a need to strategize your weapon usage. This is a testament to just how good that system is. On your second playthrough you expect it, have learned to deal with it, and also begin to realize it isn't as bad as you thought.
So part of it is that. The other part might be just how blown out of proportion it is on internet message boards like this one. It can create a false impression of the significance and fragility of the breaking weapons. Don't buy the hype. Yes the weapons break. But they don't break as quickly as people claim here. And it certainly doesn't harm the gameplay as people claim. In fact, as mentioned above, it appears to have achieved its goal of adding a sense of desperation on the part of the first time player. A sense that Link truly woke up in a world he doesn't really recognize with no help and no inventory. That he must scratch and claw for every resource on his journey to save Hyrule. I'd say it hit the mark nicely.