Why is armor so freaking ornate in fantasy?

A Weakgeek

New member
Feb 3, 2011
811
0
0
I don't want to fill this topic with 100% opinion based... OH SHIT I cant! Armor in fantasy is so freaking hideous 70% of the time. I mean in RPGs usually the weaker armor looks alright, and by alright i mean actually functional. But! The better it gets it starts to have more brighter colors , more freaky spikes and some times it just becomes a unbearable eyesore that resembles more some kind of art relief than a suit of armor. I mean for the most time its because the armor is made by elves and stuff and it should look different, but in most games its taken way too far!

Take skyrim for example: The first light armors are hide, studded hide, leather and scaled armor. These to me look good, and also look like LIGHT armor. But as soon as I get glass/elven/dragon armor start to realize that not only are they not visually appealing but there is nothing that looks LIGHT in them. They are just as heavy looking as the heavyarmors. (And i know they are supposed to be made from some special light material but my point still stands) Elderscrolls has had these atleast for 3 games now, so its understandable to a degree. But when most fantasygames are like this it makes me a very sad gamer. Dont know what started this trend but i know for sure that WOW atleast helped to make it mainstream.

So apart form my venting, What do you think? Do you like the "Complex" design of armor, or are you like me who likes them just a tad more simplistic looking?

EDIT: Removed the word realistic, because people grabbing that and calling me a retard.
 

SenorNemo

New member
Mar 14, 2011
219
0
0
Rule of cool. I don't mind if it's unrealistic so long as it looks nice, but I tend to agree with you that a lot of fantasy armor designs neither look good nor like what they're supposed to. Too many designers seem to have it in their head what fantasy armor is "supposed" to look like without seeing if the lines are strong or if the color and texture works.
 

Whateveralot

New member
Oct 25, 2010
953
0
0
I enjoyed the rough look of hide and studded armor. That said, I think you misinterpret "light", even though what you said about it was correct.

It's got nothing to do with how metallic it looks. It's all about how heavy it is and how easily it allows manouverability. This is still open for some debate, I think. Dragon scales could just as well be as heavy and as tough as any metal. Too bad there is no such thing a dragons.
 

dbdanny

New member
May 30, 2011
19
0
0
If you go into a fantasy RPG and look for realism,you're doing it wrong my friend...
I do agree with you to some extent though, it really breaks immersion when my thief character in skyrim looks like a walking tank (I only wear dark brotherhood/thief's guild master/nighningale armour anyway so that kind of fixes that I guess....).
On the other hand, you should be able to feel epic in this kind of game, and what better to feel epic than to have an armour made of a dragon ;)
 

Erttheking

Member
Legacy
Apr 23, 2020
10,845
1
3
Country
United States
More or less because you're supposed to be some sort of god of war and victory as a main character in a video game.
 

DarkRyter

New member
Dec 15, 2008
3,078
0
0
Coolness, Radicalness, and Awesomeness are more important than realism. Hell, they're probably more important than practicality.

Although, if you just plain don't like the armor designs, the coolness is lost on you. You could always
join the dark brotherhood and get their assassin suit thing
. See if that tickles your fancy.
 

A Weakgeek

New member
Feb 3, 2011
811
0
0
Whateveralot said:
I enjoyed the rough look of hide and studded armor. That said, I think you misinterpret "light", even though what you said about it was correct.

It's got nothing to do with how metallic it looks. It's all about how heavy it is and how easily it allows manouverability. This is still open for some debate, I think. Dragon scales could just as well be as heavy and as tough as any metal. Too bad there is no such thing a dragons.
Yeah, your right about the metallic part. I guess to me light armor is just parts of armor placed around the most critical points of the body. Thats probably why i hate glass armor so much, that and the fact its fucking green...
 

MiracleOfSound

Fight like a Krogan
Jan 3, 2009
17,776
0
0
Because pretty things look nice!

I like the armours in Elder Scrolls. The etching to badass ratio increases as you level :D
 

Keava

New member
Mar 1, 2010
2,010
0
0
Because it's a visual clue. Sense of progression. Whenever in any game it happens that high tier armour looks like, well, actual armour people complain it's not fancy enough and doesn't make them look "speshul".

The ideal armour by generic gamer has: plenty of spiky bits, oversized shoulder pads, helm with horns and preferably adds a set of wings on the characters back.

It's no different than chainmail/plate bikinis that female toons get graced with oh so often, because less means more when it comes to skin coverage to effective defence ratio.

Majority just doesn't want to wear plain, traditional armour when fantasy allows for most wierd and wicked designs.
 

Freaky Lou

New member
Nov 1, 2011
606
0
0
I've always felt this way. I like the rough, utility look of the lower-level armors, and the ridiculous ornate designs of the best stuff always put me off. I like my characters to look subtle and believable. This is actually the reason I wear robes instead of armor for my stealth guy in Skyrim, and the reason I would take fur vests and leather greaves and enchant them with a powerful Shield effect in Oblivion.

A lot of games don't have workarounds like that though, and it's irritating.
 

Llil

New member
Jul 24, 2008
653
0
0
DarkRyter said:
Coolness, Radicalness, and Awesomeness are more important than realism. Hell, they're probably more important than practicality.
Aren't those all the same thing?

Anyway, I think it's okay that armour looks cool and ornate. It's just those ridiculous spikes and asymmetric shoulderpads that I don't like. How are you supposed to fight with all that metal pointing in all directions? People aren't hedgehogs.
 

A Weakgeek

New member
Feb 3, 2011
811
0
0
dbdanny said:
If you go into a fantasy RPG and look for realism,you're doing it wrong my friend...
I do agree with you to some extent though, it really breaks immersion when my thief character
Not really about the realism, i just feel foolish when I run around looking like some lit up christmas tree.
 

Weslebear

New member
Dec 9, 2009
606
0
0
I like a healthy balance between ridiculous, the kind of things you see in WoW, and real life plate armour which is dull as shit.

As long as the armour is correctly proportioned I love it being ornate, I just hate crazy shit that doesn't like a human could remotely fit in it.

Boring:



Too much:



Perfect:

 

Smooth Operator

New member
Oct 5, 2010
8,162
0
0
I can't help but notice how you put "fantasy" in the title of this thread and then went on a "is so unrealistic" rant...

I got an amazing remedy for the problem, it's called "try a non fantasy game".
 

NickCaligo42

New member
Oct 7, 2007
1,371
0
0
I'm honestly with the OP on this one, though the more ornate Skyrim armors aren't the ones I'd point out; I actually find those rather tasteful for what they are compared with other fantasy games. In particular I'd point my finger at World of Warcraft...

[img src="http://www.gamerdna.com/uimage/Haj9GQj/large/rogue-season-8-armor-set-png.png" /]

... and recent editions of Dungeons and Dragons.

[img src="http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/OpenGrave/120053.jpg" /]

[img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_0kgHgHUJSTc/TNbmhLGm2SI/AAAAAAAAADY/fEfrVHXnlFI/s1600/4e12.jpg" /]

All those overlapping plates, extraneous details, and weird-ass shapes. D&D 3rd/4th shields are the worst. Seriously, who EVER had a shield shaped like that?

When you apply this kind of over-designed embellishment to one guy I can sort of forgive it, but when this makes up the bulk of the universe's designs and aesthetics it's difficult to take seriously. It's really tough for me to push out of my head that this isn't what real armor looks like, and it got boring and gaudy shortly after I got out of high school.
 

Llil

New member
Jul 24, 2008
653
0
0
Weslebear said:
Perfect:

I like how that breastplate basically says "shoot me in my heart!"

And seriously, what's with the shoulderpads. Not just in those three you posted, but in general. Why are they never symmetric?
 

A Weakgeek

New member
Feb 3, 2011
811
0
0
Mr.K. said:
I can't help but notice how you put "fantasy" in the title of this thread and then went on a "is so unrealistic" rant...

I got an amazing remedy for the problem, it's called "try a non fantasy game".
Sigh, I do feel i misrepresented my self in the OP. Look at the locations in skyrim, theres close to none fantasy elements in it. Its almost photo realistic with a slight fantasy flavor, and thats what I would like for armor aswell. Besides they dont do many realistic medieval games. (none of them are rpg, expect mayby mount and blade)

EDIT:
Soviet Heavy said:
But then I couldn't have my warriors of chaos!
You know i dont actually have a problem with Warhammer because it has made a sport out of it. It has completely abandoned all seriousness, all physical restrictions and made the most ridiculous looking "armor" they could.
 

franconbean

New member
Apr 30, 2011
251
0
0
DarkRyter said:
Coolness, Radicalness, and Awesomeness are more important than realism. Hell, they're probably more important than practicality.

Although, if you just plain don't like the armor designs, the coolness is lost on you. You could always
join the dark brotherhood and get their assassin suit thing
. See if that tickles your fancy.
This, and the Thieves guild armour is about as functional looking as it gets imo
 

everythingbeeps

New member
Sep 30, 2011
946
0
0
Because it's fantasy. Because why not? Not all fantasy has to be gritty and realistic and practical. In fact, I hate that in fantasy.