Why is armor so freaking ornate in fantasy?

Scrustle

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I know what you mean but I don't think Elder Scrolls is an example of this though. I don't think they go too far, and I think most of the examples in this thread are okay too. Some are pretty extreme in their ornate details but I can still believe that the person would have reasonable mobility in them. And I think you have to give them a bit of artistic license with these things as well. I mean they are fantasy, and they come from worlds full of magic and stuff, so you can give them a bit of leeway. But I can see where you're coming from when you say these are too far. If that's what you like then I've got no problem with that.

An example of armour that I think goes too far is something like this:



That's an armour set from Divinity 2. There is a lot of good armour in the game but that one looks silly. Those shoulder spikes look stupid. They go way too high and look like they really get in the way. Also it doesn't make sense how they are actually even connected to the rest of the armour. It looks disjointed. And also the shape of the chest area... pure fan service. I hate stuff like that. Although this example is far from the worst offender in that regard.
 

matoasters

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Ok... so you're biggest complaint regarding realism in a game with dragons, undead, magic and assorted mythical beasts, is the armor being too big? Damn, if a guy was fighting a giant fucking dragon in tasteful, realistic armor, I'd probably call bullshit. Also, check out real later medieval armor. Pretty ornate, so it's not that unrealistic. Perhaps the 5 foot long shoulder spikes wouldn't work in real life, but it's in a different universe, so back strain can go fuck itself.
 

MetalMagpie

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I'm fine with either, as long as it looks good. Video games are a visual media, so on the whole, I prefer something that's visually interesting. (I'm going to be staring at it for some time, after all.) This tends to mean more wacky armour, but it doesn't have to.

Llil said:
And seriously, what's with the shoulderpads. Not just in those three you posted, but in general. Why are they never symmetric?
Simple answer: Because people tend to fight with their sword-arm forward, so that's the bit that needs most protection. For example, I'm a fencer; and the protective under-jacket I wear only covers my right shoulder (that of my sword arm). Likewise, I only wear a glove on my sword hand.

Although this raises the interesting idea that you should be able to tell whether a character is right or left-handed by looking at which side they have more armour. ;)
 

A Weakgeek

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franconbean said:
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
I agree on the Thief armor, but what I like most is the "travelling" mage robes. THOSE are to me stylish and cool, simplistic and functional.
 

TheBelgianGuy

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[img src="http://images.wikia.com/witcher/images/2/22/Tw2_journal_Stennis.png"/]


I always thought King Stennis' armour, and that of some other higher-ups in the Witcher 2's society, had such a great-looking but still believable plate armour! (Too bad the guy's an asshole.)
 

KEM10

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There is one thing everyone forgets when it comes to this stuff. All the armor in the fantasy games are hand made and the better the armor, the less likely hood it is mass produced.

Look at the armor of the Orcs in Lord of the Rings. It is bland, generic, and put together. Well, they also had to fill a huge order ASAP. Mass produced.
Now, when a master blacksmith makes "legendary" armor, he will make it look as shinny and intricate as possible so everyone on the field will be impressed and look for him later (sort of a billboard). For example, look at the description of Achilles' shield in Iliad
First he shaped the shield so great and strong, adorning it all over and binding it round with a gleaming circuit in three layers; and the baldric was made of silver. He made the shield in five thicknesses, and with many a wonder did his cunning hand enrich it.

He wrought the earth, the heavens, and the sea; the moon also at her full and the untiring sun, with all the signs that glorify the face of heaven- the Pleiads, the Hyads, huge Orion, and the Bear, which men also call the Wain and which turns round ever in one place, facing. Orion, and alone never dips into the stream of Oceanus.

He wrought also two cities, fair to see and busy with the hum of men. In the one were weddings and wedding-feasts, and they were going about the city with brides whom they were escorting by torchlight from their chambers. Loud rose the cry of Hymen, and the youths danced to the music of flute and lyre, while the women stood each at her house door to see them.

Meanwhile the people were gathered in assembly, for there was a quarrel, and two men were wrangling about the blood-money for a man who had been killed, the one saying before the people that he had paid damages in full, and the other that he had not been paid. Each was trying to make his own case good, and the people took sides, each man backing the side that he had taken; but the heralds kept them back, and the elders sate on their seats of stone in a solemn circle, holding the staves which the heralds had put into their hands. Then they rose and each in his turn gave judgement, and there were two talents laid down, to be given to him whose judgement should be deemed the fairest.

About the other city there lay encamped two hosts in gleaming armour, and they were divided whether to sack it, or to spare it and accept the half of what it contained. But the men of the city would not yet consent, and armed themselves for a surprise; their wives and little children kept guard upon the walls, and with them were the men who were past fighting through age; but the others sallied forth with Mars and Pallas Minerva at their head- both of them wrought in gold and clad in golden raiment, great and fair with their armour as befitting gods, while they that followed were smaller. When they reached the place where they would lay their ambush, it was on a riverbed to which live stock of all kinds would come from far and near to water; here, then, they lay concealed, clad in full armour. Some way off them there were two scouts who were on the look-out for the coming of sheep or cattle, which presently came, followed by two shepherds who were playing on their pipes, and had not so much as a thought of danger. When those who were in ambush saw this, they cut off the flocks and herds and killed the shepherds. Meanwhile the besiegers, when they heard much noise among the cattle as they sat in council, sprang to their horses, and made with all speed towards them; when they reached them they set battle in array by the banks of the river, and the hosts aimed their bronze-shod spears at one another. With them were Strife and Riot, and fell Fate who was dragging three men after her, one with a fresh wound, and the other unwounded, while the third was dead, and she was dragging him along by his heel: and her robe was bedrabbled in men's blood. They went in and out with one another and fought as though they were living people haling away one another's dead.

He wrought also a fair fallow field, large and thrice ploughed already. Many men were working at the plough within it, turning their oxen to and fro, furrow after furrow. Each time that they turned on reaching the headland a man would come up to them and give them a cup of wine, and they would go back to their furrows looking forward to the time when they should again reach the headland. The part that they had ploughed was dark behind them, so that the field, though it was of gold, still looked as if it were being ploughed- very curious to behold.

He wrought also a field of harvest corn, and the reapers were reaping with sharp sickles in their hands. Swathe after swathe fell to the ground in a straight line behind them, and the binders bound them in bands of twisted straw. There were three binders, and behind them there were boys who gathered the cut corn in armfuls and kept on bringing them to be bound: among them all the owner of the land stood by in silence and was glad. The servants were getting a meal ready under an oak, for they had sacrificed a great ox, and were busy cutting him up, while the women were making a porridge of much white barley for the labourers' dinner.

He wrought also a vineyard, golden and fair to see, and the vines were loaded with grapes. The bunches overhead were black, but the vines were trained on poles of silver. He ran a ditch of dark metal all round it, and fenced it with a fence of tin; there was only one path to it, and by this the vintagers went when they would gather the vintage. Youths and maidens all blithe and full of glee, carried the luscious fruit in plaited baskets; and with them there went a boy who made sweet music with his lyre, and sang the Linus-song with his clear boyish voice.

He wrought also a herd of homed cattle. He made the cows of gold and tin, and they lowed as they came full speed out of the yards to go and feed among the waving reeds that grow by the banks of the river. Along with the cattle there went four shepherds, all of them in gold, and their nine fleet dogs went with them. Two terrible lions had fastened on a bellowing bull that was with the foremost cows, and bellow as he might they haled him, while the dogs and men gave chase: the lions tore through the bull's thick hide and were gorging on his blood and bowels, but the herdsmen were afraid to do anything, and only hounded on their dogs; the dogs dared not fasten on the lions but stood by barking and keeping out of harm's way.

The god wrought also a pasture in a fair mountain dell, and large flock of sheep, with a homestead and huts, and sheltered sheepfolds.

Furthermore he wrought a green, like that which Daedalus once made in Cnossus for lovely Ariadne. Hereon there danced youths and maidens whom all would woo, with their hands on one another's wrists. The maidens wore robes of light linen, and the youths well woven shirts that were slightly oiled. The girls were crowned with garlands, while the young men had daggers of gold that hung by silver baldrics; sometimes they would dance deftly in a ring with merry twinkling feet, as it were a potter sitting at his work and making trial of his wheel to see whether it will run, and sometimes they would go all in line with one another, and much people was gathered joyously about the green. There was a bard also to sing to them and play his lyre, while two tumblers went about performing in the midst of them when the man struck up with his tune.

All round the outermost rim of the shield he set the mighty stream of the river Oceanus.

Then when he had fashioned the shield so great and strong, he made a breastplate also that shone brighter than fire. He made helmet, close fitting to the brow, and richly worked, with a golden plume overhanging it; and he made greaves also of beaten tin.

Makes sense to me.
 

Furioso

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I dare you to take this away from me
Love me some Daedric Armor

It's a game, not real life, if it looks cool I will wear it and love it
 

Loop Stricken

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NickCaligo42 said:
All those overlapping plates, extraneous details, and weird-ass shapes.
Overlapping plates is exactly how actual plate armour actually works.Extra details and unusual designs could simply serve as intimidation, or make it hard to decipher where the weak points of the armour are.

That said, Skyrim's Daedric armour is pure sex.
 

endtherapture

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The best plate armour in any game ever was in The Witcher 2 - it looks ornate and interesting, yet realistic.
 

LordFisheh

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I agree. I like to have badass but not ott armour. Say in Skyrim, playing as a sneaky archer, I don't want to wear full glass for stalking the wild places of the world. I want to wear leather and cloth, but still feel viable.
 

Ironic Pirate

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Because it needs to look cooler than low level stuff. You need a visual to show you how awesome you are, more than +6 to Defense.

Mount and Blade isn't like this, though. You should check that out.
 

bigredlyms

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Llil said:
Weslebear said:
And seriously, what's with the shoulderpads. Not just in those three you posted, but in general. Why are they never symmetric?
for an archer, it makes sense to have asymmetric shoulderpads. you would want better range of motion in your bowstring arm and better protection on your forward shoulder.
 

mau5trap

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And this is supposed to be cloth

I get what you're saying but it's a video game and realistic armor is just too dull.
 

A Weakgeek

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TheBelgianGuy said:
[img src="http://images.wikia.com/witcher/images/2/22/Tw2_journal_Stennis.png"/]


I always thought King Stennis' armour, and that of some other higher-ups in the Witcher 2's society, had such a great-looking but still believable plate armour! (Too bad the guy's an asshole.)
I did love witcher 2 for that, Even geralts armor looked plausible almost all the time.
KEM10 said:
There is one thing everyone forgets when it comes to this stuff. All the armor in the fantasy games are hand made and the better the armor, the less likely hood it is mass produced.

Look at the armor of the Orcs in Lord of the Rings. It is bland, generic, and put together. Well, they also had to fill a huge order ASAP. Mass produced.
Now, when a master blacksmith makes "legendary" armor, he will make it look as shinny and intricate as possible so everyone on the field will be impressed and look for him later (sort of a billboard). For example, look at the description of Achilles' shield in Iliad
First he shaped the shield so great and strong, adorning it all over and binding it round with a gleaming circuit in three layers; and the baldric was made of silver. He made the shield in five thicknesses, and with many a wonder did his cunning hand enrich it.

He wrought the earth, the heavens, and the sea; the moon also at her full and the untiring sun, with all the signs that glorify the face of heaven- the Pleiads, the Hyads, huge Orion, and the Bear, which men also call the Wain and which turns round ever in one place, facing. Orion, and alone never dips into the stream of Oceanus.

He wrought also two cities, fair to see and busy with the hum of men. In the one were weddings and wedding-feasts, and they were going about the city with brides whom they were escorting by torchlight from their chambers. Loud rose the cry of Hymen, and the youths danced to the music of flute and lyre, while the women stood each at her house door to see them.

Meanwhile the people were gathered in assembly, for there was a quarrel, and two men were wrangling about the blood-money for a man who had been killed, the one saying before the people that he had paid damages in full, and the other that he had not been paid. Each was trying to make his own case good, and the people took sides, each man backing the side that he had taken; but the heralds kept them back, and the elders sate on their seats of stone in a solemn circle, holding the staves which the heralds had put into their hands. Then they rose and each in his turn gave judgement, and there were two talents laid down, to be given to him whose judgement should be deemed the fairest.

About the other city there lay encamped two hosts in gleaming armour, and they were divided whether to sack it, or to spare it and accept the half of what it contained. But the men of the city would not yet consent, and armed themselves for a surprise; their wives and little children kept guard upon the walls, and with them were the men who were past fighting through age; but the others sallied forth with Mars and Pallas Minerva at their head- both of them wrought in gold and clad in golden raiment, great and fair with their armour as befitting gods, while they that followed were smaller. When they reached the place where they would lay their ambush, it was on a riverbed to which live stock of all kinds would come from far and near to water; here, then, they lay concealed, clad in full armour. Some way off them there were two scouts who were on the look-out for the coming of sheep or cattle, which presently came, followed by two shepherds who were playing on their pipes, and had not so much as a thought of danger. When those who were in ambush saw this, they cut off the flocks and herds and killed the shepherds. Meanwhile the besiegers, when they heard much noise among the cattle as they sat in council, sprang to their horses, and made with all speed towards them; when they reached them they set battle in array by the banks of the river, and the hosts aimed their bronze-shod spears at one another. With them were Strife and Riot, and fell Fate who was dragging three men after her, one with a fresh wound, and the other unwounded, while the third was dead, and she was dragging him along by his heel: and her robe was bedrabbled in men's blood. They went in and out with one another and fought as though they were living people haling away one another's dead.

He wrought also a fair fallow field, large and thrice ploughed already. Many men were working at the plough within it, turning their oxen to and fro, furrow after furrow. Each time that they turned on reaching the headland a man would come up to them and give them a cup of wine, and they would go back to their furrows looking forward to the time when they should again reach the headland. The part that they had ploughed was dark behind them, so that the field, though it was of gold, still looked as if it were being ploughed- very curious to behold.

He wrought also a field of harvest corn, and the reapers were reaping with sharp sickles in their hands. Swathe after swathe fell to the ground in a straight line behind them, and the binders bound them in bands of twisted straw. There were three binders, and behind them there were boys who gathered the cut corn in armfuls and kept on bringing them to be bound: among them all the owner of the land stood by in silence and was glad. The servants were getting a meal ready under an oak, for they had sacrificed a great ox, and were busy cutting him up, while the women were making a porridge of much white barley for the labourers' dinner.

He wrought also a vineyard, golden and fair to see, and the vines were loaded with grapes. The bunches overhead were black, but the vines were trained on poles of silver. He ran a ditch of dark metal all round it, and fenced it with a fence of tin; there was only one path to it, and by this the vintagers went when they would gather the vintage. Youths and maidens all blithe and full of glee, carried the luscious fruit in plaited baskets; and with them there went a boy who made sweet music with his lyre, and sang the Linus-song with his clear boyish voice.

He wrought also a herd of homed cattle. He made the cows of gold and tin, and they lowed as they came full speed out of the yards to go and feed among the waving reeds that grow by the banks of the river. Along with the cattle there went four shepherds, all of them in gold, and their nine fleet dogs went with them. Two terrible lions had fastened on a bellowing bull that was with the foremost cows, and bellow as he might they haled him, while the dogs and men gave chase: the lions tore through the bull's thick hide and were gorging on his blood and bowels, but the herdsmen were afraid to do anything, and only hounded on their dogs; the dogs dared not fasten on the lions but stood by barking and keeping out of harm's way.

The god wrought also a pasture in a fair mountain dell, and large flock of sheep, with a homestead and huts, and sheltered sheepfolds.

Furthermore he wrought a green, like that which Daedalus once made in Cnossus for lovely Ariadne. Hereon there danced youths and maidens whom all would woo, with their hands on one another's wrists. The maidens wore robes of light linen, and the youths well woven shirts that were slightly oiled. The girls were crowned with garlands, while the young men had daggers of gold that hung by silver baldrics; sometimes they would dance deftly in a ring with merry twinkling feet, as it were a potter sitting at his work and making trial of his wheel to see whether it will run, and sometimes they would go all in line with one another, and much people was gathered joyously about the green. There was a bard also to sing to them and play his lyre, while two tumblers went about performing in the midst of them when the man struck up with his tune.

All round the outermost rim of the shield he set the mighty stream of the river Oceanus.

Then when he had fashioned the shield so great and strong, he made a breastplate also that shone brighter than fire. He made helmet, close fitting to the brow, and richly worked, with a golden plume overhanging it; and he made greaves also of beaten tin.

Makes sense to me.
Wow, I must say this is a well thought out argument. Though I don't feel like it applies everywhere, like why is all elven armor so ornate? Or all Dwemer for that matter?
 

NickCaligo42

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Loop Stricken said:
NickCaligo42 said:
All those overlapping plates, extraneous details, and weird-ass shapes.
Overlapping plates is exactly how actual plate armour actually works.Extra details and unusual designs could simply serve as intimidation, or make it hard to decipher where the weak points of the armour are.
Oh, I understand that, but my point is more that when everyone wears the same overdesigned armor, it just loses its aliennness and becomes gaudy.
 

Macgyvercas

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Not all great armor looks bad. My Paladin in DDO has a +5 adamantine suit of full plate that grants +5 to Fortitude saves, and forces the foe to make a balance check if I roll a natural 20 on my attack. You know what that armor looks like?



Rather sensible if I say so myself.
 

A Weakgeek

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believer258 said:
We already have too much realism in our shooters. We do not need it in our fantasy RPG's!

Please, people, for the love of God, don't start this. I don't want boring realism in my fantasy. It's fucking fantasy, for cryin' out loud! It's supposed to be unrealistic and fun!

I do understand it if you think that armor in modern fantasy games is unsightly, though Skyrim is far from a bad offender of that. I think that a lot of Skyrim's armor is fairly awesome looking. The bland and boring ones are for the blander and more boring common armors, and they're supposed to get more decorative as you get better stuff.
But theres currently no games that cater to boring people like me! I want 1 fantasy game that doesen't make me want to play with the first few armors because the best ones look so ugly.

Macgyvercas said:
Not all great armor looks bad. My Paladin in DDO has a +5 adamantine suit of full plate that grants +5 to Fortitude saves, and forces the foe to make a balance check if I roll a natural 20 on my attack. You know what that armor looks like?


Rather sensible if I say so myself.
That does look good, I like the beard aswell.
 

Llil

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MetalMagpie said:
Llil said:
And seriously, what's with the shoulderpads. Not just in those three you posted, but in general. Why are they never symmetric?
Simple answer: Because people tend to fight with their sword-arm forward, so that's the bit that needs most protection. For example, I'm a fencer; and the protective under-jacket I wear only covers my right shoulder (that of my sword arm). Likewise, I only wear a glove on my sword hand.

Although this raises the interesting idea that you should be able to tell whether a character is right or left-handed by looking at which side they have more armour. ;)
Here's the realism argument again, but I've never sen a plate or chain armour that doesn't have symmetric shoulder pads. I'm sure it works for fencing, but I think your other arm doesn't really need protection in that. That's not really the case in a battle. I just think it looks silly to have a huge piece of metal on only one shoulder. You'd think it'd make you lose balance.
bigredlyms said:
for an archer, it makes sense to have asymmetric shoulderpads. you would want better range of motion in your bowstring arm and better protection on your forward shoulder.
Or they could have no shoulder pads at all, or just a reasonably sized on both shoulders. I don't know. An archer doesn't need a heavy armour anyway, never being in the front line.