Why is armor so freaking ornate in fantasy?

ElPatron

New member
Jul 18, 2011
2,130
0
0
A Weakgeek said:
Dont know what started this trend but i know for sure that WOW atleast helped to make it mainstream.
So you created a thread complaining about the lack of realism in *fantasy* settings, admit to not know what you are talking about, but then take a cheap shot at WoW?

And to top it off you blame the "mainstream-ization" of fantasy. I don't even like WoW, but still...



"Derp I don't know about politics, but I am sure it's Obama's fault..." Here is the best analogy I could think of.
 

Techno Squidgy

New member
Nov 23, 2010
1,045
0
0
I like ornate armour, with intricate details and designs, but I don't like when it starts getting massive, stupidly coloured and covered in superfluous spikes.
Take Assassin's creed as an example of what I like. It's simple, but with wonderful detail in the little engravings and what not. Also, light armour is superior to heavy armour, in most cases, in terms of looks.
 

M920CAIN

New member
May 24, 2011
349
0
0
In Skyrim the worst armors seem to be the Glass ones and the Dwemer ones... Dwarves whatever... I wear banded iron armor with legendary smithing and healing enchantment, basicaly it's as strong as the daedric or dragon ones, so in Skyrim you're not really restricted with using "inferior" leather, iron or steel armors because you can buff 'em up pretty good if u want to.

EDIT: I love how the Elves armor looks on female NPCs (ex: Lydia from Witerun)
 

Xanadu84

New member
Apr 9, 2008
2,946
0
0
MiracleOfSound said:
Because pretty things look nice!

I like the armours in Elder Scrolls. The etching to badass ratio increases as you level :D
Just to be annoying, Id like to point out that your saying that as you level, there is more etching and the armor looks LESS badass
BlackStar42 said:
I'm with Sam Vimes on this one. Armour should look used and worn, it lets you know it does its job well and works.
Ah, Vimes...Vimes is awesome. Of course we all know that one thing better then good armor in protecting you from bodily harm is a cup of hot cocoa.

Also, DDO. DDO has quite realistic armor, pretty much across the board. outside of DDO, you probably have to look at low fantasy settings instead of high.
 

Aeonknight

New member
Apr 8, 2011
751
0
0
Llil said:
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?
I'd say because to make it symmetric is kind of redundant.

Wearing heavy armor implies you want good defense. Which in itself implies you'll probably be using a shield.

The left pauldron (or shoulderpad, whatever you want to call it) is kinda pointless if you have a Shield on that arm. In fact the extra weight may hinder your shield use. In other words, why put armor on a spot where you shouldn't be getting hit anyway?

Edit: Bah someone beat me to it.
 

Cowabungaa

New member
Feb 10, 2008
10,806
0
0
Soviet Heavy said:
But then I couldn't have my warriors of chaos!
Actually, I don't think that armour looks too ornate or over-the-top. Is it big? Yes, probably because the man inside is too. But it's not overly ornate, nothing I can't imagine existing in very expensive real life armour suits anyway. Two wee small spikes, horns on the helmet and some gold work, that's it.
 

Soviet Heavy

New member
Jan 22, 2010
12,218
0
0
Cowabungaa said:
Soviet Heavy said:
But then I couldn't have my warriors of chaos!
Actually, I don't think that armour looks too ornate or over-the-top. Is it big? Yes, probably because the man inside is too. But it's not overly ornate, nothing I can't imagine existing in very expensive real life armour suits anyway. Two wee small spikes, horns on the helmet and some gold work, that's it.
The only major problems with him are the pauldrons. But that has more to do with Games Workshop's fetish for impossibly big shoulder armor.
 

Evil Alpaca

New member
May 22, 2010
225
0
0
Ornate armor shows progression. This needs to be even more obvious for a video game where it is
not possible to show the fine detail like in real life. For a video game to show progression, the armor has to change substantially because there isn't a graphics engine capable of rendering detail that fine. Therefore game designers have to show bigger and more ornate pieces.

You hold WoW as the example. Look at some of the vanilla sets when 60 was the level cap. Compare most of those set to present day sets and you see how they have to become more ornate to the point of silliness to show a progression in power.

Also to the second part of your question about why is this such a issue in fantasy; mainly because they can get away with it. Saying a wizard is responsible for the silly spikes on cloth robe is more acceptable than in a science fiction game where such designs have to be governed by logic and function (In western scifi anyway, Japan is still aloud to have crazy designs in the future).
 

SckizoBoy

Ineptly Chaotic
Legacy
Apr 5, 2020
8,584
141
68
A Hermit's Cave
Soviet Heavy said:
The only major problems with him are the pauldrons. But that has more to do with Games Workshop's fetish for impossibly big shoulder armor.
That guy's pauldrons aren't even that bad...


OT: Not bothered by a bit of shiny, besides, loads of people have already said this, but: fantasy = not real, so why does 'real' have to apply to the armour. Chuck a magic enchantment on your character for dexterity/agility and do whatever the fuck you want, problem solved.
 

Roroshi14

New member
Dec 3, 2009
193
0
0
The thinking behind higher level armor being extremely fancy is because in OSRL (old school real life) a full suit of armor was extremely expensive so families would get it not only as protection, but as a way to give their family name some recognition. The armor would be passed down from generation to generation. Making it fancy and colorful as well a durable and practical is a way to show your status and wealth.
 

Mordekaien

New member
Sep 3, 2010
820
0
0
The reason why I stayed in chainmail through Oblivion... because rest of the better armors from light category made me puke everything I've had for lunch that day....

I like functional armor- it can be heavy, medium or whatevs... but it must look at least functional...
For example, most of those armors in gothic 2 were pretty awesome.

The only one universe where I found over designed armors fitting is Warhammer, because they're silly already.... no amount of seriousness in armor design can remedy that.
 

DracoSuave

New member
Jan 26, 2009
1,685
0
0
Because it's fantasy, rather than science fiction.

Adherence to practicality is not a requirement for the genre. Some fantasy does (Fire and Ice) and others clearly do not. And should not.
 

Treblaine

New member
Jul 25, 2008
8,682
0
0
A Weakgeek said:
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.
The only in-universe explanation is the more advance armour are magical "power armour" that aids joint articulation like Master Cheif's armour.

My problem is just how linear your progress is. Your only option is to armour up, not the option that it might be better to not be encumbered with armour but to buff in speed and health-regen. Or possibly attire that aids in your magic ability like magical robes. The thing is there is never a reason not to armour up.

And the value of being able to dodge quickly and effectively... that to me is far more valuable than being a tank.
 

guise709

New member
Feb 2, 2010
118
0
0
Agree with op I like my armors and weapons to stay within the realm of practicality. I understand why people enjoy fancy ornate armors this is more of a preference thing anyway. As far as Elder Scrolls are concerned they arn't that big of an offendor compared to games like WOW.
 

captaincabbage

New member
Apr 8, 2010
3,149
0
0
I gotta say, most of the armor I've seen in Skyrim has been brilliant looking, whilst still keeping an ornate, fantasy feel.
My favorite is without a doubt the Plate Steel armor. Anyone who's seen this knows what I'm talking about when I say it just looks bloody perfect.

On the other hand, even Skyrim may not be immune to this wretched curse. Even so, the glass armor actually looks decent this time around and not like the hero fell into a pit of recyclables.

But yes, over all I think Skyrim has gotten pretty close to perfect with a lot of it's armors, feeling whimsical and fantasy, whilst still feeling quite grounded in reality (as much as a game with dragons can be).
 

Hobonicus

New member
Feb 12, 2010
212
0
0
ElPatron said:
A Weakgeek said:
Dont know what started this trend but i know for sure that WOW atleast helped to make it mainstream.
So you created a thread complaining about the lack of realism in *fantasy* settings, admit to not know what you are talking about, but then take a cheap shot at WoW?

And to top it off you blame the "mainstream-ization" of fantasy. I don't even like WoW, but still...



"Derp I don't know about politics, but I am sure it's Obama's fault..." Here is the best analogy I could think of.
You entirely missed his point and overreacted, which just makes it worse.

OT: I gotta agree with the OP here. Even if it's fantasy, that doesn't automatically excuse ugly armor designs. It's all about the context of authenticity. Honestly, I think Warhammer Fantasy does armor pretty well for its style and as was stated before, The Witcher 2 had some of the best armor design in a game. But designs like the daedric armor or WoW designs posted above just look childish to me. Like the artist is an ADHD kid on crack. All the random spikes and ridiculous embellishments and clutter just screams "LOOK AT ME I AM AUTO AWESOME MORE IS BETTER BIG IS BETTER WHAT IS SUBTLY".

Yahtzee wrote a good article about this kind of thing: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/extra-punctuation/7071-Extra-Punctuation-Darksiders
 

Not-here-anymore

In brightest day...
Nov 18, 2009
3,029
0
0
Llil said:
And seriously, what's with the shoulderpads. Not just in those three you posted, but in general. Why are they never symmetric?
People don't fight symmetrically. If you're right-handed, you'll almost certainly go into a fight with your left side in front (archer and/or with a gun, shield and sword, dual-wielding, two-handed weapon), so you'd want more protection on that side, and more mobility on the other.

I guess if you just fight with a one-handed weapon the opposite would be true. Something like fencing, maybe?

EDIT: Note to self: Read all of the front page before replying to things...
 

ElPatron

New member
Jul 18, 2011
2,130
0
0
Hobonicus said:
You entirely missed his point and overreacted, which just makes it worse.
So far we have been talking about ugly armour that can't even be used in battle. I swear I never heard of a case like this in real life, eh.


But blaming WoW? That kind of fantasy armour existed before I was even born.
 

Mathak

The Tax Man Cometh
Mar 27, 2009
432
0
0
Soviet Heavy said:
But then I couldn't have my warriors of chaos!
Tschk. I present thee Engra Deathsword. Champion of the Dark Gods, Destroyer of Praag.


Now that is ornate armour.