I completely agree with you, RJMoorel. Video games and RPGs make some utterly retarded choices about weapons and armor.
And I can confirm that most of what you said is true, since I'm a history buff as well.
That's mostly because people generally know jack s*** about medieval and antique weaponry. Not everyone is a history buff, after all. What bugs me the most, tough, is how ridiculous those suits of armor look, especially in modern RPGs. Colorful, over-the-top decorative, and utterly useless, should you try to use it in real life. It has countless spikes and blades on it, I'd be surprised if you didn't poke your own eye out. It's the same with weaponry, I'm afraid...
But I do have to add a few things to what you said about all those suits of armor... Leather
- It was a primary material for making combat gear for centuries. I'm not talking about armors, I'm talking about gloves, boots, belts, bags, sheaths, saddles... As for the armor, well, would you believe me that there are actually very few evidence of such a thing even existing? Leather was used mostly in combination with other, more resilient materials, such as iron or (as metallurgy progressed) steel. It was used to make scale or lamellar armor, for example. Also, during the medieval times it was used to make clothes that, you guessed it, soldiers wore into battle. That's probably how we got stuck with "leather armor" cliche. Yes, that leather varied in thickness, sturdiness and quality, but it never made for a good armor material. Sturdy leather (the one that would actually make good armor material) is extremely uncomfortable and restricts your movement, so you'd be better off with a good shield then leather armor. It can offer some protection from minor slashing attacks, such as with a knife, or from biting dogs. But that's it. Leather armor existed mostly in the minds of D&D players and movie makers.Chain
- Another example of misunderstood armor. During the later medieval period it was worn under the plate armor to offer additional protection, but by itself it was used mostly to offer protection from slashing. Against arrows and piercing atacks it didn't fare too well, just like leather. Depending on the quality of material it was made of, it's prices varied. It was prone to rusting, and would tear easily after it got damaged. It was worn mostly over your regular clothes.Scale/lamellar
- Now here's something that every good Viking had in his closet! This type of armor appears a lot throughout the history. It was worn by Scythians, Parthians, Germans, Chinese... Mostly because it was very low-tech and easier to mass produce then later medieval plate armor. You basically take leather clothes and attach scales or plates of metal in such a way they interwine, imitating lizard's skin or something... Simple, but surprisingly effective. It was as difficult to clean as chain armor, and metal plates fell off easily if damaged, but it actually has some good physics to back it up. It's interwining metal scales offered better protection against arrows and piercing attacks then the chain armor (but still not as good as video games would have you believe). It also offered decent protection against slashing attacks that came from above. And most of these attacks came from above.
Keep in mind that we're talking about medieval period here. Swords were longer, broader and heavier then the swords of Roman period. They were made for hacking rather then stabbing, and an average medieval soldier was very poorly trained by today's (or even Roman) standards. So they didn't really know how to stab properly, they just kept hacking, in accordance with their primal instincts.
That slowly changed with the introduction of more professional European armies that offered better training, but that's another topic...
Every armor is a bit heavy, sure, but full plate armor was the heaviest. And that's a fact. Yes, it got lighter and more comfortable as time went by, but it was heavy none the less. That's why it was used mostly by heavy cavalry. Also, we need to keep in mind that...
EVERY ARMOR WAS PRONE TO RUSTING AND HAD TO BE MAINTAINED REGULARLY,
VERY, VERY FEW (IF ANY) BATTLE-WORTHY FULL PLATE ARMORS SURVIVED THE TEST OF TIME. THOSE THAT SURVIVED WERE MOSTLY CEREMONIAL SETS OF ARMOR WORN IN SPECIAL OCCASIONS, OR DECORATIVE REPLICAS.
QUALITY OF ARMOR AND ARMOR MATERIAL DID NOT GRADUALLY PROGRESS FROM CRAPPY TO GOOD, LIKE IN WORLD OF WARCRAFT. TECHNOLOGY, MATERIAL QUALITY AND CRAFTMANSHIP VARIED FROM PERIOD TO PERIOD.
Let's hope video game developers will read this topic
Edited by TiriusBanner, 19 September 2012 - 09:43 PM.