“Believability and functionality are high priorities when designing realm identification and armor. Our game sets itself to be unique and interesting, but also realistic. Our goal is to pair artistic expression and a perceived sense of realism within this magical world, which we hope our players will embrace for years to come.” Lead Artist and Animator Scott Trolan.
The above quote is exactly what I hoped CU would do with it’s armor, and looking at the concepts they pulled it off in spades. Now I get to play barstool dev and give my breakdown of the EARLY Camelot Unchained armor CONCEPTS. Mark Jacobs DISCLAIMER: “Please keep in mind that these sketches are simply that: a series of thoughts expressed via the artists' skill, not "money" pieces or the kind of finished concept work you would offer for sale.”
Arthurian - How do you offset blocky, thick, square, heavy, metal armor? With a scarf! Or rather a variety of cloth drapery. Sometimes extreme contrast works, sometimes it doesn’t, in this case it works incredibly well. I often joke about Arthurians being lame but after seeing the early armor concepts I wasn’t joking, I was contemplating, contemplating how cool my character would look in that dark plate armor paired with that black cloak accented with blood red trim! These guys appear to have the best armor crafting tech by a long shot. I wasn’t sold on a few concepts as they seemed a bit too decorative but the majority of them found a great place between nice looking yet functional. The cloth accents were perfectly executed. It looked like impressive armor you could fight in, yet still comfortably walk around in, which is a nice departure from the over the top unrealistic heavy armor we’ve grown so accustomed to. This armor shows you can have it look fancy and legit at the same time. Elegant and civilized, yet capable and effective, sounds like an Arthurian to me. Great job art team.
TDD - If a TDD wearing these concepts were to lay down in a field during the fall they might be completely camouflaged, and that is exactly how they should be! Leather, wood, and antlers, these guys are one with nature and it shows. It appears they are the least technological race, yet something about their appearance makes this blogger think they might just be the most magical. It takes talented artists to pull off that kind of subtle undertone. Obvious is easy, subtle, that takes skill. I do feel some of their armor looked a bit overly stiff and tight and the metal looking TDD armor didn’t quite sync up with the other stuff. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few Samurai elements in the metal stuff. Samurai armor made to look more natural would look formidable while feeling less out of sync than the current metal stuff. I love the use of color and small skull accents. The skulls help give them a sort of dark magical voodoo vibe which is exactly what I think of when I think TDD. Another perfectly race represented armor set. Again, nice work art team.
Viking - Originally I wasn’t sure how I felt about this armor. The more I looked at it and noted all of the different textures, shapes, objects, patterns, and colors the more I was impressed. The Viking armor should not work as a whole, and yet the more I studied it the more I realized it works perfectly. I have to give a lot of credit to the artists for what they pulled off with this armor. They appear to be more technologically well off than the TDD, but just barely, while being a fair ways behind the Arthurian armorsmiths. I love the use of bones but feel like the armor is lacking a little bit of the intimidation factor that I think the Vikings will have in CU. I’d like to see a few more spiky bones and some skulls to turn that up a notch. The few pieces that did this looked phenomenal! Functional, interesting, and intimidating. That sounds like a viking to me. I /bow to you art team.
Mechanics - pretty stuff aside lets talk about the important stuff, mechanics. Armor in CU will be layered as it is in real life. On top of that it can be mixed and matched. The combinations and the amount of pros and cons must have the min maxers on the edge of their rolling chairs! Not to leave the crafters out they can mix and match materials to get different armor results! Imagine the possibilities but remember, choice matters. What gains in one area surely must be lost in another. Oh, and did I mention those bones I’m so fond of might just have a function!
My only major armor criticism is how pristine everything looked. These are people living in constant war and I’d prefer the armor had a bit more wear to it but that could always come later, these are early concepts after all. Then again if it is new from the crafter to the player it should look pristine until it suffers the scars of battle and I don’t think a system like that is feasible at this time but it sure would be nice. My favorite thing about every concept we saw was how functional, yet interesting they looked. Team CSE is proving you can have your pie and eat it too and you don’t have to look like the wayward child of a disco ball and a christmas tree to pull it off. A hood or antlers? I just don’t know anymore! I love both so so much, Darth Maul pulled it off...but he had tiny horns, I’d expect my TDD to be a healthy looking 5x5 once he matures!