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Heavy Equipment Class

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"I am Heavy Weapons Guy, and this is my weapon."
The Heavy, with his hands on a 150kg Minigun, Team Fortress 2

Equipment is a near quintessential part of a Role-Playing Game and have snuck into games with RPG Elements as a result. While Player Characters have a range of weapons and armour to gear up for the foes they have to face, some equipment simply is too bulky for a number of characters, with only those with the right strength and training capable of properly utilizing this equipment, namely the Heavy Equipment Class. They tend to go under the class name of "Warrior" or "Fighter" in Fantasy and Historical settings while named "Soldier" or "Heavy" in Modern and Sci-Fi settings. Whatever the setting though, expect this class to dish out powerful blows with their preferred weaponry and wearing armour that can absorb such powerful blows.

What type of equipment they use will depend on the technology level available, although it will typically overlap with Brutish Character, Brutish Weapon in some form. In worlds where advanced firearms do not exist (or, at least, are not commonplace), they'll wield swords, axes, hammers or polearms that, if not requiring two hands to wield, will have a hefty shield alongside them. Modern and futuristic settings meanwhile will either have this class be the one familiar with military grade weaponry such as assault rifles if such proficiency would stand out or in the case of every character being familiar with military weaponry, have this class get exclusive use of bigger guns such as machine guns or rocket launchers. If armour choice is also a factor, expect it to be of the highest defence such as full plate armour in a medieval setting or heavy-duty power armour in a futuristic setting.

Due to the perception that wearing weighty armour would slow someone down, members of this class tend to be Mighty Glaciersnote , though if the game developer wants to be more realistic or find such sluggishness would be too crippling for a physical character in combat, they will be Lightning Bruiser instead. Likewise, the tendency of games having armour interfere with magic will mean that those of this class will usually be a Magically Inept Fighter, with the Magic Knight exceptions still most likely better in physical ability than spellcasting rather than equally strong at both areas.

In older RPGs, they tend to be more reliant on equipment than other classes like the Squishy Wizard who can stay in the back dishing out magic or the Sneaky Rogue who can hide from danger. The fact that their equipment tends to be more expensive than other classes is a bit of a hindrance. However nowadays, not only is equipment reliance shared across most classes but there is an increased focus on finding weapons and armour rather than buying it.

Contrast with the Bare-Fisted Monk, who is a capable physical combatant despite fighting without weapons. Compare Item Caddy for a character who gets more use out of equipment in general. Subtrope of The Big Guy.

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Role-Playing Game Examples:

    Eastern RPGs 
  • The MMORPG Conqueror's Blade divides player characters (called heroes or warlords) into light, medium, and heavy classes. Heavies wear heavy armor and use large, slow-moving weapons such as sword and shield, poleaxe, maul (i.e., giant hammer), and glaive (i.e., sword on a stick). Their purpose is to tank damage, hold points, and deal out crowd-control attacks (knocking enemies over). In a subversion of this trope, they actually don't move any slower than their lighter counterpart classes.
  • Dragon's Dogma:
    • The Fighter basic vocation fights with Sword and Shield and of the three basic vocations are best suited for Heavy armor.
    • The Warrior advanced vocation trades the shield of the Fighter for Greatswords and Warhammers, which no other class can. This makes them more reliant on their heavy armor to protect them.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • In most games of the series, the Hero will not only pick up almost any sword, shield and piece of armour their lie their eyes on, but also have exclusive use of a powerful set of equipment. Noticably, not only are they Magic Knights (with the exception of the Prince of Midenhall in Dragon Quest II) but their spells rival the power of dedicated magic users.
    • Warriors not only keep up with the Hero's choice of arsenal in Dragon Quest III, but are capable of using a few weapons the Hero cannot such as the Sizeable Scissors and the Sledgehammer. On the downside, they not only lack the Hero's magic, but also their agility, being a Mighty Glacier.
    • Ragnar follows the example of the Warrior class in Dragon Quest IV, which is only natural for a royal knight.
    • Outside of the Hero, two human characters pick up this in Dragon Quest V role being Parry and Tuppence. While Tuppence is a Magically Inept Fighter, Parry is a Magic Knight on par with the Heroes of other entries. This foreshadows that Parry is The Chosen One.
    • Yangus from Dragon Quest VIII is an unusual example as while they have exclusive access heavy weaponry such as Axes and Scythes, their armour range is for the most part distinct from the Hero's (though, give the same level of defense).
    • Dragon Quest XI is unusual for the series as the second Heavy Equipment character taking the role of Sixth Ranger, Hendrik.
  • For Final Fantasy, a good way to tell if a character or job fits this trope is if they can equip Heavy Armor.
    • The Warrior in Final Fantasy is uncontested with armour range with it expanding after they upgrade to the Knight, with only the Ninja having a slightly better weapon range.
    • Cecil, Kain and Cid in Final Fantasy IV are good candidates to put in the front row thanks to their strong weapons and armour.
    • The "Warrior" jobs of Final Fantasy V both are able to equip heavy armor and their job's weaponry has high-attack power. These jobs are the Knight, Dragoon, Samurai, Berserker, Mystic Knight and remake exclusive Gladiator.
      • The Freelancer and Mime jobs are not only able to equip all heavy armour and any weapon of any "Warrior" job, but every other piece of equipment too, but the fact these classes require mastery of other classes to reach full power means their use is best saved for end game.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, Terra, Celes, Edgar and Cyan know their way around heavy armour, with Terra and Celes being strong swordswomen, Edgar capable with both swords and spears while Cyan being the sole character capable of using Katanas.
    • Steiner and Freya of Final Fantasy IX are the only two permanent party members that can use heavy armour, with their preferred weapons being a sword and a spear for the two of them respectively.
    • The International Zodiac Job System edition of Final Fantasy XII gives four of its twelve classes access to all versions of Heavy Armor, these classes being the Knight, Uhlan, Foebreaker and Time Battlemage. But while the former three classes are well suited to front-line combat, the Time Battlemage's specialty with crossbows and time magic makes the latter better suited from fighting at a distance.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Armour classes heavier than "light" requires the would-be wearer to have a specific skill unlocked in their skill tree to wear it, and though no character starts with the skill that allows wearing heavy armor, Reyn can unlock that skill very quickly. Other characters require a lot more skill points to unlock the skill to wear heavy armour, though they can also copy the skill from Reyn if their affinity with him is high enough.

    Tabletop RPGs 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The Fighter is the Trope Maker of the Heavy Equipment Class, being the only one of the original three classes proficient in all kinds of weapons and armor. Later editions put an emphasis on their combat ability by giving additional combat feats in 3rd Edition and giving them extra attacks per turn in 5th Edition, but they're one of the few classes able to wear heavy armor without any additional feats or perks required for it.
    • The Paladin rivals the Fighter in equipment range with access to some divine magic on top of this. However, they need to obey the Paladin's Code or else they will be stripped of their powers and end up playing as a weaker version of the Fighter.
  • In Only War while any character can learn how to use heavy weapons if they want to the Heavy Gunner specialty is the one that focuses on heavy weapons. In addition to starting with a heavy weapon (and the training to use it) they have the unique ability to train their comrade to assist them in stabilizing and reloading their chosen weapon.
  • Pathfinder:
    • While Fighters were proficient in all martial weapons in 1st Edition, they were also the dedicated heavy armor class via the Armor Training class feature, which reduces ability check penalties for wearing heavier armor sets, and natural proficiency towards tower shields. Even more importantly, Armor Training lifts the movement speed penalty of medium and heavy armor (at Fighter levels 3 and 7, respectively), giving Fighters an unmatched combination of defense and mobility.
    • The 2nd Edition makes the Fighter Heavy Weapons Class and the Champion (basically Paladin going by a more general name) Heavy Armor Class. Simply put: no character, rules as written, will attack as accurately as the Fighter or be as hard to hit as the Champion.
  • Star Wars d20/Saga System: The Soldier class is the only one with access from the start to training in the use of heavier armor and weapons. Which in the former case was a decidedly mixed blessing unless you specialized some to gain more benefits from wearing one.
  • Starfinder:
    • The Soldier is the only class that starts with proficiency in longarms and heavy weapons, along with being one of two classes that has innate heavy armor proficiency. On top of this, they are able to use advanced melee weapons.
    • The Vanguard is the other class innately capable with heavy armor and is the only class that can use shields from the get go. While the only guns they can use are small arms without feats expanding their weapon range, they make up for it with their capability with advanced melee weapons.
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Dwarfs have double the carrying capacity of other races, plus a special talent that negates the movement speed penalty from heavy armour, enabling them to wear plate armour and heavy weaponry that would weigh down any but the strongest non-dwarf — provided they can afford it, of course.

    Western RPGs 
  • Diablo II has the Barbarian, one of two equivalents of the Warrior from the first game, who is the only character who can wield two-handed swords in one hand, and can even dual-wield them.
  • Diablo III:
    • The Barbarian is the only character who can wield "Mighty Weapons", one and two-handed weapons that cannot be wielded by other classes.
    • The Crusader, introduced in Reaper of Souls, can wield a two-handed weapon in one hand, but cannot dual-wield them like the previous game's Barbarian, preferring to use them with a big shield instead.
  • Of the player classes in Mass Effect, Soldiers stand out for their affinity with weaponry.
    • Mass Effect: Not only are the Soldiers the only Player Class that has Talents in the Assault Rifle, but are also the only class that has Talents with both Shotguns and Sniper Rifles and the only class that can wear Heavy Armor.
    • Mass Effect 2: Soldiers start with the highest number of weapon training of the six classes, proficient in Heavy Pistols, Shotguns, Sniper Rifles and are the only class that start with Assault Rifle weapon training.
    • Mass Effect 3: While any class can use any weapon effectively from the get go, the weight of one's combined weaponry compared to the class's weight limit now determines the cooldown modifier for their powers. Soldiers have the highest weight limit, allowing them to carry more and/or heavier weapons without penalty than any other class.
  • The Elder Scrolls series: The Orcs/Orsimer are one of the many playable races throughout the series, and they specialize in heavy melee combat and durability. This is more pronounced in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim where they have a racial trait that gives them double attack and defense for a minute, along with inherent boosts to the Two-Handed Melee and Heavy Armor skill trees.
  • Ultima
    • Ultima III: While the Barbarian, Paladin and Lark were capable of using all weapons and the Ranger was capable of using all armour, only the Fighter is capable of using all weapons and armour.
    • Ultima IV: Unusually for an RPG thanks to the Fighter class's aversion to magic overall, they have less of an equipment range than the Paladin who are capable of using more enchanted heavy weapons and armour with the Fighter.
  • Warriors in World of Warcraft are able to wear heavy plate armor and stand out as being able to use all weapon types except for wands. Fury warriors are the only specialization in the game that can dual wield two-handed weapons.

Examples from Other Game Genres:


    First-Person Shooter 
  • Brink!: Characters with the Heavy body-type lose some of the Le Parkour abilities available to the Medium and Light body-types, in exchange for being the only characters able to carry heavy weapons such as Gatling guns, and being able to equip medium weapons (such as assault rifles and shotguns) as their backup weapon.
  • The Gunner in Deep Rock Galactic is the main source of firepower for the team with his Chainsaw-Grip BFG Minigun, massive Autocannon or Macross Missile Massacre dispenser and is able to put out much more damage than any of the other classes.
  • The Heavy of Team Fortress 2 lugs around a Minigun that can quickly decimate enemies with its high firepower, carrying either a shotgun for close combat or rations to heal themselves. They are also one of the two classes that wear armour (the other being the Demoman), contributing to the high HP they possess.

    Third-Person Shooter 

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • X-COM
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: The Heavy class has a Light Machine Gun (with laser and plasma upgrades) that hits harder than a rifle and can be used to lay down suppressive fire, and a rocket launcher that hits a large area and destroys cover, and also buildings.
    • In XCOM 2 the Grenadier has a grenade launcher that gives extra range to their grenades, and an increased emphasis on More Dakka with their Cannon, gaining the ability to destroy enemy cover with it, fire so many bullets that they're guaranteed to hit, and use it as an AOE weapon in a large cone.
  • Valkyria Chronicles II and Valkyria Chronicles III introduce the Armored Tech and Fencer classes, who wear heavy armour and carry massive shields that are virtually immune to enemy fire from the front. They move slowly, but can deal massive damage with a wrench or giant sword in close quarters. The Gunner subclasses wield large machine guns and move more slowly than other Shocktroopers and are generally considered most useful on defense.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • One of the recurring classes throughout the series are the Armor Knights, units with bulky armor and a sizable DEF stat to match it, letting them absorb physical attacks with ease (barring attacks from armor-slayer weapons). However, they also tend to be excruciatingly slow in both combat and movement, and their armor seldom protects them from magic attacks, making them much more fragile against mages than their appearance would suggest.
    • Certain classes, such as the aforementioned Armor Knights, but also including Fighters, Brigands, Berserkers, and Wyvern Knights, typically consist of characters with high Constitution/Body stats, allowing them to wield heavier, and often stronger, weapons without a speed penalty. This isn't universal, as many games in the series include younger or less inexperienced characters in those classes, who start off being forced to use lighter slim or iron weapons to avoid weight penalties.

Non-Game Examples:

    Anime and Manga 

  • Log Horizon: The way classes in the MMORPG "Elder Tale" work, the only ones who can equip heavy armor are the frontline tank classes "Guardian" and "Samurai", and the Clerics, who are frontline healers. The rest have to contend with light armor or no armor at all.

    Real Life 
  • The A-10 Thunderbolt is considered the Implacable Plane, it can take a direct missile hit, missing a wing and an engine, and still land safely at home base. It's legendarily tough because the plane is designed to carry the ginormous GAU-8 Avenger. There's memes on how the A-10 is really a gun with a plane attached to it as an accessory, but that is an accurate description. The last time someone tried to slap a similarly massive gun on a plane, the recoil actually ripped the plane apart.

Alternative Title(s): Heavy Armour Class, Heavy Armor Class, Heavy Weapons Class, Heavy Equipment Character