Basically when Halo Infinite opens, the crew of the UNSC Infinity been fighting Cortana's Created faction and the Banished for 1 and a half years, cut off from Earth after Cortana and her Created EMP'd Earth at the end of Halo 5 and took control of the planet. They did manage to get new Armor about 3 months into the conflict, MJOLNIR Gen 3, which was created with numerous improvements, including the new SPIDR AI counterintrusion program, which was designed to prevent Cortana's created AI faction from hacking into the MJOLNIR armor's BIOS and taking control of the armor, but when the game opens that "new" armor is about 1 year and 3 months old, hence why John's armor has significant battle damage, scoring from Banished plasma weapons mostly. Likewise the UNSC weapons that John will be using in the campaign are left overs on the surface of Installation 07 from a battle that the UNSC lost on the ring about 6 months earlier, so they have 6 months of weather damage presumably.
While I agree, it is also well known that the UNSC keeps a comprehensive record of all MJOLNIR armor including all versions and upgrades from the time it's built and those records include data showing that a spartan wearing the latest upgraded armor in pristine condition will see its status go from pristine to slight battle damaged around 20 minutes after being dropped into combat but in John's case there is no corresponding data because even when Johns circumstances are exactly the same as the other spartans involved. John being John means his armor no matter the circumstance has never ever been pristine at the start of a combat situation.
We do however have data involving spartans and John regarding significant damage, those records show that while it is heavily dependent on the type and amount of combat involved we do know that the average time spent in the field before the onboard sensors register significant battle damage status is around the 24 hr mark and in Johns case that mark also comes in around the 24 mark just that it's in minutes not hours.
Regarding DroidKnight's clean look, With the impact on equipment closely mirroring the differences seen between John and the other spartans in regard to armor damage in the UNSC data, and the lack of new equipment combined with the sheer amount of damaged and scuffed equipment in Infinite leads me to the conclusion that what we have here is the end result of all the equipment that the Chief used/misused over the years becoming the arsenal of humanity.Last edited by mjk45 - on 24 June 2021