Unfortunately, this was a case of a decision from higher-ups in the real world impacting story; Greg was ordered not to focus much on the Exo-Toa, which he always said disappointed him because he thought it was an awesome set. That was probably why the story team or Greg came up with the idea to have them hamper the elements and not end up being used after that (as suits), then get destroyed by the Kal. That was how they moved them away from being a major story-time focus.
Of course, later he was freed up to explain their origins and have huge numbers involved in Brotherhood armies and the like.
[font="'Trebuchet MS';color:#000000;"]I suspect Executive Meddling forced this into the story for that purpose.[/font]
It was actually the other way around. Of course, all sets (other than a few obscure promos) are forced into the story by definition (so that goes without saying ), but the meddling was what forced this mostly out of the story.
I think the main purpose they did serve well despite this was to add to an air of mystery prior to the Bahrag battle, and in the end result, actually may have helped the story be more realistic. It's not realistic that everything a hero happens to encounter will work out as a useful tool to help gain victory. It did provide conflict in the battle in more than the usual cliche ways due to that, so I'm fine with how it ended up.
I remember a confirmation somewhere that the Brotherhood designed Exo-Toa to protect the Bahrag. Given what the suits ended up doing, it makes sense.
Was that stated as a primary purpose? Given that only six were put to that job while hundreds guarded Destral and the like, I'd think it was just a side goal.
While we're on the subject in case anyone's curious why the Brotherhood thought of them in the first place, my theory is that this was long ago when they were still doing their best to pretend to be good guys and/or somewhat were still good (I put it under Miserix's reign in my history retelling although off the top of my head I forget if (offline) BS01 said that or not, and said that some forces in the Brotherhood that were more nefarious than him thought of this idea without him necessarily realizing it).
So, I say that they thought of it as a way to sneak an army of obedient robots into existence, by making it sound like their primary purpose was to help Toa out. But only after being mass-produced (in my theory) did the Toa realized they hampered elemental powers and decide only to wear them as last resorts for physical strength aiding when they ran out of EE for other reasons. So the Brotherhood just kept making them mainly as robots, which was what they really wanted all along, and the Toa assumed it was somewhat accidental.
Of course, they probably still had in mind guarding the Bahrag but I'm talking in terms of "Why Exo-Toa" versus some other random robot design.
Edited by bonesiii, Jun 26 2013 - 10:36 PM.