You should be going more by the power level since the difficulty of crafting armors and weapons is based more on how strong they are.
Albion Online: the Armor System Explained
ARMOR STYLES - (Armor Type + Material Type)
Light Cloth, Medium Cloth, Heavy Cloth
Medium Leather, Heavy Leather, Light Leather
Heavy Plate, Light Plate, Medium Plate
ARMOR CLASS - (three in total)
Most inner ring of the destiny board
Middle ring of the destiny board
Outer ring of the destiny board.
Armor types are split up into three categories as mentioned above: light, medium, and heavy. Each type shares the same abilities and passives reguardless of the material type. Light armors provide enhanced damage, and offensive abilities. Medium armors provide slows, movement speed boosts, crowd control defense, damage reduction and stealth. Heavy armors grant bonus life, armor as well as defensive abilities.
In albion online there are two types of damage, physical and magical. We will use PR to describe the armors physical resistence and MR to describe the armors magical resistence. The higher your PR then the less physical damage you take and the higher MR, the less magical damage you take. Melee weapons and bows deal physical damage while staffs deal magical.
Material types are split up into three categories aswell: cloth, leather, and plate. The material composition determines the armor's resistance ratios. For example: cloth armors will have a higher MR stat then the PR while plate armors will have a higher PR stat rather then MR. Leather armors are given a balanced PR & MR stat that is neither the best or worst.
COMBAT PROGRESSION vs CRAFTING PROGRESSION
You will notice that the destiny board is split up into three main sections, combat, gathering, and crafting. For now we will talk only about Combat vs Crafting trees. When it comes to armor crafting, the progression goes based on the armor's material type for example you can begin crafting Light Cloth, then progress into crafting Medium Cloth and finally Heavy Cloth or you can do Heavy Plate into Light Plate, then into Medium Plate. This allows crafters to focus on gathering fewer resource nodes to accomplish their tasks.
On the combat side of the board, armor progresses based on armor type. This is because armor's of the same type share the same passives and abilities. For example: a player choosing the Heavy Type of armors is working towards being a tanky character. He will begin progression with Heavy Plate, then move onto Heavy Leather and finally into Heavy Cloth. Because the combat progression changes the material types as you go up in the destiny board, this limits combative players from easily crafting all of their own armors. While it may feel a bit more confusing this positively affects the economy by adding value to players who focus more on crafting.
One thing you will notice is that the destiny board is surrounded by three rings. An inner ring, middle ring and the outer most ring. On each ring are three armors. The inner most ring is known as Class 1 while the middle ring is Class 2. The outer most ring is Class 3.
Heavy Plate, Medium Leather, Light Cloth
Heavy Leather, Medium Cloth, Light Plate
Heavy Cloth, Medium Plate, Light Leather
As you go up in class the armors gain extra health points as well as an increased PR+MR score. This also means the armors have less vulnerabilities. This however comes at a cost, the higher class armors require rarer resources as well as more money to repair. Choosing your armor style can be tricky since the differences between classes are not extraordinary. Heavy plate for example may be just a class 1 armor but it still has the highest physical resistence of all the armors and is considerably much cheaper to produce then Heavy Cloth. Class 2 armors are a middle ground in costs while also providing a more balanced protection against both physical and magical damage. Class 3 armors will be best used in smaller battles where every stat counts such as GvG battles.
In short remember that when comparing armors such as Heavy Plate to Heavy Cloth, you should be going more by the power level since the difficulty of crafting armors and weapons is based more on how strong they are. By the time a player is able craft and use 5.3 Heavy Cloth, another player should beable to have 7.1 Heavy plate or at the very least 6.1 Heavy plate which puts the two armors at a much similar power level.
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