The Armour Table
The Cloaks Table
Bima's AO Page
First, a special thanks to the members of our covert ops team, many of them were killed while obtaining the data files to make this analysis possible. Thanks to their successful efforts, certain critical information has been liberated from Omni HQ regarding performance testing of armor. Long rumored, and now known to be true... Omni operatives used captured clansmen as target practive to test the effectiveness of their weapons against various types of armor. Thanks to the heroic efforts of our Confederation of Clans and F.R.O. (Free Rubai-Kai Organization) covert ops units, we now have access to these Omni test results, and will use the knowledge we have gained from them to revenge our murdered clansmen POWs. Our technical team has analyzed the data and reversed engineered the formulae that determine the effective AC protective rating of any given piece of armor.
The body parts modifiers are as
There is no bonus for having a full suit of the same type. The sum of the modifiers of the parts (including both sleeves with the gloves) is equal to the full body modifier of 14. This is confirmable in-game.
The Armour TableTable 1, The Armour Table lists the relative effectiveness of various suits of armour. The armour table covers only armours that cover main body areas, such as the chest, arms, legs and feet. Cloaks that can be worn over other armour sets are covered by a separate table, as described below.
Please be aware that due to the limitations of providing tabular data, it can only present one particular view onto the data and thus it must be interpreted with care. For example, the table would lead you to believe that the Augmented Cyborg armour that you can find in the Cyborg Barracks in Greater Tir County is superior to nearly all armours in the game. However, since it is available only in Quality Level 77, even Low-Tech Armor eventually has better overall armour class. Similarly, a Fixer's Grid Armor is ranked quite poorly mathematically in the table, but it is still a very highly valued item.
Some armour types do not cover all possible slots. Thus, for example, a full suit of Padded Love provides less protection than a complete set of Graft at the same quality level, even though they have similar statistics, because the Padded Love lacks a helmet. (It does, however, look waaaaaay more cool.) Armour is only listed in the table if it is part of a set that has at least three pieces in the seven main body locations.
Of special note is that battle suits cannot be worn with other armour. So although an Omni-Pol Elite Battle Suit ranks pretty high on the table, its protection can't be augmented any further (and its 50% additional nano cost is pretty heinous). Thus coupling the Supply Master armours, Omni-Armed Forces or Superior Sentinel, with a tank armour would give superior armour class protection to the battle suit and give a number of nice additional bonuses as well. In the end there is only one battle suit that really seems worth it, the soldier-only Abaddon Chassis.
Regrettably, while the above forumla holds consistent for most armour, superior and specialty armour often break the pattern. It is, however, still calculated against the basic formula to give a sense of how it stacks up. Of course, in the case of such armour its real worth is often more in the bonuses it provides than its armour class, and there is no reasonably way to factor all that into a table rank. (If I were the paranoid sort, I'd think that most new armours added since 14.4 seem deliberately designed to screw with this table.)
Known to be missing from the table:
The Cloaks Table
Table 2, The Cloaks Table is a summary of the stats for armour that goes into the back slot and that can be worn in addition to regular armour. (Those that go in the back slot but basically become a full suit of armour are in The Armour Table.)
The factor given in the table is multiplied by the quality level to get the armour class. This was done for simplicity, though if you are comparing it to the main armour table then the factors make cloaks seem really uber. In actuality a cloak provides similar armour class protection to what a piece of body armour does, so to correlate these factors with the factors in The Armour Table you should divide each one by four. Yes, that does emphasize even more how much a Nano Armour Cloak stinks. At least they look cool.
Cloaks and other back armour pieces tend to come in a much more limited range of QLs than regular armour pieces, which makes the table a bit misleading as described in the previous section with Augmented Cyborg armour. You must always keep in mind the relative quality level availability of items in the table. For example, while the Exarch Robe is undeniably the best armour class protection a level 20 player can realistically wear, by the time that player can equip a level 100 Overtuned Heavy Tank he'd have better overall protection (though not as well balanced across every damage type). So to an extent the table shows a relative idea of how good each item is within its usable QL range, but doesn't accurately reflect the absolute best items.
Known to be missing from The Cloaks Table:
I will use the formula below in a few examples, so that you can see how it works in practice in case it was unclear. Please note that there are sometimes small variances between formula results and actual AC of the armour. This is because the modifier numbers were rounded to the nearest 1/1000th, and this can affect the accuracty of the results slightly, especially on the higher AC pieces where a small fraction can equal a couple of points once multiplied out.
Example 1: A QL50 Flowers Tech Body Armour
Example 2: A QL85 Urban Battle Suit
A Handy Tool
Master Item Technician Jayde has developed a very nice tool at the Anarchy Mainframe for calculating the protection and other bonuses offered by armour. Using The Armour Configurator you can select a full suit of armour from one of the preset configurations or mix and match pieces to come up with a setup you like.
The best armour for you will depend on a variety of factors.
Do you do PvM only or some PvP? In PvM do you willing take missions with a variety of monster types, or face only people mobs? If you are PvM versus human mobs only, you pretty much just have to deal with projectile, melee and some chemical damage, except against boss mobs. In PvP you'll encounter a wider variety of damage types, but especially more energy damage than in PvM against human mobs. PvM against monster mobs will also run the gamut of damage types; for example, there will be much more radition damage (from nanofreaks), poison (from plants) and energy (from pendpods).
Another factor to consider is just how hard it is to get the armour you want, and what you can wear in the mean time. It is perfectly fine to be lusting after CAS Symbiotic armour (for example), but putting together a full set of it is significantly harder than just camping the mission terminal for some pretty decent Flowers Tech. As it should be, all of the top armours in the game are comparatively more challenging and/or expensive to acquire a full set of, especially in a specific QL range. Everything placed above Biomech on the table fits that definition, with perhaps Carbonum being the easiest to get, but still a bit pricey, because you can buy the plates to make it in a shop terminal and just need to find a tradeskiller to complete the set.
Finally, there is also the style issue, which you might or might not care about. You don't have to be another Corona Mk II clone. And Carbonum ... great armour, but man is burnt orange ugly. On the other hand, full suits of the black armours (CAS, Cyborg Death, Nano, Omni Elite) are PHAT.
Don't let the table decide for you. Consider all your options and your own character development, and go play some AO.
The first known attempt to show Anarchy Online's armour in a tabular format was by ConfederoAO@hotmail.com at http://home.rose.net/~tnix/aoarmor.html, which no longer exists. I don't think he plays AO anymore, but I'm not sure.
My friend Nazx added a couple of rows for some armours he was interested in comparing, and that made me aware of just how much was not covered by table, especially all that has come out in patches since the first version of the table was made.
So now I maintain it. You can find me in-game on Rimor usually as either as Bima, Golly or Whatsamatta. I have a number of other alts in all of the game worlds, but usually sending a message to Bima will be the best way to contact me in-game. Even better, if you have a comment on the armour table, you can mail it to me. I strive to keep the table up-to-date and accurate, so if you find an error or omission please let me know.