The protection system is what you see with command 'eq'. This protection reduces the damage you take and it is affected by a number of factors.
Racial protection (Your skin) is always there and gets added to any other protection you might have directly (armour and protection spells).
Armour is factored in by seeing how many 'slots' or body locations a player has, which of these slots are covered with armour and how effective each piece of armour is.
Armour protection is not directly added to your protection value.
Unlike in many other games you do not have a visible Armour class (AC) which increases by the same amount for each player when they wear a specific armour.
Here, when you wear an armour, it protects based on how much of your body it covers.
For races with more slots, this means the armour will cover less of their body and protect much less.
Races with more slots will need to wear more armour to gain the same protection as a race with fewer slots.
The bottom line is you want to cover ALL of your slots with armour to get the maximum protection you can acheive.
Just wearing a super breastplate isn't going to help when your arms/legs/head go unprotected, and if you have more arms etc...
well, there will be more unprotected areas that critters can hit easily.
Coverage ratings (from worst to best):
- Your armour doesn't cover anything.
- Your armour cover is practically non-existent.
- Your armour leaves most of your body uncovered.
- Small parts of your body are protected by armour.
- Your armour provides protection to slightly less than half of your body.
- Roughly half of your body is protected by armour.
- A bit over half of your body is covered by armour.
- Your body is well covered by armour.
- Your armour leaves just a few spots uncovered.
- Your body is almost fully covered by armour.
- Your body is fully covered by armour.
Piece vs suit
Armour protection is very heavily based on the types of armour you wear as well. Multislot armors protect MUCH better than wearing single slot armours covering the same slots. (For example, A suit of full plate will protect much better than wearing boots, leggings, breastplate, gloves, arm guards, and a helm). Multislot armours also withstand damage much better because they are big, and are easy to repair since its one armour peice rather than a lot of smaller ones.
Spells are also a critical factor in protection. Conjurers, Druids, and some of other (religious) guilds have spells that will augment your protection. These spells will show their effects in 'eq' just as if you had a suit of magical armour over your own.
- Note: Magical spells will not let you reach the best protection possible on their own.
Armour will not let you acheive the best protection on its own either. You must use these in conjunction to acheive the highest level of protection possible.
The skill combat sense enhances one's ability to use protection, both armour and spell enhanced. This is a measure of the training one has had in deflecting blows with an armguard, or sliding to take a slash on the shoulder rather than on your unprotected head, or even (in rare cases) absorbing all of an attack by balancing the attack with your best protected spot. Combat sense is reflected in your 'eq' display. The higher the skill, the better protection you will acheive with the same armour.
Type of attack
Tailoring your protection through spells or juducious choices of armours to a type of protection may be helpful when facing specific attack types. If you are going to adventure in an area with predominately sword wielding guards, you may want to boost your cut protection while ignoring the other 3 types. Likewise if you are going to fight creatures that claw or bite, you may wish to concentrate more on stabbing and cutting protection, while reducing your general and bashing protection. There are many attack types. Watching the types of damage messages you get when taking (or dealing) such abuse will help in figuring out the different types, and what types of protection works best against them.
Some spells allow large increases in protection against specific attack types at a reduced cost as compared to more general 'blanket' spells. Also, some armour types are designed specifically to deflect certain attack types. Experiment and see.