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I'm trying to understand, generally speaking, what types of armor I should be equipping on my party members.

Here's what I know:

  • There are several classes of armor: clothing, light, medium, heavy, massive, etc.
  • "Heavier" classes of armor provide more protection, but cause more fatigue and require larger stat scores (usually strength)
  • Each armor class has named tiers of progressive quality (e.g. Veridium armor is better than Iron armor)

What I'm trying to figure out is:

  • Does fatigue matter all that much in the grand scheme of things, particularly with members I'm not directly controlling?
  • Should I always be equipping the heaviest armor my party members can wear?
  • If I shouldn't be equipping the heaviest armor a character can wear, what are the recommended armor classes for each character class? Like, should mages always wear clothing; rogues should always wear light, etc.
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3 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Fatigue does matter, even on characters you don't control directly. Especially when you need Alistair to shield bash that ogre who's holding you up.

The armor you equip should depend on the role the character plays. Mages and Archers for example, are ranged characters who shouldn't be in the middle of things. They should be wearing light armor and robes respectively. Tanks should be wearing the heaviest armor they can find (massive, basically) so that they can draw the enemies towards them and away from the squishy characters.

Melee rogues should have enough defense that they barely get hit at all, so light armor is the best. I'm not sure about melee warriors with a damage dealing focus, never played them.

I haven't found a use for medium or heavy armor, always going with light or massive for fighters, and robes for mages. Especially since all the good armor sets are massive.

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Note on Melee Warriors: Lighter armor gives you more stamina to use on abilities, which is good. HOWEVER, when you pull aggro off the tank, you don't have the rogues damage avoidance, so you can get seriously pummeled. I would recommend heavier armor, though there is no need for massive (unless you're 2-hand specced). –  Satanicpuppy Feb 28 '11 at 14:42
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Fatigue is the mana pool for non-mages. It's used to power effect like Dirty Fighting, Shield Bash and so on. Characters that run out of fatigue are reduced to basic attacks. So yes, fatigue matters.

Generally speaking, equipping the heaviest armor a character can wear is a good idea - you'll get more damage absorption. The tradeoff, of course, is a reduced fatigue pool.

IIRC, you can mitigate fatigue penalties by equipping matched sets of armor - multiple pieces of the same kind of armor give a "set bonus" that reduced fatigue.

Fighters are easy; wear the heaviest stuff you can - which should be Massive by the midgame.

Mages can stick with robes, unless you unlock Battlemage and take it - then you can wear heavy armor. I finished the game with Wynn in plate.

Rogues are where the tradeoff between lots of fatigue to power effects and heavier armor to reduce damage gets interesting. I found myself opting for medium armor - I found that it increased survivability of my dual-wielding melee rogue.

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Stamina is the mana pool for non-mages. Fatigue affects both mana and stamina the same way. –  ILMTitan Feb 28 '11 at 17:02
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Not all set bonuses reduce fatigue. –  Raven Dreamer Feb 28 '11 at 17:57
    
Good points - I was mixing up terms. –  Kevin Matheny Mar 31 '11 at 2:21
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Fatigue does not matter if you replace it with willpower, but I usually ignore it altogether.

I can honestly tell you that heavy armour attracts more attackers, so don't even think about shoving mages in plate. Besides, robes benefit them more with spellpower and defence.

Heavy armour on warriors can attract people away from your mages, so I would recommend Archon and Tervinter enchanter robes on your magi and juggernaut. Dragonbone, Templar and Legion of the Dead armour on warriors.

Rogues are meant to be lightweight tactical masters, but I honestly think that it makes no difference if you shove them into Dragonbone plate or Chantry robes.

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