In the MMO New World, unlike most other MMOs, characters do not have a class. How your character plays is determined by their stats, weapons and armor. And players are able to mix and match all three of these things to customize their character however they wish. For this guide though, I am going to be specifically looking at the last one. In other words, let’s dive deep into how armor works in New World, and how to optimize your armor choices.
The Three Types of Armor in New World
Before I go into the three broad types of armor, I want to cover a couple things. First thing I want to mention, is that this guide will be focusing on armor from the perspective of mainline gameplay, not farming. What I mean is that when you are, say, trying to get as much orichalcum ore as possible, you will want to have a full set of mining gear equipped. Obviously this means you will not be optimized for combat. So I will not be covering those types of specialty armors in this guide.
The second thing that I want to go over before getting into the armor types, is the most important armor characteristic. That would be appearance. I’m only half joking. I always care a lot in any video game how awesome my character looks. Luckily in New World, you can acquire transmog tokens that let you make one piece of gear look like another. But if you don’t have them, wear the armor you want and don’t feel like you have to optimize.
With that being said, let’s get into the armor specifics. New World breaks its armors into three different categories. These categories are light armor, medium armor, and heavy armor. Light armors are things like flowy pirate shirts or scholarly robes. Medium armors are things like thick leather jackets and boots. Heavy armors are your classic full plates, iron helms and breastplates etc. The heavier the armor, the higher the defensive stats the armor gives you.
And since there are no classes, your character is never restricted to wear one armor type over the other. With that being the case, you might rightly ask yourself why you should ever wear light and medium armor at all. There are two main reasons (aside from the aforementioned reason of form over function).
The first reason to not wear heavy armor would be armor perks. Different pieces of equipment can give different bonuses other than pure defense. For example, they might boost stats, or a trade skill, or give you some other bonus you can’t normally get. This being the case, sometimes one piece of armor might give you higher defenses, but another piece of armor gives you that extra dexterity you want for your DPS build.
The second reason you might not want to stick with only heavy armor, is armor weight. This determines your equip load. Your equip load will grant you various bonuses or penalties. And after how cool you look, equip load should be at the heart of your armor choice.
Light Armor in New World
Let’s start with light armor. If your combined armor weight is under 13, then that means you have a light equip load. Getting the combined weight of all your pieces of gear to be under 13 is difficult, and fairly restrictive, but if gives you some major benefits to make up for it.
You get a straight 20% boost to damage with a light equip load, making light armor great for DPS builds (as it should be). Next you get an incoming crowd control reduction of 0. Third, your outgoing healing gets a 30% boost. Fourth you get a 1.0s delay in run after being hit. Fifth, you get the best type of dodge (a roll) and it only costs you 50 stamina. Finally you get a -15% crit reduction.
If you wear all light armor, except for a medium chest piece, you can get the light equip load while maximizing your mitigation from armor. Alternatively, you can wear a light shirt, with medium pants. Then of your remaining slots (helm, gloves, and boots) two have to be light, and one can be medium. The third option is if you want to go sword and shield as one of your weapon choices. In this case you need to wear all light armor and carry a round shield in order to still have a light equipment load.
If you want to go healer or full DPS, then a light equip load is definitely the best choice.
Medium Armor in New World
If your total armor weight is between 13 and 22.9, you will get a medium equipment load. This will give you a 10% damage boost. You’ll also get an incoming crowd control reduction of -10%. Your out going healing bonus will be 0. Your delay in run after being hit is 0.75s. You get a hop instead of a roll for your dodge, and it costs you 50 stamina. And finally you get a crit damage reduction of -20%. So as you can see, while your delay in run after getting hit is slightly better, you lose out in all other categories in exchange for the extra damage mitigation.
If you want to optimize your damage mitigation for medium armor, the main method is to wear a heavy helm and chest piece, medium gloves, light pants, and medium boots. Alternatively you can go light helm and gloves, heavy chest piece and pants, and medium boots. This loadout has a little bit less damage mitigation, but makes it easier to switch out between light and medium loadouts.
If you want to wield the sword and shield and still have a medium equip load, you will have to change your armor loadout once again. For this you will need a medium chest piece, light pants, and a round shield. As for your helm, gloves, and boots, two can be heavy, and one can be medium.
The medium equip load is best for those who don’t want to fully commit to either dodging or tanking.
Heavy Armor in New World
Alright, now let’s talk full heavy. Once you reach a combined armor weight of 23+ you enter the heavy equip load. This gives you a 0% damage bonus. It gives you an incoming crowd control reduction of -20%. You then get an out going healing bonus of -30%. You only get a 0.5s delay on run after being hit. Your dodge animation is the worst (a step), and costs you 50 stamina. And finally your crit damage reduction is -25%. The price is steep, but the benefit is enough damage mitigation to make other players weep.
Are you familiar with the phrase in for a penny in for a pound? Well I’m not sure if we’re in for a pound, a ton, or a metric ton, but whatever unit of measurement, we’re all in. Once you’ve chosen a heavy equip load you will shun all other types of armor to become a glorious shining tank. Wear nothing but heavy armor and spit on all shields that aren’t tower shields. Whether going solo or in a group, we know the reason you chose this loadout was to be the tankiest tank to ever tank. So embrace it, that your enemies may embrace death.