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Armor base values
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This post was from a user who has deleted their account.
mistaken, with no armor all you'd have for AC would be (base agility * 2).
Armor is valuable for tanking simply because mobs hit extremely hard before armor mitigation is applied; 5-6k for normal attacks and lots more for crits/crushing/special attacks isn't unusual in karazhan, which is an entry-level raid. Having more stamina's spiffy and all, but with low armor you're going to get burned down no matter how much stamina you have.
What Shorty is saying should be correct. (I'm no expert either, but my common sense says so.)
However, you must remember that each armor type has a base value of AC that it can have without spending any item budget. A cloth item with 100 armor and some stats is worth the same as a plate item with ~750* armor and the same stats. The latter of course reduces damage taken a lot more. Therefore it's a helluva lot better in regards of tanking to get only plate armor (leather for druids, obviously).
*Did some research and the base armor values compared to cloth seem to be:
Cloth - 1
Leather - 1.9
Mail - 4.2
Plate - 7.5
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