|High-quality||x3 + 100||Uncommon||1 (1d6 pool)||+1||+2 SOAK|
|Exceptional||x5 + 250||Rare||3 (2d6)||+1||+4 SOAK|
|Mastercraft||x10 + 500||Very Rare||6 (3d6)||+2||+6 SOAK|
|Artisanal||x100 + 1000||Very Rare||10 (4d6)||+2||+8 SOAK|
|Legendary||x1000 + 2500||Unique||15 (5d6)||+3||+10 SOAK|
Unless we’re talking shields.No. Higher quality armor adds extra SOAK. You can see how much in the Armor column of the quality table (page 80 in NEW 1.2):
Quality Price Rarity Min. Skill Upgrades Armor Improvised Standard Normal Common High-quality x3 + 100 Uncommon 1 (1d6 pool) +1 +2 SOAK Exceptional x5 + 250 Rare 3 (2d6) +1 +4 SOAK Mastercraft x10 + 500 Very Rare 6 (3d6) +2 +6 SOAK Artisanal x100 + 1000 Very Rare 10 (4d6) +2 +8 SOAK Legendary x1000 + 2500 Unique 15 (5d6) +3 +10 SOAK
You need enough ranks in an armor skill to get the benefit, just like for equipment that does give a dice pool bonus. So an exceptional basic battlesuit gives 14 soak (the normal 10 + 4 from quality) if you have at least 3 ranks in the heavy armor skill.
Armor skills can help your defense a little bit, as the size of your dice pool for an armor skill will reduce the defense penalties you take (for medium or heavy armor). With 3 ranks (for a 2d6 pool) in heavy armor, for instance, your defense penalty would be reduced from -4 to -2.
That's a good point! Your armor's quality could add to your dice pools if a player and GM agree that there's a good reason to apply the armor skill to an attribute check. That just doesn't happen very often (and not on the pools that contribute to DEFENSE scores), but we shouldn't assume it never can happen.I would allow to use the armor skill + END to withstand a dangerous environment (like a blizzard, ashfall and so on...).