Someone asked how to tell what your enemies will be doing in PvP. Well, it's hard to tell what defines each type of weapon and armor without clicking through every item on the destiny board, so here's a quick breakdown of what makes each item unique!
Q: Signature (Spam) Ability. 1.5-3s CD(or cast time)
Each Weapon Type (sword, bow, fire staff, hammer, etc) will have their own Q ability which is the same across all tiers. Most have a small special effect or characteristic (slow, poison, armor reduction).
Support weapons have a damage option and a heal/shield option. Bow has a second option on T5
W: Utility Ability. 7-10s CD
Each Weapon Type has their own set of 1-3 options (mostly two - one for more damage/healing, one for more special effects). These have special effects such as interrupts, slows, shield, fears, damage over time, dashes, knockbacks.
E: Ultimate (Special) Ability 15-30s CD
Each Weapon Type has a similar flavor or effect, but every weapon has their own Ultimate/Special Ability. Typically 2 of the weapons in a particular Type will have similar effects (broadsword gives armor/mr, claymore also gives armor/mr; staves all have knockbacks; spears have a dash and a pull; bows have AoEs).
Each Weapon Type has two passives, but only in their two-handed versions (Tx.2 and Tx.3 for most Types). Think "10% chance to gain damage/attackspeed/bleed/slow/castspeed". Typically one damage boost, one utility boost (attack range or energy or a slow) but it varies.
You'll be able to instantly see if they have a sword, or a bow, or a certain staff, at which point you will know if they're going to be Q spamming a slow or damage. You'll have to remember that certain weapon types have different W abilities for utility, and wait to see if they have it as a damage boost or for utility. You'll have to remember that certain weapons have high dps, certain weapons have stuns and crowd control. You won't be able to tell what passive they have without inspecting them. And last, each weapon has a very different model, so you'll be able to tell what their Ult/Special is going to be.
Full List of Abilities by Devious
Armor is a little harder - each Armor Type has different abilities, while Armor Material determines the type of defense.
Here's a picture from the forums a few weeks ago that shows all of the armor in the game: armor models, check it out!
R: Boost Ability - Helm - 30s CD
Helms give an ability to boost your stats for ~5 seconds - damage, movement speed, or defense, determined by your Armor Type. These give people a short time for surprise burst, sticking power, or tanking.
D: Role (Utility) Ability - Chest - 30s CD
Chest armor gives you an ability to help you fulfill your typical MMO roles in a fight as a mage, fighter, or tank. Light armor helps you survive, medium armor helps you stick around to deal damage, and heavy armor helps you barge in and disrupt the enemy team. These all have both offensive and defensive uses.
F: Speed Boost - Feet - 20s (or 60s) CD
Boots give you a speed boost, they all have the same icon right now so you won't be able to tell which one people have in a fight.
Armor Passive - All
Light armor gives you better spells (increased damage, healing, or cast speed).
Medium armor gives you better sticking power (increased speed, CC resistance, or better CC).
Heavy armor gives you better defense (increased life, armor, or thorns damage).
Heavy armor has high health, armor, and magic resistance.
Medium armor has a 25% damage/healing boost, medium health/armor/magic resistance.
Light armor has a 50% damage/healing boost, and low health/armor/magic resistance.
Heavy Armor has huge full helms that cover the face, bulky layered chest/legs, and giant shoulder armor.
Medium Armor has open-faced helms, thin/loose chests and sleeves, and small shoulder armor.
Light Armor has scarves, open-faced chest, short sleeves, and no shoulder armor.
Armor Materials - Determined by Chest Material
Plate Armor has ~10% more armor than magic resistance.
Leather Armor has equal armor and magic resistance.
Cloth Armor has ~10% less armor than magic resistance.
Check the size of their shoulders to see what type of chest piece they have, you NEED to know if they are going to be dealing lots of damage or taking lots of damage, and whether or not they can chase you down. Next most important is their helm - full, half, or scarf? This will determine if they can boost their damage, speed, or sticking power. Boots don't really matter, they have the same abilities and a very small damage or utility boost that will probably match the chest or helm.
Full List of Armor Details by Devious
Bonus Info: Tiers
The Good: you can tell which Tier (1-8) people have based on the color of their armor or weapon. The Bad: you can't tell which Class (x.1, x.2, x.3,etc) people have based on the color of their armor or weapon.
T4.1 Heavy Plate is blue and has a power level of exactly Tier 4.1 for it's health, armor, and magic resistsance. T4.2 Heavy Leather is also blue, but has the power level of T5.1 gear. Someone wearing T4.3 Heavy Cloth would have total power level of T6.1 Heavy Plate, leading to slightly hidden power differences.
Weapons are the same: T4.1 Broadswoards are blue, but the T4.2 Claymore (also blue) has a power level equal to the T5.1 Broadsword. A T4.3 Glaive has the power level of a T6.1 Broadsword.
So, in addition to looking at their weapons to see their spells, and armor to see their role, also keep in mind the power spike as you go up in rarity. The more advanced (and unusual) the armor is, the higher the item power.
Power Chart with Developer Explanation at the bottom also by Devious
Want to learn more? Click UPAlbion.com.