As new ways of killing people are developed, so are new ways of keeping them from being killed.
Vehicle Armor Edit
Duranium Plate Edit
The strongest type of metal currently known to exist that can be manufactured and shaped easily by Human engineers is the alloy known as Duranium. It is composed of a combination of traditional Earth alloys mixed with new materials discovered only in Nova Refuge. Lightweight enough for hover vehicles to carry, but strong enough to take a tank blast, and also capable of heat-dissipation that allows it to dispel energy blasts, Duranium is the ultimate metal. Its uses doubled when Human engineers discovered a way to create a transparent version of the alloy, now known as Transperium, that still retained most (though not all) of its strength and durability. Transperium (which can be engineered in a wide variety of hues) now composes most vehicle canopies, allowing the pilot a clear view while still being well-protected. It is noteworthy that certain Durianium alloys are more resistant to ballistics while others are designed to better dispel energy blasts, usually at the expense of the other property. Anti-ballistics Duranium is usually referred to as "Duranium-B" by the military, while the more energy-resistant type is called "Duranium-H" (H for Heat, since E for Energy was too similar to B when pronounced).
Reactive NanoDuranium Edit
The new standard for Nova Refuge's most wealthy factions, Reactive NanoDuranium is basically standard Duranium, but with a layer of nanomachines laced into an upper layer of the metal plating. The nanomachines have a wide variety of uses. For one, they allow the armor to be "reactive." Upon being struck by enemy fire, the nanomachines gather to a single point of impact and reinforce the armor there, greatly improving the vehicle's toughness without compromising its weight or stability. As a huge added bonus, the nanomachines can be used to change what color light the vehicle's surface reflects, literally allowing it to shift hue to match its environment, even while on the move. This "active camouflage" can even match shimmering light or shadows, allowing for unprecedented stealth ability while also preventing the vehicle from having to be repainted if transported to a different environment. As a result, the standard coloration of most vehicles built for the more wealthy factions (Xarkon, Victory, Yavakaro, Harmony, etc.) are "parade colors," the flag colors of that nation, used in parades and while offline in order to swell patriotic pride, but shifting to camo mode immediately upon entering a battlefield. Poorer nations unable to afford NanoDuranium are still forced to paint their vehicles, however. As a result, Grimm's Army vehicles tend to be simply metallic colors, sometimes with a bit of green standard camouflage (which is how it acquired its reputation as Grimm's color) added in places... and vehicles from the desert country of Zygbar are nearly always sand-colored.
Infantry Armor Edit
Metal Armor EditThe most primitive type of armor in existence is, of course, simply metal armor. Nevertheless, it is still used by some rebels and mercenary groups without enough funding to afford more advanced gear. Most metal armor (excluding Duranium Plate) is not manufactured, but crafted. That is, each suit is created by the individual who wears it. The usual method of production is to cut panels of metal from scrap and strap them to oneself. As this is a primitive method of defense, it is only effective against primitive weapons. A sheet of solid metal like steel or scrapped duranium will, of course, protect against some non-blazer small arms fire and blades, but little else.
Ballistic-Repellant Mesh Edit
Almost as primitive as metal armor, ballistic-repellant fiber meshes such as Kevlar have been in use since the Earth years. This type of armor consists of various types of artificial fibers interwoven into a tight mesh that absorbs the force of a ballistic impact, spreading it outward as opposed to letting it pierce a single point. There are disadvantages, of course. Some types lose their ability to block bullets when wet, most types are unable to stop higher caliber or armor-piercing rounds, and all types are completely ineffective against blazer-shielded bullets and energy blasts.
Energy-Absorbent Mesh Edit
To the great surprise of the military, Aplo United Artisans Anonymous (AUAA) was actually the first company to develop a truly effective energy absorbent mesh. By using the heat-dissipation mesh design already taken from the Sarran and combining it with the latest Human technological advances, they were able to create a suit of silvery-white cloth that could absorb and dissipate laser heat energy as easily as a ballistic-repellant mesh absorbing the impact of a solid bullet. When shot with a laser, these suits would glow slightly, spreading the heat to all parts of the body, thus also allowing it to cool rapidly. The armor can still be rendered ineffective if struck by too much heat at once, such as rapid fire or constant fire laser beams. This causes the suit to overheat and melt. Most energy-absorbent mesh still has a hard time deflecting Starfire blasts, however, which are hot enough to burn a hole through it and still cause at least slight burn wounds to the wearer.
The most commonly-used mesh armor today is a combination of ballistic and energy mesh that is often referred to as a "Blazer Suit" because of its ability to deflect most blazer fire.
Nanofiber Mesh Edit
The most advanced type of mesh armor available is Nanofiber Mesh, or simply nanomesh, which uses a combination of the two previous types, reinforced by nanotechnology. The nanotechnology gives it the ability to harden automatically at the point of impact, making it even stronger than Mahlok hide. Some of the more advanced suits, such as those worn by the Xarkon Enomegs, have a panel of controls that allows for the density of the suit to be altered on command (ironically, also like Mahlok hide). The nanotechnology also allows for advanced methods of camouflaging, since the nanomachines built into the suit can change what color light they reflect, literally shifting the hue of the mesh to match its surroundings on command, just like Reactive NanoDuranium plating for vehicles.
Duranium Plate Edit
Still, even the most advanced types of Nanomesh can be punctured by certain types of bullets or Starfire blasts. Even the strongest fibers, woven as densely as possible and reinforced with nanotechnology, cannot withstand some of the most powerful modern weaponry. For this, a solid plate of metal is still necessary... and the modern alloy of Duranium, with its extreme durability and resistance to lasers, can stand up to almost any test. Originally Duranium plating was worn underneath the traditional meshes, but since the invention of camouflage-shifting NanoDuranium, it is now worn on the outside by most modern soldiers of the wealthier factions. And Duranium plate is by far the most common type of armor among modern well-equipped soldiers. Most battle armor worn by the Natives, including the fearsome black exoskeletons of the Mahlok and the beautiful golden plating of the Sarran, are also made out of Duranium or a very similar alloy.
Personal Force-Shielding Edit
The most technologically advanced form of protection available anywhere is personal force-shielding. With this type of "armor," shield generator disks on the individual generate a bubble of suspended "force" that conforms to the shape of the body by "adhering" to a special layer material incorporated into modern mesh and Duranium armor for just that purpose in armor intended to be used with force-shielding. This force-shield is invisible until struck, when it illuminates and creates a slight buzzing noise. Unlike energy-absorbent meshes, the force-shields actually deflect the energy bolts or beams instead of merely absorbing them. This allows them to block a far greater number of hits, both energy and ballistic alike, before overheating. Even most blazer bullets bounce right off. The greatest downside to this powerful protection is the fact that it requires just that: power, and lots of it. Personal energy shields require constant recharging, and the machinery itself can overheat if the shield takes too much abuse at once. There has also been some evidence that the radiation from the personal energy shields can cause some unhealthy side-effects to the wearer if they remain online for too long. For these reasons, all personal force-shield systems are usually left off until the wearer finds himself in a very dangerous situation, at which point he can activate the protection.
Mahlok Hide Armor EditDuring the Xenocide War, after it was discovered how tough Mahlok skin could be, with its resistance to both energy and bullets, a few suits of this Mahlok Hide Armor were constructed. The Mahlok rarely leave their dead on the battlefield to be used for such a purpose, but occasionally it did happen. Soldiers had to rush in quickly, take down a Mahlok, and then skin him as fast as possible. Due to the way Mahlok blood hardens as it cools, a dead Mahlok's skin could become nearly as hard as stone, so it had to be removed and "bled out" while the Mahlok body was still warm. Because of this gruesome and inhumane method of creation, the use of Mahlok Hide Armor is frowned upon by all civilized races today, and even during the Xenocide War was only created by the most vicious groups or individuals. There were also technical drawbacks as well. The suits proved to be still effective against bullets, about like most modern meshes, but many of their energy-resistant qualities were lost, since the Mahlok ability to absorb heat is also tied to their internal biology, not merely their skin. Today Mahlok Hide Armor is only used by the most reckless beings, as much for the purpose of intimidation as anything.
Dragonscale Armor Edit
Due to their rarity, high intelligence, extreme power, and tendency to stay far away from all sentient beings, precious few Dragons have ever been killed, and all of these have merely been the slightly less impressive terrestrial cousins to the magnificent Space Dragons. When fashioned, Dragonscale armor is resistant to nearly all forms of attack and is extremely durable. The few suits of Dragonscale armor in existence are all worth billions and are highly prized by their owners.