In Rift Planes of Telara, players can select between four different types of armor. The types of armor are very traditional as far as MMORPGs go: cloth, leather, chain, and plate. Cloth provides the least amount of armor whereas plate provides the most.
However, there is one very unique thing about Rift: there are only four total "calls" (ie classes) in the game. As a result, there is one type of armor for each class.
Mages, who are primarily damage-dealing casters, use cloth armor. Rogues, who can be damage-dealers, support, and even tanks (will talk about that below) use leather. Clerics, who can play every role in the game, use chain armor. Warriors are the only calling in the game that can wear plate.
While Warriors can use some chain pieces, and Rogues can equip some cloth pieces, it will never be beneficial to do so. As a result, it makes the gear distribution process very simplified. You never have to worry about other classes battling you for equipment.
As mentioned, Rogues and Clerics can both tank, but can not wear plate armor. Rogues do not use shields either! This is due to the soul system. Riftstalkers (a Rogue soul) are given a variety of bonuses that allow them to tank. They get significant increases in armor and HP total. This allows them to keep up with Warriors to an extent.
You may be wondering how this plays out exactly and what role each tank has. The advantage of Rogue tank over a Warrior tank is that the Rogue is the master of mitigation. The Rogue gets a very high parry and dodge percentage. The Rogue also has amazing mobility and can blink all over the map.
In a raid or dungeon, this makes the Rogue great at tanking large numbers of weak adds that may enter the fight. It has superior mobility and good mitigation against mobs with weak to moderate attacks.
The Cleric on the other hand actually helps heal the group while tanking, which is a nice bonus as well, especially if the hostilities area of effect damage. Cleric tanks get a massive bonus to endurance and armor as well.
So, while there are only 4 types of armor in Rift, do not let that fool you. Each class has abilities and talents which can boost its strength, hp, and armor totals to similar levels of the Warrior. The only class that can not do this is the Mage.