So, as I wondered originally, how does (to reference a recent decision I had to make) "excellent breastplate" compare with "worn chain of protection" ??
The "of protection" enchantment adds some damage resistance but it's not clear how much this adds (even the clue books do not explain it).
Yeah, it's actually something that you learn through intuition and experience. I have not seen a single guide out there that could offer concrete numbers.
In addition to Lusche's list of weapon conditions, here's the list of enchantment levels:
(of) Minor (Protection)
(of) - (Protection)
I'm carrying a buckler and leather leggings of great protection instead of a tower shield or chain leggings for saving weight. Works well enough for me. I'm on dungeon level six in my current playthrough, and these enchanted pieces of light armour still do a good job so far.
I found a dagger of very great damage - I wonder if it's better than a jeweled sword... There's no way to tell but by trying. :)
What I would like to know: What exactly does the "toughness" enchantment do?
Enchantments aside an item of a lower tier is better than a higher one if its quality is sufficiently better (e.g. "serviceable chain" would be better than a "badly worn breastplate"). Higher-tier items add a bonus of +4 or whatever but the condition determines how likely it is to do its job; a sufficiently worn item won't work often enough to make its bonus worthwhile. The hint books probably explain this better than I have. :)
Actually... No, not really. :)
Item quality is only a problem early on; if you are exploring thoroughly you'll soon come across someone who can repair any item to "excellent" condition (unless it is "ruined" or "broken"), and you only need a few gold per item.
Note: "Item" means armour or weapon. Once, I was wearing a perfect crown of great protection for some time, until a feral troll decided to use my head as a drum. The crown went directly from perfect to tarnished. And jewelry can't be repaired.
You can also learn the repair skill yourself but you run the risk of breaking the item if your skill isn't high enough and the gold you'll be saving is of little use for anything else. I'd recommend using your training for other skills instead.
With the enchanted light armour pieces I collected so far I did decide to spend some training in repair, as that saves me running the long way back from the deeper levels to have my stuff repaired.
Also, it saves time, as you have to wait for the completion of the repair of each singular item.