At present the armor is the best attribute you can have on your gear in The Division. With each build, high armor values become more important, as this will allow your agent to endure more before he goes down.
If an attribute is the only logical decision for the gear bonuses, diversity is prevented. Even before the update 1.5, there were plans to find a solution to this issue, but the ideas were ignored.
Now there is a fix with update 1.6 which is to address the core of the armament issue.
Also in the update 1.6 the armor parts will have a basic armor value, but the armor bonus will be removed as a higher attribute. It is replaced by experience points. As a result, life and endurance are mainly responsible for toughness - and not armor.
This is a change with major consequences: the overall Meta is affected; damage, healing, and skill strength must be rebalanced. However, an advantage is that the life scales scale more linearly than armor, which in the long run is better for the balance.
Status Effects and Resistances
The armor bonuses on your current gear are experience point bonuses but what about the experience point bonuses that are currently on your armor? These are added to a new stat named Resist All, which increases the resistance to status effects.
With the update 1.6 it will be so that the resistances attenuate the effect. For example, if you have 40% resistance to burns, you will suffer 40% less damage if you are on fire. Also the duration of the fire is shorter. If you are 100% resistant, you are always immune to this status effect.
In addition, whenever you experience a status effect, you get a certain% number of Resistance against it.
Changes to Skill Level (Skill Power)
The changes to the armor should lead to a larger build variety, as well as changes in skill levels. In the update 1.6, the effectiveness of skill power scales depending on the world rank: at each higher rank, you need to invest more skill to achieve the relative skill effectiveness.
There are also major differences between builds with a lot of skill and low skill builds. This means: If you have a build at the moment, where you hardly increase the skill power, your skills will be much weaker in patch 1.6. If you build on Skill Power, your build will have more powerful skills after patch 1.6.
However, in order to achieve these high levels of skills, you have to make decisions: other values will suffer; you will have to make sacrifices. As a result, community is struggling for greater build diversity.