In terms of Armor and Shield HP, unless there are still variants, Milita and Proto have the same basic HP.
The difference is that the Proto suits have a lot more module slots, CPU and PG. If you don't have the skills to use the advanced equipment, it's not worth it, but if you do, along with the passive skills, it can make a world of a difference.
For example, you can equip 3 complex damage mods (combined with proto weapons and proficiency level 5 = massive damage). And if I remember correctly a proto suit with a whole bunch of proto shield extenders and armor plates can have about 1000hp (compared to the measily 300-350 ish of the miltia one).
I think it's about 8 to 10 mil to reach that point though, for 1 specialisation that is (main weapon + side arm), so it's almost a year's worth of passive SP or close to 6 months if you reach SP cap every single week, without boosters.
Apparently, the most powerful suit at the moment is the Caldari logistics, but I wouldn't focus one that since it will most likely get nerfed. You're better off choosing one that suits your playstyle. However if you're playing as a heavy or light suit, you might not want to invest into dropsuit skills since all the racial variants are not available and it's uncertain whether or not they will allow respecs in the future.
Hey, KUDOS, man! That's about the best darn description and explanation of the upgrade and Skill system advantages I've read in all of the forums so far. Well said!
Some of the veterans need to read that explanation too, cuz supertman, you are NOT the only player who gets killed ALOT. LOTS of veterans get flattened, and the proof is the ton of prototype and custom (Aurum-purchased) dropsuits and equipment sitting in my salvage collection.
I'm not a killing machine... it's just proof that even many vets don't know yet the difference between good Skill management versus just buying the "Prototype" models.
Be patient and determined, and try to be one of the Skill-building folks. Remember that what Sony gives you in those Skill Boosters...Sony takes away from you after the expiration date (that may include weapons-access too, so make sure first ).
Orpheus basically nailed it for you supert
They are better and it is noticeable. They move faster, are harder to detect, the racial suits get extra bonuses (i'm gallente so each level of suit i unlock i get a built in increase of 1 to armor repair and a 5% reduction in PG/CPU of gear), among other things.
So, yes, they are worth it, as long as you are concentrating in one area. Take me as an example, I am a support player aka Logistics player in dust. I chose Gallente as my suit. Why? :
1) Repairing/rezzing my teammates means I have to be in the line of fire and the Gallente suits have extra armor to protect me in this situation combined with that race having built in armor rep to the suit (dont need a module if I didn't want one)
2) Being a "logistics" support guy I'm carrying tons of high quality advanced/proto team oriented gear such as nano-hives, nanite injectors, armor repper, and drop uplinks. This suit reduces the CPU and PG of those items by 50%.
3) My gameplay style is "suicide supporter" which means that I'll die in order to make sure you have ammo and armor or are revived, I don't care if I die in the process. The Gallente suit's high level or armor helps me here .
My adv suit has 145 shield and 405 armor
My proto suit has 145 shield and 500 armor