When I check the stats for all my gear, they all have a "rating". What does this mean? The reason I ask is that I recently acquired a loot dropped by a baddie, and although the rating is lower than my current robe, the Armour itself is higher. Can anyone explain this, please?
Rating does indicate the armor value of armor and the damage value of weapons, as others have said.
However, armor rating has different results according to armor class. Heavy gear with rating X will give more actual armor than Light gear of rating X. The rating gives us a consistent level scale - rating 42 is better than rating 40 for everybody - but the armor class governs the specific armor value.