Posted - 2005.07.23 15:04:00 - [3
A hardener improves your resistance to a certain type of damage. Some also boost all your resistances, although by a lesser margin than a specialized hardener.
A 1600mm plate is not a hardener.
Active hardeners use cap (in negligible amounts if you're in anything cruiser-sized or bigger) and need to be activated manually. They're more powerful than their passive counterparts.
Passive hardeners come in two flavors: energized and non-energized. Energized is better, obviously, as it gives better resistances but its fitting requirements are higher.