The only "orange" piece I've owned to date has been a cheap shield I bought off the AH, which I only got because of how insanely fast durability drops on a shield. Other than that, I've been getting by on quest blues and limited dungeon drops.
I don't honestly have a clue how I would go about obtaining Awakened Armor or Yellow pieces.
I don't expect to get this explained to me, it's a noob question. I'll figure it out. I just haven't had any need for it so far.
I'm assuming this level of gear is needed for running more difficult content then what I'm leveling with. As it stands my Templar can destroy gargantuan sized packs of mobs in blue gear. Just this morning I had to tank the majority of Skleros's dungeon trying to run past those lvl 75 Pitchfire Demon's that are bugged. (Side note, Survival Scream is beyond absurd).
But I'm getting close to level cap so I need to actually learn about this stuff (IE: orange gear, medals, playing with others, etc). ¬.¬
Well, free Blue gear does fit Templar well and generally has higher defense stats than Orange gear. Orange/Yellow rank armor tend to be better overall since they come with set bonuses that increase your stats other than Defense by a lot, and Defense can still be capped with decent fortification and a good shield. They also have more specialized core stat distributions and are totally non-random. They can also hold more gems than Blue gear can.
Personally, I'm using the 73 dps heavy armor orange set for Samurai until level 80 cap comes out because the difference between the orange and yellow sets are almost negligible besides defense and Crit Dmg, but this particular 73 set has a bonus for +10% Crit Dmg and that more than takes me over the cap. If it was only a matter of cost, I'd be tempted to go for the Yellow set when it comes out, but I hate durability on armor, and Orange loses its infinite durability when upgraded. As for Light Armor, I'm working on the Awakened set for physical dps. Awakened sets have doubled the set bonus stats of the Yellow counterparts and each has an additional bonus stat of the same caliber. For example, the Awakened Light Armor set has +206 Atk Speed the Yellow didn't, but is comparable to the +206 Crit Rate bonus that is doubled from the Yellow's +103 Crit Rate.
As for weapons, every class but Templar enjoys Awakened or regular Yellow weapons. Templar has a good choice for the level 70 M-Crit Mace this time around, but some people prefer a nice Purple Mace with M-Crit Dmg since it's hard to obtain M-Crit Dmg on Templar; it is a big help.