Encumbrance vs. Armor Class, and Attack Speed vs. Damage?

I’ve been playing the game for a while now but I still haven’t figured out what I think might be the simplest thing.

When it comes to armor/clothing, what’s more important, managing your encumbered or having good defense?

Likewise, when it comes to weapons, is it better to have high damage or high attack speed?

From what I see, it feels like high armor is more important than encumbrance. And damage is more important in speed. It feels that way because when you build/buy armor, what seems like the next best step to take adds more encumberence and armor. Same with weapons.

In practice though it hasn’t seemed to me like its really better. You get hit so much more.

So what’s the answer? Or is there a particular middle ground? Maybe give some examples of armor/weapon combos you’ve used.

Anything with high encumbrance sucks with melee really hard. In ranged it doesn’t really matter, you can pile up numerous bullet resistant vests, just keep your hands free for reloading. However, then weight comes into play.

Anyway, after you get enough power, a ups bionic and a laser weapon, you are safe to clad yourself as heavy as you can.

I usually go middle-ground when melee, no more than 2 torso encumbrance (or 0 if on rollerblades).

Encumbrance vs Armor Class tends to be dependent upon your character’s skills and which body parts you are encumbering.

For example, torso encumbrance lowers effective melee skills. If you have 5 torso encumbrance as a fresh character with no skills, you’re probably going to die when fighting melee. On the other hand, should you have your respective melee skill to your weapon as 10, 5 torso encumbrance from armor isn’t too bad, but isn’t ideal.

I would highly recommend going to the ‘@’ menu and finding out what each body part’s encumbrance does. If you’re not into ranged weaponry, you probably can wear some bindles without any detriment to your combat effectiveness, and so on.

In terms of Attack Speed vs Damage, I would be inclined to go for something that has a decent mixture of both and some special moves. Hit-bonus will be very handy at lower levels, and something like a rapier will probably do the trick nicely.

Heavy armor is probably most effective against bullets and brutes, but I personally like to travel light, with decent-enough armor (survivor gear, dragonskin vest, etc)

tl;dr - It’s not about what you’re wearing. It’s how you use it with your skills.

Quick attacks (unarmed, katana) - low encumbrance
Heavy, slow attacks - high armor

Encumbrance hits skills and attack speed at a flat rate independent of initial skills and attack speeds. If you rely on spamming quick attack, heavy armor will ruin that. If you hit hard and accurately, heavy armor will protect you when you fail dodges.

I just realized that I have never tried making a character with heavy armor and heavy weapons. Thank you for inspiring my next character.

I realized the same thing and did it a while back. One of the funnest characters i’ve ever done. First thing I did was raid a museum and get a zweihander, then I found a suit of armor in a mansion. I was unstoppable. Nothing could penetrate my armor so even though I was getting hit 3-5 times before I got one hit in, none of them ever did any damage. I could kill most things in 1 or 2 hits. Also had hydraulic muscles and adrenaline pump, and with those combined there was nothing in the game that could beat me.

I never actually died, ended up starting over because I was too OP

I had a character like that too.
I died to a tank drone, because they have weapons that can 1-hit you - tank gun (true 1-hit kill, no questions asked) and flamethrower (delayed 1-hit kill, only the most hardcore survivors can survive heavy burning).
Chicken walkers and military turrets are also strong enough to wreck a player without power armor.

It’s only zombies, animals and horrors that become obsolete, technology doesn’t.

As for heavy weapons - they are a bit underpowered at the moment (too high attack times, not enough benefit), but nodachi or zweihander can easily carry a survivor to midgame.

Light survivor suit, fitted to your whole body, good armor and no encumbrance at all, letting you pile on a backpack, rucksack or two along with it. My usual tactic.

you can stack realy big amout of armor and still be able to fight just allways make sure that your mele skill is higher than torso enc alslo keep enc on all parts under 6 because 30 enc will make you slower than crawling zombie