Should feet encumbrance start high when barefoot?

Some of the footwear item descriptions are confusing and misleading. For example, flip-flops’s description says “Simple sandals. Very difficult to run in.” except that they have an encumbrance rating of 0. So from a gameplay perspective, barefeet and sandas are identical except sandals give some protection from attacks.

But should foot encumbrance follow a curve? It would make sense if it did. If the practical effects of encumbrance is a corresponding change in running speed, then barefoot encumbrance should start at a high level (say, around 30) to simulate just how slowly you have to navigate around an environment full of debris when your feet lack protection. Most light footwear should therefore give lots of negative encumbrance, up to a point where the equipment becomes so heavy that it reverses course and finally starts giving positive encumbrance.

It certainly makes sense from a realism perspective. If you find yourself in the cataclysm barefoot, shoes might be one of the first priorities to look out for given how otherwise you’d be required to navigate your environment in a debilitatingly slow and careful manner.


You already receive a decent movespeed penalty for wearing no footwear, precisely to simulate the troubles of moving around barefoot.

Woah, what?! I’ve been playing the game for years and had no idea. I would think this makes a good case to better communicate this effect. This could occur either through the default encumbrance system I propose or just a simple status effect that says “barefoot”.

During char gen, one of the traits you can pick is tough feet. In the description it says something to the effect of picking that removes the penalty for not wearing footwear.

If you are barefoot you aren’t “encumbered” per se. Test it in real life:
I can guarantee you run faster and less clumsily barefoot that you would with flipflops for example. What might happen is subjective to several people, but overtime your skin will either be hurt or calloused. Of course it’s still better to have shoewear than going barefoot. Of course, debris plays a role, but there will always be a significant difference between, say, a well paved road that’s mostly “clear”, or grass (in a forest for instance, grass or even dirt aren’t “that” bad on your feet unless you happen to step or a really sharp rock or something).

As for what you said, I think you misread something because I am looking at “pair of flip-flops” and “fits”, they have a feet encumbrance of 25, which has a high negative to your movement speed.

Testing this with several different pairs of footwear with a flat Spd 100 on paved road just Walking Up, Down, Left and Right once. (not diagonally), and Running once to the left and to the right (because stamina influences your speed)

pair of flip-flops (fitted) - 25 Encumbrance - 115w - 57-58R
pair of combat boots (reinforced) - 15 Encumbrance - 110w - 55R
pair of dress shoes (reinforced) - 7 encumbrance - 106w - 53R
pair of hiking boots (reinforced) - 6 encumbrance - 106w - 53R
Barefoot - natural penalties due to no traits - 119w - 59-60R

If anything I believe Barefoot penalties are “okay”, but flip-flops should definitely have a bit more encumbrance than they currently have or have a higher movement penalty when trying to Run - it really is harder to run while wearing them.

I know how comfortable it is to be barefoot in real life, but that also presupposes fairly clear areas. I’m barefoot probably 90% of the day, but I’ve also deeply regretted being barefoot when finding myself in areas with even minimal gravel or in rough wilderness terrain. There’s no way I’d beat myself running on such a surface. If we’re assuming a cataclysm, it’s also going to leave urban areas unswept and unkempt, which means tons of debris from everything going on.

Either way, it looks like my idea was already implemented in the game long ago, but it’s not well communicated unless you test it out and look out for the speed portion of the UI like you did. A trait like “barefoot” would be a good way to make sure everyone knows. And I got the zero encumbrance from the CDDA item browser: Pair of flip-flops - Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead

Urban Areas being unswept is probably scenario dependant, but one would assume a survivor would watch their step if that was the case - unless they stepped on rubble or glass shards or splintered wood, for example, that’d be fair. Which again brings back the point of subjectivity. Different people have different levels of comfort and different skin roughness. (I don’t know how easy to implement it would be, to add certain “chosen variables” or so, but then again we have the “rough/tough feet” trait, so that kinda works).


From the latest version of the game. The Item Browser still has a few things that are either not updated or are actually non-existent in-game.