The Great Encumbrance Perk Debate


There seems to be almost no middle ground when it comes to 5th encumbrance perk – people either love it or hate it. Recently, it became much more controversial, because Alex said he had a pet-hate for it and that he would like to change it, because it’s another one of those things that players really like but it’s actually bad for the game. (Those are direct quotes, by the way, you can go check.)

Many people took it as an intent to remove the perk – even though Alex said the team should use a “scalpel instead of a hammer” approach – and many other people were horrified by the idea. Opinions are still quite divided and they’re not as uniform across PVE vs PVP divide as one would expect.

On the PVE side, there are people who believe it’s the cornerstone of farming and building and that simply removing it would ruin the gameplay experience. They are opposed by people who believe that having the perk ruins several aspects of the game, such as the existence of bearers and caravan pets.

On the PVP side, the debate is equally heated. There are people who believe that the perk is what makes it too easy to completely foundation-wipe someone’s base and that it’s unfair that they can grab all the loot and run away with it. These are opposed by people who believe the perk is essential to farming the necessary resources and that running away while overencumbered is difficult enough.

So here we are: let’s discuss and debate the 5th encumbrance perk, its effects and the ways it could or should be changed. If possible, let’s try to keep it civil, without name-calling, and actually present some arguments for our positions. But at the very least, take the time to answer one or both polls below, depending on whether you play PVP, PVE or both. Please don’t vote on the poll made for the game mode you don’t play.

Bear in mind that your vote on the polls is not an argument. The polls are there to be an informative addition to the discussion, not an appeal to majority.

PVP Poll

  • The perk is fine as it is. No need to change anything.
  • The perk is fine, but other related things should be changed.
  • The perk should be changed, but there’s no need to remove it.
  • The perk should be removed.

0 voters


  • The perk is fine as it is. No need to change anything.
  • The perk is fine, but other related things should be changed.
  • The perk should be changed, but there’s no need to remove it.
  • The perk should be removed.

0 voters

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nuff said


When Followers stop dropping dead for no reason at all, people will be less likely to concern themselves with if they should carry things on a follower rather than in inventory. A Follower could carry 20K Stone but how do you transport that from a geared corpse?

This is about reliable methods of gathering large quantities of material in a timely fashion. Do we really need to make this game even more grindy?


They can take my 5th encumbrance perk when they pry it from my cold, dead body (right before I respawn).


i’m one of those who don’t like it…

I’m a builder and never use it, it does harm the game greatly and i think it should be removed.
On the PVP side, is the most annoying perk of them all, it doesn’t make sense, makes it too easy for attackers to bring a lot of bombs and orbs, as for the defenders to bring lots of building pieces to replace those already destroyed…

On the PVE side, makes more sense since some people just want to play legos (like i do, sometimes) and having no issues carrying stuff makes it too easy, and that’s fine… except for the part where this is supposed to be a survival game. For me is enough to bring a bearer and a couple pickaxes and i gather until they are broken, i head back to my place, repair and repeat, is not a big deal. playing like this also encourage players to use survivability to gather faster.

TBH if people just want to build and nothing else there should be another kind of server with admin tools to spawn materials… and yes it has to be online because who knows why they won’t play solo…


From a PvP perspective I think this needs to be changed. One person with said perk can bomb down wall/walls gaining entry then proceeding to each work station, leaping and rolling to pick clean everything before running off without an awful lot a defender can do. Hit and run tactics. Maybe great for the greedy attacker looking to clean on the quick whilst causing maximum harm and frustration.

When a clan uses this in tandem to wipe a bigger base there is the same problem multiplied and means they are likely to take everything, meaning more grief when the defender comes home, or is at home, and has to restock.

I have used the perk in defence to retreat when it is clear I will lose but I have found since starting in December, the general feeling when your hard wiped, or nearly so, is it can break the moral of your clan and make you switch servers or quit.

Very difficult to balance…

I suggest there be a system where either the looter must be more selective due to inventory or a timer to fully loot work stations and/or if there are defenders present (or thralls) damage prevents you from looting (or both)

My suggestion would be to cap the amount of items you can loot with the perk so they have to examine the items more closely or a short timer to gain entry to the workstation/chest/vault interrupted by damage.

Please no.

As a pve player that mostly builds, I spend 90% of my time with the full encumbrance perk.

Taking it away would just increase the grind in an already grindy game. I see the arguments for pvp, but for pve it would just upset a lot of players. Building mats are heavy. It takes 20k stone just to make 2k bricks- which isn’t really a lot of bricks in the long run.


Absolutely necessary for PVE. It may be “unrealistic” or “silly” to carry a mountain worth of stone, but any lesser feature or band aid fix to removing this perk will make farming take a lot more time and a huge, gigantic un-fun chore; since this has been in the game for as long as I’ve been playing. This type of nerf will feel like an unnecessary thrall limit all over again for PVE. There are already good ideas on this board for how to approach raiding issues on the PVP side and decoupling PVE and PVP official servers should seriously be considered instead of removing this perk and replacing it with something that will never be able to truly replace it.


I think the problem to address first is why it takes hundreds of thousands of stone or hundreds of bombs to achieve the objectives that emerge for players.

Make building T3 cost less, make building mats lighter, and make landclaim last 24 hours so wiping foundations isn’t a meaningful thing.

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Also, it’s dumb as heck that you get slower on a horse that doesn’t have Encumbrance. I understand important people have a peeve, but there’s also a real game that exists and people play it as it is, and the limitation kills one of the best arguments for mounts.


I’ll say it again, with Jurassic Ark as an example, “nature will find a way”. Anky on a ramp to person on a chair to body bags, in a survival game will find ways to do massive farming runs.

Remember in Conan when someone figured out how to split stacks on thralls to carry everything? It will happen again. If the 5th encumbrance perk is outlawed, only outlaws will be able to carry everything.


lets not split hairs on realism… after i was chased across 2 grids by a mammoth/deer who got agro’d because i walked past its eye line. Hah… immersion is a delicate balance heheh.

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I’m one of those people that have max encumbrance on all the time. If they ever changed it my conan life would come to a halt. It makes no sense that I can walk/run faster on foot when over encumbered then on horse wish they fix that.


Blah blah blah, “because I don’t agree with the results the poll is bad!”.

Watch the pretty tiger bounce:

Now he’s on this option:

Now he’s on the other:



Honestly, I’m pretty disappointed by that. It sounds like an accusation, coupled with a refusal to engage, coming from one of the people whose input I was eager to see here.

I thought I was pretty honest and clear when I said I made this thread to discuss this issue and that I hope people would give actual arguments.

I’ll go edit my post to make it even clearer that the poll is there for people to express their preference and that it’s meant to be merely informative, not an appeal to majority.

It’s not only possible, I’ve done it on several forum polls when I changed my opinion. And I also had an opportunity to help others change their vote when they asked about it.


I didn’t want to lead with my own vote and proposal, to avoid influencing the discussion from the start. In retrospect, that might have been a mistake, because it seems like people assumed that “the vote is the argument”, regardless of whether they voted or not. Anyway, here’s my take on the topic.

Let’s take a look at PVP first. That’s going to be the most controversial part of my post, because I don’t have PVP experience, so I’ll probably be (rightly) told I’m talking out of my rear end :stuck_out_tongue:

I believe there are things that can be done to make the perk have less effect on PVP than it does now. For example, I think the following changes would go a long way:

  • Make it impossible to teleport while overencumbered during raid hours (i.e. while building damage is enabled).
  • Make overencumbered players receive no damage reduction from their armor, as if they were naked.
  • Make overencumbered players take higher damage than normal from other players and followers (but not from NPCs and monsters).

That would still leave the whole question of being able to foundation-wipe a base too easily. When it comes to that, I believe that the underlying problem isn’t really the encumbrance perk, but rather the lack of proper siege warfare. Explosive jars sound great for blowing up doors, chests and even vaults, but wiping foundations? That’s just excessive.

I’ve seen other people also say that they would love to have some proper siege warfare in Conan Exiles. Trebuchets are already there. Maybe adding more siege engines and tactics might be the right solution to balance this aspect of the game?

Okay, enough about PVP – I’m sure I’ve already made quite a few people shake their heads :wink:

The way things are now on the PVE side of things, the 5th encumbrance perk is indispensable for decent farming and building. Yeah, I know that there are PVE players who say they’re fine without it. And there are other PVE players who consider this playstyle to be “playing with Legos”, which is about as fair as saying that PVP players’ playstyle is “beating each other with sticks” :smiley:

My point of view is quite simple: I’ve actually played this game when the stone used to stack to only 100. I had to do many, many trips to build anything worth building in T3. And it’s just as tedious and grindy as it sounds. People who say “it’s a survival game, not a Lego simulator” really need to understand that most of the rest of us don’t consider “survival game” to mean “dull, repetitive grind”. If we’re talking about survival games (not actual survival in the wilderness), most of us expect the thrill of overcoming environmental dangers, not the tedium of breaking rocks endlessly. It’s not a Lego simulator, but it’s not a penitentiary simulator either.

However, that doesn’t mean that the perk itself should be necessary. Like @CromAndBiscuits said in another thread, “Why do we even have encumbrance? If it’s worth having, then we shouldn’t have this perk. If it’s not worth having, then we should remove it.” I kinda agree with the sentiment and I can see that the perk is a problem for certain PVP players, so the question is – can it be removed without turning PVE into San Quentin Simulator?

This is where the “pack mule followers” – bearers, camels, caravan animals and such – could become useful, if they didn’t suck so badly :stuck_out_tongue:

Right now, the show-stoppers with the pack mule followers are:

  • They’re vulnerable to lava and fall damage. If you bring one to an “unlucky spot”, you might lose all the effort of bringing them to level 20 plus all the stuff you were transporting.
  • They’re annoying idiots. They keep getting in your way, humping you from behind or even pushing you off cliffs.
  • Their inventory is laughably small compared to what the perk offers.

So, if we entertain the possibility of the perk removal, what I think we would need at least is:

  • Followers immune to lava and fall damage.
  • Decent AI.
  • Pack mule followers with at least 100 inventory slots, or a way to increase their inventory capacity to that size.

In the end, my opinion is that there are things that can and should be changed on both sides of the equation: the perk should be changed, but so should other things related to the ramifications of the perk.

I remain unconvinced that the perk must be removed, mostly because removing it – without alienating a significant portion of PVE players – would require replacing it with followers who perform the same purpose, which leaves us pretty close to square one: you can still use them to carry everything you need for a foundation-wipe raid. They might be somewhat easier to kill, but that’s why I proposed making it easier to kill overencumbered players.

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Are these “foundation-wipe” raids really such a widespread problem? I’ve done my share of raiding (and getting raided) in both Ark and CE and I’ve never truly “foundation-wiped” a base, nor really had it happen to me. Usually you just take all their stuff and they give up so you wait for their base to decay. Maybe it’s more of a pc thing?

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Interestingly enough, I’ve seen that used as an argument against the perk, too! :wink:

That’s also why I proposed making it impossible to teleport while overencumbered as long as the building damage is enabled (i.e. during raid hours).

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Personally this would screw me up. We do it odd; full raid 24/7 but mostly we are peaceful. So this would be we’d have to have a raid window, but we’d be forced to put it either when we are all on (meaning no farming at a distance when we ACTUALLY play) or we move raid when no one plays (meaning no raids ever). The alternative is now we’d all have to build right on resources so it’d be all gloomy north with rain and seasonal depression which is all just a turn off…

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Good point, but then it could be configurable so the private servers could have an option to allow porting while overencumbered.