What is the 'best' mutation tree?

Just as it says on the tin. I was thinking about the plant mutation tree (no pun intended) since I like nature IRL. Then I can do the irony of my lumber jack character being a tree! I think that’s focused around being a slow tank right?
I’d also like a basic description of each class, not strictly the whole massive bit of details. You can add that too of course, but please separate that to some extent so it’s easier to see the basics before the details to get a good idea beforehand.

The wiki has some out of date but still rather helpful info. Same with the Design Document, but I can’t give you that link ATM. [http://cddawiki.chezzo.com/cdda_wiki/index.php?title=Mutation#Categories](http://Here’s the wiki, though.)

Really, the best Mutation Tree is whichever one fits your play style best. A person who likes fast paced slaughter (like me) would want to play Chimera or Beast, while someone who doesn’t use Stats through Skills and wants a well balanced character would try Alpha. Maybe you like the chaos of Slime, or the incredible durability of Medical. Speaking of which, Medical is my favorite.

Alpha and Medical have the best plusses with minor drawbacks. Medical can get you Pain Immunity and Acid Immunity, both of which are huge. Alpha has the all around stat boosters.

Medical is probably my favorite, since I use stats through skills. Pain/Acid immunity is huge lategame, since the only thing that prevents a high stat/skill character from massacring a horde is stacking pain penalties, their legs melting, and shocker variants, and medical takes care of two of those.

Cephalopod is surprisingly good, it’s pretty balanced with few drawbacks. And octopus is a killing machine in melee.

If you take the right mutations at creation, you can go Medical/Alpha and have some of the better buffs from the other trees while also getting your main one. Whatever bad traits you select won’t affect gameplay too much if you get the ones your main tree would give you anyway.

From what I understand from the wiki, you can still use have other mutation trees even if you pass a threshold. Unless they interfere with with your main one and you can’t go over ‘two’ thresholds. Is that right?

If I’m right about that, then I’m thinking plant focus and slime secondary would be for me. From the wiki, they can sometimes conflict, but with the right luck they won’t. I shall be a slimy, acidic tree! I desire to have claws too, so that I may inflict acid upon my enemies with my bare leafy fists! If the claws aren’t possible to do (since they don’t relate to either mutation tree) then I’ll just go back to using my wood axe as a weapon.
Because irony.

The main limitation is that each threshold has unique mutations locked behind it, and you can only cross one threshold.

Elfa is very strong if you’re able to get your hands on the Repair Nanobots and Rad Cleanser CBMs, but I’d avoid it otherwise.

I’m personally a fan of plant. Finding food is not always easy if you’re wanting to eat more than meat and wild vegetables, and plant allows you usually to save on water as well as gain nutrition from the ground and sunlight itself.

Would Radiogenic from pre-threshold Slime or Medical trees sub for the Rad Cleanser?

Nope, you still suffer from radiation poisoning, you just regenerate from damage while doing so. And radiation doesn’t kill you through damage. (I mean, technically it DOES, in the form of a single unblockable 500 damage hit to all locations when you hit the lethal threshold, but radiogenic isn’t going to help with that)

Playing a radioactive character without any rad protection is possible, but it requires you to keep moving constantly, as radiation rapidly builds up whenever you stay in one spot for more than half a day or so. You could alternatively just live in an ANBC suit, and give them to your companions. This really shouldn’t work, logically, but it does.

I’d definitely avoid taking Elfa without Repair Nanobots though. Not only do you continuously lose a tiny amount of health, but you no longer need any sleep whatsoever, and you only regenerate health naturally while sleeping. Interestingly, Radiogenic COULD substitute for the nanobots, but you’d have to deal with being at least slightly irradiated for it to work.

Unless you have the “can’t eat X” or “have to eat three times as much” mutations, nutrition is a pretty easy thing to overcome. I have hundreds to thousands of dehydated meat/vegetables/fruit/powdered eggs in my base.

Chimera makes you an awesome combat monster. It’s got most of the great combat mutations, like Large Talons, Club Tail, Saber Teeth etc. And they all add up. Not only that, you also have a lot of Medical’s immunities. However, if you get both Carnivore and Extreme Metabolism you’re pretty screwed, because its practically impossible to sustain yourself at that point. But that’s the point; you’re supposed to kill as many people as you can before they kill you, going out in a blaze of glory.

God help you if you get Genetic Chaos though. Because it can’t be purified, and you have no control over what you mutate.

…Zombie meat is a potential substitute, but I haven’t tried seeing if I can survive solely off Tainted Meat.

Elfa mutant here, you most certainly do need some sleep, just far less than normal.

Hmm, I was under the impression that the Tireless mutation literally removed the need to sleep, but looking at the code it actually just reduces it by 50% and buffs fatigue regeneration by the same. My bad.

Didn’t know it was only 50%. That’s less than I expected. The description is misleading, effectively stating that sleep is no longer an issue.
Honestly, Tireless is a bit irritating, at least someone with normal sleep requirements can have their sleep cycle sync with the day-night cycle.

Well not only do you need less sleep, you only need to sleep half as long to get the same amount of benefit, so you end up staying awake more than twice as long as a normal person. But yeah, it’s a little disappointing for a post-threshold mutation.

Alpha here.

Tried plant once or twice and it seemed ok though as well.

People think that chimera is hard to play, but in reality it becomes the easiest once you find out how it works.

Carnivore is a minor drawback. The most easiest available food is meat anyway, and you can stockpile tons just by hunting and preserving.
Extreme/Hyper metabolism can be mitigated by recycler and expanded digestive system CBM. Even then it’s not completely needed, but it’ll make things a lot more stress free.
When you get Eater of the Dead and Hyper Metabolism you basically become unstoppable. Eater of the Dead allows you to eat zombies without drawbacks, and Hyper Metabolism allows you to convert excess food into HP. So you can run up, fight a horde, chop a brute to pieces, and eat to replenish all health and continue. Only drawback is pain, which can be nullified by taking painkillers while fighting.

Chimera excels in CQC, and becomes unstoppable when these two traits. Combine that with acid blood and acid proof makes you a god.

My ‘God’ character is a chimera, and on the old thread you can see me do the J9 and just eat the corpses to replenish my health.