Why use mutagens?

Same as the Title but in two questions :

-Why use mutagen rather than CMBs ? Since CBMs are (currently) penalty free while mutagens always come with negative traits.

and what really interests me :

-Why use mutagen in a RP perspective ? Why would your survivor drink/inject that stuff that looks pretty unsafe and how he/she chooses a mutagenic path ?
You might have tons of answer to this second question but I still thinks it’s interesting.

Mutagens and CBMs are currently completely compatible and stack perfectly.
CBMs don’t boost stats too well - mutations can give you +7 to a stat, while CBMs only +2 (except for hydraulic muscles).

Mutagen is a bit more versatile. Plus, you can get lucky/ just drink purifier and try again with your traits. CBM’s boosts are pretty tame, and only really do things like utility (flamethrower hand, hydraulic muscles, etc etc) while mutagens are more stat boosting,and if you so desire, change your appearance and how you play.

Some mutation lines allow you to be acidproof and secrete acid when hit, some allow the trait apex predator which allows you to train combat skills without losing your focus gains. A couple boost your overall speed by 30%, remove pain completely or eat zombies without penalty (and heal your wounds instantly to boot).

Sure they’re bad traits, but you can get a good character with no real negatives and still have CBM’s to supplement the character.

CBMs aren’t actually penalty free. Installation failure has a number of potential consequences, including pain, damage (potentially fatal), loss of other bionics, . A malfunctioning bionic is comparable to a negative mutation, however removing a bionic is significantly more difficult than installation.
Not only that, but you need high intelligence, three high skills, pain killers, and the CBM itself. So the entry requirements can be rather high.

Meanwhile with mutagen you just need to find the recipe (you’re nearly guaranteed to find a few mutagen books in any lab, a chemistry textbook found in libraries or bookstores has the recipe for vanilla mutagen, and one of the best mutagen recipes can be found in hospitals), get a high enough cooking skill, batch craft as much as you want with resources that can be acquired en masse, and just slam it down all day. Purifier can also be batch crafted to take care of any negative mutations that are more than a minor inconvenience, and the Robust Genetics trait reduces the chances of negative mutations significantly.

For most people it’s just that desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s either succumb to a force that outmatches you, or adapt and overcome. You can find a few notes written by survivors in-game, and they make it evident that you’re not the only one who has discovered mutagen and its potential usefulness.
Personally, my last major mutagen user started using it just to survive, until he developed an addiction to it. Then things spiraled out of control as he converted his vehicle into a mobile mutagen lab and just used all the mutagen on himself.

Mutagens are just another pool of bonuses, with different benefits from CBMs. Yeah, CBMs are more reliable, but I want the muscle enhancement and the strong mutation. They both work together for greater gain.

Once you have mutagen and purifier unlocked, there’s nothing stopping you from using both till you get just a few positive mutations that you want, with no negatives. On my last character I save-scummed it a bit and have 7 or 8 positive mutations with 0 negatives. No, I didn’t shoot for a rain resistant build, but it happened and it’s a good thing.

Alright there’s no reason to oppose CBMs to mutagens since you can take both and withe purifier and time you can get rid of the worse négatives.

So from RP persepective what reasons did your survivors had for using it ? harison86 suggested need for power and addictions, what could be other reasons ?

Also, it’s just really interesting from a gameplay perspective. A twist! Now you can’t drive because of tentacle arms. Woops, gotta adapt to it then!

That sounds awful D:!!
On topic
So far i just roleplayed an spider, luring them into the webs and kill them while they are webbed, and/or burn said wbes and leave a trail of flame and kill/destroy buildings.
An slime overlord, with and never ending army of little slimes (hits hard on the food reserves)
An at the moment a tireless pretty elf with a bow

Roleplay wise, I use mutagens to try become the ‘new human race’

The world has gone to shit, a generic human by itself can’t survive without equipment of some kind, most humans are already dead. But you come across a book detailing the ability to mutate.
The word mutate instantly gives bad impressions, but it’s actually another word/form of evolution. Pressed in to a corner, you decide to evolve in to a super human, cooking up mutagens and purifies to try and find the perfect mix.

I limit myself to only a few things that are noticeable yet helpful (bird wings, retractable claws for example) but I’ll try to get plenty of mutations that another person would not see were obtained from mutating, such as trait like mutations (glorious, deft) or the unnoticeable kind (web walker, night vision.)

Next thing you will need are other humans, males or females, to create offspring, the Adam and Eve of your new human race! Remember to have a safe place to keep your new harem, going out with your family is a much more dangerous affair than it used to be!

Obviously however, you must make sure not to ‘break the threshold’ and become too much of one particular thing. For example, if you’re taking a Feline mutagen, if you break the threshold, you’ll no longer be a human with a few feline traits, you’d be more feline with a couple of human aspects, making it impossible for you to reproduce with other humans as you’re far too gone.
I suppose you could find a cat or two though…

The real reason behind cougars, finally revealed!

There are plenty of possible reasons why one would use mutagen or even a serum - it depends on the circumstances, how you got it, if your character actually knows what it is… to name a few:

  • Your character might think it’s some kind of medicine. Stimpack in a vial.
  • Your character might think it’s edible/drinkable (we do not know how the mutagen looks, smells or tastes after all…) - someone who is starving or dehydrated might take it.
  • Your character might not care. This applies mostly to the more crazy spectrum of possible characters.
  • Your characteer always wanted to be more animal-like. There are Furries out there, Anime and other things regularly show people with animal features like cat-ears or tails, you get the Idea.
  • Grief or Depression could give your character enough reason to drink a vial of unidentifided liquid, in hopes of it killing him. I mean, the world ended, humanity is basically gone for all you know, depression is quite likely to occur at some point.
  • If you happen to have bought it from a NPC of some description, he could have told your character it would ‘help you survive’ or so, without actually telling you what it does.
  • Your character got mutated already, for example by radiation, and hopes the mutagen might change some of bad mutations or gets rid of them. (that implies he doesn’t know about purifier, or he can’t get it)
  • Your character fully knows what the mutagen is, and he also has access to Purifier. At that point, it’s just a coin toss - if the mutation is useful, I keep it, if it’s not ueful, i just grab some purifiier to get rid of it. If I know I can easily get rid of any changes from mutagen, i’d at least try it out once or twice, just to see if I get something that helps me, especially in a situation like the cataclysm.
  • Your character is a comic-nerd and knows about the X-men and so on. Scientists, working on some mysterious serum you can inject or drink? Damn, thats gotta be Super-soldier serum, sign me up, I want to be Captain America! Or have the healing factor of Wolverine or Deadpool!
  • If you have a very rational character, he might believe it’s necessary to further evolve. Not only are you fighting a wide variety of dangerous and deadly zombies, you have to fend off wild animals, irradiated animals, extra-terrestial or interdimensional beings, crazy cults and unearthed horrors from the Earth itself, plus possibly other humans. A normal human can’t win against these odds, even with tools, so something has to change, in order to tip the scale in your favour.

enough possibilities? there are tons more, you just have to be creative. When in doubt, you could ALWAYS go the ‘your character thinks it is necessary’ route - after all, extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures. A zombie infestation plus several alien creatures fighting for dominance on earth would count as that, if you ask me.

as far as mutagens and serums, i actually really see your point.

i will of course drink them upon finding if it’s a threshold i’m looking to cross, or i’m just feeling lucky, in my opinion having a mutation for free because you picked up a flask is better than not rolling the dice on it and seeing, can always use purifier afterwards anyway.

but for radiation and toxicity… well… the obvious reason, it’s FREE and it’s capable of dramatic power swings, all you have to do is prepare ahead of time and get a little bit lucky, if you really hit the jackpot you get healed by further radiation at this point, time to find a hot tile and take a good long nap on top of it.

personally, i think of CMBs as builders, they’re the foundation of your progress to becoming unstoppable that you can control, mutations are the finishing touches, the random things that help you really spec into a certain play style.
a run without both is just a shame and that’s all there is to that.

Something I’ve recently noticed is a stark difference between CBMs and Mutagens:
Almost all CBMs are active, and all CBMs are made to serve a specific purpose, mostly utility functions.
Almost all mutagens however, are passive in effect and individual mutations may seem useless, but either turn into something useful or end up working with another mutation to become useful.

My philosophy teacher has been making me think into things too much so I’m just gonna babble on below.

Maybe the use of a mutagen over a CBM could display a (sub?)conscious decision by your survivor regarding their almost certainly dreadful circumstances. Mutations are physical changes in your character; they mutate, and that change becomes a part of them, and to try to remove that mutation would be like removing a finger, it’s losing a part of yourself. Mutations could be a grotesque way of becoming closer to the world as it naturally is. They are chaotic and random and could benefit one just as easily as they could harm them, similar to the chaotic order of the natural world. CBMs on the other hand, represent the control and order that we see within society. One would use a CBM to help with completing a certain task or as a tool to manipulate the constructs of our carefully planned and high maintenance world. I’d imagine that in order to install a lot of CBMs, you’d have to sacrifice a part of yourself. You’d willingly have your finger cut off for a thumb drive and completely reconstruct your face in hopes of having better favor with your fellow businessmen.

I ate some food and I forgot the rest of my rant. Sorry for ranting.

The disadvantage of mutation is that it is usually bad, and sometimes is quite harmful. Getting a good set of mutations without bad ones is statistically unlikely.

Same can be said for CBMs. They have, overall, a pretty hefty list of required skills (and intelligence) in order to have 100% chance of success ; Meanwhile, a failure in installing the cbm means pain, damage, loosing cbms or getting faulty cbms installed, all of which are just as bad - if not worse - than a bad mutation. Also way harder to get rid of them.
You also have to remember that there are a lot of bad mutations which can turn into good ones down the line. This is not true for faulty cbms inside you though.

Overall, cbms are, in my opinion, way more dangerous for the survivor, especially if they aren’t in the mid- to late game. Of course, this opinion is biased - I’m not really into ‘cyborgs’ or similar things. I actually prefer very ‘pure’ characters most of the time - or at least have cybernetics/implants which aren’t visible.

[quote=“Fris0uman, post:6, topic:14359”]Alright there’s no reason to oppose CBMs to mutagens since you can take both and withe purifier and time you can get rid of the worse négatives.

So from RP persepective what reasons did your survivors had for using it ? harison86 suggested need for power and addictions, what could be other reasons ?[/quote]

Usually, I’ll have my character ‘mistake’ it for some sort of ‘sciency healing potion’. If it gives them super good stuff, I’ll probably have them chase after those effects, and if it goes bad, I’ll just veto mutations as they only know them to do harm.

If I get to high cooking before I actually find mutagens, especially if I find a mutagen book and read it, they’ll probably just make an informed decision based on their circumstances.

One of my best mutant characters (lab start) drank it because they were thirsty and didn’t know enough about the real world to know it would be bad to drink.

Basically, most of the reasons I have are ignorance or desperation on the part of the character.