Wasteland Diaries: Mutations 2.0

Sunset over Citadel
We have a new skills and abilities system in Fallen Earth. I wrote a short guide about the new skills a couple of weeks ago, so this week I'd like to cover the new mutations. If you haven't played Fallen Earth in the past few months, you will log into a very empty hot-key bar and have a very messed-up build. You will have a lot more AP than you did, though. But that AP is useless if you don't know how to spend it. There are no more capstones to plan builds around; you'll have to build a clone that will suit your particular play-style. My skills post and this post will give you a pretty good idea of what each line does and what abilities or mutations they offer.

All clones still have alpha mutations, but they are only low-level mutations and are intended to introduce new players to the mutation system. These mutations are based soley on Charisma now rather than Willpower. Every mutation line also has a primary stat attached to it, which determines 75% of the maximum attainable skill level. The other 25% is determined by Willpower. Total gamma (gamma is the mutation stamina pool that you deplete when you use mutations) is now determined by Charisma and Intelligence. Willpower is not nearly as important to mutation-heavy characters as it used to be. Those are the fundamental changes to mutations, and after the cut I'll describe what each line has in its arsenal.

Citadel
There are a few things that we don't have anymore in this new system. Many of the buffs that we used to rely heavily on are gone. One of the major differences is the loss of our high regeneration rates. Gamma now regenerates more slowly while you are moving, much like stamina. Health regeneration has taken a big hit without buffs like Ignore Pain and Accelerated Recovery. Raising most stats with buffs no longer raises your skills indirectly, but you can buff them directly. Buffing your mutation lines will result in effects that are harder to save against, however. In other words, buffing up your Willpower (for example) will not raise any of your mutation lines nor your health, stamina and gamma. Below are the mutations broken down by line and the abilities that come with them, starting with the Alpha mutations.

Alpha mutations - Primary stat is Charisma. Alpha mutations increase in rank without any AP expenditures.
  • Bolster - Bolster raises your maximum stamina and power. It can be toggled on and off and reserves (basically nullifies) 10% of your gamma pool. It cannot be run while Gird is up.
  • Disrupt - This mutation is an offensive debuff that lowers your target's defenses and saves. It can be resisted with a Mind save and has the added effect of stunning NPCs. This is one of the Alpha mutations that can still be useful in the higher levels (at least in PvE), due to the NPC stun.
  • Gird - Gird increases your health by a small amount while sacrificing 15% of your gamma. It is a useful mutation early on, but in higher levels it is too much gamma for too little health.
  • Patch - Patch is a targeted heal that can also remove negative effects. It can be used on any living target and also while moving. It has a two-minute cooldown, so it is more of a supplemental heal.
Empathy - Primary stat is Charisma. This line is almost exclusively healing abilities.
  • Benevolence - This mutation restores a good deal of health to the target if it is you and twice as much if the target is another. It has a short cooldown but is canceled by movement, making the user vulnerable for a moment.
  • Preservation - Preservation removes negative effects and can use multiple casts to deal with stronger effects.
  • Restoration - This ability is a heal-over-time (HOT), but unlike normal HOTs, it applies the health regeneration every second for five seconds (instead of six).
  • Share Life - This is a fast-casting resurrection ability. It depletes the caster's health by 60% when used. You can bring teammates up quickly with this mutation, but you will both be vulnerable for a short while.

Crafting bench
Enhancement - Primary stat is Charisma. This line consists primarily of buffs.
  • Ablate - This mutation ability boosts primary armor but lowers both Power and Precision to a degree. It can be toggled like Bolster and Gird and occupies the same channel, as do all toggled mutations.
  • Calibration - This ability is an aura that increases the primary armor of all nearby teammates.
  • Resilience - This ability is an aura that improves the saves of all nearby teammates.
Illumination - Primary stat is Coordination. Illumination is the mutation line formerly known as Telepathy. Its focus is soley on gamma and stamina maximums and regeneration.
  • Endless Reserves - This ability increases your total stamina and gamma, but it lowers your health by 25%. It is a toggled mutation and is mutually exclusive with other toggled mutations.
  • Meditation - This aura increases the stamina and gamma regeneration rates of all nearby teammates.
Nano-manipulation - Primary stat is Intelligence. This line deals mostly with healing abilities.
  • Filtration - This is an aimed heal. You have to actually hit the person you are trying to heal. It can also remove strong negative effects.
  • Reconstruction - This mutation is a targeted mutation that heals all teammates in a cone-shaped burst. Its main drawback is a three-minute cooldown.
  • Revitalize - This mutation boosts the health regeneration of nearby teammates for 20 seconds.
  • Vital Osmosis - This mutation is much like Reconstruction, but it has a 30-second cooldown.
Patho-transmission - Primary stat is Endurance. This line is exclusively debuffs.
  • Debilitating Weakness - This ability lowers the Power and weapon skills of all enemies in the target area.
  • Sapping Sickness - This ability reduces the regeneration and the movement speeds of all enemies in the target area.
  • Wracking Pains - This ability reduces the regeneration rates of the targeted enemy.
Primal - Primary stat is Strength. This line is more diverse than most and offers three abilities that either increase damage with drawbacks or improve health.
  • Beast Might - This ability adds crushing damage to the next attack with a weapon (or fists) but reduces your health by a like amount.
  • Primal Vigor - This is a toggled mutation that increases your total health considerably.
  • Rampage - This ability improves your primary armor and your Power and Precision for five seconds. At the end of the five-second duration, you receive a similar debuff for 10 seconds.

New Flagstaff fast travel pod
Sonic Manipulation - Primary stat is Dexterity. This mutation line focuses on damage.
  • Catastrophic Dissonance - This is an area effect ability that causes sonic damage to everyone inside the radius. It is dangerous to allies, so it must be used with care.
  • Rending Vibrations - An aimed cone that causes sonic damage-over-time to those caught in the target area.
  • Sonic Lance - An aimed mutation that (if you hit with it) causes sonic damage instantly to the target.
Suppression - Primary stat is Perception. This line focuses on sapping the enemies' resources while improving those of your team.
  • Denial - This ability reduces the target's stamina and gamma.
  • Sap Stamina - This ability drains the target's stamina and gives half that amount back to each of your teammates.
  • Siphon Energy - This mutation works exactly like Sap Stamina, but it affects gamma.
Telekenesis - Primary stat is Coordination. This mutation line focuses on aimed debuffs and direct damage effects. These abilities must be aimed and hit the target much like weapons.
  • Always Armed - This mutation causes ballistic and piercing damage directly to your target. It has a very short cooldown.
  • Bend Metal - This mutation debuffs your target's primary armor considerably.
  • Propel - This mutation causes a large amount of crushing damage directly to your target. It has a 10-second cooldown.
Thermal Control - Primary stat is Intelligence. This mutation line focuses on causing damage to enemies. These mutations need not be aimed; they will be applied to your currently selected target.
  • Cold Snap - This mutation causes direct cold damage to your target. It has a short cooldown.
  • Hypothermia - This mutation causes cold damage-over-time to your current target. It has a short cooldown. There's a joke there somewhere, but I'll let you find it yourself.
  • Molotov Cocktail - This mutation causes direct fire damage to your target.
  • Napalm - This mutation causes fire damage-over-time to your current target.
That covers the mutations. This short guide, along with my guide about the new skills, should give you a good idea of what you want to do build-wise. If you want all the hardcore numbers, and probably too much information, check this spreadsheet out. If you want a character planner that's a bit more concise but less comprehensive, try this one. The wasteland is a dangerous place, so try to use your strangely altered DNA to your advantage. If I don't see you out there fighting for your life, I'll see you here next week.

Ed Marshall has been playing Fallen Earth since beta and leads the KAOS clan. Wasteland Diaries is his weekly column that covers all aspects of Fallen Earth: PvE, RP and PvP. To contact Ed, send an email to edward@massively.com, find him on the official forums as Casey Royer, or hunt him down in the wastelands as Nufan, Original, Death Incarnate, and Knuckles Mcsquee.
This article was originally published on Massively.