Differences between Bubbles
What is a Nanite Bubble?
In the broadest of senses, a nanite bubble is a collection of nanites that are given commands from some source. This source can come from a NICE unit, a bubble server, a mini-server, a variety of things. However, each source would have its own distinct differences based on the reality of its location and the duration the bubble has been active.
The effects of a Bubble Server.
A bubble server is the most powerful and least mobile of the bubble producing options. Usually stationary unless mounted to a vehicle (which the nanites would either try to strip down, unless commanded not to by one of its programmers). With the power the bubble server has, along with the permanency of the bubble it makes, it is more than capable of producing a substance affectionately called 'Nanite Nutrient Soup'. This is a collection of nutrients and minerals, free-floating inside any bubbles that last long enough and have enough power, that nanites can use for other purposes; such as building their own things, mutating people, and keeping those infected alive without food or water for long periods of time(even if barely alive). This kind of bubble also ensures that all nanite functions within it are running at their peak efficiency. The closer to the server itself, the higher this efficiency can go. A bubble server is capable of having more individualized effects. For example, the server in Clairmont blocks out heat and horniness for the most part, acting as a SUCK as well as a normal server. And in Eureka, where the Nanite Degradation is slowed down.
The effects of a NICE and Mini Bubble.
Basically one in the same, a NICE unit or a mini-server with the full compliment of Regulation Nanomagic programs on it is capable of producing a more temporary, less powerful, but more mobile bubble. Typically much more limited in range and function, this kind of bubble supplies both ambient nanites for the purposes of, as well as instructions for, most common nanite functions. This will permit things like shifting, mutating, causing initial infection, and allow mutant powers to be fired at a more normal level of efficiency and strength. This, however, does not create the aforementioned nanite nutrient soup. This kind of bubble is both not powerful enough, nor up long enough to produce this effect. In addition to this, the nanite program found in bubble servers is not completely replicable, so some commands are missing from the program given out to agents in the form of NICE or found in the miniature server. This means that when it comes to Food and Water, you have what you packed to bring, what you can find, and what you can hunt. A special note for this is vehicular forms. Without the support of those missing programs and the nanite nutrient soup, being in a vehicular form is very draining and exhausting, something someone would only be able to do for short bursts at best before having to spend quite a bit of time recovering.
What about no bubble at all?
If you are completely out of a bubble, then your nanites are not receiving any outside commands to permit the majority of special nanite functions. Things like mutating, shifting, and causing initial infection. These things are not possible without the support of some fashion of bubble. Without the support of ambient nanites, your own internal nanites are more concerned about supporting your life functions then ensuring your Flamethrower is as hot and big as it can possibly be, reducing the effectiveness and strength of mutant powers while out of a bubble. Some exceptions include Gouging Claws. Because the nanites are still supporting your basic functions, your health, wounds, energy, etc continue to recharge and renew at their normal rates.
Since your bubble is also supplying your weapons with ammunition, you can expect recharge to take a bit longer as well. Much like those stranded in a far off grim dark future, it's probably smart to keep a knife, sword, or other CQC weapon on you, if you really, /really/ want to go out and fight.