Infection and You
So, you've gone through chargen, you've set your @desc, you've created basically everything you need - you've gone through all the newbie profiling info. But you're here for more data.
Don't worry: We're here to help.
Basic Infection Information
Infections are effectively mutations which occur upon one body part or another. When a player is infected by any source - say, by an enemy attacking them at random - then the player character's appearance will shift to fit that mutation. How thoroughly you've been infected by any given strain - and how significantly - can be viewed with the '+mut' command - for example, '+mut me' or +mut anatia'. Mutations affect all aspects of a character's performance: appearance, gender, attacks, weaknesses, strengths, powers, et cetera. Finally, eventually, a character's whole body can be infected with a given strain, which results in 'Mastery' of the form... but see below for information on that.
When a new player is created, they have Human as their primary state for all of their body parts. You can check this with '+mut me', or - if you have a sufficient Xeno skill - with '+mut [player]'.
It is possible to become completely immune to infection (with the Ultimate Infection Resistance perk) , but it is not suggested. A huge part of the game revolves around the wide variety of infections and how players react to them. Furthermore, remaining human will cripple your character combat-wise. The vast majority of powers and abilities rely upon infection. If you are immune to infections, this locks the vast majority of the game from you. There are reasons to become completely immune to infection, but most of those benefits can be found with the Advanced Inoculation perk.
Each player has an infection value, including that much-vaunted 'human' value. The most significant infection value a given player has is shown in 'ws', or 'whospecies', on the MUCK client. This denotes how close they are to the species with which they're infected.
Infection happens in the following cases, from most likely to least:
- The PC has been assaulted by an NPC which is infected with a given strain. Each attack carries with it a chance of infection.
- The PC has been defeated by that strain of foe. The losing message generally carries with it some infection chance.
- The PC has used an item which infects them with this strain of virus. The most common form of this is 'Infection Vials', which we'll be getting into, later.
- The PC has been infected by a trusted partner in roleplay, through a variety of methods (item use, sex, coyote.)
- The PC willingly or unwillingly partakes in sex with that strain, which still requires agreement. This requires a Mako item known as 'Infectious [X]', where X is Womb, Cock, or others.
- The PC willingly shifts themselves with the Nanite Adept dedication, or any other dedication.
- The PC has nativized themselves, locking in their 'base form'. When the PC does this, any incoming infections have a 50% chance of instead reverting the character's parts towards their base form.
- The PC has been infected by a piece of equipment or an intrinsic perk.
Let's go over each of these in turn:
When you enter combat, it'll generally be against any number of NPCs, of assorted types. As they attack you, NPCs can use several different attacks, at least one of which is generally sexual. The vast majority of NPC attacks will at least try to infect you with their nanite strain. Casual (from NPC) infection can be prevented with the Advanced Inoculation perk, or through, as stated above, complete immunity. On the other hand, if you're looking for an infection, isolating a foe and letting them attack you for a number of rounds is a relatively sane way to bump your infection percentage.
Losing to a foe is another method by which you can become infected by a strain. In this case, the winning feral generally sexes up your character. However, this is a risky method: on the web client, this will generally result in a loss of patrol points, and on either client, this can result in female (or hermaphroditic) characters becoming pregnant without so much as a warning message.
The last method you can use to obtain an infection from an NPC is to use a Converter, which completely converts you when used against an NPC you can be infected by, as well as granting mastery. Take note, however: Converters cost 1 Mako or 5 Tokens, and so should be used sparingly.
There are relatively few ways to infect yourself willingly with a strain of nanites, and the primary method is through Infection Vials. As you continue to fight enemies, if you have a Nanite Collector of basic or higher status, and you have enough in the 'NaniteCollection' status, you will be able to collect vials from defeated NPCs. These will appear, in combat defeat messages, as 'bubbling infection vials', or - in your inventory - as 'Infection Vial: [Strain]'. Alternately, if you have one in your inventory, you can use a Converter in-combat (as a free action!) to obtain the form and mastery of an active foe. This acts just like a full set of vials, including mastering the infection!
Players can only use infection vials of up to 5 levels above their current one. To check your current level, type +xp or check the web client. Vials can be traded from player to player, as standard items.
Finally, those with a dedication can always transform into the form provided by that dedication. Those with the Nanite Adept dedication have a number of other options, which will be gone into further below.
If you're fortunate enough to obtain a Boss Infection Vial, take note! Not only do these provide you with mastery of the form (and, with certain exceptions, transform you completely), they also provide a certain weight of experience, and sell for a ridiculous number of Freecreds on the open market!
PC to PC Infection
Some player characters are readily able to transform others. In order to transform another player, however, the receiving player needs to give the sending player permission, through the 'trust' command. A few means by which a player can transform another:
- The Nanite Funnel allows one player to share infections with another, as per a nanite vial. This will not count for mastery.
- The Coyote dedication and/or Devourer dedication allows one player to share their active form with another, as long as they have the Nanite Control Extender. Once again, this doesn't count for mastery.
- The Infectious Womb, Infectious Cum, and Infectious Milk Mako items can allow a player to share their current infections with another. Once more, no mastery is provided. (Do you see a theme here?)
- Players with the Margay or Margay Taur forms can unbirth another, transmitting their infections thereby. Similarly, those with a Womb for Rent can do the same with the Infectious Womb item automatically, as well as the Adapting Womb, which converts the target on demand. For more advanced (and permanent) infections, the Maternal Bond item allows a player to Nativize themselves to the player in whom's womb they reside.
As can be seen, none of these methods for PC-to-PC infection can provide mastery of a form, though they are useful for a player seeking to obtain such.
Benefits of Infections
So, now that you've seen the various methods in which you can be infected, let's talk about what infections can do for you!
- Infections provide Powers. These are in-character attacks, benefits, and stats which assist you in gathering more forms as you proceed through the game. These are generally what most players will use, instead of an armed weapon or armor.
- Infections provide descriptive traits which can assist you in roleplaying! These are generally appended before your written description.
- Infections provide genital mutations, which can be helpful both in roleplaying and in Social Actions.
Downsides of Infections
- Infections can occasionally drop a stat, provide debuffs, or the like.
- Infections are often mercurial! Unless you have certain dedications and perks, infections can come and go at the drop of a hat. This takes with the changes any powers you might have, disrupting the flow of combat as well.
- Infections can be disruptive to roleplay, if you prefer to remain in a single form.
Infections are also an enormous part of the game itself, and most players will strive to collect many of them. Staying in the same form is kind of 'missing the point' of Flexible Survival, but options are provided for players who prefer to do so.
So, above, I've made several references to 'Mastering' forms, a rather substantial part of the game. A 'mastered' form is one which any Nanite Adept can shift into on a whim, or any Coyote or Devourer can shift others into, with the appropriate item in their inventory. But you may be wondering: how do I master a form? And why should I? Well, let's take a look:
A mastered form is generally obtained when you have 100% infection already (seen through the 'ws' command on the client), and are infected one more time via a natural infection source, such as feral attacks or infection vials. One method to master an infection is through Boss Infection Vials, which are found by summoning an enemy in the proper place, with a proper item. That's rather obscure, however, so let's look at the other alternatives:
Infection mastery can be obtained through:
- Drinking an Infection Vial for your chosen form when you're already 100% mutated. This is the chosen method of most players. To get infected to 100%, you may need to drink several vials, or have the Singular perk, which will gradually shift you towards a form when you're hit by any infecting agent. If you drink a Boss Infection Vial, it will automatically mutate you and earn you mastery for that form.
- Being attacked by an enemy of the proper type when you're already 100% mutated. This can be accomplished by eliminating every other foe in combat, then using low-damage or self-healing skills until the enemy whose foe you desire has attacked you repeatedly. In combat, you can still use the 'ws' command, or '+mut', to determine your level of mutation. Once again, the Singular perk is highly beneficial for this method.
- Using a Converter on an enemy NPC. This is little-known, but Converters act as a Boss Vial of the targeted form, including providing mastery. They do cost one Mako or 5 Mission Tokens, though, so save them for when they're needed.
Infection mastery cannot be obtained through:
- Having a Nanite Funnel used upon you by a fellow PC.
- Being shifted by a Coyote or Devourer with the appropriate items.
- Being shifted via unbirthing by a Margay or Margay Taur, or another player with the appropriate items.
While a mastered form cannot be obtained through those methods, the sending PC (or item) can shift you towards 100%. The final step of mastery must, however, be obtained through a 'natural' source: a vial, enemy attack, or converter.
Once you have mastered a form, a note will appear informing you of your accomplishment, and providing you with a small quantity of freecred. If this note does not appear, you may not have mastered the form. Ensure that you have the form in your list by using the command, 'list forms for [playername]' (For example, 'list forms for Anatia'.)
Mastering a form basically allows you to shift into it, if you have the Nanite Adept dedication, or the Recursion one, should you choose to take it one step at a time. This can be accomplished with the 'shift' command on the MUCK itself, or through the Character menu on the web client. Mastering a form, then shifting to it, changes all your character's genitalia, powers, and other features towards that form's 'base', or standard setting. For example, a human generally tends towards 5 in all of their stats, unless otherwise chosen. When shifting to a hyena herm, the party in question will obtain a vagina and/or penis, will become muscular, will have their breasts set to '2', et cetera.
Forms which are mastered are account-wide. Any characters created under the account in question will be able to use those forms, with all their benefits and negatives. Other options are available to Nanite Adepts willing to spend Mako, from the Nanite Carnal Equalizer to the Nanite Fine Tuner. These can be used to produce chimeric forms, or simply shift into a state more suitable for roleplaying.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Enemies aren't dropping vials, or I can't find the enemy in the area listed on the terminal!
- You're probably too high-level. When hunting a specific enemy, be sure to 'mentor' or 'partymentor' yourself and/or your friends down to the suggested level in '+haz'. Be sure to check +haz to ensure that the enemy is currently spawning in the area: different enemies pop up at different times of day. Finally, check your 'equip' to make sure you have a Nanite Collector of the proper level set up.
- Where do I find [x] enemy?
- Check the 'terminal' in various locations. The most common location used for a terminal is on the second floor of the Zephyr building, but other factions have them in equally public locations. An item which can give you terminal readouts is available in the Mako or token shop, or you can just take the information from the Terminal and throw it into Notepad. Once you have the info, do an 'rtrace' or 'atrace' to the room or area listed on the terminal.
- How do I shift between forms in the web client?
- All forms are listed at the bottom of the screen when you check your character info. Just click one to change.
- How do I human?
- The 'human' (or 0) form is only available through the Mako shop, but it's relatively inexpensive. The 2-Mako Boss Infection Vial: Human, when used, will grant you mastery of the human form. Just be warned: it's a little bit touchy. Genital changes won't always occur, but if they do, they'll reset you to human default (in other words, small).
- What are some good perks if I'd like to mutate myself as much as possible?
- That depends on what mutations you'd like! I personally have the Rapid Infections perk, which - on average - doubles the rate of infection from any source, be it vials, foes, other PCs, or other items. The Weak Immune System perk also doubles the chance of infection when you're hit by foes. If that's not quite enough for you, the Singular perk ensures that a single infection point can shift you to 100% in short order, doubly so if you're in combat. If you're looking to keep yourself from losing your genitalia, or are perhaps interested in getting some new ones, then Herm Preferred, is suggested, and for genital perks, the Size King perk - or any of its subperks - is highly recommended. If you really want genital alterations, One Way is your ticket, or any of its subperks.
- What perks should I take if I don't want to mutate / want to control my mutations?
- If you absolutely want to control what you mutate into, I suggest the Advanced Inoculation perk, which will prevent random enemy attacks from affecting you mutation-wise. There are also a triad of perks which reduce your mutation rate: Minor Infection Resistance lowers your mutation rate by 30%, Major Infection Resistance lowers it by 70%, and Ultimate Infection Resistance absolutely removes any chance of mutation from any source. Take note, however, that since a huge part of this game relies upon mutations, taking that lattermost (or, indeed, many of these) will cripple your character in combat. If you simply want to remain a given gender, you might look at Always Female and Always Male, or - if you simply prefer to appear human no matter what, you can choose Looks Human. Other options are available, and are always being added to the game.
- How do I check forms again, or shift if I'm a Nanite Adept?
- You can shift forms with the 'shift' command, which also has the benefit of showing off all your forms. Alternately, if you're on the web client, you can view all your forms on the bottom of the Characters page. To list forms for yourself or someone else, just use 'list forms for [player]'. ('list forms for me' works for yourself.)
- How do Converters work?
- Converters act as an instant Boss Infection Vial when used against a suitably leveled opponent. This will put you at 100% infection, including giving you mastery over a form.