Sobek's Brainy Whips Guide
Hi, I'm Sobek and this is a ~beginner friendly~ build for brainy Whips.
Brainy whips is a very versatile build - you can both fight well and do tons of brainy things. However, don't expect to smash heads left and right like a real combat build.
Pros and Cons
Brainy whips comes with its own benefits and drawbacks, which I will explain here:
- Easy to get started: The build is very straight-forward and self-reliant. Whips are cheap and easy to acquire too!
- Very self-reliant: Repairing items, making money and getting gear will never be an issue for you. You can solo play the game up until Ants, possibly even beyond if you play smart.
- High utility: You can craft every item/plane, pick every lock, revive people, cure mental illnesses, remove/insert implants and use every gadget, like the amazing portalgun and medigun. Your corpmates will love you for this.
- High dodge+focus: Focus mutations are every bit as cool and useful as they sound. High dodge makes it easy to both farm and dodge tank endgame enemies for your corpmates.
- Craft XP: Crafting 500 trail packs for your friends comes with a benefit: Craft XP. It's tons of free XP for doing nothing but typing .
- Mediocre at PvP: This isn't a great build to kill competent players with, for the following reasons:
- Low endurance: If someone slaps your ass a little too hard, you'll go into shock/have broken bones and it'll be ogre for you. Buffing your stats with cocaine or speed will result in heart attacks.
- Low brawn: Breaking out of grabs takes forever. You also won't be able to drag the bodies of other players or carry a lot of scavenged items.
- Craft sperging: With stats like these, it would be a waste not to craft. While the crafting system is good, it involves hoarding scavenged items and sorting through schematics. Not fun for people who just want to go out and smash things.
- (Freak life): Being a freak prevents you from living in FC and buying at most shops. Easily circumvented by sending people on shopping tours though.
- (Brane slave): If you're the only brainy in a corp full of retarded zombies, you'll spend a bunch of time crafting their gear, repair armor, performing brain surgery and simming recipes. This is not always bad, you'll get lots of free craft XP and meet new people.
Tags and Stats
These are what you select in Character Creation.
Tagging skills gives you a free raw and more importantly, makes it cheaper to learn subsequent raws by a third.
- Whips: Make sure to get this one and Dodge to 15 raw first.
- Science: While you won't need to buy most brainy skills above 6 or 7 raws, Science is objectively the most annoying to increase.
- Locksmith: See below
- Hack: See below
"But I don't want to rob other players. Why would I want to tag locksmith/hack?"
Several game areas, like NPC apartments, Ricardo's Lair, Das Kochenhammer and the Gas Town basement are only reachable by picking locks.
Aside from lockpicking and hacking, those two skills are used to craft locks like Vox Diamonds. They easily sell for $200k and give XP past 300,000 total.
- 14 Reflexes
- 14 Senses
- 10 Brains
The goal here is to get your Ref/Sen up first to give your Whips/Dodge a boost.
Gymming Brains can wait, you can easily buff them with soda/catfish sandwiches and specific clothing.
I won't go into all the details and numbers - this part is already a huge wall of text.
You should still look into each mutation's wiki page!
- Twitchy Nerves: Vital +2 Ref. The -1 Sen/-2 Focus aren't nice, but you need the bonus to reflexes.
- Swollen Brain: This gives you all the brains needed for crafting and feinting.
- Bloodhound: +2 Sen, +4 Track with no downsides.
- Nimble Fingers: Another +2 Ref, +1 Locksmith/Craft, but -2 End and -2-4 Beat soaks.
- Mule: You wanna be able to carry more than five pounds of gear? Me too, buddy.
- Junkrat: +1 Sen, +1 Scavenge, -1 Col. Comes with the command that lets you find specific items and even installed door kits.
- Hyperimmune: +2 End, disease immunity and best of all, 60% ATP resistance. This allows you to wear deathsuits more easily, making picking less stressful.
When picking player apartments/HQs, you'll usually want to wear one together with other armor to soak the elec damage from Super Shockmaster door kits.
- Writhing Smoke: +2 Focus and , which lowers the tohit of everyone in the room and has a chance to stun enemies. Good for making an escape and stunning players who don't wear gas masks/MK I helmets.
- Screech: +2 Focus and . This can put people in shock, lowering their brains+dodge and giving them up to -5 tohit. The bane of all low Focus Medic/Science builds. Can be resisted if the victim wears earplugs or does heroin/opiates.
- Salamander: +4 Climb/Swim and . As Freak, you can spam this to quickly heal and destress.
- Carrie: You can people, hitting gunners with up to -10 tohit and everyone else with -5.
- Hideous Freak: +4 Sen, +3 Focus and a bunch of other buffs. REALLY strong and more than worth the downsides. Reverse stress lets you casually spam focus abilities.
This is quite a change from vanilla play, but absolutely worth it. If you feel insecure about going Freak, you can always delay mutating it past 200k XP.
Blink, Medium or Flight?
- Blink: Instantly travel around the world to reach far off scavenge spots, kill people or defib corpmates. This gets really fun once you craft a portalgun and allow your corpmates to teleport around too.
- Medium: Medium is focused on PvP - but you won't have the crazy focus needed to seek players who have 40+ focus themselves. The Clairvoyance part is nice if you just want to explore the game from the comfort of your home.
- Flight: Go for this if you really want to pick hovering Microzeps (nobody does that anymore). Bit of a waste with 35+ total focus, when you can get the superior blink instead.
This is debateable and depends on your preferences - Eelskin is garbage and you'd have a hard time dealing with Lithodermis weight at 8 total Brawn though.
Personally, I'm a fan of Firewalker + Rubberskin + Silicone Skin to deal with damage from Carrie and Super Shockmaster doorkits.
- Fibrocartilage: This gives you +5 HP and makes Endocrine boosters a little more likely to succeed. Neat to have, but not mandatory.
- Xray Vision: +1 Med/Scav/Lock and a gimmicky ability that's best used to laugh at the @nudes of other players. Only good for minmaxing, as you'll be blind in areas with dim light. Not so bad if you wear MK I helmets all the time.
Mutations that sound neat but are poo poo for this build:
- Brainslug: The slug gives you -1 Ref/-2 Brawn, constantly drains your money, keeps you from attacking other slug players and Swollen Brain already gives you all the brains you need. Basically, you'll need to micromanage your money by corp withrdrawing/despositing it. Extremely annoying and not recommended for newish players.
- Fuck Machine: Salamander both destresses and heals much, much better. If you're not a Freak yet, your high brains will make it easy to bandage yourself as well as craft scrimshaws for destressing.
- Iron Liver: Same as above, Salamander is simply superior for healing. Once you go Freak, the passive destress will turn into stress.
- Bleeder: As a Freak, makes you frenzy already. Getting covered in your own acid blood isn't nice either.
- Empath: Random stress and shock as well as being unable to kill things makes this mutation a total dumpster fire.
- Plant Whisperer: While this sounds amazing (and the plant dialogue is hilarious), weather debuffs such as depression and acid fog fear REALLY suck. You'll basically always have -1 to all stats due to permanent depression from overcast weather.
- Chiller: This mutation is only viable at 40+ focus, which you won't have.
Should I grind?
Short answer: No.
Grinding when you're going for a brainy build like this is a complete waste of time, for the following reasons:
Thanks to your high total Brains, you won't need to get brainy skills (besides Locksmith and Hack) past anything like 5-7 raws.
The concept of "saving XP" doesn't apply to you; you'll end up getting a ton of free craft XP just from making gear and planes for other players.
Deciding on what whip to use is very straightforward.
- Leather Whip: Give a few human skins to your local brainy and tell them to type .
- Link Whip: For when you don't have enough IP to wield a flame chain yet. Nothing special.
- Flame Chain: Alright PC2 burn/beat whip. The best whip you can buy at a store.
- Urumi: For fighting Nullianacs (PC0 and low weight allow easier dodging than other whips).
- Razorchain: Your staple whip for most situations. Cheap and disposable, yet good. These are dropped by enemies and usually found in the Galleria corp stores for under $10k.
- Flash Whip: These are what most people use to kill other players - electric damage is a pain in the dong to soak.
If you speedcap Razorchains/Flash Whips (at 2.3 speed), install gyro grip. If not, balanced grip.
Ninetails + butane/acid/shock on Razorchains+Urumis, tentacle+shock generator on Flash Whips.
Generally, unless you're fighting gunners you'll want to make use of your high Dodge. This especially applies to endgame enemies like Nullianacs who deal ludicrous amounts of damage.
- Basic set: 3x leather/smoking jacket+pants, 3x rusted pot, gas mask+2x hockey mask, combat boots, 2x lacrosse gloves.
You can buy most of this from PYN in Freedom City or ask a corpmate to sew you the leather gear from orphan skins.
This armor is extremely cheap, yet good all the way until you get to fight ants in Crater Forest.
- Tire armor: If your dodge is still unter ~25 total, go ahead and wear this.
It's craftable by improvising, needs easily found materials and will soak anything until you get to ants. Really good against treemen too!
Downsides are that you can't wear a gas mask, it's very heavy, severely messes with dodging and doesn't protect you from fire.
Improvising this needs decent amounts of Scavenge and: 5x Ancient Rubber Tire, 2x Spool of brass wire, 2x Short length of copper wire, 2x Generic animal hide, 1x Cargo pants and 1x Generic shirt.
- Dodge buffing gear: Karate Gis, Converse and Basketball shoes
Wearing these will buff your dodge by 0.5 each, resulting in a possible +2 total dodge.
- What comes after this?
Rule of thumb: Wear the cheapest available gear with the lowest dodge penalty and highest required soaks.
The game is full of meanies who'll kill your for your Leech-Hide armor - make sure that you only wear what's absolutely neccessary.
While it takes a little time at first, make a habit of reading the List of Armor page to take a look at soaks and dodge penalties.
This will result in you learning what armor is actually good for, instead of just having people tell you to wear this and that.
Where do I go from here?
Once you're fresh out of character creation, accept MServo's offer to get hired into ENEMA - it's a newbie corp that will help you learn to play the game. Also, the "real" corporations poach from there.
The first thing you should do is check out the Unemployment Office's job board. Doing jobs will take you around the greater Freedom City area and teach you basic skills, like bandaging and killing people.
Type "ready <weapon>" to make sure your character wields the weapon once your start fighting things.
Pages you should check out are:
How do I craft?
I wrote a bunch of guides on crafting, you can find them at Pastebin dot com/t0awsPUb