I just got elite metabolism skill (level 51) and the rewards are pretty nice (especially if you use stims a lot). I just wanted to share how I got it as there is some nuance to do it efficiently that people may not be aware of.
First, what are the rewards?
- The negative side effects of stims and food (e.g. tunnel vision from propital) last 50% less long.
- Being dehydrated has no effect (you can just ignore this mechanic now), and being out of energy only causes your running and arm stamina to drain faster and regenerate slower (e.g. it doesn't affect your hitpoints).
- Food and drink provides 50% more hydration and energy (not that this matters much anymore, but it can be nice until level 50).
What's the nuance?
- While eating/drinking out of raid does give you metabolism skill points now, eating and drinking in raid seems to provide substantially more (roughly 10x more). In addition, metabolism is a physical skill, so eating/drinking in raid benefits from air filtration system bonus (below examples assume 45% physical skill bonus).
- When you gain skill points, you get diminishing returns on that skill. After 5 minutes of not levelling that skill, the diminishing returns has a soft reset.
- While eating/drinking, you very quickly approach the diminishing returns. For example, consuming a red bull (+20 hydration, +12 energy) while missing the appropriate energy and hydration will give you around 14 skill points in metabolism. If you are missing 100 hydration and recover it all at once with an aquamarine filtered bottle, you will only gain around 20 skill points.
What's the best way to level metabolism?
- If you like to use have constant painkiller uptime and don't mind spending the money, you can keep a goldenstar balm in your pouch and constantly apply. It provides 5 hydration and 5 energy, which should be enough to get most of the diminishing returns, and lasts for 350 seconds, so if you keep reapplying every time it runs out, the diminishing returns will have soft reset. This will also be easiest as you don't have to manually track how much time has passed since you last ate/drank.
- Bring energy drinks or aquamarine bottles and take a small sip at the start of the raid then every 5 minutes. You can do this over time by playing the game normally but stopping to drink every 5 minutes. In this way you can get a level roughly every 30 minutes of raid time.
- If your hydration isn't low enough, you can pop some painkillers to reduce it. If you start the animation of popping painkillers then cancel it with your right mouse button, you can lower your hydration without actually using it.