Molecular Transmutation is a Tier Four psionic discipline that converts ammunition Clips and hypos into Nanites. Those "useless" items lying around the ship, like plants, smokes, magazines and mugs, aren't useless anymore once you get Molecular Transmutation.
Transmutation affects only one "clip" worth, if the stack in the inventory slot is larger than a single clip (6 bullets or shells, or 3 grenades; for hypos a "clip" is 1). You should not use transmutation on a less-than-full clip, since it costs just as much but you'll get fewer nanites.
The formula for this discipline is:
Where Y is the nanite yield, ψ is the player's effective Psi level, and f gives a Molecular Transmutation factor specific to that item or class of items.
An example would be using the discipline on a stack of 5 Fragmentation Grenades. Fragmentation Grenades have a Molecular Transmutation factor of 8, and a normal clip size of 1. Assume a player with an effective Psi level of 10.
We would be left with a stack of 4 Fragmentation Grenades and 22 more nanites. For comparison, using the recycler on a single Fragmentation Grenade would yield 2 nanites.
A less ideal situation would be seen here, if the player only had 2 Psi, and was processing a full clip of slugs, with factor 1.25:
Molecular Transmutation would give 4 nanites for one clip of slugs, while the recycler would give 3. Once the cost of Psi hypos is factored in, this would surely be a losing enterprise.
Most true junk items, such as plants, produce too few nanites from Molecular Transmutation to offset the replicator cost of Psi hypos, especially on the higher difficulty levels.
- This power is best for the pure psionic character, who has no use for ammunition anyway.
- The amount of nanites gained is proportional to your PSI, so boost it as high as possible before using this power. Molecular Transmutation is one of few psionic abilities that benefit of PSI skill level higher than 8 (up to a total of PSI 10).
- The amount of nanites gained is also affected by difficulty level, so at higher difficulty levels, you may find this power to not be cost-effective on some types of items. Compare how many nanites you get with the proportional cost of a Psi Hypo (1 psi hypo gives you the same results as using this power 5 times) to see how much (if any) 'profit' you make by using this power on different items. Once you find a Recycler, you'll also want to compare how many nanites it gives you, since these are effectively free.