So the only useful thing I did for the party was actually something I made stronger than intended by making that leap of logic. I really like the direction they tried to go and the flavor of the class. I just think its execution is incredibly flawed. Luckily its a playtest so fixes can be made.
I couldn't find anything that says how many pieces of ammo you can poison, but with silversheen can be applied to 10 pieces of ammo per dose. So my gm went with that for how many arrows I could poison per dose. I also wasn't aware the RP cost was tied to the operate action since it says elixirs require an RP to use in its section but bombs and mutagens had no such mention.
I now more than ever feel the Infused trait needs to make it not cost RP for anyone that uses it since the Alchemist has already paid the RP cost when making it.
Bombs and Mutagens don't seem to cost RP to use, and I found the section that lists magic armor as invested. Alchemists really need to have a separate resource from RP to use with their alchemical items.
I don't know if they did this because Alchemists get feats like a martial so they thought they couldn't just give them what casters get base line or what. But the amount of feats you have to get into order to make your items usable is really painful and makes you feel like you have less feats than anyone else. At the current moment I feel that Alchemists are supposed to be a martial that plays like a caster. They use crossbows and melee weapons for their cantrips and alchemical items for their spell slots. This means they get martial number of class feats while keeping the playstyle of a caster. This is fine, and I can see why they made alchemical items not was good as spells. The problem is that they're too weak and the feats have too many things that feel like feat taxes (I also hate that term too). The current alchemist just doesn't feel like it has its own unique role to fill like the other classes do.
Something one of my friends brought up that would help make alchemists more playable is make any alchemical items they craft automatically infused. So that way it can be used with its class features. If you make an elixir with gold, why would the alchemist have to spend a resonance on it? Because in that case you're just spending 2 different resources for something you could spend 1 on. Yes the elixir you make with gold isn't going away after 24 hours, but it still doesn't make sense. And once you hit 3rd level making bombs is pointless since your Empower Bomb feature only works on infused bombs. The only items that can be made mundanely and still be useful are mutagens and poisons. I also got a magic item for my alchemist in the playtest, and thankfully it was just a +1 chain shirt. Anything that cost resonance would have to be immediately sold off or just given to another party member since it would do more harm than good for me.
I realize it was at 1st level and 1st level PCs is just a festival of constant failure, but I felt really useless. I was mainly just shooting things with my hand crossbow and saving my very few alchemical items for when I really needed them. The most useful thing I did was poison the rogue's arrows with poison before going down the sewer. And when the time came to use them, they didn't do much of anything. The sorcerer in the party was just a better version of me. I was also the only healer and I couldn't heal anyone other than the sorcerer more than once per day. For reference, out part was a monk, a rogue, a sorcerer, and an alchemist. It was then that I took a careful look at later levels of alchemist and comparing it to the cleric since it was also a support class with utility and some damage. At no point did I even come close doing anything as well as them. They have a separate resource pool for spells, channel energies, domain powers, and for magic items. While the Alchemist has one shared pool for everything they can do. I'm not saying an alchemist should be able to do the clerics job, but maybe make them do HoTs and DoTs along with its interesting take on buffs so that we can support differently. That with a change to its resource management seems to be what needs to be fixed. Though this is just my opinion from the first part of the playtest and theory crafting. Although Cantrips seems to be really good, I don't think alchemists need an at will since they do have weapons. I just think they're too constrained on resources at them moment.