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Old March 25, 2019, 08:43   #1
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Question about rods

Hi all!

Long-timer lurker, first time poster. Please be gentle

OK, first off, I want to introduce myself, and explain the reason behind this post. I'm one of the MAngband devs, and one of the aspects of my "job" is to download each and every version of V, to carefully examine it for code (and gameplay) changes -- to port those into MAngband. (not mentioning scouring rephial.trac, github angband/angband, etc)

I will be the first to admit, that MAngband dev. team has NOT done a good job when porting latest V comes to mind; you guys should be familiar with PowerWyrm and his PWMangband variant, if you look at its code, you will realize it's pretty close to V4.1, MAngband itself is stuck somewhere between 2.7.9 - 3.0.9.

I'm telling you this, so that you could appreciate my POV a bit, because I'm going to ask a question that should've probably been asked like 10 years ago, maybe even before takkaria's time. So I kinda expect answers like, "it's been like this for ages, and it's all fine", but for me, this thing is a recent change.

OK, hopefully that made some kind of sense, and now to the question itself.

At some point in 3.X dev cycle, wand/staff/rod stacking was introduced. And at the same time, the recharge backfire was changed to only drain charges and lose object ID. Then, there was a bit of back-and-forth on "should wands/staves be destroyed on recharge", which ended on going back to "yes, let's destroy them on recharge".

All fine and good, we're following this in MAngband, we had a version (which ran for ~10 years) with "safe recharge" and we're going to back to "dangerous recharge" now.

HOWEVER, the rod situation was not addressed, I've examined V from 3.1.0beta to V4.1, and it's still the same. I've also asked PowerWyrm (I consider him an expert on both multiplayer *bands and on all the V code re-hauls) and he confirmed it.

So what exactly is the problem with rods, in my mind? It feels like they are massively over-powered. Since V3.0.6, rods can stack. The more rods in stack you have, the faster recharge rate you get. You can no longer recharge them with spells/scrolls, so there's no backfiring involved.

The problem, as I see it, is you get all the benefits without any penalties. Consider this:

10 rods of acid bolts weight just 15 lb (in comparison, 7 wooden torches weight 21 lb), and 10 is enough to always have at least 1 charged, so that's unlimited, free, acid bolt machine gun.

I realize you need high Magic Devices skill for that to work, but it still feels very very wrong. Without rod stacking, carrying 10 around would be a huge penalty by itself... and as far as I can tell, there are no other penalties.

Can someone help me out here? Is it really how things are supposed to work?
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