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Old October 19, 2017, 15:29   #1
Oraticus
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Rod of Probing

Wondering if any of the knowledgeable people on this forum could explain some of the rationale behind this item...

Since I've just started playing v4.1 (had to finish up this character before I left 4.0.5), I figured this time I'd try to manually fill in the monster memory instead of copying and renaming the monster file to be the memory file, as it would be an added project to do while I killed lots of @s along the way.

What I'm wondering is, though, what's the logic behind the rarity and the long recharge time of -Probing? The only use I see for the rod is to either fill in your monster memory (which I'm pretty sure everyone universally views as so important that it's more than reasonable to "cheat" it in), or to tell you exactly how close you are to killing something. Both uses could barely be considered negligible right now, though... most people will just go for full monster memory with some file manipulation (it's stupid essential), and we already got fuzzy mob HP in the form of those monster health bars that are good enough that it doesn't warrant wasting a turn in LoS to find out exact numbers.

So, if the information provided by this rod is so essential to successful runs that players generally sidestep it in the game files, why was it made to have a 100 turn recharge time? Why doesn't it recharge roughly ever 10 turns? Also, is it just me, or is it relatively rare? I feel like I don't see it on most of my runs (though maybe I'm just squelching it most of the time and have forgotten that). Just curious... this seems incongruous.
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Old October 19, 2017, 15:47   #2
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I suspect this is one of those things that was never really given serious thought. Rods of Probing have had pretty similar depth/rarity for as long as I can remember, and they used to be pretty useless to boot (only telling you the monster's current HP).
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Old October 19, 2017, 16:05   #3
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You only need to probe the big uniques..
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Old October 19, 2017, 17:38   #4
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I think at this point I'll just sneak the mob memory in and save myself the inventory slot. I wouldn't mind doing a self-completed bestiary, but it's just too much of a hassle.

Don't know what to do with -Probing right now... all I know is that it can't ever disappear if only for the reason that they're friggin' rods of probing! The juvenile side of me would miss them so much.
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Old October 19, 2017, 21:05   #5
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Given the fact that most of us have either memorized the monster list or simply copied the file to get full monster memory, it's really silly that probing is as rare and expensive as it is. It really ought to be buyable in the magic shop for a few hundred gold like all the other crappy wands.

Oh, right, it's a rod rather than a wand or staff. But maybe that could be changed as well. Make it a wand, and sell it for dirt cheap (say 100 gold average). That way, newer players can just carry them around all the time, rather than being punished for not reading the forums to learn the monster.txt trick.
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Old October 20, 2017, 13:36   #6
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@luneya, that's exactly my feelings on the subject as well. Make it cheap and easily accessible early on, and make it easy to frequently cast. I still would want to keep it a rod with very low recharge time (it's a one-time investment then, and also 'cause "rod of probing"... c'mon!), but having it buyable from the magic store would be even better. No reason the store can't sell a rod, right?

My first run of any new version would probably be done with a rogue, then, to stealth my way around and fill out my bestiary again.
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Old October 20, 2017, 14:02   #7
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Does probing wake mobs? (jokes expected)
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Old October 21, 2017, 04:00   #8
Ingwe Ingweron
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Before the monster.txt copied to lore.txt workaround, I spend inordinate amounts of time playing successive @'s that purposely left uniques alive until finding a rod of perception, then went carefully down the dungeon probing everything found, making lists of uniques still not probed, and repeating the process, until a complete knowledge file was created. I much prefer the workaround, mostly because I hate having to remember which is which, Nightcrawler or Nightwalker, etc.
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Old October 21, 2017, 04:07   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingwe Ingweron View Post
Before the monster.txt copied to lore.txt workaround, I spend inordinate amounts of time playing successive @'s that purposely left uniques alive until finding a rod of perception, then went carefully down the dungeon probing everything found, making lists of uniques still not probed, and repeating the process, until a complete knowledge file was created. I much prefer the workaround, mostly because I hate having to remember which is which, Nightcrawler or Nightwalker, etc.
I remember, back in the 90's, downloading a savefile from the file servers on AOL (!) that had used wizard mode to go collect thorough monster memory on every monster, and then died. You could use the savefile to create a legit character that didn't have to deal with the memory mechanic.

I'm glad that the hoops we have to jump through aren't as torturous any more, but why are they still there?
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