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Old August 16, 2014, 12:17   #1
Ingwe Ingweron
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How useful are Annihilation or Drain Life wands?

I've read in several posts that people tend to accumulate wands of Drain Life and Annihilation for use in the final battles. I'm wondering why this is the case, because it seems to me that good missile launchers using decent missiles consistently outperform the wands.
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Old August 16, 2014, 12:24   #2
Derakon
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Mages are pretty bad at melee and archery, but they're great at using wands. If you only hit 50% of the time with a bow that has +1 shots and does 250 damage when it hits, then you're better off using a Wand of Annihilation that does (250*1.75) damage (multiplier coming from the mage's high device skill) when it hits and has a 95% chance of being used successfully.

These wands are also valuable for that period in the mage game where all you have for attack spells is what's in the town spellbooks, and you're running into uniques who have resistance to all four basic elements. A Wand of Drain Life will really do a number on Mim, for example.
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Old August 16, 2014, 16:50   #3
Ingwe Ingweron
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Thanks, Derakon. It finally makes sense to me. Mages, not rangers or rogues. And also the calculus of which launcher @ has at the end-game. A mage with a great Lothlorien, Buckland, or Belthronding might be better off shooting, but it all depends on that 2-Hit percentage for the particular battle. I knew there was some multiplier for magic devices, but I never knew what it was. Thanks again for the explanation.
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Old August 16, 2014, 17:27   #4
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Are there any reasonably accessible recharging options in vanilla that don't blow up your devices? The zangband descendants all seem to have stores that let you safely recharge your stuff for a price.
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Old August 16, 2014, 22:34   #5
AnonymousHero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debo View Post
Are there any reasonably accessible recharging options in vanilla that don't blow up your devices? The zangband descendants all seem to have stores that let you safely recharge your stuff for a price.
There are no zero-fail recharging options, but Greater Recharging (Tenser's Transformations) has a pretty low chance of blowing up your device. I'm not sure what the exact chance is.
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Old August 17, 2014, 21:25   #6
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Surprisingly, just killed Mature green dragon (the average number of 352 HP) with a single shot from the Wand of drain life. Magic device is 95. If wand of drain life does 150 damage standard was applied, as about 202 more damage. So, all was caused about 230% damage. But on this forum I have seen the formula damage multiplier=(magic device - level of wand)%. What did I miss?
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Old August 17, 2014, 22:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angrist View Post
Surprisingly, just killed Mature green dragon (the average number of 352 HP) with a single shot from the Wand of drain life. Magic device is 95. If wand of drain life does 150 damage standard was applied, as about 202 more damage. So, all was caused about 230% damage. But on this forum I have seen the formula damage multiplier=(magic device - level of wand)%. What did I miss?
Not sure. I'd have to dig in the code and experiment.
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Old August 18, 2014, 01:41   #8
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It's possible that the dragon just rolled stupendously horribly on its max HP. The average is just that -- an average. I think the game uses a Gaussian fit to distribute actual max HP to monsters, though I don't know what the standard deviation is. Probably something like 10-20% of the average.
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Old August 18, 2014, 14:34   #9
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poor dragon
he was probably bullied by other dragons and then met an adventurer and was one shot
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