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Old June 22, 2009, 18:10   #1
Cauldron
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Utility of Rods, Wands

Just how useful are wands/rods of (insert damage type here) bolts/balls? I've seen how some folk like to stack them up and blast away. I've always eschewed their use, and having enough to be useful and of the right type to actually damage critters is problematic at best (with the possible exception of Rods of Light). I usually play mages, and tend to rely on arrows and my character's spells. I've collected rods to sell for cash, and used them while carrying them, but I typically dump them in the town once I get there.

Am I making an error?
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Old June 22, 2009, 18:48   #2
Pete Mack
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It depends on the rod. If it does 70+ damage/shot, it is likely to be better than arrows. I often carry them until I've got enough mana to get through a decent fight without running low. And Rods of Light are a valuable tool for more than combat.
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Old June 22, 2009, 19:21   #3
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I wonder if rods have the same problem as arrows. Perhaps a "device quiver" that can hold eg. 10 of any mix of rods, staves, and wands in a single slot would make them see more use.
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Old June 22, 2009, 19:34   #4
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Usually, the only ones I use are Rods of light, acid, and fire.
Rods of light because they beam and are useful for lighting hallways. Rods of fire because they have the highest damage output of any bolt wand or rod. Rods of acid because they have the second highest bolt damage and less monsters resist. IMO, If you can get a couple of any of these rods then they are worth using, but I usually ignore any others that I find except maybe carrying them for a few turns.
Wands/rods of Annhilation or ball spells usually have too high a fail rate for my characters, but you shouldn't have that problem as a mage.
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Old June 22, 2009, 19:42   #5
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Bolt/ball rods usually recharge in 7-12 turns so if you've got more than one you can get decent mileage out of them each fight. Most rods do decent damage, but I usually skip lightning bolts. Note the other elemental rods have the same damage:

DL20 Rod of Lightning Bolts = 6d6 (21)
DL25 Rod of Frost Bolts = 12d8 (54)
DL30 Rod of Fire Bolts = 12d8 (54)
DL40 Rod of Acid Bolts = 12d8 (54)
DL55 Rod of Lightning Balls = 64
DL60 Rod of Cold Balls = 100
DL70 Rod of Acid Balls = 120
DL75 Rod of Fire Balls = 144

Bolt wands are less useful because they do less damage. The ball wands do the same damage as the rods though, and since you can use them in consecutive turns, they can be great burst damage. I hold onto ball wands, empty them into tough monsters, and drop them if I need the room before I make it back to town to sell the empty husks.

DL35 Wand of Lightning Balls = 64
DL40 Wand of Cold Balls = 100
DL50 Wand of Acid Balls = 120
DL50 Wand of Fire Balls = 144
DL50 Wand of Drain Life = 150
DL50 Wand of Dragon's Frost = 160
DL50 Wand of Dragon's Flame = 200
DL60 Wand of Dragon's Breath = 120 (Pois), 160 (Elec/Cold), or 200 (Acid/Fire)
DL60 Wand of Annihilation = 250
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Old June 22, 2009, 19:43   #6
RogerN
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Quote:
I wonder if rods have the same problem as arrows. Perhaps a "device quiver" that can hold eg. 10 of any mix of rods, staves, and wands in a single slot would make them see more use.
That would make inventory management rather trivial, wouldn't it? Then players would be calling for a scroll quiver, just to be consistent... and we'd end up with level 50 warriors running around carrying 20+ devices and 20+ scrolls, behaving like mages for all intents and purposes.
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Old June 22, 2009, 19:52   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerN View Post
That would make inventory management rather trivial, wouldn't it? Then players would be calling for a scroll quiver, just to be consistent... and we'd end up with level 50 warriors running around carrying 20+ devices and 20+ scrolls, behaving like mages for all intents and purposes.
... except that when I've finished torturing the fail rate algorithm level 50 warriors aren't going to be able to activate anything more complex than a wand of magic missile ....

(j/k)
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Old June 22, 2009, 20:09   #8
Cauldron
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Thanks, this is very helpful.
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Old June 22, 2009, 23:29   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marble Dice View Post
Note the other elemental rods have the same damage:

DL20 Rod of Lightning Bolts = 6d6 (21)
DL25 Rod of Frost Bolts = 12d8 (54)
DL30 Rod of Fire Bolts = 12d8 (54)
DL40 Rod of Acid Bolts = 12d8 (54)
When I said Rod of fire bolts had the highest damage output, I probably should have mentioned that I was looking at Angband 3.0.9 code, but I didn't expect that to be changed.
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Old June 23, 2009, 01:32   #10
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Right. I'd forgotten the 3 better beam rods had been nerfed in 3.1.x. (A mistake IMO.) There should be at least some incentive to carry stacks of these.
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