Hardcore Zapping Tips & Tricks

or "Getting Zappy Happy," a comprehensive guide


Wands! Some people get 'em as soon as mainstat 47 rolls around. Some people wait until they're sitting at the perplexing door, a key short. Some people don't get 'em all. These people are either bribing the RNG or are far better at playing the game than most. Either way, I'm not one of those people, and if you're reading this guide, nethier are you.

One part art, one part science, and three parts RNG luck, good zapping (and by extension, good zapping technique) can be the difference between your personal best and a god-awful hardcore run. And there's more to it than just waiting 'till the cows come home.

First and foremost, remember that each and every zap is gold, possibly saving you many a'turn (and for those in HCO, days). That being said, as precious as each zap is, even more is that with which you do your zapping. Some will scoff at the 25% chance your wand goes boom on use #2, but take heed, zapping conservatism is usually best policy. As such, you get one and only one zap a day until you pass the perplexing door, at which point, feel free to blow it up. (Also, remember if you've used your wand during a given KOL day - do it when you summon things, write it down, whatever.)

As far as anyone can tell, the type of wand you get is irrelevant; differences exist only for Jick & co. to make silly references. But who knows if that's in fact true. (Xeno knows. That's who!)

Finally remember that, with the exception of The Daily Dungeon items, zapping is seemingly and completely random. When there are only two items in a zap group, that's not a problem, as getting the item you want from the item you have is:
(#items in zap group you want)/(#items in a zap group - 1) * 100%

So the more items in the zap group, the higher chance that you're screwed. Such is life. Which is why I put the number of items in a zap group in convenient brackets. [whee!]

Getting the Wand:

Getting your wand is a bit annoying, but not difficult. Once you've done it once you'll know how to do it. For a quick rundown on the steps:

The important tips for getting the wand:

Critical zaps:

According to conventional wisdom, there are the two zaps that are a must for the last day.

1) Daily Dungeon keys [6*]. According to the dev. team (Zair) and demonstrable through heaps of anecdotal evidence, if you have two and zap a DD key, it will turn into the key you don't have. Same with zapping other DD products - they'll turn into a key not in your possession.

2) Fences [2]: Let's face it; everyone hates the cow. Luckily, even if you didn't get the fence on the first go-around, should you come face to face with our bovine nemesis, there's a better option than 30 wasted adventures at the shore. Throw on your ++non-combats and head for whitey's grove. While you're hopelessly searching for a fence to steal from Tom, level up your tower familiars or (if you have all the ++familiar you need) your NS familiar of choice.

If you have a fence already, or reach the top of the tower without hearing those frightful moos, then you don't need this zap. And once you summit the tower the rest of your zaps are luxury zaps - use your wand 'till she blows.

Important zaps:

These are zaps you should probably do before the day you hit the lair of her naughtiness.

Luxury zaps:

These all depend on your style of play, your banked skills, and what the RNG has thrown at you. But if you have extra zaps, here are some of the better ways to use them.

I have a spare zap and nothing to zap!:

It doesn't happen often, but now and again (usually for oxycores on a non-stat day) you have a free zap and don't know what to do with it. Do with it what you will, but here are my recommendations.

That is all. Hope this helps. Happy zapping!

Feng Shweez
June 2006