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:
- Only adventure with teleportis when you have the plus sign.
- Make sure you have the 1000 meat for the oracle and the 5000 meat for the "cloak," before you attempt to get the appropriate adventure.
- Put on your ++non-combat once you've reached the Dungeons of Doom.
- Don't get hit by the Quantum Mechanic. (He gives you teleportis.)
- Don't lose to the mimic. (If you do, you won't be able to get the wand until after rollover.)
- When you have teleportis and no longer need it, work it off wisely. Remember, any time you go somewhere that calls the adventure.php, you'll be transported to a low-level location.
Good ways to work it off include:
- Doing your daily dungeon run.
- Cooking, Cocktailcrafting, or Armorcrafting/Weaponsmithing.
- The Sewer. (assuming you need trinkets).
- Shoring. (assuming you still need to).
Less good ways to work off teleportis:
- Fernswarthy's Basement. (This is more of a last resort.)
- Don't. (This can be a non-ideal way to get tower items.)
- Resting (No. Why would you do this? Stop it!)
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 : 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.
These are zaps you should probably do before the day you hit the lair of her naughtiness.
- DD items [6*]. Breath Spray sure is nice, but eventually you'll want to turn it into a key.
- Letters : Have an extra W? Zap it and see what you get! As there are five letters, letter-zapping isn't terribly reliable, but if you can squeeze an extra N (or whatever you need) out of a spare letter, all the better.
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.
- Gourd Quest items : Conveniently enough, two of the three GQ items are also tower items. Be you at level 6 of the tower and facing a dashing insect or just have some spare zaps early in your run, zap your extra GQ items to get precious tower items. (This is particularly useful if you went for a chef-in-the-box.)
- Filthy Hippy Disguise : Sometimes two of one drop. Use it to your advantage, assuming you have the wand at this point.
- Furry Suit : It's not often you'll have two wolf masks, but if you do, make the best of it. And of course it goes both ways - those with Amorcrafting, make yourself an extra pair of pants it and get to it. Either way, zap away and start yiffing.
- Dungeon of Doom Rings : This one is definitely a style-of-play zap, particularly as Rings of Aggravate Monster are cherished by some. However, there are six other rings, and they all have their perks. (Both the Ring of Conflict and Ring of Cold Resistance certainly come to mind.)
- Knob Goblin Harem Girl Disguise : Same as Hippy Disguise.
- Konb Goblin Elite Guard Uniform: Same as other outfits (though less reliable because it has 3 components).
- Scrolls : Why is it that there's always that one scroll that always drops and that one scroll that never drops? Such is the nature of the Orc Chasm and quite a metaphor for lide. In any case, a good zap here could mean an early trip back to the peak or a top-notch scroll on a stat day.
- Swashbuckling Getup : Same as other 3-piece outfits.
- Mining Gear : Same as other 3-piece outfits.
- eXtreme Cold-Weather Gear : Same as other 3-piece outfits.
- Other Outfits [x]: Be you a Turtle Tamer who needs a shielf, a (duel-wielding) moxie class who needs a crossbow (or two), a well-placed zap cold be the difference between kicking ass and kicking ass in style.
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.
- Pixels : Especially if you have Funkslinging, you probably have some spare black pixels lying around. Zap 'em and hope for the best. At best, a white pixel, at worst, a pixel that can be crafted into a white will result. Might only save an adventure if that, but hey, it's better than nothing.
- Consumables [x]: Zap a food or drink into one that helps the stat you need. This tactic can also be used for reagent potions, ! potions, astral cupcakes, and countless other consumables.
That is all. Hope this helps. Happy zapping!