Talk:Wish

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Too many references?

Too many references? I was trying to be diligent/helpful, but now it looks cluttered, and the list of refs at the bottom is horribly broken ... Killian 13:16, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

There was an extra <ref> tag which ZeroOne fixed. How many references to include is a tricky question. Use your good judgement :-) In this page's Other options section you could just link to objnam.c#line1833 as the start of the code which lists all the adjectives you can wish an object to have. --Jayt 21:20, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Artifact alignment warning

To the person who removed the quest artifact warning for chaotics and lawfuls: it should be replaced. A helm of opposite alignment will always turn a lawful into a chaotic and vice versa. It cannot be used to turn somebody into a neutral. The only way to turn neutral is to convert at an altar, which is risky, difficult, and could render your game unwinnable if you don't know what you're doing. I'll leave it open for discussion for a little while in case anyone disagrees. Djao 21:11, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Warning restored, with a bit of explanation.--Ray Chason 21:54, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Reliability of magic resistance, copy-paste friendlyness

To 69.201.183.14: First of all, thanks for contributing. I'd like to change some things, and I prefer to discuss things before I make changes.

First of all, regarding Magicbane and the Eye of the Aethiopica. Yes, they all provide magic resistance, but I do not consider these sources as reliable as a cloak of magic resistance, and therefore I think it's a bad idea to put them on equal footing as you have done here. The Eye can be stolen by the Wizard, and Magicbane can be stolen by nymphs, or simply unwielded while using a pick-axe and so on. To list these artifacts as sources of magic resistance is dangerous, even if correct, because then some people might actually rely on them for magic resistance, which is a bad idea.

The phrase "blessed greased fixed" is fine; in fact it's what I normally use. I would prefer putting the +3 outside the quotes, to allow people to cut and paste from the wiki into an actual nethack game. On the other hand, "blessed" by itself is almost as good. "Fixed" as you point out is meaningless for DSM, and greased might be useful if you don't have a cloak -- but who plays without a cloak? I think some variation in the phrase is desirable because otherwise people get into the habit of preceding every wish with "blessed greased fixed". In reality, not every wish benefits from "blessed greased fixed"; in particular, weapons become slippery when greased, and magic markers are usually better uncursed. Djao 08:12, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

I made the changes already. It's still open for discussion in any case. Djao 12:34, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Might as well comment, though 2 years late, that only projectiles are harmed by being greased. Melee weapons are fine that way. And fixed never hurt anything, not even a puddingbane, which should be -3 anyway. Out of those 3 options, blessed is the only one you wouldn't want to be in the habit of prefixing to every wish. Also, the eye can only be stolen if your wizard, in which case you can't wish for it. Magicbane is vulnerable to bullwhips and typos, but that's not terribly bad, considering that a cloak of MR is vulnerable to foocubi. Relying on the eye or magicbane (or as a wizard the eye and magicbane together) works just fine. Blackcustard 05:28, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Silver versus Gray DSM

I have to say, the more I play, the more I lean towards silver dragon scale mail over gray, either as an early wish, or, even more so, waited for, while wishing for one of the many MR artifacts (which also have other great benefits) while artifacts can still be wished for. I guess I take issue with the line "Unless you already have a source of magic resistance, gray dragon scale mail is a better choice." Maybe that original line wasn't said with deep conviction, but I worry I might be stepping into an age-old debate, so here goes:

If someone wants reflection and magic resistance, from gray dragon scale mail, that leaves 1. gray DSM + amulet of reflection: Most importantly, this rules out the amulet of lifesaving, which is very important to some and, to a lesser extent, amulet of ESP, which is more of a preference thing - and if someone does go the amulet of ESP route, and still wants extrinsic telepathy, that therefore rules out the helm of brilliance. 2. gray + shield of reflection: I'm not a huge SoR fan, I must admit, I don't like relying on the shield, and it rules out two-weaponing, two-handed weapons (including vulnerability from occasional polearm use) and greatly impairs spellcasting.

Both of those combinations are very anti-caster, and I think they sort of pigeon-hole pretty much every non-wizard character into being a melee basher.

Silver dragon scale mail, on the other hand, in combo with an MR artifact, can still let someone wear a robe, or even with just the cloak still lets someone two-weapon or two-handed weapon.

And while personally, I'd wish for an MR artifact with an early wish while I had the chance, to get the free slot and side benefits, I'd even go so far as to say reflection is as or more important to survival up until the castle as is MR. Wands of fire, lightning, and cold are devastating to early-mid characters (and their equipment), and I almost always encounter black dragons at Medusa's level. Even a blue dragon there can be instant-death if you are relying on a ring of levitation above the water. So if a player gets an early wish, and needs reflection and MR but still needs the hefty boost to AC (or can't/won't wish for artifacts), I'd lean towards silver.

Also, a question: The Wizard will only steal a quest artifact if it was the players quest artifact, right? If this is true, then that would seem as safe a source of magic resistance.

As for a nymph stealing Magicbane and then getting hit with a touch of death the next turn, well this is NetHack after all, you can't rule out every possibility. But there are scrolls of genocide if that is a big concern in a game where you feel a little less confident about your source of MR. Floatingeye 17:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

When you're talking about an early game wish, MR is better than reflection. Level teleport traps, poly traps, wands of striking and magic missile are all nullified by MR. Nasty ray attacks only come by the middle, when you've had a chance to finish Sokoban and Medusa.
All the things you're talking about involve trading some of the immediate utility of the early wish for long-term utility. Quest artifacts are an excellent example: The Orb of Fate is a bad-ass artifact, but it's pretty useless if you're only 3rd level. If you wish for it that early, you're gambling that you can make it through the early game without having put that wish to better use in exchange for a much easier mid-late game.
I think the best advice for new players is to maximize immediate utility. Sure, near the end you'd like SDSM and quest artifacts galore, but if you've never reached the castle, then you should be wishing for GDSM, speed boots, whatever will keep you alive until the next floor of the dungeon.
-Mniot 05:53, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
My 2zm - I agree with both of you, but Mniot makes more sense to me. Please note that this is a personal opinion. If you get a wish early enough, you'll want to maximise your survivability - and MR helps me out in more games than reflection. Just look at the number of times a Wizard survives when they really shouldn't have. By the time I am worrying about ray attacks, I have either already obtained a source of reflection if I am lucky enough in Sokoban (and hopefully found a BoH in the Gnomish Mines) or am able to survive what is thrown against me already. Yes, disintegration immunity is nice, but if you're up to Black Dragons, you should hopefully have a few tricks up your sleeve.
If you get a wish in the mid-to-late-game, you might want to change what type you wish for, and Mniot makes sense there - always remember that surviving one character is better than starting a new one... -- Kalon 21:33, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
I see that somebody has ignored this discussion and unilaterally modified the text into something that to my eyes certainly appears to promote SDSM over GDSM. I believe it would be justified to revert the aforementioned edit based solely on the fact that it was done without consulting this talk page. Nevertheless, should the above contributor prove willing to participate in this dialogue, I would like to make the following technical points:
  • There are many other easily available ways to protect against fire, cold, and lightning attacks, even without reflection. There are very few ways to protect against the nasty MR effects, and even when alternatives to MR exist, they are harder to get (e.g. fire resistance vs. teleport control).
  • There are many other ways to protect against floating eyes, even without reflection.
  • Reflection is much easier to get than MR: Sokoban, Perseus, etc.
All of these factors must be weighed and considered when choosing between SDSM and GDSM. Indeed, there are also factors (such as Elbereth) that when used properly favor SDSM over GDSM. Because many of these factors revolve around finding alternative methods and estimating future events, they are hard for a novice player to judge correctly. At the very least, the "correct" choice involves some very nuanced and subtle decision making. If we are just giving a short recommendation, then omitting these nuances is understandable, but if we are going to provide a long comparison (which is what we have here), then these nuances must be mentioned; and, I might add that at this level of detail it would be better to have the input of an experienced player rather than one for whom floating eyes are still a threat.
In light of the extensive amount of discussion that this topic has generated, I propose to revert the questionable changes and to request 98.169.65.2 to participate in this dialogue if he/she wishes to contribute material on this topic. I do welcome new contributions, but paying attention to talk pages is also important IMO. Djao 02:46, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I really can't see any major problems with the current text. Is it really such a problem that SDSM is presented as a legitimate choice? Perhaps the phrasing could be toned down a little, but as far as I can see all the points presented by the current revision are legitimate. -- Killian 07:36, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, I happen to think that participating in talk pages should be encouraged, and the fact that someone made such an edit without paying any attention to the talk page is in and of itself a problem. I'd be interested in other viewpoints.
As for the technical merits of the text itself, I believe the text is biased. In most cases, bias is very subjective and hard to quantify, but in this case the bias is very easy to quantify, as follows: every listed advantage of GDSM is qualified in some way, whereas every listed advantage of SDSM is not qualified in any way, even though (as I demonstrated above) such qualifications are just as applicable to SDSM, if not more so. I also do not think that adding qualifications for SDSM is necessarily a good idea: see below. Djao 23:55, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
It seems strange to criticize the text for “bias” when the previous revision flat-out declared GDSM to be better, but I'm not terribly inclined to argue about it since I don't think it would achieve much. Now that I've displaced the DSM advice to its own article (see below), we can feel free to add alternative advice and viewpoints without polluting the main Wish page. -- Killian 05:28, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
I addressed this concern in my original paragraph. The previous revision contained a short recommendation, and it is understandable for a short recommendation to omit such minutiae. The revision that I was complaining about contained a long comparison, which included certain minute details and omitted others -- very different situation. Nevertheless, you are right -- there is no need for more discussion now that we have a separate article. Djao 19:53, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
If you want to add more information about when GDSM is a better choice, I say go ahead. Don't worry about having too much detail; it's better than not enough. Everything on the current page is a legitimate point, though, and there's no reason to remove data. 131.156.242.7 20:45, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree that removing data from the wiki is a bad idea, but removing data from an individual article is sometimes a good thing. Too much detail in one article makes the article longer. A long article is harder to read, and much harder to scan, than a short article. I suggest that we need to find a balance between length and comprehensiveness. After all, this article is about wishes, not about GDSM vs. SDSM. The topic of GDSM vs. SDSM is really only one narrow aspect of wishing, and it should not deserve a long section.
I would wholeheartedly endorse the idea of, for example, moving the GDSM vs. SDSM topic to its own article, and for the Wish article to contain only a small mention of this topic with a link to the longer article. I don't think it's a good idea to put a long discussion about GDSM vs. SDSM in the main body of the Wish article, for the reasons above. Djao 23:55, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Since I was also considering this, I've taken the liberty of creating GDSM versus SDSM, and replacing the advice in this article with a link to that one. (Actually I think it might be a good idea to give What to wish for its own article, but that's a separate matter.) -- Killian 05:28, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for taking care of this task. I'm happy with the present text. Djao 19:53, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Eyes of the Overworld

I see somebody has added the following gem: "Note however that if one has access to spells of magic mapping, detect treasure, and detect monsters, then these combined completely supersede the Eyes ...." Unfortunately, this sentence is not true. The Eyes of the Overworld provide "always on" vision. This is very different from, and quite incomparable to, the "one shot" nature of spells such as magic mapping, detect treasure, and detect monsters. About the only thing I agree with is that if you are able to cast detect monsters at skilled or higher proficiency, then there is much less need for the Eyes. Even so, they are not by any means completely superseded. I could list about a dozen reasons why:

  • All spells cost energy to cast, which you may not always conveniently have available.
  • The Eyes allow jumping in dark areas. Try that with detect monsters. (Even with a light spell, you need to waste extra turns casting light, turns that are often not available in jumping situations.)
  • Magic mapping is blocked on some levels.
  • Objects sometimes move around or get destroyed; you don't want to be constantly casting detect treasure to find out what changed.
  • For that matter, the map sometimes changes as a result of monster actions, and you don't want to keep casting magic mapping constantly.
  • Not every role is able to advance detect monsters to skilled.
  • The Eyes also provide secondary benefits like protecting against blindness and Archons' radiant gazes.

I didn't have to try very hard to come up with these reasons. IMO this claim is just nonsense and I propose to remove it. However I'm happy to wait a short while to see if anyone wants to bring up anything that I missed. djao 10:15, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

These three spells on a skilled level eliminate the practical in-game need for the Eyes, though they don't match its abilities precisely. I have updated the article to reflect that.

  • The energy cost can be offset with the Eye of the Aethiopica. As a wizard or a tourist-with-Eye, I have never had a problem after the quest, even breezing through Gehennom in a "magic map, detect treasure, det. monsters, teleport to stuff, teleport to stairs" cycle.
  • You cannot jump farther than a lamp's outreach anyway unless you are a wizard and decide to waste skill slots.
  • Non-mappable levels have a fixed layout. (Sanctum, Valley,...)
  • Object that move around are in some monster's inventory. An amulet of life saving will capture a soldier's attention, but you also see the soldier's movements via detect monster.
  • Skilled monster detection does provide constant updates, and requires only an occasional recasting. In practice, I have never had a problem with that.
  • Most players will have a towel/blindfold or a unicorn horn by the time they meet an archon in Gehennom. Monster detection still is an advantage in that situation. Admittedly, the Eyes are better, but I personally would never expend a wish to combat an archon.

Tjr 16:43, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the update. I think your revision is great and I have no further changes to suggest. Minor corrections to your comments above: Archons are never randomly generated in Gehennom, and there is one non-mappable level in the game with a random layout (Mines' End, catacombs version). However, overall your points are still sound. djao 05:59, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I changed this again - rationale:
  • almost any class can cast these spells reliably if level 30, wearing a robe, no metal armor or shield, and a +3 helm of brilliance. So the class warning is streamlined to "cast reliably" and "at skilled level".
  • I experimented with the eyes, the three spells are still vastly superior in my opinion, but not worth a wish if you already have the eyes. This goes especially if you are looking for rings or wands, and therefore have to explore the entire level, or if you do not have lots of time / wands of digging to burn in order run around the entire level.
Tjr 12:22, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

zapping shopkeeper

Do shopkeepers ever have reflection or magic resistance? I think not, and the corresponding warning should be removed (or moved to the appropriate nethack variant). Tjr, signature gone for some reason

Eye of Aethiopica for monks

For Neutral Monks in particular, the Eye of the Aethiopica is almost certainly the most valuable item in the game. The energy regeneration ability is extremely useful, since Monks are decent spellcasters and their starting spell (whatever it is) becomes vastly more powerful with energy regeneration. Moreover, the other capabilities of the Eye (namely, telepathy, magic resistance, and branchport) are not only very useful in their own right but also difficult or impossible for Monks to get in any other way.

Someone removed this wishing target for monks. I feel it is one of the best recommendations of this article. This space is for discussion. -Tjr 13:58, November 20, 2009 (UTC)

The problem I have with it is that the Orb of Fate is just as good a wish for a neutral Monk, if not even better. A major disadvantage to Monks is their penalties for wearing body armor, resulting in higher AC and more damage to them. The Orb of Fate cuts physical (and magical) damage in half, which is invaluable for a Monk, and its main disadvantage (the heavy weight) isn't as much of a disadvantage to a Monk because of their high strength and the fact they're not weighed down by weapons and body armor. Levelport may not be quite as good as branchport due to the need to get teleport control, but Monks get that guaranteed at level 17. I think both would be a good choice as both have pros and cons, but to claim that the Eye is "almost certainly" the best is ridiculous. Especially ludicrous is the claim that magic resistance is "difficult or impossible for Monks to get in any other way." What? How is getting magic resistance harder for a Monk than any other class? They get magic resistance via their quest artifact (though of course you'll want another source in case the Wizard of Yendor steals it), and they can also get it via a cloak of magic resistance (like anyone), the aforementioned Orb of Fate, or the Platinum Yendorian Express Card. Now I'm not saying those are necessarily superior choices (I'd take the Eye or Orb over a cloak of magic resistance or the Yendorian Express card if I were a Monk) but it's astonishingly incorrect to somehow claim that the Eye is superior because there's almost no other way to get magic resistance, especially because that can used to defend the Orb as well. To sum up: Both the Eye and the Orb are good choices, and I don't believe that there's a need to add a paragraph just talking about how one of the two is the best wish for a Monk when both are very good.Lord Seth
Ok, I see your point the Orb is comparable to the Eye. However, I disagree with some of your arguments. Firstly, spoiled players will usually be able to maximize their strength (alchemy, blessed tins of giants, *cubi) anyway before they wade through Gehennom, so the monk's strength is no plus. Secondly, magic resistance is actually more difficult to get for a monk than for other roles: The cloak is too rare to count, barring a wish. The standard procedure - (reverse-genocide and) kill a gray dragon - does not really work due to to-hit penalty. Own quest artifacts are not safe after the Wizard is around. Magicbane (from sacrifices) is not such a great weapon, especially as it precludes martial arts. That leaves other roles' quest artifacts or a wished-for CoMR as sources of magic resistance. Thirdly, fast power regeneration really is a huge boon. (In my opinion, that is the greatest benefit of all.)
Summing it up, we're wishing for magic resistance anyway, and I would say the choice is naturally between the Orb and the Eye. That boils the decision down to half physical damage versus power regeneration. I'd take power regeneration any day.
I suggest to put a paragraph into the article on the lines of "The Eye of the Aethiopica is an especially good wish for neutral monks: Due to armor to-hit penalty and weaponless martial arts, they will most likely spend a wish on magic resistance. The two best items are the Orb and the Eye, so the decision is dominated by the trade-off half physical damage versus fast power regeneration. Monks make decent spellcasters, so the Eye is often the best choice." -Tjr 18:04, November 20, 2009 (UTC)
Personally I'd delete the last line because it is rather judgmental, but overall I think it's fine. I think whether one wishes for the Eye or the Orb depends on a lot of things, such as how far they are into the game, whether it's a single wish from a magic lamp or a wand of wishing, and other factors. I do have one other question though: Isn't it a bit out of place to advise for specific classes here? Wouldn't it make more sense to put the advice in the Monk article itself, rather than there? Otherwise we might as well throw in suggestions for every class in the artifacts section in this article. Lord Seth 03:35, November 21, 2009 (UTC)
How about "Monks make decent spellcasters, especially if fuelled by fast power regeneration." for the last sentence? The other point you raise is a good one: I think this article is in danger of getting cluttered. I am looking at the kill-the-shopkeeper advice in particular, which takes up more space than I think it should. Perhaps it would really be best to flesh out a separate article "what to wish for" in the future. For now, the question is quite pragmatic: Where do monk players go for wishing advice? I'd say here. And (un)luckily, in vanilla, only monks and perhaps wizards are roles differentiated enough to merit much separate advice, so I don't forsee a paragraph per role - correct me if I'm wrong. -Tjr 15:01, November 21, 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, seems pretty good, though I cut out the "Monks make decent spellcasters" last sentence that was in the article, as it seems awkward where it is. Though to be honest, I think the best thing to do for a Monk is to get both! (for other classes, I usually manage to get an artifact weapon prior to entering the castle--this is less important for Monks, and as a reuslt I can use the two guaranteed artifact wishes for both of them) Lord Seth 07:31, December 30, 2009 (UTC)
I added the original recommendation, and so I am going to defend it. Of course the exact best wish depends on your situation and how far you are into the game. But I want to take issue especially with the accusation that the Eye's magic resistance is unimportant. In contrast with Lord Seth, I find the claim that magic resistance is unimportant to be the ludicrous claim. The very fact that you're able to wish for an artifact at all implies that the wish is occurring relatively early in the game, before too many artifacts have been generated, and certainly before your experience level is 17. In the early game, magic resistance really is very hard to get, not just for monks, but it's fair to say that monks have an even harder time than anyone else, because of the body armor problem. Unless you want to wish for the Orb followed by a second quest artifact wish for magic resistance, the only viable alternative is the cloak of magic resistance, and that has the significant disadvantage that it takes away your robe. Finally, needless to say, two artifact wishes are even more difficult to achieve than one; the extra wish is often best used on other things, to say nothing of the probability that your artifact wishes fail, or that you might only have one wish (if it's before the castle).
I find it strange that everyone is pointing out alternatives to the Eye when, in reality, it is the Orb of Fate whose features can be more easily substituted for. Much of the benefits of half damage can be achieved just as well by praying for protection (naked AC:-99 is not unheard of). Level teleport can be done with nothing more than a stack of teleportation scrolls and a potion of unholy water. The crystal ball effect of course can be duplicated with a normal crystal ball. By contrast, there is NO other item in the game that will give you energy regeneration or branchporting. In summary, I absolutely and vehemently disagree that the Orb of Fate is comparable to the Eye. At best, the Orb of Fate might be useful in a few specific situations.
Finally, the reason why we give Monks special treatment is that Monks really are a special case: they don't (usually) wish for dragon scale mail or artifact weapons, which are extremely common wishes with other roles. djao 09:09, December 30, 2009 (UTC)
The Orb does not grant magic resistance, and the original argument is monks will likely wish for MR. Djao, thanks for pointing that out. With the Orb out of the race, the Eye is definitely much better than the alternatives (CoMR, Orb of Detection, Sceptre, PYEC, Eyes). I favor changing the article to reflect that. (And, BTW, I'd like to see a reference to the fact monks can very well play as spellcasters.) -Tjr 17:34, December 30, 2009 (UTC)
Ah, yes, I didn't realize that Lord Seth was assuming (incorrectly) that the Orb provides magic resistance. How about we just change the text back to what I originally wrote? djao 20:41, December 30, 2009 (UTC)
I like the following version better because it makes clear why we are comparing magic resistance artifacts. Feel free to improve it further, especially language, balance, and clarity. -Tjr 03:00, December 31, 2009 (UTC)
For Neutral Monks in particular, the Eye of the Aethiopica is an especially valuable item: Due to armor to-hit penalty and weaponless martial arts, they will most likely spend a wish on magic resistance. Comparing the cloak and the MR-granting quest artifacts, energy regeneration sticks out as extremely useful, since Monks are decent spellcasters and their starting spell (whatever it is) becomes vastly more powerful with energy regeneration. Branchport and telepathy are also big bonuses that are difficult to impossible for vegetarian Monks to get in any other way.
Well don't I feel stupid for asserting the Orb offered Magic resistance, that was a major moment of stupidity. I still can't believe I did that, but if you were wondering how I could think that, it's because the only times I've had the Orb were when I had another artifact that gave magic resistance (weird, huh?), so I just assumed the magic resistance overlapped. In any case, I was mostly thinking in terms of when you've got a wand of wishing and can afford to spend a wish on magic resistance (cloak, Eye, or whatever) and then another on the Orb; if that's the case and I can only wish for one artifact as a Monk, I'll take half damage and unlimited levelport over the Eye. If we're talking the early game and you've only got one wish, though, you definitely want the Eye, as its Magic resistance is great and branchport is reliable whereas levelport is...well, not, as you're unlikely to have teleport control at that time. So the bottom line is my argument rested on some incorrect assumptions I made. I'm going to try to gain back SOME credibility by fixing it up a little, though, to reflect that the Eye is spectacular for Monks in the case of only-one-wish, which is the part that you really can't debate. Actually, come to think of it, I'll fix up the early game wishes part to reflect that, as at the moment it just uselessly tells Monks not to spend early single-wishes on Dragon Scale Mail without telling them what they should spend them on. Lord Seth 03:33, December 31, 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry I fell for that, too. -Tjr 05:28, December 31, 2009 (UTC)

Splitting off "what to wish for"

Due to article length, I think we should have a separate article "what to wish for", and explain only the wishing mechanics in here. Any opinions? -Tjr 14:10, December 28, 2009 (UTC)

I think a separate article is a good idea. Leave a short summary in the main article with a link to the separate article. djao 09:18, December 30, 2009 (UTC)
This doesn't appear to be done. Furthermore, a list of example wishes for singular items, plural items, artifacts (already done for some), and whatnot [gauntlets of power would be nice to show] would be helpful. --Havvy 05:22, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Go ahead, be bold. --Tjr
Most of my wishes end up failing, ergo why I ask.  :P --Havvy 06:59, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Unclear part in wishing for artifact items

My comment concerns the sentence "If you wish for an artifact, your chance of receiving it depends on the number of artifacts already in existence". When do artifacts appear in the game? E.g. is the quest artifact generated immediately in the beginning of the game, or is it generated when entering the level containing the quest artifact, or only once bad guy holding it is killed and the quest artifact is dropped on the floor?82.130.40.42 05:19, January 6, 2010 (UTC)

Artifacts are generated when items are. Most of a level's items are generated when you first enter a level, although artifacts can also be created in the inventory of a randomly-generated monster, or as a death drop from a killed monster. So your quest artifact doesn't "count" until you first enter the quest goal level, even though conceptually it existed since before the game started. --Darth l33t 06:16, January 6, 2010 (UTC)
A corner case: Your crowning gift increments the sacrifice gift count, even if it's really a spellbook. --Tjr (talk) 23:17, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

self polymorph

Is it ever worth wishing for a ring of polymorph or polymorph control, or an amulet of unchanging? Having all 3 is definitely fun. Maybe wishing for one is worth it if you already have 2, or two if you have one (wand). Or maybe all 3 from a wand? Thoughts?

Already thought of this. See Talk:Polymorph#Playing with permanent polymorph. Short answer: It's not worth a wish from a survivability standpoint. From fooling around in game (I mentioned a RGRN post I read about someone playing through almost the entire game polymorphed into a black dragon), certainly. Self-polymorph has huge advantages, especially if you polymorph into a medium sized monster, as you can hold all of your normal gear, potentially get additional attacks and lower base AC, plus useful intrinsics, including stuff you can't easily get like flying, magical breathing, level drain resistance, and immunity to Death's touch. However the drawbacks make it ultimately undesirable (again, purely from a survivability standpoint). -- Qazmlpok 22:48, March 2, 2010 (UTC)

Intelligent artifact wishing strategy

It is advised that you should wish only for those quest artifacts that match your alignment. However, won't such artifacts still blast you at every convenient opportunity? It is good to wish for intelligent artficats then? Nothing is said on this matter in the article.HotXRock 18:11, April 6, 2010 (UTC)

Co-aligned quest artifacts will blast you whenever you do just about anything with them. cross-aligned quest artifacts simply cannot be picked up and are therefore a complete waste of a wish if you do not plan to change alignment. Since many quest artifacts are effective just by carrying them, it's worth wishing for them and getting blasted occasionally. Doubly so since this is the only way to get another role's quest artifact besides getting really lucky with a bones. -- Qazmlpok 20:07, April 6, 2010 (UTC)
So mostly wishing for co-aligned artifacts is just for carrying them around as they blast you when you invoke them, apply, or put on? I think there should be a warning on this matter in the article. --HotXRock 21:01, April 8, 2010 (UTC)
The damage taken should be mentioned on the page, yes. A quick search through the page shows no information about the damage, which is fairly important as a low level character could get a wish and die from it.
Also, this only applies to co-aligned quest artifacts. It is safe (but wasteful, IMO) for a lawful to wish for Excalibur or a chaotic to wish for stormbringer. Co-aligned quest artifacts will still blast you, but for the most part you do not interact with the artifacts very often. Putting on the Mitre of Holiness will blast you, but as long as you never take it off you will not get blasted until you #invoke it. The timeouts for #invoking are high enough that it is safe to invoke it during lulls in combat, as you will heal the damage well before needing to use it again. The only artifacts you might find yourself using repeatedly are the master key of thievery, and in SLASH'EM Nighthorn and The Storm Whistle - in all of these cases it is better to Apply a non-artifact base item if you are at risk for being blasted. The benefits of just carrying around most quest artifacts far outweigh the dangers, at least once you are guaranteed to survive a single blast. -- Qazmlpok 21:29, April 8, 2010 (UTC)

Smoky Potion Farming with a Horn of Plenty and the PYEC

This is mostly just a curiosity, but is it absolutely true that the only way to wish for more wishes is to wish for a (presumably small) stack of smoky potions? If fruit juice, booze, acid, sickness, or oil is smoky, then a horn of plenty can produce one of those.

According to the horn of plenty page, you only get a potion one of thirteen times, and the horn starts with at most twenty charges, so this would be a ridiculous way to wish for more wishes. But if you have the PYEC, you can recharge the horn indefinitely, and get indefinitely many smoky potions out of it. In theory a very patient player could farm wishes out of smoky potions until djinni were extinct. (This would work best if fruit juice is smoky, because sickness and booze can both be converted to it.)

Self-promotion: Dudley tries this strategy here and in the sequels starting here. (Spoiler: He does not ascend.) I don't know if anyone has ever tried it in real nethack. Anyway, it's at best a curiosity, and maybe it should go on the Horn of Plenty page. -- Slandor 18:15, June 12, 2010 (UTC)

It is certainly possible, but for this strategy to be remotely useful you'd need godly luck (or to just anticipate/manipulate the RNG, which is cheating). See The extinction spoiler on making djinni extinct. It calculates the number of smoky potions you'd need to make a djinni extinct. It's quite a large number, and that's only considering smoky potions you already have, not the chance of getting potions of the horn of plenty or even the small chance that fruit juice is a smoky potion. -- Qazmlpok 18:38, June 12, 2010 (UTC)
It's definitely a stupid trick instead of a real strategy, but... let's see the calcuations. Assume the best-case scenario -- fruit juice is smoky, Tourist blessed-charging horn with the PYEC, enough cancellation to turn all sickness into fruit juice, and an amethyst to turn booze into fruit juice. There's a 1 in 13 chance that a charge of a horn of plenty will give you a potion, and a 42.2% chance it'll be one of the relevant three. According to the charging page, each blessed charge of a horn of plenty adds 10-15 charges. That means that basically every 2.5 charges will give you a smoky potion. According to Robert R Schneck's liquid diet ascension, you should be able to charge the horn every 100 turns or so, which means 250 turns per smoky potion. Given 15,840 potions to exhaust the number of djinni, that's just under four million turns.
Which, yeah, is a lot of turns. The most egregious ascension I could find on the NAO high score list was a little over two million. But you won't starve to death!
More seriously, it seems to me that you could get still get a ridiculous number of wishes out of this strategy without breaking the record for the longest game. Let's say you want 20 wishes, which means 25 djinni; it takes you an average of 13 potions to get the first one, and 61 to get the 25th, which is a total of (13 + 61)*25/2 = 925 potions, which is 231,250 turns, which is... still rather a lot. But there are several longer games on NAO. I don't know how long it takes compared to pudding farming, but the small chance of fruit juice being smoky would presumably prevent anyone from doing this on purpose. (Another question is what you'd do with all those wishes; I suppose you could get a decent collection of quest artifacts.)
This would take significantly longer for a non-tourist, who will get less than a quarter as many charges out of the PYEC (1-5 instead of 10-15). It's actually not that much worse if one of the other horn potions is smoky; the worst case scenario is acid, which is 2.67 times less likely than sickness/fruit juice/booze; all the others are no more than 2.5 times less likely. (If sickness is smoky, you can dip your fruit juice into sickness.)
Anyway, I wouldn't do this myself, but I'd kind of like to see someone else try it. -- Slandor 21:40, June 12, 2010 (UTC)
Oops, I misread Schneck's post; he says about 180 turns between invocations of the PYEC, so about double the turns I quoted. Which makes everything about doubly ridiculous. -- Slandor 21:46, June 12, 2010 (UTC)
In a regular game, I wouldn't consider this to be a viable strategy for getting even a single wish, even if smoky potions are fruit juice. Every role but the tourist needs to first burn (at least) one wish on the PYEC. Then you need to blow a ton of turns on something even more monotonous than pudding farming. It might be useful to massive scummers; it would be relatively simple to make a bot to do this, once you get the PYEC, horn of plenty, and a blessed scroll of earth (do it early enough in the game and you won't even need to reverse genocide the jellies). Then you could just start up a bot that repeatedly uses the horn and PYEC to produce items, dropping the useless items but still eating. The problem then is the sheer number of items produced; nethack will eventually crash if too many items are on one square, and there's no way you'd be able to carry or eat all of them (without magical breathing, anyways). This could be useful, but you need to be very lucky in a game for it to help, and honestly pudding farming is probably much more useful and faster. -- Qazmlpok 22:19, June 12, 2010 (UTC)
The only redeeming feature about doing this without a bot is that you could do other stuff while you're waiting for the PYEC timeout. But you'd very quickly run out of stuff to do. Yeah, it'd definitely be an abuse of the player rather than of nethack. --Slandor 23:34, June 12, 2010 (UTC)
If a tourist ever does a copy-paste powered extinctionist run, it could be a worthwhile aside. Working with an Elbereth- and jelly-protected boulder fort in a co-aligned temple, all intrinsics, acid resistance, no teleportitis, and a worn =oSC, the necessary commands could be monotone enough to make massive copy-paste operations feasible. There's nothing to keep you from inserting "invoke PYEC, drop potions and food except lizards" every 200 cycles of "create monster, F-whack it 4 times". Besides, smoky potions aren't required to be fruit juice because you can get many other type via multi-step alchemy. Tjr 17:18, June 13, 2010 (UTC)
I'd forgotten that you could turn water into sickness (and thence to fruit juice). That actually cuts down the time by about 2/3 if sickness or FJ are smoky, since you can use the potions of water about 24% of the time.... In fact, that might even be useful in my SLASH'EM game in which FJ is smoky (except that holy water might actually be more useful than a chance at a wish, since a bunch of artifacts have been generated). -- Slandor 17:46, June 13, 2010 (UTC)
If you want to scum up a ton of wishes in SLASH'EM, reverse genocide gypsies instead. Read the strategies on abusing 3 card monte on the talk page to build up credit. As long as you have magic resistance (touch of death), max luck, can deal with punishment (do not play with gypsies if you're already punished! You get curse items instead!) and the demons, gypsy wish scumming is pretty safe and easy, albeit immensely boring and difficult to automate. It's even possible to do it without having MR and the other protections if you're really good and careful with games of 99. -- Qazmlpok 18:24, June 13, 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, reverse-genociding gypsies seems like a ridiculous bug. In real life I actually get bored far too easily to try any of this stuff, but I figure that even without farming I'm going to wind up with a bunch of extra potions that I could turn smoky. If I live. --Slandor 18:35, June 13, 2010 (UTC)

Monks and increase damage

People on freenode agreed a ring of increase damage was a poor wish for a monk. I can see the point for a rogue or ranger since each missile gets the bonus, but not a monk. This piece of "advice" should be removed, but I don't feel qualified to write on monks. Anybody? --Tjr 10:32, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

It turns out not the wiki is the culprit, but instead the Monk FAQ. It claims Weaponless Monks might also consider looking for rings of increase damage .... --Tjr 12:01, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Wishing death to shopkeepers ... again

Somebody added:

Alternatively, you can wish for a blessed figurine of a monster with no MR such as an Olog-hai, and if it turns out to be hostile or peaceful, you can use another wish on a magic harp to tame it. This can potentially use up two wishes, but if one is set on obtaining a pet that they can't handle yet, it's better to lose a second wish rather than to lose the player's life.

I'm not sure this is good advice for several reasons:

  • Wishing for an applying the magic harp takes two turns in total. The Pet-gone-bad will stand still only one turn, then attack the hero. At the point in the game this is likely targeted at, an Olog-Hai can likely kill you in that second turn.
  • From my pacifist experience, an Olog-Hai is a bad pet. I would only keep it until I get something better if I got it for free from the spell of charm monster. Definitely, it's not worth a wish.
  • If you want to rely on zero magic resistance, then you're better off wishing for a magic marker, writing a cursed scroll of genocide and a scroll of taming, and reverse genociding minotaurs.
  • There are many other good ways to steal from a shop. If you're going to burn two wishes, go for a ring of polymorph control and a wand of polymorph. No shopkeeper is up to an armed, armored, player master mind flayer. If you don't want to waste wishes, do some credit cloning.
  • Generally speaking, only very bad players have to fear they will die immediately if they go out hunting for some gold, or junk to sell. Let's not teach bad players even worse habits.

--Tjr 07:07, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Early wand of wishing - wishing for two artifacts.

If one finds a Wand of Wishing before any artifacts exists in the game it is possible to wish for two artifacts safely. If doing so, what is the two best artifacts to wish for? (Obviously dependent of Role, Race and Alignment). I have personally tried PYEC + Eyes of the Overworld as a neutral human wizard (+ SDSM and Speed boots). A quite powerful combination especially with Magicbane and Eye of the Aethiopica. --Kha 16:46, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

I think the best wishes in that situation are a wand of polymorph and a ring of polymorph control, and either magic markers or scrolls of blessed charging and cursed genocide (for coaligned unicorns). --Tjr 07:29, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
In addition to the non-artifact items suggested by Tjr, as a neutral, I would certainly wish for The Eye of the Aethiopica. I would generally wish for Grayswandir. Sure you can get some good swords by offering, but that takes time, frequently gets you lousy swords, and the early game becomes so much easier with a powerful sword. After those artifacts, if I didn't have a magic lamp for light and wishes to spare, I'd wish for The Eyes of the Overworld. The Orb of Fate would be nice, too, but it's heavy and not quite as useful as the others. PYEC would be my next choice if I had wishes to burn on a 40% chance. PYEC won't save you the need to get blessed scrolls of charging, though, for things that you want fully charged (e.g., that WoW).
As a lawful, I might wish for The Magic Mirror of Merlin if I didn't have Magic resistance. I might wish for The Mitre of Holiness if I wanted to cast some spells and didn't already have a Helm of brilliance. Grayswandir is a lower priority with the ease of getting Excalibur, but I might go for it anyway, especially as a role that does better with saber than long sword (e.g., Archeologist).
As a chaotic, I'd probably just wish for The Master Key of Thievery and Grayswandir. No other artifacts really seem worth a wish, especially at only a 2/3rds chance. Derekt75 02:22, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

PYEC + SDSM for Wizards

PYEC+SDSM is a particularly good early wish combination for neutral Wizards as it efficiently saves the Amulet slot for Amulet of Lifesaving. With PYEC in the main inventory all of the advantages of Eye of the Aethiopica will be available without having to wear it. The starting cloak and/or Magicbane provides MC+MR. Speed boots and Amulet of Lifesaving should probably also be wished for if not already found. The Longbow of Diana can provide Telepathy for Chaotic Wizards, but as it must be wielded to provide Reflection it is otherwise mostly useless for Wizards. --Kha 17:08, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

What a waste of wishes. Just make silver dragon scales yourself. Reverse genocide or throne looting are the least expensive ways. Dsm#Acquiring_dragon_scales. The PYEC isn't all that useful for wizards because you use spells instead of wands, and actually do get the mana you need from the quest artifact. -–Tjr 07:32, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
The situation where I wish for PYEC is when a maximum one artifact exists in the game. (Usually Magicbane when playing Wizard) This will usually be early in the game when both Eye of the Aethiopica and SDSM by other means are in the future. Telepathy, Reflection + a good and not too heavy armor is really good for the survivability of an early wizard. At a later stage PYEC is great for charging tools, and allows Eye of the Aethiopica to be caried in the main inventory without loosing Telepathy, freeing the Amulet slot for Amulet of Lifesaving. Personally I tend to loose far to many promising early wizards to poisoned arrows from Orcs or to Elves not respecting Elbereth, good AC helps. Early reflection is also quite often a lifesaver. --Kha 21:40, 19 August 2011 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with early reflection. I just claim a few cursed genocide scrolls (or a cursed magic marker) will grant you a lot of other benefits on top of SDSM. --Tjr 01:09, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Less specific wishes/partial matches

So from playing around in wizard mode, one thing I've found is that wishing for "death" gives you a wand of death; this works for many other things, but gives different classes of items for each. For "protection" (ring, book) it gives the ring. For "identify" (scroll, book) it gives the scroll. For "teleportation" (ring, scroll) it gives the ring. "See invisible" (ring, potion) gives the ring, while "restore ability" (potion, book) gives the potion - it seems to try to match to the first of (ring, scroll/potion, book, wand). These wishes can be specified further like any other. It doesn't work for amulets or armor it seems ("reflection" just gets the standard "Does not exist" message). This is something not to play around with in a normal game, but it's useful in wizard mode if you're wishing for a lot of things and want to save some time, so if someone can find how this works it'd be nice to put a short bit in the article about it.

On a semi-related note, $ is recognized as gold, but while 5000$ gives 5000 gold pieces, $5000 gives one. -Ion frigate 07:28, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

The gold comment is interesting but that seems to be a consequence of how quantity is usually parsed by the game in such situations - "quantity object." In this case, it encounters the object before the modifier and is satisfied? --FJH 11:46, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah I believe so; however, I'm sure the occasional player might try wishing for $5000, since that's how it's displayed on the status line. Probably it's something that should be special-cased to give you the right thing, if the game is ever updated. -Ion frigate 05:25, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

+2 vs +3 armor/weapon

If you plan to max your armor/weapon to +5/+7, it seems that wishing for +2 averages slightly fewer scrolls. The following tables assume that reducing enchantment is free (i.e., you can easily cast drain life for armor), and that you'd never enchant if your new equipment could vaporize.

For armor:

Wished Enchantment: +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
Mean Scrolls to +5: 3.111 2.563 2.593 2.889 2.785

For weapons or elven armor:

Wished Enchantment: +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
Mean Scrolls to +7: 4.444 4.052 4.070 4.156 4.341

I thought this would be too much clutter for the main page, but I thought some folks might be interested. Feel free to add some of this info to the article itself if you think it's warranted.Derekt75 00:49, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

On a related note, +2 also has the best average if you plan to spend a single blessed scroll of enchant foo, due to getting 1d3 at +2 enchantment, but 1d2 at +3 enchantment:
Wished Enchantment: +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
Mean enchantment after one scroll: 3 3.6 3.5 3.4 2.9
Hurkyl (talk) 06:22, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

=oPC for a chaotic monk's early wish?

How about a ring of polymorph control for an early chaotic monk. With the ring, early game MR becomes less important as polytraps won't destroy your robe. You can also clear levels pretty quickly as a vampire lord (or a MMF, if you don't mind the alignment penalties). You'll still need to get MR at some point, but you might be able to wait until you can score hits while wearing GDSM.Derekt75 01:17, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Depends, IMO. If you're going for polyselfless conduct, obviously you'd just want a cloak of MR. Even if you're not, you still need a source of polymorph (maybe the wand but probably the ring) to make the ring of polymorph control compare at all favorably to a cloak of MR: without it, you get protection against polytraps but not against death rays. So personally, I'd say the cloak is basically always preferable unless you happen to have already identified a ring of polymorph. -Ion frigate 14:41, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
It's just rather sad to take off the robe when playing as a monk and watch all of the 0% failures turn to 100% failures. My last game as a monk, I found =oTC, =oPC, and a CoMR from a bones pile reasonably early. It may have been a mistake, but I chose to wear the rings for the early game rather than take off my robe. I know I could wear my Cloak most of the time and only put on the robe when I needed to cast, but that's a nuisance. Derekt75 01:45, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

UnNethack5.1.0 unlucky fountain wish

My vampire wiz got an early wish from fountain at about turn 360, with -1 luck. I wished "blessed greased +3 set of glowing dragon scales" and recieved cursed greased -3 set of glowing dragon scales. Why? --Zgyt4033 (talk) 12:56, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

"If your Luck is negative, explicitly wishing for a "blessed" or "uncursed" item will yield a cursed one instead."
"Be warned that if your Luck is negative, any enchantment higher than +2 will automatically become negative."
--Bhaak (talk) 13:01, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Something in your hands...

For a moment, you feel something in your hands, but it disappears! You write in the dust with a wand of wishing.

Saw this when wishing for a "blessed Eye of the Aethiopica" as a lawful valkyrie. I thought this was possible. I guess not.

--Davek (talk) 04:36, 20 August 2014 (UTC)

You failed the random roll for the creation of another artifact when too many artifacts already exist in the game. It could have succeeded (although it wouldn't have been so useful if it did). Ais523 (talk) 19:48, 21 August 2014 (UTC)