Wand of wishing

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Name wishing
Appearance random
Abundance 0.5%
Base price 500 zm
Weight 7
Type non-directional
Maximum charges 3
Monster use Will not be used by monsters.

The wand of wishing is one of the most sought-after wands in NetHack.

Generation

There is a .5% chance that a randomly-generated wand will be a wand of wishing, making it one of the least-generated wands. However, one wand of wishing is always located in a chest inside the Castle. Normally, wands make up 4% of all randomly-generated items in the main dungeon, 6% in containers, 5% on the Rogue level, and 8% in Gehennom.

Effects

Main article: Wish

When zapped or engraved with, if the player's Luck is non-negative, the wand will auto-identify and allow the player to make a guaranteed wish, making it the closest to a source of such in NetHack. Note that wishing will increase your prayer timeout.

You cannot wish for a wand of wishing; this will give you a pre-charged wand of wishing with -1 charges (i.e. cancelled) with a 90% chance. The remaining 10% will result in a precharged wand with zero charges.

The wand is unusual because it can only be recharged once; it always explodes if you try to recharge it a second time.[1]

Strategy

Main article: Wish

If you come across a wand with a base cost of 500 in a shop, it is either a wand of wishing or a wand of death. Either is well worth purchasing, even if you must take the time for credit cloning or gathering junk. If you have no pet or are otherwise unable to do this, you may choose instead to wish for gold. See the wish article's section on early wands of wishing for detailed instructions.

Charging

Your first wish from this wand should be a source of charging, if you do not already have one. This typically involves wishing for 2 or 3 blessed scrolls of charging. If you have already identified charging scrolls, you should wish for a magic marker and write your own. Wizards with high Luck have a good chance of writing unknown scrolls, and should generally wish for a magic marker.

The other source of charging is the Platinum Yendorian Express Card, but wishing for this to recharge your wand is a bad idea unless you are illiterate, because Tourists will not receive it at all, and other roles cannot perform blessed charging with it, so 1–2 of your wand's potential charges might be lost. Since Tourists can acquire the Platinum Yendorian Express Card on their quest, they may choose not to wish for a source of charging, and delay using their final wishes until they can complete their quest.

Wish extraction

In NetHack 3.4.3, it is advised to engrave with it instead of zapping; a cursed wand will not explode if used to engrave. As of 3.6.0, the 1% chance of exploding applies to engraving as well.

Never use a wand of wishing while your Luck is negative, because there is a chance that your wish will be lost. ("Unfortunately, nothing happens.")[2]

How to extract the maximum number of wishes follows:

  1. Zap or engrave with the wand until it reaches (0:0).
  2. Blessed-recharge the wand (this will bring the wand up to (1:3), while an uncursed scroll would bring it to (1:d3)).
  3. Zap or engrave with the wand until it reaches (1:0).
  4. Zap or engrave with the wand repeatedly to wrest the last charge. (You can press Escape when asked what to engrave, since attempting to engrave still gives a chance of wresting the wish, but costs no turns when you do so.)

If you fear the RNG, you may want to identify the wand first to find out how many charges it has left, rather than engraving until you get no message; although rare, there is no worse feeling than accidentally wresting the last charge out of a wand you meant to recharge.

Variants

UnNetHack

In UnNetHack, wands of wishing are generated in a (1:x) state, as if they had already been recharged once. This effectively means that wands of wishing cannot be recharged, so scrolls of charging should not be wished for unless they're needed for some other purpose.

In addition, in UnNetHack, if a wand doesn't successfully wrest immediately, the wand turns to dust, but wresting chance was increased from 1121 to 15 for blessed, 16 for uncursed and 17 for cursed wands.

The reduced charges of wands of wishing effectively mean UnNetHack games have 1–4 guaranteed wishes (1–3 charges plus a potential wrest), whereas vanilla NetHack games have 5–7 guaranteed wishes (1–3 charges, plus 3 recharged, plus a guaranteed wrest). In the latter case, one of those wishes is usually spent on scrolls of charging, so the effective number of guaranteed wishes in vanilla is 4–6.

NetHack Fourk

In NetHack Fourk, similar to UnNetHack, wands of wishing come precharged, but still spawn with the usual 1–3 charges, and not wresting immediately will not make the wand turn to dust. Wresting was made easier in Fourk. To compensate for this, Fourk adds a guranteed scroll of wishing to Orcus, Vlad's Tower's top floor, and Wizard's Tower's top floor.

xNetHack

In xNetHack, wands of wishing cannot be recharged, though their state is displayed as (0:x) rather than (1:x). When they reach 0 charges, they immediately turn to dust, so wresting them is impossible.

They are no longer generated randomly; instead, statically-placed wands of wishing are found in the Castle, the top floor of Vlad's Tower, the Fake Wizard's Tower that lacks the magic portal, the top floor of the real Wizard's Tower, and the northeastern room of Moloch's Sanctum. All of these are generated with 1 charge, except the Castle's, which has 2.

See also

  • RGRN post: exploding wands of wishing really do happen

References