|Spell Type||Global Enchantment|
|Reveals all rival and neutral Town on both Planes.|
- This article is about the Arcane spell "Awareness". For the more powerful Nature spell, see Nature Awareness.
Awareness is a Global Enchantment belonging to the Arcane Magic realm. For 500 it may be cast on the overland map to reveal the location of each and every rival and neutral Town currently existing in the world, on either Plane. A small area around each Town is also revealed. As long as the spell is in effect, any Town constructed by a rival will also have its position immediately revealed. Any town or terrain revealed by Awareness is permanently visible, even after the spell itself is removed.
Awareness has an Upkeep Cost of 3 which must be paid at the start of each turn to keep the spell in effect.
Awareness detects the magical energy being given off by any population center, thus revealing the location of all Towns previously unknown to the casting wizard.
Revealing Towns Edit
When Awareness is first cast, it will remove the fog of war over and around each existing Town that isn't currently visible.
For each such town, it reveals the tile containing the town itself, as well as the Terrain and any Terrain Specials in each tile immediately adjacent to it (including diagonals). The result is a revealed square area 3x3 tiles in size around each rival and neutral town.
Enemy units are not revealed by this spell, whether within the enemy towns or in the adjacent tiles. However, the revealed Towns may still be inspected (by right-clicking them) to show a town's Buildings, Population, and any Enchantments affecting it.
While Awareness remains in effect, any new Town established by any rival wizard will also be revealed as above.
Awareness may be cast only on the overland map, for the base Casting Cost of 500. The area around each town on the map is revealed immediately.
Note: Revealing a rival wizard's towns with Awareness does not initiate contact with that wizard.
To keep Awareness in effect, the casting wizard must pay an Upkeep Cost of 3 per turn. Failure to pay this cost due to lack of Mana will cause the spell to dissipate.
After casting the spell, its name will appear on the "Overland Enchantments" list in the Magic menu. The color in which the name is printed indicates which wizard controls the spell. If the player controls the spell, he or she may cancel it manually by clicking the name of the spell. The primary reason to do this would be in order to remove the spell's Upkeep Cost, thus conserving Mana for other spells.
Note that if Awareness is removed, any town and tile already revealed by the spell will stay revealed. All that happens is that new towns will not be automatically revealed if the spell is no longer in play.
Awareness is a good way to quickly determine the size and location of each rival empire.
Although it only reveals the location of Towns and their immediate surroundings, an astute player can infer plenty of information from this, including a rough idea of the shape and position of continents. This can make exploration easier, as well as indicating whether or not Flying units or Ships may be required for further expansion.
Knowledge of the size of enemy empires can also help you pick your battles. It is easier to safely engage a rival if you know how many Towns they've got and where they are. You can also find the rival's Fortress town by examining his towns one by one until it is located.
Since Awareness reveals all towns, it is possible to find Neutral towns that have not yet been captured by any enemy. The sooner this spell is used, the more neutral towns will still be around to be targeted.
Awareness should preferably be cast as soon as it is acquired, to get a general idea of the layout of the game world and the size of all enemy empires. Once exploration of the world is already going strong, the need to cast Awareness constantly decreases, and eventually won't be able to reveal any important information. If the entire world is explored, Awareness is completely useless and should not be cast for any reason.
There's also the question of whether or not to cancel Awareness immediately after it has been cast. On the one hand, Awareness's has a continuous effect, revealing any new towns as they are constructed. On the other hand, any area that the spell has already revealed will permanently stay revealed for the rest of the game even if the spell is canceled. Therefore, Awareness's Upkeep Cost may or may not be justified. Once you've got a good idea of the location and relative size of each empire, you may just be better off casting this spell only once and then cancelling it immediately - never to cast it again.