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Pathfinding

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This article is about the inherent unit ability called "Pathfinding". For the Nature Unit Enchantment that bestows the same ability, see Path Finding.
Ability Pathfinding
Pathfinding Move Pathfinding is one of the many Unit Abilities available in Master of Magic.

On the overland map, a unit with Pathfinding pays no more than 0.5 Movement Points when moving into a new tile, regardless of the Terrain of that tile. When the unit is part of a stack, the entire stack pays no more than 0.5 Movement Points when moving into a new tile. This allows stacks led by a Pathfinding unit to quickly cross any type of terrain.

The effect applies only to Icon Movement GroundWalking units (and/or stacks containing at least one Icon Movement GroundWalking unit).

Three units in the game possess Pathfinding by default. One is a Normal Unit, while the two others are Heroes.

It is also possible to give Pathfinding to any unit by casting the Path Finding Unit Enchantment on it. Furthermore, Heroes may be equipped with Magical Items possessing a Path Finding Item Power.

Description Edit

Knowledge of the land can help a unit survive in harsh regions, but it is also exceptionally important for navigation. Picking out the best routes and finding easy-to-travel shortcuts can speed up one's movement significantly. Those with the ability to find such routes can quickly and efficiently cross terrain that is otherwise notoriously difficult, just as fast as they would walk down a king's highway.

Whether magic is involved or just plain old skill, such navigators are invaluable - particularly when leading entire armies through paths-seldom-trod, facilitating both quick invasions and extremely mobile defensive operations.

Effect Edit

When a Icon Movement GroundWalking unit with Pathfinding is moving across the overland map, it will never pay more than 0.5 Movement Points to enter any tile, regardless of the Terrain of that tile.

Pathfinding does not change which tiles a unit can move into. A Icon Movement GroundWalking unit still cannot enter Shore or Ocean tiles, and a Icon Movement WaterSailing unit cannot enter land tiles. Pathfinding only changes the cost of entering valid tiles.

Pathfinding also does not change the Movement Allowance of the unit - only the number of Movement Points it must pay to enter a given tile.

Note that any Icon Movement AirFlying unit with Pathfinding only benefits from this effect if grouped with a non-Icon Movement AirFlying unit. Pathfinding only assists ground-moving stacks. The same applies to units possessing only Icon Movement WaterSailing (without an alternative Icon Movement GroundWalking ability) - they move through Shore and Ocean tiles at 1 point per tile as normal.

Pathfinding units do not benefit from regular Roads - they already move as quickly as though every tile had a Road in it. However, Pathfinding units do benefit from Enchanted Roads - entering such tiles without paying any Movement Points.

Pathfinding applies only on the overland map. Units possessing Pathfinding do not have a higher speed during combat.

Group Pathfinding Edit

One of the greatest benefits of the Pathfinding ability is that it applies not only to the Pathfinding unit itself, but also to its entire stack.

When a stack contains a Pathfinding unit, it pays only 0.5 Movement Points to enter any valid tile, as though each and every tile had a Road in it.

Note that if the stack contains only Icon Movement AirFlying units, the Pathfinding ability has no effect: the stack will pay 1 Movement Point to enter any tile, as is normal for Icon Movement AirFlying units. However, if the stack contains at least one Icon Movement GroundWalking unit, the stack pays 0.5 Movement Points to enter any tile - even if the Icon Movement GroundWalking unit is not the one possessing the Pathfinding ability.

Units with Default Pathfinding Edit

There are three units in the game that possess Pathfinding by default. One is a Normal Unit, while the other two are Heroes:

Tactical Rangers Rangers
Tactical Hero Marcus Marcus the Ranger
Tactical Hero Shuri Shuri the Huntress

Note that all three units are Icon Movement GroundWalking units by default (thus enjoying the benefits of the Pathfinding ability, as explained above). The two Heroes arguably benefit much more from Pathfinding, as Heroes' Movement Allowance can easily be increased with the use of Magical Items - allowing them to cross vast distances extremely quickly.

Acquiring Pathfinding Edit

The Pathfinding ability can be added artificially to a unit by the following means:

Both methods give the unit the same Pathfinding ability described above in this article - except for the fact that it is not permanent.

Path Finding Unit Enchantment Edit

Path Finding (note the space) is an Uncommon Unit Enchantment from the Icon Nature.pngNature realm. When cast on any unit, it will add the Pathfinding ability to that unit. The ability remains while the spell is in effect, and behaves exactly as described in this article.

Path Finding has a basic Casting Cost of Icon Mana.png 50, and can only be cast on the overland map. It is a lingering effect, so the unit gets to keep its Pathfinding ability only as long as the spell remains active. You must then pay an Upkeep Cost of Icon Mana.png 1 per turn to keep the spell in play.

Remember that casting Path Finding on a Icon Movement AirFlying unit may be wasteful: while the unit is alone or accompanied only by other Icon Movement AirFlying units, the Pathfinding ability has no effect.

Pathfinding Item Power Edit

A permanent version of the Path Finding spell can be imbued into a Jewelry piece. When a Hero wears this item, he/she receives the Pathfinding ability.

During Item Crafting, it is only possible to select the "Pathfinding" bonus if you possess at least Icon Nature.png3 Nature Spellbooks. Otherwise, "Pathfinding" is not available. Of course, it is always possible to find an item already enchanted with "Pathfinding" as reward for defeating an Encounter.

The Pathfinding ability bestowed by an item is transient: it will disappear if the Hero ever removes or loses the enchanted item.

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