Terrain Arcanus VolcanoTerrain Myrror Volcano
Maximum Population No effect
Town Bonuses No effect *
Movement Point Cost Move Boot 4
Move Mountaineer 1
Move Flying 1
Move Sailing N/A
Possible Minerals (Arcanus)
None *
Possible Minerals (Myrror)
None *
Change Terrain
Terrain Arcanus Volcano Icon Arrow Right Mid Terrain Arcanus Mountain
Gaia's Blessing
Terrain Arcanus Volcano Icon Arrow Right Mid Terrain Arcanus Hill

Volcano is a type of Terrain in the world of Master of Magic. Volcanoes are unique in that, by default, they exist only as part of Chaos Nodes - there are no free-standing Volcanoes strewn about the two Planes. However, Icon Chaos.pngChaos wizards may have two different ways to bring new Volcanoes into existence - often to the detriment of their enemies.

Volcano tiles are essentially barren and unworkable, providing no benefit to any town in their vicinity. The presence of a Chaos Node on top of the Volcano, however, will make it behave like a Mountain tile - boosting nearby towns' Icon Production.png Production rating.

Chaos Node Volcanoes never contain any Minerals. Raised Volcanoes theoretically could - but due to a bug in the game code they may only do so with the Unofficial Patch 1.50 (more on this below).

Volcanoes (like Mountains) are the most difficult terrain obstacle for Icon Movement GroundWalking units, which will normally spend all of their Movement Points entering these tiles. As land tiles, they are also inaccessible for Icon Movement SailingSailing units.

The Icon Nature.pngChange Terrain spell may be used to calm down a Volcano, turning it into a workable Mountain tile. Icon Nature.pngGaia's Blessing will automatically turn Volcanoes within the enchanted town's vicinity into Hills over time. Volcanoes created with the use of magic will also eventually cool down on their own, turning into Mountains.

Description Edit

Underneath the rock and earth that makes up the surface of the world is a layer of molten rock called "magma". This gooey and extremely hot liquid is held underground at incredibly high pressures, and is constantly seeking a way to escape up onto the surface. In areas where the surface layer is thin or weakened, magma may break through and erupt with great force, spewing up a variety of toxic and hazardous materials.

The magma that is ejected (now called "lava") will eventually cool down, forming layers upon layers of igneous rocks. Over millions of years, these layers build up to an actual mountain, with a gaping hole (called a "crater") in the center that may continue to spew out more and more magma, or cool down and become just an ominous-looking mountain.

Due to the toxic, extremely hot materials ejected periodically from the Volcano, the land around this phenomenon is often barren and lifeless. Humanoids are similarly reluctant to settle in such an area, and cannot grow food or harvest any resources from the Volcano's immediate surroundings anyway. Only the presence of a Chaos Node, prevalent near such a powerful source of heat and fire, can provide any real benefit to a civilized species.

Wizards, on the other hand, may find Volcanoes especially useful, in particular those containing Chaos Nodes. The intense heat causes a weakness between the primary Planes and the magical realm of Icon Chaos.pngChaos, allowing anywhere from small to significant quantities of Icon Power.png Magical Power to seep through. As a result, some Icon Chaos.pngChaos-wielding wizards will actually raise new Volcanoes simply to satisfy their own need for Power.

Geography Edit

When a new game is begun, Volcanoes will only be placed underneath Chaos Nodes, whereever those are positioned on the map. As a result, there will only be a handful of Volcanoes found across the planes of Arcanus and Myrror. They are often isolated, and can be found on any latitude or near any other types of Terrain. Chaos Node Volcanoes will sometimes even appear as tiny islands in the middle of an ocean.

Once the game is in progress, new Volcanoes may be created using the powerful spells Icon Chaos.pngRaise Volcano and Icon Chaos.pngArmageddon. These Volcanoes can erupt anywhere; randomly, or on command (as appropriate), and will never contain Chaos Nodes. They behave somewhat differently from the original Volcanoes placed on the map, and are not entirely permanent.

Town Development Edit

Volcanoes created at the start of the game (those containing Chaos Nodes) behave like Mountains in terms of the benefits they give to towns built in their vicinity. In other words, they bestow a large Icon Production.png Production bonus to such towns.

New Volcanoes created by Icon Chaos.pngChaos-wielding wizards, however, are different: they give absolutely no bonus of any kind to towns in their vicinity. This is one of the purposes of creating new Volcanoes: suffocating enemy towns by turning the lands around them completely unproductive.

Maximum Population Edit

Main article: Maximum Population

Volcano tiles are among the few Terrain types that provide absolutely no bonus to a nearby town's Maximum Population.

In other words, if a town were to be surrounded entirely by Volcano tiles, its Maximum Population would be exactly 0. This means that not only will the town not grow at all, but may actually lose a few citizens each turn. Fortunately, negative Population Growth cannot destroy a town (it will never drop below 1,000 population due to negative growth), but it will likely never grow above 1,000 either. This makes Volcanic areas extremely unfavourable for settlement.

Maximum Population dictates the absolute maximum number of citizens a town can have. Once it reaches this many citizens, it will simply stop growing. This value also influences the town's growth rate: the larger the gap between its current- and Maximum Population, the faster the town grows.

Furthermore, Maximum Population also determines how much Icon Food.png Food can be produced in a town before inefficiency sets in. Once this limit of Food production is reached, additional citizens assigned to Farmer duty will produce much less Icon Food.png Food - making them inefficient. Higher Maximum Population means a higher Icon Food.png Food production efficiency threshold, thus allowing more Farmers to be assigned while still retaining full efficiency.

As a result, in a town surrounded by Volcanoes, only a very small amount of Icon Food.png Food can be produced even if all citizens are set to Farmer duty. It may struggle to produce enough food to feed itself - again resulting in negative Population Growth, and making it difficult to gain more than a few citizens.

This is one of the reasons why Icon Chaos.pngChaos wizards will sometimes attempt to turn much or all of the land around an enemy town into Volcanoes - causing that town to lose its Icon Food.png Food production capacity and eventually begin losing its citizens as well. Though a town cannot be destroyed in this manner, it can be rendered virtually useless to the enemy!

Production Bonus Edit

As explained above, the original Volcanoes placed on the map at the start of the game all contain Chaos Nodes. The nodes cause these tiles to behave like a Mountain, and provide a Icon Production.png +5% Production bonus to any nearby town. This is the largest such bonus that a single tile can provide, and can be very beneficial for speeding up the production of both Normal Units and Town Buildings. With the Trade Goods project, it may even be translated into additional Icon Gold.png Gold income!

Created Volcanoes do not provide this bonus, it is unique to Chaos Nodes. However, if left to cool down on their own, the Mountain tiles that these Volcanoes turn into will eventually get this benefit.

Common Minerals Edit

Chaos Node Volcano tiles never contain any Minerals. Even if theoretically the Volcano should be rich in minerals brought up to the surface by the rising magma, humanoids would not be able to collect these minerals anyway.

In fact, Volcanoes created through Icon Chaos.pngChaos magic actively destroy any Minerals on the tile that they are raised! This is actually the only way to accomplish this in the game.

However, according to the documentation for patch 1.31, new Volcanoes should also be able to create new Minerals when they cool down. Unfortunately this is incorrect: not only is the description inaccurate (the Mineral would actually be created with the Volcano itself, instead of during the cooling process), but due to a programming oversight it does not work at all in version 1.31 (the new Mineral is created before all existing ones are destroyed, and is thus removed immediately). The Unofficial Patch 1.50 fixes the process order, the sections below describe this in more detail.

Movement Edit

Volcanoes are easily the most difficult terrain obstacle for most Icon Movement GroundWalking units. Such units lose 4 Movement Points when entering this tile. As a result, a ridge of Volcanoes, deliberately created by a Icon Chaos.pngChaos wizard, forms a good natural barrier against ground invasions - providing ample time to prepare defenses as the incoming enemy army struggles to scale it.

Units possessing the Ability Mountaineer Mountaineer trait, as well as any other units stacked with them in the same army, will only take 1 Movement Point to enter a Volcano tile.

Icon Movement AirFlying units treat Volcano tiles like any other tile. They take only 1 Movement Point to enter them. Similarly, stacks that use Move Pathfinding Pathfinding movement (such as Ability NonCorporeal Non-Corporeal units for example) encounter no extra difficulty here and only have to spend their usual 0.5 Movement Points to get through these tiles.

Since Volcanoes are land tiles, they are completely impassable to units possessing only a Icon Movement SailingSailing ability.

Roads and Road Construction Edit

As with any land tile, Volcano tiles can be upgraded with a Road. This is done using Engineers, a unit type that is only available to certain Races.

Constructing a Road through a Volcano tile is a very difficult endeavour. A single unit of Engineers will take 8 turns to build a Road on a Volcano tile. Each additional unit reduces this by about 50% (rounded up). Therefore, 2 Engineers will take 4 turns, 3 or 4 will take 2 turns, and 5 or more units will take only 1 turn to build this road. Additional Engineers (beyond 5) do not speed this up any further.

Dwarf Engineers work twice as fast as other Engineers. This means that a single unit of them can complete a Road in a Volcano tile in only 4 turns. 2 Dwarf Engineers will take 2 turns, and 3 or more will only take 1 turn to complete construction of a Volcano Road.

Once a road has been constructed, the cost to enter this Volcano tile changes to 0.5 for all units, regardless of their movement type. Note however that Icon Movement SailingSailing units still cannot enter this tile, since they cannot move on land.

If the road was constructed on Myrror, or affected by the Icon Sorcery.pngEnchant Road spell, movement costs to enter this tile are completely removed for most units. In other words, Icon Movement GroundWalking and Icon Movement AirFlying units can enter this tile without spending any movement points at all. However, Ability NonCorporeal Non-Corporeal units cannot use this special road, and will still require 0.5 Movement Points to enter the tile.

Creating Volcanoes Edit

As mentioned above, when the game begins the only Volcanoes found on the map are those underneath Chaos Nodes. They number roughly a dozen or so at most (distributed randomly on both Planes). In order to create any new Volcanoes, one of the wizards in the game must be able to wield Icon Chaos.pngChaos magic, and have access to either the spells Icon Chaos.pngRaise Volcano or Icon Chaos.pngArmageddon.

Icon Chaos.pngRaise Volcano is a targeted Instant Spell that will create a new Volcano on any selected map tile (though some tiles, like Rivers and Oceans are invalid targets). Icon Chaos.pngArmageddon, on the other hand, is a Global Enchantment that will automatically raise 3 to 6 new Volcanoes at the start of each turn, at random locations on either Plane (excluding the catchment areas of the caster's Towns).

These new Volcanoes are somewhat different than those placed on the map at game-start. For one, they do not contain new Chaos Nodes, and will give absolutely no benefit to any town in their vicinity. Furthermore, each Volcano raised by either spell will give the wizard who created it Icon Power.png +1 Power as long as that Volcano continues to exist. As a result, wizards casting Icon Chaos.pngRaise Volcano repeatedly or maintaining the Icon Chaos.pngArmageddon spell for an extended period will see a significant rise in their magical ability before long.

Thus, Volcanoes are raised for three purposes: To choke up enemy towns by turning the lands around them into unproductive wastes, to increase the caster's own magical prowess, and to convert Tundras to more productive terrain.

Automatic Volcano Degradation Edit

In patch 1.31, a new mechanism was introduced that will periodically turn new Volcanoes (i.e. any Volcano that does not contain a Chaos Node) into a regular Mountain.

At the start of each turn, the game runs through every non-node Volcano on the map. Each Volcano rolls a random number between 1 and 100. If the number comes up 1 or 2 (i.e. a 2% chance), the Volcano will immediately be turned into a Mountain. That Volcano no longer provides any Icon Power.png Power for the wizard who created it, and is now a Mountain for all intents and purposes.

Due to the randomness of this event, it is possible for all non-node Volcanoes to disappear at the start of the turn - though the chances of this happening are very low, especially if there are many Volcanoes present. Nonetheless, it means that no raised Volcano is truly permanent, and that given enough time all Volcanoes will eventually revert to Mountains.

New Mineral Deposits Edit

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This article/section is missing crucial information and may require additional research to answer the following questions:
  • What are the exact chances for each type of Mineral to appear, when a Volcano is raised in patch 1.50?

The "Read Me" file for patch 1.31 claims that Volcanoes that revert to Mountains have a 5% chance of providing a new Mineral vein. Unfortunately, this note is incorrect on multiple counts.

First, according to the piece of code that made it into 1.31, the chance to create new Minerals is actually 20%, rather than 5%, as it is stated in the readme. Second, this code is called at the time a new Volcano is raised, rather than when it cools off into a regular Mountain. If there was to be an additional chance for creating Minerals on top of this, it has no signs of any implementation. This makes it very likely that the patch notes refer to this function, even though the details are not quite correct.

It all does not matter in 1.31 though, as the effect described above is inserted into the process of raising Volcanoes at a point where the already present Minerals have not yet been cleared. This means that even if a new Mineral does appear, it will be destroyed before the process of creating the Volcano is finished.

However, the Unofficial Patch 1.50 reverses the order of these operations, and causes the existing Minerals to be cleared before any new ones may be created. Essentially, this means that the effect described above does work in this patch: every Volcano raised by either Icon Chaos.pngRaise Volcano or Icon Chaos.pngArmageddon has exactly 20% chance of creating a new Mineral on the same tile. These can be exploited immediately, and will remain on the tile permanently (unless a new Volcano is raised on it after the previous one has cooled).

As a result, in 1.50, the Icon Chaos.pngRaise Volcano spell is even more valuable than before. At the same time, Icon Chaos.pngArmageddon also has a very small chance of actually providing a benefit to the opponents of the caster (especially if they have access to Icon Nature.pngGaia's Blessing and use it actively).

Change Terrain Edit

The Icon Nature.pngChange Terrain spell can be cast on any Volcano tile that does not contain a Chaos Node to turn it into a Mountain tile instead. In version 1.50, this will also preserve any Mineral created by the previous eruption.

Calming a Volcano down to a Mountain will at least make the tile productive. Volcanoes give absolutely no benefit to nearby towns, while Mountains give a large Icon Production.png Production bonus which can be exploited. Therefore, if Icon Mana.png Mana allows, it is usually a good idea to transform any Volcanoes that happen to be created in a Town's catchment area.

Further uses of Icon Nature.pngChange Terrain can restore almost any tile destroyed by a Volcano to its original state (minus any previous Minerals): Volcano to Mountain, Mountain to Hill, Hill to Grassland (and optionally, Grassland to Forest). In this way it is possible to actually terraform an area to any desired combination of the above tiles, using repeated castings of Icon Chaos.pngRaise Volcano and Icon Nature.pngChange Terrain to tailor the area around a town to its specific needs.

Gaia's Blessing Edit

While the Icon Nature.pngGaia's Blessing spell is affecting a town, each Volcano tile within the town's catchment area has a 10% chance each turn to transform into a Hill tile automatically.

At the start of each turn, the game goes through each Volcano tile in the town's vicinity, and rolls a random number between 1 and 10. If the number comes up "10", that tile is altered into a Hill tile, and the game moves on to the next Volcano tile (if any).

This makes Icon Nature.pngGaia's Blessing exceptionally useful when combating enemy wizards who keep casting Icon Chaos.pngRaise Volcano, and especially if they are maintaining an Icon Chaos.pngArmageddon spell. Though Volcanoes will keep appearing, at least they will be turned into productive Hills by Icon Nature.pngGaia's Blessing. Unfortunately, before the 1.50 patch, Minerals will still remain at high risk of being permanently destroyed, and will not be restored or preserved even by this powerful Town Enchantment.

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