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Terrain Arcanus VolcanoTerrain Myrror Volcano
Maximum Population No effect
Town Bonuses No effect *
Default Movement Rate Icon Movement Ground4
Icon Movement Air1
Icon Movement WaterN/A
Possible Minerals (Arcanus)
Possible Minerals (Myrror)
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 up to 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.

Volcanoes never contain any Minerals. It is theoretically possible - but hitherto unproven - that a Volcano can leave behind a new Mineral when it cools into a Mountain (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.

The Change Terrain spell may be used to calm down a Volcano, turning it into a workable Mountain tile. The Gaia's Blessing spell will automatically turn Volcanoes within the enchanted town's vicinity into Hills.

Volcanoes created with the use of magic will eventually cool down on their own, turning into Mountains. Again, though this is unproven, they should be able to leave behind new Minerals occasionally as they cool down.

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, the program will only place Volcanoes underneath Chaos Nodes as 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 isolated islands in the middle of an ocean.

After the game begins, some Icon Chaos.pngChaos wizards (if present) may be able to raise new Volcanoes using the powerful spells of Raise Volcano and Armageddon. These Volcanoes can erupt anywhere, randomly or on command as appropriate, and do not contain Chaos Nodes. They behave somewhat differently from the original Volcanoes placed on the map, and are not 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. For more information, please read the article on Mountains.

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 totally 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 will 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 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. Maximum Population also determines the town's Growth Rate: the larger the gap between the town's current population and it's 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 - thus being inefficient. Higher Maximum Population means a higher Icon Food.png Food production efficiency threshold, thus allowing more Farmers to be assigned and still have 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 struggling to gain more than a few citizens.

Again, this is the reason 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. These nodes cause the Volcano to behave like a Mountain, and provide a large Icon Production.png Production bonus to nearby towns (Icon Production.png +5% Production, to be exact).

Please refer to the article on Mountains for more information on this.

Common Minerals Edit

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.

Please note however that the documentation for patch 1.31 indicates that new Volcanoes created by the Raise Volcano and/or Armageddon spell should have a small chance of creating new Minerals as they cool down. However, as explained below, this feature may or may not actually work as intended.

Movement Edit

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

Units possessing the 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 it.

Units with the Non-Corporeal ability can enter this tile at 0.5 Movement Points.

As land tiles, Volcanoes are completely impassable to units possessing only a Icon Movement WaterSwimming ability.

Roads and Road Construction Edit

As with any land tile, Volcano tiles can be upgraded with a Road. This is done using Engineers, who are 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 construct a Road on a Volcano tile. Each additional unit of Engineers reduces this by about 50% (rounded up). Therefore, 2 unit will take 4 turns, 3 or 4 units 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 Dwarf Engineers unit can complete a Road in a Volcano tile in only 4 turns, 2 Dwarf Engineers will take 2 turns, and 3 or more Dwarf Engineers 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 WaterSwimming units still cannot enter this tile, since they cannot move on land.

If the road was constructed on Myrror, or affected by the Enchant 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. 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 on both Planes).

In order to create new Volcanoes, one of the wizards in the game must possess Icon Chaos.pngChaos Magic, and have access to either of two spells: Raise Volcano and/or Armageddon.

The Raise Volcano spell 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). The Armageddon spell is a Global Enchantment that will automatically raise one or more new Volcanoes at random locations on either Plane at the start of each turn.

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 Raise Volcano repeatedly or maintaining the Armageddon spell for a long time 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, the increase of the caster's own magical prowess, and the conversion of 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) back into a Mountain.

At the start of each turn, the game runs through each and 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), it 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 Volcano is truly permanent, and that given enough time all Volcanoes will revert to Mountains eventually.

New Mineral Deposits Edit

WikiIcon Research Research Required
This article/section is missing crucial information and may require additional research to answer the following questions:

As yet there is no conclusive evidence that the mechanism described below does or does not work. Please provide information if you can.

The "Read Me" file for patch 1.31 contains the following line:

- Volcanoes have a 2% chance to revert to mountains each turn (with a 5% 
chance of providing a mineral vein).

The mechanism that turns Volcanoes back into Mountains does work as expected. However, it is thus far unclear whether the second mechanism, which should create new Minerals on these mountains, has yet to be conclusively proven.

If it is true, then potentially the Raise Volcano and/or Armageddon spells can be used to create new deposits of valuable Minerals, and thus Volcanoes can be used to actually improve the terrain rather than just destroy it.

If you can provide proof of the existence of this mechanism in the game, please do so.

Change Terrain Edit

The Icon Nature.pngNature spell Change Terrain can be cast on any Volcano tile that does not contain a Chaos Node. When this spell is cast on the tile, it will turn this tile into a Mountain.

Calming a Volcano down to a Mountain will at least make the tile productive. Volcanos give absolutely no benefit to nearby towns, while Mountains at least give a Icon Production.png Production bonus which can be exploited. Therefore, if you have the Icon Mana.png Mana to cast this spell on Volcanoes near your towns, it may be a good idea to do so. Otherwise, you can wait for these Volcanoes to cool down on their own, as explained above.

Further uses of Change Terrain can restore a tile destroyed by a Volcano to its original state: Volcano->Mountain, Mountain->Hill, Hill->Grassland (and optionally, Grassland->Forest).

In this way it is possible to actually terraform an area as you will, using a combination of Raise Volcano and Change Terrain to tailor the area around a town to your specific needs.

Gaia's Blessing Edit

While the Icon Nature.pngNature spell Gaia's Blessing 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) and rolls again.

This makes the Gaia's Blessing spell exceptionally useful when combating enemy wizards who keep casting Raise Volcano at the land near your towns, or who are maintaining an Armageddon spell that you have no way of removing. Though Volcanoes will keep appearing near your towns, at least they will be turned into productive Hills by Gaia's Blessing.

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