About those advanced starts..


Hunkalicious Holo
May 6, 2014
Hey everyone,

I'm currently in the process of working out some bugs with my Civ's handling of advanced starts -- basically when the player starts a game at any point beyond the Ancient era.

In doing so, I've discovered a few weird issues, but mostly -- does anyone even actually play with an advanced start? I personally never do, so part of my code made assumptions that didn't quite hold true when I started testing it for advanced start compatibility.

That's fixed easily enough though, and while I am curious how many people play with an advanced start, I ran into a bigger problem; Namely, the game appears to be broken.

Not all of it, but specifically the trade routes. As my Civ relies pretty heavily on trade, it's something that's kind of driving me up a wall, but I suspect there's not much I can do about it.

To explain: Internal trade routes provide food and production, and if my data is correct, it begins at +3 of each in the Ancient Era (via Caravans, leaving cargo ships aside for now) and increases by 0.5 per successive era -- +3.5 in Classical, +4.0 in Medieval, etc.

During an advanced start, it appears that the game is attempting to account for this progression, but manages to fail spectacularly somehow.

Note: All tests involved using IGE to give myself 2 settlers and 2 Caravans, along with a Granary and Workshop in the Capital for expedient testing. Civ used was America.

When I began the game at the Classical Era, a Food route gave me +3.5 Food. Okay, great. A production route gave me +2.67 Hammers. What? This is less than what I'd get starting from the Ancient Era!

It gets worse.
Medieval start: +4.0 Food / +2.84 Hammers
Renaissance start: +4.05 Food / +2.34 Hammers

I gave up at this point. The numbers don't make any sense anymore.

Am I crazy, or is this game just broken here?

A sudden thought strikes me, but unfortunately, I'm not too sure where to look into the XML files to support this:
During an advanced start, costs for everything are adjusted somehow, somewhere, by some value, such that you don't spend 16,000 turns building a public school or something in the Future Era.
Is the game trying to also apply this modifier to the trade routes?

It still doesn't quite explain why the values would be different, if established precedent in a normal Ancient Era start game is that they provide the same amount of benefit.


Jul 23, 2013
Illinois, USA
The modifiers based on player starting era will be here:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization V\assets\DLC\Expansion2\Gameplay\XML\GameInfo\CIV5Eras.xml
Without all the extra stuff in-between the only thing that looks like it has an effect is (for ancient era):
for the other eras:
Although every Era also has modifiers for:
I believe those are all for modification based on starting era, though it's sometimes difficult to tell which columns are for the starting era, and which columns are for the Era regardless of when the player chooses to start gameplay.
The Growth Percent for Classical and Medieval is 100, whereas for Renaissance it is 90, Industrial is 75, Modern and Post-Modern is 60, Future is 50.
The Train Percents are: Ancient = 100, Classical = 80, Medieval = 67, Renaissance = 50, Industrial = 33, Modern = 25, Post-Modern = 25, Future = 18.
The Construct Percents are: Ancient = 100, Classical = 85, Medieval = 75, Renaissance = 55, Industrial = 37, Modern = 30, Post-Modern = 30, Future = 21.
There must be additional modifiers coming into play but I'm not sure where they would be.


Hunkalicious Holo
May 6, 2014
Yeah, I'm aware of Civ5Eras.xml as I looked through those, though I'll admit I don't quite understand what any of the "Times100" columns mean -- my assumption was that it was taking some value and multiplying it by 100 to form a more readable number; In other words, a bonus of 50 was 50/100 = 0.5 and this was being added to the trade route's base yield.

Either way, Renaissance start's GrowthPercent is stated as 90, and if I take the supposed 4.5 food for the trade route and multiply that by 0.9, I do indeed get 4.05. This could explain that particular drop-off, but none of these calculations appear to hold true for how the production routes are calculated.

In any case, I suppose as it affects everyone equally, it doesn't really matter all that much; This has been more of a reaction of "wtf, Firaxis?" that I had when I started paying attention to various details as I began testing advanced starts. I've no desire to fix this, as "fixing it" probably requires whoward-level knowledge, and then it'd only "fix" it for my Civ, which would make things unbalanced for everyone else. I just found it annoying that things weren't consistent.

As well, considering the number of views this thread has and the fact that no one else has posted a reply, I think it's safe to assume that I really shouldn't expend too much effort into advanced start compatibility anyway -- it seems no one really plays at such settings.
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