New Corruption Model


Lord of the Sea
Oct 7, 2003
Busan, South Korea
I think Soren's basic model for corruption (v1.15) is good, but instead of measuring the distance from the palace in terms of space, it should measure distance in terms of time to get there for a 1-move unit. Hence a city seven squares away connected by roads would have a 'corruption distance' (CD) of 2.3, whereas an unconnected city, four squares away would have a CD of 4.

When calculating for overseas cities, the fastest naval unit currently available should be used. If the city is over ocean squares and galley is the only available naval unit, then the actual distance should be used for calculation.

Thus, when railroads connect to a city, the corruption reduces accordingly and in the case of cities on other islands, an airport will dramatically reduce corruption.

I believe this would accurately model what is expected of corruption, what has happened historically and would also give greater incentive to building a good infrastructure.

It shouldn't be too difficult to implement such a change?

What do people think?


Dec 14, 2003
I think this is a great idea. It does, however, have huge problems. I would go for it when thinking about roads and pre-airport age, but I fail to see how this system could be used when cities are connected via railroads and airports (CD of 0). It simply can't work this way and making railroads and airports do something like "reduce corruption by 50%" seems artificial - even more so when considering the realistic approach that I so like in the idea. These problems should be overcome intelligently and realistically (and with a simple mechanism that can be understood even by the casual player and the beginner).

I do like this, I really do, but do you have any suggestions to these problems I brought up? Or someone else, for that?

The idea is great, however. This kind of innovative renovations is just what we need! :goodjob:

Commander Bello

Say No 2 Net Validations
Sep 3, 2003
near Koblenz, Germany
As I have stated earlier somewhere else, I regard the current corruption model as not very convincing.

So, I would propose another approach to it, which I think would be more 'realistic'.
When will corruption occur?
1) In the absence of law enforcement authorities
2) If there is something / somebody to corrupt
3) If corrupting seems to be a matter of survival
4) If people are not used to obey the law - because there is no tradition to enforce it
5) In any case, just due to human egoism

That means, you will face corruption always and everywhere (pt.4). What will be different is just the level of corruption (pt 1-4).

That would mean, that you will face higher corruption, if:
your city is either rich (producing a good amount of gpt - that would be as in pt. 2),
your city is very poor (low income, but high population - that is pt. 3),
your city will lack law enforcement authorities (courthouses, policemen, police stations, and maybe local headquarters - that is pt. 4)

If this theory would be put into code, it could result in the following:
a) At your capital, you may face a low corruption, since it is expected that your capital has a rather good income/populaton ratio. Since the highest authorities reside in that town, corruption will be decreased at the maximum level, thus making it very low.
b) At the richest cities of your empire, regardless of the distance from the Palace, you will face the highest corruption, since there are all necessary ingredients for corruption: high population, high income. Nevertheless, at these cities you are expected to be able to put law enforcement means into place at an early state, thus decreasing the corruption almost from the beginning
c) At the medium cities you will have less corruption than in the richest cities, but your law enforcement means will be put into place later, since there is less production capacity.
d) At the poorest cities, you will again have high corruption. Since the production capacities are low, it will be difficult to built up an effictivly working law enforcement power.

Since d) would make any new town very corrupt in the beginning of the game (and maybe to a lesser degree during the whole game) the adoption of the 'riding summoner' surely would make the game being more 'realistic'.
With the invention of railroads (or, as I would like it more, with highways as giving unlimited movement) the distance to the capital would become unimportant, since state authorities could reach any city connected by those means in almost nil time.
The inversion of this would be, that the invention of the railroad/highway would have some negative effect in the beginning. As far as I see it, this would balance things as the railroads in the moment are just very positive. They don't cost you gold, but boost growth and economy significantly.

Regarding pt. 4 from above, I would propose to make any law enforcement building become more effective, as time goes by - similar to the effectiveness of temples, colosseums and cathedrals. Maybe, they could double every 500 years (just a proposal).

Of course, there still has to be a cap, an upper limit.
As in another thread it already has been stated that corruption (this term used for corruption AND waste) becomes so bothering due to the loss in shields, less due to the loss of gold, that cap should be lower for the waste component. An upper limit of 66 or maybe 75% seems fair to me. For the corruption component, it could still be at 90%.

Since corruption now would be based on both, distance from the headquarter (measured in travel time), gold/population ratio in the given city and presence of any law enforcing means (boosted by the time being in place), this would mean the the most outside town is expected to have the highest corruption, that is, 75/90% waste/corruption. Every town more inside your empire would face less corruption.
At first glance, it may look unlogical that building a town far outside should lower corruption at the inside towns but this would simulate the effect that with expanding borders 'civilisation' and 'culture' are expanding as well (as happened in the american west).
If there would be a linear relation between distance and corruption, might be a matter of discussion. Under the assumption (to make it easier to understand) that there would be such a linear relation, the calculation per turn could be:
Distance between capital and most outside town: 20
Distance of a given city (A) to calculate corruption for: 7
Distance ratio: 7/20 = 35%
Upper limit of corruption: 90% => corruption in city (A)= 31.5%
Upper limit of waste: 75% => waste in city (A) = 26,25%

Against both values the law enforcement component would work.

Of course, any modifiers for wartime, government, unhappiness, whatever can be applied as well.

I suppose, that this logic could be:
easily implemented (at least it seems not more complicated than the current system)
easily be explained (half a page in the civilopedia should be sufficient)

Any comments are welcome!


Dec 14, 2003
I see you have given this some thought, and it shows. I like it, although there seems to be some parts I don't yet understand (I just woke up, so it is possible that there are many things in the world I can't grasp right now :crazyeye:. Let's see...

I don't think that the ratio between population vs. gold is as significant a factor in corruption as your system suggests. I am no expert in corruption, but I happen to live in Finland, which has happily been ranked number one in the list of less corrupted nations in the world several times. So I have a first-hand touch to what it is living in a nation with very little corruption. Finland is rather rich (your pt. 2), so we do have something to steal. Then why don't we? We have had no excessive enforcement (pt. 1) and we certainly have been starving not so long ago (being practically a developing nation the first half of the 20th century). So the reason must lie in the fourth point: we simply have a noncorrupt tradition.

And indeed. We stop by the "stop"-sign at three a.m. when there is absolutilely nobody around, we practically NEVER drive through red lights, even if nobody is in sight. We simply do as the law says because of the law, not because we get severe punishments doing otherwise (of course there are some exceptions - such as speeding). This is simply due to the nature we live in: we have always been dependent upon each other for survival, so thinking about the wellbeing of the nation is common. For the same reason, corruption is low in the other nothern countries.

What makes us so noncorrupt then? I think that first and foremost it is education. Finland happens to be ranked number one in literacy too. The Scandinavian people are well educated. This makes people understand the hampering effects corruption has upon us all. USA is highly corrupted (way more than most European nations) because they haven't got a sufficient basic education, or so I would think.

So I think that your system is fine, but it should take education into account more. The best thing a nation can do is the train their citizens and this relates to corruption/waste, or so I think.

Therefore I think that the corruption should be calculated by distance, pop/gold-ratio and education (whose effect should grow in time, as you suggested). This would add the significant effect of education in to the formula. I think it is not the law-enforcement that should become more effective as time goes by, but the effects of education. I think that law-enforcement does not teach people that tradition (pt 4), but education and understanding does. The problem with corrupted nations is that the enforcerers themselves are corrupted - you can get away with crimes by paying the authorities.

This is all I will say for now. I will ponder upon this (perhaps try to figure out a real model for calculating the corruption). I would still like to see the distance modifier tied to the actual time it takes to travel, as Balastulin suggested in the first place. It seems like a good idea, if it could be implemented - as it does make it more realistic and even easier to understand.

What do you think? So that the points in this won't be lost in my ramblings, here is a short summary:
1. Education is perhaps the most important factor in corruption. Thus make education levels affect corruption and make the corruption reducing capabilities of education develop in time.
2. Balastulins idea should be implemented in some form or another.


Sep 14, 2001
Moving distanct could be good but it would take along time to compute 512 cities' "distance" to the capital though all possible squares. A lower limit for production but not commerce might also work since shields don't transfer between cities like commerce does.


Jun 18, 2003
I think a simplier version of Commander Bello's corruption concept would be really nice!

It is already more promising than the current one.

A good idea is to cut corruption in a city according to size:

Small cities, 1 citizen, just founded: 20% max
2 -> 20
3 -> 30
4 -> 30%
5 -> 40%
6 -> 40%
7-9 -> 50%

9-12 -> 60%

above 12: 70%

and well... br. No, this will not work. But I still like my idea. :p


Jun 18, 2003
Even a 500 Mhz PC should have no trouble calculating the quickest route from one point to another within the fraction of a second. I do not think this should be the problem.
Top Bottom