Corruption in Civilization 3 is a mechanic that reduces the output of production and commerce in a civilization's cities. Corruption that affects production output is called Waste, although its mechanics are otherwise exactly the same.
It is primarily affected by Government type, distance from the civilization capital and the total number of cities (relative to World Size). There are ways to reduce corruption and waste, either by connections to the trade network or local city improvements like the Courthouse.
Corruption and Waste
The total amount of corrupted Commerce and Production is governed by two types of corruption combined together to form total corruption for a particular city:
- Distance Corruption
- Rank Corruption
Distance corruption is based on a particular city's physical distance in tiles from the nearest Palace-type structure. The following formula is used to calculate distance, which results in peculiarities:
where and are the cardinal distance from the capital on a 2D plane. Instead of observing Pythagoras' theorem, the distance is simply found by counting tiles from the capital with diagonal distances counted as 1.5
This raw distance is now an adjusted to determine an effective distance to the nearest Palace-type structure. For every anti-corruption improvement (Courthouses, Police Stations) the effective distance of the city is halved. Additionally, being connected to the trade network and having a Democratic government also reduces distance corruption (while having a Despotic government increases it). Distance corruption is ultimately scaled to World Size and has a cap. Waste is calculated the same way, except when the city is under celebration the effective distance is halved for Waste purposes (Corruption remains unaffected though).
Rank corruption increases with the number of cities relative to World Size.