In Civilization 4, great merchants increased in value the further you sent them from your capital and the larger the city you sent them to. In Civilization 5, the tooltip / civilopedia entry seemed to say that the bonus is the same for any city state, so I sent my Great Merchant to the nearest one. I was very disappointed with the bonus (600 gold and 30 influence, I think) as it was fairly late in the game and a Golden Age would have netted me a lot of gold and production.

Is there something I missed that would have increased his value? Should I have sent him further away, or to a bigger city state?

1 Answer 1


The money gained from performing a diplomatic mission is 350 + (50 * <era number>) where era number is just a serial number starting with 0 for the ancient era. In addition game pacing also affect this number: quick games modify this value by 0.67, epic by 1.5 and marathon by 3; or in other words:

             Gold in   Gold in   Gold in  Gold in
Era          Quick     Standard  Epic     Marathon
Ancient      234.5     350       525      1050
Classical    268       400       600      1200
Medieval     301.5     450       675      1350
Renaissance  335       500       750      1500
Industrial   368.5     550       825      1650
Modern       402       600       900      1800
Future       435.5     650       975      1950

I know of nothing else which can affect the gold amount.

Now, if I have a strong economy in the late game I typically gain another 100-200 gold per turn when in a golden age. That means that the only way in which a golden age is preferable to a diplomatic mission is when it lasts at least 3 to 6 turns. But usually by the time I get to the late game my golden age duration from great people is really low, and if you take into consideration that the influence gained is worth a few hundreds in itself, you'll see that a golden age looks less and less profitable in comparison. All this is especially true if you play in longer game speeds, which translate to higher gold.

Of course, golden age also nets production, so it's still a dilemma; but I do believe merchants are worth it from the financial aspect.

  • Does the money earned scale along with the game speed at all? What about difficulty?
    – DMA57361
    Oct 18, 2010 at 9:05
  • @DMA I've added information about the values on different game speeds.
    – Oak
    Nov 23, 2010 at 8:54
  • good stuff; I'd upvote you again if I could.
    – DMA57361
    Nov 23, 2010 at 9:04

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