Are you sick and tired of selecting "massive player distance", and then meeting your first AI on turn 4?
Than this is the band-aid solution for you. The RMG is unable to figure out starting distance between different map layers, and therefore it often disrespects distance when some players start undergound.
This mod changes the Underground Adaptation trait to no longer prefer subterranean, and thus everyone will start on the surface.
Age Of Wonders 4