Captain Kwok's Space Empires Depot
Captain Kwok's Balance Mod

Ministers in SE:V are components of the AI. In the Balance Mod, the ministers are generally designed to work together as a whole, so they don't always perform single tasks to the liking of human players looking to automate aspects of their empire. To help shed light on their behavior, I've created this Minister FAQ to let players know what each minister typically does. The list has been updated to reflect v1.19h of the Balance Mod.

Overview on Ministers

If you're using at least 1 minister, a series of script functions are run to provide information for the ministers to use. This includes a system by system analysis of all visible objects, compiling of lists, various settings for construction and resource usage, and the default AI preferences - which includes specific design type and weapon choices that may differ from the player's preferences. It's generally why you might see the minister's make wierd choices when they're activated.

There are plans to add a small analysis routine so that some ministers can interpret what the player might be using in terms of weapons and prefered ship types. This change will go a long way in making ministers more useful for the player.


Ministers - Empire Wide

Colony Types:
Chooses a colony type for colonized planets that do not have one. The colony type is important as it decides what facilities will be constructed. The minister will consider planet size, atmosphere compatibility, and current resource levels in making its decision.

Empire Goals:
Determines the current state of the AI. There are 5 states: Explore, Attack, Defend, Disconnected, and Infrastructure. The AI's choices for construction and research will be influenced by its state. The Explore state is when no other races are known and there are warp points to explore. Attack state is when the AI considers itself strong and can afford to be more aggressive. The Defend state is triggered when enemies are present in the AIís colony systems or the AI is weak overall compared to the other players. The Disconnected state occurs when there is a lack of warp points in its known systems. The infrastructure state is selected when all other states are false.

Enemy Analysis:
Determines the AI's priority and fear levels versus the other empires and does a brief analysis of enemy design types. The fear level is used to modify diplomacy, while the priority level is used in emphasizing locations to attack/defend and which empires represent the easiest or most difficult targets. It also examines at known enemy designs and checks for specific weapons or damage types, armor, and shield types being used by enemies.

Fleets:
Provides orders for fleets. The priority for orders are resupply, defend, attack, train, and maintain colonies during peacetime. The fleet minister also decides when fleets are to be created and if the fleetís focus will be skewed towards attack or defense. This will affect which type of ships get added to the fleet. The fleet minister also handles dispatching fleet ships for repair, retrofit, or to replenish their unit cargo.

Intelligence:
Handles intelligence operations for the AI. Generally, it will only use sabotage projects against enemies that it's at war with. For human players using this minister, it will use espionage projects against empires that are known, but don't have any relations. Aggressive or xenophobic empires will consider using sabotage attacks against empires itís not at war with, but donít have a treaty with.

Politics:
Handles all the diplomacy for the AI, including treaties, determining the AI's anger and mood, sending and replying to messages.

Research:
Determines the tech areas to research. The areas chosen are influenced by the AI's current state and how many wars it is involved in. The minister always picks 1 area in each of the 4 designated tech groups (Cultural, Theoretical, Applied, and Weapons) to research each turn.

Restricted Systems:
Not active.

Currently not active. However, the AI does designate systems to avoid for its non-combat ships, just not under this minister's guidance.

Vehicle Design:
Designs all the vehicles for an empire. It also marks old designs as obsolete. Note that it will only make designs for designs used by the default AI. However, you could always auto complete with the desired design type to have minister designs.


Ministers - Colonies

Colonies - Facilities:
Handles the scrapping of obsolete facilities for the AI or the scrapping of facilities to make room for better facilities like production modifier facilities or Monolith Facilities. Sometimes the minister will scrap a non-resource facility and build a resource facility if the empire is critically low in that resource. Other functions of the minister include adding Value Improvement Plants or Atmospheric Modification Planets if desired.

Colonies - Resource Conversion:
Converts resources for the AI when they are running low or have a deficit in another resource. The minister checks to see if a resource converter is available and then converts a certain amount resources at the conversion rate. This is actually a simulated conversion because there are no script functions available to convert resources through the game's mechanism.

Colonies - Drone Launching:
Launches Drone Groups. Normally launches Drones if there is an enemy presence in the system and there are enough drones in cargo to make a worthwhile group. This amount is usually 5 Drones. Drones are never recovered.

Colonies - Fighter Launching:
Launches Fighter groups. Normally launches fighters if there is an enemy presence in the system and there are enough fighters in cargo to make a worthwhile group. This amount is usually 20 fighters. Fighters are recovered on occasion so that obsolete ones can be scrapped if the Colonies - Unit Scrapping minister is activated.

Colonies - Mine Launching:
Launches mines around colonies. The minister will only launch mines if there is an enemy presence in the system and there are enough mines to make a worthwhile mine group. This amount is usually 20 mines. The minister will also recover mines on occasion to scrap obsolete mines if the Colonies - Unit Scrapping minister is activated.

Colonies - Satellite Launching:
Launches satellites around colonies. Minister will launch satellites more frequently in systems with an enemy presence. Sometimes satellites are launched in core systems to maintain sensor coverage in the system. The minister will sometimes recover satellite groups to remove obsolete designs if the Colonies Ė Unit Scrapping minister is activated.

Colonies - Population:
Ruthlessly scraps non-breathing population on a colony when there is also a breathable population present to undome the planet.

Colonies - Unit Scrapping:
Scraps units that are obsolete. The amount and number of units scrapped will depend on the colonyís location, type of unit, age of the design and the AIís resource and maintenance levels.


Ministers - Construction

Construction - Facilities:
Adds facilities to planetary construction queues. The type of facility will depend on a number of factors including the colony type, resource levels, need for facilities like spaceports or resupply depots, availability of modifier facilities, if the system could benefit from a system wide facility etc. This minister will also upgrade facilities if possible.

Construction - Ships:
Adds ships to space yard queues. The design type added will depend on the AIís demand for that design type, which is influenced by the AIís state and the number of ships of that design type in existence. The queues chosen for ships are generally the space yard queues with the highest build rates.

Construction - Units:
Adds units to construction queues. Like the Construction Ė Ships minister, the unit design type chosen will depend on the same demand factors. Typically, units are added first to colonies that are marked by the script as border, defense, or unit stockpile locations.

Construction - Queue Cleanup:
Removes obsolete designs or facilities from construction queues if they have not been started. The minister also removes items that are not complete if resource levels are low.


Ministers - Vehicles

Ships - (All) Cloaking:
Determines whether or not ships with cloaking devices or stealth armor should use them. Ships in enemy or empty space will activate their cloak assuming supplies are plentiful. The minister will also deactivated cloaks for ships in non-enemy systems to save supplies. This minister is not implemented in v1.15+ due to an SE5 issue with the cloak order via scripts.

Ships - (All) Mothballing:
Checks to see if non-combat ships or sometimes bases can be safely mothballed to save on resources when they are in short supply. The minister will also unmothball mothballed vehicles when resources become plentiful again.

Ships - (All) Renaming:
Simply renames ships after retrofit to match their new class. For example, a class 'Enoki' ship named 'Enoki 0003' if retrofit to a 'Prot'class would become the 'Prot 0003'. If the name contains an *, then the ship will never be re-named when the minister is active. If the name contains a ^, any text before the ^ will be retained in the new name. The minister does not check for duplicate names, so beware!

Ships - (All) Resupply:
Checks each ship not in a fleet whether or not it needs to be resupplied. If a ship is low on supplies, it gets ordered to nearest colony with supplies.

Ships - (All) Retrofit:
Checks to see if ships not in fleets need to be retrofitted. This will depend on the number of ships currently being retrofitted, the AIís resource status, and if the shipís design type can be retrofit. Ships in fleets are retrofit under the jurisdiction of the Fleets minister.

Ships - (All) Scrapping:
Checks to see if ships not in fleets should be scrapped. The criteria considered are if the ship is of a design type that is obsolete and approximately 50 turns old. If resources are low or maintenance is high, the age criteria will be reduced. There is also a random chance built in that a ship wonít be scrapped, which is to prevent all the ships of a certain design type from receiving scrap orders all at once.

Ships - Attack Bases:
Gives orders to ships of the Attack Base design type, commonly used for ships built on a base ship hull. The first priority is to check for targets that it can attack. If there are no targets to attack, the Attack Base will be sent to join a fleet.

Ships - Attack Ships:
Gives orders to combat ships. This includes the following design types: Attack Ships, Defense Ships, Missile Ships, Point-Defense Ships, and Bombardment Ships. However, not all our treated equally. Attack Ships may be assigned for various duties such as attacking, surveying, or exploring. If an Attack Ship has no orders, it will be sent to join a fleet. The other design types are almost always sent immediately to join a fleet.

Ships - Black Hole Creators:
The minister will send a Black Hole Creator ship to attempt to create a blackhole in an enemy system. To some degree it considers if the empire or its allies have ships in the system.

Ships - Black Hole Destroyers:
This minister sends Black Hole Destroyers to destroy black holes in the empire's vicinity assuming they are not a break between its borders and an enemy's border.

Ships - Boarding Ships:
This minister will send all Boarding Ships to join fleets. In the future, it may be expanded to include trying to capture lone enemy ships if the analyze order can be called from the AI scripts.

Ships - Cargo Transports:
Provides orders to ships with the Cargo Transport design type. The minister will order the Cargo Transport to pick up weapon platforms and drop them off at planets in defense locations. It will not pick up other unit types. Sometimes Cargo Transports will be used as Population Transports as well.

Ships - Colony Ships:
This minister dispatches colony ships to uncolonized planets. A colony ship will attempt to pick up population from the nearest colony and sometimes a weapon platform (if available) if the planet is in a defense system. Sometimes extra Colony Ships will be used as Population Transports.

Ships - Drone Carriers:
Gives orders to ships with the Drone Carrier design type. The ministerís first priority is to have the Drone Carrier pick up drones and once near capacity, it will be sent to join a fleet.

Ships - Fighter Carriers:
Gives orders to ships with the Carrier design type. The ministerís first priority is getting the Carrier to pick up fighters. Once near capacity, it will be sent to join a fleet.

Ships - Medical Ships:
Provides orders for ships with the design type Medical Ship. The minister will send the ship to colonies that are plagued in an attempt to cure them.

Ships - Mine Layers:
This minister provides orders to ships with the design type Mine Layer. The first priority is to load mines. Once it has a load of mines, the ship will be ordered to drop them at locations marked as unit drop locations Ė typically border warp points to unknown systems or enemy systems.

Ships - Mine Sweepers:
Provides orders for ships with the Mine Sweeper design type. The minister will sometimes send lone Mine Sweepers to marked minefields, but usually Mine Sweepers are sent directly to fleets.

Ships - Nebulae Creators: Now Operational in v1.15!
The minister will send a Nebulae Creator ship to attempt to create a nebula in an enemy system. To some degree it considers if the empire or its allies have ships in the system.

Ships - Nebulae Destroyers: Now Operational in v1.15!
Uses Nebulae Destroyers to destroy nebulae including those that act as barriers to nearby enemies.

Ships - Patrol Ships:
This minister gives orders to ships with the Patrol Ship design type. Patrol ships are sent to defense systems to provide moving sensor coverage. Sometimes they will attack a target if it is considered weaker than the patrol ship.

Ships - Planet Creators:
Uses Planet Creator ships to turn asteroids into habitable planets.

Ships - Planet Destroyers:
Sends Planet Destroyer ships to anhilate breathable enemy planets.

Ships - Population Transports:
This minister only controls ships with the Population Transport design type. Population Transports are sent to nearby planets with large populations to load population and then sent to nearby planets with low populations to drop off population. High population planets are those with either a large population or a moderately high population that is close to capacity. Low population planets are prioritized by their current percent capacity.

Ships - Ramming Ships:
Provides orders for ships of the design type Kamikaze Attack Ship. These ships are sent directly to join fleets.

Ships - Remote Mining Ships:
This minister provides orders for any of the Remote Mining Ship design types. Remote resource gathering ships are sent to nearby empty asteroid fields to mine until they need supply. The minister will only send them to non-hostile systems.

Ships - Satellite Layers:
This minister provides orders to ships with the design type Satellite Layer. The first priority is to load satellites. Once it has a load of satellites, the ship will be ordered to drop them at locations marked as unit drop locations Ė typically border warp points to unknown systems or enemy systems.

Ships - Space Yard Ships:
This minister controls ships with the design type Space Yard Ship. The first priority is to dispatch Space Yard Ships to damaged ships that are stranded. If no other orders, the Space Yard Ship will be ordered to build a Defense Base at a location marked as a unit drop location.

Ships - Star Creators:
Attempts to use Star Creator ships to convert nearby nebulae into stars.

Ships - Star Destroyers:
Uses Star Destroyers to blow up stars in enemy systems. Performs a rudimentary check for empire and allied assets in the system. Unfortunately does not use any 'Moktar Stealth Haste' to do so.

Ships - Storm Creators:
Not Active.

Ships - Storm Destroyers:
Controls Storm Destroyer ships to remove storms in the empire's territory.

Ships - Survey Ships:
This minister controls ships of the design types Explorer Ship or Scout Ship. The first priority is to explore unknown warp points. The second priority is to survey systems. If possible, the minister will attempt to stack explore and survey orders together. If no Scout or Explorer ships are available, the minister will try and use Attack Ships for this purpose.

Ships - Troop Transports:
Provides orders to the ships of Troop Transport design type. The first priority is pick up troops and sometimes fighters. Once the Troop Transport is near capacity, it is sent to join an attack fleet.

Ships - Warp Point Closers:
The minister will use Warp Point Closer ships to close warp points that lead to enemy territory.

Ships - Warp Point Openers:
Operates Warp Point Opener ships to create new warp points between unconnected systems in the empire's territory. A future addition will be to enable the minister to open warp points to systems belonging to weaker enemies.

Units - Drones:
This minister provides orders to launched Drone groups. The first priority is to attack nearby targets if possible. Otherwise Drone groups are sent to wait at a colony with a Space Yard and wait.

Units - Fighters:
This minister provides orders to launched Fighter groups. The first priority is to attack nearby targets if possible. Otherwise Fighter groups are sent to wait at a colony with a Space Yard. Sometimes they will be recovered if the Colonies Ė Fighter Launching minister is on.



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