I just played another run, and while there are still many topics that could use some focus, I’d say that the ministers are still the thing I am stubbing my toe on. The ministers are not a fun challenge, they are just annoying.
The first problem is that they seem to still have a hidden cap on what effectiveness they will reach. Some people are just better at their jobs than others, so it’s not unreasonable to have this as a feature in the game, but it needs to be declared and given reason. When my tax minister stops gaining effectiveness at 70%, it prevents me from implementing entire policies due to financial limitations. Again, this could be a reasonable limitation, if I were given some way to know approximately where they might hit it, and make a decision. Do I hire the more competent minister with loyalties to groups who don’t entirely like me? Or do I hire the loyal minister who is not as good at their job?
Second problem is that they are too powerful, still. I just had a $15 billion per quarter hole shot in the Canadian national budget because a religious tax minister quit (I had the schools teaching about evolution, I guess I made god angry). I know the minister carries a lot of responsibility, but they don’t produce an annual $60 billion with their efforts, they just don’t. The impact of the minister on costs and effects needs to be reduced.
Third, ministers hold onto grudges for too long. I had a starting minister with loyalty to a red group of voters. This is in no way a result of my play, as at launch the voter happinesses are what they are and the minister loyalties are what they are. I improved conditions for those voters to the point that they moved to a green opinion of me. Some of the policy changes to please these voters were implemented by the minister in question. The other loyalty was also green. The minster quit. If anything, this minister should have perceived success, having personally overseen the implementation of policies he cared about.