They AI makes checks, I'm not attentive enough to know the details, assuming anyone has the foundation solid without an actual dev saying "it does X" but the basic idea is that the higher the number, the more often the ai goes "should I build this" or "can I build this".
Correct, but there is one caveat though: the AI still only gives out orders during AI ticks, which happen once every 10 seconds. Even if the AI is checking whether or not it should build ships once every second, it will still only queue up ships to be built every 10 seconds, so increasing the values to very high values becomes pointless after a while.
Psychoak nailed it, but this is the thread all the AI stuff has been discussed in, though its a bit messy and scattered around.
I'm guessing you're talking about the Artificial Unintelligence thread. Eh, sorry about the formatting, I initially wanted to group stuff by entityType, but things soon started to overlap and I started uncovering stuff that isn't tied to any entityType, so that's why details might be in weird places. I've been intermittently making minor formatting tweaks, but the more I fiddle with it, the more I realize I'll eventually need to move it over to a separate webpage, since there's only so much you can do in a forum post. Also, I think I found an easy way to trigger the generic faction AI, so I might just be able to hone in your odd capital ship grouping thing.