Invention 101

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This is a syllabus for a class, intended primarily for the teaching staff.

Teachers should only use this as a guide -- ensure there is added value for students rather than simply reading this document.


Class Information

This is a syllabus for a class provided by EVE University. This section contains information about this class and its contents. General Information includes materials to create a proper class listing on the EVE University forum. Additional resources and teaching tips are listed under Notes for the Teacher.

General Information

Post this in the forums (remember to change the date and time)

[size=200][color=#FFFF00][b]Intro to Tech II Invention[/b][/color][/size]


This class introduces players to the Invention process, required for lucrative Tech II manufacturing.

[color=#FFFF00]When:[/color] Date and EVE Time
[color=#FFFF00]Where:[/color] Public Mumble and Lecture.E-UNI 
[color=#FFFF00]Duration:[/color] ~1 hour for lecture and Q&A

[color=#FFFF00]Topics Covered:[/color]
[list][*]What is invention?
[*]Required skills for invention
[*]Required equipment for invention
[*]The invention process - step by step
[*]Maximizing your chance for invention success
[*]Introduction to advanced invention topics
[*]Q&A [/list]
[color=#FFFF00]Student requirements:[/color]
[list][*]Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up: [url][/url].
[*]Access to the Lecture.E-UNI in-game chat channel.
[*]This class is entirely lecture, punctuated by Q&A throughout.[/list]

[color=#FFFF00][b]Questions?[/b][/color] Ask in this thread.

Notes for the Teacher

Required materials:

Class Contents


Welcome to Invention 101. Invention is the process in EVE that produces Tech II blueprint copies, from which one can manufacture advanced technology items and ships. Tech II items command higher prices in the market and can be a very lucrative way for players to earn ISK. However, for those that are not well prepared, trying to perform invention can be a costly nightmare.

This course is designed primarily for players that are thinking about getting into manufacturing of advanced technology items - and in so doing, benefit from the higher prices of Tech II items in the market.

Over the next hour, I will explain how the invention process came about in EVE, what kind of skills and equipment you need to perform invention, how the process actually works, and some methods for maximizing the success of your invention efforts.

(Instructor should then introduce himself or herself - covering relevant experience level and background.)

We have a few ground rules for this class:

  • Please configure your Mumble settings for "Push to Talk" if you have not already done so.
  • Feel free to type any questions in the Class.E-UNI chat channel as we proceed - I will try to answer your questions as they come during the class. [At the end of my lecture, we'll open Mumble for any further questions or general discussion.]
  • There are no practical exercises in this class. However, I recommend that you be docked up and somewhere safe during this lecture.

Everyone ready? OK, then - let's begin....

What is invention?

  • Invention is the means by which you produce blueprint copies for Tech II items and ships in EVE, which can then be sold on the market, or (more popularly) be used to manufacture those items for sale or personal use in the game.
  • A little history about Tech II production....
    • Once upon a time, CCP decided that Tech II items and ships would be a cool thing to offer to EVE players.
    • This, however, presented a problem. To maintain play balance, Tech II items had to be more expensive and harder to get than Tech I items, since they represent a significant improvement in performance. They couldn't simply seed Tech II blueprints in stations, as Tech I BPOs are provided, or else no one would ever make Tech I items anymore. And so, in their infinite wisdom, CCP created the Tech II BPO lottery, where a limited number of Tech II blueprint originals were awarded to players, based on the number of research datacores they owned. This happened with the Castor expansion in 2003.
    • This solution, naturally, presented some new problems. The production of Tech II items was reserved to a relatively small number of experienced EVE players who were lucky enough to get one of the BPOs. This allowed them to control the prices completely, making T2 items dreadfully expensive. Also, there were rumors abound that CCP was rigging the lottery to favor certain players or corporations, making it unfair.
    • So, in their now smarter infinite wisdom, CCP developed the invention process with the Revalations expansion in 2006, which allows any EVE player to produce Tech II blueprint copies, after a significant investment in skills, materials, and equipment. The invention process produces limited-run Tech II blueprint copies, but with a chance of failure, thus making Tech II item production more difficult, but still attractive enough to warrant investment by players. Since BPCs produce limited runs of items, unlike BPOs, the invention process also keeps Tech II item production at a much more intensive but more limited level than Tech I production.
    • Tech II BPOs still exist in EVE, and are highly prized and hideously expensive. Their owners have gotten very rich in the game, and they guard their use very diligently. Many have speculated that Tech II BPOs may one day be discontinued - if this ever happens, then the invention process will be the sole source of advanced tech items in the game.
  • A player using the invention process takes a blueprint copy for a lower tech item, adds certain specialized equipment, and attempts to create a blueprint copy for a higher tech item. Although it sounds simple, invention can be very expensive and difficult to do successfully.
  • Let's look at a Tech I item blueprint and get familiar with some useful information about invention.
    • Click on the link in chat for the "1MN Afterburner I Blueprint"
    • You'll see two tabs on the blueprint - one for "Attributes" and the other for "Bill of Materials".
      • The Attributes tab tells you how efficiently you can produce items from this blueprint - it shows the Material Level, Wastage, Productivity Level, and times for manufacturing time and various types of research. We are not going to cover the definitions of these items in this class. For now, you only need to know that blueprint efficiency is completely irrelevant to the invention process.
      • The Bill of Materials tab tells you what you need to manufacture the item, or to invent a higher technology version of that item. Click on the "Invention" tab. Here you'll see the required skills and materials required to conduct invention for this item.

Required skills for invention

  • You need to train several different types of skills in order to perform the invention process:
    • Basic skills - to give you access to encryption and advanced science skills
    • Encryption Method skills - there are one for each of the four races (Amarr, Gallente, Caldari, Minmatar), and every Tech II item requires a specific one
    • Advanced Science skills - each Tech II item requires at least two of these
  • The basic skills needed for invention are:
    • CPU Management II
    • Power Grid Management II
    • Electronics Upgrades III
    • Science V
    • Hacking II
  • There are four racial encryption methods skills:
    • Amarr Encryption Methods
    • Caldari Encryption Methods
    • Gallente Encryption Methods
    • Minmatar Encryption Methods
    • Each T2 item is associated with one of these encryption methods.
  • Each item also has two advanced science skills associated with it. The advanced science skills are:
    • (Racial) Starship Engineering - one for the four racial factions (Amarr, Gallente, Caldari, Minmatar)
    • Electromagnetic Physics
    • Electronic Engineering
    • Graviton Physics
    • High Energy Physics
    • Hydromagnetic Physics
    • Laser Physics
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Molecular Engineering
    • Nanite Engineering
    • Nuclear Physics
    • Plasma Physics
    • Quantum Physics
    • Rocket Science
  • An inventor must have the basic skills, the proper encryption method skill, and the two science skills trained, as required for each item, in order to start an Invention job. Higher skill levels of the encryption methods and science skills lead to a better chance of invention. The basic skills do not alter your success chances.
    • In order to see which skills are required, look in the Invention tab in a blueprint for any Tech I item.
    • For example, 1MN Afterburner invention requires:
      • Minmatar Encryption Methods 1
      • Molecular Engineering 1
        • Science 5
        • Mechanic 5
      • Rocket Science 1
        • Science 5
        • Electronics 5
    • You should train encryption skills to at least level 3, and advanced science skills at least to level 4, to have a good chance of invention success.
    • This handy reference guide shows how different combinations of science skills and corresponding datacores can be used to invent different items:

Equipment for invention

  • There are 2 mandatory items and 2 optional items needed for invention.
  • If you look on the "Info" for the BPC, there will be an Invention tab under the Bill of Materials. This tab will show all the needed items for the job. It does not include the optional items.
  • Mandatory Items:
    • Blueprint copy (mandatory item)
      • You must have a T1 blueprint copy (BPC) of the T2 item you wish to create. If the Invention job is successful, this BPC will be changed from T1 to T2. If the job is unsuccessful, the BPC will be destroyed.
      • The Material Efficiency and Production Efficiency of the BPC does not matter for an Invention job. The only attribute that matters is the number of runs on the BPC. This will directly affect the number of runs of the T2 BPC.
    • Datacores (mandatory items)
      • Each invention job will require two types of datacores. The number of datacores needed depends on the size of the object created. Small modules only require one datacore of each type while battleships require 32 of each type.
      • To learn how to acquire datacores, please attend the Datacore Farming 101 class.
  • Optional Items:
    • Base Item (optional item, but recommended)
      • One optional item that can be included is a base item - a "named" Tech 1 item of the type you are trying to invent.
      • These items increase the chance of a successful invention job significantly. The "Meta Level" of an item is the key factor.
      • You can use Meta Level 1 to 4 ("named" tech I items) as a base item for invention - Meta 0 items have no effect, and you cannot use higher Meta Level items than Meta Level 4. The higher the Meta Level of the base item, the better chances of success. Like datacores, this base item will be consumed during the Invention process, whether you are successful or not.
    • Decryptors (optional item, recommended for big expensive invention jobs, like T2 ships)
      • Decryptors are an optional item that can be added to the invention process. Decryptors affect the invention chance of the process as well as the material efficiency, production efficiency, and number of runs of the created T2 bpc. Decryptors will be consumed during the Invention process, successful or not.
      • When using no decryptor the base values for a T2 BPC are the following: Runs: 1 (ships) 10 Mods, ME: -4, PE: -4. Add the values from the decryptor to the base values to calculate the final outcome of the T2 BPC.
      • Excellent guide to decryptors (including new ones introduced in the Odyssey update):
      • For general reference:

The invention process

  • First, acquire all the requirements that you need for invention.
    • Check the Invention tab on your Tech I blueprint for all the required skills and materials.
    • Acquire a blueprint copy (BPC) for your Tech I item - make the number of production runs on this BPC to the maximum possible. (For example, on a Power Diagnostic System I BPC, the maximum number of runs is 300.)
    • Train the skills to the recommended levels.
    • Buy (or manufacture) the required items: BPC, datacores.
    • Acquire the base item (named meta 1-4 item) and/or decryptor, if you wish to use optional items to boost your chance of success.
  • Transport all required items to a station (or POS) that has public research labs.
    • For example, Poteque Pharma Biotech Research station at Reset VII-11 provides public research labs.
    • Note that the UNI research POS does not provide support for invention jobs as game mechanics do not allow corp inventions to be installed at an alliance PoS.
  • Select your Tech I BPC, right click on it, and select "Invention".
  • Complete the invention research job dialogue box:
    • Installation: select the research lab that will conduct the invention job.
    • Blueprint: select the Tech I BPC for this invention job.
    • Input/Output: show the location(s) for all required items needed for the job, and where you would like the Tech II BPC to be deposited, if successful.
    • Base Item: if you include an optional meta 1-4 item, select it here.
    • Decryptor: if you include a decryptor, select it here.
    • Output Type: if you can produce one of several types of Tech II BPCs from this invention job, select the desired output here. For example, conducting research on a Gallente Atron frigate can produce either an Ares or Taranis interceptor, depending on what you select.
  • Start the job and wait for the outcome. You can monitor the status of your invention jobs by clicking the Science & Industry button on your NeoCom, and select the 'Jobs' tab, then pressing the "Get Jobs" button. If you click on your job listing, the dialog will show useful things, including how long the job has to complete. This updates in real time, so you can leave the dialog up if you want a second-by-second countdown timer. Wait times for invention jobs range from about an hour for simple modules, up to several days for large ships.
  • When you select a completed job (from the Science & Industry listing on your NeoCom), there will be a Deliver button at the bottom of the dialog. Click that to have the product of your job delivered to you.
  • When delivered, you'll get either a "You were successful!" or a "You failed." message.
    • Items are consumed by the invention process, whether successful or not.
  • If successful, you'll get a Tech II item BPC.
    • Tech II module BPCs have runs of 10 items, unless modified by a decryptor.
    • Tech II ship BPCs have runs of 1 item, unless modified.
    • ME and PE on these Tech II BPCs are awful, so you'll have higher than normal requirements for manufacturing, including some specialty items. These items can be manufactured through Planetary Interaction, or in POS in null sec or low-sec space that conduct moon mining. But most starting inventors simply acquire them using buy orders in trade hubs.

Maximizing invention success

  • The chance for a succesful invention is calculated by this formula: Invention_Chance = Base_Chance * (1 + (0.01 * Encryption_Skill_Level)) * (1 + ((Datacore_1_Skill_Level + Datacore_2_Skill_Level) * (0.1 / (5 - Meta_Level)))) * Decryptor_Modifier
    • Base Chance
      • Modules and Ammo have a base probability of 40%
      • Frigates, Destroyers, Freighters and Skiff have a base probability of 30%
      • Cruisers, Industrials and Mackinaw have a base probability of 25%
      • Battlecruisers, Battleships and Hulk have a base probability of 20%
      • In summary, it's not difficult to get a good chance of success for modules, but progressively more difficult for ships as their size increases. This is why investing in some decryptors is a good idea for Tech II ship invention jobs.
    • (Racial) Encryption Skill Level
      • 0.01 x Encryption Skill Level (so something between 0.01 and 0.05)
    • Science Skills (one for each of the required datacores)
      • 0.02 x Combined Level of Advanced Science Skills (so something between 0.04 and 0.2)
    • Tech I Meta Level Item (optional)
      • Metalevel 0 item does not improve invention probability
    • Decryptor (optional)
      • See table above for probability multiplier
  • For example, using the invention chance calculator, enter these values:
    • Let's say we are inventing Power Diagnostic System II module blueprint copies, so select a Base chance value of 40%
    • Enter 3 for the level of your encryption skill - a moderate level of proficiency
    • Enter 4 for each of the two science skill levels - for a PDS, that would be High Energy Physics and Quantum Physics
    • Enter Metalevel 4 for our base item - for a PDS, this would be a "Beta Reactor Control: Diagnostic System I"
    • Enter None for decryptor
    • Press the "Recalculate" button. The probability of success is... 74.16%
    • Now enter Metalevel 0 for the base item and recalculate. The probability of success is now... 47.79% - this illustrates the value of using higher meta level base items in invention jobs.
    • You can experiment with different skill levels and items to see how the probability changes. Use this to determine the levels of skills you wish to train, and whether you want to invest in meta level items or decryptors.
  • Note that the following factors have no impact on the probability of invention success:
    • Using meta level 0 base items (as previously described)
    • Material Level of the input BPC
    • Productivity Level of the input BPC
    • Licensed runs of the input BPC (though it can affect output BPC runs)
    • How attractive, charming or brilliant you are  :-)
  • A few helpful guidelines:
    • Encryption skill affects the chance of success moderately - training up to level 3 is useful - beyond that, it produces only very slight improvement
    • Science skills affect success most significantly - train up to at least level 4, and eventually to level 5 if you are going to be producing significant amounts of certain items
    • Higher meta-level Tech I items can also affect success significantly - while optional, use meta 3 or 4 items (when affordable) if you can. You can place buy orders in the market to get some of these at very low prices from mission-runners who want to dump their loot.
    • Decryptors can virtually guarantee success, but can also be very expensive - in general, use these only for big items like Tech II ships.
    • To maximize profits from invention, you need to minimize your investment costs. This means using buy orders to purchase invention items in the market: datacores, meta items, decryptors. You'll also want to shop around to different stations to find the most affordable blueprint copying and invention research labs - they all charge fees for their services, and some more than others.
    • A very good invention profitability calculator:
    • An easy to use tool for analyzing the profitability of T2 invention and manufacturing:
    • Another helpful tool for analyzing the potential value of invention jobs is Eve-MEEP:
    • As you gain more experience in invention, you can experiment with different investments in your mix of skills, meta level items, and decryptors. Many inventors tire quickly of depending on public resources for blueprint copying, which are always in short supply. If you are going to be a serious producer of Tech II items, you will eventually want to establish a research POS, so that you always have lab slots available for copying and invention jobs. But that is the subject of another entire class....

Class Wrap-up

  • Thanks for attending!
    • If you liked the class, please send me a tip of 1 ISK, and include a comment when you send it.
    • I would appreciate any feedback from people on how to improve the class, positive or negative - send me an EVE mail with your ideas or critique.
  • Good luck, and may you become rich and powerful as a Tech II inventor!
  • Questions?
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