Tech 3 Production
Tech 3 ships - Strategic Cruisers and Tactical Destroyers - are made using materials obtained in wormhole space, and primarily constructed at a POS anchored in low or null security space (most commonly in w-space). As can be seen from the following flowchart there are 4 distinct manufacturing stages:
- React Polymers
- Construct Components
- Reverse Engineer subsystem and hull BPCs
- Construct subsystems and hulls
These steps, and the skills and materials for each are detailed below.
No skills are directly required to start polymer reactions, however:
- You will require a POS management role in your corporation, because the reactions can only be controlled through the management window of a POS anchored in low or null security space. Because of the security considerations, POS management roles in w-space corporations are very closely guarded.
- Anchoring (3x) is required at level II, in order to offline and online the reactors and silos during the set up of the reaction process.
- Polymer Reactions are seeded on the NPC market under Reactions > Polymer Reactions
- Fullerenes are obtained by harvesting gas sites in w-space. See Gas Cloud Mining for more details.
- Minerals are obtained from mining standard ores (either from Ores sites in w-space, or asteroid belts in k-space).
- Anchor (do not online) one Silo, two Biochemical Silos, one Polymer Reactor Array, and one Hybrid Polymer Silo.
- Place the Polymer Reaction you wish to use in the Reactor Array.
- Open the POS management using the Manage right-click option on the control tower, go to the Processes tab. You should see all your silos and reactor array, containing your chosen reaction.
- Click 'Change Type' on each of the Silos, and choose the correct material to be stored in each (the Hybrid Polymer Silo being the output silo).
- Drag and drop the output icon (right side) from each of the input silos onto the relevant input icons (left side) of the Polymer Reactor Array.
- Drag and drop the output icon from the Polymer Reactor array onto the input icon of the Hybrid Polymer Silo.
- Left side icons should change colour to indicate successful linking. Press Apply.
- Place your materials into the input silos.
- Online everything, starting with the Reactor Array. You should see the text Online - Starting Up on the Reactor Array.
To change the reaction being carried out after a run is complete, you will need to offline everything, remove all remaining materials from silos, Clear Links using the button, then start from 2. again, as above. The exact order you online and drag & drop things doesn't always matter, but be aware this CCP's POS code, and therefore a bit buggy - another reaction set-up guide (with images) is available at the Polymer Reactor Array page, which is slightly different.
Subsystem Component Construction
Despite the name, these components are used to construct both the subsystems and the hulls. You can manufacture these in station facilities in k-space, or at a Component Assembly Array (contains major benefits for time and material efficiency) at a POS. The BPOs are available under Blueprints > Manufacture & Research > Components > Subsystem Components and may be researched & copied as normal.
Each subsystem component BPO needs:
- Electromagnetic Physics trained to II, plus one of
- Graviton Physics II
- High Energy Physics II
- Mechanical Engineering II
- Plasma Physics II
Construction of subsystem components is from two material sources:
- Ancient Salvage is obtained by salvaging Sleeper wrecks in w-space.
- Hybrid Polymers obtained from the reaction process as previously described.
Invention of BPCs
This is the process by which T3 BPCs - for hulls and subsystems - are invented. The initial object required is an ancient relic, retrieved from Relic sites in w-space. Ancient relics look very like BPOs, except with a yellow background instead of a blue one. They come in three different flavours:
- Intact - highest chance of BPC invention (34% base), 20-run BPC
- Malfunctioning - medium chance of BPC invention (30% base), 10-run BPC
- Wrecked - lowest chance of BPC invention (22% base), 3-run BPC
There are also six different types, prefixed by the specific flavour (i.e. Intact, Malfunctioning or Wrecked):
- Hull Section - used to invention a T3 cruiser hull BPC
- Small Hull Section - used to invent a T3 destroyer BPC
- Weapon Subroutines - used to invent an Offensive Subsystem BPC
- Armor Nanobot - used to invent a Defensive Subsystem BPC
- Power Cores - used to invent an Engineering Subsystem BPC
- Electromechanical Component - used to invent an Electronic Subsystem BPC
- Thruster Sections - used to invent a Propulsion Subsystem BPC
- Sleeper Encryption Methods (4x) is the basic skill required for every type of Ancient Relic, and a higher level increases your chance at successfully inventing a blueprint, so preferably at IV or V for effective profit-making.
Then each ancient relic needs its own two skills - again a higher level increases your chance at successfully inventing a blueprint, so recommended at IV or V for effective profit-making. The Subsystem Technology skills themselves each require a specific science skill at IV.
- Weapon Subroutines - Plasma Physics & Offensive Subsystem Technology (which requires High Energy Physics IV)
- Armor Nanobot - Hydromagnetic Physics & Defensive Subsystem Technology (which requires Nanite Engineering IV)
- Power Cores - Quantum Physics & Engineering Subsystem Technology (which requires High Energy Physics IV)
- Electromechanical Component - Electronic Engineering & Electronic Subsystem Technology (which requires Electronic Engineering IV)
- Thruster Sections - Rocket Science & Propulsion Subsystem Technology (which requires Graviton Physics IV)
- Hull Section - Mechanical Engineering & Plasma Physics
- Ancient Relics are gathered from Relic sites in w-space using an Relic Analyzer (Archaeology skill). Some also drop from Data sites.
- Tech 3 Subsystem Datacores, Data Interface and R.Db.s (Research Database) are obtained from Data sites in w-space using a Data Analyzer (Hacking skill).
- Standard datacores are obtained from Factional Warfare LP stores, R & D agents, randomly from Data sites, or just the market.
T3 invention is mostly identical to normal T2 invention, making sure all your inputs are in the correct corporation hangar. It can also only be performed at an Experimental Lab anchored at a POS (or at a Caldari Research Outpost - a player-owned station in sovereign nullsec).
Construction of a subsystem requires the same two skills (not the Reverse Engineering skill) as needed to reverse engineer the ancient relic from which you found the BPC for this subsystem (see the previous section) plus three extra skills
- Advanced Medium Ship Construction (5x) to IV
- <Racial> Starship Engineering (5x) to IV
- Jury Rigging (2x) to V
T3 hull construction requires:
- Advanced Medium Ship Construction (5x) to V
- <Racial> Starship Engineering (5x) to V
- Mechanical Engineering (5x) to IV
- Components are created from salvage & hybrid polymers (see above)
- R.A.M.- Starship Tech is additionally required for hull construction, for which the BPO is sold by NPCs in k-space.
Subsystem construction can only be performed at a Subsystem Assembly Array anchored at a POS (or at an Amarr Factory Outpost - a player-owned station in sovereign nullsec). There is a popular misconception that T3 hull construction is also done at the subsystem construction array and cannot be done at an Advanced Ship Assembly Array, despite the name suggesting otherwise. This however was fixed a while back by CCP and T3 hulls can now only be produced at Advanced Medium Ship Assembly Arrays for cruisers and Advanced Small Ship Assembly Array for destroyers.
As you are now in no doubt, T3 construction is one of the most complex manufacturing process in EVE. Most of the T3 production activity in EVE is carried out by wormhole-based corporations at their own w-space POSes (although a fair amount is also done by sov null based corporations). Unfortunately, a particular problem with the final product is that it is impossible to assemble a T3 ship at a POS, it must be done in a station - meaning after the entire construction process is carried out in w-space, they need to be shipped out to k-space, assembled in station, then flown back into w-space for use.
T3 ships are therefore very expensive, with prices for a hull and all five subsystems (currently, July 2014) around the 300m-400m ISK mark.