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EVE Online: Dev blog about invention and monsters E-mail
Monday, 09 October 2006
Some kind guy at CCP decided to dedicate some time to explain us better what the new invention system is about. From this blog we apprehend that it is basically a complete overhaul of the old EVE idea of reverse engineering.
The new feature seems to be going to add a lot more variety to the current game crafting system.

Nessie is the mother of invention

We’re in the final stages of the next big update (called Revelations) and things are getting quite hectic here at CCP. Blood, Sweat and Tears flow freely and Oveur is getting hairier by the minute. Yet despite this I’m taking time off to write you guys this blog. If that isn’t a sure sign of my affection for y’all I don’t know what is (well, one thing comes to mind, but it involves a lot of lubricants).

The subject of today’s blog is the much touted invention system. Once upon a time it was called reverse engineering, but we didn’t like it and sent it away and adopted invention instead, which is much more adorable and sometimes washes my car too. I’m not sure what the other Band of Bloggers have told you about invention in their blogs, so I’ll just assume you’re all blissfully ignorant.

In essence, invention is the process in which you take a tech I blueprint, jiggle it around and get a tech II blueprint as a result. Here are a few facts for you to digest:

  • Everything in the game that has a tech II equivalent can be invented. Modules, rigs and most ships can thus be invented.
  • Note on ships: Some ships (such as the battleships) don’t have tech II equivalent, so they can’t be invented.
  • Another note on ships: Some tech I ships have more than 1 tech II equivalent (such as Rifter -> Wolf/Jaguar). Currently, if you use for instance a Rifter blueprint as the basis you’ll get either Wolf or Jaguar (randomly determined).
  • Not another note on ships: Invention is chance based, if you fail you get nothing and still lose the blueprint you used as the basis of the invention job.
  • You only use and get BPCs, BPOs are never used or received in invention.
  • To start an invention job you need special ingredients. The ingredient you need the most is called Datacore (there are several different types of it) – more on the ingredients later.
  • The main avenue of getting your hands on Datacores is through research agents – you can use your research points to buy Datacores from the agent.
  • The old lottery system for Tech II BPOs will still be in place and will still be the only way to get a Tech II BPO.

To start an invention job you need the following items:

  • A Tech I BPC
  • Two different types of Datacores
  • A Data Interface

That’s the basics. If you want more details, read on. Here’s a flowchart we made, of Bob the Builder inventing:

I should note that this flowchart was made by a programmer. I can’t create such pretty pictures. My reference pictures usually look like this:

So lets go through the flowchart step by step:

  1. You start with a Tech I BPC
  2. You have the option of adding a Tech I item (of the correct type) to the job (adding a Tech II item does nothing). The better the metal-level of the item, the greater the chance of success is when using it.
  3. You also have the option of adding a so-called Decryptor to the job. Decryptors modify the job, for instance they can increase the chance of success or increase the number of runs you get.
  4. Moving to the middle of the flowchart you notice you need 2 different Datacores. Figuring out what Datacores you need is pretty straightforward. The Datacores are linked to the manufacture skills (Rocket Science, Molecular Engineering and so on), so you just need to check which two skills are required for the construction of the item you’re inventing and get the Datacores linked to those two skills.
  5. You also need a Data Interface. There are a total of 12 Data Interfaces in the game – they are racial based (Amarr, Minmatar, etc.) and come in three flavours: A regular, used for modules; Ship, used for (you guessed it) ships and Tuner, used for Rigs.
  6. On the far right we see that the job is successful (Bob the Builder got a Tech II BPC). He also gets his Data Interface back, they are never destroyed.
  7. Other items (Datacores, Tech I BPCs and the optional items) are always destroyed, no matter if the job is successful or not.
  8. The ME, PE and the number of runs in the target (Tech II) BPC depends on the stats on the Tech I BPC you used, but are much, much worse. This can however be slightly modified by Decryptors.

A little extra on the Data Interfaces – they are not available on the market, you need to harvest the BPCs, skills and ingredients to build them from profession sites in the game (these sites will be hidden and need to be scanned for using the new exploration system). On a side note, the same profession sites can also be harvested to get Datacores, Decryptors, skills and other relevant stuff.

So what skills do you need to use for invention? Well, there’s the invention skill for starters, the basic skill for the whole shenanigans. The invention skill will be available on the market. Then you need the existing manufacture skills to be able to use the Datacores. For instance, if you want to start an invention job that requires the Datacore linked to Rocket Science you need to have at least level 1 in Rocket Science to be able to use the Datacore (and hence start the job). Finally, you need the racial Encryption skills to use the Data Interfaces. These skills are already in the game, but currently are associated with pirate factions (i.e. Angel Encryption Methods). Once Revelations hits the street these skills will be associated with the empires instead (so Angel Encryption Methods becomes Minmatar Encryption Methods). This does not affect those that already have the skill.

The chance of succeeding an invention job depends on two main factors:

  • All items have a base chance (for instance, ships are harder to invent than modules).
  • The skill level of the player. The invention skill is the most important one, but your level in the manufacture skills (Rocket Science, etc.) that the Datacores require and the Encryption skills that the Data Interfaces require also matters.

In addition, using a Decryptor can modify your chances and using an item with high meta-level also increases the chance. Just be careful – the best meta-level items are usually faction items that are pretty good by themselves. As the item is destroyed in the job it might not be worth it to use it.

The idea with the invention system was to give players more power over their game environment, but it also heralds new times. I can’t go into any details here, but you can expect invention to take on even greater importance down the road. You can beg all you want, but I will not mention Tech III here. At all.

Finally, I’m not sure why Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, is the mother if invention, but I took the quotation from a reputable quotation page on the web. And who am I to challenge the wisdom of the Internet, eh?

So says Clover.

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