I have grown used to something of a regular pattern EVE Online, at least when it comes to equipment and abilities. The general rule seemed, to me, to be:
Once you have learned the minimum skills, you can use the item or ability it unlocks.
You may not be very efficient or effective with it, but you can learn more skills to help you with that. The key item is that if you only wanted to do a single thing, you could get the skill and do it as badly or as slowly as you wanted.
If I want to use a medium hybrid turret, I just need the right skill. I may not be accurate or do much damage, but I can mount the thing on my ship and blaze away for all I am worth.
Similarly, if I want to use a blueprint to make 150,000 Widowmaker missiles, I need only the skills and the raw materials and I am set.
Basically, everything is out in the open. If you cannot do something, you know why. If you cannot do something well, you can find out easily how to improve.
And so, when I decided to venture down the road of Invention in EVE Online, that was my pre-conceived notion. Learn the skills, do the inventing.
I figured the main barrier to invention was the price and scarcity of the skills.
I decided I wanted to make a Tech II blueprint copy of my Cargohold Optimization Rig blueprint.
To get there required an arm’s length of skill learning. While some of the skills were a bit pricey, running in the 10-20 million ISK range, nothing ranked up there with Minmatar Encryption Methods. There was exactly one of that skill on the market and the price tag weighed in at 139 million ISK.
But I was determined. I bought the skills and trained them.
The data cores were over a million ISK each, and invention called for four of them, plus a Cryptic Tuner Data Interface, which could only be had for 35 million ISK.
But I was game. I spent my money, trained my skills, copied the blueprint, and ran off to do invention for the very first time.
Unlike material efficiency, or copying for that matter, there were plenty of slots available for invention.
So I put everything I needed, the blueprint copy, the data cores, and the interface, into the items window at the station, opened up the Science and Industry window, selected one of the many free invention slots, installed my job, and then waited.
Even the wait was not that long. Inventing was going to take me less than three hours.
So I started thinking about what to do with this spiffy, new, tech II blueprint I would be producing.
Should I keep it and try to sell it?
If I kept it, I would hold the source of production. But the materials costs are pretty steep, and I was already in the hole over 200 million ISK at this point.
No, I should sell it. But for how much? Enough to cover my costs, of course. But for how much beyond that? How much would this blueprint copy be worth? There were none listed in the contracts for my region. It could be very valuable indeed. This could set me up for a lot of other activities. This could be my big score!
Or so my thoughts ran while I waited.
I ignored the usual warning signs of doom, the thought that I was going to get a huge benefit from a relatively easy (if expensive) task.
And, finally, the timer popped, invention was over! It was time to reap what I had sewn!
I opened up the Science and Industry window and told it to deliver the completed job.
And I got this message:
NOTHING OF VALUE!?!?!?!
What does it mean “I’ve got a good feel for this job?” Is there some hidden stat that determines this? What beyond the skills do I need?
Obviously there is more to this invention stuff than skills and an empty invention slot.
Well, at least I made two copies of the blueprint, so I don’t have to wait for another copy to be made before I try again. Yes, it ate the blueprint copy as part of the process.
And the four data cores.
At least the data interface did not get consumed. That is 35 million ISK saved.
I knew, somewhere inside of me, that this seemed too easy.
But I feel a bit betrayed by CCP on this. Here is something that violates the patterns established by the game. Here is, apparently some hidden stat or attribute, a concept that seems contrary to the way the game is laid out.
Time to go see what I can find on invention.