Updated Thu, Nov 18, 2010 by Space Junkie
This article covers the first part of the process used to manufacture manticores: the art of ship invention. In this portion, we discuss the preparation work and skills required to invent manticores and discuss the math underlying their invention. See here for the next guide in the series.
Don't be intimidated by how complex the process seems, it's easy as pie once you have done it. This may not be something that a new player will want to do during his second or third month of playing EVE Online, but not so long after that it becomes a reasonable project with which to supplement a newish player's income.
Stealth bombers are amazingly cool ships. They are basically the space equivalent of submarines, only instead of submersion they use nigh-unbreakable cloaks. They are equally adept as scouts or support damage, and can warp around a dangerous system without much risk of being caught. The manticore is the Caldari stealth bomber, specialized in dealing kinetic damage, and having excellent fitting statistics, including the most CPU and a fourth mid-slot. Since most players are Caldari and kinetic damage is so flexible, it makes sense to make them.
The Manticore is a fine ship, and popular enough that you will always have someone to whom you can sell.
The invention process turns a limited-run blueprint copy of a tech one ship, the kestrel, into a limited-run manticore blueprint copy. Each invention attempt has a percentile chance of success or failure, with more difficult items having lower chances of success. Manticores are frigate-sized, so they have a reasonably high chance of being successfully invented. Any successful invention jobs produce limited-run blueprint copies can then be used to actually build manticores, or sold off to industrialists looking to do so.
A goodly number of skills are needed in order to invent manticores, as well as a smallish amount of investment capital. That's what it takes to make any tech two ship, and supplementing your income stream is totally worth it.
Step One: Train Skills
The skills below will be needed, and will require several weeks. Most of them can help in other ways, like improving your ship's structure hit points, allowing you to run hacking-based exploration sites, or being part of the skills used with R&D agents. These skills will also allow the invention of any other tech two caldari ship, which will inevitably come in handy. Beware the price tags involved, though, as some of these skills can cost around 10mil ISK, apiece.
Once these skills are trained, you are capable of competent invention jobs, and it is time to get the ingredients. If you are in a hurry, you can probably get away with skipping level IV of Caldari Starship Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, but doing so reduces your bottom line.
Step Two: Shopping
In order to invent tech two Caldari ships of any kind, you will need to purchase the following:
This is a one time purchase, as the interface is re-usable. It is essentially a permission slip to invent Caldari ships. It costs about 16mil ISK and will last for as long as you play EVE.
For each manticore invention attempt, you will require the following:
The datacores and blueprint are consumed in each invention attempt. You will likely require about three invention attempts for each successfully produced manticore blueprint copy, so buy accordingly.
All of these goods are available in Jita, though the kestrel blueprint copy may require a bulk purchase in order to get a good price. Note that for our purposes the number of runs on the blueprint, material efficiency, and production efficiency are all irrelevant.