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.
style="font-style: italic;">The Manticore is a fine ship, and popular enough that you will always have someone to whom you can sell.
More manticores are sold, each day, than any other bomber type. This is because stealth bombers are prone to risky behavior. One wrong bomb, accidental de-cloaking, or poorly chosen target, and boom, no more bomber. So they sell quite well.
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.
- Hacking II
- Science III
- Electronics Upgrades III
- Caldari Encryption Methods IV
- Science V
- Mechanic V
- Caldari Starship Engineering IV
- Mechanical Engineering IV
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:
- x1 Esoteric Ship Data Interface
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:
- x2 Datacore - Caldari Starship Engineering
- x2 Datacore - Mechanical Engineering
- x1 Kestrel Blueprint Copy (1-run)
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.
Step Three: Inventing
Your ship data interface and all of the ingredients must be located in the same station, and it must have available invention slots. Right click on your kestrel blueprint copy, and select the invention option. Choose an invention slot to use, like any other industrial activity.
Ignore the base item option, as it is useful mainly for modules rather than ships. Also ignore the decryptor option, as they are not cost-effective to use for ships smaller than a cruiser, and even then the math of their utilization can be a pain to figure out.
Unless you ignore my advice and use a decryptor, the result of your successful invention jobs will always be a 1-run manticore blueprint copy with -4 material efficiency. The inclusion of various decryptors would change that information, but would likely result in unprofitably higher costs, or at best very minor savings that do not warrant their expenditure.
Part Four: Valuation Of Your Product
style="font-style: italic;">The most important part of inventing is figuring out how much ISK you are making, per attempt.
Leaving aside the data interface because of its re-usability, we may estimate the cost per invention job (as of this writing) as follows:
- x2 Datacore - Caldari Starship Engineering - .2mil ISK
- x2 Datacore - Mechanical Engineering - .638mil ISK
- x1 Kestrel Blueprint Copy (1-run) - .2mil ISK
- Total: 1.038mil ISK per attempt
That's how much an invention attempt costs, not how much your successful invention attempts cost. Every failed invention attempt raises the price of your successful attempts.
To figure out the price of your blueprint copy, you will need an invention calculator (this being the best) to figure out your chance of success, based on your particular skills. Once you have that, you can calculate the cost of your manticore blueprint. If you have your skills trained to IV, your chance should be 36.19%.
For invention jobs that do not use decryptors, this is deduced with the following formula:
- (Ship BPC Cost + Total Datacore Cost) / Success Chance = Cost Per Invented BPC Run
Please note that the chance of success must be expressed as a fraction in order for this formula to work. Assuming skills trained to IV and the prices at the time of this writing, we get this:
- (.2mil + .838mil) / .3619 = 2.87mil ISK per 1-run blueprint copy
Shaving Off Costs
Train Caldari Encryption Methods, Caldari Starship Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering to V in order to increase the odds that your invention attempts will meet with success. Also, use buy orders to get your datacores for as cheap as possible. The datacore market frequently experiences the dumping of large stocks to buy orders.
Now that you have some manticore blueprints, you can sell them, make them yourself, or hoard them for when you have better manufacturing skills trained. The actual manufacturing portion of making manticores will be covered in the second portion of this guide. Until then, may your invention attempts always meet with success!
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