Updated Mon, Sep 20, 2010 by Space Junkie
Part Two: Invention Material Acquisitions
The following materials are needed for each invention attempt:
The ship data interface is required to attempt invention jobs for any tech two Gallente or ORE ship. It will be the most expensive ingredient, but because it is not expended with use, it is a one-time only fee that will allow you start invention jobs for Gallente ships indefinitely. As of this writing, they cost about 45mil apiece. Consider it a one-time fee for letting you be able to invent hulks. You can always sell it back when you're done, too.
Covetor blueprint copies are turned into hulk blueprint copies via invention.
The covetor BPC can be purchased off of the Jita contracts market. They tend to cost about 1mil for a 1-run BPC, with varying prices for higher-run blueprints. Note that it is not cost-effective to purchase a covetor blueprint original, as they cost over 2bil apiece, and are unlikely to pay for themselves very quickly. The material efficiency and production efficiency are irrelevant with regards to invention, and will not affect the particulars of any hulk BPCs that are produced.
If we ignore the cost of the data interface, we see that the total cost per invention job may be broken down as follows:
As always, you can shave a good bit off of these costs by putting up buy orders and being patient.
Part Three: Starting Invention Jobs
Get all of your invention ingredients into a station with available invention slots. Right click on the covetor blueprint copy. Select the 'Invention' option. Pick an installation as you would with any lab or factory job. Ignore the base item popup, as it is not cost-effective to do with ships (at least, any ships that I have done the math on).
The decryptor part is the tricky bit. Decryptors are expensive, optional ingredients that can be added to an invention job. They can modify and of the following: chance of invention success, number of copy runs on a successful invention job, and the material and/or production efficiency of any blueprint copies produced. Sometimes it makes sense to use them, sometimes it does not. Math regarding them must be done carefully to ensure that ISK is not being wasted.
Barring the use of any decryptors (see below), successful ship invention jobs are always 1-run blueprint copies.
Part Three: The Dollars and Sense Of Selling Hulk BPCs
In order to put a price tag on your hulk blueprints, you need to figure out how much it is costing you to invent them. More specifically, you need to figure out how much it costs you per run of the blueprint.
First, you need to use an invention calculator (I use this one) to figure out your chance of success. Because this is a high-ticket invention job, you really should have Gallente Encryption Methods, Gallentean Starship Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering all trained to level IV. Anything less is a waste of time and money, because the chance of each invention attempt succeeding is dependent on what levels you have trained those three skills to.
For invention jobs that do not use decryptors, this is deduced with the following formula:
The success chance should be mathematically expressed as a fraction. So if you had a 25% success chance, it would plug into the formula as .25 in order to get an accurate result. Sometimes math is weird like that.
With the hulk invention job values plugged in, assuming that the pertinent skills are at IV, we get:
Note that the cost per run can be reduced by training any of the three skills listed above to level V.