I’m going to sort of talk about wormhole stuff, but it won’t involve me actually going into a wormhole or talking about activities inside one, as at the moment wormholes don’t work properly as local is broken. Until CCP fix it, I’m not going into one
What I want to talk about is stuff that comes from wormholes, namely polymers, ancient relics and ancient salvaged materials, and then what you can do with these things. Yes… I’ve decided to try my hand at Reverse Engineering (RE) and manufacturing T3 subsystems.
A couple of months ago I decided that I’d like to try to make T3 stuff, as it was an area of industry in which I had no experience. After looking around and reading various things I worked out the additional skills I needed to train up on my main manufacturing toon, which ended up being Reverse Engineering (duh!) and subsystem science skills. I also found the rather helpful formula for calculating the percentage chance of RE, and so realised that I really needed to train all of these skills, as well as some other science skills, to level 5 to make the best use of the ISK I was planning to invest (or waste) in this exercise.
A couple of days ago the skill queue plan reached the point where I was comfortable in starting the RE process. From what I had gleaned, the first thing I needed was an experimental lab deployed in my POS, which would give me 3 RE slots. The other alternative was a Caldari Outpost, but they’re quite expensive and problematic to acquire and deploy, so I decided to go for the mobile lab. I’d also need R.A.M.- Hybrid Technology, which could only be purchased and not manufactured, as well as 3 each of two types of datacore, an Ancient Relic, and then finally a decryptor to decide which race the BPC will be if you are successful.
I also invested in a sub-system assembly array to deploy at my POS so I could make the things I would (hopefully) be producing BPC’s of from the RE process.
One thing (wait!) Two things (erm…) Three things that I found fascinating about the RE process were that firstly the type of Ancient Artefact used determined the base RE chance and not the decryptor as with T2, instead the decryptor decided the race of the output BPC. Secondly, if you’re unsuccessful in the RE process, you stand a chance of getting some of the materials back that you used, such as decryptors or datacores etc. Thirdly, you have no influence on what you might RE from the Ancient Artefact except for deciding the race (e.g. Amarr, Caldari etc.) or subsystem type if making subsystems and not ship hulls (e.g. electronic, propulsion etc.)
Using the below formula, I worked out that I’d have either a 40% (wrecked artefact), 60% (malfunctioning artefact) or 80% (intact artefact) chance of success with each RE job. Being a bit of a wimp at investing ISK, and wanting to see as many different flavours of output as possible, I decided to purchase 90 wrecked artefacts and 30 decryptors each of Amarr, Gallente and Minmatar. Why didn’t I have any Caldari in there? That is an easy question to answer – Gallente Decryptors cost 140k ISK each, Caldari Decryptors cost 5.9 million ISK each, and you use up one with each RE chance (although if you fail you have an, albeit reasonably low, chance that you might get that decryptor back). Tengu’s FTW?
Formula: % chance = Base Chance x (1 + (0.01 x Reverse Engineering Skill Level)) x (1 + (0.1 x (Datacore 1 Skill Level + Datacore 2 Skill Level)))
So based on the above, I should get an average of 4 successful RE jobs per 10 RE attempts – I’m using a toon with 10 slots. So far, after 20 RE attempts, I have 8 BPC’s, so it’s working exactly as expected for now. The interesting, and probably reasonably expected, thing from a manufacturing point is that all resulting BPC’s for each subsystem type cost the same to manufacture irrespective of type or race. If I haven’t explained that well, then all of the different Propulsion Subsystems cost the same to build for four races, the only actual difference is between the races, where the RE cost varies due to the cost of the decryptors.
So, the final sell price (using Jita sell prices) is then decided by demand depending on the various optimal fits for the different PvE and PvP uses. Again this is where an interesting point arises (sorry – serious overuse of the word “interesting” in this blog… but for me these things all really are) as the sell prices for some subsystems, and for all of the ship hulls, is below cost even if you acquire all of the materials by using buy orders instead of sell orders (polymers are based on buying them as polymers, not as base gases and reacting them). To me this suggests that quite a lot of T3 sub-systems and all of the T3 hulls are being manufactured by people who are either “harvesting” some or all of the materials themselves (certainly must be the case for T3 hulls), or they are just not looking at the market prices for things.
The final fascinating / interesting point I’ll make, and my closing comments at this stage of my experiment with the T3 manufacturing process, is that the margins are, on the whole, lower than in T2 production and that fact I find quite odd.