Phoebe Industry

 
As part of CCP’s wildly successful Crius industry revamp, CCP Yitterbium released a dev blog updating the newest changes coming in Phoebe.  Overall, many of the changes that were purposed in his initial dev blog, remain unchanged.  The science skills are being rebalanced to make more logical sense, invention and reverse engineering are being simplified into one unified math formula, and most importantly, Tech 3 production has been changed significantly from a random-chance production game to something much more determinate.  Of course, all this change doesn’t come with it’s own set of pitfalls.

Scientology

With Phoebe the science skills are getting a reshuffle, the list can be viewed here and here, the big take away, though, is that many of the 5x skills which used to require level four, now only need level one. That’s great for anyone thinking of starting up industrial alts, or are new to the game.  However, for most veteran character the skill reduction means a wasted month of training time, or if they’re really veteran, a year or more of training time wasted. CCP, however, wouldn’t leave people empty-handed.  That would be carelessly irresponsible. Is a skill point refund coming? Nope. For the Industrialist who already has everything, CCP has rewarded a 1% bonus to Time Efficiency. That’s good right? To put that into perspective: Scorch ammo currently requires Laser Physics IV and Electronic Engineering IV.  Each level of the skill gives a 1% bonus to Time-Efficiency (a modifier to build times), so there is a whopping 8% bonus.  In terms that make sense, the change will give players a seventeen minute reduction to a 3.5 hour build time.  Seventeen. Whole. Minutes. According to CCP this “is still going to give an incentive for players to train those [skills] up, or give an edge for players that already trained them.” Not likely. In most cases, the Time-Efficiency bonus only helps those who are constantly at their keyboard, or have corporate-projects that can be traded out between players.  That’s a very small minority of players who will benefit.  For most players the TE bonus means their industrial project, which used to complete when they got home from work/school will now end some time during the day when they’re unable to put in a new run, aka wasted production time.

Death of the Tech 3 Fleets:

While many players are outraged by the Jump Fatigue and 5 LY limit on force projection, something even worse is going unnoticed. Flying low under the radar, and mostly likely to the relief of CCP Yieterbium, is the change of the formula dictating Tech 2/Tech 3 invention chances. In the old days Tech 2 BPOs were handed out to lucky players who happened to find the right Research Agent at the right time.  That idea was quickly scrapped for a much more active play-style, leading to invention.  Invention was the process of taking Tech 1 BPCs and turning them into Tech 2 BPCs.  It required skills, equipment and most importantly luck. The math formula looked something exactly like this: InPh1

For those not math/industry inclined: Base is set at a number less than 1, and each skill level gave a slight increase.  The closer to 5 you got, the more and more likely you were to get a Tech 2 BPC.

The formula encouraged players to get their skills up and to actively produce job-orders; blueprint researching, copying and invention.  Datacores, racially specific data interfaces, and a meta level item were also needed for invention.  The higher the meta level the better luck at getting a Tech 2 BPC.  A proficient worker, with maxed out skills, would see about a 75% percent success rate for invention.  This level of success meant that a lot of Tech 2 BPCs were being produced, and subsequently wide-spread Tech 2 proliferation in the market. Later came Tech 3 and with it Reverse Engineering.  Now I’m not going to criticize the dev who came up with the math for tech 3, I’m sure they were rushed and had a lot more pressing concerns, but let’s just say they took the idea from somewhere else. The formula Pre-Phoebe looks like this: InPh2

Pretty similar to the Tech 2 math, don’t you think?

Reverse Engineering also worked fairly similar to Invention in that you needed an ancient relic,  datacores, hybrid tech databases, and a racial selector.  While there was no meta-level item that would improve the chances of success, there was a roulette wheel of what Tech 3 part would be invented.  Effectively there was a one-in-four chance of receiving a particular sub-system, with a slight likelihood of complete failure.  If the player maxed out their skills they would see an 80% success rate in inventing a Tech 3 BPC.  Sure, they might not get the BPC they wanted, but at least something would come out.  Many industrialists run multiple jobs in the hope of getting the one they need, leading to a market surplus of the BPCs they didn’t.  Like with Tech 2 invention, Tech 3 BPCs are fairly common on the market.

tengu

Now here comes Phoebe –

The “new maths” of Phoebe are a hybridization of Tech 2 and Tech 3 research, and look like this: InPh3 Great! CCP has simplified the math making it even easier to get into industry and invention. No longer will industrialists need to worry about the meta-level of an item, in fact, they won’t even need to worry about the item at all! Also, Data Interfaces, the items used to determine the subsystem race and category is being removed from the game.  Essentially, Excel/GoogleDocs everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief. So what does that mean for the Industrialists? The unified invention process, post-Phoebe, will only need the blueprint or relic, some data cores, some decryptors and finally a work-team.  Well… not yet. Invention work teams aren’t being released with Phoebe. Before you go running out and starting up the engines of industry, there is one small, kinda tiny thing, probably not even worth mentioning.  Remember those skills the industrist maxed to level five and were seeing 75-80% success rates? That’s a thing of the past.  With the new math changes, the highest possibility of success is now only about 49.58%.  Less than half the time an invention will be a success. Decryptors are about to go up in value a lot. On top of this nerf to Tech 3 BPC invention, CCP has found it necessary to also include a penalty for allowing players to pick which subsystem they can create.  You can see the full list here but the short of it is that there is going to be a necessary increase in Tech 3 parts. While Tech 3 production was already getting stopped up at the nanoribbon bottleneck, the new scarcity of Tech 3 BPCs and increase on Tech 3 sub-components means that there will be a very large price hike in the near future.  Coupled with the new destroyer announced, the future costs of Tech 3 production look about ready to spike sharply.

That’s a Wrap:

It’s hard to say with any certainty where the market and industry will go post-Phoebe.  Tech 2 invention was slightly nerfed, the likelihood of walking away with a new Redeemer, Jump Freighter, or Bomber BPC has taken a small hit, and the 1% TE bonus is a bit of a joke. Overall, though, it looks like Tech 2 is still in a good position, and will continue to be so. The removal of data interfaces means there is one less thing to worry about, and for anyone hoarding a stack of useless decryptors, the “simplification” will certainly reward you, while hurting the ones harboring all the useful ones. The real casualty in all of this, just like with Hyperion, is the wormhole industrialist.  From the changes to Tech 3 BPC drop-rate, to the increase in production material needed, and finally to the lack of invention teams coming along any time soon, wormhole industrialists are going to be watching the markets very closely.  With Tech 3 destroyers coming down the pipe, I wonder if there will be any one left to manufacture them.
Tags: Georgik, industry, phoebe

About the author

Georgik Sojik

Georgik is a Sniggwaffe graduate and Habitual Euthanasia member who dabbles in wormholes and industry to support a disturbing obsession with kpop which prevents him from investing any more time than he has to in funding his mediocre PVP activities.

  • Andy

    I’m a T3 producer and while most of this article is correct, i don’t understand your conclusion, specifically:

    “The real casualty in all of this, just like with Hyperion, is the
    wormhole industrialist. From the changes to Tech 3 BPC drop-rate, to
    the increase in production material needed, and finally to the lack of
    invention teams coming along any time soon, wormhole industrialists are
    going to be watching the markets very closely. With Tech 3 destroyers
    coming down the pipe, I wonder if there will be any one left to
    manufacture them.”

    some points i see atm:

    1) current T3 production profits are through the roof, but will stabilize in a couple of month
    2) MNR and most other WH loot is going up in demand and price, good for WH residents
    3) sleeper artifacts became more diverse, since now you can manipulate all 3 types (wrecked, malfunctioning, intact) using decryptors to get competitive priced BPC out

    4) BOM for the RE part is now evenly split, since the racial interfaces are no longer increasing caldari subs/hulls, so all subs can be priced in a more competitive way

    5) the RNG removal actually means a decline in datacore use for T3, since the overall “runs” output using decryptors did go up, even if success chances went down. As T3 producer its a no brainer to use a 3m +80% decryptor on top of a 15m artifact, which brings success chances back to the old level, while removing the 1/4 RNG chance.

    So to summarize, as a T3 producer i’m quite happy with the more valid RE options using all artifacts and decryptors. I see no indication, while i should swap to T2 production after Phoebe, on the contrary i expect better profits in the future, since i have more things to “optimize” to gain a advantage over my competition.

  • marcin_strus

    As a T3 industrialist I can assure You that the change in formula means nothing to the cost of t3 production. with decryptors increasing the probability and 10 or 20% and reducing the cost of materials we will be at worst be where we where before phoebe. Increase in material requirments of components and end product will be passed to the clinet. As simple as that.Also T3’s are now back to where they where a year ago price-wise, so right now we are making tons of isk.