Tech 2 BPO Returns

Stirring the Hornet’s Nest

The allure of Tech2 BPOs is high and the history surrounding them is very controversial. If you don’t believe me, perform a search on the forums and you will feast on delicious tears. Industry people have been forum raging about this topic since the introduction and CCP has not dared to make any adjustments to them.

Short refresher for non-industrialists: T2 items are manufactured from an invented blueprint copy that, based on success, comes from a copy of the T1 BPO + datacores + sometimes a decryptor to modify attributes of the end T2 BPC.

Owning a T2 BPO means you can bypass the invention process and manufacture with solely the T2 BPO that has unlimited runs.

Why the bitching? The majority of forum posts about T2 BPOs complain that the individuals who won them during the lottery phase print ISK.

Yes, they were very lucky and didn’t have to put down multiple billions for the BPO. Yes, they had a monopoly on T2 production. Had. The invention system, which was introduced after the lottery system, allows many people to participate in the T2 process. More competition, lower prices.

What’s the allure? For you PVP people, think of a T2 BPOs as a Titan — a giant prize that you can show off, protect, and use to enhance your infamy. When I first started getting into industry in 2008, I thought these were the win button of Eve.

Now the only way to get one is to buy one from another player, which brings me to my research. I want to show everyone that even though they do make money, the return on the investment is very poor in the majority of cases.

The Research

Below is a list of T2 BPOs that have sold on the public Eve Online forums. I used a market program to figure out the yearly profit and divided that by the sold cost to get a return.

Though you may be drawn in by the yearly profit numbers, consider the amount of ISK used to achieve that number.

A few of the BPOs seem to have a reasonable return and might even be a slightly reasonable investment if you can keep it producing 24×7. It looks like some Ammo, Mining Crystals, and Torpedo BPOs will start to turn you a profit beyond the original investment in 2-3 years. I would definitively stay away from the 5+ year items as I think a change to the invention, research, or nerfing of the T2 BPOs will most likely happen soon(tm).

A Loss?

Yes, I have found that a few (maybe 3-4%) of T2 BPOs return a loss. The ability of players to out manufacture with the Invention process sinks the profits below that of a researched T2 BPO. Keep in mind that if you own a T2 BPO, you only produce one item. During the build phase you can’t do anything else with the BPO.

The beauty of the invention framework is that you can be more flexible and can react to changing market conditions. The drawback is that there is an increase in the complexity to produce an item.

Better Methods

If you have piles of cash and want to sit idle in a manufacturing station making sure your T2 BPO is constantly in production, you might want to consider buying some. For the average industry person or corporation, it is a very poor investment.

To compare performance numbers, I am making around 8 B a month turning over 31 B. A T2 BPO, equal to around the same amount of capital, will make you 3.5-7 B a year.

Not a solid investment in my book. Put your money elsewhere.

Rage Against the Machine

I haven’t seen an idea to resolve the imbalance that I have liked yet. More on this later.

It does seem that the market impact isn’t as big as the hype indicates according to CCP Diagoras.

[update] April 4 2012


The Good

93.95% of T2 Gyrostabilizers produced in March 2012 were from invention.
In March 2012, 90.23% of Hulks and 84.17% of Mackinaws produced were from invention.
89.77% of 1400mm II, 82.00% of Tachyon II, 87.34% of 425mm Rail II, 74.23% of Torpedo Launcher II produced in March were from invention.
55.25% of Improved Cloaks and 91.93% of Covert Ops Cloaks were produced via invention in March 2012.
86.81% of 220mm Vulcan Autocannons produced in March were produced through invention.

The Eh

67.85% of Sabres and 65.01% of Wolves produced in March 2012 were the from invention.
72.27% of the 2,005 Falcons produced in March 2012 were produced through invention.
66.13% of Ishtars and 63.53% of Zealots produced in March 2012 were produced via invention.

The Ugly

27.60% of Curses and 22.16% of Pilgrims produced in March 2012 were from invention.
Only 7.07% of Absolutions and 23.62% of Sleipnirs produced in March 2012 were produced through invention.
44.58% of Cerberus and 6.00% of Eagles produced in March 2012 were procuded through invention.


Post lottery, T2 BPOs do make very passive income for a very large price. For the time it takes to get a return on your investment, the capital could better be spent in other areas.


20 Questions with Blake

This week I opened up the floor for questions on Twitter and here are some of your questions answered.

If I review the type of games that have really captivated me, they all contain a sandbox element. You are given a place to play, a set of tools, and you can do what you want within the limits of the game framework.

The Doom series, with it’s ability to create custom levels, textures, and game logic drew me into game design at an early age. The Sim City series was especially entertaining as you could build something up, save it, and then see how it performs under disaster scenarios. Alien invasion? Four volcanoes? <evil laugh>.

An amazing game called Star Control II really stands out. The first time I pulled up the map in Star Control II my eyes went huge with anticipation. You mean I can go to any system at any time? It isn’t all scripted? Eve mimics this type of exploration possibility.

I think I saw a ad for Eve on a side-banner ad at PCGamer’s site in 2009. At the time I wasn’t playing anything with any dedication and I had never played one of those new-fangled “MMORMOOPMMGOOPGs” so I thought I would give it a try.

I spent a few weeks trying to figure out how items were structured. Lows, Mids, and Highs? Lasers, Artillery, and Rails? Armor, Shields, and *gulp* Hull? I remember that I put some lasers on my Gallente frigate to run Level 1 missions and I exploded almost instantly due to not knowing how to tank damage.

After pouring through guides, forum posts, and chatting in the NPC channels I came to the conclusion that joining a corporation was the next course of action. Mining is fun, right? So let’s join a mining corporation.

Three years later, I still have relationships with some of the people in my original corporation. I can tell you who has kids, when time they wake up, go to work, and how drunk they can get and still warp to a gate. Space friends I tell you.

My dad’s name is Ray and he is a architect and private pilot. Here’s a picture of me flying with him in his Piper PA-32.

Please note that I have a fear of heights and yet strangely I feel very comfortable in a plane when my dad is piloting. I have major anxiety issues on commercial flights which I believe has to due with a trust factor; I trust my dad to pilot the plane well because I know his abilities. In the commercial setting, I have no control over what is going to happen.

And yes, I got the Kindergarten Cop reference.

I wish. have you looked at the T2 production workflow?! Eve Journey has a good summary of the skills and people involved but honestly, who at CCP came up with it?

I understand that it was designed so that no one person can control the entire chain from raw materials to end product, but come on. I’m an industrialist-spreadsheet-custom-sql-database-wallet-manager type of guy and have spent hours trying to figure out to optimize my Tier 2 production chains.

Try this trick: if the room is spinning, you should lay on your back on the bed. Place one leg on the floor. Strange, but it helps me out!

If you haven’t read this post about one corp member’s failed April Fools joke, then do so now. Here’s the crux of the post:

This year, I turned my brain towards a simple, yet massive prank: In between the hours of midnight and five AM, I was going to move the WH PoS one moon to the left, then, send a corp mail saying “har har i wuz spy and stole your iskies”.

I have not. It is all about chance. I can say that if you are in a C6/5 and scanning around there is a very high probability that you will run into Aperture Harmonics. When you get an undesirable WH link, you hop in your battleship, Orca, or Capital and close the wormhole.

One time we got a link to a Aperture system with a few Capitals in it. My corpmate wanted to close the link quickly so he got into his Orca. As he was about to warp to it I yelled over comms, “stop! hold position!” as a Aperture Dreadnaught appeared on our side of the wormhole. I sat quietly for a few seconds, taking a deep breath while looking at the ferocious Revelation waiting out his jump timer.

Before I reacted, he jumped back to their side, closing the wormhole. Apparently they also wanted to link closed! As always in wormhole space, have cloakey eyes everywhere.

Sound? Rain and thunderstorms. Favorite color? Navy blue. Eve in the next few years? I would like to have a BPO of every Capital, Subcapital, Module, and Ammo and become a industry giant. I’ve collected 3 Carrier, 3 Freighter, and the majority of the useful Module and Ammo BPOs, but I still have a long way to go.

Sleepers! Ah, yes. I spent an afternoon doing some reading on the origin of the Sleepers and found some very interesting comments from CCP Dropbear:

The complexity of the Sleeper’s story runs so deeply that it may take some time to understand.

The pieces of this puzzle are scattered across a wide area, and a stretch of time unlike any event in EVE has seen before.

We are watching and waiting for the day to come when the capsuleers will move this particular storyline forward. We are still waiting.

Ominous yet intriguing. Hopefully we are in store for the same type of depth as in the Babylon 5 “Space Opera” (as I call it) series.

Building a Jump Freighter

*Warning* Eve Industry Speak Ahead!

I have always been a builder. Even as a young child I would construct elaborate towers of falling water in the kitchen sink with dirty dishes and cups. My parents told me that I would entertain myself for hours with a small stream of running water and some dirty dishes.

There is something satisfying about taking smaller components and arranging them in a way to serve a higher purpose and I have definitely channeled this passion into Eve. Though the T2 production chain is complicated, there is a beauty to it.

I spend a lot of time on the Sell Forum section of the Eve website. Some deals are in your favor, but you have to do your research. One evening I found a person selling some invented Jump Freighter Blueprints and that really interested me. For a while now, I have been looking to put my Capital BPOs to good use as they have been sitting idle in station for over a month now.

The contract was for 6x ME-1 Anshar BPCs for 700 M, so 116.67 M each. I looked at Jita contracts for ME-1 BPCs and they were selling for around 180-200 M.

Perhaps I stumbled upon a weary industrialist looking to sell his inventory? The offer seemed like a legitimate deal so I accepted it. He even threw in two Obelisk T1 BPCs for free which run about 35 M each. Nice.

Channel Name:    Private Chat (Seller)
Listener:        Blake
Session started: 2011.08.15 19:19:54

[ 2011.08.15 19:19:56 ] Blake > hi
[ 2011.08.15 19:20:00 ] Seller > hey bud
[ 2011.08.15 19:20:04 ] Seller > you into those bpc?
[ 2011.08.15 19:20:17 ] Blake > nice price
[ 2011.08.15 19:20:19 ] Blake > I’ll take em
[ 2011.08.15 19:20:24 ] Seller > i’ll do all 6 for 700m
[ 2011.08.15 19:20:30 ] Seller > ok, contract to you? now?
[ 2011.08.15 19:20:36 ] Blake > yep
[ 2011.08.15 19:20:59 ] Seller > need those obelisk bpc as well?
[ 2011.08.15 19:21:21 ] Blake > not right now
[ 2011.08.15 19:21:35 ] Seller > foc
[ 2011.08.15 19:21:37 ] Seller > you can have them
[ 2011.08.15 19:22:33 ] Blake > foc?
[ 2011.08.15 19:22:39 ] Blake > oh oh free of charge?
[ 2011.08.15 19:22:40 ] Seller > free of charge
[ 2011.08.15 19:24:17 ] Blake > thanks man
[ 2011.08.15 19:24:24 ] Seller > my pleasure
[ 2011.08.15 19:24:26 ] Seller > enjoy :))
[ 2011.08.15 19:24:31 ] Blake > fly safe

Well now what do I do? I also needed to purchase the Gallente based Advanced Capital Ship Components which run 13.5 M each at NPC prices and get them to at least ME 10.

Right, now to build the things! Our T2 production page of the wallet manager is still taking shape, so I had to resort to using Excel to calculate the build costs.

Now before you rush out to get into Jump Freighter production, consider the large amount of time and capital involved.

First you need the T1 item for the T2 production job and building an Obelisk from BPCs kills the profits. If you build them from BPOs, there is about a 110 M profit at Jita mineral prices. Also, in order to timely produce a freighter, you need multiple copies of the BPOs. I found that you need 1:1:3:2 in order to build a freighter every 15 days.

Second, you need a freighter BPC for Invention, which take around a month copy or you can buy one on the market for around 35 M. Datacores for the Invention job cost about 18.4 M and are consumed during the job. For a ship of this cost level, you are going to also use a decryptor to affect ME output of the T2 BPC, which costs about 6 M and is also consumed.

Now stack up the odds of the Invention success chance with a 41.58 % theoretical max success rate, which means that a successful invention job costs around 61.7 M and takes 5 days for the result and you can see why this isn’t a common industry production chain.

Whew, now to put all the items together to make a fancy Jump Freighter!

If you like these type of Industry posts, let me know. I’m not sure if I should continue to write them or file them under ‘nobody cares’ like Eve Fail (a site which I personally enjoy).

Experimenting with T2 Production

I’ve decided to try my hands at Tech 2 production. I trained up three alts with Laboratory Operation V, Advanced Laboratory Operation IV, Science V,  ‘Beancounter’ Implants,  Mass Production V, Advanced Mass Production IV, and numerous Science skills in order to start on this endeavor.

Tech 2 production is much more complicated that Tech 1. With Tech 1, you can produce your item with minerals. Tech 2 involves moongoo, PI items, Morphite,  and an invented Tech 2 Blueprint Copy. Yes, yes, there are Tech 2 Blueprint Originals – we’re not getting into that conversation.

I plan on purchasing the Advanced Materials and producing Tech 2 Components. After some shopping in Jita, I ended up with a nice stock to start my production line.

I purchased a lot of BPOs for ships, drones, and general popular ship modules. After some reading, I decided to setup a Large POS with around 9 Labs. I have a mixture of Mobile Laboratories (1 Copy, 3 ME, 3 PE, 5 Invention) and Advanced Mobile Laboratories (3 Copy, 2 ME, 2 Invention).

I wanted to be able to keep track of how each item was performing because Invention success is random. I discovered that the API item “completedStatus” gives a 0 for a Invention failure and a 1 for a successful T2 BPC.

After creating some logic for the job result, I now have a nice section in my wallet manager program to track Invention jobs.

Next up is to create a page in my wallet manager that can report on the profitability of Tech 2 items as these values fluctuate with the prices of moon products.

Wish me luck. I would love to hear any tips from fellow Industrialists.