We think it's time. It's time to do what has been on the wishlist for a long time, removing the blueprint original lottery. It's not just that we have the Invention to replace it with but we think that with recent events, it's important that we move this transition up in priority. You have lost faith in the lottery and we should address that.
This blog is to get your feedback, the opportunity to raise your concerns with Invention as the mother of all ... Invention? :)
Is Invention ready for this?
Today, to a certain extent it is. Let's look at the basic mechanics of Invention.
In essence, we think the foundation is in place, the only thing we're hesitant about is whether the system is ready or not. Is Invention balanced enough to do it?
- It has player driven collection of the tools and components required,
- It allows all players to participate in new Tech levels regardless of whether or not they were playing EVE when that specific tech was released,
- Resource collection ties into multiple professions like Exploration, Hacking, Agent running etc.
- Invention is tied into the current research skill-base,
- Research Agents play a role, your Research Points are exchanged for vital components,
- Invention is facility based,
- Allows the creation of specialized Invention facilities (Named facilities etc.),
- Provides a pathway to new tech levels in a mechanism you are already invested in,
- The end result is an inefficient copy still providing an edge with an original, but preventing market dominance and carteling,
- Player ability to affect end result quality and select what he's interested in inventing based on market profitability, and
- A better alternative to Tech 1 distribution which results in an oversaturated market.
What do you really mean by balanced?
Invention has tons of values which we modify to adjust and change the various aspects of Invention. These values determine how powerful Invention is, what components are rare or common, where they drop, through what means you acquire them, etc. The process of Invention, after gathering all the stuff is also tune-able ad nauseum, i.e. how much does this affect the process, does it also affect the bluepring copy quality, by what quantity, and mucn more.
These - and a lot more like those - are the questions we've been asking ourselves since Invention came out. Identifying bottlenecks, finding out why only X of component Y has dropped. Why is this component so expensive? Oh, nobody was hacking in Exploration? But now they are? We boosted that, what does our data comparison show now, 2 weeks after that boost?
The basic answer is that we're feeling more comfortable with the overall process, but are still identifying bottlenecks, identifying areas which are too rare or exclusive but shouldn't be. We could use your help in identifying that, so calling all Inventers, spill your guts, tell us your war stories. The more insight, the better this transition will be and the sooner we will be rid of the lottery.
How do we then get blueprint originals in the future?
The short answer, is that you don't. When we transition over to Invention, we would accelerate the last blueprint lotteries. It's only fair that the ones that are already scheduled to go out be delivered. But say that we do the transition in Revelations 1.4, we would be accelerating the current schedule by 4 months. After that, Invention - the player driven way to achieve Tech 2 blueprint copies would be the only way to get into Tech 2.
Why? Well, at this point in time, we're simply not confident that any other system which we implement to deliver these icons of endless weatlh would earn your full trust. We need to earn your trust through this first, then we should talk together and find the final solution.
Invention is a new system, it's much easier to track activity in and short of being our database administrator, you can't tamper with it. But that isn't really our main point, the main point is that if somehow, someone, tampers, exploits or hacks it, the damage is minimal, it's a blueprint copy and incredibly trackable.
Looking forward, perhaps the solution is simply stopping this original work and allowing reserarching of the copies from invention to make the them efficient after the invention process? Perhaps Reverse Engineering should be the mechanism to allow you to further increase the runs of an Invented copy at the cost of less efficiency?
We don't have the answers yet, but sincerely hope you'll participate in this debate about the future of technology in EVE and help us find the answers. A corny movie said, "you make me want to be a better Amarr" and I'm feelin' it.