Greedy Goblin

Friday, June 8, 2012

Idea: streamlining EVE blueprint market

The blueprints in EVE are a mess. They can be originals (that can be used forever), they can be copies (with limited amount of usages), they are on various levels of material efficiency and time efficiency research. For this reason the blueprints can only be traded in contracts and usually handled by the manufacturer himself. While people sell their blueprints, it usually happens when they quit that production chain.

The above mess provides an artificial barrier from entering the production industry. You need to research your blueprints before you can start producing anything. To see how complicated this is, read the comment section of this post. To end this mess I suggest the following changes to the blueprint handling, in order to allow blueprints to be simply traded on the market system, sorting them easily instead of digging in public contracts.

There are certain "magic numbers" of ME: 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 and certain magic numbers of PE: 0, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50. If a blueprint has these numbers, it can be "decoupled" into "Design sheet" and "Efficiency sheet". So right-click-select "decouple" on a BPO that has ME 16 and PE 20, you get a DSO16 and a ESO20. They are two separate items. If you do the same on a BPO with non-magic numbers (for example ME 17, PE 21), you get a warning window that continuing this action will result in rounding down to the nearest magic number (resulting DSO16 and ESO20)

Performing decouple on a BPC (ME 16, PE 20) which had 10 remaining licensed runs will result in 10 pieces of DSC16 and 10 pieces of ESC20).

Currently a single blueprint can exist in maxME*maxPE*maxrun forms. After decoupling we get lg2(maxME)+1 forms of DS and maxPE/10+2 forms of ES. These can be traded on the market. So if you click on the "Badger mark II blueprint" item group, you find the following items:
  • Badger mark II design sheet original 0
  • ...
  • Badger mark II design sheet original 512
  • Badger mark II design sheet copy 0
  • ...
  • Badger mark II design sheet copy 512
  • Badger mark II efficiency sheet original 0
  • ...
  • Badger mark II efficiency sheet original 50
  • Badger mark II efficiency sheet copy 0
  • ...
  • Badger mark II efficiency sheet copy 50
That's 36 different items but the number can be tweaked by changing maximum or step size.

From the sheets you can re-make the blueprints with the "couple" function. To make it work, you must select a DSO and a ESO to receive a BPO, or a stack of DSC and an equal stack of ESC to receive a BPC with number of runs equal to the stack size (limited by max possible runs). You must recouple the sheets for research, copy, invention or manufacture.

This change would create a living market for blueprints where people can easily enter, either as buyers of lower quality blueprints, researching them for re-sale, or by buying the blueprints off the market to start production. This could be gained without taking anything away as you can use your BPs the old way, never decoupling them.

Friday morning report: 42.1B. (1 PLEX ahead, 1.1B spent on LCT, 0.1 on Rorqual)
Join the goblinworks channel for trading, hauling, crafting discussions.


serpentinelogic said...

I like it, although you may find that some items need 'special case'ing (notably ship - especially capital ship - blueprints)

Bear in mind that some modules really benefit from high ME. I think I have some 425mm railguns with 350+ ME. However, I can see how the inherent production loss of a capped-at-ME50 bpc can be seen as a game-design feature.

Anonymous said...

lol, have fun researching your Avatar BPO to ME5 or be stuck with ME0.

Only takes 130 days per ME level and the cost savings beyond ME2 are negligible.

Gevlon said...

To solve both problems logarithmic scaling is added, so ME/PE can be 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 ...

Anonymous said...

Now this is a good idea.Everything that is simplier and have positive effects is better.

Hivemind said...

This isn't so much "streamlining the blueprint market" as it is "streamlining blueprints to fit on the market". As a suggestion with only that goal in mind it succeeds, but I think there is a significant cost for that success:

> You add a lot of clutter to the research and production side since you go from using a single blueprint, whether copy or original, to needing 2 originals or 2 stacks of copies for your job.

> The current production system would have to be redesigned to incorporate said stacks, as setting up jobs is inconvenient now but imagine having to set up 1500 individual jobs to make the equivalent of a single BPC of ammo!

> You would also need to redesign Invention since I know in some cases such as ammo the resulting T2 BPC's maximum runs are based on the available runs of the original BPC used. Not to mention that Invention would now need to be run on both the BP and the PS (Production Sheet) to get T2 versions of both.

> You lose a lot of the granularity of the current system by attempting to force all the different BPOs through your limited selection of ME/PE combinations. As an example, some Torpedo BPOs need an ME of 700+ to minimize waste of materials, while on the other end rig BPOs usually need ME 10-25 and capital ships usually gain no benefit beyond ME 2. You mentioned using a logarithmic scale to get around this, but even with that you need a lot of steps to cover both ends of the scale (12 to get high enough to include those 700 ME torpedos for example) and there's an increasing lack of flexibility as the numbers rise; your alternatives for the Torpedos are an inefficient 512 or an unnecessary 1024, when the ideal is actually between the two.

All that said, I do agree that the current options for buying and selling researched BPOs and BPCs are less than ideal; it's annoying having to wade through dozens of single run contracts to find the cheapest multi-run BPC, for example. Rather than overhauling the very nature of BPOs to try and squeeze them into the existing market framework though, I offer a counter proposal: Keep Blueprints as they are but set up a seperate market framework specifically for BPs. Slightly inspired by the Diablo 3 AH, it would allow sellers to post researched BPOs and BPCs effectively as standard market orders, while buyers can search based on minimum ME and PE for originals and minimum ME, PE and copies available for BPCs and receive all the orders that meet those criteria. For example, if I searched for, say, a Raven BPC with at least ME50, PE20 and 5 runs I would find all BPCs that matched those stats and also, for example, ME70, PE50 and 10 run BPCs since they're above the minimums I set. I wouldn't get an ME70, PE0, 3 run BPC however, because even though it's above the ME minimum it's below the others.

Gevlon said...

@Hivemind: you are right, so I redesigned it to take nothing away from the existing system, and adding mine only as an option.

Micah said...

If titan bpos only benefit to ME 2 then ME 2 could rescale to 50.

Anonymous said...

The comment section of GreedyGoblin is getting increasingly more interesting. Im liking the slightly naive but very efficient improvements Gevlon suggests that would unlikely come from a real EVE vet, coupled with the more practical approach some of the readers, like Hivemind. Its leading to good ideas. Im hoping that a CSM or CCP stakeholder is checking in on this blog, for the good of the game.

Antivyris said...

Perhaps this is a case where Occam's Razor needs to be applied.

Instead of creating a new BPO/BPC system, why not simply add the fields (ME/PE/Runs/Damage) to the market?

These would go in a new 'Damaged Goods' or such tab and become a secondary market tab, like a re-seller. However, you'd be able to search with much more variables, such as ME/PE, or Rigs (For built ships). While I understand this would 'hit' the contract market, it sounds like a more likely future scenario then a re-work of what CCP believes a jewel of a complex but beneficial system, the T2 Invention system.

Honestly, that's the real reason they don't touch the BPO system.

Anonymous said...

As I've said in your EVE channel, Hivemind explain way better than I have could. I agree with his analysis.

@Anonymous: Most of Gevlons ideas were on the table of vets I've talked to, and dismissed exactly because of arguments Hivemind (and I try to) bring across. Isolated, the ideas work, but on a larger scale, they reveal strong weaknesses in other sections of the game.

Only playing about as long as Gevlon, I do consider myself far deeper in the Game mechanics of many aspects of the game, and have constant feedback from vets, which I try to convey in the EVE channel.

It's probably not hard to figure who I am.

@Hivemind again: Maybe "we" or the "vets" should try to convey our ideas on a different level, because a lot of argumenting seems to be a simple communication issue. I've noticed in the Channel that many of my tipps and hints are taken with a "thank you" as long as they apply to basic concepts in the sandbox, but when I try to convey more advanced issues, people turn into "blocking mode".

I'm pretty sure by now it's just a matter of transporting the concepts, not a "people issue".

Anonymous said...

Please also don't forget direct channels, like blueprints or Legit trade that have specialised to work around the problems with contracting.