"Invention" is a process to obtain a limited run blueprint copy for a Tech II item from inventing a blueprint copy for the base Tech I item. When used with Ancient Relics found in Wormhole Space Relic Sites, it is also the process of obtaining blueprint copies for Tech III subsystems and various Tech III ship hulls. Other than owning one of the few blueprint originals for Tech II items in the game, Invention is the only way to get most of the blueprints required for manufacturing Tech II items of all kinds, and the only way to get Tech III Blueprint Copies. The invention process does not produce guaranteed results and an invention job may fail and not deliver any result. If an Invention can result in different blueprint copies, the desired output can be chosen.
Invention Jobs are classed as "Science Job" and as such compete for the same job slots used by copying and researching Blueprint Originals.
Invention is marked throughout the game by a microscope symbol:
The items required to start an invention job for an item are listed within the "Invention" section of a blueprint copy for a Tech I item that has a Tech II variant (see "User Interface" below for an example). They usually are:
- the proper amount of Datacores, usually from two different fields. They are used up independent of job success:
- For inventing a Tech II Blueprint Copy, the blueprint copy for the base Tech I item is needed. One licensed production run will be used per invention run, independent of job success.
- For inventing a Tech III Blueprint Copy, an Ancient Relic is required. The relic will be used up in the job, independent of job success.
After selecting what to invent, setting up the invention job works the same way as setting up a standard manufacturing job: Select the blueprint copy to use, select the facility to use if not set by the blueprint location already, pick the input and output hangar location and set eventual optional items to be used for the job. If an invention of a base item can result in two different Tech II item, the choice for the result must be made within the result preview section of the job window.
The success chance will be shown as a bar around the blueprint and update as you select optional items that influence this chance.
Upon delivery of a completed invention job, a message pop up will tell whether the invention job has successfully produced a blueprint copy or not.