To install a reverse engineering job, you'll need more than just the relic. A hybrid tech decryptor for one of EVE's four races is required to specify which race of hull or subsystem your blueprint will be for. For example, using an Amarr hybrid tech decryptor will make the subsystem or hull blueprint it produces an Amarr Legion one. Next, you'll need the set of datacores specified on the reverse engineering tab of the relic's info pane. This varies depending on what type of relic you're using and includes both the standard datacores used in invention and subsystem datacores stolen from the Sleepers. Finally, you'll need one "R.A.M. - Hybrid Technology".
Subsystem datacores, Hybrid R.A.M. and hybrid tech decryptors are all retrieved from dangerous Sleeper hacking sites. Like invention, the job has a certain chance to succeed. Failed jobs sometimes result in a few datacores or a decryptor being returned but frequently result in all items being consumed. If you do manage to succeed with subsystem engineering, the output blueprint will be one of four possible subsystems in the chosen category and race. This is determined randomly, so it can take a few successful attempts before you'll get the blueprint you're looking for.
In the initial gold rush following the Apocrypha expansion, the prices of Tech 3 ships and subsystems was through the roof. For early adopters gathering the required materials themselves, it was practically impossible not to make a profit. Today, the market is a little more competitive and profit margins are much slimmer. Hull engineering is straight forward as you always get the hull of the race you selected if the job is successful. Unfortunately, the profit in hull manufacturing is quite small and the ISK investment in building them will be pretty large. Subsystems are where most of the profit is, but they're a little more complicated than hulls. Since you don't get to choose which exact blueprint type pops out of the lab, it's worth keeping in mind that not all of them are worth building.
Some high-demand subsystems are worth a lot more than others and for a few building them will actually lose ISK. It may seem like a shame to waste those blueprints but building them would be like pouring ISK into a big hole in the ground. Conversely, at any point in time there will be a few very high-profit subsystems and if you have managed to make the blueprint for them, you can be sure of a big payout. Creating a spreadsheet to keep track of profit margins might seem a little extreme but it really is the best way to stay on top of the market. In my experience, there are two main practical ways to combat the issue of random subsystem blueprints. The first is to keep a large stockpile of blueprints and check the market periodically to see what's the most profitable to build. The alternative is to try to deliberately engineer the most profitable blueprint and put any others to one side.
For example, the Legion's "Liquid Crystal Magnifier" offensive subsystem could currently produce 32 to 61 million ISK per run in profit. I could continually reverse engineer offensive subsystems using Amarr hybrid tech decryptors and hope to get that particular blueprint. If I produced any blueprints for the other three Amarr offensive subsystems, I'd put them to one side and look at them later. Both strategies work very well, even if you're buying the components from the market. Whatever you do, make sure you account for reverse engineering costs in your profit calculations, including all the failures and useless blueprints you went through before hitting pay-dirt.
With the Apocrypha expansion came Tech 3 modular strategic cruisers and the reverse engineering process that creates their blueprints. Built from new fulleride-enhanced mineral polymers and the reverse-engineered relics of ancient and powerful civilisations, Tech 3 represents the next stage of EVE's technological development. For those that have a knack for profiteering, wormhole space and reverse engineering can be a goldmine. In next week's final part of this bumper guide to world of research in EVE, I give a few of my favourite tips and tricks from my time as a researcher, inventor and relic hunter.
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at massively.com. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you want to message him, send him an e-mail at brendan.drain AT weblogsinc DOT com. Trapped in research lab. Please send help!