The B.E.P.I.S., or Business Exploration Protocol Incubation Sink, is a science tool tucked away right next to the E.X.P.E.R.I-MENTOR on all maps. Think of the two machines as brother and sister, actually. If the E.X.P.E.R.I-MENTOR uses brute force methods to discern the nature of objects and phenomena, then the B.E.P.I.S. takes a gentler approach, by committing tons of resources to the problem so that someone else will either figure it out, or give you an excuse to fire them.
To use the B.E.P.I.S. all you really need is an ID Card, a room with an APC, and some money. We'll get into the brass tacks of Why it works later and instead list how it works.
- Turn the machine on in the UI (Top Right Corner).
- Use your ID on the machine to assign your account for donations.
- Deposit Credits into the machine.
- ALTERNATIVELY: Remove credits/cash by hand and manually insert it into the machine.
- Press begin experiment (Bottom Right Corner).
And you're done! So what did you do?
When you begin the experiment, your money is simulated against fake business scenarios millions of times per second to assign a value of your research, to determine how far your money could have made against a simulated market. In reality, unless you meet either the Minor or Major thresholds, your simulated project wasn't valuable enough to glean any new products.
If your money surpasses the Major Threshold, you're rewarded a random, hidden tech, contained within a tech disk. You can upload it into the research network from any R&D Console to unlock the tech. The items unlocked by the tech may have associated departmental restrictions and may not be available for printing from all production machines, however where they are compatible they will be immediately printable. Once all hidden, experimental techs are discovered via this method, you will be rewarded a minor reward as a consolation prize.
If your money surpasses the Minor Threshold, the machine dispenses a new prototype of a product that wasn't successful enough on the market to warrant it's own tech, but WAS successful enough to at least get through production. Currently the 3 rewards available are the Polycircuit Aggregate, the Decal Painter, and the Party Pod (Machine Board).
If you fail to meet either minor or major success thresholds, the machine will dispense a reason for why the product failed to show results in the simulated market. Better than nothing, I suppose.
In the event that your product manages to not only miss both thresholds, but produce NEGATIVE profit, the machine will critically fail, and use a relatively large sum of power before shutting down. It will also attempt to produce a little doe.
Alright but how does it WORK
So, within the experiment, the minor threshold, major threshold, as well the stored cash in the machine are subject to a Gaussian, or Normal Distribution against it's base value. In the simplest terms, it's a bell curve where your assigned value is considered to be the halfway point of the curve. As you move left and right along the curve, there are large chunks of the chart that are split up by sections by a STD, or Standard Deviation. As you move more and more standard deviations along the X Axis of the curve, the more and more unlikely it is that your value will appear on that chart. The STD of the machine however remains at a constant 1000 credits at all times, so based on this metric, there's a 68% chance of your staged cash being 1000 credits lower OR higher as a result. Likewise, it's 95% likely to be between 2000 credits lower or higher, and 98% to be between 3000 lower and higher. Potentially, you could get EXCEPTIONALLY lucky and get pass the major threshold with a single dollar, but it would be a one in a million chance. In any case, you don't necessarily need 6000 credits to get the major reward from the machine, but your odds dramatically increase as you get closer to the value to offset potential losses. In addition, upgrading the machine with parts adds an artificial amount of credits to your deposit value (Labeled "Innovation Bonus") as well as decrease the cost of the major and minor thresholds with each experiment (Labeled "Risk Offset").