Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Things they don't tell you about PI

As I mentioned in an earlier post, pvp is only likely to be self sustaining if you exclusively fly ships with a negligible hull cost - T1 frigates and the like. As generalist ships, these are not terribly well suited to the more specialist requirements of null sec and w-space. So I need some kind of pve income.

Like most people, I've tried mining in the past, and exploration. These are not bad ways to make ISK, once you have decent skills, but they are full time careers in and of themselves. Moreover, your income in directly proportional to the amount of time you devote to the activity. This is great when you need to dig yourself out of a hole - you can just spend more time on the activity - but not as great when it comes to providing a passive income.

Someone then suggested that I might try Planetary Interaction. Looking into it, I found that (as with many aspects of Eve) the learning curve is pretty high. However, the skill set and the buy-in costs were low, the income was largely passive, and I had the advantage of access to w-space planets. So after buying some skill books and a half dozen command centers, I was ready to start.

This is not a PI guide. There are fantastic guides out there, including some good videos put out by CCP, and I have no interest in duplicating that information here.

However, here a few tips from an admitted noob, that I did not see in any of the guides.

As a non-industrialist (that is, you intend to sell products for profit, rather than use them yourself), you will be looking at a 'balanced' planet - harvesting two kinds of P(0) resources and improving them up to P(2) or possibly P(3) - your limiting factor will be power grid. This is because each extractor control unit uses a massive amount of power, and you will need at least two of these because each extractor can only harvest one kind of resource at a time.

Further, you will need multiple extractor heads (more power grid) to feed the factories that you are setting up. So don't make the mistake that I made when I used 'storage' facilities for storage. Instead, go with spaceports - they cost masses of CPU, but no power grid; you have plenty of excess CPU, so you might as well use it.

The ratio of extractor heads to factories is also very different for wormhole PI than high sec PI. CCP's video had them setting up three extractor heads for each P(1) factory. Assuming a modest 1-2 day cycle time, you only need one extractor head per factory in a C2 wormhole. My first efforts massively over produced raw P(0) while failing to produce enough P(1).

Getting it wrong and starting over again a few times has cost me about 20 million ISK. But over the past few days, I've made that money back, and although I suspect that I'm not done tweaking (some of my colonies are under-performing, and I need to look into that), I'm on track to make 2-300 million ISK a month in passive income, or 75 million per colony. Not great, but a welcome boost.

However, my skills are very poor (about level III across the board), and these are multiplicative bonuses. So, if I push these skills up to level IV, I get another colony and all my colonies get better. If I decided to max things out (which will not be a priority; they are x4 skills) I could probably make 600+ million ISK per month.

It won't make me rich, but it certainly takes some of the sting out of each loss.

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