On and off the market wave

The local markets were very busy this last weekend, probably the most competitive I’ve seen them since around the time of the Crucible release.  While I ended up making 250M ISK, it took a lot more work.  Lots of 0.01ISK order updates – which I don’t really enjoy that much.  I will probably sit back and relax more now, waiting for things to settle after the impact of the escalation release.  (Which is just about to be implemented)

The Corp bank balance is over 1.6Bil – which is an increase of 1B in around 6 weeks.  (It got to a low of 600M with the costs of getting into T2 invention.)  Given it took almost a year to make the first Bil, I might have learnt something from the process after all.  I have a reasonable stock of minerals and T2 ingredients so can ride out of the next few weeks without having to gamble on the markets if I want, and I don’t have any risky speculative stock on hand.

The other thing I did on the weekend was to finally re-do and re-start my PI installations, which have been dormant for most of the last two months.  It took a substantial amount of time.   I researched the markets to pick 3 new items to produce, and while I am still doing Robotics, it is only at around 30% the volume.

I’m short one planet to cover off all the ingredients, so will have to train up Interplanetary Consolidation from IV to V on my main industry Alt once the invention related science skills are all completed to rank IV (in about 6 days).

Carebearing

As my back continues to slowly improve, I have been finding myself in EVE more and more of late.  The last few days in particular I have been very active.

I glanced down while updating my trade orders recently and noticed I had passed the 1B ISK on my buy orders.  I wondered if I had enough ISK in the Corp wallet to cover the full amount, and found that I did.  It is funny how the process just slowly builds momentum, even when you are not putting in much effort.

I do cringe when I read about the much larger profits other bloggers make with their industrial efforts.  Mine are woefully inadequate in comparison – but then again, so are my efforts.  I am happy enough with how things are plodding along.

The enforced fine tuning of my PI efforts are reaping rewards.  The change to 2 day cycles, updated layouts, and (due to taxes) much more careful selection and balancing of extraction means I am making as much in two days as I was in a week before Crucible.  While I am not working at it religiously every 2 days, and I expect prices to drop, even based on conservative estimates my profits have doubled.  I can even see plenty of opportunities to improve things even further.

Trading turnover continues its slow but steady increase.  My move into larger hulled ships has worked out better than expected.  While volumes are low, the margins are very good.  Flipping several hulls a week at profits between 10 and 40M each starts to add up.

If I maintain this overall effort, it is going to be interesting to see where the Corporation Bank Balance is by the end of 2012.

My T2 experimental production plans are moving along.  The required skills have a bit less than 40 days to go now, while the initial burst of blueprint copying and preparations should all be done in 25 odd days.  There are ingredients I am not familiar with, so I have to go investigate them, and see if I need further BPO’s.

My Xmas gift fuel block BPO’s still have about 26 days to go for their ME research (still queued), then will be swapped to PE.   I have 6+ months’ worth of fuel (small POS) to convert to blocks when those are all done.

Finally I ran across the map to pick up a few surplus ships I had been ignoring for a while now – mostly PVE related, a couple command ships, a couple Eris I used to use for salvaging, even a couple Noctis.  I gave these to Alt 2 to sell.  During my hanger clean up I found a Mining Foreman Mindlink, which I think I got in a mission years ago, which was worth around 10M at the time.  A quick glance at the market shows they are selling for over 500M now, so I decided to cash that one in.  These sales have earnt over 500M so far, with some 700M still to go.  It seemed like a good time to go through the process, since prices on many items have really gone up over the last couple months.  For example I sold a Megathron for 101M, which I purchased a couple months ago for 83M.

PI.13

Funny what little details you spot in EVE.  Today was the first time in Planet View that I noticed the Custom Office’s orbit is shown.

I’ve finished my PI changes which were triggered by the Tax increases.

. The extraction Cycle has been reduced from 7 to 2 days for all planets

. I’ve gone from 10 planets exporting goods each cycle down to 6, 3 only exported as production requires their input, and 1 now spare

. I was importing goods onto 4 planets.  Now it is only 2

. I’ve dropped a couple items that I was producing, and increased the extraction head units for the remaining ones

. Going forward I will be reducing and better balancing the ingredient stockpiles I operate with

Be interesting to see where the PI prices end up.  There has been some obvious market manipulation and speculation, which has seen price increases of between 10 and 30% of the various items I keep an eye on.  From the first big PI effort since Crucible, I spent 30M in Taxes, Planet changes and PI Market buys, sold 46M, and have another 60M for sale on the market.

EVE seems a bit busier since the expansion.  Yesterday there were 40,000+ people online, which was higher than I have seen for a while. Today when I logged in there were 47,000+.  That must give CCP a little hope.

In all my running around today, some of the little Crucible changes have really shone through.  Clicking Jump on a distance gate, and automatically warping to it first is excellent, and a real time saver.  (Plus I assume it will stop the horrible issue of having your freighter hit a gate and bounce 100km off while you are not watching.)  I can however see me clicking on it by mistake in 0.0, and losing ships.

Being able to auto pilot to a Station is also excellent.  A nice touch is that just like the icon of the next gate being highlighted in yellow, so is the station icon.  Unlike gates, where you warp in at 15km, and travel to 2.5km from it before jumping, with a station you seem to warp to 12.5km, and dock once you hit 0km.  I really do like that one.

The new PI transfer window is better, and saves on the number of clicks you need to do.  It is still not entirely intuitive though.

PI.12

After spending most of the year slowly introducing myself to PI, tweaking and experimenting (at a somewhat glacial pace I will admit), I come to what will be my last of the “old” Saturday morning PI runs.

The tax changes mean your PI decisions have consequences.  Make a mistake and you lose ISK on it.  Further – it has the chance of throwing the entire PI market on its head, so it might take a while before things settle on new price benchmarks.  As such, I need to change how I am doing things.

. I had planned to get Command Center Upgrades and Interplanetary Consolidation from rank IV to V on my two PI alts.  Alt 2 will finish Command Center Upgrades V in 3 days.  Once that is completed I will hold off on doing the remaining skills, until I understand the new reward levels from PI.

. I was using spare capacity in my network to stockpile different sorts of PI goods, some with long term goals, some speculative.  I will cut those out unless I have a specific and active goal.

. Of the PI goods I was using, due to unbalanced supply, some have slowly been stockpiling.  I will cut that production back.

. I will change my PI cycle from 7 days to 2 days.  I may not do the collections more frequently, but that better suits a more streamlined production of extracting only what I need.

. I am moving PI goods too much through a chain of planets and production facilities.  I will have to change this, and set up one or two primary factory planets.

. The PI goods I do put up on the market I will price towards making the same profit levels as I was getting before the tax increases.  If they don’t sell, that will in effect be stockpiling them for a while.

There is a supercilious glee from some quarters about the PI changes – happy that empire PI is being nerfed, happy at the thought Carebears are complaining, and somewhat over optimistic that this will mean more haulers for them to target outside of empire.  At the same time there are people on the other side complaining bitterly, saying that this will be the death of PI, the skies will fall in, and the game will end.  Yes – it is a nasty and unexpected ISK hit, and suddenly PI requires yet another set of EVE spreadsheets.  It is however EVE – adjust, see if the new price points still make it worthwhile for you individually, and change your approach accordingly.

There are a couple things about these changes which annoy me.  The first is that PI had a very low entry for new players.  Now there is a moderate hurdle they have to jump – first they could lose a lot of ISK if they don’t select PI items that sell well, and second, they now need to have enough collateral to pay for the taxes before they manage to get their first P4+ items to the market.

Second –Basically PI has become much riskier outside of Empire.  POCO’s are not really a solo option (unless you like to gamble).  They are probably best suited to 0.0 Alliances with established territories and region wide Intel channels, and possibly wormholes.  If people wanted more targets in low and null sec, this might well have the opposite effect.

Crucible thoughts 02 – Bend over PI; I have a little surprise for you

I’ve had a substantial increase in visitors the last couple of days – the vast majority of them seemed to be searching on PI taxes.  That was odd, so I went off to visit my normal EVE blogs, and soon found the busy Ripard Teg had the explanation:

http://jestertrek.blogspot.com/2011/12/doubled.html

CCP confirmed it:

http://www.eveonline.com/news.asp?a=single&nid=4813

So – the taxes had more of an impact than expected.  How bad could it be?  So I checked the impact out against 1 of my 2 PI alts.  Before Crucible, the weekly cycle was roughly:

Planet 1 – Export P2 – 4K
Planet 2 – Export P2 – 6K
Planet 3 – Import P2 – 3K, Export P3 – 2K
Planet 4 – Import P2 – 3K, Export P3 – 2K
Planet 5 – Import P3 – 5K, Export P4 – 75K

100,000 ISK in Taxes, making around 18M Profit for an hours effort.

After Crucibles 5 to 10% tax increase:

Planet 1 – Export P2 – 400K
Planet 2 – Export P2 – 300K
Planet 3 – Import P2 – 500K, Export P3 1,000K
Planet 4 – Import P2 – 500K, Export P3 1,000K
Planet 5 – Import P3 – 500K, Export P4 2,200K

6,400,000 ISK in Taxes, making 11.6M Profit (at current prices) for an hours effort.

WTF!?  A cost factor increase of 64 times!?  To maintain the same profits I will have to increase my prices by 30%.  Given the lack of product on the market right now – it wouldn’t surprise me if I got it.  I wonder how smart and dynamic CCP’s calculations are for their taxes?  Are we going to end up chasing our tails – with a 30% increase in prices, resulting in a 30% increase in the amount of tax taken, which will mean we have to increases our prices again.  It will balance out in the end, but you get the idea.

Oh well, it makes the tax return on your own custom office much more plausible now.  Meanwhile I notice in Alliance the chat is about how many Dreads you need to remove a Custom’s Office in one siege cycle, as they experiment while removing (mindlessly?) those in a NPC 0.0 system. It is EVE – you have to adjust. I am just glad I don’t have a POS right now.

Edit –

I just eyeballed the costs in my initial post.  The EVE Wiki outlines what the tax costs are now based on:

http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/CustomsOffice

. Tax % is taken off the material’s taxable value. ◦ This value is set by CCP and is based off the market values in November 2011

. Import Tax is always half of export tax

. The taxable value are the same for all items in the same tier:

– Advanced Commodities: 1,350,000.00 ISK
– Specialized Commodities: 70,000.00 ISK
– Refined Commodities: 9,000.00 ISK
– Basic commodities: 500.00 ISK
– Planet Resources: 5,00 ISK

A fair bit of rage and cheering on the EVE forums.  Rage from people who think such a huge increase in tax is unjust, and will cause big impacts on the markets.  Cheering from people who think PI is too easy to earn ISK from, and others who think people will now flood low sec and null sec with their POCO’s.

PI.11

Time and time again, the very moment I start up the EVE client either my wife or kids come in demanding my attention elsewhere.  It drives me crazy.

PI has turned out a little more bemusing and profitable than I expected, so I am biting the bullet and spending a bit over 2 months of training time to give both my PI Alts Command Center Upgrades V and Interplanetary Consolidation V.

I’ve watch a few PI videos and read a few related blogs over the last couple weeks, and picked up a few more tips regards setting up installations.  One particular idea is to use Storage Facilities to buffer output from Extractors.  I had been just using a spaceport for storage – but as a consequence was having to upgrade the links from the Extractors back to the Factories, and having extra Factories running to clear the initial extraction spike you get over the first 24+ hours.

I readjusted about 70% of my PI installations (across both characters) over the weekend, with a preference towards using Storage units and just moving things in much closer to each other.  All told, the installations look neater.  I had no improvement, or a slight drop in performance on a couple planets, but most saw an increase in production of between 10 and 20% due to getting more extraction head units down.  One saw an increase of over 40%.

My Alt Corp has paid back the initial investment put in by my main.  It is currently sitting on..

650M in the bank
320M in trade, PI and mineral stocks
80M up for sale

Given it is based in a quiet region with a relatively poor market, and I am only looking at it a couple times a week, I am happy with its progression.  I can see how much more profitable it would be if you moved to a market hub, and logged in several times a day to maintain your orders and installations.  That doesn’t sound like much fun though, so I will continue happily meandering along at this slower pace.

Oh – I also purchased myself an Archon on the weekend for my main.  Now for the painful process of collecting all its fittings and getting them into low sec.  I’ll just do that slowly.

Flying Pretty

Another day, another DEV Blog:

http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=3057

While I like this idea, it has dawned on me that it might take a bit to get used to.  I’ve been playing the game for years now, and I am very familiar with what my home and commonly visited constellations look like.  That will suddenly all change.  Interesting that Low and Null Sec will appear darker.  I’ll have to wait and see how that works out.  (I am aware my screen shots posted to the blog will provide more specific intel.)

It has been a busy couple months of training for all three of my accounts.  The EVEMon alerts have been going crazy.  I think I mentioned before that my main can now fly all normal Carriers and Dreads in game.  After finishing off more prerequisites, he can now also fit them.  I am only missing Capital Remote Hull Repairs and the Industrial Core – but as I have no pressing need for either of them, they are towards the end of my plans.  Now I come to a bit of a hard slog.  Aside my navigation skills, almost all my Capital skills are only at rank III.  Now I have 6 months of training these skills to rank IV, each taking 4.5 to 9.5 days.  I might start to keep an eye out for some cheap capital hulls though.

My small PI and trading Alt Corp continues its work.  I have not updated any of my installations for a while now, and still run with the weekly extraction cycle.  I have also had some luck with buying cheap P2 goods to supplement my own stocks, which – assuming I do a mid-week run to some of my factories to drop off extra supplies and move P3 goods around, has seen a worthwhile increase in the production of P4 goods.  That, along with a noticeable price increase for Robotics, and some further tweaking of my Trade Goods Portfolio, has upped my profits to well over 50M a week.

I know that might sound trivial, but this is relatively passive.  Given I am off the beaten path in a fairly small market, and that I spend less than two hours a week working on it (half of that AFK moving between systems), it is turning out to be a useful experiment.  I quite like this slow and easy progression. It doesn’t feel like hard work.

So in review I started looking at this about 8 months ago.  At the time I had around 100M in passive income a month from datacores.  My initial goal was to double that to around 200M a month with PI and Trade efforts, which I actually achieved in June.  Now in November the total monthly “passive” income is up to around 300M.  Even better, I can still see lots of scope for improvement without working harder on it.

(I know there is a tendency for people to embellish figures in EVE.  The above are actually rather conservative.)

Videos and SP

Rather quickly after Incarna was released, enterprising players had worked out how to get your own videos to be displayed on the Captain Quarters main screen.  Trigger pony and unicorn screen captures – amongst other things.   In reality, CCP should have foreseen that and had protections and checksums in place.

Their response – which took a little while, was in my mind a common sense one.  They made the process easier and explained how everyone could do it:

http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&nbid=2418

That saves face, and just “adds” a little to the game.

I made around 25M last week from empire PI and minimal trade.  For around an hours effort, maybe a bit more, that is reasonable.  I just need to ensure I spend that hour each week.

Training continues in game.  My main is 2 weeks off Logistics V, Alt 1 is 11 days off Minmatar Cruiser V, and Alt 3 is less than a day away from being able to use T2 Medium Artillery, to add to the Autocannon skill he picked up the other day.   They are at 85M, 78M and 8M SP respectively.  Alt 2 has 14M SP, and Alt 4 is a smidge under 2M.

I remember when I first started out in the game it seemed to take an age for your Skill points to amass to something worthwhile.  It was a goal within the game to reach each milestone – and you guessed you might be a capable pilot when you hit 10M, then it was 20M, then 30M, then 50M, then 75M… and now I am thinking, maybe when I hit 100M I might get to the point when I really know what I am doing…

Large Projectile Turret V

Having 3 accounts is useful if you fly capitals or spend time in 0.0.  It does come at a cost however.  My EVE game time was restricted over the last couple weeks, and when that was spread across three active characters, I ended up not getting much done with any of them.

I missed a PI cycle, so ended up only making 8M over the last week.  My Trading has also ground to a halt, the buy and sell orders just not being updated enough to turn over a profit.

My main achieved Large Projectile Turret V, can now use T2 Large Autocannon, and is 4 hours away from T2 Large Artillery.  Once I get the specialization skills to rank III, I think I’ll go for Energy Pulse Weapons V.

Alt 1 picked up Afterburner V, and is well through Acceleration Control V.  The only things in his training plan at the moment are social skills, but I suspect I will continue to max out whatever remaining support skills I can find.

Alt 2 continues to work on getting all the skills required to fly my current Orca fit.  She is just finishing off Drones V, and has around 15 days left on that list.

I moved Alt 3 (my main scout and cyno pilot) to live next door to my low sec carrier base.  I think once Alt 2 has finished the Orca related skills that I will move back to training this Toon.  I think I will use him to run high sec exploration sites and lower level missions, just when I have a spare 15 minutes here and there.

The Corp is now in a new Alliance.  This was done with minimal drama.  I haven’t managed to get down to the 0.0 base of operations as yet, although have managed to setup almost all the supplies I would want, waiting with the carrier.

 

I joined a Corp Mining Op, with the proceeds being donated to the current Orca drive.  (Basically where Corporation Members are getting discounted Orca’s through a program of donations and the receiving pilot making a nicely balanced effort and contribution.)  It turns out there are some politics involved in hauling and jet cans, which I will muse over on another day.

Crowdsourcing results are in

The results are in from the CSM crowdsourcing –

http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/July_2011_Prioritization_Crowdsourcing#Notes_on_Results

I doubt very much it reflects the desires of the majority of EVE players.  Instead it is more a reflection on the type of people who bother to provide feedback.  Lots of the stuff in the top 10 related to empire wars and the aggression and docking games people play, which obviously annoy.  That wasn’t a surprise.

I did not however expect to see “more control wanted over medals” at number 10.  Reading further, that turned out to be a campaign from EVE University which had a block of over 500 votes put towards 7 items, including the medal option.  That was enough to influence the overall results.

I liked some of Ripard Teg’s remarks in his EVE News article here:

http://www.evenews24.com/2011/08/01/jesters-trek-mob-rule/

In amongst the top items were plenty of calls for Corp and Alliance tool updates, which in reality very few EVE players actually end up using.  I assume there were more than just the EVE University Alliance voting as a block.  Still, a number of my preferences were up near the top, and for the most part most of the changes would be a good thing for the game.

The new Corp has had a War Dec within the first week of me joining.  There were quite a few new recruits, so while the intel suggests another source of this nuisance, there must be a little underlying suspicion that one of us could be a spy.  I’m not fussed by the War Dec as it makes the game a little more interesting.

I was using the contacts tool to watchlist members of the offending corporation when I stopped to look at the labels options.

 

Rather useful.  I had noticed people requesting folders for contacts, but the labels work even better than that, since you can put contacts under multiple labels, and clicking on each label in effect acts as a folder.

I was distracted a bit last week, so my PI profits were only 24M.  I expect another lower return this week too.

The week that was

I made 32M in PI for the last week, which was pleasing.  I think I will still be short on Chiral Structures, so once the current stockpile clears I expect the weekly profits to be a bit lower.

Operation Noah’s Ark continues.  This (just named) goal is basically the setting up of pairs of cheap PVP ships to use and lose.  So far I have a pair of armor tanked autocannon Hurricanes, the two Anti Frig Celestis, and now a pair of armor tanked autocannon Thrashers.  I’m having fun reviewing large numbers of fitting options (collected over time, from killboards, or rated well on Battleclinic), and testing them out on my poor old Alt.  I have several possibilities on the go to ensure I actually have a use for them.

I’m having quite a bizarre issue with one of my alt accounts.  It keeps disconnecting, particularly if AFK or in a very busy system.  As I’ve mentioned, I have two client installs on my main PC.  I use one for my main Account (configured to run at higher resolution and quality settings), and the second is shared by my two Alt accounts.  The weird thing is the issue only happens with one of the alt accounts and not the other.

There is an odd behaviour that suggests something is not quite right.  All my characters have each other in their watch lists.  When someone on your watch list is online, there is a green dot on their avatar image in local and in the contacts list.  When they log off, this green dot turns red, and a short time later they usually disappear from local.  In my case, the Alt user on that particular account can often show up with a red dot as if they are offline, even though they stay in local and I am busy using them.  (I’ll try to remember to grab a screen capture next time I see it.)  The only thing that comes to mind is that the other two accounts have had their cache cleared recently.  I might have to do that for this account too.

Another little thing I’ve noticed is the return of the ship re-name bug.  This is where you rename a ship, undock or move it into a corporate hanger, and have its name change back to the original one.  I hadn’t noticed it happening for a while, but it occurred twice for me today.

The CSM is again asking for player input into ordering the wish list they take to CCP.  The blog can be found here:

http://www.eveonline.com/devblog.asp?a=blog&bid=942

The Forum thread here:

http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=1555249

And the list (on the EVE wiki) is here.

http://wiki.eveonline.com/en/wiki/July_2011_Prioritization_Crowdsourcing

It was a bit of a hard slog to get through them all, but I did so and voted.  It was a touch depressing noticing how many of the suggestions have been raised with CCP for years now.  I picked a couple small but useful impact items, like AFK / Busy statuses and switching characters without having to re-log.  I actually liked the concept of allowing covert cyno’s in empire space, there were some very interesting ideas about changes for drones, upgraded POS, and several versions of managing settings differently.

PI.10

Last week was yet another very busy one for RL, so EVE was again neglected.

I did manage to find some time to yet again tinker with my PI chains.  Using 2 alts, I now have 10 installations across 4 systems.

Generally each installtion has an upgraded command centre (to rank 4), a space port for storage and flexibility, two extraction units (with 4 to 7 head units each), and four Industry Facilities to produce processed materials.  Given the Extraction Units are often at the end of a long (and upgraded) planetary link, there isn’t usually much capacity left.

With this setup in High Sec I am gathering around 300,000 to 700,000 units of raw material per Extraction Unit per week.  Even though I’ve decided not to re-anchor my POS, I am still concentrating on POS related fuel (Mechanical Parts and Robotics mostly).

My current process for each Sunday is… (PM stands for Processed Materials, RC for Refined Commodities, and SC for Specialised Commodities)

. Login Alt 4
. Make 2 jumps
. Visit planet and pick up PM A
. Visit planet and pick up PM B
. Make 3 jumps
. Visit planet and pick up PM C
. Make 2 jumps home
. Visit planet and pick up PM A
. Dump all materials in the Corporation Hanger
. Login Alt 2
. Collect extra PM A, B & C from Corporation Hanger
. Make 1 jump
. Visit planet for PM A & C
. Make 1 jump home
. Visit planet and pick up PM B & D
. Visit planet, drop off PM A, pick up RC A
. Visit planet, drop off PM C, pick up RC B
. Visit planet, drop off PM B, RC A & B, pick up RC C and SC A

The process looks convoluted, but it sort of grew organically and I mindlessly follow a script so it doesn’t take that long.

The problem is that when I only visit these installations once a week, I have to be very careful with my storage space. As raised above, I generally have very little capacity left to add storage units, so I rely heavily on the spaceport.  With input to the chain now coming from two users, I find I am getting quite a stockpile of processed materials waiting to be moved planet side.  On the weekend I ended up using Alt 4’s last Planet slot to set up extra Industry Units, and she will be processing this excess.

When I started out I figured I might be able to generate around 30 Mil ISK a month.  Last month I had calculated I earnt over 50M ISK.  With extra installations coming on line over the last couple weeks and the latest changes, it looks like I will earn over 100 Mil ISK a month from PI.  For around 5 hours of actual effort a month, that reward is reasonable.  Of course – it has taken me almost 4 months to get to this stage…

I wonder how much more profitable Low Sec and Null Sec are for PI.

PI.09

Incursion 1.6 fixes have so far included three client updates and two server side patches.  One part of these fixes has related to extraction rate bugs introduced into PI.

http://www.eveonline.com/updates/patchnotes.asp?patchlogID=227My

My first PI run after the original update had seen a drastic drop in available resources on my Empire planets.  I had just wondered if they had changed the sensitivity of the scan slider, but my extraction rates seemed to have had halved or worse.  Overnight the prospect of Empire PI went from amusing with a small profit, to being a pointless waste of time.  So it was with some interest that I did my PI runs today.  The resource levels still appear to have drop significantly on the survey scanner, but the extraction volumes were back to around where I was expecting.

I have been playing around with PI for around two and a half months now – just slowly building and adjusting the installations.  I am not too pedantic about keeping on top of things, and the processes can sit idle for days at a time.  Still – I’ve generated over 90M of PI materials at the moment.  While initial setup costs halve the profits on that – in the long term I can see it being worthwhile.  It is certainly a worthwhile endeavor for newer players.

I am scaling back the range of the items I am manufacturing and trading, cutting out those whose volumes are too low.  In fact my manufacturing has almost ground to a halt, with most supplies now coming from buy orders far cheaper than you can make things.  I can see I could turn over quite a profit in a trade centre, but I prefer the much slower .01 ISK games in this backwater.  In the same sort of period as I have been working on PI, I have made probably around 150M in profits.  Again – this is on relatively minimal effort.

These are miniscule profits compared to what I could achieve, if I wanted to invest a lot of time and energy into it.  That is not my goal at the moment however – which is instead to increase the relatively passive income on my accounts and keep active in multiple areas within the game.  I am not far off the point right now of having doubled my regular low effort income from 100M a to 200M a month – through Datacores, Empire PI and Empire backwater trading.

PI.08

With the new character (Alt 4) coming up to her 1 month anniversary, I decided to sit down today and ensure she was in a position to start being useful.  She has less than two days to go on her PI training plan – which was basically rank IV across the PI skills and being able to fly and T1 fit a Mammoth.

After a review I added an extra 7 days of training to get Cyno Field Theory III and Cloaking III (two skills which up the value of the character).

I then ensured she had the remaining skill books required to finish off the training, and set up a Mammoth to haul PI material & two Probe Frigates (one as a small cargo shuttle, the other as an emergency Cyno Ship).

At Rank III for Minmatar Frigate and with T2 Cargohold Expanders, her Hauling Probe can carry 598m3.  At Rank IV for Minmatar Industrial and also with T2 Cargohold Expanders, her Mammoth can carry 17,838m3.  Both are rather useful volumes for cheap ships without rigs and low SP requirements.

To keep things simple I am only planning on using her for gathering Processed PI Materials (the first step up from the raw materials you extract).  She will dump these into the PI Hanger, where Alt 2 will be able to grab them for input into the Refined and Specialized Commodity chains.

I then visited the 9 systems within 2 jumps of my home and manually surveyed the 82 planets within.  This seemed like a good idea at the start, but turned into quite a long chore.  Basically all planets of the same type within Empire are not equal, with some containing more sustainable deposits of the rarer materials than others.  With this reconnaissance done I will revisit Alt 2’s installations, and move or fine tune as required.  The last step will be to go back to Alt 4 and ensure I fill in any remaining material gaps.

While not constantly busy on this, Alt 4 was logged in for over 6 hours today as I worked on these tasks.  From an ISK perspective this effort won’t ever really be worthwhile in Empire.  I hope however the skills I hone here will make it easier and quicker to setup worthwhile chains in Low or Null Sec.

PI.07

I just wasted 11 days of training on my Alt – picking up Archaeology IV and V instead of Astrogeology IV and V that I thought I was training.  I only realised when the Exhumers skill refused to inject.  I had a moment of confusion before the penny dropped, and an “Oh fuck” escaped my lips.  I can’t even take solace in the fact he can now use T2 Analyzers – given I don’t use him as a prober.

I moved my PI installations along – it is now spread across 2 systems and 4 planets, and is producing Consumer Electronics and Mechanical Parts.  Robotics will be added shortly, possibly after down time today.  The process will require me to visit one of my planets first, and then move its dual outputs to two other planets.  It is certainly taking a little effort to work out what I need to do to chain the production lines efficiently, but it should be relatively low maintenance once the initial effort comes to pass.

I’ve noticed the resources on the planets I currently do PI on have generally increased over time.  While the initial strong deposits have diminished, other worthwhile pockets tend to develop to replace them.  The upkeep is also not as taxing as I had initially feared.  I basically just let them cycle twice a week.  I have also in some regards stopped investigating what will make me the highest profit, and just been focusing on the more expensive components of POS fuel for personal use.

PI.06

I spent a lot of time in EVE today.  I moved all my trading across to my Alt, and shifted my BPO collection and minerals into the Corp.  (This prompted me to have a look at Corp roles and Container auditing.)  I picked up a set of +4 implants for my Trading Alt, and the Exhumer skill for my other Alt.  I also scanned 70+ planets for resources, setup some new PI networks, and retooled the old to target POS fuel.

At the moment I am concentrating on Robotics and Mechanical Parts.  I should have the spare capacity to also look at Coolant.  It is difficult to judge how much of a dent I will be able to make on a monthly small POS fuel bill.  I’ll start out conservatively, and hope for around 20 to 30 mil.

For each planet I scanned I selected “Show other characters’ networks”.  While it can be difficult to see the command centers, I only noticed installations on one planet.  When I first tried PI there were other player networks everywhere.  I was expecting to at least see lots of abandoned ones – so I wonder if they get cleared up if unused for a period of time, like objects in space.  I can’t recall seeing that written anywhere.

PI.05

I started on my PI Spreadsheet, to work out what is worth extracting and manufacturing.  There are a lot of combinations, so I only got to the end of the Processed Materials list before my eyes glazed over and I gave up on the effort for the day.  There were some strange figures in what I did get through.  Logic suggests that if you take raw materials and convert them into processed materials, the price of the end item should be more expensive than its ingredients.  Instead 5 of the 15 processed materials cost less to buy on the market than the sum price of their ingredients do.  Of the remaining 10 processed materials, the mark up was between 3 and 186% over the ingredient price.  Hopefully in the end this will highlight what areas of PI I should concentrate on.

I still have to finish off calculating the prices of the Refined Commodities, Specialized Commodities and Advanced Commodities.

PI.04

I was away over the weekend, and with busy preparations beforehand, didn’t get a chance to do much in EVE.  My main can now sit in a Black Ops (Widow and Redeemer).  He still needs a bit of work to fly it proficiently though – over 50 days to get Black Ops IV, Jump Portal IV, and Cynosural Field Theory V.  Not sure I will cover all of that off immediately, given my Alt already has all those skills for the Sin.

My PI play continues.  I estimate I have earnt back about 10% of the ISK I have spent so far… The Advanced Industry Facility works – but is wasted due to the low yield rate of the second input.  I’ll have to find better planets, or import goods from elsewhere.  I took the advice from an earlier post, and started to use the Spaceport as the storage location.  That is a smarter approach.  Todays test was putting down 3 extractor control units, and seeing just how far away I could place them from the spaceport.

The resource allocations seem strange.  When I first scanned all the planets in my home system, they were bereft of almost any resources, aside two small hot spots which I placed my play extractors on.  Since then the resources on those two planets have started to increase, and there are now one or two other viable areas to place head units.

Last of all I noticed that one of the (many) recent Titan losses was one I was familiar with.  It was sad to see the death of the very first Titan for an old Alliance of mine.

PI.03

I grabbed half a dozen of my BPO’s for smaller ships that I knew would be half popular, and worked out at current mineral prices what I could make them for.  I then looked at what they were going for on the market.  A number of the higher volume ships were selling for just under my build price – with one example of a bulk sell order of rifters (deep in low sec) selling for 20% under what I could make them for.  I expect it I take the time, I might find a few good examples where it is cheaper to buy items well under build price, and refine them for the minerals.

In the end I found a couple ships with profits of 15 to 40% on good turn over, and kicked off some manufacturing jobs.  I won’t be logging in enough to play the 0.01ISK wars, so I am selling them away from any major trading hub, and somewhat close to a school system.  I put up some buy orders for the same ships at around 80% of the build price, a tactic that tends to work ok.  I limited this to 4 jumps – to keep collections easier, keep them out of low sec, and to lessen the chance of 0.01K ISK wars with the other buy orders (which were currently priced at around 40% of build price, but were region wide).

If I can balance the stocks and effort required, this approach can add another small income stream which adds up over time.  I just have to be careful not to get burnt out trying to maintain too many product lines, as I have done in the past.

I also revisited my PI planets, and on one introduced a new Extractor and Basic industry Facility, to create a different Processed Material.  I then setup an Advanced Industry Facility to combine the two Processed Materials into a Refined Commodity.  Again there was no great thought placed into what I was making, I was just using what was available to me to.  Next I will put down a High Tech Production Plant (one is a Barren Planet), and after buying some extra Refined Commodities, build myself some Specialized Commodities.  I’ll have to go through the process of getting goods from the Customs Office down to the planet.  If that all works out ok, I’ll have to see if any of this is worth doing from an ISK point of view, and if not, is it possibly worthwhile just to stock pile POS fuel.  I also have to remember I have multiple characters who can do PI, which adds options in how to make the process worthwhile.

PI.02

So I revisited my PI installations.  The first day was just getting the basic process and connections working.  Very simplistically…

. Scanned the planets in my home system for pockets of resources with a reasonable density

. Put down a Command Center near one of the pockets

. Put down an Extractor Head, Silo, Basic Industrial Facility, and another Silo

. Created links from Extractor > Silo > Industrial Facility > Silo > Command Center

. Used the Survey option to place Extractor Heads in the resource pocket, and selected an extraction program to run

. Routed the raw material to the Silo, then Industrial Facility

. Selected a program for the Industrial Faclity, and routed the output to the second Silo

. During this process I had to upgrade the command centre and communication links a couple of times to fit the modules or to get the routes working.

. I also added a Spaceport.  Not because I needed to, just because I wanted to.

. I think I spent around 7 Mil in total for both installations, although that included a couple items subsequently removed.

I ignored the worth of what I was extracting – I just wanted to get something working.  Because the Industry module could not keep up with the extraction, for the first run I selected a program which would just fill the first Silo.  That could hold 500,000 units, which the Industry module would then take almost 7 days to process.  (I never did check if the Industry Module could be upgraded, I might have to go check.)

On the second day I returned to find myself with some 900m2 of basic raw materials, which a quick check showed might have been worth around 50K in total.  I moved them from the end silo to the spaceport, and shipped them to the Customs Office.   I then updated one of my installations to add another extraction head > silo > basic industry module chain, this time setting a slower extraction rate so that it would run for almost 4 days – not filling the Silo, but easily keeping in front of the Industry Module.

Looking at that picture I realised I should routed the two Industry Module outputs to the same Silo.  Oh well – I don’t consider this an ISK investment at the moment.  I will at a later stage look at all the options I have to create higher tier or more expensive goods on those planets, but at the moment I assume I will lose the ISK I am spending.  This is just playing around.  I suspect however I will have to add a PI tab to my EVE Online Spreadsheet.