PI Perfection

Sorry it’s been a while (again), family stuff. So while I do have a little time on my hands, let me take you through what is now an 18 planet PI operation, spread over 3 alts on the same account.

I took advantage of the recent additional character training time given as a Christmas gift from CCP and brought all my characters up to 6 planets of capacity, and ultimately maximum command center upgrade capacity too.

What had become apparent as time went on is that there are wild fluctuations between productivity for certain base materials versus others, so much so that one planet focused on a single type of material could potentially make as much as two planets focused on something less easy to mine.

So I took a step back from trying to make as many P2s as possible. What I realised was that with my additional planet I could make a second production planet, which could actually produce a P3 component. So my basic aim of producing a P4, recursive computing modules, remained the same, but with a different methodology.

Also, my original production planet could now produce P4s faster, and I could harvest slightly more base materials by not producing every P2 on each harvesting planet. Some planets switched to dedicated production of a single or a pair of P1s on that basis. This is how my planets now look:

1 dedicated biomass
1 producing water cooled CPU
1 producing water cooled CPU
1 producing supertensile plastics
1 dedicated chiral structures
1 dedicated biofuels
1 dedicated precious metals
1 producing test cultures
1 producing plasmoids and chiral structures
1 dedicated oxygen
1 producing reactive metals and bacteria
1 producing reactive metals and bacteria
1 dedicated plasmoids
1 producing test cultures
1 producing test cultures
1 dedicated precious metals
2 production planets

Thrilling, I know. Sorry. The overall aim here is to get around 2.5 million of P0 for each P1 product. So for high concentrations of resource such as oxygen, I can almost get that out of one planet. Precious metals planets get perhaps half that, so I need 2. Combine them with a dedicated biofuels planet, and it’s biocells ahoy at the production planet which also produces nanites from P1s and thusly produces transcranial microcontrollers as a P3 product on-planet.

The dedicated plasmoids planet was new, and may allow me to dedicate another planet to chiral structures, although their yield isn’t too bad. See how it goes. The other nice thing about the new arrangement is that I can just contract all my products to the toon with the production planets. That saves a lot of time arsing around with split contracts. One production planet then feeds the P4 production planet on the same toon, in the same system. Much tidier.

So, not exciting, but steady. I now have over a billion ISK in the bank, and no idea what to do with it. I have also ventured into Providence as I accidentally read that jump clones are available there without the standing grind I was potentially going to put in. So I may have some action reports as I try that out doing some PvE in null, although my time will shortly be limited again. I might see if I can get my non-main toons set up with research agents, even if only low level ones. Every bit helps, as they say. Have fun one and all.

Back in Business

My apologies, away far longer than intended but now typing on a new laptop in any event. So much faster than my previous one, even though it’s only mid range – I’ve even got it on a home powerline network now, although Eve does seem to suffer socket losses more than it did. One thing I will say for Windows 8, the instant on thing is much better than waiting for the full start up sequence every time.

So, where was I. Having last written about the Flip, I’ve ironically now taken a different approach to evening out PI supply. I was doing this for supertensile plastics, but as I’ve increased my planet capacity by one I decided to go the full hog and make a couple more specialist planets that only produce P1. It means that the harder to mine resources can get a dedicated planet, while the more abundant get the task of P2 production whilst mining a more plentiful P1 and bringing in less of the other P1.

It’s working quite nicely, although it does involve a touch more hauling, but it does mean I’m not messing around with what the Extractor Control Units are doing on a regular basis. I’ve actually nearly got a fluid 1 billion ISK available, which would give me a nice chunk of resource to play with. I don’t own a freighter at the moment, but I could think about trading at some point.

I’ve also been working up my secondary alt for armour tanking. One of the reasons I created him, and a corp, was so that I wouldn’t be subject to large corp/alliance wardecs, but also because not being on comms I can’t really comply with large corp nullsec requirements. So once in a while, when I have a jump clone ready, I’m going to take this guy into null and see what happens.

My weapon of choice is going to be an Arbitrator. I’ve never armour tanked before, I have to admit, but whilst I will primarily do PVE when I have the chance I’m intending to use tracking disruptors and remote sensor dampeners to give myself chance to control combat encounters such that I could buy myself time to run if I chose to. I seriously doubt I’ll ever get chance time wise, but since the Arbi is just a cruiser it wouldn’t be a massive loss and I might be able to rat with a degree of security if nothing else.

I know industry has changed a lot since I was last on in earnest, and I haven’t really investigated the changes, but I’ll read up on them at some point and try and contribute some views. I was pleased to hear the slot system was going for research, I often had to wait a couple of months just to do basic manufacturing efficiency jobs.

While I think about it, a reminder to check your main character sheet and skills every now and again – I tripped across some spare unallocated skill points, God knows how long they’d been sat there as I tend to jump straight to the queue. Also, if you have research agents, do visit them from time to time. I hadn’t done the rounds for a while and netted myself 50 million plus for the sake of a few trips.

Now, in my last blog I mentioned a little something I’d noticed. Mathematical quirk. I set my PI cycles to 8 days 8 hours, because at that point they switch to a 4 hour cycle. It means resources get chewed through reasonably well in between cycles. Now, 8*24 + 8 = 200 hours of activity. If you consider that each basic processor takes 6000 units every hour, that means a total of 1,200,000 units can get processed in 8 days and 8 hours. For me, that’s pretty much spot on what a single Extractor Control Unit will bring in for that period for reasonably plentiful resources. So the P0 storage will be more or less cleaned out by the time I come to reset the cycles. Nice and tidy, and it prevents resources being lost through storage becoming exceeded. PI isn’t kind like that.

I’ll try not to be so long in between posts next time. I might even have ventured forth into null next time, although I’ll have to grind standing for jump clones with the relevant character. Sigh. Fly safe.

The Flip and In Other News

In Other News first… my laptop is pushing up the daisies. Not entirely sure if I can resurrect it at the moment (although the hard drive is fine), but meanwhile, I shall be the more-than-averagely Occasional Capsuleer. Wave your hand if you happen to have a vaguely Eve capable laptop you’re not in need of right now and live in the UK…

In the meantime, I have performed a spot of necromancy and resurrected my really, really old Acer as a temporary stand in. Having made enough space to make the install, it is now home to a shiny new Eve download and I even managed to make a trip to Jita and restart my PI without it blowing up in my face. I am also training up for an extra PI planet while on holiday; might as well use the non-playing time in a vaguely useful way having brought Combat Drones up to V for Kronos.

So, the Flip. This is a term I have coined for an irritating problem I sometimes run in into while doing PI and trying to make a P2 product on a single planet. Some resources on planets are, inevitably, in short supply. So producing two P1s can often result in few of one, and lots of another. Being lazy (and short on time) I do my best to balance them out to avoid surplus, but on some planets no matter how few extractors you put on, say, Biofuels, you always end up with way more than you need. The solution? The Flip.

It’s pretty simple actually. If producing Biocells, for example, Precious Metals production is likely to be well below Biofuels production. So, after a couple of weeks of producing both, stop producing Biofuels and use the extractors to pull in Noble Metals instead. Repeat this until you have eliminated your reserve of Biofuels, then Flip back to Biofuel production.

Assuming you have a decent surplus, given the disparity in resource richness, you should find that this allows you to keep production steady and in line with your other planets without resorting to importing additional Precious Metals or otherwise having to mess around with your supply lines. You keep everything on-planet, and carry on regardless. You might do this using one planet for Precious Metals and one for Biofuels, but the imbalance would still be there and you’d have to move bulkier resources around, which means more taxation.

Right. Holiday time. On my return, I’ll share a little statistic that might help with your PI planning…