Saturday, 26 June 2010

EVE: PI strategy

I decided to use the various PI guides as a clue about what not to make. Most guides point you to the P3 products that can be produced using a single planet. These are:
Condensates (Gas)
Industrial Explosives (Temperate)
Robotics (Plasma)
Smartfab units (Lava)
Synthetic synapses (Ice)
Transcranial microcontrollers (Barren)
Ukomi Super Conductors (Storm)
Vaccines (Ocean)

Next I scouted around for a system. I used the DOTLAN Eve maps site to look for low traffic lowsec systems in my target area. I wanted to try lowsec, higher risk but higher rewards. My best defence is very low traffic. I also do my PI in a Mastodon Blockade Runner with an improved cloak and 2 extra warp core stabs. It needs at least 3 players to jam me to stop me warping to safety (unless I meet one of the very few players who fit multiple scramblers) and it has some shield tank. Basically it's tough enough that I don't have to go hide as soon as one player appears on Local.

I set the display in DOTLAN to show jumps in the last 24 hours then viewed a couple of regions looking at jumps per system. I found one with no stations, only 50 jumps in the last 24 hours, no player kills in the last 24 hours, 12 planets and 0.2 security status. I had wanted a sec below 0.4 as I'd like to set up a pos there too and I may as well put my pos somewhere I can moon mine. It's also a cul-de-sac.

OK, so what do I have to work with now that I've selected my system? It has plasma, oceanic, lava, barren and gas planets. I favour restricting all my activities to this one system as it will hopefully make me less noticeable.

With those planet types to work with these are the p3 products that require more than one planet type that can be built in my system:
Biotech Research Reports
Cryoprotectant Solutions
Guidance Systems

and these are the p4 products that can be made in my system:
Organic Mortar Applicators
Sterile conduit
Wetware mainframe

OK, so I have my overall plan - I'll build those p3 and p4 products and sell them. Later on I may look at building POS structures using what I produce plus products I buy on the open market but for now I'm aiming for production of p3 products that aren't on the beginner's guide to PI recommended list.

I build my transport ship at Jita and fly off. My destination is almost 40 jumps away but I can autopilot most of it afk while watching the World Cup. Just before I get to low sec I refresh my cloak procedure.

First open Local and look to see how many people are there and whether there's any smack. Local will continue to be a critical intel system.
Hold cloak and see what's there. Nothing visible doesn't mean it's safe.
Click the align button and as soon as my speedometer reads non-zero press F1 (cloak) once. I will now align while cloaked having given a tiny window to any possible gankers
Wait for speed to reach max
At max speed hover over the warp button then in very quick succession hit F1 to decloak then click the Warp To button

I reach my system without incident. There are two players there which is two too many really, my first priority has to be safety.

I warp to the sun and halfway there I bookmark a place. On landing I cloak and align back to the gate. Then I decloak and warp to my saved spot. I cloak. OK, great I now feel safe, even with other people around.

Time to check out the others. One guy is in what appears to be an industrial corporation and is 4 months old. The other guy is in the same corp and is 3 years old. I'm guessing other PIers although they could be miners. I'll have to be a little bit careful. While they may not be in gank ships my guess is they really won't want me around in this nice quiet little corner of space and they may have friends.

Still I can perfectly well scan the planets from my nice safe spot. I look at the plasma planet. I now realise that I need to plan out my production chains. OK here goes:

Biotech Research Reports
Micro Organisms > Bacteria, Base metals > Reactive metals > Nanites
Carbon compounds > Biofuels, Complex Organisms > Proteins > Livestock
Base metals > Reactive metals, Heavy metals > Toxic metals > Construction blocks

Cryoprotectant Solutions
Aqueous liquids > Water, Micro Organisms > Bacteria > Test cultures
Noble Gas > Oxygen, Ionic Solutions > Electrolytes > Synthetic Oil
Complex Organisms > Proteins, Micro Organisms > Bacteria > Fertiliser

Guidance Systems
Aqueous liquids > Water, Base Metals > Reactive Metals > Water-cooled CPU
Non-CS Crystals > Chiral Structures, Suspended Plasma > Plasmoids > Transmitter

Noble Metals > Precious Metals, Carbon Compunds > Biofuels > Biocells
Felsic Magma > Silicon, Reactive Gas > Oxidising Compound > Silicate glass

Aqueous liquids > Water, Base Metals > Reactive Metals > Water-cooled CPU
Aqueous liquids > Water, Ionic Solutions > Electrolytes > Coolant
Non-CS Crystals > Chiral Structures, Heavy metals > Toxic Metals > Consumer Electronics

OK, my first impression is a lot of this will come from my Plasma planet. That suggests that I want mainly extractors there and should look to process on the other planets.

Let's take a better look at that by expressing the above list using planet type instead of resource name (only planet types available in-system listed):

Biotech Research Reports
Barren or Ocean, Barren Gas Lava or Plasma > Nanites
Barren or Ocean, Ocean > Livestock
Barren Gas Lava or Plasma, Lava or Plasma > Construction blocks

Cryoprotectant Solutions
Barren Gas or Ocean, Barren or Ocean > Test cultures
Gas, Gas > Synthetic Oil
Ocean, Barren or Ocean > Fertiliser

Guidance Systems
Barren Gas or Ocean, Barren Gas Lava or Plasma > Water-cooled CPU
Lava or Plasma, Lava or Plasma > Transmitter

Barren Gas Lava or Plasma, Barren or Ocean > Biocells
Lava, Gas > Silicate glass

Barren Gas or Ocean, Barren Gas Lava or Plasma > Water-cooled CPU
Barren Gas or Ocean, Gas > Coolant
Lava or Plasma, Lava or Plasma > Consumer Electronics

This is giving us a picture now of the structure we will need to set up. Here's what it looks like when we narrow it down to P2s that can be produced on a single planet wherever possible:

Biotech Research Reports
Barren > Nanites
Ocean > Livestock
Lava or Plasma > Construction blocks

Cryoprotectant Solutions
Barren or Ocean > Test cultures
Gas > Synthetic Oil
Ocean > Fertiliser

Guidance Systems
Barren or Gas > Water-cooled CPU
Lava or Plasma > Transmitter

Barren > Biocells
Lava, Gas > Silicate glass

Barren or Gas > Water-cooled CPU
Gas > Coolant
Lava or Plasma > Consumer Electronics

So one P2 (Silicate glass) can't be made on a single planet out of the planets available. Here's a breakdown according to how many P2s can be produced on each of my 5 planet types

Barren 2-5
Gas* 2-5
Lava* 0-4
Ocean 1-3
Plasma 0-3
* silicate gas will be made on one of these with P1 resources imported from the other asterisked type.

Well well, first appearances were deceptive. Plasma is actually the least used with no P2s requiring plasma and only 3 for which the plasma planet is an option.

Let's do some allocating:
Barren - Biocells, Nanites, Water-cooled CPU
Gas - Coolant, Water-cooled CPU, Synthetic Oil
Lava - Silicate Glass (with imports from Gas), Construction Blocks
Ocean - Test cultures, Fertiliser, Livestock
Plasma - Consumer Electronics, Transmitter

Two planets, Plasma and Lava, have only 2 P2 products making them most suitable for P3 production, the capacity being more useful for extraction on the other planets.

I'll stop here, I hope that gives a good overview of the planning process. To follow:
- setting up the PI
- market analysis
- review at some point in the future of how it worked out


  1. Been reading your blog a while now so great blog and detailed info as well. Been messing with PI a bit and its allot to take in and learn and learn from feedback and making mistakes.

    Just reading through the strategy stuff it can seem complicated a bit and enough to give a new person to eve a headache trying to figure all that out. But it makes for interesting game the way i see it though really figuring out what you need to make and how to set up a strategy to do so.

    What i would eventually like to know at some point is how you go about making and setting up a POS since you also seem to live in WH space.

  2. Thanks for the kind words.

    I haven't yet tried WH space nor have I put up a POS. There are two excellent blogs that you can look at:

  3. Hi, just found this thru google, im looking to do exactly what you've been describing here, been quite helpfull. Thanks!