Irony in the Timing of Baking some PI

Irony of ironies!  All is irony!  Well, okay I think it’s actually “vanity” but it sounded good to me when I typed it.  Ya see, in my new nullsec corp, I’ve been given a PI building assignment, and I thought to blog about the new things I’ve found out about PI as a result, and lo and behold!  Stargrace posted about it today too.

Now when I got the assignment, I didn’t think it’d be a problem.  The assignment is to produce 24 nano-factory P4 units per day.  I’ve got all my PI skills to 4, after all, and in null you get a ton of stuff for your extractors, so I thought “easy peasy!”  How wrong I was.

I am sticking with my earlier idea of using a factory planet and then simply needing to export and import the cheap P1 followed by only the P4 final products.  Overall this seems more efficient and less expensive than trying to make P2’s and P3’s all over the place and then importing and exporting the more expensive items, especially since it still has to come to the P4 factory at some point, so the P4 export cost is fixed no matter what.

So with that in mind, I looked at what kind of planets I needed in order to be able to make the nano-factories and found I only needed 2 different types:  Storm and Temperate.  But I need all 5 of the Storm resources, and 4 of the Temperate ones.  In my corp’s “manufacturing system” and then 1 jump away there exist 2 Storm and 4 Temperate planets, so that made it nice and easy.  The P4 factory planet needs to be Barren or Temperate and it seemed easiest to just put it on a Barren in the “manufacturing system.”

So I went through and placed the factory, then went around and put down extractors on the resources I needed, giving little thought to just how many raws and P1’s I was actually going to need.  In hi-sec I was making 10 P4’s a day when I was working toward them and needed 1600 P1’s, which seemed easily doable, except in looking back I realize that at the time I was simply buyingthe P1’s, not extracting the resources for them.  But that’s the kicker, I was only doing 10 a day, not 24, and now am extracting my resources instead of buying them.  Working all the boring numbers out means you need 4 P1 processors going full tilt all the time in order to have enough supply to feed the factory enough material to also be going all the time.  Since each processor converts 3,000 raws down each cycle, that means I need 12000 raws per cycle.

Using the trick of routing via storage/launchpad and then back out to the extractors this means I can look at raw numbers being pulled and not have to worry about “send this extractor’s output to that processor there” and whatnot.  But then it gets a bit fuzzy unless we do some math.  And I kinda like math becuz I’m a nerd.  So here’s the boring part, but I’ll surround it with asterisks and put a tl;dr at the bottom so you can skip ahead if you want.


1st, the background assumptions —

CPU from command centers isn’t important becuz you literally can’t come anywhere close to using it all unless all you’re putting down is launchpads, so I will ignore it in the math stuff.

Any given base needs:

  • 1 Launchpad
  • 4 P1 Processors per type of resource extracted
  • Enough Extractors to gather at least 12000 raws per cycle.

What this means is that if I’m taking 2 resources I will need a launchpad and 8 P1 processors.  The pad uses 700 PG and the P1 processors use 800 each, so that’s 7100 of my 17,000 already gone.  Extractors also use 800 PG each, so dividing 800 into the remaining 9900 PG gives a maximum of 12 processors and 300 PG left over for links.

Extraction rates I have seen in null on these plantes have ranged from the mid 1300’s up to over 2200 per cycle (this is all on the 23 hour depletion schedule).  Taking those numbers in to account and knowing we need 12000 total per resource as a minimum we get the following:

  • 2400 average extraction rate needs 5 harvesters to get 12000 raws per cycle
  • 2000 needs 6
  • 1702 need 7
  • 1500 needs 8
  • 1333 needs 9

So obviously since 5 seems to be the minimum floor, the 2nd resource on the same planet needs to have an average rate of 1702 or higher.  This actually works on my Temperate worlds, but on my Storm worlds not only does my “second resource” not have the needed minimum average, but on 1 of the planets I need a *3rd* resource type.  Fortunately I only need 3000 raws per cycle for it, though, but that’s still 1 processor and at least 2 extractors plus links, so a minimum of 2400 PG used there.

Also, FWIW, a “long link” connecting 2 sites is usually less expensive that a 2nd launchpad for your colony’s fitting.  Launchpads use 3,600 CPU and 800 PG and it takes a *very* long link to exceed that, so…. check it out in edit mode, and only if that link costs more than a pad in fitting would I consider using one.


TL;DR — Advanced CC’s don’t have enough PG to put down enough extractors to get enough raws — at least, not on my available planets and not with the number of planets I can place on.

So for solutions, I 1st looked at training for Elite CC’s and a 6th planet (5th for resources).  I haven’t crunched the exact numbers, but it looks like it *might* work, but it’d be iffy. Elite CC’s only add 2,000 more PG, after all, so that’s only 2 more extractors or processors.  Beyond that, even with +5 implants (which I’d be jump cloning out of every couple of days for pvp ops) it would take me a minimum of 35 days to do this, and since it’s “iffy” I wanted something a little more certain and faster as well.

I thought of making a new character.  Since they get a double training speed bonus for the 1st while, it would take a new character a touch over 2 weeks to get to the exact same point as my main character for PI and thus would double my extraction capability.  This would be more than enough to not only fill out my production quota, but leave me room to do more PI on the side for POS fuel or something that can also help out the corp.

So that’s what I did.  My main is now not training while a new character (which has a name that’s a variation of “The PI Guy”) has joined the corp and is skilling for the next couple of weeks to be a PI mule.  I don’t think I’ll really miss the training time on my main — I can already fly what the corp and alliance want me to in pvp gangs and roams — so it seems that this is the best “win-win” for everyone.

Now to get the new guy out to null. . . . The main chokepoint was camped badly when I got there earlier today so I just docked up to wait it out, and a different alliance is taking over the jump bridge network in that part of space, so I don’t know if it’s even possible to use the “old” network and I don’t have the bookmarks for the new bridges (if they even exist) yet so….. and we had reds sniffing around our borders then too, plus a cloaked afk red in our home system to boot.  Life’s definitely interesting in nullsec!  I’m very glad I made the switch!

In the meantime, our industry director’s got someone extracting a resource for at the needed level and I’m tweaking my setups in my colonies to extract all the other resources in the correct quantities as best I can, and it’s going from there.  Who knew that PI could be so much work, no?

Posted on August 4, 2010, in EVE Online. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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