Monday, 18 June 2012

Planetary interaction P4

This post is part of a series on looking at PI; this post looking at my new P4 factory planet.  If you are after simple ISK; this is not the post you are looking for.

What I am documenting is what worked according to plan and the traps that I found (so far - there will most likely be more traps later).  This post assumes some knowledge of PI.  I am documenting what I found in my initial PI setup.

As I said in my previous post - I don't like crafting things for a loss.  A lot of players optimise for convenience; I try to optimise for profit.  I know time is money; but time spent now understanding now should pay for itself in the longer term.

I have spent time, enough to worry about.  Many hours building my spread, building then partially rebuilding my P4 planet and spreadsheet.  I am aiming for 100K/hour passive profit for my first P4 factory (or 17M/week), restocking my planet no more than once per week (Umm.  Such lofty and unrealisable goals).

Profit can be played with in different ways; so for the sake of this installation:
  • All prices are Sing Liason (Dodixie) regional prices for reasonable quantities, ignoring very small orders.
  • Input costs are based on region sell orders + import taxes
  • Sale prices are based on 1/2 way between region buy and sell orders.
  • Profit from the P4 installation is Sale Price - export tax of finished products - sale prices.
Other price considerations:
  • I will transport these items 'for free'.
  • I should do better than sell orders for input material; however I am allocating any addtional funds from this to trading not to manufacture.
  • I hope to do better than 1/2 way between buy and sell orders, might do worse.  This seems a reasonable compomise.

What worked well.

I have chosen Integrity response drones, from my updated spreadsheet (now v0.2 - with plans to increment it with every post on PI).  Even with a highsec factory - I have found a fit that allows me a (small) profit to fulfill buy orders; and I can do sell orders about 10% higher than that

I am making Integrity Response Drones for 790K ISK each;  add 135K for (10%) export tax, for a sale price of 925K ISK.  They currently have a Dodixie buy price of 955K, and a Sell price of 1,085K (and are selling).  Providing I keep the planet fed and prices don't jump around too much, I am expecting about 31M Isk per week.

I have also restricted costs using buy orders, however only for a few jumps from my current PI system.

I have :
  • 1 P4 High Tech Factory
  • 4 P3 Advanced factories in pairs manufacturing 2 of the 3 required commodities required, importing the last.
  • 16 P2 factories in sets of 4 manufacturing 4 of the 6 required commodities to feed my (2 sets of ) P3 factories
 I am importing rather than manufacturing:
  • P3 planetary vehicles
  • P2 polytextiles and transmitters

I also am running 2 launchpads and one storage facility, This is at the cost of a factory or 2, but gives the planet some time to work by itself.  The decision as to how much storage vs manufacturing, and what type is somewhat arbitrary.  Storage facilities are slightly larger and need far less CPU but need expedited transfers; lauchpads are the opposite.

The Customs office also (for hisec at least) works as convenient storage.  While you need to be in system and in space, you can access it for transferring to and from the planet even just outside the station in a frigate.

The opportunity for buy orders in a field that I understand the demand helps, as I have a personal instinctive dislike of buy orders before I know what I am going to do with the products.

What didn't work as well as I would have liked

I can not make everything needed; there simply isn't the CPU or power available even with Command Center Upgrades 4 (previously had 3).  I chose items to manufacture based on the greatest profit I could for each factory.  In the short term I am unlikely to spend the fortnight training to Level 5 required to get possibly 2 (possibly 3 more intermediate factories).  I would rather train up my two alts for PI in far less time.

Storage is a killer.  Restocking my P4 planet once per week is purely in my dreams.  Much more storage and I will miss out on profitability, as with 10% PI taxes it appears better to value add as many steps as possible on one planet.  Just over 3 days is do-able, but my setup will allow for just under 2.5 days; in practice I am looking at 1.5 days and less shuffling to the Storage Facility.

Hisec PI taxes are significant:  1.5 days for my factory has 7.4M Isk in taxes made up of 2.5 M Import tax and 4.9 Export tax.  For an expected sale price of 39M, PI taxes make up 19% or nearly double the so-called '10% PI tax.

Layout matters as there are few visual clues to what each part of your factory is.  Next time I set up a factory, I will more clearly 'chain' individual components.

I have noticed that my buying is putting upward pressure on the prices of input materials, but selling is not (yet) significantly influencing the sell prices.


Hisec P4 factory producing Integrity Response Drones, cherry picking the most profitable items to manufacture.  Have to restock every 1.5 to 2.5 days; with 21 Industry buildings, 2 lauchpads and a storage building.  Expected profit 31M Isk/week.  This is OK ISK earner, but not a setup I would recommend to newbies uncomfortable with inventory management.

My plan from here is to look at a Losec extractor planet, with a player build Customs office with a lower tax rate.

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