I did okay in PI 1.0. It took less than a month to earn back my initial investment of about 50M ISK. Using PI 1.0 I was able to generate a fairly steady 80M ISK a month in about 20 minutes a day.
Then PI 2.0 rolled out with Incursion. Gone was the click-fest. In came in-place upgrades (which I immediately took advantage of,) extractor heads and resource depletion. Now PI is a much more dynamic and interesting proposition. I am also making nearly twice as much from PI 2.0 than I did from PI 1.0. Here is what I've figured out so far (in no specific order:)
- Resources occur in specific "terrain types" on the various planets and some resources are exclusive of others (they will never occur in the same "terrain type".) This was true in PI 1.0 and I think most PI manufactures know this. In PI 2.0, position your extractors to cover multiple resource "terrain types." It is very easy to switch resources using extractor heads that can be moved anywhere within the extractor's range. Just don't forget to setup your resource routing after changing to a new resource!
- If you are in a widely spread "terrain type" disperse your extractor heads. Arrange them in a circle if you can. There is no cost to extractor head links so concentrating them is no longer a cost saver. This lowers the depletion rate and you will get a better long term extraction rate than if you concentrate the heads in one spot.
- Dispersal is not practical or desirable on hot-spots. On those, concentration is the name of the game.
- Don't be afraid to move extractors around. If a juicy hot-spot develops out of range of any extractor just remove one and rebuild near the new hot-spot. It costs a measly 45K and you'll get that back very quickly.
- On large planets, like Gas planets, you may want to use more than one space port. The link costs will kill your production on those planets as they will cost too much power and reduce the number of extractor heads you can deploy. They are expensive but in the long run the cost is justified.
- Speaking of Gas planets, their "terrain types" run in belts around the planet. Hot spots seem to move along those resource bands like storms on Jupiter. Keep that in mind when positioning extractors.
- Try and locate your C&C, Space Port (every planet should have one to buffer resources and products) and factories in an area that has the lowest resource potential possible or is a "terrain type" of a resource you don't need. This will hopefully keep them off hot-spots you may want to jump on later. You can't setup an extractor if all your factories are covering the hot-spot.
- A self sustaining Level IV production system takes time (and money) to develop and needs constant tweaking. Identify your critical components, those that are resource limited to one planet that can only provide a given amount of the necessary raw material. That component will dictate your end results. For example., in my 0.8 security system my limiting product is Consumer Electronics. It needs non-CS Crystals which neither of the Lava planets in my system produce very much of. I can manufacture 120 of these a day. I make sure these get made and I constantly work other resources to get as much as possible out of them without shorting the Consumer Electronic factory.
- More than one Planet type can produce a given resource. Don't be afraid to transport resources between planets to cross level. Yes, you will be taxed. That's the price of doing business. Work on your skills to lower the tax amount but pay it regardless. Squeaking out one more Level IV product should cover the cost of cross leveling and then some.
The bottom line is really this: work your planets. Be dynamic in your working of those planets and constantly try to maximize your output at every level. The planets now change dynamically. The good PI manufacture will be just as dynamic.
Here are some screen shots of my evolving PI 2.0 endeavor:
And now for a bit of fun. I was taking some PI products to Jita and found myself on the same route as a pod piloted by betterdent. Every time my Occator hit a jump gate, there he was but always silent. Then, close to Jita, he spoke up in local and got an immediate response. However, the conversation is a bit of a puzzle. What the hell could it mean? It has to be code!
[ 2011.03.02 05:25:08 ] betterdent > TOOKIE NOM NOMS
[ 2011.03.02 05:25:20 ] VYUSHUR > k
[ 2011.03.02 05:25:25 ] betterdent > NO U
[ 2011.03.02 05:25:33 ] VYUSHUR > har de har.
[ 2011.03.02 05:25:40 ] betterdent > OH SHIT