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Friday, September 7, 2012

High Profit Wormhole PI - Part 2

This post is twice as long as I normally like to give you. However, this is not a short post subject. You have been warned. Luckily you have all weekend to chew on it.

In part one of High Profit Wormhole PI, I discussed the transportation and market considerations that govern PI in a wormhole. To sum up, you can't always get to market when you want and minimizing cargo hauling capacity is paramount. WH dynamics are responsible for that. If you're going to live in a hole, you've got to bet the cards given to you and bluffing will only get you podded.

Just be aware, these are WH considerations and do not apply to high-sec, low-sec or null-sec.Those areas have their own considerations. Also, everything I discuss assumes you are doing it with one character. I do not play the alt game. It has always seemed a bit too much like cheating to me. That's just the way I am. I have my own code. I don't do alts - end of conversation. You may use as many as you like though. I'm not prejudiced about it.

Now, with that out of the way, in part two I'll go into the specifics of how I setup my production lines. This approach applies anywhere. The more experienced Industrialist might not find  much in this from which they will benefit. But that isn't the reason I'm writing about it. I'm doing it for those that are new to Eve Online or new to PI. For you old hands out there, I encourage you to add to what I'm putting down here. New industrialists need all the help they can get and a lot of what we consider basic knowledge never gets written down. Industry isn't like LP farming. It requires a substantial knowledge base to pull off successfully. Let's knowledge-fy the uninitiated shall we?

So, to start with, the skill requirements for this setup are extreme. I am level 5 in all PI skills except Remote Sensing. Remote Sensing doesn't apply in a WH or, from what I've seen, anywhere else. You can do this setup with varying success with some skills that are not level 5. The skills that must be level 5 are Command Center Upgrades and Interplanetary Consolidation. You will want an Elite Command Center (ECC) on each of six planets to obtain maximum profit. It will take about two months to train those skills to level V so plan accordingly.

The next thing you need to do is conduct an assay of your planets. You need to scan every single one of them and determine what they have in abundance, what they have in less than an abundance and what they might not have at all. Even though every planet has five (5) resources you can extract, they have varying amounts of those resources. Sometimes they don't have five resources even, not really. Take a look at my temperate planet.
This has got to be the only temperate planet ever to not have any Aqueous Liquids on it. Actually, that is not quite a true statement. It does have them. It would probably show a quarter bar in high-sec with the amount it has. That's the thing you need to know. The resource bars are relational to one another. They are not absolute quantities. This says the planet has huge tracts of everything except Aqueous Solutions. However, it does have an amount comparable to a high-sec planet.

You need to know differences in availability like this before you start putting command centers down. Aqueous Liquids can be obtained on several planet types. Use the one that gives the best relative harvest. But if the missing resource had been Autotrophs, and this was my only temperate planet, I could have forgotten about producing Nanite Repair Paste (NRP) in large quantities. Industrial Fiber production would have been greatly constrained and thus a bottleneck in the entire NRP production chain. As it was, this was not a show stopper, only a show changer.

After the planet reconnoiter is complete, you can start planning your production lines. That's not building them. I wrote, "planning them." First planning point, don't be lured into extracting all the resources you can simply because you can. What constrains your production system isn't what you can extract, but how much you can produce of your desired end products. This is important so let me repeat it.

***What constrains your production system isn't what you can extract, but how much you can produce of your desired end product.***

What do you mean Mabrick? Isn't more better? Look at all those Autotrophs! Yeah, I feel you. It took me awhile to figure it out myself. So lets consider my last production system. It was a high-sec P4 line producing Wetware Mainframes. P4 items are the easiest with which to illustrate the problem. You have to ask yourself this. "How many lower level facilities does it take to support one High-Tech Production Planet (HTTP) in full production?" Here's the answer... hang on.

One fully stocked HTPP produces 24 Wetware Mainframes a day. To do so it needs 144 Biotech Research Reports, 144 Cryoprotectant Solutions and 144 Supercomputers. To produce that many P3 items requires six (6) Advanced Industry Facilities (AIF.) Each one can produce 72 units a day. Each one of those AIFs require two (2) AIFs producing the needed nine (9) P2 components. One AIF with a P2 schematic loaded can produce 120 units a day. AIFs run both P2 and P3 schematics BTW. Each of those P2 configured AIFs requires one (1) Basic Industry Facility (BIF) for complete fulfillment. BIFs produce items twice as fast as the AIFs so can keep up with the 40 unit requirement for the P2 AIFs. BIFs produce 960 units per hour.

You also need to know how many components are needed for each level of production. In the case of Wetware Mainframes, it requires three (3) P3 components as mentioned. Each of your P3 schematics require three (3) P2 products. Each of those P2 schematics require two (2) P1 products. The number of facilities needed must reflect these ratios. So, lets put all this into an equation shall we.

1 HTPP + (3 P3 Schematics * 2 AIF each) + (9 P2 Schematics * 4 AIF each) + (18 P1 Schematics * 4 BIF each) = 115 total factories

That's a lot of factories. How much grid is that going to take from the six Elite Command Centers? Like ships, each Command Center has a limited amount of CPU and grid. Grid should always be the limiting factor. If it isn't, you have not maximized your production and have too many non-productive modules installed. Though in my experience, I've never seen this happen. Grid seems to always be the limiter. So, all together the six Elite Command Centers produce 114,000 MW (19,000 MW *6) of grid. These factories consume 400 MW per HTPP, 700 MW per AIF and 800 MW per BIF. Time for another equation.

( 1 HTTP * 400 MW) + (6 AIF * 700 MW) + (36 AIF * 700 MW) + (72 BIF * 800 MW) = 87,400 MW

That leaves enough grid to run 10 Extractor Control Units (ECU, 2600 MW each) and one Extractor Head (550 MW.) That's not one head per ECU, that's one head period. You can reduce the ECUs and get five (5) heads for every eliminated ECU, but you will never be able to run enough ECUs to obtain all the resources you need for maximum HTTP output.

Put another way, it is impossible to produce 24 Wetware Mainframes by yourself no matter what you do. The six ECCs will never produce enough grid for all the factories needed. Even with maximum skills you don't have the grid to accommodate that fit. You need to know that before putting any Command Centers on the ground. If you approach the problem from the extraction point of view, you'll build all these extractors and facilities only to discover that your P3 AIFs and HTTP stand idle for much of the time. You've over built your power hungry low end production line and that's wasted ISK in more ways than one my friends.

***Know the grid limitations for the Command Centers you can use and plan your production from the top down, not the bottom up.***

So what's a hard working industrialist to do? You can either partner up, use an alt or buy your needed components off the market. In a WH, you can forget the last option. If you have no partners because they are busy building components for POS fuel, you are left with the alt solution. Or, you run scenarios until you determine what you can build by yourself. Then you pick the most profitable commodities from those choices and optimize them keeping your transportation restrictions from Part 1 in mind.

I already had an idea that I wanted to produce NRP in the WH. The equations for that production system look like this,

<----------------------- Gel-Matric Biopaste ----------------------------->
(1 P3 AIF + (3 P2 Schematics * 2 AIF each) + (6 P1 Schematics * 2 BIF each)) + 
<----------------------- Data Chips ------------------------------------>
(1 P3 AIF + (2 P2 Schematics * 2 AIF each) + (4 P1 Schematics * 2 BIF each)) + 
<------- Nanites ----------------------->
(2 P2 AIF + (2 P1 Schematics * 2 BIF each)) = 38 total factories


((1 AIF * 700 MW) + (6 AIF * 700 MW) + (12 BIF * 800 MW)) + ((1 AIF * 700 MW) + (4 AIF * 700 MW) + (8 BIF * 800 MW)) + ((2 AIF * 700 MW) + (4 BIF * 800 MW)) = 29,000 MW

As this requires 12 ECUs to feed the 24 BIFs add,

12 ECUs * 2600 MW = 31,200 MW

Add a Launch Pad at 700 MW and the total grid needed (without extractor heads or link costs) is 60,900 MW out of 114,000 MW. That leaves enough grid to run about 90 extractor heads! Also, Oxygen is used twice in this production system. That frees up enough grid for five more heads but you'll have to double the heads on one ECU. Let's say four instead of two. You gain 3 heads.

After seeing this, I was inclined to think, "Hey, I could double that production!" Let's do the math. You will need double the facilities to double the production. Double the grid use for facilities to 58,000 grid. That leaves 56,000 grid. You can still use the same number of ECUs because WH planets are stinking loaded. That leaves 27,400 grid. Don't forget the Landing Pad: 26,700 MW. That leaves enough grid for about 48 heads. However, since you will need twice as many heads they go from only 24 heads (two per) to 48 heads. This does not take into account the grid cost of links or the possibility you may need more heads per ECU on occasion. Guess what? I just saved myself from a lot of unnecessary expense because the numbers told me ahead of time I couldn't realistically double my production of NRP.

Even though I couldn't double my production of NRP items, I had quite a bit of grid left over. It wasn't enough to run a completely separate P3 line with its additional 19 factories and associated ECUs. However, I was already producing two of the needed resources for Robotics. Since WH planets are so rich, it allowed me to just add an Extractor Head or two and double the BIFs already in place on two P1 lines. That was half the P1 products for Robotics. It saved me just enough grid to support a second factory planet for Robotics.

With all this information gathered, I was finally ready to start building my NRP production. Here are a couple planets from my final production line.
High Capacity P1 Production - notice the need for a Storage Facility
Secondary Factory Planet
Notice that some of my ECUs have an odd number of lines coming off them for the heads. Yep, two heads was overly optimistic on a couple planets. WH planets are resource rich but they aren't always resource rich in the same places. I also had to use a couple extra storage facilities to handle the extracted resources. It's always best to leave yourself a little grid leeway. You won't need much.

When setting up your production colonies, there are many other considerations to take into account.  Here are the ones I look at and my thought processes concerning them.
  • Select the planets that are richest in the resources needed for primary product (in my case NRP components.) If you have a choice of two planets that can both provide the quantities you need, pick the one with the smallest diameter. Link costs suck.
  • Of the chosen planets, select one you can limit to only one P1 BIF product line if possible and move other resource harvesting to other planets. Make it your primary factory planet. All primary P2 and P3 production should be done there, it is just more efficient that way. Make sure it is a small diameter planet. Don't try this on a 150km diameter gas giant. The increased grid requirement for links is untenable.
  • Identify another planet that can serve as a secondary factory planet if you have an unrelated P3 line to run. Don't overload your primary factory planet. If you have the grid to spare, don't move that P1 line I mentioned earlier and that will make this easier.
  • Try and limit all planets to only two resources if possible. ECUs are grid expensive and you will want to do your P1 production on planet.
  • It does not matter where your Command Center goes, but place your Landing Pad in a location central to your resource collection to minimize ECU link distance. This is critical on large planets like Gas Giants! Once the Landing Pad is in place, cluster your remaining modules around it as I have. When building strings of factories, connect them to each other, not the landing pad. I am OCD enough that each string of factories produces the same thing. If I go above three in a row, I start a new row. That's my preference. If you have to, you can go as many as six. Just remember, links are pipes with finite capacity. Try not to have to upgrade them as that is just wasted ISK IMO.
  • When looking for a second profit generating line, find one that leverages your existing line even if it isn't the outright most profitable line you could run. Robotics came in third on my P3 profitability spreadsheet. Third is still better than missing the game entirely.
And penultimately, here is the Planet Overview table from EveHQ's PI Manager for my Nanite Repair Paste and Robotics production lines.
With consistent attention (I run it on a 24 hour cycle,) it will gross in the area of about 450 million ISK a month. Some months may be a little less. Some months may be a little more. But what is really important to me is that I can do this by myself. I don't need an alt or a partner. I am an independent industrialist and I intend to stay that way. It's my hard work. It's my reward.

I hope this has made some sense and helps you to realize your PI asperations. If I can leave you with one last thought it's this - PI is about planning, planning and more planning. Obsess on the details and you too will have high profits.

Fly careful.


  1. Is there a particular way you're getting the PI plugin for Eve - HQ to work?

    Otherwise, this is so immensely helpful words cannot describe. As someone just about to get into PI because I have just spent too long having the skills but not takign the time to properly plan it out and implement it, this is exactly what I needed.

    However, that being said, what would you say is the biggest difference between planning something like this out in a WH and in hi-sec? Taxes? Attempting to minimize amount of material that needs to be shuffled between planets? End-product goal?

    1. My experience tells me the PI plugin is problematic. There was a tome when the overview table didn't work at all for me. I've also noticed that the link costs aren't correct. I hope the new developer has time to look into the plugin and help it out. It's a goo visualization tool.

      I also suggest you take a look at Eve Planets ( and Tetragrammaton Research ( They are very helpful web sites. Lastly there is Eve Planetary Planner ( that runs on the PC.

      The differences in planning for HS versus LS is really no different. Just remember, in HS there are far fewer resources on the planets. It is quite likely that you will have to move ECUs to hot spots as they appear in order to extract enough of some resources. I had one gas giant that I had to run an ECU with Landing Pad for each hot spot because link costs were just too great. In order to make it work, I had to absorb the cost of multiple landing pads. There were no factories at all on the planet. It was resource only and required constant maintenance and changes. It was not a static setup. So, you will get less ISK generation from HS planets and they will cost you more to run.

      Taxes suck. They took me from a 300 million ISK operation in HS to a 150 million ISK operation once the new tax system was implemented. CCP claimed it was a doubling. My research indicated it was more like a 6x increase. However, you can still make profit.

      Minimize shuttling whenever possible. In HS this is not as much an issue. I did PI in a 300k EHP Orca. No one was going to pop that before CONCORD showed up. With HS taxes, each time you don't have to move a product is money you save. Also remember launch taxes are double landing taxes. You may want to research what is cheapest to launch and try to move only those things. That's a lot of extra work though and probably won't pan out as your production needs trump tax considerations.

      For end products, you should have a look at the market tables for various products and see if there is one with high volume and prices. I did a few tables of P3 and P2 products in a post a few weeks ago that looked at profit per cubic meter. That's one way to look at it. In HS, size doesn't matter nearly as much as in WH. I'd say go with what sells and sells high. I manufactured 12 Wetware Mainframes a day in HS. They always sold.

      I hope that helps. Thanks for the kind words!

  2. how do you feel about using 1 ecu and a silo and switching extraction of p0s in place of using 2 ecu concurrently? After playing with pos fuel stuff ive decided to go allout robotics production I have one max skill toon and will eventually have another (I think ill stop at 2) im running in null so i have high yield and I would ideally like a set up where all 12 planets are working together to make the robotics and i only need to visit them once a week, im fine with restarting heads every day though. what would you advise?

    1. What I've done to maximize Robotics production in a C6 wormhole is to use 2 planets per robotics line: one a lava and one a barren. You can use other planets, but these worked out best for me. On the lava planet I made consumer electronics with a 3x3x3 setup: 3 basics for Chiral Structures, 2 basics for Toxic Metals and 3 advanced facilities for making the Consumer Electronics from those. On the lava planets I had a 3x3x4/5 setup. That was 3 basics for Reactive Metals, 3 basics for Precious Metals, three advanced for Mechanical Parts and, if grid allowed, 2 advanced for the robotics. You actually need 1.5 advanced for full production so if one planet is week you can cut back to only 1 advanced for Robotics. With this setup I was able to produce robotics full time at the rate of 108 a day times three (three barren planets.) I only needed a landing pad to hold the raw materials which fit handily into the 10k cubic meters. All ECUs dumped into the landing pad but the 720k m3 was almost immediately processed into P1 material and then into P2 material lowering the overall storage needed. However, a single silo cannot hold 720k m3 twice over so you may run out of room switching material mid-week. You'll also have a slight uptick in overhead as you'll need to move that one ECU. The two P0 resources needed for any P1 item never overlap to any great degree. I believe that is by design. I also used the smallest planets possible so it minimized link cost if I had to place them away from the factory cluster. Of course, this made me have to cross level every day. I've tried silos some in the past and found that managing the expedited transfers to be a pain in the a$$. If you expedite 900k cubic meters of something you have like a six (6) hour wait until you can do it again. I find that just irritating TBH so I don't bother. I really like to get a production flow going that allows P2 production on a single planet straight away. Hope that all makes sense and at least gets close to the answer you need.

    2. "2 basics for Toxic Metals" - correction, 3 basics for Toxic Metals


Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.