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Monday, September 2, 2013

New Bro PI Questions - From a Real New Bro

One of the real pleasures of having a blog is being contacted through New Eden email by capsuleers who have read my mumblings. It's a bonus when they want advice! This weekend I've had just such a correspondence. With permission, I've posted it here for all to read. There were some very good PI questions asked, and I am certain that many New Bros have these questions. Hopefully they will find these answers.
2013.09.01 01:24
New Bro PI
From: [redacted]
To: Mabrick

Hey, man. I'm a new bro who read your article about making lots and lots of ISK in highsec with PI. So I decided that I didn't want to be a poor noob and trained up my skills the way you said and when I was all done, I went to work on 3 lava and 3 barren planets in lowsec (Hey, if I can get rich in highsec, I gotta be able to get richer in lowsec), and started making robotics. But after a few days, my estimates of gross profit do not look good at all (just over 100 million).  
To reiterate, I've got the skills maxed exactly the way you said (5 consolidation, 5 CC upgrades). I am wondering if the culprit is the way I've set up the system - I've got every planet doing some extracting AND processing. Is this advisable? Is it better to have some planets extract and some process? If you were to shoot some advice over to a fellow care-badger that would be absolutely wonderful. 
Here is my response.
2013.09.01 18:37
Re: New Bro PI
From: Mabrick
To: [redacted] 
Welcome new bro! 
What is the time frame for making the 100 mISK: week or month? If it's weekly, that's not bad. If it's monthly it is bad. I'll address your question first. IMO it's best as a single gooer (slang for one who does PI) to have planets extracting and making at the same time up until you have to make a P4 product (like Wetware Mainframes.) Since you are only going to a P3 product, mixing is called for so you're right there. 
Lets look at your facilities first. They should be clustered around your starport. They all don't have to practically touch it, only the first facility in the chain, but all the others should be as close to another facility as possible to reduce link cost. That's overhead you should do everything possible to minimize. 
Next, have a look at your planetary diameters. Some planets, like Gas planets, are huge. That makes all links that much more expensive. Even the shortest links possible will cost five to ten times more than a rocky planet. When I ran pure robotics earlier this year it was with 3 barren and 3 lava. Gas planets can really kill your profit margin. Have a look at On the line that says planets, pick Barren and Lava only and click the Push tab at the bottom of the planet section. It'll tell you what you can produce. 
[EDIT:  What I neglected to tell this New Bro was that there is a system search at the bottom of the web page. If you put the system name in, it will tell you all the planets in that system, their type, their diameter and what you can make with the planet mix in that system. Very helpful.
So, if you have three Barren and three Lava, you run Mechanical parts on the Barrens and Consumer Electronics and Robotics on the Lava. The facility setup is really simple. Setup equal numbers of P1 facilities and P2 facilities. Like 3 Chiral Structures, 3 Toxic Metals and 3 Consumer Electronics. For P1 and P2 setups, they are always matched like that - always. For the Barren setup it would be 3 Reactive Metals, 3 Precious Metals and 3 Mechanical parts. Your Robotics facilities can go on either planet type, whichever ones have the grid to support it. If your planets are too constrained, you can actually just switch your Consumer Electronics or Mechanical Parts to Robotics to do your P3 production. That's the cool thing with Advanced facilities, they do both P2 and P3 and can be switched on the fly. 
That leaves your extractors. Setup those with direct links on the small planets. If the planet is too large you may need a second Space Port, but that'll eat into your profits. At this point, you'll have to balance your facilities and your extraction rate. If your extractors can only do 288,000 a 23/24 hour period, you can only support a 2x setup. If you can pull 432,000 in a 23/24 hour period you can support a 3x setup. Each 144k extracted in a 23/24 hour period supports one facility chain (P1+P1-->P2). Hope that makes sense. 
Lastly, since this email is longish, what is your POCO tax rate? If you are using Interbus stations, your tax rate is an unbelieveable 18% (EDIT: I had it wrong. See below for correct rate.] I doubt you can make a good profit with that high a rate. If the stations are true POCOs, the tax rate could be anything. Whoever controls the POCO sets the tax rate. In our C6, the alliance owns the POCOs and the tax rate is zero. If you are that lucky in low-sec I'll be surprised. That's the one thing about low-sec PI that makes it problematic. Pirates don't just blow up your ships. They charge outrageous taxes and stick it to gooers who might not check. 
Anyway, my last Robotics production made 300 units a day in a wormhole system. At current Jita median price, that should come out to 16.5 mISK gross a day for as little as 30 minutes time - an hour if you're avoiding pirates. That's a little over 100 mISK a week. If your 100 mISK figure is per week and not per month, I'd say you're on the money. 
Lastly, if I turned this into a blog post would you mind, even if I masked your identity? I think other's might like to read all this. 
And here's my last email from this New Bro (with the corrected tax rate! *LOL*)
2013.09.02 00:39
Re: Re: New Bro PI
From: [redacted]
To: Mabrick

Wow, thanks for the long reply! 
So I've made a bunch of noob mistakes, but I just went around fixing them up and maxing my power grid on all my facilities. What was happening was that I was way under max power and running too many factories for the number of extractors I have, but I pumped up the extractor heads so it is more or less even now. However, before taxes, I'm still only making around 237 million a month, assuming I sell them for 55,000 a pop. That means I'm making about 480 units of consumer electronics / mechanical parts each day across my planets and processing all of them in my three dedicated robotics factories. 
In terms of taxes, 5 of my planets have Interbus COs, with the accompanying 17% tax rate. However, one of my robotics-producing Barren worlds has a pirate POCO with a paltry 5% rate, so yay me. 
I now know I'm not going to be making your 500 million mark because I'm not in a WH, and all the WH planets I've seen in gooper videos have had way more resources than the planets in this system. Your article says lots about noobs making it big in highsec, so I got my hopes up a little high. Still, 250 million a month before taxes is more than enough to support my PvP habit, and as soon as this character hits 10 million skillpoints she can move into a sov-holding null corp and watch profits skyrocket. 
I'm fine with being featured in the article, you can keep my identity secret if you want, it doesn't matter to me. I can send you some screenshots of my more attractive setups if that's something you'd be interested in printing.
I especially like that this care-badger will be expanding his horizons as he trains and develops as a capsuleer. If you'd like to see his setup, please let me know in the comments and I'll obtain the images. I'd like to keep the New Bro anonymous so as to not "endanger" any possible future affiliations he might desire to pursue. Sometimes associating with an opinionated blogger like me with "enemies" makes you a target as well. Who knew? *LOL*

And about making it rich - that's a relative term it turns out. When I was a high-sec only carebear, making 300-500m ISK a month was a lot of ISK. Now that I've broadened my horizons some, I see how this game supports making that amount of ISK in an hour. However, the risks do go up - supposedly, but not really. I can say that PvE in a C6, when done properly, is risk free. PI can even be risk free if you can get the rest of the alliance to go along with closing the hole up. I also know from my buddy in FA that care-badgering in their systems is also practically risk free. It seems that carebears in high-sec might have a higher chance of being ganked than many who make billions have of losing a ship and its contents. When I take sleeper loot into a hub, I am more worried about that last high-sec system than I am of traversing the pipe. The mantra of more gain for more risk is frankly pretty hollow in this game as it stands today. Perhaps CCP and the CSM can take a hard look at that, and make the dangerous places in New Eden truly more dangerous than running cargo into Jita.

Watch Out


  1. If you want to make the most profit with the least amount of daily effort i think the best way is to make P2 on planets from the ground up (R0 -> P2).

    There are at least a dozen P2 on the market that sells for 7000 ISK or more each. And since you can produce P2 on a planet without any of your factories running idle (like with P3 on one planet from R0 to P3) you can make more profit, and you only need to check on your factories within 24-48 hours depending on your setup.
    And this way you only have to travel to the planets weekly to collect, and can make around 120 million ISK per week depending on what you are producing.

    But this can only be done in low sec.

    And before you set up shop on a planet it is better to scan it for resource distribution. It is a lot of effort to find good planets...

    What do you think Mabrick?

    1. In low-sec makes a fair amount of sense to only have to visit weekly - so long as it's not the same day and time each week. You can still run daily extractor times for near max yield, or even shorter periods for mac yield, because that can be done while cloaked at a safe. It may require a larger ship to haul the P2 products as there may be a lot of them. But the new PI only hauler has 45k m3 which will clear out an entire POCO and then some. Nice! One thing I'm apprehensive about is the amount of P2 on the market. A lot of people make it and so it can be hard to move. However, it will eventually move so long as you can keep adjusting the price to be competitive. That may take more time than a New Bro wants to spend on it, especially if the are just looking to fund other activities.


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