PI: Is it worth the effort?

I’m seriously trying to work out whether PI is worth it. Though this might be better termed ‘Is PI worth it for me?”. As a bit of background I’ll summarise my current situation.

I live in pretty decent 0.0 space. I have my main and a carrier flying alt in the same corp with access to systems with -0.9 trusec. The systems are developed and contain many high value anomalies, as well as decent belt rats with the chance of office spawns.

I set up a five planet PI production chain with my alt producing robotics. I make the P1 product on four of the planets and then move the T1 product to the fifth planet for the P2 and P3 production. This can generate 20 units of Robotics an hour based on my current skills. Given 24 hour production that gives me a maximum of 480 units per day for 30-45 minutes effort. Looking at local prices of 35k/unit this would give an income of 16.8 mil ISK if maximum production could be maintained.

Unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to keep going at that level without running short (1 day) extraction runs and moving the extractors about on the planet. This takes longer, maybe an hour a day, and incurs additional cost.

Using my main in a decent PVE ship with fighter support from my alt I can clear a Haven, or Sanctum, and salvage it in less than an hour. Doing this will get me 20-30 mil ISK/hour. Looking at the raw figures I’d be better off spending the time ratting than doing PI.

I thought about the impact of neutrals/hostiles in system. This affects both endeavours though. I can’t move materials between planets without putting myself at risk if either are in system. Its not a stretch to realise that that hauler, even a cloaky one, that’s on D-Scan could be going between Customs Offices. Also you can’t import/export materials to/from a planet unless you are uncloaked in space.

So, if PI isn’t profitable for me, who is going to do PI? I’m guessing either dedicated industrialists, or low-SP players. Anyone with the 40+ mil SP I have just isn’t going to find it worthwhile.

Could it be made worth it for me? If there was a way to remove some of the risk, or automate the process of placing extractor heads to speed up the relocation process. That might make it worth it for an individual. As it stands its just not worth the effort for me. Shame really given the effort spent on it, and its apparent importance wrt Dust.

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4 Responses to “PI: Is it worth the effort?”

  1. I recently started looking into Planetary Interaction; primarily I use it to supplement my manufacturing materials — I don’t need to haul anything that I can produce, and I don’t really need to pay for it other than the start-up cost and nominal export/import fees. I haven’t found it to drastically increase my wealth, but it saves me time in the long-run. Emphasis on me (as in it works for me but I play differently than many others)

    However, I emphasized ease of maintenance when I set up my chains. I don’t produce any P1 for export — each of my planets produce a single P2 item. Even where I run my P3 processing, I also produce one of the P2 items that goes into the processor. In the end, I produce roughly 1,000 units of P2 commodities and 100 units of P3 commodities each day, and I minimize the fiddling to about once every 4 days.

    If you’re deep in 0.0, it may be worth it to do this kind of minimalist PI to feed your local industrialists.

    Just another take.

  2. Carl Spackler Says:

    It just comes down to what you enjoy and what you can handle.

    I do PI in w-space and I make enough to keep my accounts on PLEX and a little more.

    It takes me 10-15 minutes a night to reset extractors (which can be done while waiting for roams to start, or other boring activities on my main).

    And than about once a week I need to dedicate an hour or so to hauling and moving stuff around.

    It works for me, but I know it does not for everyone.

    For what its worth I don’t mine, mission run, or anything else to generate income other than PI anymore.

  3. Maybe I should rework the planets to produce the P2 products on them. That would reduce the amount of ferrying stuff about, and taxes.

    Thanks for the comments.

  4. Given you have been in the game for a while, I’d worry less about the ISK per hour returns, and more about what you enjoy or what keeps you amused. If PI is becoming a chore, slow the extraction rates to once every few days or once a week, and rework the planets to reduce transport effort. Better to earn half the ISK and be happy, than double the ISK while struggling to motivate yourself to log in.

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