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Planetary Interaction: Investment Guide

Investment Guide to designing your own PI production.

September 25, 2013

How to: A Trade Guide

I have gone through, step by step, my thinking process for trading products on the market in Eve Online. This is the basic break down of what goes through my mind when I trade or manufacturer something in Eve Online.

1. Research Phase
1. First I pick a product, Choose a buy station/(mauf. cost) and choose a sell station.
2. Go to the market window and check:
Buy station's product's:

  • Cost overtime - Does the product general stay cheap to buy or make?
  • Current orders -  Is there enough supply for you to buy from at that low cost?
  • Volume overtime -  Are people resupplying?
Sell station's product
  • Cost overtime -  Is it stable at a high price?
  • Current orders - Is there low supply?
  • Volume overtime - Does it sell?
3. Scrap it/ Watch it/ Go for it.
  • Scrap it - If your asking yourself these questions and every time you say no just remove the item from your watch list.
  • Watch it - Indicators aren't great but margins have been good in the past? Keep it on your watch list and wait for another day.
  • Go for it - All indicators good overtime, it is time for a test phase.
2. Test Phase One - Low volume one week test phase.
1. Buy product/mauf. at supply station. I usually start my first order at one to five units worth of stock.
2. Set up test order with 5 units.
3. One week later check speed it sold. Quick sells are good, constant high 30% - 50% margins with no competition are best. Usually though you will see sold returns at about 10% margins. Time to move to the next test phase.

3. Test Phase Two - Higher volume one week test phase.
1. Buy product in larger amounts, 10 to 20 units as capital allows.
2. Set up test order with 20 units.
3. Check day to day over a week.
  • Do you get undercut a lot? Yes or No
  • Does it sell quickly(Relatively small amount of time between sells)? Yes or No
4. If indicators are still looking good and you want to move the item into your portfolio its time to go all out.

4. Portfolio Phase
Start buying and setting up your orders now, you should have run the numbers and should be good to go all out. As time goes on you will get an even better idea of how much competition there is for an product, how much volume you can push, and how much isk your really making.
  • Run the numbers check for the margins and the expected monthly totals. You want to get a general idea of what your going to make on the item this will help you later on as your portfolio expands to compare good trades to better trades.
  • Don't forget to keep an eye on other regional markets through Eve Central, contracts and general chatter.
  • Use tools like EveMon and EveMentat also Eve Neocom App for mobile devices to check: Product Orders is your volume low do you need to restock? You can tell when you have been undercut or its a low player day when order volume isn't dropping.
Optional Expansions
Regional Expansion: Run test phase at other locations in region. Then see how much of a regions volume you can capture.

Hostile Take Over: Identify constant undercut persons or stations. Bring in goods at lower price to remove them. Careful not to drop price to much.  Be creative here remove their supply, drop the price, hire some hit men.

Portfolio Review: After you have a long list of trade items, review your monthly numbers. Replace poor performers with test products or take strong performers into new regional markets.

Overnight/Weekend Investments: Keep a list of expensive low margin items for days when you need your money moving but are on vacation or have a busy weekend.

September 19, 2013

Operation: Cynosural Field Generator I

It was March. I had about 75 million to my name. When I happened upon Cynosural Field Generator I in the market window. The price at the time was around 2.7 to 2.5 million. I quickly did the calculations and at the time my build price was around 1.8 million. Adding it up in my head I was going to make millions. Now for a player that only had about 100 mil to his name the prospect of making 500k margins was insane. I bought a blueprint and got right into production. After my first weeks worth of units rolled off the line I took my profits and bought a second blueprint. They cost about 30 million a piece, a pretty hefty investment when my total net worth came to about 100 mil. I kept running the calculations I was going to be rich. I would be making millions a month and soon be on top of the world.

Several weeks later the price dropped as the market caught up and the margins came down to about 100 to 200k a unit. Not bad but nothing like I was expecting long term. It taught me that the markets shift constantly if something is a good build or trade today it soon won’t be so you have to act fast and stay on top of the changes and when you get really good you will start to predict these changes. The other thing it taught me was diversifying. If I had bought several different blueprints I could have spread out my small investment and kept my margins higher.

After another month I bought several more cyno blueprints and started researching them and used the money I had made to buy still other blueprints and invest in a wide range of manufacturing goodness. Even though today I run a wide assortment of manufacturing I still attribute all the money I have made back to that first start up with the Cynosural Field Generator I.

September 16, 2013

The TOS Storm Rumbles On

We have all been hearing about the change to the Terms of Service agreement. I didn't really care that much until I read this story over at TMC about this huge scam and the claim that this was the reason the TOS was changed.

The short version some people got scammed pretty good I might add, to the sum of 400 billion isk. Someone got banned and this party is claiming the reason the TOS was changed was in due part to this scam. (The article is well worth the read and a brilliant scam the methods only slightly shader than the average scammer.)

The GM team who under a lot of fire posted this clarification the day after the news was posted about the TOS change. The short version here is that basically you can still scam and all this was always in our EULA now it is just more visible.

The article about the scam in question pretty much stated the same thing as the clarification post by the GMs. Concluding that GM's can give judgement on a case by case basis. They can decide how to handle a situation. Now up until this point I haven't heard of a really good reason for the TOS change.  Now whether or not this scam has anything to do with the change still remains in question. But until we hear an official word on things I think peoples questions are going to keep piling up and answers will be in short supply.

CCP is taking discussion on the topic in the forums here.

September 12, 2013

Guns, Germs, and ISK

Your just starting out you have in mind that your goal in Eve is to gain vast amounts of isk. How do you beat the odds when they seem so stacked against you, in that other players have better skills, more isk and play longer than you?  The first fact you need to understand is someone else is always going to have better skills, more isk and play more than you. Work with what you got not with what you want.

No matter how long you have been playing someone else is going to have higher skills point totals than you. This doesn't mean they are better it just means there are some activities or ships that they can experience that you can't. So get out there fly with what you got. You have to fly smarter because your cargo ship can't carry as much. You have to plan better, waiting to shoot through a pack of npcs rather than just attack the whole mission room at once. And one reason there will always be very high skilled character is because you can actually trade characters for in-game money.

No matter how much you play, no matter how much you multi box, or run multiple accounts someone else is always going to have more time to play than you. So right about now I might tell you some of my sentiments for playing the game in the first place; like not making it a job that's your call not mine but do try and have a little fun after all it is just a game.

There are a lot of rich players out there. What you need to understand is there are even more powerful groups of players out there with vast amounts of resources. So what can you do alone to try and find a piece of the pie? Aside from a few get rich quick schemes getting rich in Eve is similar to the real world it takes a lot of hard work and being quick on your feet. There is no easy mode to getting rich quick. You just keep at it, and true it goes a little faster in Eve Online in terms of real time but it will happen. Now that is if your just working alone, if you work together with others you will find there is still plenty of pie to go around.

September 5, 2013

How to: A PI Guide

Before we start make sure you have the necessary skills to get started with Planetary Interaction.

1. Decide on what you want to make
Before I go any further I take a look at this handy PI commodities chart. I pick a few potential items and then cross check the market in game or over at Eve Central.

2.  Plan the Production
Understand what other commodities you need to buy or build planet side and what raw resources you will need to produce the PI commodity you choose.

Map feature showing my ability to remotely scan planets from a distance.
3. Picking Planets and Scanning for Resources
  • Needs to have the raw resources required for the product you want to produce.
  • Close to your area of operation or your home system.
  • Have a low radius. Lower radius planets use less CPU to connect structures meaning more extractors.
  • Have similar planets close by in system or one jump out so all your PI operations are close for ease of up keep. has an excellent database of system's planets and there sizes(radius).

4. Scan to find a spot for your Command Center
Find and choose a good location for your command center. If your extracting more than one resource try and place your command center between the two.

5. Get your equipment planet side
Time to get into space. Get your indy hauler out and buy the specific command center for the planet you want to colonize. If you have already chosen a location on the planet all you need to do is be in system with your hauler with the command center in the cargo hold. In planet mode, place the command center on the surface and hit submit.

6. Build your factories/route your products

7. Start your extractors(or drop off resources for a larger operations)
I run a 3 day cycle for my specific operations and using Google Calendar to keep track of when the cycle needs to be reset. I also have google calendar send me a reminder email.

8. Once a week pick up/ship to market
I pick one day out of the week for pick up and shipping.

Don't be afraid to dump a planet if the production just isn't there. Resources can change over time or maybe your skills just weren't that great when you first scanned down the planet. Also don't be afraid to retool to a different product if its going for higher on the market. Unless you have some sort of emotional attachment to what your building its ok to build something else for more isk.

PI Investment Guides:
Basic Planetary Interaction: covers the basic skills, ships and material costs for a simple 3 planet PI production. Total Investment Cost: 5,631,000 isk.
Intermediate Planetary Interaction: a more advanced version of the basic guide, this will show you what you need to maximize your PI production. Total Investment Cost: 6,431,000 isk. 

September 3, 2013

Reaction to Odyssey 1.1 Changes

Industrial Ship Changes - They have put the fun into a 14 day old pilots hands. Given you can't fly industrials during a trial account. I was an industrial player from the get go. I would make trip after trip hauling ore this way and that for a little profit.
These new specilized bays give power to new players and utility to old ones. You now have more options and more choices. Lets take a look at these ships and what they mean for you in terms of real utility.

Miasmos - Ore, Ice and Gas bay allows younger players and miners to get ore back to market hubs or refineries easier expect a lot more ore in trade hubs.

Epithal - PI bay the ship I am looking forward to the most. If you even run a causal amount of PI without deep skills into an industrial ship you know how frustrating it can be to move commodities back and forth when your managing 5 or 10 different planets across several characters.

Kyros- Mineral Bay same as ore bay increase movement in minerals around New Eden escpessialy for younger players.

Hoarder - Ammo Bay aside from the PI bay I think this has limited uses, its one more option and we have established choice is a good thing.

Iteron, Wreathe, Badger, Sigil - Faster AU ships I do a lot of my own hauling I except these to replace my Iteron V for quick trips here and there. I just don't have that much time to fly around space. The only thing better than having more options is saving time in game and these ships are a win win.

In other areas renaming and consolidating the layout of skills is a natural simplification that of course the blog Eve Simplified loves.

Lowering the timer for jump clones - Again a great option that makes an already powerful feature in the game even more powerful. Along with the option to create even more jump clones.

A great set of new features to what might seem like a simple patch. These are all the changes that caught my eye. Check out all the changes at the Features and Ideas Discussion Thread on the forums. Patch notes can be found here.