PI: Improving PI Performance by Optimization of Planetary Links

Merriam-Webster definition of Optimization: an act, process, or methodology of making something (as a design, system, or decision) as fully perfect, functional, or effective as possible; specifically : the mathematical procedures (as finding the maximum of a function) involved in this.

What the hell does optimizing anything have to do with PI in a game of Internet Spaceships? Quite allot if you have a lot of PI Planets setup with Command Center, Basic Industry Facilities, Extractor Units, Storage Units, Launchpads, Links and rolling over in all that ISK. If you have never put much thought into where you do PI, what products your extracting, on what planet and the size of the planet you’re doing PI on all that can affect planetary design setup on the ground. With some optimization you can most likely squeeze some more efficiency out of those planetary setup’s for increased extraction or raw material production over time which does increase your ISK from planet. Often number one internet search to this blog is about PI as well.

Its been a long time since I did a PI post and haven’t had much time at all since the Crucible patch to play around much with my Highsec PI planets as it relates to structures on the ground. Mostly have just gone day to day as needed resetting Extractor Units when needed, move an extractor arm around here and there, launch materials off planets, pickup material from Customs Office and take back to hanger. Every now and then take some PI material to a Factory Facility setup planet to make some P2-P4 Items for use in making other PI Starbase Structures. And for most people who do PI that’s about most that they will do or care to do instead of doing more clicky clicky.

However whatever planetary setup on the ground you have doing PI you can probably improve its performance over time with tweaks. Various things like the radius size of a planet, planetary yield, structure layout and length of Planetary Links can affect the final outcome of how you end up designing your planetary structure setup which can affect its output performance. One of the way you can now improve performance as a result of the Crucible patch is with Planetary Links.

What? Yeah Links! That thing that connects all your planetary structures so you can move stuff from Extractor Units to Launchpads/Storage Units to Basic Industry Facility and all such……. Links.

EVE Online Crucible Patch Notes: Nov 29th 2011

Planetary Interaction

    • We have boosted the bandwidth of links to be five times bigger to deal with the hassle of constantly upgrading them.

No more or not much need to have to “Upgrade Links”! That change is all about Link Improvement right there incase you skipped reading right over that single line improvement of increased bandwidth on Links. Pre-Crucible a lot of people (just about everyone) doing PI had to use “Upgraded Links” as some Links easily overloaded from low bandwidth. So it simply it now mean your Planetary Links can now carry much more material traffic at a basic link level without the need to have to use “Upgraded Links”. And if you haven’t changed anything on your PI planetary design setup including Links since Crucible patch then YOU ARE still using the old Links including “Upgraded Links” in your design that you originally setup your planets with Pre-Crucible.

The thing about Links that makes it all interesting as it relates to the Command Structure on the planet is that it consumes Power in megawatts MW and CPU to connect Links to each structure. And the longer the Link is the more MW and CPU it consumes which does have a huge impact on just how many Basic Industry Facility and Extractor Units with the extractor arms you can actually deploy in and around the area on the planet. MW consumption via Links have more a direct impact than CPU usage does by far fed from the Command Center. Pre-Crucible many many people with legacy PI planetary design setup including myself had to use a lot of “Upgraded Links”. I’m sure if your doing PI on a high yield planet like in Lowsec, Nullsec, WH you had to. Often due to long Link networks and to make various needed connections to prevent Link overloading and carry the needed material traffic via the Links usually from Extractor Units to Launchpad/Storage Unit. The penalty for this was increased MW usage for having Upgraded Link connections. Penalty which became higher if you did PI on a large radius planet like Gas/Storm/Plasma planets and a few others.

The more MW (power) that was spent on “Upgraded Links” the less of other facility units your likely to have on your Planet. Especially if you had PI setup on a very large radius planet like a Gas/Storm planet and some others. With the change to planetary Links for Crucible you most likely don’t need all those “Upgraded Links” connection you once put in place due to now increased bandwidth on Links. So what this now mean you can save quite a bit of MW on NOT having “Upgraded Links” at all. As well, destroying all the old Link connection connecting all the planetary structures and recreating NEW Links can yield some amount of MW savings via the Command Center and ensure you have all the most new efficient planetary Links in place. That can or may add up to just enough MW savings that you might just be able to add an extra Basic Industry Facility unit or a few more arms on the Extractor Unit to increase your production or extraction yield.

An extra Basic Industry Facility on a planet where you have high extraction yield can possibly result in more P1 being made for increased output yield. One or 2 extra arms on the Extraction Unit can possibly mean a modest to substantial increase in extraction yield to eventually feed the Basic Industry Facility all depending on how your PI planet is design setup. For WH, Nullsec, Lowsec planets that can be huge in yield increase. Increase planet yield in the end making more P1 than you were making before on the same planet can eventually mean making more ISK in the end. As well whether your PI planets are in Nullsec, Lowsec, WH can make a substantial difference in yield on small changes to improve efficiency vs Highsec planets yield improvements.

Optimization of Planetary Links on Water Planet 

Highsec PI Planet design setup for extraction and "Water" production.

This is one of my PI Planets in Highsec that was setup since PI became a feature in EVE. It was design setup in layout as efficient as I could get it for Aqueous Liquid extraction for making Water on a fairly large radius planet. Extraction yields a lot of Aqueous Liquid fed to Launchpad 1 > Basic Industry Facility (Water produced) > Launchpad 2. It works very good for a Highsec PI planet the way it’s setup. It would have been great to be able to have 1 more Basic Industry Facility to process Water from Launchpad 1 which always stay somewhere around 50-80% full throughout an entire extraction cycle. Biggest problem to doing so without killing the smaller Extraction Unit #2 was not having anywhere close to enough MW (Power) from the Command Center. Not enough MW to support getting an extra 800+ MW to add an extra Basic Industry Facility + just enough MW to make a new Link which would also consume around 30-40 MW for the Link connection.

Deleted and remade all the Links resulted in lots of available Power (MW).

So I played around first deleting the longest link on the design setup which was also an “Upgraded Link”. I then remade the Link. MW consumption on the Command Center dropped substantially for the link change. I think there was now just barely enough MW available from the Command Center to add a new Basic Industry Facility but not enough MW to complete making a new Link to the Launchpad 1. Everything bit of MW Counts! Needed to have about 30 MW to make a new Link connection which wasn’t quite available.

Checking how much Power (MW) needed for new Link connection.

I proceeded to delete one by one and remake all the Link connection connecting all the other Basic Facilities to Launchpad 1 all the way to Launchpad 2 without affecting current running operation of the PI setup. Remaking all the Links I was surprised that I ended up with 54 MW extra. That may not seem like allot. But that was more than I needed to make the Link connection for the new Basic Industry Facility to the design setup.

Enough Power saved on New Links to add a new Basic Industry Facility unit.

With newly remade Optimized Link connections in place on facility design setup and an extra New Basic Industry Facility added for Water production this basically increased my production output on my Water Planet. Increased Production output much attributed to the Link changes that was made in the Crucible patch which increased Link bandwidth which allowed for Optimization changes recreating Links resulting in enough possible Power (MW) from Command Center to add new facility structures.

"I got the Power!".......... Enough power to add 1 new Facility with now 99.86% MW usage.

So If I can increase efficiency on just 1 of my Highsec PI planet, its possible to make enough changes and improvement on a few of my other planets. All PI planets may not benefit the same all depending on planetary design setup but it shows Improvements are possible. I was able to do various amounts of improvements on several of my other planets all by changing the Links. Some I was able to add up to 2 new extractor arms on a planet setup which increased extraction yield. WH, Nullsec, Lowsec planets are far more productive PI planets in yield. If I can make improvements on a few Highsec planet what can you maybe do on your WH, Nullsec, Lowsec planets that are far more productive to eventually increase your ISK.

Optimized another Planet: Temperate Planet (Large radius Planet)

Command Center Power (MW) usage 18914/19000 MW with old Links

On large radius planets  Pre-Crucible you usually suffer a bit of penalty if you had Long Links and Upgraded Links in MW usage for Links. Deleted and remade all the Links.

Made new Links and decreased Power (MW) to 18259/19000 MW.

Optimized Links which increased available Power (MW) from the Command Center. Not enough MW to add a new Basic Industry Facility needing 800 MW, but enough to add a new Extractor Unit arm needing 550 MW for increased extraction yield. Makes a lot of difference to the setup having 4 running Basic Industry Facility on a Highsec planet.

Optimizing your Planetary Links for increased Command Center performance can yield some very good results.

30 Days of Crucible


It has been almost 30 days since Crucible expansion has affected life all over New Eden. Life in highsec has been quite busy since as a Trade Industrialist and Research Scientist. Business has also been good as well for the past month. Sometime when your busy playing a game it can be hard to really devote time to blogging about it when your actually busy playing it. Yet blogging for me is an extension of playing the MMO games I play and chronicling life as such. And in a way I feel like I’ve been falling behind on things here on the blog and better catch up on things before I fall too far behind.

Hows Business?

Crucible has been exciting for business and generally exciting overall. In the almost 30 days since Crucible profits has increased by almost 9 Billion ISK and that so far makes it the best month for sales in my career in New Eden. Total Nav Wallet balance has increased to almost 20 Billion ISK mostly due to Trade and Industrial R&D production activity. There is still some 8 Billion or so in Sell Orders on the market across 7 regional markets and almost a Billion ISK in Buy Orders. Its taken some work but its been fun. Some people make much more ISK than that but to each their own and what they find fun.

I'm doing it Wrong? I guess I should be making more?

Maybe I’m probably doing it all wrong? Not everyone who does Trade and Industry do the exact same thing, trade the same way or whatever else. But at least in the things I do it’s what I choose to do and have fun doing things my way. So things has been good in business for the last 30 days. I haven’t had to scam anyone in New Eden (yet) to try to get ahead either, so a bit a myth that everyone in EVE is a scammer.

Much of last month Trade business I can probably attribute to production sales of the new BC’s (Tornado & Oracle), Invention Production sales of new T2 modules, new Fuel Blocks & Blueprints, Ice Products, Mineral Speculation, PI P4 products and other general sales items across the various regions of trade.

Sales of some of the PI P4 products didn’t quite work out as expected. Expectations was that POCO’s was going to be in high demand for production and thus a huge demand for PI P4 products. Generally I usually produced PI P4 products on a routine basis for production of Starbase Structures from various Blueprints in my asset collection. So I usually produced PI P4 materials anyway. However most the P4 items produced was intended for market for use in POCO upgrade from the Gantry once deployed. Roughly just over 440 units of 4 different kind of PI P4 items was produced for market in anticipation for demand in making POCO’s from general PI material stock I was sitting on.

I’ve managed to sell roughly about half my entire stock. However it seemed a lot of other capsuleer’s had the same idea and massive amounts of P4 ended up on the market. As well it seem demand for making POCO’s haven’t materialized as was fully expected and demand for P4 have been quite low it seemed in my region. At least thats how I see it. With the low demand for P4 in my region stuff just seem to sit on the market with prices slowly dropping and erratic. At this point I’ve chosen to do nothing much at all and probably let the item sit unless maybe I find a better deal somewhere else like in Amarr.

Missioning

I can’t remember the last time I ever ran a Mission at this point as its been a long time. But generally running Missions for me is for the overall purpose of raising NPC standing to lower my Brokerage Taxes on Trade orders. Traders like paying lower Brokerage fees as it mean higher margin profits on Trades at various stations.

Planetary Interaction

Really haven’t done anything all that different with PI since the patch other than paying higher Export and Import Taxes. Did make some change to one of my planets due to it not being as productive on extraction vs extracting something else.

On another note, before the patch did speculate and buy up some amount of PI material cheap on the market on Buy Orders. And so far I’m still sitting on most of all that PI P1 material. Currently sitting on 4.6 M units combined of all the PI P1 material. The plan is to sell it for higher profits and I have yet to sell it all. I’ve figured based on an average value of PI P1 material its roughly worth somewhere around 2.2 Billion ISK in PI material. Right now I’m just sitting on it for now.

Manufacturing and Production

Manufacturing and Production mostly for T2 has been chaotic for the last several weeks. Since Crucible I’ve been mostly unable to work out of my regular hanger with any regularity for Invention and T2 Production. Manufacturing activities has been greatly increased in my system. So much so most of all the manufacturing slots in my station hanger remain locked down and in use for days on end often up to an entire week. Invention slots often remained full and occupied for days.

During the recent production of the new BC’s none was ever produced in my own station hanger. All was produced in another system temporarily moving all the needed materials ahead of time to a lesser utilized system for manufacturing. And since that time I have yet to fully move back to my main hanger of operations.

Thus its been somewhat chaotic to manufacture various things, components always missing some material, mineral or needing to go back and forth to main hanger to get some needed material or component. It was a bit of a pain really. Invention as well has had similar issues always needing to invent at different facility stations since main hanger facility slots remain occupied and in use by other capsuleers. Running out of Minerals was a constant issue and having to buy and haul minerals for T2 and component production. As well the constant need to keep buying Mexallon for manufacturing for odd reasons as the price of the mineral kept going up.

Invention R & D

Copying Blueprints and Invention has mostly been an almost daily activity to various degree. For someone who does R &D in highsec without the advantage of a POS it does have its drawbacks and many inconveniences. However despite that I’ve been able to get numerous amount of Blueprint Copying done with long-range planning at a nearby Copying Facility. At this point there are somewhere over 2500 copies of numerous blueprints intended for Invention use. I’m not sure if I can or will get to use them all for Invention.

For the last several months I’ve been doing various amounts of Invention for T2 on a routine basis. There was some amount of time where I just did Inventions consuming the increasing supply of blueprint copies and not as much T2 Production. On each successful Invention run that produced a T2 BPC the amount of T2 BPC’s just continue to accumulate intended for later T2 Production. As of recently there are just short of almost 1000 T2 BPC’s of numerous amounts of Modules, Ammo and smaller Ship BPC’s.

Hundreds if not thousands of Datacores have been consumed in the constant process of blueprint Invention. An expensive amount of Datacores have been consumed in countless Invention runs. With a backlog of now almost 1000 T2 BPC’s of various sorts its pointless to just keep doing daily Invention to continue to increase the supply of T2 BPC’s and consuming an expensive amount of Datacores daily.

So I send word to the guys at the R&D lab that Invention tinkering was going to slow down dramatically if not fully come to a halt. Currently there are several sets of blueprint in the Copying Facility for Invention Copying. Its the last sets of blueprints to be copied at this time. Copying and Invention activity will be slowing down. Inventions will now be done as needed if needed.

In the last several weeks due to increase amount of Inventions, have had to buy and increasing amount of Datacores and visit R&D Agents more frequently to collect my supply of Researched Datacores. So it will be good for a while to not need to buy and consume Datacores for Invention. With the current stock of hundreds of Datacores in hanger I’ll probably eventually decide to sell most the current supply for some extra profit.

So for the last several days the Invention tinkering lab has been idle. T2 production has Increased and pretty much so for last 30 days. Without the need of having to do daily Inventions or worry about what to attempt to Invent there is just more focus time to just work at producing T2 items and components.

Corporate/Alliance Wardec

We’ve had a War! Right before and leading up to Crucible Corp/Alliance had a string of Wardec’s. In the last week we had another Wardec by one the same Corp/Alliance that Wardec’d us only a few short weeks ago. Needless to say it was a quiet War as it occurred over the Holidays and most people were gone for the holidays and we hardly even saw the Corp/Alliance that Wardec us. Word was that they were a Merc Alliance hired again by another Corp for the Wardec. So goes life as usual in highsec and Wardec’s.

So the War is now over, having ended just a day or so ago its now back to business as usual.

Neural Training

On my main character after almost a year of Science related skills for T2 its been somewhat a shift to training of ship skills to use T2 Turrets and Laser Crystals. In about a day or so complete Medium Energy Turret V. Will be a while longer before getting to Large Energy Turret V and able to use Large T2 Turrets and T2 Laser Crystals. Currently have around 27.6 M SP.

On my Trader alt he recently completed training for piloting a Hulk almost 30 days ago. Bought him a Hulk, fitted it out  and don’t think he been mining 3 times since for any great length of time. Completed training the various mineral mining skills to lvl 4 and recently completed Refining 5. Currently have the the trader alt at 24.8 M SP training Metallurgy V since he usually does blueprint copying activity. That will help to finally get that Prototype Cloaking Device I Blueprint which have been in my collection for quite some time finally researched which does require Metallurgy V.

Overall its been a good and busy 30 days.

PI Planetary Launches

Only just recently noticed that while still cloaked you can launch your PI planetary material from Launchpad on the planet below if you’re the kind that like to do things cloaked. This never used to be that way up till recently and used to be a bit of a minor annoyance if trying to launch materials from launchpad to customs and you still had cloak active.

Apparently this must have been changed with the Crucible patch or one of the patches since. For other capsuleers who do PI in WH’s, Lowsec and Nullsec or those that do Ninja PI in those places, I’m sure they can welcome the minor change. If even to be more covert and stealthy while on grid fumbling with planets in planetary view, launching materials to space and forgetting to re-activate cloak and showing up on visual or D-Scan. A minor change to be aware of.

25 Million Skill Points and the last quarter

Last 60+ days of T2 Inventions.

Its been unusually quiet here around the blog for a while, yeah I’ve noticed that too. However in other news I’ve recently just passed the 25 Million Skill Points mark in my EVE career and a year and a half of playing EVE Online. Apparently passed the mark completing training for Cruiser Construction V which was one of the longer skills I’ve had to train for. However completing the skill training now allows construction production of any and all T2 Cruiser and Battlecruisers.

With that an end as well to T2 science skill training of which I’m heavily invested and a temporary halt to industrial construction skills training related to Invention production. Currently training for Caldari Industrial V so can fly Transport ships or should say Cloaky Transport ship. I’d like to eventually skill for T3 Invention but nows just not the time as T2 science skills have consumed much the last year and rather spend some time patching up other pilot skills in other area that’s been on the back burner for a while.

Time seem to have flown by just in the time playing EVE. Hard to believe a year and half have gone by and still playing EVE. I  haven’t been playing long enough yet to be considered a EVE Vet yet way pass being new at EVE as well. At this point in my career I can say I get EVE and am fine with my role even though a small part in the grand scheme of the universe in New Eden. EVE to me is a journey and it progresses and continues with changing moods.

The Last 60+ Days

Since my break from EVE in the summer and returning to work in real life after being unemployed for much the year its been somewhat hard getting my mind back to where it used to be playing EVE. Taking a break from any game can change one perspective in various ways. Right now playing EVE but at a much reduced pace compared to earlier in the year in New Eden.

For much the last 60 days I just haven’t had much ambition besides daily invention runs at the Invention lab with varying success and sometimes invention frustrations. That remain the majority of my space activities. Trade activities remained at a minimum other than regularly updating current market sell orders in a few regions but no new market orders has been added in any region. Profit growth is at a much slower pace but I’m ok and neither bothered by it either. The goal somewhat is just to sell off and reduce current market sell orders. Trading used to be a lot of work for me across 6 region. It’s just good to step back and take a break somewhat.

Manufacturing facility slots have sat idle for the last 60 days as well. In that time I’ve only manufactured just 1 item a Mobile Lab for the market from some the P4 items in my hanger. And though my hanger is full of T1 BPO’s, T2 BPC’s of all sort of things I can make and available minerals, I’m just not that inclined to put any thought into really building anything. Though I can, it just don’t bother me much that 10 facility manufacturing slots sits completely idle.

I guess along with daily Invention, PI facility reset, launch and pickup remain the other constant activity between log on and log off. It took some time before getting back to making P4 items with my growing stockpile of PI products and that’s only been in last 2 weeks. For a while I just wasn’t much inclined to change over planet factory facility to change to making other P2-P4 items. Slow progress.

So for much the last few weeks its just been log in do Invention, some PI, update regional trade orders and log off. I’m not sure exactly what phase I’m going through at the moment in space or just MMO’s, but at the moment I’m just not that ambitions or inclined to do much of anything I usually do. At times more often than usual I find myself reading the EVE Forums allot more than usual and at times it can seem more fun to read the forums than actually login to really do anything in EVE.

Thus I just haven’t had much interest to blog about anything much either for the last few weeks. So things are just quiet around the blog as well. It’s just a reflection of my mood playing the game. Certainly there are a lot of exciting things in the last few weeks for EVE in the winter expansion and it certainly seems exciting. For me nothing exciting, but the journey continues.