For more than a year now I've been running a small albeit efficient production of Guidance Systems in a multi-character PI setup. I say efficient but it's when I remember to update production on planets and move materials between other planets.
So not very efficient at all.
Don't get me wrong, it's been profitable and when I have it running full blast it makes a lot of Guidance Systems very efficiently. It's just PI is incredibly boring and a click-fest that I really hate to do.
I pause my PI production and I see this morning that Wetware Mainframes are at 2.2m each :S
Those were the words I received from Bex late last week that piqued my interest. Wetware Mainframes have risen recently in price, most likely due to speculation around Citadels I thought but it could easily be due to increased POCO destruction, from an average of 1.1m ISK to 2.2m ISK.
A nice profit if you can make them.
So I reviewed my available characters and planets to see if I could manufacture this P4 item.
I realized I could and it would cost a whole briefcase full of ISK and need a lot of clicks in my future...
Wetware Mainframes are P4 production, meaning that you have to make P2 (Refined) items from P1 (Raw Materials) and P3 (Specialized) items to manufacture the P4 (Advanced). It's not a simple tree nor is it possible to do with one or two characters.
I use the wonderful EVE PI Diagrams 1.4 to see what I need to produce and to understand what planets I need to be setup. Other tools are available, many of which work in-game, but to me this PDF one with its simple flow setup is exactly what I need.
I spoke with Bex about his setup and decided to go a different way to him. I have available to me two systems with a variety of planet types (Barren, Temperate, Lava, Ice, Gas and Storm) from which I'll extract the raw materials then use a single character to produce each level of manufacturing I need.
I have six characters allowing a total of 30 planets with two having Command Centre Upgrades V and the rest all have IV.
My plan, which Bex commented on that it would be "labour intensive" is to use five characters (~24 planets) to extract all the raw materials which I will then hand off to the final character who will setup two or more planets to produce the P2, P3 and finally the P4 items.
I don't mind the labour at the moment, I can always redevelop planets at a later date to increase savings or to change how Raw Materials are gathered or processed into P2 items.
This isn't something that will be setup and left alone to run, I see it as an entity that will require monitoring and when I can develop it to make it more efficient or cheaper (in time) to run then I will make those changes.
I'll cover in the future my progress with this. I've already got three characters setup and producing Raw Materials as I type. The others will be setup over the next few days as they JC into system and are given a small amount of ISK as a float.