Highsec Planetary Manufacturing Explained

I’m in between alliances at the moment and enjoying a vacation in high-sec space. In between resisting the urge to tackle neutral freighters on gates, I have been experimenting with planetary interaction.

Drill, Baby, Drill. Or not

The terribly low extraction rates I can get in High-sec is quite depressing. No more extracting 55k units of P0 per planet per hour for me. However, there is a handy market I can buy stuff from, so maybe there’s profit to be made from processing P0 or P1 materials to higher levels.

Market Research

The first thing to do is to check the market’s price history. It would be quite embarrassing to find a great opportunity, only to find it was a short-lived market manipulation or demand spike! A while back, Wyke Mossari made some spreadsheets with 60-day price history, pulled from the now-defunct Eve Metrics site. I fixed them up to use a different data source and set the region to The Forge (i.e. Jita), so you can easily see whether the price is stable or not:

What to Make

Which PI to manufacture changes from week to week, which I imagine is part of the fun. For the purpose of my initial test run, I chose a P3 that my spreadsheeting skills told me would make a profit, and bought the P2 required to make it. I only bought enough for a few days, in case I turn out to be terrible at math.

Setting up shop

So, I figured I’d start with one planet and see how it goes. I have Command Center Upgrades IV, which allow me to squeeze in a bunch of advanced industry facilities and a few spaceports, provided the planet is smaller than about 5000km in diameter. If I had CC Upgrades V, I probably would install a fourth spaceport instead of more extractors, since I can’t go a full 48 hours without running out of input material. If you’re after a more passive income stream, you can go big on the silos and spaceports so that you only have to check it once a week.

I call it LV-426 Terraforming Colony. What could possibly go wrong?

Cue Elevator Music

Each advanced industry facility takes an hour to process five(5)  P2 or three(3) P3 materials. The planet above is configured to use 9120 P2s per day and produce 1368 P3. Each spaceport can hold about 6000 P2s, so I run out every 2 days (although I cheat by storing a bunch of P2 in the customs office so I can fly by and top the spaceports up on my way to market)

Does it scale?

To a certain extent. You can add more planets to theoretically pull in six times the profit (or more realistically, only triple it), but you’re probably better off making different stuff on each planet so as not to destabilise the market.  Past that, I guess you’ll need an alt or three.

More to the point, there’s not really a way to get extra income by putting in more time, unlike mining or killing NPCs – it’s just some nice, semi-passive bonus income if you’re able to take advantage of a local market.

Summed up

A week or so later, I’ve gone through something like 70 000 P2 items and turned them into a fairly large amount of P3, which I sold to buy orders (the buy/sell spread was small). I’m now richer by 80 million isk, less transaction fees and duties, so let’s say 10 million isk per day profit. That’s not awesome compared to what an accomplished station trader can rake in, but considering this only takes 250k skill points to achieve, it’s quite impressive isk for a new character.

Considering my Eve time is at a premium right now, I think this is a good ‘during the week’ income stream that doesn’t use much time, so I can spend the weekend losing ships without worrying about paying for replacements.

Post-Crucible Update

Since the advent of player-owned customs offices, high-sec manufacturing is still profitable (prices just rose 10% instead). If you want greater profits, you can set up in low-sec, which will add 9% to your profit margin.


2 Responses to “Highsec Planetary Manufacturing Explained”

  1. September 14, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Mmm.. I’m doing it wrong. Nice post, given me some ideas.

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