Thursday, September 27, 2012

“Oh My Aching Dendrites…”

or~  There is No PI For Dummies…

Can PI, Planetary Interaction, be explained in simple terms, or, is it really just too complex to ‘boil down’? The title of this post comes from a comment which was left after my last PI post… I have no idea if the commenter meant it, as in “Crap that sounds complex.” or if he was trolling me because I obviously was making more of a mess than anything close to profit… either way I felt it was quite apropos.

(And no, the title pic has nothing whatsoever to do with PI... it's just a cool pic of me and my boss on a Collision Course during a IBCO bash 'cause we were so bored... )  =]

I have spent basically the last month learning PI. And I would really like to make a simple Guide on to how to do it… but there’s a Catch 22. You can’t explain PI until you understand it but the real problem is you also can’t explain it to anyone who doesn’t already understand it... that and you can’t get out of combat by standing at my desk in the buff requesting a psychological exam, because requesting a psychological exam is proof that you are not crazy and as you are not crazy you are, by definition, fit for combat duty… now shut up, get out of my office, put some clothes on and go jump in a Rifter.

The simplest rules I can come up with are:

“Proper Prior Planning Possibly Prevents Piss Poor Performance” and
“It’s ALL about the Totals”.

The problem is you can’t actually effectively PLAN something you don’t UNDERSTAND well enough to PLAN it… and without that the second one sounds like it’s either about a breakfast cereal or its half of a voodoo curse… (which it sorta is…)

There is a lot of math in PI. Not a lot of high math just a helluva lot of ‘this’ makes so much of ‘that’ in 15 minutes and I need this much of ‘those’ in order to make ‘that stuff’ but that takes 30 minutes and then I need several of ‘them’ combined, another 30 minutes (or is that one an hour?), in order to put ‘x’ number each of ‘those three things’ together, which takes another hour, to get JUST 3 OF THE THING I WANT TO SELL!!!!! OH and for the better “things to sell” you need to get stuff from several planets and move em around n shit… you can easily get completely lost in the math’s IF you try and work from the ore extraction UP to the final product.

But… with all that said, IF you decide to get into PI (I suggest you stock up on valium and your fav liquor first) so, the ‘X’ number of this for 15 mins and the “Y’ number of those for 30 mins and 3 times the ‘Z’ number of them all really does boil down to is… making sure you have the TOTAL output of your basic ores equal or greater than the ‘need’ for the products from the Basic Industry Factories… and that those products are equal to or greater than the need for the Advanced Industry Factory(ies)  ya-da ya-da ya-da…

As Mab said, plan backwards. Figure out what you want to make, your Final Product, and work BACKWARDS from there.

Biotech Research Reports and Smartfab Units are my market items. I make them strictly to sell them for profit. Let us begin with the ‘easy” one… Here is my breakdown of Smartfab Units Production. I run 2 Advanced Industry Facilities to produce 6 Smartfab Units per hour, approx 144 units per day.

For just one of the products I need, Chiral Structures… I need to extract a total of 576,000 units of raw Non-CS Crystal ore EVERY 24 HOURS… this is the key to every step taken after in production.

How do you get that? Almost ALL simple conversions, raw ore to 1st level products take 3,000 units of raw ore in a 15 to 30 minute cycle. So…

I am running 4 BIFS making Chiral Structures from Non-CS Crystals, OK…
3,000 x 4 = 12,000 units needed every 30 minutes,
x 2 = 24,000 units per hour,
x 24 = 576,000 needed every 24 hours.

What the above shows it that I am currently extracting 262,919 units on this planet and importing 400,000 units of Non-CS Crystals from another planet for a total of 662,919 (I store the excess in the POCO) I then convert the required 576,000 units of ore into 3,840 units of Chiral Structures which are combined with 3,840 units of Silicon used to produce 480 units Miniature Electronics which are combined with 480 units of Construction Blocks to make 144 units of Smartfab Units over a 24 hour cycle… sheesh.

I import the Construction Blocks, Silicon and part of my Non-CS Crystals from other planets.

For the Construction Blocks, you do the same as above, figure out how many total you need to produce and do the math backwards until you know how much ore you need… then find a planet that provides that ore in the greatest abundance and extract, refine and process as much as your Grid allows. In my case I have 3 AIFs making Construction Blocks on a planet that is very high in Heavy and Base Metals, the ores needed for Construction Blocks, I am able to extract, refine and make enough Construction Blocks to provide not only the needs for my Smartfab Units, but also for the Biotech research Reports I make on another planet…

The Non-CS Crystals are a raw ore.
The Silicon is a P1 made from Felsic Magma ore.
The Construction Blocks are a P2 made by combining Toxic Metals and Reactive Metals.
Toxic Metals are a P1 made from Heavy Metal ore.
Reactive Metals are a P1 made from Base Metal ore.

In each case the most important part of your plan is extracting the correct amount of the required ores to create the base products required to feed the production chain all the way up.

It is one helluva balancing act and there really is no one ‘perfect’ setup… for any given ‘Product’ there are several setups that can be seen as optimal based on your idea of optimal… All of which leave you sittin at your computer, with scratch pads and excel spreadsheets full of data while playing EVE Solitaire… trying to find the most ‘optimal setup’…

And now I, and you, know why Mabrick… mumbles.   =]

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=


  1. LOL - nice one Tur. I love your annotated picture. I wish I'd thought of that. That's really quite instructive by itself.

    And as for perfect setups, you are correct. There is no perfect setup. And even if there was, I'd forget to fully stock the hopper with one of the many P1 items needed and end up depleting my reserves for one P2 items and unbalancing the whole damn line. I'll be days fixing that mistake!

    *mumble, mumble, mumble*

  2. I have one of those diagrams for EACH setup on each planet... Imagine what I go through every time I do a revamp on how a line is setup or change imports/exports as I 'see' tweaks that allow me to build in excess. But as I said in my first post, I am an engineer at heart... I have to SEE it to understand it.

    Plus I got my start in computers at TCC & ODU taking Drafting, CAD & Engineering and later as the Art Director for a Screen Printing firm back in the mid 80's... so drafting up a pic is the best way for me to learn a complex system.

    Three things have become prime to me (after ore totals)...

    (1) every facility is in contact range of all others (shortest links/greatest available routing)

    (2) I never ever use Storage Facs anymore. Period. I use the launchpad and POCO for storage... I wanna squeeze every tf and KW out of my Grid that I can.

    (3) EXCESS extraction to build up excess raw ores stored in the POCOS.

    Right now I could actually shut down all Extraction on my Enhanced Uranium, and run the 2 AIFs for about 3 to 4 days off of stored excess alone. This allows me to retask the Extractors for other ores and extract excess for export and storage in other POCOs.

    You, as you said, do JIT manufacturing... I do... what, PFTF? Prep For The Future Manufacturing... =]

    Nothing bugs me more right now than loggin onto a planet and NOT seeing waves of ore being extracted!! (hence the excess...)


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