Posted Wed, Jan 26, 2011 by Space Junkie
Planets are a great way to make ISK, especially as a newer player. The general effect of planets is to shift EVE Online's ISK downwards, to newer players. This guide explains the merits of producing "second-tier" planetary materials, and what materials are most lucrative as of this writing. It is based around the single-planet business model.
There are three chief ways to use planets:
Design a planet to harvest a single material and process it to a first-tier material. That material can then be sold or used (usually at another planet).
The less futzing around is needed, the more ISK you can make.
Design a planet to harvest two or more materials and combine them into more advanced products, that can then be used or sold. Most planets like this are used to produce one of several second-tier planetary materials, though each planet can potentially be used to make a single third-tier material.
Design a planet purely to process or combine materials, for mass processing of materials that were made at other planets or bought off the market. This is often used as a form of market arbitrage, when some spreadsheet wizard in Jita notices that the ingredients used to make a particular product are cheap enough that a profit can be made. Though this was initially very lucrative when planets were first made available, the major profits from this have mostly been exploited out of existence.
Why Second-Tier Materials?
When setting up new planets, it is useful to know how profitable each product that can be produced on a single planet will be. Of course, the amount produced will vary significantly depending on what planets are available, and the availability of particular materials on them. Still, it is generally best to angle for whatever will produce the most valuable material.
The "tiers" of planetary materials are a simple way of referring to how difficult a thing is to make. The zero tier is the raw materials that are harvested right out of the planet. These are bulky and impractical to export. They are refined into first-tier materials, that can then be combined with other first-tier materials to make second tier materials. Second-tier materials see a lot of use in fueling POS and building tech two gear, and yet can still be made on a single planet (with a few exceptions).
Third-tier materials are more difficult to make, and produce smaller quantities. A few of them have some industrial uses, but most do not have real applications yet (I expect CCP to add some stuff, sometime later this year). The fourth-tier materials can only be made on temperate or barren planets, and are largely used for building POS gear or station parts. For a more detailed explanation of the "tiers" of planetary materials, see our previous article.
The second tier materials are a good compromise between ease of production and ISK value. Almost all of them can be produced on a single planet, including the most lucrative kinds. Just set the planet up, refresh the extractors, and pick up the product every now and then.
For a single player that views planetary interaction as an income supplement rather than a primary income source, second-tier materials are probably the best place to find easy money.
The next page contains a list of second-tier materials, sorted by planet and profitability. I think you will find it particularly useful.