Keeping an account subbed with in game ISK can seem like a daunting task to the new player. With PLEXs selling for around 900 million ISK, even skill point laden Incursion bears know there's a good nine hours of farming to be done each month to avoid spending the $15 a month to keep their account going. Even more baffling to me are those who try to mine their way there with ore or ice. Sure, the price of Ice has soared with ISBoxing no longer really being a thing, but it's still a mind numbingly boring and gargantuan task that confronts you. Then there are the Null bears with their 20 million ISK ticks they're so proud of. Even if they were 50 million ISK ticks, that's a lot of red crosses, err, I mean red Monopoly Hotels, that need to explode before you start making bank. For the casual player who prefers to spend his time hunting for fights than grinding for ISK, there are easier ways.
I have found Planetary Interaction to be the least skill intensive and a minimal time sink. But there are conditions to meet before it becomes seriously profitable.
My production centres around Wetware Mainframes and below is how I do it:
EVE Planets when doing this, then went with the one I thought was least open to obsolesence. Wetwares get used in Starbase production predominantly, and I don't expect that to change with the introduction of Citadels. Pleasingly, their value has jumped by almost 50% in recent months too, ever since the Jump Drive changes came into effect.
A maximum skilled PI toon can handle six planets. Above you seen nine. So this is clearly not a one character operation. I have two accounts going, each with three characters all reasonably well skilled in PI. Five of them can do 5 planets each and one can do six. So we're not talking max skilled PI toons or anything, this is roughly five or six weeks of training for each character.
Your PI skills should all be at level 4, the only one I would call absolutely necessary to 5 is for Command Centre Upgrades. This allows you much better flexibility for setting up your production colony and maximising your output. Think of every level of that skill as an extra 20% output, because that's essentially what it boils down to.
OK, so you have your characters trained, your plans in place, how do I set up my production? Well, I'm not going into the 'how to', there are ample instructional videos on YouTube for that, but I can tell you that once you get it sorted, eliminate bottlenecks and manage steady, even production among all resources, the maintenance demand is very much up to you. There was a time when I would log in every morning on every character and reset my PI. It took about three minutes per character, so maybe twenty minutes spent each day. Then once every fortnight I would make the rounds, collect the materials and move them to my final production planet to turn it all into Wetware Mainframes. That process takes maybe half an hour. The final stage of production does require you to log into the one character that manages it from time to time, just to make sure the storage facilities are as full or empty as they need to be, but that's about as demanding as it gets.
Now, as I've gotten space rich I've gotten much lazier. I only reset once a week now and it's still managing to meet my income demands, although less fruitfully. If you're even lazier still, I have good news for you.
Buy your materials direct from market on buy orders and just have one manufacturing planet. If you don't mind the market fuckery [I do mind it] and can balance what you buy, just turning raw materials into high end ones is still really profitable. It's also a low effort way to dip your toes into the PI pond and see if you want to dive right in.
Or you know, fork out real life monies and ignore this post.