Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why Planetary Interaction Is Important

I've seen a lot of disinterest and disparagement about the core of the Tyrannis expansion being Planetary Interaction (aka PI). I'm very excited about it so I thought I would write a post why I think PI is important and will have lots of positive impact for many pilots in the game. Counter opinions are welcome in the comments.

1) Superior immersion. Planets simply need to be more than warp beacons in space. They are the single most important thing in a solar system for role playing purposes as they are where the bulk of the billions of inhabitants in the universe live, most of the manufacturing base, research, politics... everything. In nearly every sci-fi setting planets are the backdrops to much of the action. Currently in Eve they are decorations.

2) Increase potential player density per system. What I mean is that the maximum number of players that can live permanently in a system or a constellation is limited by the amount of ISK the players can pull out of the system through their activities. PI gives an easily accessible ISK faucet that will allow more players to make a living in the same amount of space. Higher pilot density means greater opportunity for interaction (either cooperative or combative) which is good for everyone.

3) Increase player investment in territory. By allowing players to invest effort and ISK into a particular system or constellation, it gives players more feeling of ownership and something more to fight for should competition arrive. This is vitally important for players without the wherewithal to run and protect a POS (even a small tower is mammoth work for a small group) but still want to build something tangible.

4) Decrease NPC involvement in the markets. Its been indicated that the production facilities of PI will be separate from current production lines (Tech I, Tech II, Tech III, Drugs) and be used to build things currently provided by NPC orders on the market. This is a good thing as it allows the players to provide services in more areas, opening up more opportunities for players to participate in the complex market.

5) More incentive for Low Sec. The competition for resources in high sec will be fierce and decrease production for a lot of players. Low sec with its lower population density will be more lucrative, thus attracting the more adventurous pilots, thus providing more opportunities for interaction with pilots already there. I.e. more targets for low sec denizens.

6) More structure for Wormhole space. One of the problems with wormhole space is that a system can get drained of sites to exploit and there is no moon mining or respawning static belts to provide income. Since the planets will continue to provide income it will allow some wormhole groups to make more permanent homes.

7) Stepping stone to further development. PI had to start somewhere, and I really think this is a stepping stone to deeper interaction in the future. While combat on planet surfaces is not in the cards yet, its not hard to see how attacking other players installations is a logical next step. This opens up the possibilities of planetary bombardments and landings from our spaceships. Its also where DUST 514 will hook in.

To summarize: Planetary Interaction will deepen the experience and open more opportunities for pilot interaction, both cooperative and combative. This is a good thing in my opinion and will affect everyone in some form or another.


  1. Agreed on all points. And as with nearly every major change CCP makes to the game, I'm not sure even they have much of an idea on how much this will change gameplay on a broader scale. We'll do things with it they didn't expect. Pirates, profiteers, explorers, major alliances... all are going adapt to use this to our advantage whether directly or indirectly.

    I'm interested in how the landscape will change within a few months after release. I hope it does.

  2. frankly i dont see it impacting the present gameplay besides adding another afk isk sourc(which i have absolutely nothing against) We'll have to see how it impacts the game but itll probably only be a slight change in the isk balances of the few who manage to actualy hold onto their planetary sources. I know I will be hitting the planets in my home systems hopefully before my corp's industrial machine gets their teeth sunk in too deep.

  3. All good points but none of these items or even all of them together come anywhere near producing the excitement for me of say the addition of Wormhole space or Faction Warfare. The fact is that we have gotten used to major additions from EvE expansions and this just doesn't measure up.

    I'm interested in the possibility of eliminating NPC seeding of items or perhaps allowing 0.0 groups to make all of their POS fuel items out in 0.0 but this is not something that is really going to excite me or make me log on.

    I really hope there are some sweet goodies they just haven't told us about yet.

  4. #6 I think is particularly important, at least as a w-space player. The possibility of being able to make, or harvest our own POS fuel would be a godsend.

  5. Nice post, and I agree on all points. I am already looking through High Sec trying to figure out what constellations I want to set up Planetary Installations in, and thus support new POSs around.

  6. Well said. I am looking forward to dropping some stuff on a planet in Delve in our constellation. My excitement is mainly for the day when I can blow that stuff up. I like explosions. I'll have to settle for passive income atm.

  7. Anonymous2:06 pm

    Solid post Kirith. My biggest question is the demand vs supply balancing. There are a lot of planets in high sec alone. Based on what they've said, these planets will supply the goods / services that are currently available through NPCs. I'm really curious what the total market size of these goods is - I think the two biggest categories are POS fuel and skill books. They mention implants too, but these are already 'created' by players, through things like LP stores. The current market size determines aggregate demand, the planetary resources determine supply. Where these intersect will determine the profitability of this type of mfg. Would love to see some stats on this, but that would be the Akita technetium analysis x10. And I can't be bothered with that much :effort:. Should be interesting though, at least for industrial minded peeps!!

  8. More opportunities for piracy, and at the same time opportunity for pirates to make some isk too. And making our own nanite paste!

    I agree on all points with you, and am really looking forward to this expansion.

  9. Anonymous4:00 pm

    Agree with everything, especially your point about immersion. Personally, I can't wait for it to come :)

  10. Anonymous3:15 am

    It's worth noting that PI is not an isk faucet. Unless you can mine isk directly from the surface of the planet, it's only generating isk indirectly.

    It does plug an isk sink, and that in itself is a bad thing unless it's offset by another sink