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.