This keeps coming up in various conversations I’ve had with people, so I decided to go ahead and write it all up somewhere. Obviously not all of these items will be new, but I’m hoping that it shows there’s a want for these things from more than a few isolated requests.
I think it’s fair to say that PI is dreaded by many. The amount of outright slog involved in setting up a planet and to keep it running is really not in a great place - much less the actual health risk involved (because of RSI type injuries). New Eden is set in the future, where mankind has developed all manner of advancements and technologies, yet … misses on automations. This seems unrealistic
In addition to the items I’ll be listing (as well as the items that have been mentioned in prior threads on this topic), I believe it’s also worthwhile mentioning that these things wouldn’t necessarily risk a major devaluation of PI outputs - pilots are still running their extractors and factories on the normal durations required for the schematic, there is still Time Spent. These suggestions need merely make it less painful to actually deal with the planet.
With the preamble out of the way, the suggestions!
- The problem of routing
This is the by far the most frequent complaint I see. There are a number of possible ways to address this, some perhaps simultaneously. One example way is to just let inputs and outputs be handled more smartly. Let the PI interface automatically select source locations for components (even any-any if multiple sources), and just use the pile. The industry window and fitting tools already do this. Outputs could also potentially be auto-designated out of the box, and both of the auto-selected things could allow for pilot finetuning (for those who want to tweak their setup in a specific manner).
The pain of the routing problem is often greatly exaggerated by an accidental misroute on an expedited transfer (as one may need to tear down and replace a structure to fix it).
There is a massive amount of pain savings to be gained here.
- Planetary templates
Moving a planet. Sharing planet designs. Setting up another planet.
At present all of these are remarkably painful things to do.
Provide a way to store and reuse setups. Possibly even to share setups, the same as fittings can be shared.
Nothing about this would necessarily drive a significant devaluation by itself. As already mentioned previously, the operating time is still required for the planet to operate, extractor heads would still need moving around for yield as usual, and factories would still require their relevant upgrades and supply maintenance.
- Standing/reusable import orders
A very regular part of how to do specific planet operations is the requirement for importing specific orders to specific places. This can be a fairly error-prone (occasionally the UI bugs out), and also has to be done in stages because the POCO window will autostack any items loaded into it.
The fitting window has multifit already and is much-loved, so the model of what this looks like for PI has already been proven elsewhere and would be much-welcomed. While some may see it as a possible alternative to item 1, I believe the two together would pair quite nicely.
- Mass-split for stacks
Tying in to item 2, there’s frequently a need for splitting stacks according to some input requirement. At present this is a fairly arduous process, requiring many, many, many shift-drag operations.
Right-click multisplit would be much nicer.
- Make the POCO staging window optional
An advance admission: this is perhaps the most contentious idea here. But! There is a way it could be balanced.
So right now the way to do this can be error-prone (e.g. the POCO will auto-stack things). Add a capacity to transfer directly from the hauler you’re in. This could be balanced out by adding something similar as the ESS link mechanic - you have to “transport link” to the POCO to do the easy transfer, but it comes with a timer and a cooldown on the module.
- Allow renaming structures
Pilots rely on the naming of the launchpad names to handle their imports. Some try to do it by alphabetical ordering at setup time, so as to make it easier to deal with in future.
Go ahead and slap a rename button on it. We can name ships and MTUs and depots, give us the ability to rename structures too.
That’s it on my list of these for now.
Please CCP, do us a solid. Those recent QoL changes announced include a number of really great items, and some of the suggestions in this post would also make many a planetary industrialist happy and buy you more much-needed goodwill.