Massive Improvements to Planetary Interaction (PI)

I wrote something ages ago, wanted to voice it out again with the hope that one day EVE will improve this system that has a tremendous amount of potential.

PI as it is, is not content, it is just a means of receiving various resources for industry. This “activity” doesnt even require a lot of attention once you’ve set up your colonies. I’ve for so long hoped and dreamed that CCP would improve the gameplay of Planetary Interaction, making it something akin to a “Sim City”. There are countless commodities on the market bought & sold by NPC stations, why not expand this to the planets where these commodities are more than likely produced!

Imagine needing to transport wheat to your colony because of a food shortage due to a player putting to much focus on industry, and this lack of food causes your colony to drastically reduce in production efficiency. This type of gameplay would make PI tremendously more interactive, as you would need to pay attention to the status of your colonies. Instead of the current system, which entails going into planet mode every few days and clicking a few buttons to restart harvesting jobs.

This is a PVP game you say? Well, lets add it, imagine transporting marines and other assault troops to opposing planets to attack other players colonies, which if successful sends a percentage of that planets commodities back up to space to be hauled. This becomes a game within a game. Visualize receiving a notification that your planet is being assaulted, so you rally the corp to first fight off whoever is waiting for the “invasion” results, and then to send your own reinforcement troops to the ground.

Lets suppose Customs Offices were not just for transporting good from the ground to space, but also for planetary control. In order for a colony to be established on a planet, a player must either own the customs office, or have good standing/permission from the CO’s owners. Which is kind of how it already is, with the exception of being able to currently set colonies anywhere you want.

I could go on, but i think the point is made, that there IS potential for improvement, but not just improvement, a complete redesign that drastically increases the quality of EVE online. Imagine the fans of such City Building type games, that may just find a home in EVE due to the city building ability of Planetary Interaction.

These ideas are just seeds to help imagine what could be possible. I hope one day PI becomes more than what it is. :pray:

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Or you could, you know, leave high sec.

With regards to how one actually runs their colonies… I feel like colony management is in a weird position where it can be viewed as either too tedious and in need of simplification (it. less “busywork” so we can move and actually play the damn game) or lacking interaction and in need of expansion (to make it more of a mini game, or a SimCity thing like you said, or at least make your “choices” more rewarding and consequential than, say, simply resetting your program once a day). This middle ground is just… lame and uncomfortable. It either needs less or it needs more to make it better.

Personally I’m in favor of simplification: for me constantly moving my extractor heads around and sliding the scale and all that stuff is just taking time away from playing the game. I’d much rather have a system where I specify how many processors, extractor heads, etc I want, how long I want the program to run, press “start”, and walk way. The longer the program runs, the better my rewards (similar to moon mining). No more hassling with the actual placement of things on planets.

Of course, I doubt CCP will ever go in this direction so I resign this vision is little more than a pipe dream.

My question: is PI a career or is industry the career with PI as one link in the value chain? PI as currently designed works well for people who want to participate in several activities - particularly if you use the PI you produce as input for T2 or structure manufacturing.

From CCP’s perspective: are players doing the activity? Is the market well supplied? Are there higher priority projects for the development teams to work on? I believe the answer to all these questions is Yes!

Industry is a career, and PI is a subset of industry. PI is very tedious, especially for those with many planets (I have 36). I think this is done on purpose to prevent a small group of players from dominating the market, but I still think there could be other ways to provide chokes without forcing us to waste our time doing boring stuff (my suggestion on how it could change addresses this, but I digress).

PI is a necessity because certain input materials can only come from planets (ignoring negligible quantities of NPC drops that amount of <0.00001% of PI goods on market) and no where else. So whether you like PI or not, someone has to do it - otherwise, we won’t be able to manufacture a lot of goods (T2, POSes, etc)

The fact that the market is well supplied and prices are fairly stable tells me that CCP has found a pretty good balance point. If you make the activity more attractive, more players will participate, more supply will reach the market and prices will fall. The economy needs an element of scarcity and the only scarce commodities in the game are player time and willingness to participate in an activity.

I agree that more engaging gameplay is desirable but not if it results in lower return on invested effort.

I think, it’s reasonable to have a discussion about PI redesign, as it is a basic functionality of eve. And as EVE is a long-term strategic game, PI has a huge potential to offer even more ways in playing EVE, than pure combat, as resources are essential for every economy, society and expansion.

I wrote an article a couple of years ago about this topic, but a short summarize of some of the aspects I have in mind includes:

  1. planets should play a role in sovereignty
  • number of residents, their content and perspective (work, supplies, …) have influence of taking over sovereignty by others, the outcome of mining installations, productivity of factories
  • planets/residents can be destroyed, captured/invaded, infiltrated, or turned over (e.g. bribing)
  1. Planets should have more abilities
  • research installations
  • production installations
  • space lift for resource exchange
  • planetary defence system (npc that help defending the system, sensor array that detects intruders)
  • automatic transport routes within a solar system (for product chains between planets, supply for citadels, …) if infrastructure is set up (e.g. space lifts)
  1. planetary installations
  • depending on the type of planet, you can build power structures
  • or a dyson sphere for the whole solar system (makes citadel fuel obsolete, number depends on size of the sphere)
  • orbit defence system (makes bombardments much more difficult)
  • space lift (easier exchange of goods)
  • sensor array around the planet (defence and offence systems possible)
  • factories, mines, research centres
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I find this deeply amusing when you consider the rich resources in sov null and that all who’d be doing PI are blue to each other. On a separate note, I did get some PVP when doing PI in null. Sneaky enemies waiting for Epithals! :wink:

What does high sec have to do anything with PI? My PI colonies are actually in nullsec, so dont you feel dumb?

Those are some really good ideas, all of which would make PI more comprehensive and immersive. I’d love to see what other ideas people have. Simplifying PI more than it already is, sounds silly. It takes less than 5 mins, to ensure my colonies are good to go for potentially 7 days. Im glad im at least not the only one that sees so much potential in PI.