There’s a buzz in Eve at the moment, as CCP are preparing to allow players to start mining planets directly. In case you’ve been under a rock or in jail, this is called Planetary Interaction (PI). In the latest patch, CCP seeded the blueprints for some of the previously NPC-only available items, such as POS modules (including control towers and fuel items) and some other bits and pieces, notably Nanite Repair Paste.
This meant that PI would be the only route to which enterprising (and patient) players could get these ex-NPC supplied items onto the market.
What is interesting, and will no doubt be a boon to wormhole (WH) dwellers, is that they can pretty much be self sufficient in WH, whereas before they’d have to dip out to buy fuel for their control towers. After June 8th, they can simply set up PI to make the fuel for them. Of course, they still need to get hold of isotopes, which comes from ice- I am not 100% sure that Ice Fields exist in WHs and if they did, what racial type would they be? I suspect this will also encourage more people into WHs as there is less demand on the planets and resources in there.
Another big question is what effect will making these items player made have on the market? Who can tell- no-one knows how many people will bother with PI, and stick at it. What is for sure is that hi-sec will be a lousy place for PI, as the planets will have much less resources than in low or null-sec. This *may* have the effect of pushing some of the hi-sec dwellers into lowsec to make use of the better planets. As you can administer your PI from the safety of hisec once you’ve set it running, you only have to go back to pick up the manufactured items.
I really hope it does make more people venture into lowsec as it really isn’t that scary. Sure you have to be cautious at entrypoints, but more often than not they aren’t camped. And lets face it, you don’t HAVE to go into the notorious lowsec systems like Rancer and Amamake. Of course you are vulnerable when at customs stations collecting your hard earned items, but nothing is risk-free (nor should it be)
I have dabbled with it on Sisi, and I have to say, I really like it. Although I don’t intend to turn into a carebear, it’s potentially a nice trickle income that I’d be stupid to ignore. CCP have added a couple of really nice features to it- firstly, you can set the timers on your extractors (mining buildings that bring up resources from the planet), so they will deplete in 30 mins, a few hours, 24 hours or 96 hours. That way, you can customise it to minimise them sitting there doing nothing as you couldn’t log on. A couple of clicks, and they’re mining again.
The other nice thing, as mentioned earlier is that you can administer planets remotely, which takes the annoyance out of the process and makes it more immersive. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to relay orders to your foremen on the planets in the advanced world of Eve, and CCP have made a good call with it.
Similarly, and this is skill based, you can also remotely scan planets in other systems for resources, up to 9 light years (LY) away. In case you are wondering, 9LY is a LONG way. Click this link for an approximate idea of how far you can see with 9LY (well, in this case 8.75LY as I have had to fudge it slightly) from Jita.
Although the skills for PI are available (five skills), the Control Centres (CCs) are not seeded, and so nothing can happen. I would imagine there is some eyeing up of systems and planets going on, and frantic skilling up. On June 8th, CCP seeds the CCs and it’s go-go-landgrab
There are some unanswered questions, such as how much will the four different types of CC be (Basic, Improved, Advanced and Elite), and can planets be exhausted of resources. Time will tell….EDIT- this thread and comment by dev helps to clarify this.
I would heartily recommend the Eve University guides on PI, they are excellent and also have some videos to backup the articles.