Tyranny in Tyrannis
“We have learned now that we cannot regard this planet as being fenced in and a secure abiding place for Man; we can never anticipate the unseen good or evil that may come upon us suddenly out of space.” HG Wells, War of the Worlds
For some time I have been mulling over what the current incarnation of Planetary Interaction holds for us. In some respects I must hold my hand up and say I am a little, well disappointed, in what I see. Sure, there is plenty of fine level detail in terms of Industry to delve into. Routing networks, extracting materials, processing and constructing, and hurling your finished product into space on the back of a booster rocket.
What is missing for me is the sense of conquest, a sense of building a society. I cant think I am alone in this view, brought up as I have been on such games as Risk, Axis & Allies or Sid Meir’s Civilisation series. Why have the Devs neglected this – it seems such a crucial consideration for anything ‘planety’ (that’s not a real word, I just made it up 🙂 ). Whilst chewing this over in my head I was reminded of that other management game, Sim City. You may recall carefully laying out your infrastructure, electricity, pipelines for water and so forth. Often it made sense to do this first, before you even started dropping asphalt all over the place. And then that’s when it hit me.
PI, in its current format, is those ‘utilities’ – it’s the guts and veins of PI: in short its the bottom layer. So what will go over this? What would be the second layer?
We have already seen perhaps a small glimpse of the possible in the hexagonal layer that lies across the surface of each planet (although not currently visible in the most recent build on SISI). My feeling is, is that it is his hexagonal tiling that will determine ‘ownership’ over a planets surface. I use the term ‘ownership’ with caution however – influence may be a better term. I can certainly envisage a system where by you can build your network of industry well, pretty much anywhere, but the successive layer over that will determine how efficient it is.
If the hexagon your industry passes through, or exists within is your own, all well and good – however, if it does not then we could expect the efficiency of that network to suffer as a result. Perhaps links and routes will be taxed? Or will the workers in your extraction plant actually have their loyalty “politically” with whom ever controls the upper layer of PI? These influence zones I expect will be dictated by placing additional structures onto them – habitats, communication towers, governing buildings that sort of thing. These in turn will require an upkeep (no doubt PI resources) to maintain, and may potentially be upgradeable.
Ultimately these ‘zones’ will contest with other zones held by other players and – voilà: we have the structure in place to enable DUST 514.
So, we are watching now the plumbing going in, and of course in the process seeing ourselves invest into that – become reliant upon it. But before you rub your hands in glee at the thought of all that carefree AFK ISK……