With the ‘Great Land Grab’ now firmly on the horizon for the 8th of June many players will be wondering how to best take advantage of EVEs latest resource. The question is though which planets are right for you? With a choice of 65,000 planets across New Eden the selection is certainly a daunting one but with a few simple questions you can narrow the field swiftly and effectively.
How embroiled in PI do you want to get? This is a pretty elementary question but a necessary one as within just a few minutes of training Command Center Upgrades & Interplanetary Consolidation skills up you can be dropping Planetary Command Centers with wild abandon. Clearly if you’re just looking to dabble a bit in PI then you’re best looking to set up base on a Planet close to where you’re currently based from – rather than face potentially long trips to manage your planet ‘at range’.
What are the ‘no go areas’ for me? If you’re inclined to hug Empire space like your clone depends upon it (which to an extent it does) then Low / Null Sec planets are quickly off limits. This of course means that you will be forced to share your planets of choice with like minded players (of whom there are many) and thus suffer poorer returns as a result as a planets resources themselves are directly effected by the number of players attempting to extract them.
In Null Sec you are of course restricted to Alliance Sovereignty – that juicy looking Plasma planet in a system owned by another Alliance? Then its of limits. I’m not wholly convinced that PI will start wars – yet – as Planets, even the rarer ones, are reasonably well distributed and common enough but they could be influencing factors.
Willingness to travel further out into Low or Null Sec Space will improve your lot to a degree. Its worth noting that you can manage you Planetary Infrastructure from anywhere – there’s no requirement to be in the same system, or region – or even in space. Provided you can fly out your PCC and drop it on your selected world you’re good to go. Of course at some stage you will need to collect the output from your planet, and therein lies the problem of Empire > Low/Null Sec transport. Setting up longer extraction rates (resources are sucked up slowly over a longer period) means provided you have sufficient storage in place you can adopt a ‘hands off approach’ to a good degree and only visit your worlds when absolutely necessary.
What do I want to produce? This will define most players choices – with each planet type offering different resources at varying levels of quantity. I recently read a twitter post where a player had discounted Oceanic and Barren worlds as their resources could be found on other worlds – true but quite probably not at the same level. Extracting just raw materials is certainly an option and you can potentially be more economic than the next guy by focusing on one specific product. For example if you set up PCCs on 3 Oceanic worlds in the same system you can be confident of churning out vast quantities of Water with very limited set up costs and ease of management. In terms of your time invested you’re actually more efficient than the player who is trying to make Broadcast Nodes from up to 6 different planets spread over a wide area.
What’s the ‘good stuff’? Some planets clearly have more value in the process than others. All of the POS/Sov Structure BPOs use some quantity of each of the ‘Advanced Commodities’ – for example Broadcast Nodes. A Broadcast Node, ultimately requires Felsic Magma to manufacture and this is only found on Lava Planets which are reasonably uncommon. Felsic Magma is also used in the production of Integrity Response Drones, Self Harmonizing Power Core, Sterile Conduits and Nanite Repair Paste. Nanite Repair paste of course is a consumed product which might indicate a good demand for Felsic Magma.
So should you plump straight for these types of planets? Well not necessarily. Competition for these planets will be fiercest and could cost you ultimately (in lost ships and wasted time) more ISK than if you had gone for a more commonly available resource.
A great deal depends of course how high up the PI Tree you intend to climb. To make the aforementioned Broadcast Node requires the resources from at least 5 different planet types, where as Nano-Factories can be made from just Temperate and Storm worlds (at least in theory – again the abundance of a particular resource needs to be taken into account). The other thing to consider is that the higher up the PI Tree you climb, the bigger your end product becomes. Smuggling 0.01m3 Felsic Magma out of Low Sec is a trivial task and you could move significant quantities using just a covert ops frigate. Moving 100m3 Broadcast Nodes is another story and will require specialist ships if you hope to minimise the risk to your operation.
Who are my neighbours? Even if you’re thinking of just running a limited operation (say manufacturing Silicon on a Lava world from Felsic Magma) it’s worth seeing what else might be being produced locally and if there is likely to be any immediate demand for your product. Presence of a Gas planet might indicate someone manufacturing Reactive Gas, in which case they could be interested in purchasing your Silicon to create the Refined Commodity (P2) Silicate Glass. Even at the highest skill level players can only set up on a maximum of 6 planets and some players may well prefer to purchase intermediate goods rather than try and run the entire production tree themselves.
Of course your neighbours might have very little interest in PI, and far more in what’s inside your squishy ship. There’s an opportunity there of course as known pirate havens will drive away competition but its a risky venture. On the flip side to this choosing a Low Sec system multiple jumps from any industrial / trade hub will increase the time it takes to transport your goods to market. That’s time you could have spent doing something else to make ISK and needs to be taken into account.
Are Barren Planets worthless? Judging the value of any given planet is more difficult than at first sight. For example all of the resource found on a Barren Planet can be found on a combination of Plasma, Temperate and Gas worlds and typically in greater abundance. But for your area a Barren Planet may be simple more convenient. Because there are typically a lot of Barren planets the ratio of players per planet is, on average, likely to be lower for these planets. Some players may askew a Barren planet for better gains on say a Gas planet – leaving you free to exploit it.
In summary then we can see that ‘which planet’ is very much focused upon you, as an individual rather than a pure ‘Planet X is better than Planet Y’. Personally I’m torn between setting up a large scale production chain of just a simple low tier product (like Water) and creating a more involved and time consuming venture to manufacture higher tier goods, but that’s because I like to do a range of activities rather than just PI. The great thing about PI is that if it’ not working out I can always strip down any infrastructure and rebuild to a new model – and that’s where the interest in PI really lies.
Of course no such blog should be finished without a quiet word of warning.
PI in Tyrannis is just the start of the process – so be mindful of where ever you set up your colonies “as men busied themselves about their various concerns, *they* observed and studied, the way a man with a microscope might scrutinize the creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency, men went to and fro about the globe, confident of our empire over this world. Yet across the gulf of space, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic regarded our planet with envious eyes and slowly, and surely, drew their plans against us”.