What is Planetary Interaction?Edit
Planetary Interaction (PI) is a mechanic within eve that allows you to extract raw materials from planets. Similar to the Moon Mining mechanic but with a much lower barrier to entry. Once extracted, the raw materials can then be produced into higher forms of materials used for production of various items within eve.
How do I get into PI?Edit
PI is relatively simple to began requiring a few skills and a bit of isk. There are five skills directly related to running a PI facility, all of which are located under the Planet Mangement drop down in your skills:
Remote Sensing - "The ability to gather and analyze remote sensing data from satellites in orbit around a planet and produce properly calibrated surveys."
Remote sensing is the very first skill you will require to begin PI. It allows you to scan planets to view the raw materials available to be extracted on a given planet. Level 3 is the pre-req for a couple other PI skills and is the suggested train to level.
Command Center Upgrades - "Each level in this skill improves the quality of command facility available to you, in turn allowing for a greater number of connected facilities on that planet."
CCU is the only other skill you require to set up a running PI facility. The higher the level of the skill the more you can upgrade your CC (up to level 6) to have a greater CPU and Power output, thus allowing you to link more facilities. Although you can technically set up a PI facility with this skill at level 1, its suggested you get it up to level 4.
Planetology - "The understanding of planet evolution allowing you to better interpret data from scans of planets for resources."
This skill refines your results of scans when scanning a planets resources. Although not requried for a PI set up, it is a highly recommend skill as it will greatly increase your yeild by allowing you to better place your extractors. Suggested train to level 4, as it is a pre-req for Advanced Planetology
Advanced Planetology - "The advanced understanding of planet evolution allowing you to interpret data from scans of planets for resources at much higher resolutions."
The second tier of Planetology. Allows for greater scans of a planets resources. Suggested level 4.
Interplanetary Consolidation - "For each level in this skill, you may install a command center on one additional planet, to a maximum of 6 planets. You can have only one command center per planet."
This skill allows you to set up multiple CC's at once, which is a must when producing higher tier mateirals. You can start a PI facility without this skill, although it is recommended you get it up as high as you can.
In addition to these skills you will need an applicable Command Center to start your facility. Every planet is one of eight types each requiring its own specific Command Center. Command Centers are relatively inexpensive usually costing under 100k isk.
It's also suggested you have a hauler. Although you can get by with a Industrial ship (the Amarr Sigil having the fastest training to capacity ratio), if you get into PI you will want to upgrade to a larger ship in order to limit the amount of trips you will take, thus increasing your amount of isk per hour.
And honestly thats about it. You will need a few million isk to upgrade your Command Center once its on planet, but you can have a very low CC to begin with.
A Couple Other Things to Think AboutEdit
There are a couple things you will need to do once you decide you want to go ahead and get into PI. After skilling up, getting a few million isk as capitol, and getting your hauler all set, you will need to make a few decisions. The two main questions you will need to ask is "What do I want to extract?" and "Where do I want to extract it from?" Both questions are tied together and answering one will help you answer another. If you're looking to maximize your isk flow you will need to choose what you want to produce first. Knowing what you want to produce will help you find the right system with the right kinds of planets that hold your required materia
ls. If you're more interested in convience over amount of isk then you will choose your system and base what you produce on what is located there. A great tool for deciding what you should produce or what you can produce can be found here. If opened in game it will allow you to open up the info of the material, thus allowing you to find the best priced material for your area.
When choosing a system there are a few things you'll want to consider before starting up. The first is if there are stations in system. Having at least one station to dock at will reduce the time you spend managing your facilites greatly. Another thing to consider is distance to a market system. The closer you are the less you have to travel, again reducing the amount of effort you need to put in. The final thing is Security Status. High Sec provides the lowest extraction rate of materials from facilites, while Null provides the greatest, with Low Sec being right in the middle. I woudl suggest all new PI'ers to start in a High Sec system to get the hang of things and learning what they need to do and when they need ot do it. Once you have a better rotation set up for what your doing you can move into Low Sec to get better yeilds.
Let's Get StartedEdit
Alright, so you're all skilled up, you've got a cheap indus ship, and a few million isk to burn. Let's build a facility. As mentioned previously you'll want to first decide where and what. For this guide I will be setting up a simple facility on a local planet in High Sec. To keep it simple I'm going to choose a T1 material I want to produ
ce and sell. I choose to work toward Water, as it is at a high price in my area. Looking over the chart to produce Water I will need to find a planet with Aqueous Liquids. I will scan down planets to find a good one with an abundance of Aqueous Liquid. I click on a planet and select 'View in Planet Mode'. This is the main PI managment view. Up at the top you'll left you'll see two select options, 'Build' and 'Scan'. I will choose scan first.
I continue scanning down the planets and am able to find a planet with a much better yeild of AL. From here I can select 'Build'. Here it shows that this is a Temperate Planet, which requires a Temperate Command Center. Luckily I have one in my hold ready for placment. Now I will decide where to put it. To do this I will want to go back to 'Scan' . I will select the AL and the scan will show me where on the planet this material is located. As you can see it doesn't really seem to show anything at all. In order to get a better read I will want to lower the 'Maximum Visable Resource Limit'. Now that I've set it to less than half I can see resources on the planet much better. Now I can place my Command Center.
The only thing that will stop you from dropping a CC is if someone else has a CC there. Other than that you can place it anywhere. You will want to place it relatively near an area with a good yeild, while still having some space. I'll choose this area as it will allow for two extractors if I so choose, while still having enough space to add additional facilites. Once you click to place the CC the prompt will pop up at the top left above the build/scan options. This prompt will show you the CPU/Power usage of the thing you are dropping, as well as the isk cost. You must click 'Submit' to accept your placment.
Now that the CC is down we will want to dock. You have to be in space to place the CC, but once it's installed you can manage your PI while docked. Now that you are docked you can select your Science and Industry (alt+s by default) to pull up a list of you facilities. We will now want to place an extractor unit. The extractor is the very first thing you'll want to place after the CC, this is the thing that will be 'mining' the material for you. Similar to the CC you will want to place this close to the area of highest yield (the white area) without actually being inside of it. As you can see placing this will cost you a bit of isk and will take up quite a bit of your CPU and Power. Once submited you will want to select the extractor. Once selected you will see a few options. To begin your extraction you'll choose the 'Survey the Deposits'. This will remove your 'Scan' interface and pull up the extractor interface. You will want to choose your material which will once again show your scan info. You will now install your Head Units. You will want to install as many head units as possible. More head units require more CPU and Power so you may need to upgrade your CC, which will cost some isk. Once upgraded we can instal a full 10 Heads. Once installed you will want to adjust your extraction area size. The large the size of the extractor heads, the longer your cycles will be. You will want to choose a head size that will cover as much of the white area as possible, while avoiding overlapping of the extractor heads. After you position the extractor heads as best you can you will select Install Program to start the cycles. My current head size shows a cycle time of 4 hours.
As you can see the scan view shows you a list of available materials on the planet. It will also show you the amount of the material that is on the planet. I see the planet has a decent amount of Aqueous Liquid but it seems a bit low. So I will continue scanning planets to see if there is something better in system.
I will now want to set up a processing facility. As I am just producing a T1 material I will just need a Basic Indus Facility. Now normally with a small set up you can just route your materials directly from the extractor to the processor, but considering the amount of material I will be extracting in one cycle I will want to route the materials first to a storage facility. Once the storage facility is placed I will click on the extractor and choose products. Then choose my material and click 'Create Route'. Then just click on the storage facility. Almost forgot, you will want to create links following the path your material will take from extractor>storage>processor>launch pad. I will also want to choose what I will be producing in my processor. Just selct the processor, click schematics, then choose your particular T1 material. Once your first cycle completes you will be able to route your raw material from your storage to your processor. Then you will want to create a launch pad and link it to your processor. Once your processor has finished its first cycle you can route the completed T1 material to the launch pad. The launch pad will allow you to collect your finished product with your hauler, however this will require you to be located in space above the planet.
And you're now done! You will now want to check your Facility once or twice a day to make sure everything is running okay. Once your launchpad is full, or at least full enough to fill your hauler, you will want to make a run to pick up the materials. You can then store it at a station and wait for a larger haul in a bigger ship to sell, or just sell it straight. You will also want to adjust your extractors every so often as the yeild will change. From this basic set up you can install a second extractor to extract faster, or muliple processors to produce higher tier materials. However this will likely require a larger time investment as you will need mulitple planets extracting different materials and it will be up to you to haul them to the correct planet.