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Eve Online's Planetary Interaction has been available for a while, but I haven't really paid attention to it. Now I'm wondering how it works - specifically in social terms (player-versus-player, etc), not the game mechanics. There's a lot of questions that the wiki doesn't answer. For instance:

  • Is it subject to direct PVP? Can other players attack your mining equipment? Are there differences in hi-sec versus lo-sec?

  • Is there indirect PVP? Say a limit on how many machines per-planet, so it's first-come, first-served? Similar to asteroids?

  • What kind of investment (training time, cash) does it take to get profitable? Is it low enough that everyone can do it (which would seem to lead to inflation)? Or is it fairly difficult and time-consuming (like training for a Titan, say? :)

If I had to sum it up in only one question, it would be - what kinds of player interactions does PI enable?

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    There's no PvP in planets at all, other than the resources are all depleted together (similar to roids, except you don't see the other miners).
    – user56
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 20:25
  • I've never heard of planetary interaction being very profitable, except for in some low-sec areas dominated by big corps.
    – Maxpm
    Commented Jun 22, 2011 at 20:31
  • @maxpm Some people find a little profit in losec though... Other places to find bigger profits might be in wormholes with static highsec exits, or possibly nullsec if you can find cheapish logistics to get your products out to market.
    – camster342
    Commented Sep 19, 2011 at 5:30

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There is indirect PvP aspects in Planetary Interaction, and soon there will be direct PvP aspects with the release of a console game called DUST514.

The indirect PvP aspect is fighting over resources. This was only turned on in some of the later patches in the Incursion. On each planet there is only a limited number of the resources in the ground, which only refill at a certain static rate. The planet will support some (unspecified) minimum amount of resource being extracted, then after that it will deteriorate. This means that too much concentration in the area will deplete the resource for all players pulling that resource out of the ground at that place.

The direct PvP will come later when the DUST514 console shooter game comes out. Exact details haven't been confirmed yet, but the base premise of it is that people playing Eve Online will be able to somehow ask players in DUST514 to somehow disrupt other Eve Online players Planetary Interaction networks.

There are usually two types of Planetary Interaction (PI) setups : Extraction and Factory setups.

With Extraction setups, PI doesn't really require any sort of ongoing ISK costs to run besides export fees of planetary products, therefore all PI here should be "profitable". In High-Sec you won't get very high extraction rates at all, and they will be highly contested, which means not very profitable on a "ISK-per-time-invested" basis. Lo-Sec can be better, but Null-Sec and Wormhole planets can be quite lucrative. There is a larger risk in transporting the PI products from these lower security areas of space though.

With Factory Setups, people can make a fair amount of ISK by making PI setups in High Sec that purely concentrate on turning lower level cheaper PI products bought from the market into higher level more expensive products. You'd need to figure out what is profitable here and what isn't as it would also be quite easy to lose a lot of money doing this if you chose the wrong products, or the sell prices of the high-end product dropped unexpectedly.

In terms of investment of training time, it doesn't take too long to get decent PI skills. Anywhere between a few days for some basic skills to a couple of months to be able to run multiple planets with high level command centres depending on how much PI you want to be involved in.

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  • I'm really anxious to see how they tie in DUST 514. It's a shame it's a PS3 exclusive.
    – Maxpm
    Commented Jun 23, 2011 at 5:18
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There are a few ways PI can lead to interacting with other players.

The goods have to be picked up from the planet and in non-hi-sec regions or under WarDecs this creates an opportunity for PVP around attacking the colonist whilst they are in space collecting their goods.

One way to export goods from a colony on the planet is to use the Customs Office. These Customs Offices can(must?) be owned by other players and are referred to as POCO for Player Owned Customs Office. The owner of the POCO can set tax rates on the importing and exporting of goods through the POCO.

This may lead to some economic pvp between the POCO owner and colonist; Raising the taxes to cut into profits to drive them off the planet or out of a system; Shutting down a colony to deprive the POCO owner of their income.

In non-hi-sec and under WarDecs, a POCO can be attacked and destroyed.

There is another way to export goods from a planet without using a POCO. Nevertheless, the colonist needs to undock to retrieve the goods.

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