I finally got around to trying out Planetary Interaction. I watched the video CCP made, a really good video from EVE University, and still had some questions. Like many things in EVE, after learning enough to not feel totally lost, it is best to plunge in and try it, rather than suffer “analysis paralysis”. Besides, in high-sec space I’m really just risking a bit of ISK for building, not expensive ships and modules.
So I built a colony, muddling through the various options, building, routing, etc. My setup is below. It is terrible, as far as building placement, distance to resources, etc. I know that now, and am already figuring out how to do better!
The initial attempt was on the closest planet I could find, an ice planet. I built my Command Center in between two resources, thinking I’d harvest both. That was a mistake because building a route (pipeline) was too expensive. As a result, the single resource I could then harvest was comparatively far away. Oh well, chalk this up to figuring things out.
I built the Extractor Control Unit on the edge of the resource, which was heavy metals. Then I built and positioned 4 Extractor Head Units, fiddled with the program and installed it.
For some reason I can’t explain, I then build the Basic Industrial Facility far away as well, on the other side (route-wise) of the CC, which let me use the CC to buffer resources. I set the BIF to produce toxic metals from the heavy metals input, and route the result to the CC for storage. My little colony was off and running!
Despite being a terrible layout, my colony produced just under 2000 m^3 of toxic metals. Light searching on the market tells me these will sell for about 650K ISK. Not that much by other standards, especially considering I had to upgrade my CC to handle the power requirements due to bad layout (so the initial run basically payed for the buildings and upgrades, with a minor loss) but over time I can see a small profit. Besides, it was kinda fun doing this.
My PI skills are low so I’ve switched over and am training those up. While that is happening, I figured I could get another run out of my ice colony. So I built more EHUs for attempt 2, set the routing, and kicked it off.
I’ll check in every day to launch/pickup the product (toxic metals) and sometime soon I will search for other planets and try something more elaborate. However, I’ll probably produce and sell toxic metals for a while in order to build up more of an ISK buffer.
I’m hoping that once I get squared away with a reasonable planetary factory going, I can slowly build up ISK for doing other fun stuff like buying ships, skills, modules, etc. All this stuff is expensive (to me), for example I’d like a bigger ship like the Vexor cruiser, but that’s 10 million ISK. A tech 2 exploration frigate, such as the Helios, is 20 million. Then I need skill books (cloaking), modules (cloaking), and be able to suffer some losses along the way. Even if I could afford a 10 million ISK ship, it would be stupid to buy one if a purchase like that wiped out my wallet. I really need more like 4 or 5 times as much as the total cost of the items (i.e. if I want to buy a cruiser plus skills/modules, it isn’t really 12 to 15 million I need, it is more like 50 to 75 million ISK. That way I can take a loss or three without bankruptcy).
Heck, just getting the items together so I can mine ice costs ~12 million ISK at the low end and 200 million on the high end.
It’s just expensive to do stuff in EVE!