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Published April 8, 2013

(Author's note: This was initially intended as a one-part guide. After churning out a wall of text, however, I decided to break it down into multiple parts. This first part will discuss what planetary interaction actually is and how to prepare a character for planetary interaction, and part two will discuss setting up planets and making money in detail.)

I am writing this article as guide for new players or people otherwise uninitiated in the art of planetary interaction (henceforth referred to by its initials, PI). Industrialists and veterans who’ve been working with PI for any length of will likely find the information included here of very little of value, and frankly would likely be able to suggest a myriad of better ways to pursue PI in a way that generates way more ISK and does so in a far more efficient manner.

Instead, the purpose of this guide is to explain how to get started with PI with as minimal effort as possible for someone who has no idea how to play the markets or really just doesn’t have the inclination to play day-trader in EVE. I started looking into the whole affair as source of supplemental income after moving out to nullsec slightly over three months ago; primarily because I am deathly allergic to mining and it feels like I have a slight case of narcolepsy whenever I try to go ratting.

As such, I am offering a this guide to the community as a healthy alternative for newbies and other parties who are convinced mining is the only way to make ISK by playing EVE (it isn’t). I will endeavor to offer advice that isn’t completely terrible, and when I get to the part that explains how to configure planets I will include screenshots of my inefficient setup and of the game to illustrate points when appropriate.

What is Planetary Interaction?

Before I start offering advice, I should explain the whole concept of PI from the beginning.

EVE’s most well known systems involve spaceships that blow things up, spaceships that mine asteroids and other things, and UI screens that enable people to build spaceships for the two prior groups. Beyond those dynamics, however, you may have noticed that those spaceships fly around in outer-space in individual systems that contain suns, planets, moons, and other various landmarks.

In 2010's Tyrannis expansion, CCP added a system that takes those planets and allows you to plunder them for resources that are completely different from from the things you mine from asteroids or gas clouds. These resources are then used to make other resources, which are then used to make subsequently more and more complicated resources by combining less complex resources together. Eventually you can produce extremely complicated things like nanite repair paste or POS tower fuel using components from PI.

Goods extracted and manufactured on planets are broken down into tiers, and throughout the Internet are referred to as follows:

  • P0: Goods that are extracted directly from a planet. They are things like carbon compounds and complex organisms, and they don’t really resell for much on their own.
  • P1: Items created directly from P0 goods when using a Basic Industry Facility.
  • P2: Items created from two P1 goods when using an Advanced Industry Facility.
  • P3: Items created from combining P2 goods. Also uses Advanced Industry Facilities.
  • P4: Items created from combining P3 (and sometimes P2) goods.  Uses High Tech Production Plants.

Manufacturing P3 and P4 materials is process that involves many planets and in all likelihood more than one character trained in PI, or the ability to purchase lower tier materials and use those to manufacture P3 and P4 goods. In the interest of keeping this guide focused, I will not be discussing the detailed production of P3 and P4 materials, although pretty much the exact same principles apply, just on a grander scale over multiple PI characters and scores of planets.

Regarding planets, I am going to take the time to mention the types of planets involved in PI. Systems in EVE are populated with different planet types as follows: Lava, Barren, Temperate, Oceanic, Ice, Storm, Gas, Plasma, and finally Shattered. Shattered planets are not used to manufacture PI goods, as they have suffered some cataclysmic fate that renders putting colonies on them impossible. Every other planet is of varying rarity and contains a set list of P0 products one can potentially harvest from them. Keep this in the back of your mind for now.

 

This, for example, is a Lava Planet. You can find base metals, felsic magma, heavy metals, non-CS crystals, and suspended plasma here.

 

Hoots
Drewson Houten, known by friends and corpmates alike as "Hoots," is a member of TEST alliance through a little corporation called Alea Iacta Est Universal (AIEU).