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Is PI still misdesigned?

Author
Katarinah
Aggressive Avians
#1 - 2016-05-28 13:25:27 UTC  |  Edited by: Katarinah
Released about 6 years ago, Planetary Interaction provides an original attraction to Eve. However it's received little love since the initial release and has been overshadowed by other developments such as w-space which has had a more extensive impact on gameplay. The feature is still somewhat barebone and it will not hold player interest for a long time.

Barriers of entry

These are fairly low and PI can be very attractive to low tier players. You're basically set when you have all planetary skills at 4, about 1 mil skill points or 2 weeks of training. Getting a blockade runner helps, so that is another 1 mil skill points and the only significant investment isk wise in this business. Once you have all that you're pretty much set and there is not much more to it!

Maybe it's good for the so called newbros but this means high profits are not possible in this business via specialization and veteran players will steer elsewhere. This is a short, low-paying profession.

Security level

In hi-sec, profits are nerfed by high tax levels. There are no problems here, profits should be low for casual carebears.

In low-sec, you have all the old problems Eve has had with low-sec from the time of release. Too much risk and inconvenience vs the reward. Production and taxes are better but you lose time and isk to ganks or just he risk of ganks and the enjoyment of the activity suffers due to that as well, so usually it's not worth it. Low-sec is fun for low to mid tier PvPers but others are missing out.

In null-sec or w-space, the rewards are greater but the risk is also lower. Typically you have a strong entity controlling the area and hostile intruders/pirates are not a constant nuisance. This offers some attraction to seasoned players, but the bottom line is that what you get out of the planets is still the same stuff as in low-sec or hi-sec.

Passive income?

Well, PI really isn't. Logistics and hauling can take quite a bit of attention especially in low-sec. Market activities need research and updating your market orders. Your colony also needs attention time to time. I would say trade and industry in Eve are slightly more passive than PI, in fact.

Especially the setup side can take a lot of time for PI! You have to scout for a safe/lucrative area and the particular planet, not to mention scanning for the exact location and planning your PI facility. It can take even a few hours per planet. This eats into your profits - in trade & industry, introducing a new product is very quick and can be repeated several times.

I like the long setup time in PI! There just isn't much benefit for it, as the bottlenecks typically are somewhere else than the productivity of the land, funny enough. But the analytical and exploration tasks involved are a fresh breath in the usual Eve gameplay.

The market

The most improvement can be seen in this department. I take many people have just given up due to the problems involved or just out of boredom, resulting in less supply in planetary materials. This means that components that used to net a meager 20m isk/h can now net a 50m isk/h with a good setup. But it doesn't seem there is much potential above that and mostly it is just temporary fluctuation in the market and cannot become a means of living for a high-tier character.

PI integrates with the rest of the Eve production and economy at various points. This I find a very good thing about PI.

Some solutions

Introduce rare materials that are only found out of hi-sec. They should exist only on a small number of planets and require special skills or equipment to survey or extract.

Consider the potential boost to low-sec if some materials are found only there. This area has been a problem for CCP for more than 10 years!

Introduce a skill to boost industrial output, could be 4x. Also Advanced tier skills should be introduced to allow characters to specialize. Advanced Consolidation for players who really like PI.

Increase demand for PI by introducing new goods that integrate with the rest of the Eve economy. More people will be able to enjoy PI as a result.

Make planetary infrastructure similar to citadels. Make fittings and rigs that allow you to optimize for various extraction/survey, production, advanced production, or storage. Fittings should be player built and come in meta, t2 and t3 plus possibly faction versions and require an isk investment. Some infrastructure could be placed in orbit and could be attacked by other players.

Expensive colonies make players commit and survey more carefully.

Colonies could have PoS capabilities such as BP research.

Reduce volume of P2 and above.

Also, does PI integrate with Dust in practice at all? I have not yet noticed.

Edit: darn forum is acting up and eating edits :(
Tipa Riot
Federal Navy Academy
Gallente Federation
#2 - 2016-05-28 13:49:10 UTC  |  Edited by: Tipa Riot
You may have missed the recent Citadel patch which introduced a vast amount of new high value items requiring lots of PI material ... and DUST servers have their final shutdown on Tuesday.

Regarding 20m or 50m per hour with PI, can you elaborate on how such a setup will look like?

I'm my own NPC alt.

Kyra Lee
Ixian Machines
#3 - 2016-05-29 02:58:25 UTC
I am seeing a lot of bias and uninformed opinions here Cry. PI is actually heavily integrated into almost every aspect of the eve economy. Let me list a few.

P4 is needed in every POS part.
P4 is needed if all of the parts required for Outpost and Citadel construction.
Robotics is required in various T2, Cosmos, and Fuel Block construction.
Various P2 is used in all sorts of things like Fuel Blocks, Nanite Paste, T2 Ammo, T2 Modules.

About the only things I can think of that do not require some form of PI are normal T1 objects.

PI can be quite passive once you get past the colony setup. You can set the extractors to run for 2 weeks if you so desire. Then all it takes is a little time hauling. It can also be as intensive as you want buy setting up hourly cycles and transporting materials like crazy. It is up to the player to determine their level of activity. I personally run 3 day cycles and reset on Sunday and Wednesday. That leaves a day for all my processors to catch up. I usually have to haul goods every two weeks. Overall every 2 weeks I might put in at most 2 hours worth of time on PI for all of my planets.

I do agree with the low barrier of entry. It is easy for new players to get into but that also means a low plateau for skill mastery. This is also inherent in many other industry aspects as well. The way CCP seems to address this is buy letting people have more slots or more planets, basically just doing more work. I would think they would find a way to make things more efficient instead.

Lowsec is lowsec unfortunately. While many of the players that live there are quite fine with it many others are not. You are fully correct that it is a lot of work for not as much reward. There are many problems that exist that add to this issue. Perfect intel in nulsec and very little ability to control your environment means that lowsec is no where near as safe as nulsec. With all of the work you put into lowsec you could just as well do PI in a wormhole for better rewards. I think about the only way to make lowsec more attractive is to make null and wormholes less attractive and there are many people that do not want that.

Some of your solutions I feel are not needed, but some of them are decent. Having skills that make PI more efficient instead of just making more planets would be nice. Introducing rare materials that are only available in a certain area is a bad idea. Someone will monopolize that material and control the prices. We saw this with the Technetium bottleneck of years past. We don't need to increase the demand for anything. We need to reduce the supply. PI is so passive that a single indy person can spend a couple hours a week on their 10 alts raking in the isk. PI like all other industry related actions scales extremely well with more alts and scales very poorly with more actual players.

Another idea that I like and I think is somewhat related to your expansive colonies idea is things like adjacency bonuses. We see stuff like that in some RTS games like Supreme Commander and Offworld Trading Company. Changing PI setup from its nebulous buildings floating on the surface of a planet could help quit a bit. Having your colony fit together like Lego bricks with decisions about which type of bonus you need is one idea. There are many things that could be done to improve the PI experience, but the major one is to reduce the clicking maintenance. That is by far the largest barrier of entry.

KL


Tau Cabalander
Retirement Retreat
Working Stiffs
#4 - 2016-05-30 05:20:04 UTC
*shrug*

In hisec you can earn ~21 million ISK a week extracting and processing to water and oxygen, with 3 day cycles.

Oh how I wish PI existed when I started.
Shayla Etherodyne
Delta Laroth Industries
#5 - 2016-05-31 20:25:38 UTC
About the misinformation in the OP post:

- POCOs taxes are set up by the owning corp, they have nothing to do with high sec/low sec/0.0.
Aaron Honk
Distributed Denial of Service
#6 - 2016-05-31 22:41:52 UTC  |  Edited by: Aaron Honk
Katarinah
Aggressive Avians
#7 - 2016-06-04 10:34:28 UTC  |  Edited by: Katarinah
Tipa Riot wrote:
You may have missed the recent Citadel patch which introduced a vast amount of new high value items requiring lots of PI material ... and DUST servers have their final shutdown on Tuesday.

Regarding 20m or 50m per hour with PI, can you elaborate on how such a setup will look like?


Probably citadels then account for some of the recent price increase. So basically this measure has already been implemented and is not sufficient by itself.


I've been running a small chain that refines up to P3 - typically I've planned for 7d cycles with large storage, but now I've been running it in tighter cycles. Sadly it seems peak prices are over and my PI has solidly dropped below 40m/h. I will probably drop this PI chain as using the time to collect your daily 10k SP bonus is much more lucrative in isk/h.
ube smoked
State War Academy
Caldari State
#8 - 2016-06-04 11:03:27 UTC
I'm making a ton of isk after the introduction of citadels. The materials I sell has tripled in price. Good times.
DTiieggoger
True Omega
#9 - 2016-06-05 01:11:18 UTC  |  Edited by: DTiieggoger
I LOVE PI!

I have 2 acc's & 6 chars, 1 for pos fuel, 1.5 for p4 and 3 rookie chars that are sat in their 0.1+0.2 systems with a cloaking epithal just churning out p2 goods.

I love the idea of further skills for PI lovers and the idea of such as autotrophs being a low sec only or something like that!

unfortunately no matter what is done to try to improve etc the profit margins wont change or at least not long term as people are competing against other people and so the buy/sell orders will be dragged down to basement profit line like they are now - that said if you actually look at the profit margins, (have set up a spreadsheet that pulls Jita p2 & p4 prices) simply buying p2 and making p4 nets a 69.89% profit on Nano-Factory (at time of writing) so there is money there but passive income?? nah not really too much hauling, and having to be in the same system to import/export is something they could develop a skills for similar to the buy & sell order skills.

in fact Integrity Response Drones offer the lowest profit margin of 16.01% apart from Recursive Computing Module, for some reason it is actually cheaper to buy the p4 item in Jita than p2&build! buying each 1 saves 0.15% ;)

not sure what you mean by reduce p2 volume?

* Nano-Factory % is based on sell order NOT a new listing....
Tipa Riot
Federal Navy Academy
Gallente Federation
#10 - 2016-06-05 04:19:14 UTC
Katarinah wrote:
Tipa Riot wrote:
You may have missed the recent Citadel patch which introduced a vast amount of new high value items requiring lots of PI material ... and DUST servers have their final shutdown on Tuesday.

Regarding 20m or 50m per hour with PI, can you elaborate on how such a setup will look like?


Probably citadels then account for some of the recent price increase. So basically this measure has already been implemented and is not sufficient by itself.


I've been running a small chain that refines up to P3 - typically I've planned for 7d cycles with large storage, but now I've been running it in tighter cycles. Sadly it seems peak prices are over and my PI has solidly dropped below 40m/h. I will probably drop this PI chain as using the time to collect your daily 10k SP bonus is much more lucrative in isk/h.

I'm still puzzled how you get near 40m/h with PI, because this means almost 1B profit per day. How many planets/chars are you using?

I just figured and started to setup planets with about 10m per day each (extracting -> P2), to get near your numbers I would need to harvest 100 planets like that ...

I'm my own NPC alt.

Gaius Clabbacus
Sebiestor Tribe
Minmatar Republic
#11 - 2016-06-05 08:22:39 UTC
Tipa Riot wrote:

I'm still puzzled how you get near 40m/h with PI, because this means almost 1B profit per day. How many planets/chars are you using?

I just figured and started to setup planets with about 10m per day each (extracting -> P2), to get near your numbers I would need to harvest 100 planets like that ...


Count the time spend each week on restarting PI and hauling it. Divide by profit made on PI. The result is ISK per hour-of-effort.

Somewhat useful metric to check if it is actually worthwhile to do PI or whether time is better spend ratting/mining/whatever.
Tipa Riot
Federal Navy Academy
Gallente Federation
#12 - 2016-06-05 10:03:31 UTC
Gaius Clabbacus wrote:
Tipa Riot wrote:

I'm still puzzled how you get near 40m/h with PI, because this means almost 1B profit per day. How many planets/chars are you using?

I just figured and started to setup planets with about 10m per day each (extracting -> P2), to get near your numbers I would need to harvest 100 planets like that ...


Count the time spend each week on restarting PI and hauling it. Divide by profit made on PI. The result is ISK per hour-of-effort.

Somewhat useful metric to check if it is actually worthwhile to do PI or whether time is better spend ratting/mining/whatever.

OK, with this assumption the number is more reasonable, but quite useless to compare setups. It contains too many aggregated and subjective components only meaningful for the one player. A metric saying for example my extraction planet exports 10m/day in P1/P2 with 2 day cycles would be more helpful IMO.

I'm my own NPC alt.