Ahoy hoy, all ye’ space-ly pirates! As I started to branch out a bit, I wanted to dabble in the Planetary Interaction options that I think the Tyrannis expansion added. I’ll try to keep this short and I’ll even end it with the offical “How-To” CCP has on their youtube page ‘case anything I says confuzzles ya.
I’d say the first step is to find out what ya wanna make! There’s a whole list of things to choose from, and every planet is viable for profit. Glorious, unwavering profit. Just glancing at the planetary resources in the market, you’ll notice Raw Materials sell for a little, Processed Materials sell for a heck lot more, and so on, and so on as you go up the chain of quality and reprocessing. (You might just note, that the items scale nearly perfectly in cost, too -_^ I’ll get to that in a second.)
There are a few slightly rare things you can try selling, but don’t forget everyone will be looking for those too! Just to get started, I’d suggest looking at the list of things for sale and seeing if anything just looks ‘right’. Hit the info button on that item to see where you can harvest it, and get the Command Center for it (if you need a temperate planet, get the Temperate Command Center, etc.)
Note: Those suckers are heavy, so bring something that can hold 1,000 cubed meters. And ya might wanna purchase and train Remote Sensing and not required but still beneficial: Planetology. Makes the next bit easier/possible.
Scouting your planet
This part can take ages if you worry about the details looking for the ‘perfect’ planet. I say scratch that on your first attempt and just dive in as I spent a far-too-long while searching myself. Scout out a few systems and see what they have of the planet you need. Take a gander at how there levels rate on the item you wish to harvest, and glance at the Scan option to see just where those hotspots lie. If you find an abundant planet with close-by hotspots, click the Build option and place your Command Center in the middle of em!
Next you’ll need an Extractor, so build one of those. Try to keep it close to the command center, but at the same time mind the big white circle as you place it. That’s the range you’ll have that you can mine, so make sure you get as much of the soil-rich area encased while still being close to the Command Center. After it’s placed, click it and start messing with the mining options. You can say how many sites you wish to extract from at once, how long they extract, and what you want to extract. Select the proper item you wish to harvest, and use three or four mining sites to get your started.
Placing them is as simple as finding the brightest dot of color on the scan page for the particular item you wish to get. Cover up as much as that area as you can with your Extractors mining nodes and hit the Submit button. (You’ll need to press that a lot with Planetary Interaction. Think of it as a fancy “Okay?” button.) Finally, you’ll need those items to go somewhere, so for now you can Route them back to your Command Center.
Click on your Extractor, then click Products. Select the product your are currently harvesting and click the Set Route button that appears. Then click on the Command Center, and Submit if it pops up. That’s it!
Brand new Command Centers are kinda weak and you won’t really be able to do much else at first. You might barely be able to squeeze in a simple Factory though! Those guys convert the item you are harvesting and process it into something far more valuable, yet at a cost itself. See, you need 3,000 of any Raw Material to make twenty Processed Materials. And as I said above, you’ll notice that Processed items tend to cost the same, based on math, as simple Raw Materials. In order to start making the big bucks you need to use the Advanced Factory and start double-dippin’ two or more Processed Materials, but that will also take a higher quality Command Center which is reliant on your skill level in Command Center Upgrades.
Note: Storage buildings help immensely when harvesting goods as they hold ten times more than the Command Center, but don’t forget to link and Route to them, and that it will cost you in terms of taxing your Command Center with more to maintain. This is why it’s best to keep your stuff ‘snug’ around the Command Center, less waste on links and routes on the CPU and whatnots.
One really weird thing that I noticed, which actually spawned this post and mini Planetary Interaction guide in the first place was the fact that I could barely even see anything to scan for on any planet when I first tried. It was quite odd, as like a massive glare was ‘covering up’ what I could see on the planet’s surface, yet I could fairly easily see the hotspots on the darker bottom and sides of the planet away from that ‘glare’. If you guys run into the same problem, I’d suggest turning all of your graphical options to Disabled or Low. Not quite sure what triggered the problem, but seeing the thermo-maps of the planet was a heck of a lot easier after I turned all my settings down. (I turned em back up after everything was placed, of course. Mo’ pretties!)
In case I lost ya up there, here’s a vid directly from CCP telling you how to do it with a poshy and British accent I simply cannot replicate in text. Might even help what I said above ‘stick’. Plus it’s like a slow and one-sided game of Command and Conquer ^_^