It has been a long time since I traversed space within the EvE universe, and when I was recently invited to come back and try out the Tyrannis expansion, I decided it was time to dust off my ships, charge up the engines and check out the new content. My focus was the new major feature of the Tyrannis expansion, which is the ability to colonize planets, allowing for the extraction of resources from a host of different planetary types, opening up a world of new possibilities.
I will admit that thanks to my memory being on par with that of a small fish, it took me a while to regain my bearings after I first logged in. Luckily after a short while of sorting through my inventory, checking out my ships fittings and making sure I had enough ammunition tucked away in my cargo hold, I finally started to remember, and decided it was time to bravely face the universe and try my hand at managing a planet’s operation.
Upon undocking I was treated to the game’s new planetary graphics – and what a visual treat they are. While these graphics were in place the last time I played, I had forgotten how well the CCP team had done in creating planets that seemed real and alive, and how they can make even the mightiest of Titans feel so small in the emptiness of space. As I sat watching a hurricane sweep across the surface of a planet just outside the hangar, my excitement grew for my first attempt at having one of these planets to call my own.
Check out the slide show for the full series of pictures.
I was, however, a little concerned with how lucky I would be at finding a home that was not already taken by someone else. With EvE’s single persistent server, everyone will be competing for the same planets, and with the constantly growing subscriber base, I figured my chances of finding a planet that was close to civilization and not tucked away in some deep dark corner of space was fairly minimal.
I decided it would be in my best interest to first move to where most of my assets were stored and that along the way I would check for any planets that I would be able to conquer…err settle. Luckily the process for checking planets is quite simple, allowing players to check any planet they fly past. A simple right click on any planet in the area will either display the message that the planet is closed off to the public, or take the player into a bird’s eye view of the planet. To my surprise after checking about four planets, and making two jumps, I found an ice based planet sitting all alone next to a gate that was ripe for the taking, and of course I took it.
Once I was in planetary mode the game begins to play much like an RTS. A new HUD will appear, giving the player some basic information on what types of resources can be found along with the types of structures that can be placed. Each planet will yield different types of resources that can be extracted and then later used to create various other materials. The first thing I had to do is pick up the skill book for Remote Sensing, which is found under the new Planetary Management category on the market. With the remote sensing skill trained, I was able to utilize the scan option that is present while in planet view mode. What this does is allow you to scan the planet’s surface for various resources and see where they are the most abundant. I mistakenly did this step after I had built the majority of my facilities, and of course found they were way off from where the resources were most abundant.
Check out the slide show for the full series of pictures.
Once scanned, my next objective was to place the command center, which has to be placed before you can build anything else. The basic command center has no skill requirement and can simply be purchased off the market; players just need to make sure they are buying the correct command center, as each planetary type will require one specific to itself. Once placed, you see that the command center acts much like your ship does, having both a CPU and a power grid. Each facility a player chooses to build after the command center will draw from the grid and CPU, much the same way fittings on your ship will. After placing the command center I can begin to construct extractors, which will gather resources out of the planet over time as soon as I place them. There are different options available allowing players to chose either shorter or longer harvest times, depending on how quickly you want your resources at your disposal. For now I stuck with the longest option of one hour as I was in no real rush. As your extractors work a white bar will fill up in a clockwise direction, indicating how far along the current extraction timer is. When the bar is completely filled, the extraction process is complete, and the materials will be harvested, causing the extractor to begin its next harvesting cycle.
Extractors can only hold a small amount of resources, and the rest will need to be stored somewhere else. While your command center comes equipped with a small storage space, it is really too small to be effective. Once the storage facility is placed, players will then need to actually connect all of the structures. This is done through the planetary links system, which are essentially roads that allow you to move resources from one location to another. Each link will draw an amount of power as well, so players will need to be careful in choosing what goes where, and not try to build a seventeen lane highway like I did, which resulted in me quickly running out of power at the start.
With the basic command center I was able to place two extractors and my storage facility, and have them churning away; gathering me up the glorious bounty the planet had to offer. With my time to retire for the evening quickly approaching, I decided to let my little buildings do their thing overnight, and see where I stood when I woke the next day.
Continue on to part 2
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