Moving up in quality

20th April 2009 – 10.18 am

My aim to gain standings with Core Complexion, Inc. for access to their level four R&D agents is coming along slowly but surely. It is serendipitous that I based my industrial operations in a system, and station, for Core Complexion to give me ready access to some early agents. Even if the agents are in the manufacturing division and offer mostly courier missions the change in pace is welcome. The courier missions are simple and, working with a level two agent, quick to complete, allowing me to gain standing with the corporation quite quickly. Being able to fly courier missions almost as a background task is handy as well, although I still need to pay enough attention to note the pick-up location is my current station and not to leave my package sitting in the hangar as I jump across the constellation.

I even have a short-term goal with my standing gains for Core Complexion, Inc. My current agent is a level two agent with a quality rating of -17, which is quite low but a pleasant relief from having to run level one missions again. There is a level two agent with a quality rating of 14 just one system away, so not far removed from my manufacturing operations and still within my trading zone. My aim is to raise my standings enough to work for this agent, as it would improve my profits when running missions, although I am not sure if standings gains are affected by agent quality. It is perhaps not much of a goal, but it is good to have something specific to work towards.

My standings are crawling higher with each courier mission run. I get the occasional encounter, with my Drake battlecruiser scaring the level two mission rats in to self-destructing half the time, and even suffer through a few mining missions. I can monitor my current standings through the specific pane on my character sheet, seeing how favourable Core Complexion, Inc. is towards me. I also know what I am aiming for to be able to work with the other agent. Calling up the information for the corporation and working down the list of agents I can find the specific agent that appeals to me and bring up his details. Under the information for the agent is a note about how high my standings have to be in order for the agent to deal with me. For this agent, I need to gain a corporation standing of 2.8 before he'll start giving me missions. With my standing at 2.1 I have a few more missions to run first.

It is after I complete a standard courier run, delivering a birthday cake, or something terribly important like that, that EVE Mail starts buzzing at me. As my journal icon lights up at the same time it is clear that a storyline agent is trying to get my attention. And it's working, because storyline missions not only offer improved rewards for their level but also significant standing gains. Checking with the preliminary details loaded in to my journal I see that not only is this a storyline mission but a mission in four parts. I am curious enough about how much standing I will gain from such a chain of missions that I dedicate some time towards completing it straight away.

The missions are fairly straightforward, three encounters with a single courier mission mixed in, and are not arduous to complete. My Drake and its drones make light work of the encounters and I even find that I have the powergrid and CPU to fit a tractor beam in the remaining high slot of the sluggish battlecruiser to make picking up dropped cargo a swifter affair. I make a note of my current standings with the corporation before formally completing the final part of the mission and I find that I gain a splendid 0.7 boost to my standings for the successful completion!

That boost to my standings is just enough to give me access to the higher-quality manufacturing agent one system away. I will move my ships across and start getting missions from the new agent, for better rewards and hopefully quicker standing gains. A quick check with the list of agents for Core Complexion, Inc. shows that I probably only need to run a few more missions before low-quality level three agents become available. My only challenge will be to find one sufficiently local. Being able to work with level three agents will also give me a boost in my research capabilities, one I will be sure to make use of. I continue to make good progress towards Tech II invention.

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