Fortuitous planned skill interruption

13th May 2009 – 5.11 pm

I have started my training in scrapmetal processing, to melt down mission loot for profit, but a little tweak was needed in my plan to complete the training of its prerequisite skills. Left alone, the skill training was due to finish early in the morning, at a time that I'd rather not crawl to the computer to switch skills. It would have been possible to make use of the excellent skill training queue to tack a skill on to the end to ensure continuity of my training except for a couple of reasons: it is not possible to inject a skill where you don't meet the prerequisites, so I couldn't simply add scrapmetal processing to the end of my queue; and I was hitting fake plastic instruments with friends the day before the skill was due to finish and had no convenient access to the training queue for the final twenty-four hours.

The main benefit of the skill training queue is its flexibility, where it allows training to be configured around your schedule and not vice versa, and as such it is easy to find a solution that continues my training plan without interrupting my attempts at socialising. Instead of trying to add a skill to the end of the queue I insert a skill at the current time, a couple of days before I would be unavailable and at an arbitrary point in the two-week training of refinery efficiency V. This effectively interrupts my training in the level V skill for a few hours, after which it would continue, pushing back its completion to a more convenient time for me. My only concern is which skill to train. I need a skill that ideally will only take a few hours to train, so that it will complete and not waste skill points for now, and preferably be relevant to my current plans. Luckily, I have such a skill.

I may have two R&D agents working for me currently but it will have obvious benefits to double that number, even if weren't the case that two types of datacore are required for my invention jobs. I already have the research project management book so training to the next level of the skill costs nothing and works towards my overall plan. It also only takes a few hours to train to the next level, which is perfect for delaying the end of the refinery efficiency skill. As it happens, I manage to delay the skill training until a minute after the daily maintenance finishes, which is hardly convenient, so I tack another skill on to the end of refinery efficiency V just to keep my skill points increasing, switching to train in scrapmetal processing seamlessly within a few minutes of the servers coming back up.

I have my new skill training, after training two two-week skills to meet the prerequisites, feeling quite pleased with myself for not deviating from the plan. On top of that, I also have the capability to work with another R&D agent. I don't think it's worth having another agent work on electronic engineering research, as I will only end up swamped in one type of datacores whilst having none of the other, and I know that there are precious few agents specialising in mechanical engineering in Core Complexion, Inc., so it isn't worth looking until I have access to high-quality level three agents at least. However, I have one of my rare good ideas.

I may not have the standing to work with a suitable Core Complexion, Inc. agent but I have been working with Caldari State for quite a while, which should have gained me some faction standings with most member corporations. It is possible that I have enough standing to be granted access to an arbitrary agent with mechanical engineering skills, which would at least get me started in generating those datacores. I turn to the EVE Agents database, a feature that really ought to be present within the game's interface even if it were restricted to friendly corporations who would allow you access to their databases, and search for Caldari State member corporation R&D agents involved in mechanical engineering. I sort the list by quality, displaying lowest first, and cross-reference the results with my character sheet's information on my current standings to find if there are any suitable agents.

Even though my character sheet shows no information that I can readily see on Lai Dai Corporation standings it transpires that the corporation has a low-quality level two agent that I can work with for mechanical engineering research. The agent is in an adjacent region and not too many jumps away, so I hop in to a shuttle and make the journey to start the research, which the agent is happy to do. I now have three agents performing research for me, two in electronic engineering and one in mechanical engineering, which feels like fabulous progress on my way to Tech II invention.

I still need to get better quality agents working for me, unless I only want to run a single invention a month, and to that end I am still running missions for Core Complexion, Inc. to increase my standing with them. My skill training also now has a more definite plan after the uncertainty of what to train with the completion of scrapmetal processing, in that I will boost my invention skills for better chances of success. Everything is coming together slowly but surely.

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