Getting more agents, losing some others

15th July 2009 – 5.32 pm

An EVE-mail flashes at me. Another storyline mission so soon? I must really be burning through these encounter missions, enjoying the explosions and smouldering wrecks. I definitely won't complain either, as I am getting close to being able to work with all the Core Complexion, Inc. level four R&D agents, which will increase my opportunities for invention.

My mission agent wants me to blow up some Amarrian targets, which sounds good to me. He mentions some reason being involved, but it's not terribly important if I get to destroy oppressors of a free galaxy. The mission is a fairly straightforwards affair, warping in to deadspace to defeat any hostile craft there and rescue some stranded miners, and the reward is rather bland for a storyline mission. Instead of a nifty implant I only get a relatively normal ISK reward for my troubles.

However, when checking my standings after completing the mission I find that I have jumped from 6.26 up to 6.82 with Core Complexion, Inc., which is more than enough to gain access too all of the corporation's R&D agents! That is a good mission reward. What I need to do now is reshuffle my current R&D agents to make best use of my options. Only a single R&D agent can be worked with initially, improved by training in research project management, which gives access to an additional agent with each level of skill. I only have access to four agents currently, so I need to be mindful of how best to use them.

I have more electronic engineering datacores than I can use at present, so I won't add a second level four agent working on them. However, I can swap the low quality level four agent for the high quality one, increasing the production of datacores whilst still only having a single agent working on that discipline. What I really want is faster accumulation of mechanical engineering datacores, and now I have potential access to a second level four agent with the requisite skills. All I need to do is buy the datacores from my current low level agent, cancel the research and then start a new line of research with the new agent.

There is a hitch to my plan, though. The current low level mechanical engineering agent works for Lai Dai, the Caldari starship engineers, an agent I serendipitously found I could work with a little while back. Whilst the rate of datacore accumulation is low I consider getting any to be better than none. However, when I go to speak to her I find I cannot request to buy any of the datacores available, and I think I know why. Core Complexion, Inc. is a Minmatar corporation and has recently sent me to protect one of their stargates against interlopers, Caldari interlopers to be specific.

It seems that Caldari State frowns upon my acting aggressively towards my own race and my standing with the state has dropped*. The standing loss is only a little, but enough to have the Lai Dai R&D agent now spurn me. This is frustrating, but not insurmountable. Rather than abandon the datacores potentially available, by cancelling the research to start work with the level four Core Complexion, Inc. agent, I leave the Lai Dai agent to be as snooty as she likes. It should be a simple matter of running a couple of encounter missions with the Caldari Navy, with whom I have an exemplary rating, to boost my standing with Caldari State back to a position where the Lai Dai agent will again talk to me.

Being unable to buy the datacores is a temporary frustration. Cancelling the research out of spite to start working with the level four agent would end up costing me datacores, as the higher rate of accumulation would not offset the lost cores quicker than I can boost my standing with Caldari State. Besides which, I plan to work with Lai Dai to gain access to their high level R&D agents next, now that I have finished with Core Complexion, Inc., so regaining access to the level two agent will be an incidental result anyway. And in the next couple of weeks I will train the next level of research project management to be able to work with a fifth R&D agent, better to optimise datacore accumulation.

*It is later brought to my attention that a recent change affected standings that were negligible excepting increases owing to the connections skill, which describes my relationship with Lai Dai Corporation. I'll need to work with Lai Dai directly to account for this change and regain access to the agent.
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