Doing the agent shuffle

17th July 2009 – 5.37 pm

It turns out that my recent loss of access to a Lai Dai R&D agent is owing to a change in the way the connections skill works in conjunction with an actual negligible standing, so regaining access to the agent is not a simple matter of running a couple of missions with the Caldari Navy. Even so, it is not wasted time, as I make a few million ISK and get some decent refinable loot from the missions. And at least my research continues to run with the agent, so my datacores continue to accumulate even if I cannot buy them from the agent. Highlighting my complete lack of standing with Lai Dai also finally reveals why the company doesn't yet appear as a discrete entity in my standings pane, I have been wondering about that for a while.

Performing a bit of maths, taking the number of datacores the now-unavailable agent has accumulated along with the estimated rate of daily research points the high-quality level four Core Complexion, Inc. R&D agent will generate, it looks like cancelling the research with the Lai Dai agent will only make sense if I am not able to regain access to buy the datacores within eight days or so. Any sooner than eight days and the cores I can buy from the Lai Dai agent will be greater than the cores the new level four agent could have accumulated in the same time. I intend to need only a quarter of that time, as long as I can find a suitable Lai Dai agent to work with to improve my standings.

I don't want to return to level one missions, which would mean having to pilot a frigate again or learn how to use guns so that a more powerful destroyer can be flown, so it's lucky that there are a few low-quality level two Lai Dai agents who will talk to me. Unfortunately, they are mostly quite remote. There is one suitable agent within a handful of jumps in my current region, but working in a department that leaves me running courier missions again. Oh well, hopefully it won't be for long, and at least I won't need to move all my ships at once.

After a few courier missions I thankfully get another storyline mission. Although completing it seems to boost my standings with the Navy more than Lai Dai it is never the less enough to grant me access to the R&D agent I have been working with. Of course, I don't actually want to be working with this agent any more, I just want the datacores owed to me instead of letting them go to waste. A quick trip to visit the Lai Dai agent gets me the datacores and then I'm programming my auto-pilot to head to the second high-quality level four Core Complexion, Inc. agent who specialises in mechanical engineering.

It only takes a brief conversation to begin the new research, but to boost my datacore accumulation further takes a couple of days finally to finish training the mechanical engineering skill up to level four, an activity I've been distracted from completing for too long. With the training complete I am gaining around three mechanical engineering datacores a day, across the two agents. With a third agent specialising in electronic engineering and a stockpile of those datacores already built up I should be able to install invention jobs for small modules more regularly, whilst I look to training skills and researching BPOs for future opportunties.

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