The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

July 14, 2010

The Quest For Better R&D Agents

Filed under: Eve-Online — Cranky Sysadmin @ 8:59 am

Now that I have the goal to build some passive streams of ISK, I’ve started at the top of my list at research agents. My main already has standings to use level 4 research agents in one corp, but they only have two good agents. As I get more skilled, I will need more high quality agents. This means I have to gain standings with other research corps.

My industry alt has no standings with anyone, and so I have to grind for him too. Sadly, the corp I’m currently grinding standings for has very few combat agents, and none that are level 4. This led me to the rediscovery of the second most boring mission type known to man, the Courier Mission. At level 4, the typical mission includes transporting between 5km3 and 8km3 (I haven’t seen higher then 8k yet) to another station between one and five hops away. There seems to be little correlation between distance, cargo size, and the reward. The bad news is that these missions are almost as boring as mining missions. The good news is that I can knock off about ten missions in an hour.

At my present skill level with a good L4 agent in hi-sec, I can earn about 6000 LP per hour and a paltry 4-5 million ISK. I’m really only in it for the standings though, and they are still better then level 3 combat missions. My current strategy is to fleet up my two characters and use one of them to run the courier missions. Once they both have good enough standings, they will run missions in parallel.

If you are about to start some standings grind, don’t forget some social skills to make the grind as profitable as possible. Negotiation, Social, Connections, and the sector connections skills like “High Tech Connections” or “Trade Connections” are the main ones to look at. Some of the skill books are pricey, but I think they are worth it if you have a long grind ahead of you.

If you get into data core research, read one of the nice guides on research agents. Aside from “Research Project Management”, many of the science skills like “Mechanical Engineering” or “Electromagnetic Physics” will increase the data core yield of an agent. Negotiation will also increase the yield. At my target skill levels (3 in science skills, 4 in Research Project Management), I should make about 40 to 45 million ISK per month in passive income per character. If I had the patience, I would consider filling up my character slots with researchers. That takes a lot of skill training away from my main though, and I don’t know if I can tolerate that.

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