Tuesday, 31 July 2012

R&D Agents

Each state has a set of corps which have R&D agents.  These are special agents that are not really for missioning but are a left over from an old system of distributing Tech 2 blueprints.  Now days they are a source of Datacores, the essential components in invention.

Corps that have R&D agents are as follows;
  • Amarr - Carthum Conglomerate, and Viziam
  • Caldari - Ishukone Corporation, Kaalakiota Corporation, and Lai Dai Corporation.
  • Gallente  -  CreoDron, Duvolle Laboratories, and Roden Shipyards
  • Minmatar - Boundless Creation, and Core Complexion Inc.
An R&D agent has a list of sciences in their agent details.  The agent is capable of starting a research project in one of those sciences.  For example an agent may have Mechanical Engineering as one of their sciences.  That agent can then research Mechanical Engineering.  When an agent starts a research project they start accumulating Research Points daily.  You may then cash these research points in at a later date to get datacores matching the science you where researching.  That is, to get Nanite Engineering datacores you must do a Nanite Engineering research job.  Datacores now cost 100 RP and some 10,000 ISK each.  Research agents just keep accumulating RP points without your interaction but you can make them go a little faster.  They will offer you a mission once per day and if you complete that mission you get a day's worth of RP points.  These missions are either Courier (with a small package) or "Get me some tritanium" missions so they are dead easy.  You don't have to do them though for the agent to keep working.  That makes R&D agents the most passive ISK generation in the game.

The RP you get per day is dependent on several factors.  First is the level of the agent.  They come in levels 1 - 4.  The higher the level of the agent, the higher your standings must be with the agent's corp and faction.  You must also have the science you want to researched trained.  The higher your science level, the more RP you get.  Lastly, the agent is sensitive to standings and quality.  that means more standings = more RP.  Also getting the social skills that affect agent quality and reputation up will increase your RP rate a bit.  Now with pretty good skills and standings, and level 5 in the science, I'm getting 117 - 119 RP/day from level 4 agents.

To get more than one R&D agent you need to train Research Project Management.  You get another agent each level.  The last level takes forever though so even I don't have it yet.

R&D agents used to be the only steady source of datacores in the game.  However, recent changes now mean that people can exchange LP for datacores at Militia agents.  At the time of writing, the new system is so recent that the market is still fluctuating to reflect the change.

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