[IDEA] R&D agents to give missions with actual scientific tasks

Hello everyone!

I’m a big fan of tech and science. Being an IRL scientist, I was fascinated to see how the Discovery Project was implemented in Eve Online. I think that putting a real science to the game does a great job in both promoting scientific knowledge and actually educating general public. And I have an idea how to expand it further.

Years ago, R&D agent datacore farming was popular. It was nerfed badly for the reasons I clearly understand and support. Too much ISK for too little effort. Since then it is no longer a viable source of income and basically dormant. But R&D agents still exist in-game, for as little purpose as it is.

I think it’s time to rewind R&D agents. My ideas is that instead of passive research points generation, they should give missions, which would require players to solve actual tasks in the field of science agent works with. Ideally, there should be some simplified MathCad-like mini-game interface that would give a means to solve the tasks all ingame. The difficulty of the tasks offered should increase with agent’s level. Mission descriptions should include some basic theory behind the task, that would provide a way to find the solution. Player character’s science skills should affect the rewards. The rewards, in turn, should be comparable with the ones we currently see in FW datacore farming.

I believe that there should be following relation between agent’s expertise and scientific field of mission tasks:

  • Datacore - Amarrian Starship Engineering => Statics and Dynamics, Control Systems Engineering, Avionics
    
  • Datacore - Caldari Starship Engineering => Statics and Dynamics, Control Systems Engineering, Avionics
    
  • Datacore - Electromagnetic Physics => Electrodynamics
    
  • Datacore - Electronic Engineering => Microelectronics design and programming
    
  • Datacore - Gallentean Starship Engineering => Statics and Dynamics, Control Systems Engineering, Avionics
    
  • Datacore - Graviton Physics => Special and General Relativity
    
  • Datacore - High Energy Physics => High Energy and Particle Physics, quite self-explanatory
    
  • Datacore - Hydromagnetic Physics => Magnetohydrodynamics
    
  • Datacore - Laser Physics => self-explanatory
    
  • Datacore - Mechanical Engineering => self-explanatory + add mechanics of materials
    
  • Datacore - Minmatar Starship Engineering => Statics and Dynamics, Control Systems Engineering, Avionics
    
  • Datacore - Molecular Engineering => chemistry + materials science
    
  • Datacore - Nanite Engineering => nano-tech + solid state physics
    
  • Datacore - Nuclear Physics => self-explanatory
    
  • Datacore - Plasma Physics    => self-explanatory
    
  • Datacore - Quantum Physics => self-explanatory
    
  • Datacore - Rocket Science => rocket engine design
    

Please share your thoughts on this idea :slightly_smiling_face:

Players like R&D agents BECAUSE they’re passive. Virtually none of them actually do the missions, and I think they prefer them that way. If CCP were to introduce such missions, you will have a situation where it will defeat the purpose of passive datacore generation and it would also be unnecessarily redundant/competitive with hacking data sites. Plus, I think there would be a stronger motion to eliminate R&D agents altogether than there would be to make them more relevant. It suffices to say that with data sites being a thing and cores/decryptors themselves being relatively cheap off market, any kind of R&D agent revamp will be basically utilized by nobody, so CCP would be expending time and effort into this for nothing. It would be another Walking in Stations catastrophe: a novelty at first quickly discarded before less than 1% of the player base utilizes it despite it being readily accessible to more-or-less everyone.