This really need to be sorted out in a fair and measured way, and clearly just stopping all agents from giving missions or turning them into level 4 agents is not ina ny way well thought out or fair.
And is in no way intended as a solution. This is a temporary hack until a proper solution is shipped.
Please also correct or retract comments which state that thee mining "insta" missions are an exploit... this would sugggest that we as players are doing something wrong which we are not, we are simply working in an efficient way and would be very stupid not to.
I have no qualms with "insta-missions". They often add an element of intelligence to an otherwise mundane task. They should however be a spice that adds flavour to agent running, not the main course.
Mining agents were incorrectly configured and using them in this 100% insta-mission fashion was an exploit. It should have been obvious to anybody who did it.
And yes, you players that were abusing them were doing something wrong. No other agents could be abused in this manner. If you didn't realize that this was broken, we'll, ignorance of the law is no excuse in EVE either.
Can the GM's assure us that this will be dealt with so that people who have made bases and moved resources to areas which contain lots of mining agents will not be over penalised for a balance of the game that thy got slightly wrong.
I say slightly because this imbalance is not as major as you first might think.. Firstly the minerals have to be mined.....secondly the missions use minerals...lots of them.... minerals which could otherwise be sold for a reasonable amount of isk.... if you combine the overall time taken to get the minerals and ore with the amount that the ore is worth then I think you would find the overall imbalance is nowhere near as great as is being implied....and you would certainly not call it an exploit.
You say slight imbalance, I say gaping hole. This may only give you a significant boost ISK-wise from the minerals/ore themselves, but not so in the standings and implant arena. In those areas, many people are gaining at a rate 20-200 times what is intended. That's an obvious exploit.
There is no need for GM assistance to help the exploiters relocate. These agents should be up and running again next week in a much less exploitable fashio. If there were supposed to be GM involvement, it would be to do some mass-bannings. Which we won't be doing however unless I see evidence of some really major atrocities in the database.
If you stop this type of mission completely then all you will do is force more people to mine... which to be honest was driving me to quit the game anyway....it is so mind numbing...but hey...that is your choice guys....just make sure you dont jump in to quick with a fix and please consider this situation from all angles.
Don't worry too much about it, there's no intention to stop this type of mission completely. There will be a better balance of missions on mining agents, including more courier and kill missions. This is just a balancing act.
A better solution would be to slightly lower the monetary rewards and standing increases for such missions , and maybe decrease the frequency of these missions a bit compared to courier...but to be honest I think you have completely misread the situation and there is much less of an imbalance than you think when all is taken into account.
I will be rebalancing the "mission difficulty factor" soon, probably won't make it for the next patch. This would reduce the standings gain and monetary rewards as well, as the average time required to complete these missions is obviously significantly lower than it used to be with so many people exploiting them.
Again, you're not taking standings and implants into account as far as I can tell when you're judging the imbalance.