I'm doing the high sec COSMOS missions in Metropolis for the precious faction standings gains they provide. For those planning on running a COSMOS site for Minmatar faction gain I really recommend finding a reliable guide because these aren't your normal EVE Online missions.
First off, actions really do have consequences. COSMOS mission are a one time thing. That means if you fail a mission, you fail forever. No shiny 3-run faction blueprint copy for you. And if completing the mission is required to complete the final mission in a series that provides phat loot? Sorry. Maybe the mission item is up for sale and you can get the item by throwing ISK at the problem.
Second, mission items often are available on the contracts market. Yes, people still do use contracts. So for those running out of time to complete a mission (or just don't want to spend the time period) start searching the market. COSMOS missions often require items found in the sites in the COSMOS constellation and are farmed for sale. When doing a mission last night the first room I entered had a Noctis cleaning up the trash. I'm finding that COSMOS sites are potentially a good place to do some salvaging. I know that unless I'm camping a spot I'm not doing any salvaging myself, so others can come in if they are so inclined. I saw a one-day old player in a Reaper last night watching the show I was putting on with my 2 battlecruiser fleet so I went ahead and abandoned all the wrecks in the room and moved on. I hope he found some good things.
Third, if you aren't purchasing all the items (an expensive proposition) then expect to read the mission text. The normal EVE mission has a handy link that players can use to set the path to the system hosting the mission site. Not the COSMOS missions. Nope. Have to read the text. If you want to set the autopilot, you have to read the text. And then sometimes you have to search for the mission items required to complete a mission. I went on a little trip and had to go to a complex in Barkrik to get an item that would allow me to enter the complex in Hjoramold to complete the mission.
Hmmm. Replacing the usual way of marking a system with the COSMOS way would play havoc with mission botters. But I think it would take up a lot of developer resources to change the text of all the missions to allow the system to pop into the text. Oh well.
Next, the agents don't just offer a random set of missions. They offer two or three very specific missions. I actually now have a spreadsheet to record which agents I've finished, the faction gains for each agent, and which agents to avoid. I really don't want to deal with an agent where I will take a Minmatar faction standings loss. I'd recommend doing some research beforehand to make sure you really want to talk to an agent.
Finally, the rewards. Regular missions just hand out ISK. Storyline missions hand out ISK and/or implants, with an occasional high value item. The reason for doing COSMOS missions is faction standings gain and faction blueprint copies. Last week I posted that the BPCs created meta level 3 items. I looked at the blueprints I received last night and they created meta level 6 items. Of course, those blueprints also require some special items to manufacture. For the Minmatar BPCs, they require Sleeper items. And way back in the past I obtained some in the Ani system. That's right, Sleeper items in high sec. I don't think they are the same things as found in wormholes, but CCP provided another farming opportunity for players in high sec.
So for those looking to do the COSMOS missions, remember that the missions are different and to think outside the usual mission mentality box. Or perhaps throw ISK at the problem. I'm sure the residents of the COSMOS constellations would appreciate the windfall.