It's no secret to EVE Online players that running missions in high security space is pretty much a guaranteed path to wealth, even if only because of how predictable the scenarios are. Speak with an agent and accept a mission, look up the details by pointing your in-game browser to EVE-Survival: Mission Reports, gear up properly and watch the ISK fill your wallet as you down NPC pirate after pirate. Profitable, sure, but doing this for weeks on end will probably have you craving some more variety in your PvE gameplay.
Hopefully EVE players will be getting that variety through more engaging storylines beginning next month, as developer CCP Molock explains in his latest dev blog. The Apocrypha expansion will introduce "Epic Missions", a departure from the standard rinse-and-repeat when accepting agent missions. These new missions will be linked together in an ongoing storyline, played out across a number of missions. Players will make choices that determine the outcomes of Epic Missions via the new branching system that will accompany these missions. The rewards will be on par with standard agent missions, but the completion of a chapter and especially an arc will provide some exceptional rewards, CCP Molock says.
Players won't be running Level 4 Epic Missions when Apocrypha launches, however. Most of the work the devs have been putting into the revamped PvE experience has been the new toolset that makes this feature possible. Apocrypha will be a trial run of sorts, so the expansion launch will be accompanied by a single arc which is geared towards new players (Level 1 and Level 2 missions), though of course existing players with the proper standings can try it out. Once CCP is sure everything is working as intended, higher level Epic Missions will be introduced to the game.
The mission changes may also have an impact on some existing agent missions via a 'remote completion' option the devs can add in. For those missions that have this enabled, it won't be necessary to fly back to a distant station to complete certain missions. Once an objective is complete, the player needs only contact the agent remotely and can turn in the mission in this fashion.
CCP Molock's dev blog "... Should you choose to accept it" has more info on the new mission systems coming to EVE Online, and is certainly worth a read for any dedicated mission runners out there. You might also want to see the related forum thread, which already has a few developers answering questions about Epic Missions from the playerbase.