A Newblette in Space is a weekly series about my adventures in Eve Online. Each week I’ll be rambling about something in the amazing vast space of New Eden that has caught my attention. Feel free to comment, heckle, request topics of discussion, or offer up interesting flames.
It goes without saying that space is powered by ISK – but I’m going to say it anyway. The more ISK you have, the better the ships and gear you can buy. And the better your ships and gear, the faster you kill. And the faster you kill, the more ISK you can make. And the more ISK you make, the more you can afford to lose. And the more you can afford to lose, the more chances you can take. I know that I enjoy narrowly escaping death far more than playing it safe. I’ve already lost and replaced a dozen ships, although I am admittedly hoping to keep my shiny new Drake for a while as it was pretty expensive for a little newb like me.
Click the little button below to read more about maximizing profit through mission running.
Even if you’d rather spend your time in PvP, trade or exploring space, you’re likely to spend at least a little time running missions – whether you’re just starting out or have suffered some misfortune, it’s a great way to build some capital when funds are low. Even in the event of catastrophic loss, you’re always guaranteed to have at least one ship so when all else is lost you can always run level 1 missions. That being the case, there are several things you can do to increase efficiency, and thus, profit.
The single most important thing when running missions is your agent. While agents can be considered to just be mission dispensers, picking the right one can have a dramatic effect upon your profit margins, and as I said above, the higher your profit margin, the higher your number of options. I should clarify that and say profits down the road. Eve is very much about planning, and choosing agents is no exception to that rule. A little time planning now will dramatically increase rewards down the road. But long term planning isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you’re new to the game and don’t know what to be planning for. It took me a while before I’d figured out some of the things that make a good agent, and I’m sure there are more elements that I haven’t noticed yet.
First – the interface. There are 2 ways to access the agent finder: from the agent window at any station, or from the business section of the pull down menu at the upper left of the screen. Agents can filtered by faction and corporation, mission type and level, location, security level of the space they’re in, and their availability to the character doing the search. When researching corporations, it’s important to make sure that the availability option is unchecked, as planning for the later agents requires seeing the ones you can’t yet access. My favorite missions are security due to my delight in blowing things up, but any type of mission will do. Just pick the kind you like.
Anyone who wants to focus on mission running and avoiding PvP as much as possible should select level 4 missions, and high sec security status.
If you want eventual PvP, you can leave the security status at any, or specifically select low sec if you know you’re heading there. If you want as much PvP as possible and have some buds or a corporation to run with, select level 5 missions. They can be soloed, but from everything I’ve heard they’re best done in groups because of both difficulty and the near inevitability of PvP while doing them. Otherwise, select Level 4. I’ll note that I’ve heard level 4 missions are the best to choose even if you want PvP – it’s impossible to avoid PvP in low sec space so you’ll get it no matter where you go, and incursions are more profitable than level 5s. But that’s all I know about level 5s, which is why I’m generally talking about level 4s as the apex of mission running.
What I am ultimately looking for is the corporation that has the best locations of level 4 agents for my wants and needs. The following things are important to keep in mind during the selection process:
- Consider the types of ships you’re wanting to fly when picking areas of space. I’m still learning how things operate so I can’t provide all of the details, but as an example, agents in Minmatar space will have a tendency toward providing missions with enemies resistant to lasers. I’m currently in Caldari space, and am finding that kinetic damage is what I use the most.
- If you want to avoid PvP as much as possible, make sure that any agents you consider are at least 4 jumps away from low sec space. This requires examining the system map as there is no way to make this determination in the agent finder, but agents will send you up to 4 jumps away. So you will be sent into low sec space by agents near it even if they’re located in high sec.
- This requires extensive research up front and isn’t strictly necessary if you’re not out to squeeze out every last ISK you can, but for maximum ISK making profit long term, examine the loyalty point stores for the corporations you’re considering. Each corporation has different items to trade, and some are more valuable than others. I simply look at the profit I can make selling it on the market, then calculate profit per ISK. The items with the highest ISK/lp ratio are the items I focus on acquiring.
- Look at nearby agents. Faction standing affects station taxes and places you can go, and many missions will deliver faction hits. Unless you want to travel around the universe on a constant basis to fix your faction standings, then you’ll want to minimize this as much as possible. Unfortunately, you can only refuse a mission from an agent once every 4 hours without taking a hit. So if you don’t want to take a hit to the Minmatar, and your agent offers you 2 anti-Minmatar missions in a row, you’re screwed and half to choose between losing faction with the corporation you’re for or the Minmatar. The way to avoid this is to refuse the mission then move to another agent. And the closer that agent is, the less travel time there is getting there.
There may be other factors to consider, such as corporations desiring to improve specific factions, or if you’re just grinding up for a specific reason, but for general personal mission running, these are all the factors I have learned thus far. One of the big draws of Eve for me is the need for planning, I wish I’d known all of this and what to look to for when I’d started!
Not that I’m much inclined to look beyond my next explosion. :)