Friday, December 3, 2010

Finding Better Missions and Agents

This guide has been improved! This is one of the most popular guides on EVE A to Z. I've improved the guide and added even more resources to help the missioner.

A very common question I see new players asking is, "When do I get level 2 missions, and how do I know where to go?" This guide will answer that question.

I recommend you read the chapter in the Industrial Sized Knowledgebase on Missions. It will go much more in depth than I will here. However this guide will cover the main points to get you started.

If you are serious about missioning, there are some basic skills that will help you. I recommend training these all to 3. It won't take you long, and it will be worth it. These skills are all in the Social category. The skills are:
  • Connections. This increases your effective standing with friendly NPC Corporations and Factions. This will result in higher rewards and getting access to higher level missions sooner.
  • Diplomacy. This increases your effective standing with hostile agents (agents you have low standing with).
  • Negotiation. This improves your agent effective quality, resulting in higher pay for missions.
  • Social. This gives you a bonus to NPC Agent, Faction, and Corporation standing increases. It is also a prerequisite for the previous skills.
These are just the basic skills. There are others you may want if you're going to be a professional missioner. Refer to the ISK book for more details.

If you've been doing level 1 missions for a while (and especially if you've been doing a lot of them for the same NPC Corporation), chances are you have access to level 2 agents. Level 2 missions are more challenging than level 1 missions, and they pay better. To find out if you can do higher level missions, and to find the agents, follow these steps:
  • Open your character sheet
  • Click the "Standings" button on the left side
  • You will see your standings, listed from highest to lowest, beginning with Faction Standings.
  • Scroll past the empire standings until you get to the second section, which is corporation standings. You will see your corporations listed, in order of highest to lowest standing.
  • Pick the highest rated corporation. Click the blue Information button for that corporation. The corporation information window will come up.
  • Select the "Agents" tab. You will now have a list of agents for that corporation, grouped by division (ie administrative, security, etc.). When you expand a division you will have a section of available agents, followed by a section of unavailable agents.
  • Peruse the available agents, looking for the ones you want. If you've been doing level 1 missions up to this point, find all your available level 2 agents.
  • Find the available level 2 agent that has the highest quality and do missions for that agent. Even if the quality is negative, you are better off doing that than a higher quality level 1 agent.
As you do missions with the agent, your standing with that agent's corporation will increase. As your standing increases, you will gain access to higher quality agents within that corporation.

In order to gain access to higher level and higher quality missions more quickly, do all your missions with one corporation.

Pay attention to the faction you are going up against in combat missions. Realize you will lose standing with that faction. Remember, you can reject a mission every 4 hours with each particular agent without losing standing. You may want to do this with missions that have you fighting against a faction you don't want to lose standing with.

It is better to reject a mission than to let it expire.

If you reject more than one mission from a particular agent within 4 hours you will lose standing. Some missions (story missions) will result in a loss of standing regardless if you reject them. If this is the case, there will be a pop-up warning you of this when you try to reject the mission.

If you have the Industrial Sized Knowledgebase .pdf book, look at the section detailing missions. Beginning on page 179 there are some helpful charts. Including:
  • What divisions give what kinds of missions (combat, courier, etc.)
  • Helpful information about the NPC groups you will fight including, the damage types they do and the damage types they're most vulnerable to.
  • And much more.
Generally speaking, as you do higher level missions, you will need more powerful ships. Here is a guide to the class of ship to use for each level of mission:
  • Level 1 Missions: Frigate or Destroyer
  • Level 2 Missions: Destroyer or Cruiser
  • Level 3 Missions: Cruiser or Battlecruiser
  • Level 4 Missions: Battlecruiser or Battleship
Please note, with the exception of level 1 missions, it is only recommended you try missions in the smaller class of the two ships if you have high enough skills to fit better modules (Tech 2).

Here are some other missioning resources for you:

EVE-Survival: Mission Reports. This site lists most the missions in alphabetical order. You can select your mission to find useful tips including what kind of ships you will fight, what kind of damage they will do, and what kind of damage will be most effective against them. Be sure to expand the Comments section at the bottom when researching a mission.

EVE Commander Agents. Finally! A tool that is better than the in-game method! EVE Commander Agents is a great tool that allows you to do searches for agents. You can search by quite a few categories including agent level, solar system, empire, corporation and division. The interface is easy to use and works every time. People always seem to recommend EVE Agents (which I've listed below for completeness), but personally, I can't stand EVE Agents. It's got a horrible interface and is buggy as hell. Try EVE Commander, it's much better!

EVE-Agents. This site has a tool to search for agents. I don't like it much myself. It's not very user-friendly and seems a little buggy. I find the method I outlined above much quicker and easier, especially since it uses the in-game UI. However, some people prefer using this site, so I'm including it for completeness.

Fly Smart.

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