Friday, December 3, 2010

Resources for Missioning

This is another one of EVE A to Z's most popular guides. I've expanded and improved it and added even more missioning resources.

I've previously done posts on skills useful to missioning and how to find better agents. So, now that you're skilled up and you've found a great high-quality agent, you'll need some more resources to be a truly successful missioner.

A great source of information for missions is the Industrial Sized Knowledge Base. The chapter on missions starts on page 177. Almost everything you'll need is in this book, but I'll include online resources as well. These are nice because you can access them via the in-game browser while you're playing. Here is a site that has some good general information about missions. I also highly recommend this guide on missioning on EVElopedia.

Before you even accept a mission from your agent, you want to see what you're up against. Is this a combat mission, courier mission, or trading mission (hint: you can easily tell which type by the graphic below the mission text)?

Different divisions within each NPC corp give different kinds of missions. You can find this information on page 179 of the ISK book, or on this site.

If it's a trading mission, check prices to make sure it's worth taking the mission.

Remember, unless the mission is a storyline mission, you can safely decline one mission per agent every 4 hours. If you've already declined a mission, you can delay making a decision (for up to 7 days) and take a mission from another agent. Then, after the four hours is up, you can decline the original mission. As far as standing hits go, you're better off declining the mission (even if it involves a standing hit) then you are taking the mission and then either quitting it or not completing it.

If it's a courier mission, take not of the amount of cargo you have to haul and where you have to take it to. Do you have enough cargo capacity on your ship to take it in one trip? If not, how many trips will it take? How many jumps away is the destination? Is the destination in low sec, or does your route take you through low sec? What does the mission pay? Generally speaking, courier missions don't pay very well. However, they're easy, with minimal risk (other than other players). You must weigh all these factors when deciding whether or not to take the mission.

If it's a combat mission, then you want to see what you're up against before making a decision. First, you'll want to check the Mission Reports Guide. This is an excellent tool. You might as well bookmark it in your EVE browser, because you'll be referring to it a lot. The guide lists all the combat missions, sorted by title in alphabetical order. Find your mission on the list and click on it. Now you will see the page for that mission. This will give you some very important information, including:
  • What types of damage do the NPC's do? You will want to tank for this damage.
  • What types of damage are the NPC's most vulnerable to? If possible, you want to do this type of damage.
  • Is the mission in dead space or normal space? If it's in dead space, you can't use a microwarpdrive and you will not be able to warp to the encounter at a range.
  • What types of ships will you face, and how many? It will tell you how many rooms and spawns there will be.
  • What is the objective? A lot of players get burned in early missions because they think they have to destroy every enemy ship in every mission. Oftentimes, this isn't the case. There is often a mission objective (ie, blowing up a certain ship and taking its cargo), which when completed, completes the missions. In these missions, you can destroy the one ship and get out of there. Also, some players try to do missions as quickly as possible (blitzing). If you want to blitz a mission, then you make a beeline to the objective and don't do anything you don't have to. If you're planning to loot and salvage the mission, though, I recommend you blow up all the ships.
  • Miscellaneous information, such as which structures give loot when destroyed (if any), whether or not there are any asteroids for mining, etc.
Be sure to expand and read the player comments, as these are often more helpful than the guide itself.

The ISK book also has some of this information. Pages 183 & 184 give the NPC damage types. Here is an online chart with the same information.

Now you are equipped to kick that mission's ass! Keep it up, and soon you will be a valuable asset to your empire.

Here is a summary list of the resources:

EVElopedia Missions Guide. General missioning information.

Grismar's EVE Wiki. General Mission information.

EVE-Survival Mission Reports. Detailed information on each combat mission.

EVE Geek Mission Types. List of the types of missions different divisions give.

EVElopedia Damage Types. Damage types for NPC factions.

Fly smart.

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.