The New Eden Star Cluster is full of opportunities for people willing to get their hands dirty. Influential Factions and Powerful Private Corporations will gladly hire Freelancers who will take care of some dirty work in their stead. Rewards offered for the said work differ greatly and depend mostly on the work's difficulty. Generally, more trustworthy "helpers" will be offered better paid, but also more difficult tasks. The best Freelancers are praised by New Eden's Factions and Corporations, that are willing to pay millions of ISK for their services. So if you want to become a Freelancer yourself, you have come to the right place. This guide will cover the basics of running missions in EVE Online, point you in right directions, and describe mission-related skills, mission types, difficulties, and Agents in detail.
Mission Types and Difficulty Levels
The most commonly acquired missions can be divided into three main categories, Distribution, Security and Mining. All missions that belong to these categories have the difficulty level of 1 to 5 assigned to them:
Alongside the common missions, there are some more unique and rare mission types. These special tasks often have very specific requirements or are a part of certain storylines. Both Common and Special mission types are described in more detail in the table below.
|Distribution and Trade||
Some Corporations just need a delivery boy... these missions require you to pick up something and then transport it to the appointed Station. The Cargo that needs to be moved is spawned in your personal hangar at the Station specified in mission details, so you don't have to pay for it.
Because of large amounts of Cargo that must be carried in a higher level Distribution missions, an Industrial ship with a lot of Cargo Hold space is advised for those, however, level 1 and 2 missions of this type can be completed easily in Tech I Frigates (Exploration Frigates are the best for this, as they have biggest Cargo Holds of all T I Frigates).
Trade missions are a special kind of Distribution missions, where you have to gather/buy materials required by the Agent yourself. They usually require a lot of Time or ISK investment for completion and are not worth the effort most of the time.
These like their name suggests, require you to dig up a set amount of mission-specific resources and deliver them to the appointed Station. This missions can prove to be a bit riskier than Distribution missions, as there is a risk of being attacked by hostile ships during mining.
This kind of missions requires you to have a dedicated mining ship with a proper module kit. Level 1 and 2's can be completed easily in a Venture, but higher ones may require a Mining Barge or even an Exhumer.
If you want to get more information about widely understood Mining, and Mining Ship Module Setups in EVE Online, click here.
Unlike other two common mission types, Security missions are guaranteed to involve Combat. These missions will often require you to eliminate ships of other factions, which will cause you to lose Standings with the said faction! Because of this, you should always pay careful attention to the Security mission's details before accepting it.
This type of missions requires you to have a solid, combat-worthy ship with appropriate Offensive and Defensive Modules. You should decide on your vessel's type and its Module layout based on the mission's description and difficulty level. It is a good idea to bring Salvager Drones or MTU (Mobile Tractor Unit), as salvaging Wrecked NPC Ships will increase your ISK gains from these missions. If salvaged loot is worth a large sum, you could also farm the mission without actually completing it, and profit more from Salvaged items (this is done by killing and Salvaging all NPC ships, except one, and then waiting for them to respawn, just to repeat the whole process).
These special missions are offered to you for completing a set amount of normal missions for a single Faction. You get 1 Storyline mission for every 16 normal missions of the same level completed for a given Faction. These mission offers will be transmitted to you directly by the Storyline Agent closest to the normal Faction Agent that you have recently completed a mission for.
Storyline missions provide you with a large Standing increase with Storyline Agent's faction and a moderate Standing increase with his corresponding faction, which makes chaining missions a great way to improve your Standings in order to gain access to the higher level missions. However, please note that some factions dislike each other very much, which means that completing a Storyline mission for one of them might result in a negative Standing change with the other.
These are basically the in-game campaigns. They are very long, split into chapters, and their ending depends on Player's choices made throughout them. Currently, there are 7 Epic Arcs in the game, one for each empire Faction, two for Pirate factions (Guristas and Angels), and one for the Sisters of Eve. These Arcs offer substantial ISK rewards, but each of them can be completed just once per three months.
These may vary in difficulty and requirements greatly, so we recommend you to start by completing the Sisters of Eve arc, as it is the easiest, and the most accessible of the seven. You can pick it up in the following location: Arnon IX > Moon 3 > Sisters of Eve Bureau.
These special missions are a part of the Industry career path, that can be acquired from special Research Agents (these agents are Different than standard Agents, as they can be, basically, recruited, and used for Research Points generation). Completing them awards you with Research Points, which are used for purchasing Datacores from the corresponding Research Agents, and in the Invention (production of Tech 2 item and ship blueprints) process.
The following requirements have to be met before picking up Research missions: Science V, Power Grid Management/CPU Management/Mechanics V, a set Standing with the Research Agent's Corporation, and the initiation of the Research process, which is done by hiring the corresponding Research Agent.
Important note: there is a limit to the number of Research Agents with whom you can be conducting research at the same time.
These are the Introductory missions available after the Tutorial, that are supposed to institute you to the world of EVE Online. They are directed to new players and award valuable starting gear and vessels in addition to the much-needed Faction Standings.
Career missions can be done only once per Player Character. They will teach you how to conduct certain in-game activities, like Mining, Exploration, Combat, and Trade.
These are the special mission chains (from 3 to 5 missions each) that can be found on certain constellations. They offer very valuable blueprint copies of the storyline modules, and Standings boosts as rewards but can be completed just once.
COSMOS missions mostly consist of you searching for a quest item, taking something from point A to B, eliminating some Targets, or visiting a landmark or story-related complexes. They contain a substantial amount of New Eden's lore, so they are a great opportunity for players interested in EVE's setting.
Important note: Never talk to the COSMOS missions Agent if you do not intend to accept his mission, as talking to him will trigger a mission offer which will expire in seven days, and will not be available ever again.
These are the special kind of Security missions contracted by Level 4 Agents exclusively. Declining them gives no penalty, and challenges offered by these missions are substantially more difficult than those offered by common Security missions.
They will restrict your maximum ship size, and throw you against some very powerful hostile NPC ships. As you can imagine, completing Anomic Missions solo requires a lot of experience, specific Modules, and skills, and of course exceptional Player's abilities... but the hassle is worth it, as those missions have very valuable rewards, and beaten NPCs can be salvaged for additional high-grade loot.
These missions consist of you handing in looted or bought pirate tags. They basically allow you to increase your Standings via spending ISK on specific items which are then turned in to NPCs.
There are two types of Data Center missions: Data/Certificate Transportation which is a basic type of Distribution missions and Keeping Crime in Check which is a hand-in mission. Each of the Data Center missions can be completed once only.
Important note: Failing these missions will result in a decrease of your Standing with the corresponding Faction and Corporation.
Note: each completed mission awards you with ISK, Status gain with the corresponding Faction/Corporation and a Loyalty Points gain with the corresponding Corporation.
Agents are best compared to Questgivers from other MMORPGs. Every Agent has his own Name and Level (ranging from 1 to 5), he is also a part of a Division, and has a Quality assigned to him (the better the Agent's Quality, the better rewards he offers for accomplished missions). Agent's Level determines the difficulty of missions offered by him. It also shows you Personal/Faction/Corporation Standing that is required for getting missions from him (this was described in the "Mission Types and Difficulty Levels" chapter).
Division determines the field of expertise of an Agent and determines types of missions that can be acquired from him. All Agent's Divisions and types of missions assigned to each of them are described in the table below:
|Division||Chance for a Mission Type|
84% Security, 11% Distribution, 5% Trade
|Storage||71% Distribution, 17% Mining, 6% Security, 6% Trade|
|Security||94% Security, 6% Distribution|
|Research and Development (R&D)||50% Distribution, 50% Trade|
|PR (Public Relations)||
66% Distribution, 28% Security, 6% Trade
|Production||52% Distribution, 35% Mining, 13% Trade|
|Personnel||66% Distribution, 28% Security, 6% Trade|
|Mining||85% Mining,10% Distribution, 5% Trade|
|Marketing||77% Distribution, 17% Security, 6% Trade|
|Manufacturing||48% Distribution, 48% Mining, 4% Trade|
|Legal||67% Security, 27% Distribution, 6% Trade|
|Internal Security||98% Security, 2% Distribution|
|Intelligence||74% Security, 21% Distribution, 5% Trade|
|Financial||70% Distribution, 18% Trade, 12% Security|
|Distribution||85% Distribution, 5% Security, 5% Mining, 5% Trade|
|Command||88% Security, 6% Distribution, 6% Trade|
|Astrosurveying||50% Mining, 25% Distribution, 13% Security, 13% Trade|
|Archives||92% Distribution, 8% Trade|
|Advisory||58% Distribution, 14% Security, 15% Mining, 14% Trade|
|Administration||47% Distribution, 47% Security, 6% Trade|
|Accounting||88% Distribution, 12% Trade|
You can find Agents easily in-game via the Agent Finder tool. This feature allows you to locate specific kinds of Agents, and when properly used, speed up your mission grinding process (by planning your route ahead of time). To access it you can either:
Agent Finder allows you to narrow the search parameters by specifying things like:
Search results always show available Agents arranged by your distance from them (from the lowest to the highest).
Important Note: if you decline a mission from an Agent more than once every 4 hours you will lose some of your Standings with that Agent, his Faction, and his Corporation. Hint: To avoid declining a second mission from the same Agent within the 4-hour period, you can use the Delay option, wait out the remaining Penalty Timer, and decline the mission later, without penalty.
If you want to become an accomplished Freelancer, able to complete all available types of missions, you will need a wide variety of skills. For Example, Mining missions will require Ming ship operation skills (Expedition Frigates, Mining Frigate, Exhumers, Mining Barge...), specific gathering skills (Mining, Ice Harvesting, Gas Harvesting), skills which will increase your mining yield (Astrogeology, Mining Upgrades...), and so on; you get the drift. We have described all of these, and more in our other EVE Online Guides (you can easily find them on our site, here), so in this Guide, we will focus on describing Skills related to Mission Running as a profession. These skills will improve your ISK, Standing, and Loyalty Point gains from missions, and enable you to gain access to higher level missions more quickly:
This skill increases your mission payouts by 5% per its level. It will provide you with a nice profit increase from missions if trained high enough. Training Negotiation is not free, however, and its profitability depends on the number of missions completed. If you want to do, for example, 50 missions, it will not be worth it, but if you will grind closer to 5000 of them, it is a no brainer. This skill requires Social I.
|Social||This skill increases your social interaction abilities. It provides you with a 5% bonus to every Faction, Corporation, and Agent Standing increase per skill level. This will come in handy if you are an experienced Player who wants to start his Freelancer adventure, as it will boost Standing gains considerably (experienced players will not want to spend too much time doing level 1 missions...). This is a basic skill, and it does not have any prerequisites.|
|Connections / Criminal Connections||These skills provide you with a 4% modifier to your effective Standings with friendly NPC Factions and Corporations (Connections) or with NPCs with low Concord standing (Criminal Connections). This will also come in handy if you are an experienced Player who wants to start his Freelancer adventure, as the boost to effective Standings will let you start higher level Missions more quickly. Both of these skills require Social III.|
|Diplomacy||This skill will increase your effective Standing with Hostile Agents by 4% per skill level. It is not cumulative with Connections/Criminal Connections. Diplomacy comes in handy when you want to reestablish relations with a Faction/Corporation that started hating you for completing missions for other, dissident Faction/Corporation. This skill requires Social III.|
This skill will boost your ability to interact with the Concord Faction. It will grant you a 5% bonus to your Effective Security Rating increase. Skill for those seeking redemption, or a faster Security Status recovery. This skill requires Social IV.
|Note: besides the ISK and Standing rewards, completing missions also provides you with Loyalty Points for corresponding Corporations. These points can be exchanged for Ships and Modules in special Loyalty Stores. There are three skills that will let you improve your Loyalty Point gains for completing certain kinds of missions:|
|Security Connections||This skill increases your understanding of the military culture, which improves your Loyalty Point gains from missions acquired from Agents working for Security divisions of Corporations by 10% per skill level. This skill requires Social III and Leadership III.|
|Distribution Connections||This skill increases your understanding of Corporate-level trade, which improves your Loyalty Point gains from missions acquired from Agents working for Distribution divisions of Corporations by 10% per skill level. This skill requires Social III and Trade III.|
|Mining Connections||This skill increases your understanding of Corporate-level industrial endeavors, which improves your Loyalty Point gains from missions acquired from Agents working for Mining divisions of Corporations by 10% per skill level. This skill requires Social III and Industry III.|
Ships and Modules
Mission's objectives and difficulty levels vary greatly in EVE, so specifying a right ship and its layout for Mission Running as a whole is pointless. Instead, we can provide you with a piece of basic advice: always chose and fit your ship specifically for a mission that you have chosen, especially for high-level ones. Every Mission's description will provide you with information necessary for making the right Vessel and Module layout choice. You can also check outside sources, that will provide you with details for a lot of EVE's missions.
Note: low-level missions can be run easily with basic ships (Venture for Mining, Expedition Frigates for Distribution, etc.), and the ship choice is not that important but as the difficulty level rises, the right ship choice becomes more and more crucial.
VERY Important Note: the single most important rule of Mission Running (and EVE as a whole) is: never fly a ship that you can't afford to lose. If you have just gained access to level 4 missions, and you have just enough ISK to buy and fit ONE capable ship, hold your horses, and stick to lower level missions for some time. Accumulate more funds which will become your safety cushion, and start those high-level missions only with your wallet sorted out.
Tips and Tricks
We hope that you have found this Guide useful and informative. If we have missed a piece of information that is important to you, please let us know!
Please do note that this is an early version of our guide, and we will be happy to receive constructive criticism, that will help us improve it, so leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
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