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A mission is a one-time job offered by an NPC (called an "agent") to a player wherein the player must accomplish a set of objectives in exchange for a set of rewards.
The reward for completing the mission is usually ISK and Loyalty Points; Loyalty Points (LP) are a specialized currency that can only be spent in the Loyalty Point stores of the corporation that gave you the points.
You can review your Loyalty Points in-game in NeoCom > JOURNAL button > AGENTS tab > LOYALTY POINTS subtab.
Types of missions
There are four basic types of missions: Encounter, Mining, Courier, and Trade. A fifth type, Research, is available to characters that have trained in science. Anomic missions aka Burner missions are a special optional mission type that is only available from level 4 security agents.
An Encounter mission is a mission to go to a location somewhere in space and complete an objective of some kind. The objective is usually to kill a ship or a set of ships located at the encounter, but it could also be to destroy a structure, to get close to a location and then escape, to pick up an object at the location (which may or may not be an ambush), or to fly from beacon-to-beacon.
An Encounter mission will always create a mission space when the mission is accepted. A mission space is a region of space in some solar system and is populated by objects also created specifically for the mission.
Mission spaces will often contain acceleration gates to move around the deadspace with; these are often locked until nearby enemies have been defeated.
Encounter missions can usually be recognized as such when reading the description by looking for a bookmark link that only has a solar system name. For example, if a mission description has a bookmark link that only says "Aldrat", then it's definitely either an Encounter or Mining mission.
Cargo Delivery is an example of an Encounter mission; you have to fly to a warehouse to pick up cargo, but are ambushed as you get close.
A Mining mission is just like an Encounter mission, except that the mission objective is mining-oriented. This excludes certain Encounter missions that require a mining laser as a gimmick, where you bring one mining laser to a mission space to mine an asteroid for the purpose of luring in a target ship and then destroying the target ship. Such gimmick encounters don't care about how much ore you mine, and any ore you mine is completely secondary to the mission.
Mining missions, on the other hand, require you to mine an asteroid or set of asteroids in a mission space until the asteroids are depleted and bring the ore back to the agent's station.
There is a risk of combat in mining missions, though the hostiles that show up tend to be much weaker than hostiles found in encounter missions. It is advisable to have some offensive capability (like a set of combat drones) or have a strong enough tank that you can basically ignore any hostiles that show up and start shooting at you.
The mission may require you to mine more ore than can fit in your cargohold; this is typical of mining missions. Level 1 missions will require mining up to 2000 m3 of ore, level 2 up to 6000 m3 of ore, level 3 up to 9000 m3 of ore or 10000 m3 of ice, and level 4 up to 45000 m3 of ore, 20000 m3 of ice or 5000 m3 gas.
A Courier mission is a mission to take a piece of cargo from one station to another station. When a Courier mission is accepted, the necessary cargo is spawned in your personal hangar at the pickup station. You then need to haul it to the destination ("drop off") station using your ship. Once docked at the destination station you may complete the mission by talking to the agent. The cargo only counts as delivered if it is either in your personal hangar at the destination station or in your ship's cargo hold while you are docked at the destination station.
Courier missions never spawn any hazards of their own; you only have to deal with the normal hazards of Stargate travel (gatecamps, suicide gankers, warp interdiction bubbles on Stargates in NullSec, the sovereign space of Empires that hate you, and so on). Level 1 missions will keep you within the agent's constellation, level 2 and level 3 will possibly send you to a neighboring constellation, and level 4 courier missions will always send you to a neighboring constellation. 
It is worth noting that although you are at the destination station you can still talk to the original agent remotely to complete the mission without going back to the original station. They will be listed in the station's "Agents" tab after you dock, or you can start a conversation with them using your mission journal. However, until you fly back and dock at their station, they will not give you a new mission.
If a Courier mission has an item as a reward instead of ISK, then the item will appear in your personal hangar at the agent's station (which may or may not be the dropoff location for the mission).
Level 1 and 2 courier missions can be run using frigates, although you may need to use cargo modules in the low slots. Cargo size for L1/L2 missions can be up to 450 m3 in size. For level 3 and 4 courier missions, you will need an industrial hauler because cargo sizes will be in the 4000–8000 m3 range.
A Trade mission is to obtain a quantity of some material and deliver it to a destination station. Unlike a courier mission, the necessary materials are not spawned for you, you have to obtain them yourself: mine it out of asteroids, buy it off the Market, steal it from another player, and so on. How you get the materials is irrelevant to the mission.
Research missions are a part of the Industry career path. Instead of Loyalty Points, these missions award Research Points that can be used to buy datacores from the agent who gives the missions. Unlike other mission agents, research agents work for you ... and you must start, and if necessary stop, their research.
To acquire missions from a research agent, you must first "hire" the agent and initiate the research process. You do this by clicking on the "Start Research" button that appears on the agent's conversation window. If you try to get a mission before you have started working with the agent, he or she will tell you that they have nothing for you at this time.
When you press the "Start Research" button, a window will pop up to ask you what kind of research you want to do. There will be two or more choices of which you must (and can only) choose one. The choices available will depend on the agent's science specialty fields. To be able to choose a field you must have trained this kind of science to a level at least equal to the level of the agent.
Once you have chosen a field, the agent will tell you how happy he or she is to be working with you. From this point on, until you terminate research with this agent, the agent will add daily Research Points to your account. These points will accrue whether you are logged on or not.
At some point after you start the research, usually within a few days, you will receive an email communication from the agent. He or she will be in need of some service that you will be asked to provide. Currently, this is either a short courier run to another station, or the delivery to the agent of a small amount of the mineral titanium (which you are expected to either mine or buy). Completion of a mission will add one day's worth of Research Points to your account (in addition to the usual deposit).
From then on, you will receive similar messages from the agent on a regular basis. But even if you do not receive a message, a new mission will be available from the agent each day. Acceptance of these missions is optional. The agent might warn you that "research will halt", but that warning can be ignored. The regular, daily research points will continue ... it is only the bonus, mission points that you will not receive.
R&D missions are similar to normal courier/trade missions in they give you standings gains with the agent and the corporation, and they count towards the sixteen missions required for a storyline mission to be offered.
Points and Datacores
Each day the agent works, he or she will add some points to your Research account. At any time, you may choose to spend these points to buy datacores. These will always match the science specialty that you chose when you started the research. You can only spend Research Points with the agent from whom you earned them. To spend points simply click on the "Buy Datacores" button and indicate how many that you want to purchase.
The Research Points (RP) that you gain are based your science research field skill level as well as the agent's level and your standing with the agent.
RP/day = Field multiplier * (1 + (20 + 5*N + AS)/100) * (SS + AL)^2 Where: N = Character's Negotiation skill level AS = Agent standing (not faction or corporation standing) ... affected by Connections skill. SS = Character's specialist science field level (e.g., "Quantum Physics") AL = Agent Level
Note that doing missions for an Agent will increase your standing with that agent and thus increase your daily Research Point gain.
There is a limit to the number of agents with whom you can be doing research at one time. This begins as 1, but training in the Research Project Management skill will increase the number of agents you can employ.
If you need to cancel research with an agent ... for example, if you are going to use a jump clone and will be wanting to do research in some other region of EVE ... all you need to do is talk to the agent and press the "Cancel" button. The agent will tell you how little work has been done so far, and then the connection will be severed.
BE SURE TO SPEND YOUR RESEARCH POINTS WITH AN AGENT BEFORE YOU CANCEL YOUR RESEARCH. All points will be lost when the connection is broken.
You must also talk to the agent and decline the latest mission before you cancel research with that agent, or you will suffer a standings loss as if you had accepted and then failed the mission.
Levels of Missions
Most missioning is split into four levels:
- Level 1 is where most new players start, although more experienced missioners will generally get a high Connections skill in order to skip these agents. Most level 1 missions can easily be done in a combat-oriented frigate (often the one given by the military tutorials) but a destroyer may help with some of the harder missions, especially with low skills.
- Level 2 missions are the next step, and most will require a combat cruiser to complete. Some of the easier level 2 missions can be done in a destroyer, though, depending on skills. At this level pilots are encouraged to start working on fitting and module skills.
- Level 3 missions are tougher again, and most will require a battlecruiser to complete. At least a T2 DC and/or repper/booster are encouraged in order to tank the increased amount of damage thrown at the player, and time spent running Level 3 missions should be used to train for full T2 tank, weapon and drone skills in preparation for level 4 missions. Level 3 will also see the introduction of some more complicated enemies such as scram/web frigates; be on the lookout for these and make sure you have the tracking or drones to take them out.
- Level 4 missions are the end goal for many mission runners. Requiring a Battleship, Command Ship, or Strategic Cruiser and good skills to complete in most cases. These missions can be a vast source of ISK depending on the corporation and agents.
- Level 5 missions are designed for groups of players and exclusively located in Low Security space.
See the Mission Ships page for more details on specific ships and fittings.
Standings are a measure of how much one entity likes or dislikes another entity and are measured on a real number scale from -10 to +10. A standing of -10 is tantamount to complete and total loathing and conversely +10 is complete and total adoration.
Why Standings Matter
The standings of NPC entities toward a player are important for a couple reasons. Firstly, because higher standings make more profitable missions available. And secondly, several perks become available when an individuals or player-run corporations standings are higher with a specific entity.
For an individual:
- At 5.0 all L4 Agents for that faction become available to you (4.0 with certain Corporations)
- At 6.67 you are no longer subject to the refining Equipment Tax with that corporation
- The higher your standings toward an NPC entity the lower the broker fee is in their stations. As an example, with a faction and corp standing of 10, the broker fee is reduced to 0.185%, saving you more than 1% through the buy and sell process
For a corporation:
- Before Crius faction standings were required to anchor a POS in that empires space.
Standings Incremental Increase and Loss
When standings go up or down they usually do so as a percentage; this is always a percentage decay towards the extreme end of the scale. For example, if someone has 1.0 standing with an NPC corporation and completes a mission that changes standing by +5%, then the current standing is increased by 5% of the difference from +1 to +10; that's a change of +0.45 with an end result of +1.45. However, if someone else with a 4.0 standing completes the same mission under the same circumstances and also gets a 5% increase, then that's 5% of the difference from +4 to +10; that's a change of +0.30 with an end result of +4.30.
If something causes a standings decrease, then it's a percentage decay towards −10. For example, if someone with +1.0 standings suffers a −5% change, then that's 5% of the difference from +1 to −10; that's a change of −0.55 with an end result of +0.45. If someone with +4.0 standings suffers that same −5% change, then it's 5% of the difference from +4 to −10; that's a change of −0.7 with an end result of +3.3.
What this means is that gains are reduced and losses are increased incrementally as your standings become higher, and vice versa.
More About Standings
It is worth noting that running out of time on a mission you have accepted (usually a week, but the Wee Bug Problem courier mission has a failure timer of 12 hours) will usually cause a standings loss with the agent, corporation, and faction. Declining a mission for a particular agent more than once every four hours will also cause a standings loss with the agent, corporation, and faction. If an agent you recently declined a mission from offers you another undesirable mission, you can click DELAY, wait out the four hour timer while you go do something else, and then click DECLINE.
To see a history of how your standings have changed, you can go to NeoCom > Character Sheet > Standings, scroll through the list of NPC entities, right-click an entry and select SHOW TRANSACTIONS to see how much your standings went up or down for what actions and by how much. All the percentage changes you see in the Transaction Log are as described above, with the exception that (due to a possible bug) any percentage changes due to "Derived Modification" are percentage changes of 10.0, not percentage decays towards an extreme.
All regular agents have a name, a Level, and a Division. Storyline Agents will be covered later. "Level" describes the general difficulty level of the mission that the agent can offer you and can range from 1 to 5; it also affects the standings you need to reach in order for this agent to give you missions. "Division" determines what type of mission - security (combat), distribution (hauling), or mining - you will be offered. 
An agent will offer you missions only when your standings reach a certain amount, depending on the agent's level:
- Level 1: Any standings
- Level 2: 1.0 or higher
- Level 3: 3.0 or higher
- Level 4: 5.0 or higher
- Level 5: 7.0 or higher
You must meet this requirement for either the agent's personal standing towards you, their corporation's standing towards you, or their faction's standing towards you; any one of the three will suffice. For example, Eveynel Daerne is a Level 3 agent in Orduin IX - Moon 4 - Transstellar Shipping Storage. This agent is part of the Transstellar Shipping corporation, which is part of the Gallente Federation faction. The standings requirement is therefore 3.0, so at least one of the following 3 conditions must be true to get missions from Eveynel Daerne:
- Eveynel Daerne's personal standing towards you is 3.0 or higher.
- Transstellar Shipping's standing towards you is 3.0 or higher.
- The Gallente Federation's standing towards you is 3.0 or higher.
The fact that Eveynel Daerne is located in the Orduin solar system, which is the sovereign territory of the Minmatar Republic, is completely irrelevant. High Minmatar Republic standings will not give you access to missions from Eveynel Daerne. This concept applies as a rule to all agents of a faction who are located in a different faction's sovereign space.
Gaining access to higher level missions can be eased by training two skills: Diplomacy (1x, 180k ISK) and Connections (3x, 200k ISK) ("Connections" is not to be confused with other social skills such as "Criminal Connections" or "Security Connections"). Diplomacy gives you a standings boost with agents, NPC corporations, and factions that dislike you to begin with, and this boost is 4% per level of the Diplomacy skill. Connections gives you a standings boost with agents, NPC corporations, and factions that like you to begin with, and this boost is 4% per level of the Connections skill. Between Diplomacy and Connections, only one will apply, but it will give a boost significant enough to ease the process of getting access to Level 2 missions.
When you complete a regular mission for an agent, you get increased standings with the agent and the corporation, but not the faction. It is worth noting that if the mission involves destroying ships or structures of a different faction, then your standings with the target faction go down due to "Combat - Ship Kill", but your standings with the agent's faction will not change. Those who wish to be able to fly in all High Security space are advised to decline all anti-Empire missions (that is, anti-Amarr, anti-Ammatar, anti-Caldari, anti-Gallente, and anti-Minmatar). Some exceptions or workarounds exist; for example, a Minmatar agent might give you the mission Friendly Spies, where if you destroy the mission objective but none of the hostile ships, then you don't lose Gallente Federation standings. In other cases, the standing losses due to "Combat - Ship Kill" are almost insignificant, such as Amarrian Tyrants, Level 3, or Against the Empire, Level 3. Some missions, though, will incur -2.4% standing losses for ship kills and might require one or more completed storyline missions for the opposing side to repair the standings losses (for example, Against The Empire, Level 1; yes, the Amarr standing loss on Level 3 is insignificant while the standing loss on Level 1 is bad; losses are only consistent for the exact same mission and level).
Anomic Missions aka Burner Missions
Anomic missions - usually called burner missions - are optional encounter missions that are given out by level 4 security agents. They can always be declined without penalty.
They present a different and higher challenge compared to other security missions since you will encounter a small number of very powerful adversaries and you are restricted in ship size. The NPCs in these missions are modeled after a capsuleer using perfect skills, faction modules, implants, drugs and links. Accordingly, they also give much higher ISK and loyalty point rewards (~12000 LP) and there is a decent chance for valuable faction items in the loot.
Burner missions require specialized and expensive ship fits and high skills to solo. They also require piloting skills that are otherwise rarely used in PvE such as overheating. CCP re-balances them frequently, so it is strongly advised to research the latest fits and tactics or even use the test-server before attempting them. Also note that some of the expensive frigate fits that are used to complete them are very easy and worthwhile to gank. Gankers and wardeccers around mission hubs tend to know this.
There are 3 groups of burner missions:
Anomic Agent Missions
You face a single very powerful pirate frigate and the mission pocket is restricted to frigates. There are 5 missions of this type:
- Guristas Worm
- Angel Dramiel
- Serpentis Daredevil
- Sansha Succubus
- Blood Raider Cruor
These missions require specialized and expensive fits of pirate or assault frigates to complete. They also typically require well-timed overheating and cap and booster management. Discussions and fit recommendations can be found in the official EVE forums.
Anomic Team Missions
You face a T2 Assault Frigate plus two T1 Logistics Frigates and the mission pocket is restricted to frigates. There are 4 missions of this type:
- Vengeance and 2 Inquisitors
- Hawk and 2 Bantams
- Jaguar and 2 Bursts
- Enyo and 2 Navitas
These are the most beginner friendly and are possible to complete in a T1 frigate such as a Kestrel with a proper kiting fit. To complete them solo in e.g. a Kestrel requires high frigate and missile skills, but they get much easier and accessible to low-SP pilots with two or more players. They are usually completed by kiting in MWD ships that can deal damage over at least 20-30km. ECM to jam the logi support and target painting is also very useful. Tactics revolve around either attacking the Assault Frigate and powering through the logi reps or jamming one logi while killing the other.
Anomic Base and Escort Missions
You face a small number of powerful ships such as battlecruisers, cruisers, frigates and fighter waves and the mission pocket is restricted to T2 cruisers or T1 battlecruisers and lower. There are 4 missions of this type:
- 3 Serpentis Talos and about 100 proximity activated sentries
- Blood Raider Ashimmu and 2 Sentinels
- 4 Angel Dramiels and a Wreathe industrial
- 6 waves of fighters and fighter bombers and a Guristas Wyvern Supercarrier
The difficulty of these missions varies a lot. The Talos mission can be completed in a properly fit and flown Heavy Assault Cruiser and often gives faction loot while the Wyvern one is rarely run because of length, difficulty and poor rewards.
The game tracks how many missions you've completed for each level and each faction. For every 16 missions of the same level and faction (but not necessarily the same corporation) that you complete, you will get a new Storyline Mission offer from a Storyline Agent of the same Faction; you will be sent this offer by EVEmail in your NeoCom.
This will always be the Storyline Agent closest to the regular agent who gave you your 16th mission (in terms of number of jumps) with two exceptions.
First, if the closest Storyline Agent has already made you an offer that you haven't accepted or declined, then it will be the second-closest Storyline Agent that you get the offer from.
Second, if the agent who gave you the 16th regular mission that you completed was in High Security, then the Storyline offer will always come from a Storyline Agent in High Security.
You cannot work for a Storyline Agent unless you've received an offer from that Agent.
Completing a Storyline Mission substantially increases your standings with the agent's corporation and faction. When your faction standings are increased in this way it affects the standings of friends and enemies of the faction in question toward you. The amount that the other factions standings change toward you is directly related to their affinity for or dislike of the faction that you are involved with. For example if you are increasing standings with the Gallente Federation, your standings toward the Minmatar Republic will increase by 80% of what the Gallente standing increase because the Minmatar have an 8.0 standing toward the Gallente. Note that your standing with factions which dislike the faction you just ran a mission with will decrease (by the same proportion as above), so if you don't want to alienate too many factions make sure to run missions for each of them.
When trying to increase standings with a particular NPC corporation, it is possible to plan your missioning such that when you hand in your 16th mission, you get your offer from the Storyline Agent of the corporation that you are focusing on. See Mission Hubs for examples.
Epic Arc Missions
An epic arc is a series of up to fifty missions which are split up into chapters. Throughout the arc, the player will be offered several choices which will branch the arc in one or more directions. The missions that make up these arcs typically have very good ISK rewards and typically the last mission of the arc carries a handsome reward. There are seven Epic Mission Arcs. One for each of the empire factions, two for pirate factions (Angels and Guristas) and one for the Sisters of Eve corporation. The last of those is an especially good starting point for new pilots. Most of the Sisters of Eve epic arc missions can be easily solo'd in T1 fit destroyer class ship. The last few missions may require the help of a corp mate.
- Faction: Sisters of EVE
- Corporation: Sisters of EVE
- Agent: Sister Alitura
- Agent Level: 1
- Location: Arnon IX - Moon 3 - Sisters of Eve Bureau
- Faction: Amarr Empire
- Corporation: Ministry of Internal Order
- Agent: Karde Romu
- Agent Level: 4
- Location: Kor-Azor Prime
- Faction: Caldari State
- Corporation: Expert Distribution
- Agent: Aursa Kunivuri
- Agent Level: 4
- Location: Josameto
- Faction: Gallente Federation
- Corporation: Impetus
- Agent: Roineron Aviviere
- Agent Level: 4
- Location: Dodixie
- Faction: Minmatar Republic
- Corporation: Brutor Tribe
- Agent: Arsten Takalo
- Agent Level: 4
- Location: Frarn
- Faction: Angel Cartel
- Faction: Guristas Pirates
Other mission types
Tutorial missions are missions that are supposed to help new players learn how to play EVE Online. Each player character can only do each Tutorial Mission from a given Tutorial Agent once ever, but the tutorial mission chains do count as Storylines in increasing corporation and faction standings.
There are other mission types known as COSMOS, and Data Center. COSMOS and Data Center missions are described in further detail in Gaining faction standings fast.
Mission Walkthroughs and Mission Preparation
The universe of EVE is a dangerous place, and encounter missions are not exceptions. The unprepared and unwary can lose their ships unnecessarily. (Most mining missions are not heavily combat-oriented, though there are a couple of mining missions where a mining barge absolutely should not go in first.) The first thing to know, as always, is to never fly what you cannot afford to lose.
The second thing to know is the mission you are being offered. Always understand exactly what you will encounter in a mission before you accept it; if you accept a mission without understanding it, and it turns out to be too difficult, then your only options are to get help from other players (who may or may not be trustworthy) or to quit the mission. You might lose your ship in the process of discovering that the mission is too difficult for you. A great link for missions is Eve Survival. Most (if not all) regular and storyline missions are documented there, and you can read the details of what you need to do in the mission before you accept the mission, including (most importantly) details that the agent does not tell you up front.
The UNIWiki has a good guide to the Sisters of EVE epic arc: The Blood-Stained Stars. Another good guide for the Sisters of Eve epic mission arc can be found here. EVE-Survival.org also has some useful tips for epic arcs, in general: http://eve-survival.org/wikka.php?wakka=MissionReportsEpicArc
The third thing to know is that NPCs in missions tend to be very predictable in their setups. The mission guides linked above will go into detail for each particular mission, but there are trends. For example, Gallente and Serpentis use only Kinetic and Thermal damage against you, but are also most susceptible to Kinetic and Thermal damage themselves; when they use any form of Electronic Warfare (EWAR), it's always sensor dampening. Blood Raiders use mostly EM/thermal damage and are most susceptible to EM/thermal damage, and while they don't use (what the University considers) EWAR, they do use Energy Neutralizers and Energy Vampires. Mercenaries and Rogue Drones aren't as consistent from mission to mission, but are a lot more consistent over multiple occurrences of the exact same mission and level. This predictability can be used to your advantage: if you're flying Level 2 or higher missions, you'll want to fit resistance modules for the type of damage the enemy will throw at you: Kinetic/Thermal for Gallente, Caldari, Serpentis, Guristas, and Mordu's Legion; EM/Thermal for Amarr, Sanshas, and Blood Raiders, Explosive/Kinetic for Angel Cartel and Minmatar. You may need two or more resistance modules of the same type if a lot of damage is going to be thrown at you.
Try to set up your ship to do the damage types that the enemy is most vulnerable to. Those who rely on hybrid or laser turrets to do damage are out of luck in this regard. Missiles should be chosen for their damage types. See using drones for a table of which drone types to bring against which enemies.
Keep in mind that Warping to Location in the Missions tab will warp you to the first acceleration gate (if there is one for that mission) at your default Warp To distance - this is important because you can cut down on travel time by setting your default Warp To to 0m - just be sure to remember to change it back before you travel in PvP areas again.
Good Ships For Missions
Although any kind of ship can be successful in running missions, because PvE targets come in waves, and because survivability is one of your goals, brawling tactics are somewhat less desireable in missions than are sniping and/or kiting. Missile and drone boats, in particular, tend to support these kinds of tactics.
If you are just starting to run missions, you probably want to emphasize speed. Loosely speaking, you want enough defense (armor, shields, speed) to give you time to maneuver, and time to escape if things go badly. And then you want as much offense as you can pile on – because the faster you kill the NPCs, the sooner you get to collect your rewards.
You can read the Mission Ships page for details on ships and fittings that work well at each mission level.
Missioning with a Fleet
One way to raise your Standings is to run missions with a fleet - where all participants share some or all of the standings, LP, ISK, loot, and/or salvage from running missions at the same time. This is especially good for newer players, as they generally gain more than they share. There are two main kinds of mission fleet: Spider, where everyone runs their own missions, but shares standings etc. at the end; and Locust, where the fleet members all work on the same mission together.
See Mission Fleets for a lot more details.
Farming a mission means to do the same mission over a few days by NOT completing the mission ie. for Vengeance, you can kill everything except one rat in the last pocket and then redoing the mission after downtime (all the rats will respawn) till the mission expires.
This is very good for high value missions like Angel Extravaganza (AE), Blockade, Worlds Collide, Vengeance, or Cargo Delivery. Since farming involves putting the agent who's given the mission on 'standby' you should consider your ISK/playtime
To check the viability of farming a mission, use [Eve Survival] to see if your mission has a 'completion trigger'.
I usually play every day for an hour. It takes me an hour to do Angel Extravaganza. Angel Extravaganza gives me 40 million ISK with bounties, loot, and salvage. If I got AE, I would kill everything except Tiogo Kargaz who would complete the mission. I could then repeat this after every downtime till the mission expires.
- 40 million ISK × 6 days = 240 million ISK
Now say I decided to kill Tiogo and complete the mission. On the next 6 days, I could get average missions that give ~20mil isk
- 20 million ISK x 6days = 120 million ISK
The downside is the repetitive monotony and if you want to play some more after you semi-complete the farm-mission. This can be somewhat mitigated if you have multiple agents. I can have an agent on standby for farming Blockade and then keep doing missions with another agent.
Note: Say you have a pocket with wrecks that you want to loot and/or salvage, but there's a pirate you have to keep alive in it to farm. You would need someone to loot/salvage while you tank the rat (or vice versa). You could also try fitting salvagers and/or tractor beams on a tanky ship or just abandon the wrecks.
Stuff to Bring
Besides ammo/crystals there are things you might want to carry in your cargo/dronebay.
Tag/Keys: Gate Key for Dread Pirate Scarlet, Angel Pallidum Tag for L4 Angel Extravaganza bonus room, or Zbikoki's Hacker Card for Worlds Collide. When doing Locust Fleet you may not want to fly all the way back to station to pick them up. Consider carrying extra for fleet mates! (How many times have I had people warp out of the AE bonus room then be unable to get back in to help because they don't have a diamond tag?)
Warp Core Stabilizers: These are great during wartime. If your mission is in a different system than your agent, you can fill your lows with core stabs so you can escape if you jumped into some war targets (WT). When you arrive at the system your mission is in, just dock up and refit your usual low modules (which you placed in your cargo hold before you left :) ). I saved my hurricane from a WT this way (having 6 core stabs means need at least 3 scramblers and 1 disruptor to stop your warp). This isn't a good idea for just missions; it's always a good idea to keep core stabs in your cargohold. If a WT comes into your system, you can dockup, refit, then go to a different system. Remember to count: if there's 3 WTs and you have only 4 core stabs you could be scrammed. If you plan to do this, know your aggression mechanics and have a hardy shield tank.
ECM drones: Also good for wartime. If you're scrammed, try unleashing these guys. If you're lucky, the WT will lose lock and you can warp away. These go in your dronebay, not in your cargo.
Extra Mods: Most people switch resists for what rat they're against. Say you're mid-mission and discover your tank isn't so great. It's easier to refit in that system then jump back to your base to pickup extra resists. Also applies if you want more damage mods. Having an omni-shield buffer goes nice with lows full of core stabs when traveling is nice during war. Remember you have a limited cargo space, so don't go overboard.
Mobile Tractor Unit (MTU): This tool is very useful for looting and salvaging mission pockets. Bring it in your cargohold (100 m3), deploy it in a mission pocket and it will automatically collect and loot all wrecks created within 125 kilometers of itself. This also greatly increases the efficiency of salvaging by effectively eliminating the transit time for looting and salvaging, while also providing a convenient structure to orbit around during this process. When scooping the MTU, it will automatically eject any cargo it has remaining into a standard, temporary cargo container.
Remember: only bring what you can afford to lose
If you looted all the wrecks you'll have a bunch of items that you can sell or reprocess. Depending on the item, it can be more profitable to sell than reprocess or vice versa. A handy tool to decide what to do is Eve Refinery.
Using Loyalty Points
New missioneers often forget about the Loyalty points that they gain whilst running missions. These points (in addition to a small amount of ISK) can be exchanged for valuable items in the Loyalty Points store of the Corporation that you've completed the missions for. Very often, it is more profitable to run missions as quickly as possible to accumulate as many Loyalty Points as possible in order to exchange them for goods which can then be sold than it is to kill, loot and salvage every rat in each mission. Completely clearing missions in that manner takes a relatively long time, whereas simply completing the Objectives required to complete the mission and gain the Loyalty Points reward can often be done in a much shorter amount of time, allowing you to complete more Missions in the time you would ordinarily spend Looting and Salvaging. This method also has the advantage of shortening the amount of time it takes to achieve the Standings required to run higher level Missions, which are correspondingly more profitable in Loyalty Points terms as well.
Finding an agent
You can now go to 'People & Places' and under the 'Agents' tab click 'Agent Finder' at the bottom. This can also be accessed when docked via 'Station Services' window under the 'Agents' tab.