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Why COSMOS missions?
There are several reasons to do COSMOS missions.
- Standing boosts: Every last mission an agent offers is an important storyline mission. It boosts standings with a faction, including derived standings. COSMOS missions are probably the fastest way receive an one time boost in standings in the game.
- Storyline blueprint copies: Agents often give blueprint copies as reward. While these modules often have weaker or equal stats to tech 2, they have considerably lesser fitting requirements. The production of the modules is very costly. You need unseeded skillbooks like Sleeper Technology as prerequisite and special items found in the COSMOS complexes to build them. Thus the items can be very expensive on the contract market but don't have much movement.
- Bounties/Loot/Salvage: As there is a lot to shoot at in the COSMOS complexes with low respawn rates, ratting/looting/salvaging can be lucrative. This also includes named NPCs that drop items needed for agent missions, keycards for warpgates and items found in hacking or archaeology cans used for the production of storyline items. While most of these items only can be traded via contract and don't have much movement on the market, they can sell for a good amount of money. Salvaging and Looting should be done in a team, as you can't come back in a dedicated salvaging boat after clearing the NPCs in a pocket without running into respawns. Certain COSMOS complexes also contain faction and deadspace module drops like normal DED rated complexes.
- Exploration/Lore: COSMOS missions are a refreshing alternative to normal missions. While they always give you a hint where to find the item to finish the mission, you have to search for it. Sometimes you even have to scan down the place where you find it, bring a keycard to access the place or need to hack or analyze a can to loot it. The missions also offer a good amount of lore about New Eden. Players interested in lore should take a look into COSMOS missions.
- Faction ship blueprints: There are agents in the constellations that offer faction ship blueprints. You need a very high faction standing and you have to bring pirate tags, but you can obtain 2 run blueprints for faction frigate, cruiser and battleship.
The setback is that all the missions can be completed only once. Though the static complexes can be farmed forever.
The COSMOS constellations contain COSMOS sites and COSMOS agents. The sites are connected to COSMOS missions but can be run at any time. These sites appear as static complexes with warpable beacons in space, located by using the star map and coloring the map by "DED deadspace reports", as scannable combat signatures or as unmarked sites on a celestial. Not all static DED sites are combat sites, some of them are landmarks or epic mission agent locations.
Gated COSMOS sites follow same ship size restrictions as scannable DED rated sites. Ungated COSMOS sites have no restrictions.
See the page for each COSMOS constellation for details on the COSMOS sites in that constellation.
COSMOS missions form short 3-5 mission long chains. They are mostly independent from each other but some may require items from other missions. These missions can be completed only once, failing to complete the mission after starting it will forever block this agent. The last mission in each chain will usually reward faction standing bonus. Many of the missions also reward blueprint copies for storyline modules.
How to do COSMOS missions? Like anything else in EVE Online: It depends.
If you want to boost your standings with an Empire, pick agents from this empire and work for them. You will find a list of all the COSMOS agents in individual COSMOS pages in next section. Also look at the list of the agent and pick those that offer you BPCs, if that's what you are aiming for. If you are looking for lore, just pick any agent you have access to and do his missions.
Once you figured out for whom you want to work, the time has come to hopp into a ship with a fitting that will help you to successfully complete the mission. This section shall provide the reader with some basic guidelines on ship classes and fittings suitable for the COSMOS missions. Please note that this section is a personal view from a dedicated Minmatar pilot with some crosstrain into Caldari ships to be able to fly the Drake. Depending on what you are able to fly the experience may change. The guidelines are dedicated to relatively new pilots that only fly T1 ships until now.
Also note that COSMOS missions have different standings requirements from normal missions. COSMOS agents only accept faction standings so you can not take any of the missions with corp standings. Additionally the L2 agents require 2.00 standing, L3 agents require 4.00 standing and L4 agents require 6.00 standing (normally 1.00 for L2, 3.00 for L3 and 5.00 for L4). L1 agents do not require any standings.
The COSMOS missions can be ran only once. Failing the mission or letting it to expire will prevent you from ever doing that mission or any mission that is in the same chain. Do not even talk to the agent unless you are going to run the mission, as soon as you talk to the agent you get a mission offer that expires in seven days.
Courier mission offers from COSMOS agent can mostly be done in a dedicated frigate hauler. a Probe or a magnate fitted with Extended Cargohold II modules and 3 Small Cargohold Optimization rigs, which is more than enough for most of the missions. However, quite some missions will send you into lowsec. The ability to fly a CovOps or interceptor ship helps a lot for those.
Courier missions can be done with your own items. For example if the mission is to take 150 Oxygen from A to B you can just take your own oxygen to B and complete the mission. This can be especially useful when the drop off location is by the agent allowing you to complete the mission instantly. Of course this can only be done with items that are available outside of these missions.
The difficulty of Encounter missions - missons that don't send you into a COMSOS complex, landmark of combat site - depends on the level of the agent. I used a Hurricane or Drake for all these missions, which usually was more than enough tank and firepower. They are, however, pretty slow ships. Some agents offer you missions where you have to travel more than 100 km to the next warpgate, sometimes more than once. The agents offering those missions will tell you to bring a fast ship, so listen to them and bring a frigate with MWD. For L4 encounter missions a battleship is recommended.
The interesting part starts once you are sent into the various complexes, landmarks and combat sites.
There are visible COSMOS complexes that have a beacon and are shown on the ingame map, hidden complexes you have to scan down first to warp to the entrance and complexes that are not marked anywhere but are visible when you warp to a celestial object such as planet or asteroid belt If you need to go to a hidden location, bring a ship with a Core Probe Launcher fitted, preferably a scanning frigate like the Minmatar Probe. Note that all these are static locations that never move so you need to scan and bookmark them only once.
Almost all gated complexes and landmarks have a DED rating that tells you what ship hulls can use the acceleration gate. As examples, the complex in Inder has a DED rating of 3/10, which only allows cruiser sized ships, the two visible complexes in Hjoramold and Traun have a DED rating 4/10 and allow up to battlecruisers and the Tvink complex (DED 5/10) allows battleships (Don't believe the DED ratings given in the ingame maps, they often are wrong). landmarks are generally easier to clear and thus can be done with smaller ship hulls, but for the complexes I recommend to bring a ship that matches the DED rating. The difficulty of the combat sites vary strongly, from "Easy as pie" to "It's a trap!" difficulty. Please refer to the more detailed descriptions of the various sites.
I strongly recommend that you have some experience with at least level 3 security missions before you venture into the COSMOS complexes. You also should be familiar with the concepts of aligning, kiting and drone aggro. You must be able to fit a very good tank (preferably tech II) on your ships, especially when you are alone. I can't stress this out enough. While there are large groups of NPCs in the pockets to begin with, they also have a very short respawn timer. Due to the low respawn rates I also recommend to bring tech II or high meta armaments to clear the rats fast.
While most of the NPC rats you will find in the complexes and landmarks are from the local pirate faction, there are also some other factions present, even from empire factions. Please refer to the detailed site descriptions to learn about the opposing factions and try to fit your tank accordingly. However, sometimes it is not that easy to tell what exact faction you are facing and thus fitting your tank against the expected damage type can be difficult.
As the complexes can be quite big, I recommend to bring propulsion mods on any ships you use. Preferably a MWD, as they work in all the complexes and landmarks. If you are interested in the hacking and archaelogy cans in some complex pockets you obviously have to bring a relic or data analyzer module.
It is a good idea to visit the complex or other landmark location and acquire the necessary items before accepting the mission from the agent. If you are unable to secure some of the parts in time, your mission may expire. Sometimes items can also be purchased from the market or in contracts if you are unable to secure the items and need to complete a mission.
There are four COSMOS constellations in high security space. One for each empire. Minmatar COSMOS in Ani, Amarr COSMOS in Araz, Caldari COSMOS in Okkelen and Gallente COSMOS in Algintal. There is additional COSMOS content in low security systems Kenobanala and Audesder.
There are additional several null security COSMOS constellations that contain few COSMOS agents for empires and several pirate COSMOS agents.
The various areas with COSMOS content can be roughly grouped by factions but almost all of them contain agents for multiple factions. Few COSMOS agents are also scattered outside of the main constellations.
- Minmatar COSMOS in Ani (high sec), Tartatven (low sec) and 760-9C (null sec) constellations
- Gallente COSMOS in Algintal (high sec) and Assilot (null sec) constellations
- Amarr COSMOS in Araz (high sec), Kenobanala (low sec) and 9HXQ-G (null sec) constellations
- Caldari COSMOS in Okkelen (high sec) and 09-4XW (null sec) constellations
- Serpentis COSMOS in Pegasus constellation in Fountain (null sec)
- Blood Raider COSMOS in OK-FEM constellation in Delve (null sec)
- Angel COSMOS in In I-3ODK constellation in Feythabolis (null sec)
- Guristas COSMOS in E-8CSQ in Vale of the Silent (null sec)
- Eve Special Agent Toolkit. This spreadsheet lists almost all special agents including COSMOS agents. Also gives short info on what kind of mission they give: https://forums-archive.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=287701
- ^ Rakogh Citadel in 3GD6-8 drops Pashan’s Turret Handling Mindlink http://gamingwithdaopa.ellatha.com/eveonline/pashans-turret-mindlink-drops/