Distribution missions

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Distribution missions, also known as courier missions, are a type of mission given by Distribution agents.

Structure

A Distribution mission is a mission to either collect a piece of cargo from one station and deliver it to another or to collect a piece of cargo from a deadspace location. When a Distribution mission is accepted, the necessary cargo is spawned in your personal hangar at the "Pickup Location". You then need to haul it to the "Drop-off Location" using your ship. Usually, the agent location is either the "Pickup" or "Drop-off" location. 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.

An exception to this are some low-level mission chains (A New Venture, for example) which do involve combat. It is recommended having a small combat-capable ship (Frigate/Destroyer) at or near your mission base.

TIP: Although located in your ship inventory, cargo held in containers will not be accepted.

Aside from any mission-related hazards you only have to deal with the usual hazards of travel (Gatecamps, suicide gankers, Warp Interdiction on Stargates in Null security space, and so on). Level 1 missions will keep you within the agent's constellation, level 2 and level 3 will possibly send you to an adjacent constellation, level 4 missions will always send you to an adjacent constellation. [1]

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 Distribution mission has an item as a reward instead of ISK, then the item will appear in your personal hangar at the issuing agent's station, which is usually the "Pickup" station.

Level 1 and 2 Distribution 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 Distribution missions you will need an Industrial ship as cargo sizes will be in the 4.000–8.000 m3 range. For further information on this read the following section on ship choices for Distribution missions.

Ship choices

Level 1 and Level 2

These can be easily accomplished in T1 Exploration Frigates as they have a huge cargo hold and align/warp quickly. However, as these lack offensive capabilities it is worth having a combat-capable ship nearby should you run in to one of the mission chains that involve combat.

You will need to invest in an Expanded Cargohold module to bring your capacity up to 450 m3, however for most missions you will be focusing on Inertial Stabilizers for a faster time to warp. If you are rigging a ship for Distribution, then 3 x Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer will be your biggest asset to help with crossing systems, leaving align time speed to low slots. In your high and medium slots, fit whatever tank is appropriate for your skills. Your goal is to avoid conflict.

Exploration Frigates
Ship Base Suggested Fit Small Info.pngAssuming no skill bonuses
1 Expanded Cargohold II
Remaining low slots Inertial Stabilizer II
All Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II rigs
Ship Capacity Time to Warp Warp Speed Low Slots Capacity Time to Warp Warp Speed
Isis amarr.pngMagnate 400m3 5.65s 5AU/s 4 510m3 3.31s 8.69AU/s
Isis caldari.pngHeron 400m3 5.69s 5AU/s 2 510m3 4.55s 8.69AU/s
Isis gallente.pngImicus 400m3 5.79s 5AU/s 3 510m3 3.79s 8.69AU/s
Isis minmatar.pngProbe 400m3 5.57s 5AU/s 3 510m3 3.68s 8.69AU/s

Level 3 and Level 4

As the required capacity can range up to 4 000m3 for level 3 and 8 000m3 for level 4, you will need to move up from a frigate to an Industrial ship.

As with lower levels, the goal is to move the cargo as fast as you can. Anything that increases warp speed, increases agility, or decreases inertial modifiers will help speed up your distribution runs. If you're still starting out, then your best bet is to move up to the Fast Industrials.

While you're going to need to be able to fit up to 8 000m3, most missions require 4 000|-|5 000m3 which will allow fitting more Inertial Stabilizers for a faster align speed. For the purposes of the chart below we'll assume you need to fit to 5 000m3, but do bring along enough Expanded Cargoholds to replace Inertial Stabilizers when you do get the odd large load, and Inertial Stabilizers to swap in when 5 000m3 isn't needed.

Fast Industrials
Ship Base Suggested Fit Small Info.pngAssuming all skills V
Expanded Cargohold II to >5 000m3
Remaining low slots Inertial Stabilizer II
All Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II rigs
Ship Capacity Time to Warp Warp Speed Low Slots Capacity Time to Warp Warp Speed
Isis amarr.pngSigil 2100m3 13.11s 4.5AU/s 6 5441m3 3.89s 7.82AU/s
Isis caldari.pngBadger 3900m3 13.88s 4.5AU/s 4 6216m3 4.11s 7.82AU/s
Isis gallente.pngNereus 2900m3 12.16s 4.5AU/s 5 5486m3 3.61s 7.82AU/s
Isis minmatar.pngWreathe 2700m3 11.23s 4.5AU/s 5 5893m3 3.33s 7.82AU/s

All Levels

If you've decided to focus on Distribution Missions and get an an optimized ship, then your go-to will be Blockade Runners. These are the fastest cargo haulers in the game, and as an added bonus have the ability to warp cloaked which makes them safer in dangerous places. These are significantly more expensive than regular industrials, but easily outshine even frigates in terms of completion rates due to faster warp initiation and speed, allowing completing several Level 1 and Level 2 missions at once or keeping a frigate pace on Level 3 and Level 4 missions.

Warning: Blockade Runners are considered high value targets. As they can't be cargo scanned most gankers will assume they have valuable cargo and gank them whenever they catch them. Be very careful running Distribution missions in Blockade Runners around populated areas.

Blockade Runners
Ship Base Suggested Fit Small Info.pngAssuming all skills V
Expanded Cargohold II to >5 000m3
Remaining low slots Inertial Stabilizer II
All Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer II rigs
Ship Capacity Time to Warp Warp Speed Low Slots Capacity Time to Warp Warp Speed
Isis amarr.pngProrator 2900m3 7.75s 4.5AU/s 4 5893m3 3.46s 11.4AU/s
Isis caldari.pngCrane 4300m3 7.78s 6AU/s 2 5375m3 3.47s 11.4AU/s
Isis gallente.pngViator 3600m3 7.49s 6AU/s 3 5737m3 3.34s 11.4AU/s
Isis minmatar.pngProwler 3500m3 7.53s 6AU/s 3 5893m3 3.36s 11.4AU/s

NOTE: While the Prowler has marginally worse align time than the Viator, it has a significantly higher base speed. When a warp to falls a little short, it makes up the distance faster than any other, making it the ideal Distribution mission ship.

Standings Grind

Distribution missions are by far the fastest mission type to increase corporation and faction standings.

In a same-system destination and well fit ship, time from acceptance to completion can be below 30 seconds. As a result, completing Distribution missions quickly is the fastest way to receive Storyline missions. Even though the Distribution missions give (low) corporation standing gains themselves, the Storyline mission will give more noticeable corporation standing gain and improve faction standings. Keep in mind that the Storyline mission you will get depends on the agent closest to you - if it's a Security agent you're going to need a combat ship nearby.

References