Faction warfare missions
Pilots enlisted in Faction Warfare may run faction warfare missions offered by agents of the four Factional Warfare NPC corporations ("militias"). These missions work similarly to the encounter missions offered by agents of Empire corporations, although there are a few notable differences (detailed below). Note that these missions do not contribute to the core Factional Warfare mechanics (capturing or defending star systems in the war zones), although they take place in the same regions of space.
Finding, accepting and rejecting missions
Factional Warfare missions are only available to pilots enlisted in the respective militia and their allied militia (i.e. the Gallente Federal Defence Union corporation will only offer missions to pilots enlisted with either the Gallente or Minmatar militias). As with regular missions, you can find nearby agents by using the in-game The Agency tool, or third-party tools like E-UNI's Agent Rangefinder; make sure to filter by the correct corporation:
- Amarr: 24th Imperial Crusade
- Caldari: State Protectorate
- Gallente: Federal Defence Union
- Minmatar: Tribal Liberation Force
Just like with agents from other corporation, Factional Warfare agents have a level, which indicates the difficulty of the missions they offer, and how much they reward pilots for completing those missions. In addition to being enlisted in the correct militia, you also need to have sufficiently high standings with the agents or their corporation to access them (this works the same way as accessing agents of other corporations):
- Level 1 agent: (no standings requirement)
- Level 2 agent: standings of 1.0 or higher
- Level 3 agent: standings of 3.0 or higher
- Level 4 agent: standings of 5.0 or higher
Unlike other corporations, militia corporations only have agents in the "security" division, and no storyline agents; this means that you will only run encounter (militiary) missions for them (no mining or distribution missions), and you will not get a storyline mission every 16 missions. Additionally, just like for other other agents, there is a standings penalty for declining or failing missions.
All Factional Warfare missions are "encounter" missions, which always involve flying somewhere and killing something (usually ships or a structure). These missions always take place in the low-sec Factional Warfare war zones, in the "enemy half" of the respective war zone (so a Gallente agent will send you to the Caldari end of the Caldari-Gallente war zone).
One important aspect to note is that the destination (ie the deadspace pocket with the mission objective) of a Factional Warfare mission is marked by a beacon, and this beacon becomes visible to every other player in the system as soon as you warp to it. This is a mechanic meant to encourage PvP (as other players can warp to your mission deadspace pocket without needing to scan down your ship with combat probes first); in practice, it means you will need to be extra-vigilant when running these missions.
As with missions in Empire space, Eve Survival is an excellent resource for finding out ahead of time what a mission objective is, and what kind of NPC enemies to expect. Note that, unlike missions in Empire space, the NPC enemies you kill in Factional Warfare missions do not have bounties on them and drop very little loot (other than Navy tags, which can be sold or used to buy items in the LP store).
In all Factional Warfare missions you will be fighting NPC ships belonging to the enemy faction (i.e. a pilot running missions for the Gallente militia will be fighting Caldari NPCs). This means that the type of damage you should deal to the NPCs, which one you should fit your ship to resist against, and which type of Electronic Warfare (EWAR) they use is predictable; therefore, you can fit your ship accordingly.
|Damage||Electronic Warfare (EWAR)|
|Enemy faction||Deal||Resist against|
|Amarr Empire||Tracking Disruption (TD)|
|Caldari State||Electronic Countermeasures (ECM)|
|Gallente Federation||Remote Sensor Dampening (RSD)|
|Minmatar Republic||Target Painting (TP)|
Most of these missions take place in deadspace pockets with acceleration gates, and these acceleration gates only allow certain classes of ship to enter. The difficulty of these missions is usually comparable to the missions of one level lower from other corporations (so a level 2 Factional Warfare mission is comparable in difficulty to a "regular" level 1 mission, but may be completed in the same ships (in this case, cruisers and below) as a "regular" level 2 mission).
|Mission level||Tech I||Tech II||Tech I||Tech II||Tech III||Tech I||Tech II||Tech III||Tech I||Tech II||Tech I||Tech II|
|Note: Tech I ships include Faction ships.|
Ships and strategies
As Factional Warfare missions are run in dangerous areas of low-sec space, the strategy for completing them revolves around completing the mission objective as quickly as possible and moving on to the next mission, all while being able to run away from (or fight) incoming enemy players' ships. This means that smaller, faster ships tend to be used, and that players tend to limit themselves to destroying the absolute minimum number of enemies necessary in order to complete a mission (in contrast, running missions in Empire space focuses on using big ships with powerful active or passive tanks, and clearing every last enemy to maximise the bounties and loot gained).
Since the missions take place deep within the war zones, it's recommended that you first pick up a number of missions (e.g. by using a fast frigate to fly to each station with agents for a particular faction militia) before running them. The easiest way to do this is to use the autopilot to set waypoints for each agent's station (through the Agent Finder), and then use the autopilot's "optimise route" function to calculate the shortest route. Keep in mind that agents in low-sec systems are inaccessible if the system is currently held by the enemy faction; the in-game map or a service like Dotlan can help you to check which of the agents on your list are currently inaccessible.
Once you have accepted a number of missions, switch to your mission-running ship, and again set waypoints to each mission objective and optimise your route through the autopilot. You can then fly to each mission objective, destroy the ships/structures needed to complete the mission, and fly on to the next mission (not stopping to loot, and keeping a constant eye on D-Scan for enemy players' ships).
Stealth Bombers are particularly useful for running high-level Factional Warfare missions. Defensively, they are relatively fast and agile, and have a small signature radius - so not only do larger NPC enemies have difficulty hitting them, but they can align and warp out quickly if they are attacked by an enemy player. Additionally, their covert ops cloak makes travelling through enemy-held systems relatively safe and painless. Their primary weapon (torpedoes) particularly excels at destroying larger NPC enemies, and has a selectable damage type (so the pilot can deal the type of damage the NPCs are most vulnerable to).
However, Stealth Bombers are also very fragile, and so a pilot must take care to keep their transversal velocity as high as possible (and avoid enemy ships with webs); one or two lucky hits from NPC battleships will quickly destroy a Stealth Bomber. Additionally, they are most effective against Amarr NPCs (i.e. fighting for the Minmatar militia), as the Amarrian EWAR (tracking disruption) does not affect their missile launchers.
Good alternatives to Stealth Bombers (for running level 3 and 4 missions) are Cruisers, Battlecruisers, and Heavy Assault Cruisers. These ships have considerably more hit points than Stealth Bombers, and so are more forgiving to fly; however, they are also much more ponderous and so travel through the war zones is more dangerous. Also, Heavy Assault Cruisers in particular are expensive, and losing one will put a serious dent in your income from mission-running. Keep in mind to fit your ship to attack the NPCs' weaknesses; missile and projectile turret ships can therefore be used against all enemies, while hybrid turret ships are best against the Caldari and Gallente, and energy turret ships best against the Amarr. Most enemy players in Factional Warfare fly frigates and destroyers; since it's a lot easier to catch a cruiser or battlecruiser than a Stealth Bomber, it may be wise to fit your larger mission-running ships to also fight off enemy players' frigates and destroyers (e.g. using webs or target painters).
- See also: Rewards from running FW missions
As these missions never require you to return an item to your agent, they can be completed remotely - to do so, dock up at any station once you have completed the mission objectives, start a conversation with the agent, and complete the mission to receive your rewards. This is handy as it can save you a long trip back through low-sec.
Just like "regular" missions, Factional Warfare missions pay both ISK and loyalty points (LP), as well as increasing your standings with the agent and their corporation (since there are no storyline mission, they do not increase your standings with the agent's faction). The loyalty point reward scales with your faction tier.