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A mission is a task offered by a non-player character (NPC) to a player which requires the player to accomplish a set of objectives in exchange for a set of rewards. Such NPCs are called "agents" and they describe the task and specify the rewards for its completion.
- 1 Kinds of agents
- 2 Basic mission types
- 3 Mission levels
- 4 Special missions
- 5 Storyline missions
- 6 Agents
- 7 Standings
- 8 Rewards
- 9 Declining missions
- 10 Finding agents
- 11 Missioning with a fleet
- 12 Skills
- 13 Advice for new mission runners
- 14 References
Kinds of agents
There are different kinds of agents, each with its own set of missions.
- Basic mission - assignments of varying difficulty for mining, security (combat), distribution (hauling), R&D (research), and locator (bounty hunter).
- Epic arc - a linked series of missions that tells a story and provides a substantial reward.
- Storyline (if available) - these special missions are assigned periodically as you gain standing with a faction.
- Career - tutorial missions that introduce new players to EVE's various activities.
Basic mission types
There are three basic types of missions that are immediately available to new players: Encounter mostly given by security division agents, Mining given by mining division agents, and Courier, sometimes referred to as distribution, given by distribution division agents.
Encounter missions are combat-focused. The job is usually to kill pirates, retrieve stolen goods, or destroy strategic targets. These missions have the highest rewards but they are also slower and involve a risk of dying. (Note that Security agent missions will occasionally ask you to transport something to another station, or to fly out and mine some ore. See declining missions if you are unable or unwilling to do these tasks.)
Mining missions are given out by Mining agents and require you to mine an asteroid or set of asteroids and bring the ore back to the agent's station. There is a risk of combat in mining missions, though the "belt pirate" NPC hostiles that show up are usually rather weak. Note that Mining missions pay off in ISK and Loyalty points, you do not get ore from Mining missions.
Courier missions require shipping cargo from one station to another. Except for some L1 missions Distribution missions never require combat unless you are sent into low/null-sec space, in which case you may encounter PvP combat on the way to your destination. Courier missions are the fastest mission type to run so they are sometimes used for fast standings gains.
Mission levels go from 1 to 5. As your corporation and faction standing increases, you'll gain access to higher level missions. Each new level of mission generally requires that you have better skills and access to bigger ships. Higher level missions also increase ISK and LP rewards. The level of a mission agent tells you the level of missions that the agent will offer. Each agent offers only one level of missions.
- Level 1 The most basic type. All three types can be run by basic frigates. Only the most basic piloting skills are required.
- Level 2 While Mining and Courier may be run in frigates, Encounter is designed for cruiser hulls. You are expected to improve your abilities and learn how to fit out new ships.
- Level 3 As you specialize, you will need a battlecruiser, mining barge, or a medium-sized industrial ship. These missions go faster if you have trained for better ships and at least some Tech 2 fittings.
- Level 4 These require a battleship, an Exhumer, or a large industrial ship. These missions can be time-consuming, but they offer large rewards.
- Level 5 Special security missions designed for groups of players or capital ships and are exclusively located in Low Security space.
These mission types are not regularly available and are bound by conditions you need to fulfill before they are offered to you.
Career missions, also known as "Tutorial missions", are missions that are supposed to help teach players how to play EVE Online. It is a good idea to do these when you first start playing EVE, as they give you starter ships and equipment. They also increase your standings with the faction offering the missions. Each player character can only do each tutorial mission from a given Career Agent once, but the Career agent mission chains do count as Storyline missions and thus increase faction standings after completing a full set.
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. You will need to have trained various Science skills to the level required by an agent before he or she will offer you a mission. Datacores can be sold at the Market, and some players run these missions to make ISK from trading - do keep in mind that the income is quite low. Most players, however, have not trained the Science skills that these missions require.
Epic arcs are long series of missions. Throughout the arc, you will be offered choices that will branch the arc into one or more directions, and thus the arcs have different outcomes depending on your choices. The missions that make up these arcs typically have very good ISK rewards and the last mission of the arc typically carries a handsome reward. There are seven Epic Arcs. Most players begin with The Blood-Stained Stars, an arc that can be completed in a T1 destroyer and gives a boost in standings with the Sisters of EVE and one empire faction of your choice. Seasoned L4 runners will be doing the four empire epic arcs while the fearless pilots can do the two pirate epic arcs. Epic arcs can be repeated once every three months.
Anomic missions (also known as "burner" missions) are optional Security missions that are offered by level 4 agents. They can always be declined without penalty. Anomic missions present a more difficult challenge compared to other Security missions. You will encounter a small number of very powerful adversaries and you are restricted in ship size. These 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.
COSMOS missions are special missions found in certain regions of space. These missions vary wildly in difficulty from easy L1 to harder-than-usual L4. Unlike normal missions these missions require faction standings to accept. The COSMOS missions can be completed only once and can not be repeated if you let them expire or fail them.
Data centers involve handing in tags to the agent for standing gains. This effectively allows you to buy faction standings. Note though that each data center mission can be done only once.
As you continue to complete missions, you will occasionally get a Storyline Mission offer from a special Storyline agent. 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 the nearest Storyline agent of the same faction. 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:
- 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.
- 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.
The Storyline agent will contact you from a station - you will get a notification about an important mission offer - however, you will need to travel to the agent's station in order to accept the mission. Once you are in touch with the Storyline agent, you accept and complete the mission in the usual way. You cannot work for a Storyline agent unless you've received an offer from that Agent.
Completing a Storyline mission gives large increases to your standings with the agent's corporation and a moderate increase to faction standings. Note that you will also get derived standings, both positive and negative. If you keep doing Storyline missions for Minmatar Republic you will find that Gallente Federation will also like you while Amarr Empire, Caldari State and various pirate factions will gradually start to dislike you.
When trying to increase standings with a particular NPC corporation, it is possible to plan your missioning in a way that when you hand in your 16th mission, you get your offer from the Storyline agent of the corporation that you are focusing on.
The InterBus and militia corporations do not offer any Storyline missions.
All common mission agents have a name, a Level, and a Division. "Level" describes the general difficulty level of the mission that the agent will 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 - encounter (mostly combat), courier (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 standing.
- Level 2: 1.00 or higher.
- Level 3: 3.00 or higher.
- Level 4: 5.00 or higher.
- Level 5: 7.00 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. All three standings need to also be above -2.00 to receive missions higher than L1.
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. Therefore, the standings requirement is 3.0, meaning the agent, corporation and faction standings need to be above -2.00. In addition, 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.
- Main article: NPC standings
Standings are a measure of how much one entity in EVE likes or dislikes another. These feelings are measured on a scale from -10 to +10 where negative is hatred and positive is love. Completing missions changes your standing with the agent, the agent's corporation, in some cases the agent's faction and, in security missions, the faction of the entities that you kill.
Agents' standings are determined in part by your standing with their parent corporations. Because of this, there is an advantage to running your missions with agents from the same corporation. Each completed mission will raise your standing with that agent and the agent's corporation and move you more quickly towards the next level. In addition, because Loyalty Point stores are run by corporations, you will be able to buy more items faster if you stick with one corporation.
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, your standings with the target faction will go down due to a "Combat - Ship Kill" malus. Those who wish to be able to fly in all of High Security space are advised to decline all anti-Empire missions (that is, anti-Amarr, anti-Ammatar, anti-Caldari, anti-Gallente, anti-Minmatar and anti-CONCORD). 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 you won'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). However, some missions 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.
To see a history of how your standings have changed, you can go to Neocom > Character Sheet > Interactions > Standings, scroll through the list of NPC entities and select the entity you are interested in to see how much your standings went up or down for what actions and by how much. See NPC standings for more details.
Completing missions will reward you with ISK, Loyalty Points, and standings.
Being paid with ISK is clear-cut, however new missioneers often forget about Loyalty points they gain whilst running missions. Loyalty Points (LP) are a currency that you receive from the corporation whose agent gives you a mission. These points can be used to buy things at the corporation's store. LP (plus a certain amount of ISK and/or particular items) can be exchanged for valuable items in the LP store of the mission agent's corporation. For some players, it is more profitable to accumulate LP in order to exchange them for goods that can then be sold than it is to kill, loot, and salvage in encounter missions. See Loyalty Points for more details on what to do with LP.
The mission LP rewards also scale with the system security of the agent. The formula for calculating the LP reward is:
- LP reward = (1.6288 - System security) × Base LP
This means that an agent in an 0.5 security system pays 80% more than an agent in 1.00 security system. Note that the system security used here is the true security of the system.
The rewards are also dynamically adjusted based on past completion data. This dynamic calculation affects ISK/LP payout, bonus reward, and timed bonus reward.
Gaining improved standings with an agent, corporation or faction can also be lucrative. With higher standings, you will be able to take higher level missions, pay fewer broker fees in NPC stations and get cheaper refining in NPC stations. See NPC standings for all advantages of standings.
You will also receive ISK from bounties while killing NPC in combat missions. You will often get more ISK from bounties than from the mission reward. You will also be able to loot and salvage the wrecks though it depends on the mission level and killed NPCs whether it is profitable or not.
Declining a mission for a particular agent more than once every four hours will cause a standings loss with the agent, corporation, and faction. Running out of time on a mission you have accepted 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 decline.
Most mission agents are located at NPC stations. They can be searched by using The Agency or via the Agent Finder which is similar to the Agency.
Missioning with a fleet
- Main article: Mission Fleets
Members of a fleet who run missions can share all of the standings, LP, and ISK rewards from the mission and bounties automatically. Loot and/or salvage can be shared by hand. This is especially good for newer players, as they generally gain more standings 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. Read the article on Mission Fleets for more details.
In addition to all the ship, piloting, fitting, and combat skills you may need there are also skills that are more focused on missions and standings.
There are four skills that improve your standings. These skills never apply simultaneously.
- Connections - 4% Modifier to effective standing from friendly NPC Corporations and Factions per level. Does not apply to criminal factions.
- Criminal Connections - 4% Modifier per level to effective standing towards NPCs with low Concord standing. Only applies to criminal factions.
- Diplomacy - 4% Modifier per level to effective standing towards entities that have negative standings with you.
- Social - 5% bonus per level to NPC agent, corporation and faction standing increase.
There are four skills that improve the payout from missions.
- Distribution Connections - Improves loyalty point gain by 10% per level when working for agents in the Distribution corporation division.
- Mining Connections - Improves loyalty point gain by 10% per level when working for agents in the Mining corporation division.
- Security Connections - Improves loyalty point gain by 10% per level when working for agents in the Security corporation division.
- Negotiation - 5% additional ISK pay per skill level for agent missions.
Advice for new mission runners
If you're new to mission running and your goal is to gain loot, pile up LP to buy things, or to increase your standing with a faction, then you may want to lay out a plan to help you run your missions with a minimum of down time. Here are some suggestions.
1. Pick an area in which to work
The last thing you want is to be running missions in the middle of a contested low sec region where combatants will shoot at you, or in systems that lie on a busy trade route where griefers will target you. Use the map and look for a group of fairly high security systems set off from the major trade routes and other active systems. Keep in mind that you can be scanned down in mission pockets and war targets will attempt to do so.
2. Know what you want; check out what the various agents offer
Successful mission runs give you ISK and Encounter missions can also give you loot. They also give you standing with the agent that gave you the mission, the agent's corporation, and the agent's faction. In addition, they give you LP that can be redeemed for items in the corporation's store. The corporation you gain LP for is important.
Most corporation stores sell the same sets of augmentation implants. However, different corporations offer different sets of skill upgrade implants, and different factions offer different modules, hulls and ammunition. Roden Shipyards, for example, sells warp drive and astrometric skill upgrades, while Astral Mining offers mining upgrades. Weapons and ammunition offers correspond to the faction's spaceship preferences - Minmitar offer projectile weapons and ammo, Ammar offer laser weapons and crystals, and so on.
3. Pick A Corporation With Multiple Agents In The Region
Nearly every station has at least one agent, and there are many duplications in terms of standings and items offered for sale. So if you want to improve your standing with Gallente and you want to buy equipment to improve your mining, then Astral Mining is one of the corporations you would want to consider. Since there are many Astral Mining agents in Gallente space, choosing this corporation will not restrict your choice of star systems all that much.
Once you have a goal in mind, use the Agent Finder to narrow your choices of star system. Keep in mind that when you finish running level 1, you will almost certainly have to move to a new system to find a level 2 agent, and again for level 3 and 4. So try to find a group of level 1-2-3-4 agents that are fairly close together.
To avoid unfavorable missions such missions in low/null security space and missions that require you to kill empire ships you will need to decline missions every now and then. It is best to choose your location so that you have a second and even third agent as backup once you can't decline the mission offered from first agent without losing standings.
4. Pick A Base Station And Start Running
Here is the map for that area:
You need a base because as you go along, you will buy ships, ammunition and other gear and you will pick up loot and salvage from completed missions. It's easiest to keep all this stuff in one place, so plan to go to your agent's base to run missions, then fly back to your base when you need to resupply. It is often best to bring all the refit modules and extra ammo to the agent's station so you don't need to travel more than is needed.
Two hints for being sure your mission is complete
- Look for a green check mark next to the mission
- If you think the mission is finished but you don't see the green checkmark or want to check your objectives, click on the little down arrow next to the mission name and select "Details" from the menu. This will show you the mission briefing and you can take another look at your objectives.
Note that some missions may not get this completion mark.
Mission preparation and walkthroughs
Never fly what you cannot afford to lose applies to running missions as well. When starting out, fly the cheapest ship that will do the job and only pay for expensive upgrades once you're sure you can replace them. Also, keep in mind that no activity is 100% safe, mission runners can get scanned down and ganked and even an empty transport ship can become a target for a bored ganker.
NPC's in missions tend to be very predictable in their setups. For example, Gallente and Serpentis use only Kinetic and Thermal damage against you and are most susceptible to Kinetic and Thermal damage themselves; when they use any form of EWAR, it's always sensor dampening. It helps quite a bit if you set up your ship to deal damage that NPC's are vulnerable to and defend against what they will throw at you. Check out NPC damage types for a full description and a handy chart that you can keep in your Neocom Notebook.