The Agency is a neocon app that allows capsuleers to search for and engage organized EVE game content. New capsuleers are introduced to The Agency by the game. Once docked at a station for the first time, players receive instructions on how to access the user interface. This includes using The Agency to open the new player tutorial: the The Seeker Investigation.
The Agency allows a player to find the majority of EVE organized game content in New Eden. Activities are split into several categories and include filters that can further refine searches into the specific content the capsuleer may be looking for. Categories include "Agents and Missions", "Encounters", Exploration", "Resource Harvesting" and "Tutorials". A player corporation dashboard is also available.
Agents and Missions
A mission is a task assigned to the player by an NPC "agent". The agent describes the task and specifies rewards for its completion. There are different kinds of missions, each with its own set of agents. (For example, a mining agent may assign you the task of mining a certain amount of ore and returning it to the agent's station.)
There are different kinds of agents, each with its own set of missions.
- 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 the EVE's various activities.
Note: Mission Agents and Agent Finder access the same information. Mission Agents shows a separate button for each type of mission. Agent Finder has an option field that lets you select the type of mission. Both present the same mission offerings from the same agents.
In general, "encounters" are fleet combat actions. Although at least one encounter is a single player activity (solo deadspace), and most Level 4 missions are done with fleets, the encounters listed in this section are best thought of as group efforts. Because of this complexity, most players find it worthwhile to read about a particular kind of encounter before trying it out.
- Incursions (PvE) - an ongoing pirate invasion that spreads across a group of solar systems and requires substantial fleet action to subdue. Somewhat comparable to high end "raids" in other online games, incursions, which frequently last for days, are complicated, difficult, lucrative and engrossing. Very few skills are needed to join an incursion fleet as a picket (scout), though high skills and advanced ships are needed for the actual combat.
- Faction Warfare (PvP) - ongoing warfare between factions pits players against other players in certain specified solar systems throughout EVE. Although solo participation is possible, most faction warfare is conducted via player corporations.
- Pirate Strongholds (PvE) - a pirate structure suddenly appears in a system and begins to harass the occupants. Players form fleets to attack the structure, which is strongly defended. When the structure dies, every member of the fleet receives a substantial reward.
- Abyssal Deadspace (PvE) - somewhat analogous to "dungeons" in other games, an abyssal deadspace pocket can be entered by one, two or three players. The players have a limited amount of time to clear the NPCs from the pocket before it collapses (killing everyone).
Exploration is a broad category of activities that mostly have to do with searching for and acquiring various items of value that can be sold to other EVE players. Acquiring these items may involve combat, explosions, and puzzle solving. Exploration is not as organized as mission running, nor as consistently productive as mining, but it can provide considerable excitement and may produce extremely valuable loot.
- Combat Anomalies - pirate or other NPC sites that contain loot and, usually, NPC combat units. These appear occasionally in most systems and can be located with your ship's built-in directional scanner.
- Cosmic Signatures - hidden NPC sites of unknown origin, these can only be located with a probe scanner. Generally, these are more difficult but more lucrative than combat anomalies.
- Escalations (if available) - also known as "expeditions", these are more advanced combat sites that appear occasionally at the completion of a regular site. Escalations are chains of up to four sites, each of which has a random chance of appearing, and each of which is located in a system with lower security than its predecessor.
- Project Discovery - a unique enterprise where players can solve puzzles that are directly connected to real world projects.
- Triglavian Space - a new and dangerous region of space that offers solo PVE with high rewards.
These activities direct you to areas where you can mine or otherwise collect raw materials that can be refined into products useful to EVE industrialists. Resource harvesting is a common method of making ISK in EVE.
- Asteroid Belts - shows the number of asteroid belts in nearby systems along with the types of ore available. Also identifies the pirate factions that may attack you while mining there. Options let you specify distance, security status and type of ore.
- Ore Anomalies - lists "unknown ore anomalies" in nearby systems. These contain ore types not usually found in this particular area.
- Ice Belts - lists the locations of nearby ice belts. Note that ice mining requires special skills and equipment.
- Planetary Production - lists planets available for mining. Allows you specify the type of planet(s). Note that planetary mining requires special skills and equipment.
- This button opens the "Seeker Investigation", a set of missions designed to introduce new players to EVE. You can ONLY activate the Investigation from inside your starting solar system.
- This may be shown in the upper right region of the agency box. If present, it opens a detailed information window for your corporation. If you are in an NPC corporation, the Dashboard will show the Recruitment window.
Some of the content options have filters that allow you to tailor the information to fit your interests. The two most widely used are:
- Distance - which refers to a number of jumps from your current system
- Security Status - which refers to the safety level (highsec, lowsec, etc.) of a system.
In some cases filters may also allow you to select EVE regions, factions, corporations, ore types or other identifying criteria that can be used to limit your search. These are usually self-explanatory - an example of how they are used can be found on the Agent Finder page.
The following image shows the filters on the Resource Harvesting/Asteroid Belts option. But, really, the best way to learn how the agency filters work is to open it and try out the various elements.