The Cranky Sysadmin A world of technology, fun, and ignorant rants.

July 26, 2010

EVE: The Great Standings Grind of Summer 2010

Filed under: Eve-Online — Cranky Sysadmin @ 8:10 am

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you’ll know that I am working on increasing my standings with several R&D corps. I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting and I’ve wasted a lot of time doing things inefficiently.

I’ve been reading a lot of forum posts about how to efficiently grind standing. Some folks suggest courier missions. Some folks suggest doing level 3 combat missions. Here is my list of grinding methods from worst to best based on my skills.

  • L3 or L4 courier missions. These things are just awful. They give you a very small amount of standings increase, and the rewards are horrible. On the forums, you’ll hear people tell you that they can knock off 10 of these an hour and get a storyline every 2 hours. In my experience, it doesn’t work out this way. The cargo size ranges from 3000m3 to 8000m3, and the number of jumps ranges from 1 jump to 7 jumps. With a mid level agent, I was averaging 4 to 5 jumps. Each trip took about 10 minutes on average in a blockade runner. I shudder to think how long it would take in a hauler. Also, none of the courier agents give out just courier missions. There are combat missions and mining missions as well. Since my indy pilot can’t do combat missions, I had to pass on those, which means I had to take the mining missions. This brings me to the next best group of missions.
  • L4 Mining missions. If you’re well skilled, have at least a covetor and a hauler alt, you can knock off any of the mining missions in about 30 – 45 minutes. The standings increase for the time is somewhat better then courier missions, and the LP awards are better. It’s like watching paint dry though, and some of the missions involve an initial bit of combat to remove pirates or rogue drones.
  • L3 Combat missions. They give about the same standings increase and awards as an L4 mining mission, but they take about 10-15 minutes to run on average including overhead. If you’re just looking for standings, don’t bother looting unless it’s while you’re killing stuff. I pass on the faction related missions, since my caldari and amarr standings are pretty low now. I still need to be able to fly in their space.
  • L4 Combat missions. If I had gone with my gut instead of reading some forum posts, I would have gone with these whenever I could. If you’re reasonably skilled, you can complete L4 combat missions in 30 minutes on average (including blitzing some). The standings increases are more then double L3 combat missions, and the rewards and loot (where you’re looting while killing) are much better.┬áIf you have to pass on faction combat missions, you may want to find a place where there are 2 agents nearby for those times when you get 2 faction missions in a row. Currently, I’m bouncing between a good L3 and L4 agent 2 jumps apart.

The lesson is that if you have combat skills, you should consider sticking with combat agents for any standings grind where they are available. EVE is not a perfect world, so sometimes you’ll have to do missions in a suboptimal way because no other agents are available. Usually though, you can find at least a L3 combat agent for any corp to make things go faster.

My methodology was probably a bit flawed, since my indy and combat pilot are fleeted up for combat missions, and my indy pilot was doing the courier/mining missions alone. This actually makes the combat missions even better if you can do them alone.

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