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Anatomy of a Missioneer

November 2, 2012

Hi All,

I’m going to start with a disclaimer: I’m a proponent of not using websites to get mission guides – I’d much rather learn about my skills, my ship and what she can do, and apply it in game. React to the changing circumstances if you like. Yes, it does mean occasionally you will go all explody, but it also means you’re less likely to suffer from combat paralysis when something goes wrong.

Here’s a second disclaimer: nothing I write in the next wee while is intended as a slight towards any one or any particular play style. If there is one this I have learned in EvE online, and more to the point in the EvE blogosphere, it’s this: we’re an opinionated bunch of sods who show little hesitation in chewing the arm off someone we don’t agree with. Sometimes a little bit too much imho.

Last disclaimer – a lot of this is drawn from memories that are now over four years old… take with a pinch of salt.



Level 1 – Frigate Genesis

Here’s where we begin, wet behind the ears, not even having had a first pod goo change. Agents will look at you up and down, snort quietly, and hand you a mission where your opponents have so little hull integrity, they just about explode spontaneously when you warp in. That or moving random cargo about from system to system. Did I mention I hate dolls… and mutant cows… and scientists? Don’t even mention the word damsel to me.

You’re learning more of the basics. Warp to zero. Targeting. Activating weapon systems, approaching your target… the really basic basic stuff.


Level 2 – Frigate Nemesis

It’s right in your first L2 mission you are suddenly smacked in the face with the limitations of both frigates and destroyers. These missions aren’t just harder by a degree or two, but by a factor of five. You learn to hate webbing and scramming frigates almost instantly and start training the next tier of ships.

You commence training on cruisers, and become more aware of maximizing your survival chances by using the bonuses to the hulls you fly. Fitting your ship well starts to become as important as flying it well. The synergies between fitting, skills and tactics become more apparent. Tanking and mobility become more serious considerations and you start to focus on different tactics to deal with problems as they arise. Secondary weapon systems are started to be trained.


Level 3 – Dawn of the Battlecruiser/T2

Another step up, and a harder transition than previously. By now you will be well aware of gunnery issues – optimal and fall off and will be actively seeking to apply your DPS is best you can. You will be aware of the rats you are facing and actively tuning the damage type you do to hit their weakest resist (missiles, projectiles and to a lesser extent, lasers).

You will either be in a battlecruiser by now, or should have cruiser V tied off to enable T2 cruisers, and will be have most if not all major applicable skills to level 4 if not 5 – weapons and their specializations, tanking, and the sometimes badly undervalued navigation and capacitor skills.

Combat awareness is now significantly increased and you will be conversant with aggro management and triggers. You should be very aware of exactly how much punishment your ship can take and how to ease the pressures on your systems should you get into trouble.

Aligning in preparation for bugging out is now done on pure reflex and you have methods to deal with scrammers and webbers. You’re now more confident with your UI and will start to play with in game settings, shifting to sort by distance or by ship type or for travel as needed.


Level 4 – Battleship

This time it’s not a change of a factor of five. This time the step up is more like a factor of ten. You suddenly find that the battlecruiser that was tearing L3s apart is not going to cut it. Either the tank isn’t good enough to survive for long, or your DPS is too anemic to kill fast enough. Sometimes both. If you are lucky enough to complete the mission, it still takes hours to do.

The decision is made to step up. Into the big time and play with the big boys. You spend the iskies buy the skill books and outlay for that hull you’ve been desiring for so long. Once its fitted up how you want it, you warp into your first L4 in your shiny new battleship…


Try again…


Your learning suddenly encompasses limitations of the ship class. You find out that the massive increase in sig radius from the ships you were flying means that you take the incoming DPS. ALL of it. You’re too slow to mitigate much by speed. You find out that the sig radius and explosion velocity of your missiles or the sig radius and tracking speed of your guns mean that you might do great DPS, but can have problems applying it, especially to smaller hulls.

You become that much more aware of just how much each skill means and delay further L4 missions until you’ve spent the week or two upskilling to 4 in weak areas. Decisions are made to take skills to 5 and Marauders start to become a serious consideration as do Carriers and Dreadnoughts (Battleship V being a prerequisite). Level 5 missions or higher level anomalies are possible with corp or alliance members.

By now, you will have figured out (or asked) how to add tabs to your UI, and freely switch between general travel, belts, planets/moons and PVP tabs. You’ll have distance, speed and transversal always showing and will make target choices based largely on that. You may decide to use the overlay instead for combat information and triage. These things will help you immensely in PvP if you should choose that path as well.

You will know to choose ship types based on location and fit accordingly, microwarp drive or AB fit. Web, scram, cap booster. Battleships in low sec are, as an example, just asking for trouble. You will know how to use d-scan, set safe spots and travel between them.Ā  Your collection of bookmarks will have increased significantly. And you will know aggression mechanics and the capabilities of various hulls whether flown by AI or by player.

Above all else, you will know how to fly your ship well. Really well. To the point where the missions that used to take hours can be done in 30 or less. You may choose to focus more on DPS to maximize your killing speed, confident in your in game skills as a pilot and in the knowledge of how your ship performs under pressure.

All to often the role of missioneer is scorned in EvE. I say one thing to those of you who have spent the time and the energy and the effort to learn to fly so well:


Welcome to EvE. Capsuleer.





From → Eve Online

  1. -K- permalink

    “you will be conversant with aggro management and triggers” <- this, right here… you funny šŸ˜›

    Ok so the normal progression never applied to me. Never did work out if I was a pampered pet or some bizarre experiment gone horribly wrong… or perhaps just comic relief? But being thrown in at the deep end and working it out backwards was fun too. Sorry about the extra grey hairs I caused but I know I was worth it šŸ˜‰

    Interesting to see your take on how it normally goes, even though I know you are not being honest about the damsel.

    • Says the girl with the Scarlett fixation ;P

      I’m not sure there is a normal progression as such. Each faction has quite a different style. I spent quite a bit of time speed tanking in a Vexor and letting Hammerheads work their way through the room, and other alt was all about laz0rs and how fast I could cycle the guns… so…

      Yeah, about those grey hairs, just remember to check cargo for ammo before undocking, m’kay…?

  2. -K- permalink

    Yeah I have a thing going with Scarlet, *I* ‘aint denying it šŸ˜› Have her lined up and waiting for me right now in fact!

  3. -K- permalink

    you know I’m always happy for you to join us šŸ˜‰

    • Damn shame that my available time has shrunk dramatically… any guesses where I’m stuck at present?

  4. -K- permalink

    hmmm…. being as its 2 in the morning and you are online… I’m guessing NOT where you want to be!

  5. -K- permalink

    but the upside being you get ME for company!

  6. -K- permalink

    yeah…. cause Im NEVER up at 2am Aus time šŸ˜›

  7. -K- permalink

    Do not! left to my own devices I will sleep for a solid four hours every single day šŸ˜› Not MY fault others impede my reality so that the time it happens is variable. You on the other hand, you’re just weird šŸ™‚

  8. -K- permalink

    you missed a good night…. but no amount of alcohol will erase the creepy clown! what has been seen and all that!

  9. -K- permalink

    lol like it COULD be anyone else!

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