Mean Sisters

The Sisters of EVE are a well-known charitable organization in New Eden, every capsuleer has (or should have) completed their mission arc (Blood Stained Stars).  In my own fiction story, I imagine them to rescue crew capsuleers after fights and I always had a soft spot for them in my heart.

When they came out with their own amazing ship design, it was clear that I needed one.  They are what we need in wormhole space, they look phenomenal and by golly, I need a new project.  Nothing wrong with C4 wormhole space but even the best content in New Eden gets repetitive.  But how to get a ship like that?  That is a problem. I know as much about manufacturing in New Eden as a Tea Party member knows about healthcare only I admit my shortcomings freely and with glee.  Other members of my mighty alliance are well accomplished in “making things” and they told me that Blueprints are the magic and that the key to Blueprints is standing with the faction that sells them.

Oh.  Standing.  I knew there was a problem.

Well, quick check how my standings are with the lovely girls and it turns out to be +6.5.  How the frack did that happen?  I have done a few missions for them years ago but other than that ignored them.  If it doesn’t fly in a wormhole, generally I don’t interact with it.  But no matter.  The ladies like me.  I could run Level 4 missions and earn standings, Loyalty Points and ISK easily.

Really.  I remember my last lvl 4, it cost me my Dominix.  I had been locked out of WH space for a few days (that was when we lived in a C4/C4).  The Domi died due to a combination of bad fit, bad piloting and bad luck.  Unbeknownst to me, CCP had changed the aggro mechanics and my drones were blown up by the mission rats extremely quickly.  Which left my Domi flopping in the breeze, webbed, scrammed and painted.  And mobbed by like 20 battleships.

In addition, the poor sisters only have a single high sec LvL 4 agent, in Osmon.  Low sec agents are obviously out of the question, any decent pirating corp will scan down a mission boat in seconds – unless they blow it up on the station undock.  Nullsec stations the same, in addition they are owned (rumor has it) by the goons.  So, it can only be high sec.

But the story went around that Osmon has turned into a cesspit for EVE’s finest scum preying on mission runners and while I know how to defend myself, I just can’t be bothered.  If I wanted PvP, I would have stayed in my hole.

To the rescue came Eve Hermit who posted an update I had not seen – the Sisters promoted two of they lvl 2 agents to lvl 4.  That’s nice of them.

It turns out that my alliance mates also headed out of their holes but that their standings were lacking, they started farming level 3s first and I decide to join them.  I blow the cobwebs off a Myrmidon I had in storage for a while.  Now, that is a lovely ship, just needs a bit of love and new fittings and out I go to run missions.  That I see this day.

And it turns out, running these level 3 missions is actually not so bad if you forget about looting and salvaging.  They are fast, efficient and we have 3 fleet mates running missions in parallel, this means, we get LP and standing very quickly.  My colleagues run this in Hurricanes and blow the little crosses up without regard to triggers or style whereas I take a slightly more methodological approach and manage my drones carefully.

Mission running isn’t as bad as people make it.  Lets do LvL 4!

Well, my replacement Dominix really had bad fits and I could not hit a planet with these guns when I flew it last time.  I never really trained “Large Anything” for my wormhole pilot and lack the skills to fly T2 heavies or T1 T2 sentry drones that seem to be required for this boat.

After some internet searches and mucho ISK onto the market,  this is the fit I came up with in the end (click to embiggen):

I am no fitting warrior but this seemed to work with decent balance between tank and gank.  Getting neuted out is an issue and simply overwhelmed with DPS is the other.  But it is a comparably cheap fit and plays on the Domi’s strength for drone damage and active repair.  I actually toyed with using T2 medium rails (I can’t use T2 large) and am still not decided which ones to use.

To test the fit, I headed back to my old hub and accept a LvL 4 for the Federal Intelligence Office.  I breeze through it, having actually a bit of fun and the payback is decent enough.

With the Domi, I make my slow way over to the Sister’s station and request a mission. Damn, low sec mission. I won’t even get into the system without a PvP fleet, let alone be able to complete it. So, decline the mission and request next.  Ok, not low sec this time but apparently, Amarr standing loss. I can take it, the Amarr really don’t like me but they have not started shooting yet (unlike my former corp mate Aurelie, who regularly left befuddled Amarr Navy on the exit of our hole when she ran their gauntlet.  They really didn’t like her at all).

The mission is slow and deliberate but the Caldari / Amarr rats don’t pay any bounty.  We are not here for ISK but it would have been nice, I won’t take the time to salvage and loot.  God knows where my Noctis is anyway, I lost track of it during all the wormhole moves I have done.

My fleet mates grind through their Lvl 3 elsewhere and I can hear them pop them like balloons while I am still micromanaging my drones in the first wave.  This is not efficient at all.  Finally, I finish but the damage is done, my standing with Amarr dropped like a stone.  

Ouch.  I am at -4.62 now with only my Diplomacy skill raising it to -2.29.  I am docked (!) in an Amarr station.  If I am not careful, I keep running these missions until their Navy blows me up on the undock.

And I damn well know how long it takes to raise the standing again.  I have done it before when I was pretty close to -5 with these religious clowns and I am not doing that again.  Hours of mindless mission grinding, every 16 or so mission generates a new “special” one, miles away that will increase the standing but likely kill my good reputation with the Gallente.

And the payout?  We have no idea yet just how much LP one need for a blueprint. Maybe 200,000?  I am currently at 13,000, just twice what I started with yesterday.  It will take me weeks to farm for this Blueprint and many more weeks to grind my standing back up to a point where I can safely travel through Amarr space.

Calculating it like this makes me realize just how broken the mission system is in EVE – but also just how trivial it is to fix.  CCP of course only cares about the nullsec blocs and their whims – after all, according to some, only nullsec generates the marketing the company needs – but

For the love of Bob, please CCP, spend 1 scrum on missions.


7 responses to “Mean Sisters

  1. If you use sentries the micromanagement becomes much less since you don’t have to worry about travel time to recall your drones. When you enter the mission wait until you draw aggro to drop your drones. Also the Republic Fleet bouncers are a pretty good substitute for t2 sentries. I’m actually running sisters missions myself right now! Those ships are beautiful…

    • Thanks Yooch, I had no idea sentries came as a faction variant. I’ll check them out! And if you see me in space, convo me, maybe we can farm these this together…

  2. In all honesty, why bother? As a corpmate continually reminds me: opportunity cost.

    You might find it’s just better to earn iskies by your fastest method and then buy what you want later on.

    Might have to wait a week or two until costs stabilze though…

    And yes. Sentries!

    • Agreed on sentries…

      But if we are talking pure return on investment, I should go to McDonalds, flip burgers for a day, buy some plex and purchase what I want. ISK is not what drives my game time. Creating and experiencing content is.

      The concept of getting some blueprints, then work with my corp and alliance mates to bake the ships and take them – hot from the factory – onto their maiden voyage across wormholes would be more personal than just buying them from Jita. I expect, btw, that their price will be far lower than most faction ships, precisely because the LP is so easy to grind. No, this isn’t about ROI. This is about a computer game.

      • Then that is a very worthy goal in and of itself. I thought that way too a while back.. before RL threw a spanner in the works. Being so time poor can really diminish the choices you have.

        Besides which, the grinding… ugh… not again…

    • @ Anon, yes, I know. The reputation grind is not pretty – especially when you treat it as a side project. I had intended to stay out of my WH only for the weekend…

  3. Aye, the navy Garde’s hit up to 50km with 3 omni’s in the mids. A 100mn mwd and a MJD makes getting around easy, but your tank is non-existent. I throw 4 DDA’s on, 1 large AR II and a DCU II. No cap. No tank. But that’s how I ran missions when I wanted to practice with the new MJD. Fleet Bouncers are sweet too. Insane range. Just burn back to 80km after you mjd and sit back.

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