Making Money with Hauling - Level 4 Cargo Missions
There are few good ways to make easy ISK if you are new to Eve. One of these ways is to run cargo missions with a specific corporation, eventually up to Level 4 cargo missions.
Find an agent
Firstly you need to find a corporation having Level 4 agents within the Distribution division.
There used to be three divisions that commonly gave courier missions: Accounting, Archives and Production. Most agents with these divisions were converted to the Distribution division.
To use https://www.eve-agents.com, pick Distribution as the division, select 'Level 4' and maybe search in a specific jump range of your current mission system. Avoid choosing agents which are highlighted in red, as they will send you into low sec systems. A good agent should be in high sec, and best in a lower security system (0.5 or 0.6) with high sec systems around him. If you are not sure about the systems around an agent, either use the in-game map or check the 2D maps available at https://www.evemaps.dotlan.net/.
For instance, if Aldrat were our system of choice and we wanted an agent in close proximity, our could be Hela Tashotsu from Caldari Business Tribunal in Urnhard I. This means you would need an effective standing of at least 5.0 with this corporation to run his/her missions.
Raise your corporation standing to the required level
Once a target corporation has been determined, you may have to increase your standing. You can either run Level 1/2/3 missions to raise your standing, or alternatively find a Unista already running missions for this corp. Level 4 combat pilots will get you up very quickly and you could offer the pilot in question to salvage his missions for him until your standing goals are achieved.
Suggested ships for normal distribution missions
The cargo volume in L4 distribution missions measures between 0.1 m³ (Tidings of Conflict) and 8000 m³ (Beefing Up).
The skills necessary to run the normal missions are pretty low. As soon as you can fly a reasonably-sized industrial, you're good to go, within your first week of your EVE time even. And it's cheap.
If you want to minimize travel time train for a Blockade Runner (Prorator, Crane, Viator, Prowler) and fit Inertial Stabilizers II and Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizers II due to the fast align (around 3s) and warp speed (around 11 AU/s). If cargo capacity is not sufficient, swap lows for Expanded Cargohold II modules which brings their cargo capacity with skills above 8000 m³ for the larger missions.
Suggested ships for storyline distribution missions
An Industrial with some cargo rigs and cargo expanders can easily fit 20.000 m³ enabling storyline missions in two runs when splitting cargo. Some Industrials (Iteron Mark V,Bestower,Tayra,Mammoth) can fit more than 40.000m³ with Medium Cargohold Optimization II enabling the larger cargo storyline mission in a single run. Deep Space Transports (Occator,Bustard,Mastodon,Impel) have a 50.000 m³ fleet hangar and can single run large storyline distribution missions too.
There appear to be 3 types of L4 storyline missions:
- The implant mission - You have to get 8000 Kernite to your agent to finish it and you get a +4 implant (20 mil) as reward. Most of the time you can buy the Kernite straight from the agent's station.
- The 40.000m³ cargo mission - Usually the cargo is split into several sealed containers. Perform about 4 Jumps and you get a 5 mil time reward.
- The combat mission - Fairly rare to occur. Should you be unable to perform it yourself, you may want to consider asking another Unista for assistance as the loot and salvage from these missions is very profitable. If not, you can always decline it (once every 4 hours).
Profit and rewards
With Negotiation V trained, the average reward is 400.000 ISK per L4 mission including time bonus in a 0.6 security status system. For L4 distribution missions you will nearly always be sent to another constellation for delivery. However this can just be 1 jump away depending on constellation layout. The average mission round-trip seems to be between 3 and 8 minutes depending on the length of the route (as determined by constellation layout). Very rarely, the agent may send you to a destination within the same system e.g. Tidings of Conflict (2 of 2) L4 Courier Mission.
As you run your missions, you will pile up LPs. These average about 450-1050 per mission in high security space depending on mission and security level of the agents systems. The LP payout can be increased via the Distribution Connections skill by up to 50%. You will also gain a story line mission about every 16 missions of the same type from the same agent possibly every 90-120 minutes manually jumping with good skills and a fast Blockade Runner .
Additional interesting points
To get the most out of running these missions, you should increase the related Social skills increasing your rewards and LP gain. Train Distribution Connections Skill (around 25million isk) to increase the LP gain.
Always be aware the destination system's security status! It may happen that your destination system falls into low sec once in a while. You may want to risk running the mission if you are equipped for it, however under normal circumstances it would be safer to decline it (once every 4 hours).
You can safely decline a mission every 4 hours without negative consequences; however sometimes you may be faced with 2 unsuitable missions in quick succession. You then have to sit out the countdown, run some hauling contracts as an alternative or use an alternative agent if available. Your choice.
As a final comment, always be aware of the elementary safety rules during your hauling missions; such as no autopilot, no Industrial if you don't have to. Shuttles/frigates are much faster and difficult to point.
Missioning 101: https://www.wiki.eveuniversity.org/Missioning_101