Mining the Career Agent Missions
All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
Starting out a Trial Account Miner
I'm assuming for this part of the article that you have only a trial account. That will mean no Industrial ships which are designed for hauling large quantities of cargo. If you are starting a paid for account with no other characters setting you up with a nest egg, most of this will apply. The main difference is you'll want to get an Industrial into play as soon as possible.
This walk-through is based on a Gallente start. For other races, the series of missions I take though the Advanced Military missions to get to Weapons of Choice for the Gallente drones isn't necessary, but it will give you more punch for your combat on everything else you do in the Career Agent missions.
Start by remapping your default attributes to:
- Intelligence – 27
- Perception – 17
- Charisma – 18
- Willpower - 17
- Memory – 20
This will give your character the fastest training time in the industry skills or what we are most interested in, Mining.
Starting Skills that pertain to flying the Navitas:
- Gallente Frigate II – when in the Navitas, 20% bonus to mining turret yield per skill level.
- Mining II – 5% bonus to mining turret yield per skill level.
For Amarr and Caldari starts purchase Drones (17.800 isk) and Scout Drone Operation (36,000 isk) also. Then you'll need to buy a drone. Hobgoblin I is favored as the best drone to use. Gallente pilots may want to get Scout Drone Operation also and upgrade drones used.
Make sure you buy the skill books from one of the NPC sellers (expires in 354D plus) rather than an overpriced book from a player trying to make some money off of his mistake. On the other hand, some players will sell lower than the NPCs just to get something back.
Having skills with drones allows you to put a drone in the drone bay of the Navitas for self-defense. This holds true for the Caldari Bantam and Amarr Tormentor, also. Minmatar Burst cannot equip drones. One Hobgoblin I will easily handle the asteroid pirates you will run into during the most Career Agent missions.
Hull Upgrades will allow you to fit your ship with Expanded Cargohold I's. The mining frigate has the highest cargo capacity of all the frigates, so until you get a destroyer, it will be your hauler. It would be worth training Hull Upgrades up to level II to get the Expanded Cargohold II which will increase carrying capacity from +17.5% per extension to +27.5% per extension. It does come at a price though with each Expanded Cargohold II costing in excess of 500,000 ISKs. A Navitas without the modules will carry 236 m3, including the 5% bonus per frigate level. With the Expanded Cargohold I, 326 m3. With Expanded Cargohold II, 384 m3. If you plan on staying in the frigate, you could add up to three Small Cargohold Optimization I rigs, adding 15% each to the cargo capacity.
The Energy Grid Upgrades skill is needed for a Cap Recharger I. This module will allow you to recharge the capacitor faster allowing you to run everything without running out of energy. You can do without this initially, but in the long run, you will need this skill and Cap Recharger I's on all your frigates if you play Gallente.
Before you buy any of these items, show info on them, then click the Variations tab. Show market information on each variation to see if a meta variation is at a price you can afford. I managed to find 2 EP-S Gaussian I Excavation Pulse lasers (the meta 1 variant) for 5,500 isk each, while the Miner I was priced at 8,500 isk.
1 Miner I, around 8,500 ISKs 1 Hobgoblin I, around 3,000 ISK assuming you trained up Scout Drone Operations. Gallente capsullers will receive 2 Civilian Hobgoblin I's during one of the missions I'll lead you to. 2 Expanded Cargohold I, around 3,000 ISKs each 1 Cap Recharger, around 27,500 ISKs
Skills optional (if you have space to train after the needed skills are placed on the training docket): Gallente Frigate to level IV Mining to level IV
I should have been given Repair Systems in the initial missions given by Aura, but was not so I had to buy it to be able to repair my ship. I arrived at Clellinon with 7,000 isk, was given 2,000 isk for bounties from the Aura missions, then with that first Exploration mission received 87,000 isk. With 96,000 isk in my pocket I made my initial purchases: Repair Systems, Hull Upgrades, 2 Expanded Cargohold I and 2 EP-S Gaussian I Excavation Pulse lasers, leaving me with 825 isk in my wallet.
Of course you'll have other skills you need to train for the various missions. Go ahead and place those at the top of the training queue. They'll only take a few minutes.
Take the first Military mission, Cash for Capsuleers (1 of 10). You are still in a Velator with one blaster and Small Armor Repairer I. This mission will give you a railgun and more importantly more ammo. After killing off the required rats, return to station and mount a mining laser and swap the repairer for an expanded cargo hold. The Velator can't mount both mining lasers, so take along your blaster for self defense. You'll have between 4.5 and 4.75 hours before you have to complete the mission for the bonus ammo. Head back to the mission area and start mining. Set the timer on your jet can for 1.5 hours. Since you need to haul the ore in the rookie ship with a cargo capaciy of 141 m3 with the cargo module, you won't mine a lot because of the time it will take to haul it all. By the way, my mining pulses have a base extraction rate of 42 m3 per minute. With Mining II, the actual rate was 46.2 m3. Those little increases will add up the longer you mine.
Mining rates for meta upgrades:
There's also a racial miner and ORE miner, but they don't give anything more than the T1 and T2 respectively.
So, after 30 minutes mining, I decided to haul the ore into the station. Total veldspar mined was 16,146 which took 12 trips to haul over 35 minutes. I elected to sell it outright at 9.27 isk a unit and made 149,499 isk for 1 hour of work. If I had more to sell, I would have placed a sell order at 10 isk per unit. Actually if you can get 9 isk a unit on an immediate sell to one of the buy orders at the station, sell it outright. As it is, there were a couple of sellers selling low volumes at less then 10 isk. Sell the ore rather than refining it and selling the minerals. If you try to refine it, you'll have a lot of waste initially (27.5% waste). You'll also have high taxes at first. In missions where you need the mineral to complete it or build something, refine just what is needed. For all the ores except one, 333 units are needed for a refining operation. Kermite requires 400 units for refining.
Run the mission The Swap given by the Advanced Military Career Agent. After completing requirements the mission, you'll have around two hours before you have to officially complete the mission. Time to mine another 30 to 60 minutes and move everything to the station. Since I completed Mining III before doing this mission, my mining laser is now picking up 48.3 m3 a minute. I used another character for hauling. By chance he also has Mining Foreman III so I set him to be squad leader and squad booster for the last round of mining. Doing this, my mining inscreased to 51 m3. Total haul for the trip was 28,486 units sold at 9.27 each for a total of 261,424.57 isk after transaction tax.
I decided, rather than continuing the Advance Military line right now, I would to get a frigate with some lasting power. I've already got two mining lasers and two expanded cargohold modules, so I went back to the Exploration Career Agent to get the next mission, which provides a Navitas upon excepting the mission. Fitted to mine, I proceeded. I filled up the cargo hold with veldspar once I got to the room with it, but with the two accelerators to move through and the second one you have to slowboat to, decided not to spend any more time there. There's more mining to come. Take note, mining amount is now increased due to frigate level. I mine 67.62 m3 per laser each minute. Make that there's more serious mining to come.
Back to the Advanced Military agent.
Accept and complete A Friend in Need. Before accepting the next mission, The Stand, right click your active ship and Leave Ship. This will put you in a capsule. Head to the closest solar system that has at least two stations. Dock at each in your capsule, you'll have a new rookie ship waiting for you. At the second station, get in the ship and fly back to the first station. Transfer the civilian weapon to one ship and get into it. Equip both civilian weapons and trash the mining laser and rookie ship you are not in. Then fly your civilian equipped rookie ship back to the Advanced Military agent and accept The Stand. Tranfer the civilian weapons to the Atron you are given and equp a civilian shield booster if you have one.
Accept and complete Don't Look Back.
Finally we get to the real reason we are doing the Advanced Military missions first, Weapon of Choice. Hopefully you started training Drones when it was awarded to you, but if not it only takes nine minutes. Get that trained up before accepting the mission. In fact, train it to Drones II which will allow you to control two drones.
Fly the Velator for this mission because it will allow you to deploy two drones. If you have the Imicus, you can deploy three drones after training Drones III. While waiting for training, run as many Exploration missions as you can.
Once you have Drones II, accept the Weapons of Choice mission. Don't forget to put your drones in the drone bay. Complete it.
At this point I have a Navitas equipped with 2 meta 1 mining lasers, 2 expanded cargoholds, My Velator is equipped with 2 meta 2 railguns, a cap recharger, and a meta 2 armor repairer. I've also got 2 civilian Hobgoblins to transfer between ships as needed, 1 on the Navitas or 2 on the Velator. Between the mining and missioning, I've accumulated 1.2 million isks. I might be 20% done with the missions. I've trained to Mining III and have Mining IV and Gallente Frigate III in the training queue. Once I have Mining IV, I'll be picking up two Miner II modules for a huge increase of mining amount per laser. I'll continue training to Gallente Frigate IV, then train to Gallente Cruise II once I can afford a Vexor and mining drones. Time since character creation, 12 hours with sleep and family time interspersed in there.
You are all set to mine during the missions now. Complete the Exploration line to get the Imicus with it's base 320m3 cargo hold. Until you get a destroyer, it's the biggest hold you'll have. Most of the mining opportunities you have will be for veldspar. There are three missions where you can get other asteroids:
Military - Cash Flow for Capsuleers - Mission 6 of 10.
- Plagioclase refines to make Tritanium. Pyerite, Isogen
- Pyroxeres refines to make Tritanium, Pyerite, Mexallon, Nocxium
- Veldspar refines to make Tritanium
Advanced Military - Glue.
Industry - Making Mountains of Molehills (9 of 10).
Of these, Pyroxeres is the most important. Mine as much of it as you can. Nocxium will be needed in some of the manufacturing you need to do, and it's normally only available in low-sec systems. It's available on the market, but I've seen prices range from 500 isk to 900 isk for 1 unit.