Grind Your StandingsForlorn Wongraven
In EVE Online, standings to NPC corporations are a cruel requirement to compete with other players. You need standings to anchor a POS in highsec, create jumpclones, gain access to Factional Warfare and to save ISK when market PvPing. Most players start with security missions when they enter the EVE universe. This experience is so terrible that many players will never touch missions again. Players adjusted to this mechanic and you can find services on the EVE-O offering to assist in the more common demands.
Distribution missions however are very good way to gain standings as well as earn good ISK and LP plus access to level 4 locator agents. Blockade runners, aka covert haulers, have been buffed recently with the increased warp speed changes and can now warp faster than interdictors. Using the good old MWD and cloak trick you can bypass nullsec gatecamps easily. A very basic covert hauler needs around two months of training time, that includes the needed social skills: Social 4, (Criminal) Connections 4, Distribution Connections 4 and Negotiation 4. All racial covert haulers are well suited for the job, so there is no need to train for a specific race. Also you don’t need any combat skills which minimizes training time.
If you are looking to make a trader alt you must ensure that you have standings to the NPC corp that holds the station that you want to trade in. With large racing volumes, grinding those standings will pay off quickly. Jita’s trade hub station requires standings with Caldari Navy while Amarr requires Empire Family standings. Both races are linked lorewise in the game so you can grind both faction without affecting each other. The same applies to Minmatar and Gallente. You can still avoid negative effects by ignoring the faction missions (called important storyline missions) that agents will offer you every nineteen missions, although it will make your grind take longer. Data centers in highsec offer further increase in standings as well as COSMOS missions.
Here is the list that I run whenever I need to create a new trader for Jita:
Lvl 1: Isenairos VI – Moon 9 – Caldari Navy Logistic Support
Lvl 2: Isenairos VI – Caldari Navy Logistic Support
Lvl 3: Isenairos VI – Moon 9 – Caldari Navy Logistic Support
Lvl 4: Teskanen IV – Caldari Navy Assembly Plant
Ahtulaima – Vaktan Sido: buy 3x Gurista Copper Tag
Saikanen – Rokuza Taman: buy 3x Gurista Copper Tag
Kamokor – Peeta Waikon: buy 3x Gurista Copper Tag
Lvl 2: Vahunomi – Cactus Mill Lookout – Jali Tanaka: buy 1x Broken Bug Device on contract
Lvl 2: Vahunomi – Cactus Mill Lookout – Mika Etsuya: buy on contract
30x Drifter Spur
500x Bag of Counterfeit Credits
5x Parts of Printing Machine
Lvl 3: Friggi – Clear Water Spring – Maro Yama: needs one NPC killed by an alt
Keep in mind that all level 4 distribution agents for Caldari Navy are in FW lowsec! Most often one mission will send you to a system that also has other level 4 distribution agents, so you can keep on bouncing back and forth. Empire Family does not have options for COSMOS and Data Centers, however level 4 agents are located in highsec, allowing you to grind semi-afk.
Lvl 1: Akes V – Moon 2 – Emperor Family Academy
Lvl 2: Riavayed II – Emperor Family Bureau
Lvl 3: Mimen X – Mimen VIII – Emperor Family Bureau
Lvl 4: Thashkarai VII – Moon 1 – Emperor Family Bureau
Grinding 8.0 standings for both Caldari Navy and Emperor Family will take around one week. This may sound long but that week is worth at least another 2 bil ISK when you sell your character later on the relevant bazaar as characters with a clean employment history are worth more.
As the income from distribution missions is focused on LP you can exploit this system further by doing those missions in nullsec for one of the NPC pirate factions. You need to push Social Skills to 5 to maximize your LP income though. When you are willing to commit more ISK into this there are a few nullsec agents that will always give you courier contracts to the same system. If you have two Blackops pilots with Cyno 5 you can skip the dangerous move via gates completely via covert bridges as you don’t have to move the bridge ships. By that way you are able to blitz couriers and you finish every mission in less than two minutes. Depending on your standing and skills you can earn enough LP to buy one pirate faction cruiser per hour with your little covert hauler. Not so bad for a 3 mil skillpoint alt.