Good evening all:
I just discovered this post tonight…and its excellent. I have done many HUNDREDS of Level 4 mining missions. It actually is my primary pastime in Eve Online. I have +8.0 and rising standing with Minmatar Mining, Material Acquisition, and Chemal Tech.
“Like Drones To A Cloud” - this is a gas mining mission which requires a Venture to complete. There are drone rats (including cruisers) which spawn in several waves. Once the waves are killed you can go AFK. NEVER run this mission fully AFK. I use a Venture specifically setup just for this mission (Ventures are cheap, you can afford this). I run with a DDA II in the lows, MSE II and AB II in the mids with survey scanner. RIGS are important. I run a field Purger, Ionic Field Projector, and Polycarbon. Ionic Field really gets your targeting range up, which sucks on the Venture. The sooner you can lock the drones, the faster you can send your drones. I used “Integrated” drones since Rogue Drones have weird resists. The Poly helps keep speed up and the orbit tight.
“Gas Injections” - gas mining mission NEVER spawns NPCs. This can safely be done somewhat AFK. I use a Prospect. Yes, I could use a Venture…but I want a reason to have a Prospect. In some systems, you can have TWO of this mission concurrently and complete BOTH in a Prospect.
Ice missions. As stated, 20000m3. I run a max-skill Endurance for these. It often requires two trips, but the Endurance is fast. You can also AFK with your Endurance orbiting the ice in full afterburner.
NOTE: I typically don’t run the ore missions. They take too darn long.
Best Level IV Mining Mission corps/systems:
** Minmatar Mining Corportation ** (Republic)
- ALDILUR system. FIVE, yes FIVE Level IV agents deep in the quietest backwater of the Republic. But its 0.9. But you can run several agents at once, and even if you decline, you are bound to get a good one. There’s a storyline agent several jumps away from MMC, but a closer one for a different corp. You can force MMC by getting a storyline on the closer agent and not accepting it until it expires. I lived out here for months. Its QUIET. And far from everything.
- GULFONODI system. One level IV agent and THREE Level III agents (only do the L3 ice mission) in a 0.5 system (best rewards). Molden Heath has a tiny high-sec area and its BUSY, so caution advised.
** Material Acquisition** (Gallente)
This one is insanely interesting. There are two excellent MA L4 operating areas. One is in a high-sec island in Placid at Ommaerrer. Theres a L4 and L3 located here, as well as a MA storyline agent. This is behind a FW pipe. I lived here as well. I never lost any of my frigates in the entry pipe from Stacmon ( I had gate safes). This pocket is extraordinarily quiet. The safer area is VALE. Vale has two L4s in a 0.7 system in the same station. Two jumps over there is a CHEMAL TECH L4 mining agent in a 0.9 system. Another two jumps away is a QUAFE L4 agent in a 0.5 system. The storyline agent in this pocket works for THE SCOPE. MA is my primary mining mission corp and I am grinding to 10.0 with them.
** Astral Mining** (Gallente)
There are FOUR L4 agents in AUFAY, which is 0.5 rated. This system is on the Jita-Dodixie trade route and is heavily camped with suicide gankers. I don’t advise doing mining missions here.
** Rapid Assembly** (Caldari)
In western Lonetrek there are two L4s one jump apart in 0.5 systems. RA is my favorite Caldari mining mission corporation. I haven’t run any missions for them in years as my present toon is Gallente-standing heavy.
Thukker Mix is absolutely viable. Their agent is behind ONE low-sec system. Getting frigates through there has never been an issue for me. +1 recommended.
My fleet: One Venture setup for 'Like Drones to a Cloud", one Endurance for L4 ice missions, one Prospect for “Gas Injections”, one Prospect SCF (small cargo freighter, fast cloaky cargo boat). I have an Astero for occasional exploration/combat site running. I don’t own any barges. I briefly tried a solo Porpoise, but its too slow for me.
TL;DR - mining missions are awesome! Great guide. Hope I added some content.