Today I would like to take the time to talk about mission running inside of eve online. It is one of the common activities that both new and old players enjoy, and its one of the more unique variations of combat inside of eve for PvE. Additionally missions have the added benefit of reputation based rewards. All those however does not mention the main issues that are mission running in New-Eden.
Common Issues In Mission Running
Among these issues are underpaid rates for level one and level two missions, Optimization for credits to Loyalty Point (LP) rewards, and a rather noncompetitive selection in rewards for LP (in terms of players not really needing or being overly excited about some of the items).
As developers we understand that player base are efficient little ants that always look for the fastest way to acquire their completion of their goals, and that is part of our job to deal with but we should never allow a system in a game to fall to the point of becoming used for something it was not intended to be used for. If the LP system has moved to this type of usage by the player base and the development team does not want to look into ways to fix this, the LP system should be removed from eve.
LP Based Problems
In short the LP system serves nothing more then a means to make more credits (for most players). While there are some highly desirable rewards in the LP System (like battleships), a lot of the other stuff in there really does not serve to benefit the player much. It also does not really seem to provide anymore immersive value.
As a developer, I am not really a big fan of the whole way the 600,000 LP cost thing works, mainly because big numbers have a psychological effect on player base that is really powerful and often underestimated.
While the LP System is interesting, I really do not find it to be very engaging to the player experience either. The entire progression of missions, grinding reputation, repeating similar actions over and over is stale, much like a lot of eve’s content.
Unnecessary Progression Gating
A lot of the progression of missions seems to be gated behind a reputation system when its really not needed. I believe that the development team should look at changing the mission system in a few fundamental ways, of them is to remove the need for reputation to access higher level missions.
I would move to say that reputation should effect the outcome of a mission but it should look something like 2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 Providing a 20%, 25%, and 30% Bonus to completed missions credit value.
To be clear, players should be able to start the game and start level 3 missions the moment they want to and not be required to grind reputation levels to gain access to higher level missions. It may be interesting to gate specific types of agents behind specific reputation values as a way to make the progression of missions more exciting, but it should not limit credit making values.
Mission Income Rates
 The truth is the rates of income for missions at level 1 and 2 are utterly and unconditionally absurd. These values need to be changed ASAP and this is a dire problem for eve. I cannot fault the development team for more then laziness on this topic as this is likely a result of the inflation of eve (which their directly encourage and allow to happen).
I believe that all base level income rates of eve should be around 20 million an hour for high security space, with the exception of things that require significant amounts of Skill points (specifically incursions). This would mean that a few things in high security space need to be adjusted (either up or down) in this regards.
 Note: I have to think about this a little more but i actually find that level 1 and 2 missions are not needed and the development team should look at removing them outright from the game and starting the player base at level 3 missions with their current level of difficulty, and around twice its current pay (4–5 million credits per a mission).
Null Security Missions
One of the greatest things that Missions have going for itself is the potential it has to add an immense amount of immersion and depth to eve. I personally believe that the massive amounts of space that npc bodies have are destructive to the game. I would advocate a reduction in npc space to a cluster of 10–15 systems for all cases spread out in eve. The reason for this is because 1. it ties up area’s of null security space, and 2. It destroys the immersive value of having small, specialized “Faction based” area’s in eve.
I would advocate even to the point of the npc pirates in a system being change out from a region standard to the owning faction of those systems in ways to help improve the immersive value of the game, while adding missions around that.
With some improvements to the LP Items and system, and changing reputation-mission interactions to bonus credits, and making the missions more about side- story-line progression (even with voice overs) the mission based system would look more interesting and a lot more exciting.