Sansha Grind

I’ve seen a couple of blog posts about grinding in EVE over the last week and by and large they say that grinding isn’t something that really applies to EVE. Afterall, you can always choose something else to do. I call this hogwash.

In my Empire past I spent time grinding missions to improve standings to be able to get my corp into faction warfare, and to be able to anchor towers in low sec. I made money at the same time, and improved my piloting skills, but it was a grind. Yes there was the distraction of a few hours mining relief, or hoping into a wormhole, but the nagging need to improve standings was always there, and it was a grind.

I’m now back in that position. We are down in Sansha NPC space, there are good quality agents here offering bucket loads of loyalty points for level 4 missions. In fact they offer plenty for level 1 missions from terrible quality agents. The problem I have is that in the past I have eliminated Sansha’s fleets as a matter of course. This gave me a faction standing with them of -3.5, taking diplomacy into account. In order to use anything but the worst quality, level 1, agents you need to have agent, corp, and faction standing of -2.0 or greater. So I am now in the position of needing to increase my faction standing to be able to take real advantage of the space we are in.

I’m not a great believer in alts, its enough to run a single account and I begrude paying for something I’m not going to use, so in order  to do this I need to rehabilitate my main. I could take advantage of my corp mates and join in with there missions, and may end up doing this in the end, but to start with I thought I’d look at it myself. Afterall, this was something that CCP had improved when they introduced the pirate faction mission arcs.

I found a couple of systems next to each other with True Power agents with low enough quality that I could access them 5 jumps from home. I zipped out there in my Arazu with plenty of ammo and a can do attitude. I’d grind away and soon get my standing up. I worked through the missions; killing DED agents, animal rights fanatics, and rogue repair stations. I was then contacted by an agent asking me to do a job for him. A storyline agent, I’d get some standings increase. I messed this up a little, losing an Arazu because I forgot that there was such as thing as mining drones, but managed it in the end. I didn’t check the standings increase at first, I was working through more missions to get the next storyline one.

After completing the second storyline mission I checked my Sansha’s Nation standing. It was now -3.44. So 32 normal missions, and 2 storyline missions had raised my standings a whole 0.06%. I quick calculation showed that in order to be use any other agents I’ll need to run 800 level 1 missions and the 50 corresponding storylines. With all of the other issues of living in 0.0 this just isn’t worth it. So I guess I’ll go back to ratting and leave the delights of Phantasms and Nightmares to everyone else.

I think that this standings work constitutes grind. Without a degree of meta gaming its next to impossible to rehabilitate standings with any of the pirate factions. There’s no way I can do it with my main given the current rules without devoting a couple of months to the job. If CCP really want to encourage the use of pirate agents then they need to revisit this. There has to be some level at which having a high level of corp standing balances out the negative faction standing. I could conceivably have a corp standing of 5+ but still have a faction standing of -3, given current progress. Surely its logical that the corp I’m working for would trust me to some extent, perhaps apply the negative faction standing as a modifier to the corp standing, giving me an adjusted value of 2 in the above case?

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2 Responses to “Sansha Grind”

  1. Why not run 4s with corp mates who have the required standing? You’ve mentioned this in your post but you seem to have decided to quit without giving this a go.

  2. I wanted to see how difficult it would be without doing that, as an experiment. It looks as though its an unrealistic grind to rehabilitate standings without either corp mates that have good standings, or making use of alts.

    I’ll experiment further with corp mates, though this may take a while due to other issues that will appear in a later post, and provide an update based on that.

    I still think that there are issues in the standings system with respect to faction standing. The storyline mission mechanism generates grind.

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