I tried a few missions out.
This was sloooow.
The first agent mining mission required 2000 m^3 of ore, and the Navitas only holds 280 m^3. I deployed my mining drone (just one, since that’s all that fits in the Navitas drone bay) and also user a mining laser, and had no issues the first two trips.
The third time out, working towards collecting 2000 m^3 of ore, there were Serpentis pirate NPCs. They seemed to ignore my mining drone, so I flew in to fight them with my lone railgun. It was slow but I defeated both, and docked to offload my ore.
I did this another 3 or 4 times, and had to battle NPCs about half the time. That’s just a nuisance when it already takes a while between multiple trips out.
I’m not sure how to speed this up besides flying a bigger ship with enough room for lots of weapons and mining lasers (hm… maybe the Catalyst with its larger number of high slots?) so I can plow through the NPCs and then mine.
Still, spending ~1 million ISK for a Catalyst, just to mine… I think I’ll delay that plan for a while.
I traveled to Harerget and Lirsautton to speak to R&D agents. Unfortunately, both turned me away with the cryptic comment “You don’t have the skills to match mine.” I wasn’t sure what the meant specifically, so I googled to find if others hit this problem.
I did a quick standing check and was neutral (0.32) to both agents, who were with the same NPC corporation Creo-Don. I checked their research skills, and found the problem: Wemire Ghynosseil specializes in Electromagnetic Physics and Electronic Engineering, and Pesteneye Onfraville researches Electronic Engineering and Plasma Physics. Each of those skill books is around 9 to 10 million ISK, meaning I cannot afford a single one (I’m down to ~8 million ISK after buying some Planetary Interaction skill books).
So much for R&D missions; I’m not going to be doing those!
These sorts of missions involve carrying cargo to a destination; sometimes it is one hop away, sometimes it is several. They don’t pay that well, but then they are easy, except for the risk of entering low-sec, which some missions require.
My 2nd Level II distribution mission took me into low-sec, and on the way back after delivering the cargo, another pilot shot and destoyed my ship. Right after a gate jump, I was warp scrambled and destroyed with 4 heavy missiles from someone flying a Tengu. (I found that out after the fact by digging around the logs EVE creates. It happened so fast in game I could barely react).
I see now from a careful reading of the Kill Rights page, in low-sec your ship can be targeted and shot at without generating kill rights or a criminal flag, just not your pod. I also searched and found that a Tengu is a Tech III Strategic Cruiser… vs me in Tech I Frigate. I can only hope that the ordnance used to destroy me cost more than my Navitas.
Anyway, getting destroyed in low-sec: that’s EVE for you!
After the distribution mission kill, I’m rethinking my goals. I’m not very wealthy and need to find some reasonably fun way to make money so I can afford fancier skillbooks, ships, modules, etc. I’m kinda leery of going into low-sec now, especially in a bigger and more expensive ship where the loss would really hurt – losing a Catalyst or Algos would be a major chunk of my ISK. Yes there is insurance, but it only recovers about 1/2 the cost of another ship, new insurance, and replacing lost modules.
Ironically, distribution missions are the most viable low-sec ones, because I can do them in cheap frigates fit with nothing. The only issue would be getting destroyed on the way to the delivery and losing the cargo.