I tried 3 Security II missions, with mixed results.
(I forgot the name of this mission.)
For the first one, I had to run away a few times to avoid getting destroyed. It lengthened the fight a bit, but in the end I defeated several waves of attackers and hung around to salvage their wrecks. Net profit was nearly 1 million ISK, between earning the mission payoff, mission bonus, and selling stuff I salvaged.
The second mission was much tougher, featuring a sensor dampening tower I could never get close enough to blow up. The mission was to break a blockade, and I lost count of the number of waves that showed up, at least 4 or 5, each consisting of 5 or 6 enemies. Most of the time I could only defeat one or two before I had to dock to repair.
Unfortunately I was overwhelmed in one of those waves and lost the Catalyst. That hurt given I only had about 8 million ISK at the time. I had insured my ship, but after purchasing another one, purchasing the modules (salvager, 6x150mm railgun, small shield booster, small armor repairer), and of course repairing so many times, I was down quite a bit of ISK overall.
After getting setup again, I went back and tried to finish the mission. When I had the group that killed me down to 2 or 3, another huge number warped in! Once again I was overwhelmed and lost another Catalyst.
This mission was just tedious and miserable, not fun at all.
I gave up due to running out of time (real life, not in-game for the bonus) – after returning to the station to repair for the umpteenth time, I just logged off. It would have taken another hour or more, to grind down the numbers one by one, and I didn’t have time to do it.
I googled around and found this mission: The Blockade. Apparently it is quite difficult.
Breaking the Slave Trade
This mission was easier than The Blockade, but I still had to run several times. Unfortunately the system the mission took place in didn’t have a station with a repair facility! So for those times I left with a stream of smoke and fire from my ship 😉 I had to jump through a gate to then dock/undock and jump back. Time consuming but better than losing yet another ship.
In the end, after all the salvage, I probably broke even due to repair bills. I didn’t score a valuable salvage item like I did in the first mission. At least I got the payoff and bonus for completing in the time limit.
I do like the risk in EVE’s design, but the downside is that I can see myself falling below a viable amount of ISK needed to actually play the game. There is a difference between undocking with risk of loss, and undocking with risk of insolvency. I don’t expect quick and easy wealth – I’m just trying to accumulate an amount of ISK where the loss of a destroyer isn’t a major chunk of my wallet.
To that end, I’m hoping Exploration or Planetary Interaction will be the right mix of fun and profit-risk balance. At least enough to let me build up an ISK cushion.
If not, then I guess I’m stuck with Level I Distribution or Level I Security missions, and that is not a strong appeal. Mining is to dull for me to do (sorry, there are too many other games to play than to waste my time watching my ship flying orbits around an asteroid). R&D missions are too expensive, and from what I read they don’t pay much anyway, so those are a no-go as well. Trade is another option, but that also doesn’t appeal much either. This is EVE Online, I want to do stuff that involves flying spaceships, not sit in a station buying and selling items.