The Best EVE Agents: Lai Dai Corporation (EVE Online Guide)
With over six thousand agents in EVE, it can be hard to find just the right agent for you. Even with the new in-game agent finder, you can still end up with an agent that tries to send you into low security space or worse. This is a guide to the best EVE agents to run missions for if you have chosen the Caldari faction.
Most players begin their EVE Online careers as a Caldari, and naturally gravitate to running missions for them. In addition to their usual mission rewards in the form of ISK and loyalty points, the Caldari faction has three corporations with research agents that give good passive ISK once you have access to them.
There is also a unique benefit to running missions for Caldari: because Jita is in Caldari space, getting favorable standings with any Caldari faction will reduce the taxes on your Jita market orders. Additionally, if you run enough missions for them you will eventually be able to set up starbases in their high-sec space, a significant advantage since nearly all starbase fuel is routed through Jita.
If you find yourself unfamiliar with a concept that we discuss in this guide, it is likely covered in another one of our mission guides, the most important being:
The Agent Finder
Though the in-game agent finder tool is excellent for getting general selections of agents that are near you, it is more intelligent to pick and choose your agents based on geography and a long term plan. Haphazard agent use is convenient and simple, but gives diminished returns over time compared to carefully choosing what NPC corporation to work for.
The agent finder's other flaw is that it does not take into account whether an agent might potentially send you into low security space. Should this occur, the mission may be refused without ill effect, so long as you do not refuse a second mission within four hours. But should you get two missions in low-sec in a row, you would not be able to refuse the mission without a standings loss to that agent and his corporation, potentially setting you back days of grinding. Fortunately, there are agents that are located in constellations that do not have low-sec in them, and are sufficiently distant that they will not send you there. These are the agents you should be using.
The Big Corporations
When determining which agent is best for you, it is important to consider what other agents are available from that corporation so you will have a clear path of progression. It is also important to note what items from the loyalty point store you will want to sell. Finally, you should consider whether there are any other benefits to using that corporation. For this last, it is hard to beat research agents.
Many Caldari corporations have similar basic options in their loyalty point store but then have other additional options based on their specialty. For example, even though most Caldari corporations offer the Caldari Navy Raven in exchange for a large amount of loyalty points, only the actual Caldari Navy corporation offers blueprints for the ship at a reduced price that makes for better profits.
The corporation that I am going to advocate running missions for is Lai Dai Corporation, the source of many useful implants and modules. It also has a full complement of research agents, who are special agents the give you valuable datacores over time, once you have access to them. Unlike normal agents, research agents require that you have standings with their corporation in particular (rather than faction standings, which normally allow you to access agents from any corporation in a faction).
Most corporations do not offer research agents, while others do not have enough of them to make grinding standings with that corporation worthwhile.
Lai Dai Corporation
The Lai Dai Corporation is my choice for the best Caldari corporation for whom to grind standings. The benefits are as follows:
- Six level four research agents.
- Can run combat missions from level one through level three with little risk of being assigned low-sec missions.
- A reasonably profitable loyalty point store.
- Agents are located in The Forge region, allowing easy access to Jita.
Lai Dai Corporation
Start running missions for Lai Dai Corporation as soon as you have finished with the career agents (you can find them quickly via the help button). These agents were chosen because they are security agents (meaning they offer combat missions) and to minimize the risk that of being assigned a mission that sends you to low-sec. It should theoretically be impossible to be given a low-sec mission from the first two agents, with only a small chance of the same with this level three agent.
The first two agents are located in Keikaken, within The Forge region. This makes for a painless start to your mission grind because you can buy your mission running ship in Jita and will not need to change locations until you are ready to run level threes.
- Level 1: Ichomala Ouchiras
- Level 2: Aidonen Elotora
- Level 3: Raustilo Nesenoilen
Best EVE Research Agents
You may use one research agent, plus one per level of Research Project Management that you have trained. Depending on what you want datacores you want your agent to research, you will also need to train some other science skills.
- Anuken Urpalen: Caldari Starship Engineering, Electromagnetic Physics, Electronic Engineering, Graviton Physics, Rocket Science.
- Arvalen Reurmanen: Caldari Starship Engineering, Electromagnetic Physics, Electronic Engineering, Graviton Physics, Quantum Physics.
- Elanoda Popas: Caldari Starship Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Graviton Physics, Molecular Engineering, Rocket Science.
- Kokanogi Hayeda: Caldari Starship Engineering, Electromagnetic Physics, Electronic Engineering, Graviton Physics, Molecular Engineering.
- Panakiya Nakkilen: Caldari Starship Engineering, Electromagnetic Physics, Electronic Engineering, Graviton Physics, Rocket Science.
- Sakkatokka Limsen: Caldari Starship Engineering, Electromagnetic Physics, Electronic Engineering, Graviton Physics, Rocket Science.
Best EVE Agents: Stay Or Go?
Lai Dai is the only serious option for Caldari-aligned players that want access to research agents. Once you have access to their level four agents you are home free in the research department. There is, however, a major downside for running missions for Lai Dai: aside from their research agents, the only level four agents that they have in high-sec are distribution, meaning they only offer courier missions. This is fine and will please many players, but not the readers of this guide, who have been told to run combat missions since level 1.
Your options are as follows:
- Grind up another Caldari corporation (you should be able to use any other Caldari level 2 agents, just as a side effect of running so many for Lai Dai).
- Turn in some tags at the faction data center in the hopes of raising your faction standings enough to run level four missions for another corporation (perhaps the Caldari Navy).
- Switch to distribution agents and courier missions and run level fours for Lai Dai.
Any of these options is fine, and will depend on your resources and play style. If you opt to grind up another corporation, be sure to cash in your Lai Dai loyalty points first.