USIA Grinder Training Manual

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Introduction

The United Standings Improvement Agency [USIA] offers corporation and faction standing increases to clients for a modest fee. This guide covers our protocol for working with clients to improve their corporation standings. This guide does not discuss how to improve their faction standings, which relies on a very different protocol.

USIA Corporation Grinders (referred to as “Grinders” for the rest of this document) are paid to improve a client’s standings, and they are paid for the effort they put into it as measured by the starting and ending standings of a grind. A Grinder improves the client’s standings by fleeting with them, completing missions, and sharing the mission rewards with them. The mission rewards includes corporation standing gains, so sharing the reward improves the client’s standings accordingly. When a grind is finished (because the Grinder decided to stop or because the job was finished), the Grinder reports their progress and is paid by USIA Grinder Heads for their effort accordingly.

Although Non-Head Grinders do not do any onboarding of clients or even calculation of payments, they are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the details of the USIA Service and learn to use our calculator.

Main Grinding Methods

The two primary means of grinding corporation standings are to complete security missions or distribution (“courier”) missions. There are pros and cons to each mission type.

Non-Combat Method: Distribution Missions

Distribution missions require you to courier goods from point A to point B and involve no combat. These missions are completed extremely quickly – at most 5 minutes with the longest L4 missions.

The relatively high standing gains provided by distribution missions combined with the rate at which they are completed allows you to increase standings very rapidly – in some cases, you can gain standings at a higher rate (and therefore you would generate more USIA income) than you would via Security missions; this means that a day-one newbie distribution runner could very well make more money than most EVE players doing sec missions. The high completion rate also enables you to obtain multiple storyline missions per day. Because there is very little to do in distribution missions apart from initiating warp upon the arrival of one system to go to the next system or dock, they are highly multitaskable if you want to do other things in EVE (limited on same account, full access on second account), or other things on or physically near your computer. For those with only one EVE account, those limited options could include: Project Discovery to make an additional 35+m/hr + rewards, Planetary Interaction, managing your trade slots, etc.

It is usually best to do two distribution missions at a time; it is not difficult to find two distribution agents of the same corp and level that are in the same station, system, or nearby systems. All T1 agility-bonused industrial ships (the recommended hulls for distribution missions) can be fitted to hold enough for two L4 distribution missions at a time. As goods are picked up and dropped off, routes should be manually adjusted to minimize the total length of reaching the remaining destinations to maximize throughput.

The downside of grinding Distribution missions is that they’re very boring… if you’re multitasking, you probably won’t notice and will very much appreciate the revenue you’re making by expending 3 seconds to initiate warp every 30 seconds or so. If you’re not multitasking… find ways to occupy yourself, or you will be bored to death. Read a book. Watch YouTube. Knit a sweater. Anything at all.

Note that a select few corps yield near-zero corp standings from distribution missions, presumably to discourage grinding their standings via this method; in these rare instances, corp standing grinding must be done via security. While distribution missions are excellent for low-skill players and multitaskers, highly efficient combat pilots will be able to have more fun, grind standings more quickly, and acquire wealth (ISK + LP + Loot) doing combat missions than distribution missions.

Protip: When completing distribution missions for the purpose of raising corp standings or grinding storylines, make sure to examine the L3 and L4 security agents of the stations to see if they are offering Recon 1/3 and Recon 2/3 – these missions require no combat and can be completed in 2 minutes using an industrial ship fitted with an MWD. Decline non-Recon missions and wait until it eventually shows up. Note that Recon 3/3 cannot be completed by industrial ships other than certain Deep Space Transport fits, but they are not recommended for use in distribution missions.

Combat Method: Security Missions

Security missions are fun, and the only thing better than enjoying yourself doing themselves is getting paid to do them, especially if you were planning on doing them anyway.

Security missions generate more wealth (LP + ISK + Loot) than Distribution missions. Highly efficient combat pilots will also be able to grind standings more quickly via security missions than distribution missions. Some corps, such as Sisters of EVE [SEVE], penalize standing gains via distribution missions to such a harsh extent that security missions are the only practical way of raising standings.

Note that it isn’t worth your time looting L1-L3 missions, and you should only loot L4 missions by using a Mobile Tractor Unit (and/or a second account flying a Noctis). You would immediately deploy the MTU when entering a room full of rats, and the MTU will loot as you kill the rats. When you clear the room, pick up the MTU and the contents it has looted; do not waste time looting the remaining wrecks that the MTU had not yet finished collecting; you will lose more ISK in grinding pay than value from the loot you procure in doing so. In practice, only battleships have cargoholds large enough to hold enough ammo to complete the mission, the MTU, and the large volumes of loot the MTU collects. (This is one of the reasons why our budget blitz fits for L4s use battleship hulls.)

Notes and Considerations

You will accrue storyline missions as part of grinding for clients; if you use the no-combat method, you will generate multiple storylines per day if grinding efficiently and contiguously. While faction standings cannot be shared through storyline missions, and while the storyline agent’s corp is not guaranteed to be the same as the client’s desired corp, they are generally worth completing for increasing faction standings for your own benefit. (There are times when it is not desirable to complete storylines, but this is beyond the scope of this document.) If the storyline agent’s corp is the same as corp you’re grinding for the client, then you can expect a massive corporation standing gain for both you and your client.

USIA Discord Server

The USIA Discord Server connects Grinders to Clients, and is where Grinders can request payment for their work from Grinder Heads. LSCIS Channel and Category overview:

  • #grinder-bulletin: contains important links to important USIA-related content such as our advert, calculator, advertisement, USIA Discord (for sharing with others), USIA Guides, etc.
  • #grinder-pay-requests: where grinders request payment for their work. They state the work they’ve done using the indicated format.
  • #grinders-heads: private room only visible to Grinder Heads for USIA discussion
  • #grinders-1, #grinders-2, …: general chat channels for Grinders to discuss USIA-related topics
  • #grinders-training: Junior grinders should ask their questions here
  • Clients Category: All active clients

USIA Grinder Preparation

Grinders might want to read our official USIA Advertisement to better appreciate our service from the point of view of our clients and be able to answer questions found on our advertisement. Any grinder can work for any client and for any corp at any time (provided the client is available and not currently being tended to by another grinder). Grinders are required to use at least L3 missions when grinding clients. Ideally, grinders will have standings with the most commonly requested corps so they can run L3/L4 missions with them, and will have parked appropriate missioning ships in stations containing the highest level agents (of the desired type) for those corps. For example: distribution missioning ships are pretty cheap, so you might have 10 fitted ships in 10 different stations for 10 different corps so when a client wants standings for one of those corps, all you need to do is shuttle to one of those pre-established missioning stations to do the work, and when you’re done you shuttle back to wherever you were originally. Grinders may be interested in “pregrinding” popularly requested corps. In crude order of popularity, those corps are:

  1. Caldari Navy (for Jita Tradehub)
  2. Epic Arc Corps
  3. Other Major Tradehubs Corps
  4. R&D Corps

The specific corps are listed in the FAQ section of the USIA Advertisement

USIA Grinder Protocol

Reaching Out to Clients

  1. Make sure you have at least 90, ideally 120 or more minutes of time available to grind.
  2. Open up the USIA Jobs board. Link and password available in #grinder-bulletin.
  3. Reach out to clients in their respective discord channels, listed in order of priority, for corps you have at least L3 missions with in the order listed. (Some clients might have already pinged us to let us know they are ready for grinding; feel free to reach out to those first in order of priority.) Read the last several messages to make sure they aren’t currently being grinded. @-mention the client to get their attention and see if they are available for a grind. Note: Some clients have standing fleets advertised for Grinders to join and start grinding. Check to see if such a fleet exists before reaching out to a client. You might be able to fleet up and grind with a client without reaching out to them first.

Working With a Client

If a client is available for fleet grinding:

  1. State their starting standing for the desired corp in channel (eg. “Starting 0.1234 Caldari Navy”). If it is too soon to refresh their skillboard to get their most recent standing to jot down, indicate “?” and we’ll be able to figure out the starting standing later from our records.

    Their starting standing can be found in the EVESkillboard, and the links to their EVESkillboard can be found in their entry on the Jobs Board. Be sure to press the green Refresh button on the overview tab before jotting down their standing because standings do NOT auto-update. This button appears at most once an hour from the last time it was pressed.
  2. Form a fleet with the client. Make sure only you and the client are in fleet – no one else, not even alts are permitted in fleet.
  3. Use any means at your disposal by which you can increase standings with the desired corporation. Before we’ve described the two recommended approaches and their pros and cons. We do not care which approach you use as long as you get the job done. If you are using missions, you must employ L3 or higher missions.
  4. Keep in mind the finish standing the client has paid for as listed on the Job’s board. If you think you are close to completing the job, regularly refresh their skillboard (again, at most once an hour) to monitor their standings as they are close to finishing

Finishing a Grind

When you are finished with a grind because you choose to finish or because the job is finished:

  1. State their finish standing for their desired corp in channel (eg. “Ending 5.6789 Caldari Navy”). If you do not know their finish standing because it is too soon to refresh their skillboard, indicate “?” instead and we’ll figure it out later (the next person’s start standing will be your finish standing)
  2. File a pay request using the indicated format in #grinder-pay-requests
  3. If the job is not finished (ie. your finish standing is not greater than or equal to the finish standing listed in the Job’s Board), ping Grinders in grinder channels to see if any are available to take over. Hold fleet for as long as possible until another grinder is able to take over or is able to hold fleet for you if you need to log off. We call this “passing the torch”. The reason this is done: When there are two people in fleet and one of them leaves, the fleet advertisement that was posted for the fleet (that we use to join the fleet in the client’s absence) collapses, thereby disallowing us to rejoin the fleet until the client returns; by holding fleet and passing the torch, we can maintain fleet at all times without collapsing the fleet.

Maximizing Revenue and Misc. Points

  • If you have not committed to grinding a client, do not refresh their skillboard.
  • Increase “Social” to L5 immediately to maximize the standing gains you give to your client, and therefore the ISK/hr we pay you. Increasing Connections will help you get access to high level missions much more quickly; remember that you need effective 3 standings for L3 missions and effective 5 standings for L4 missions. For your own benefit, consider increasing Security Connections and/or Distribution Connections to maximize the amount of loyalty points you gain doing missions.
  • When available, consider purchasing limited edition boosters that temporarily boost your (and therefore your clients) standing gains. For example: Impetus Potency-50 Glamourex Boosters and Impetus Potency-75 Glamourex Boosters can be used simultaneously to great effect for both pregrinding corps and for maximizing revenue working for clients. Note that boosters expire after a while, those sold on market might not even be usable.
  • Do not grind clients with L1/L2 missions. This is strictly prohibited for two reasons:
    • You’re better off pregrinding standings by yourself to gain access to higher level missions sooner and sharing those higher standing gains with the client than you are grinding lower-level missions for longer and splitting pitiful standing gains with the client.
    • Clients are used to gains from L3/L4 missions: if you grind them for hours using L1/L2 missions, they will observe very little gain and will be very irritated at the lack of progress compared to what they would normally expect otherwise.
  • When doing distribution missions: use as few cargohold expanders as possible to move freight, and fill the rest of your low slots with inertial stabilizers to allow you to more quickly navigate systems.
  • It appears that grinding L3 distribution missions can grind corp standings at a comparable pace as L4 distribution missions (individual missions provide less standing but they’re done more quickly) – knowing this provides more options for selecting appropriate agents based on locations. All else being equal, L4 missions are probably better simply because they pay better LP rewards and yield L4 storylines – all for your own benefit.
  • You are permitted to run clients using alts; all payments, however, will go to your main.
  • Consider acquiring and permanently parking dedicated budget-blitz missioning ships for each commonly requested corp that we grind at stations containing agents for that corp. You can bookmark and shuttle-between these stations instead of hauling a single slow ship across the galaxy. While you could use a blingy ships instead, there’s a risk that you’ll lose it due to disconnects, ganks (players or Triglavian gate camps), or unfortunately-timed alpha strikes from mission rats. Using cheap but effective blitz ships ensures you don’t severely compromise yourself in the event of a ship loss. Also note that while blingy cruisers are popular, they have small cargoholds and cannot be used to MTU-loot like cheaper blitz battleships can.
  • Faction standings may be used instead of corp standings to access high level missions. There are at least two ways in which this may be utilized:
    • If you already have high standings, you can quickly pregrind corp standing for high-demand corps so you’ll maintain access to high level missions if your faction standing drops.
    • If our Job’s Board contains a large number of unpopular corps of the same faction for which you do not have access, you can grind faction standing instead of corp standing and gain blanket access to all of the corps simultaneously via faction standings. Faction standing can be rapidly increased by generating storylines from distribution mission blitzing.