A new patch called “Dragon” was deployed to EVE recently (it took a whole day and they still have an extended downtime today to fix some problems it introduced). The biggest change for new players (or anyone hanging around Empire space) will be the new agent missions.
For anyone really new, on board stations are agents. These are NPC characters who hand out missions to players. Early on, missions are the best way to make money. To be offered a mission by an NPC you need good standing with the NPC (or with the NPC’s corporation such as Lai Dai or even the NPC’s faction such as Caldari). New players will always have a good enough faction standing to find an agent who will help them.
Before, most missions were courier missions. Go somewhere, pick something up, go somewhere else, drop it off. Courier missions have new been almost completely removed. Instead you get combat missions. For the low level agents (I and II) these involve killing pirates and rogue drones. Occasionally you also have to fetch back some loop or blow up a structure as well. For the most part this is a good thing for everyone.
The main advantage is they’re more fun. The second advantage is that overall, you get more money. Although you may have to pay for ammo you also get the bounty for blowing up pirates. The only disadvantage is combat missions get harder much faster than courier missions. If you do lots of missions level II agents (who pay more) become available to you before you can actually do them. Yesterday I nearly blew up when I came across pirates that were harder than I expected:
Level I missions tend to have pirates around the 3000-6000 ISK range which you can do in a frigate. A couple of level II missions I did had the same pirates but lots of them. Then suddenly I come across a pirate in a Moa (a Caldari cruiser) with a bounty of 50,000 ISK. Since I’m in a Moa I managed to complete the mission still but I had to regroup and recharge my shield and do it in two attempts.
So to summarise, the new missions are good, but beware…
Caldari, Lai Dai, EVE, online games, Elite