As much as I complain about some of the massive grinds in MMOs, I committed myself in August to getting blueprint copies for three of the Minmatar faction ships, the Tempest Fleet Issue, the Stabber Fleet Issue and the Republic Fleet Firetail. Back then, I didn't think I could accomplish the goal in less than a year. I might have been too pessimistic because I am about to finish the first of the two standings grinds I need to do in order to get all three BPCs. That's right, Wandering Rose now has the standings with the Republic Parliament (9.9) to get the Tempest Fleet Issue bpc and Rosewalker is almost at the goal with standings of 9.78. I figure with as much time as I have to play lately that I should have the grind finished in about 2 weeks and maybe as early as this weekend if everything breaks my way both in game and in real life. Of course, that means I have to start planning for the next standings grind with the Republic Fleet in order to get the Stabber Fleet Issue (9.2) and Republic Fleet Firetail (8.5) blueprint copies.
While on the surface the grind with Republic Fleet may seem easier since I only need to get to 9.2 standings instead of 9.9, the grind will present a different challenge. Doing a little research, I discovered that Republic Fleet does not have storyline agents. When doing the grind for Republic Parliament, I did courier missions along with the Republic Parliament COSMOS missions. Courier missions go quickly which not only fit in with my schedule but lead to doing a lot of storyline missions (16 regular missions = 1 storyline mission) and the standings built up fast, especially for Wandering Rose who unintentionally exploited the emotions of a lonely agent in Ridoner.
I have the feeling I will do combat missions on the standings grind for the Republic Fleet. In preparation, I have Wandering Rose training up her leadership skills (Siege Warfare Specialization is already at IV and I'm training Armored Warfare V now) to make doing level 4 combat missions a little easier. But I have a couple of questions if anyone wants to chime in. Do I blitz the missions to get the faction as fast as possible or do I try to gather as many tags in missions instead of just buying them on the market? In addition to standings, I need 30 Angel Cartel Silver Tags to purchase the Republic Fleet Firetail bpc, 30 Angel Cartel Gold Tags to purchase the Stabber Fleet Issue bpc and 30 Angel Cartel Diamond Tags to purchase the Tempest Fleet Issue bpc. Another question is if I decide to blitz, what kind of ship should I invest in? I hear Vagabonds can blitz level 4 missions solo pretty well and I'll have a battlecruiser, and in 2-3 months a command ship, in support. Just remember I can only fly Minmatar and only sub-capitals. Oh, and I can't fly tech 2 battleships.
I also have to think about my standings with the Amarr and Caldari. Rosewalker doesn't care, but Wandering Rose is the CEO and really needs to think about transiting all of Empire space, not just the space of the good guys. As a break from the Republic Fleet grind, I might start thinking up some unusual mission running duos to run through some level 1 combat missions. A Bellicose/Breacher combination might be fun, especially since Rosewalker can fit the Breacher with tech 2 launchers.
When I throw in the need to do the Republic Fleet COSMOS missions in the Ani Constellation to get some additional standings, I think I have my missioning plans for the next few months mapped out. I've discovered that Eve is like that. I play for a few months, reach my goal, then set another goal for myself and the path I want to take. Sure, the PvE combat isn't exciting, but I get to choose my path, not the game developers. Aren't sandboxes great?