There are often questions about what the mission types are and what the sliders mean. This is the information that I think I know, but I'm sure that others will disagree with certain parts of it. Please, if you have comments about this, chime in so that the differing opinions can be shared with other new characters.
This is the second version of my guide. The original version was posted on the New Arrivals board under the title "Missions: Types, Sliders, and Find Item Missions" I would like to thank everyone for their helpful comments in that thread, especially Jajangmyun, Yurunn, Bufo, and Incarnadine.
It seems that many players are now focusing on hunting in the Shadowlands which can offer better experience and monitary rewards than hunting on Rubi-Ka (similar to many gold rush situations in the ancient history of Old Earth). However, many new players are missing some of the benefits from running missions, which you can only get on Rubi-Ka.
First, there are the token boards for those that choose a side. There are several good guides to these, but if you are unfamiliar with side token boards, you can find a very good Tokens and Token Boards guide at AO Stratics. There are some new token boards for high level neutrals as well, but you can get a 1000 token board much earlier on a side.
Secondly, you can get "free" armor, weapons, and nanos by running missions. Of course, ClickSaver is very useful for that purpose, and its use has been sanctioned by Funcom. Not all items are missionable, but quite a few are.
There are five mission types: find item, return item, repair, find person, and kill person missions.
Find item missions are generally the preferred type of mission among adventurers, as you get to keep the found item as well as the mission reward. Once you pick up the item, your mission ends, so don't pick it up until all the mobs are dead if you are going for a 100% chance to get your mission token(s). Please note that many find item missions now ask you to locate some Urgent Sensitive Information or an Art Container which is worthless and negates the primary benefit for pulling find item missions.
Return item missions involve picking up the item in the mission, returning to the exact mission terminal you received the mission from, and then giving that item to the terminal in order to complete the mission. In my opinion these are the most annoying type of mission, whether you are trying to blitz for items or earn tokens. However, there are others that strongly recommend that since the Urgent Sensitive Information and Art Containers became targets of find item missions that this may be the best setting for blitzing missions for items, as you get two chances at the item: once as the item to NOT return to complete the mission if you wanted it (just delete the mission after you get the item) and a second time as the mission reward. Just make sure you make note of the exact terminal you took the mission from.
Repair missions will give you a part, data, or food to deposit in some machine in the mission (pick it up out of inventory and right click it on the machine in the mission). These aren't too bad for those with an altruistic streak, and happen to be my favorite mission type along with find item missions when I'm trying to earn tokens or maximize my experience through missioning. They are only finished when you want to use the repair item (unlike find person missions and some kill person missions where you have the bad luck of running into the target before you have a good completion percentage) and you don't have to bring anything back to a terminal. The one drawback is that you do use up a primary inventory slot for the repair item as temporary items can't go in packs.
Find person missions involving targeting the selected person or monster for about 30 seconds. You are then free to kill the target if you want, or leave him/her/it living. I find these annoying when I'm trying to earn tokens as you need to make sure you quickly unselect the target of the mission if you aren't ready to complete it. And sometimes, no matter how fast you untarget the selected person or monster, it completes the mission anyway. On the other hand, if you are trying to blitz the mission for an item or for the cash these can be the best type of mission along with find item missions, particularly if your mission is to find a person in a mission full of monsters, or a monster in a mission full of people.
Kill person missions are similar to find person missions, but the mission completes when the target is killed, rather than just being targetted. This may mean that you encounter the person early in the mission, and can't access rooms beyond without his attacking. Running for the entrance in these cases seems to have him waiting for you when you zone back in too. That means that you can't always do enough of the mission to earn a token. They also can be good for blitzing missions, but not as good as find item or find person missions as you must kill this target, not just click on it. Also, if you have your map upgrades for people and monsters, you can sometimes pick out your target on the map like with find person missions.
Bufo reports that,
Mission SlidersWith kill person missions, it seems like the target human can be one of two types visually. If the person is dressed in a brown plated armor, they tend to be passive, and you can easily take down everything in the room with the person, move on, do other things, and come back and take them later. However, if it is a person in a blue Hawaiian shirt, they will be aggressive, and attack on sight, so if you run into the person before you were ready to complete the mission, you have to either go through the rest of the mission with them beating on your back (have done that before ) or just kill them and finish the mish early.
If you click on the small arrow to the right of the Request Mission button, you will see some sliders where you can select the mission parameters. Its not absolutely certain what each slider does, but these are what I think I know about them.
The Good-Bad slider is used for changing the mission type while the other sliders remain at a constant setting. Generally, the closer to good the selector is, the more altruistic the mission, while the closer to bad the selector is, the more violent the mission. Some people think good missions tend to have fewer mobs than bad missions, but I've not seen that correlation.
The Order-Chaos slider determines the type of mobs. When the selector is set to order, you will be fighting humans of various classes. When the selector is set to chaos, you will be fighting animals, mutants, cyborgs, and robots.
Incarnadine also added this tidbit about the Order-Chaos slider that I wasn't aware of:
The Open-Hidden slider determines the prevalence of locked doors and chests, and secret walls that have treasure hidden behind them.When the Chaos slider is set to 100% Chaos, it chooses the second mob of paired mobs (such as found in large rooms and corridors) randomly instead of making it of the same type as the first. This has very important consequences for pet owners, because most of the time randomly chosen mobs will not assist each other, so a pet can be sent in to attack one of them and the other mob will just stand there and not join the fight.
This is very helpful both for soloing with a pet (it can kill high level mobs one at a time when two would overwhelm it), and also for pulling singles out of the room for teams (/pet follow after it has attacked one mob). Obviously nobody should enter the room or corridor --- nail those impetuous damage dealers to the ground outside --- otherwise the second mob will agro directly despite not being interested in assisting the first mob.
The random choice of second mob seems to be made once only and then applied to all mob pairs in the mission. In other words, if clan human was chosen as 2nd mob type for pairs in an otherwise all-hellhound mission, then it will be clan human in all large rooms and corridors.
Note that 100% Chaos is not infallible in creating non-assisting second mobs because the choice of 2nd is made independently of the choice of 1st for pairs, so that there is always a chance that they will both be hellhounds, for example, by coincidence. Also, some mobs do assist each other despite being of not exactly the same type, for example Aquaan Marines and Aquaan Queens, and hellhounds and Bioarranged Beasts, which reduces their independence slightly.
The 100% Chaos setting has been invaluable to me as a TL6 engie. The top-trimmed and fully buffed ql 200 slayer can just about survive an encounter with a single 219 hellhound given chain-casting of A Maker's Touch pet heal, but two of them means a dead pet in under 30 seconds, so full Chaos extends the soloing life of an engie very usefully.
The Phys-Myst slider determines the combat style of the mobs in the mission. When set to physical, expect the mobs to get right up close and wack on you. When set to mystical you will face more nano-using targets.
The HeadOn-Stealth slider seems to determine the number of trapped chests and also the prevalence of mission security devices (cameras and turrets) in the mission. The closer to stealth you have the setting, the more of these will appear.
The Money-XP slider should be obvious. In general, the bonus XP seems to ammount to about 1 mob's worth in the mission, so leaving it set all the way to money is my suggestion.
In my suggestions for how to set the mission sliders, I will show a sample slider |----|----| with a button 0 where the slider is located. It appears that there are 5 regions on the slider important for getting different mission types:
0----|----| 0% or full to the left
|-0--|----| anywhere from 10% through 40%
|----0----| 50% or dead in the center, this is the default location for all sliders when you activate the mission terminal
|----|--0-| anywhere from 60% through 90%
|----|----0 100% or full to the right
Note that the percent versions are the same as those used by ClickSaver, which can set the sliders to your desired positions automatically if the mission window is in the top left hand corner of your screen. ClickSaver is an invaluable tool for finding missions with rewards you are intersted in.
Also, it should be noted that my results apply until you accept a mission. At that point, the slot becomes filled with a different mission type.