Gallente ship designs:
Gallentean ships lend themselves well to armour tanks, usually having more low slots than medium and more armour hitpoints than shield. Some Gallente ships like the Dominix can also be effective when fit with a recharge-based passive shield tank setup. The primary Gallente mission-running ships are the Tristan, Thorax and Vexor for level 1 and 2 missions, the Myrmidon, Deimos or Ishtar for level 3 and the Dominix, Megathron, Kronos or Ishtar for level 4. The Dominix is an extremely popular ship for level 4 missions due to its ability to fit a strong dual-repairer armour tank and its use of drones as a primary weapon. With good skills, a Dominix can deal almost 500 raw damage per second with heavy drones and can carry spare waves of drones in case they get destroyed.
Drones have always been the staple of Gallente mission-running. Ships that use drones as their primary damage-dealing force are extremely versatile as you can select which damage type you wish to deal by swapping drone types before undocking. As it's easy to look up which type of damage is best against a specific mission, this is a big advantage. Another nice advantage of drones is their ability to hit smaller targets. While large turrets have trouble hitting small ships, drones can typically hit ships one size class smaller without much bother. Heavy drones work well against cruisers and mediums work well against frigates. Most dedicated drone ships have enough space to carry spare drones in case some are destroyed. The Dominix and Ishtar even have enough to hold spare waves of medium and light drones to take out small ships with ease.
Minmatar ship designs:
Minmatar ships are a bit of an oddity and they are the most skill-intensive to train for because as a race they're strong all-rounders. They make good use of turrets, missiles and drones, are best with good navigation skills and can be either armour or shield tanked effectively. For mission-running, most Minmatar ships favour active shield tanks but some are just as good (if not better) with an armour tank. The staple Minmatar mission-running ships are the Rifter, Thrasher, Stabber and Rupture for level 1 and 2 missions, the Hurricane for level 3 missions and the Typhoon, Tempest or Maelstrom for level 4. The Vargur is also reportedly very good for missions against the Angel Cartel pirate faction.
Capitalising on the Minmatar love of speed, a typical mission-running strategy for this race is to use an afterburner to fly away from the enemy and so dictate range, then use long-range weaponry to kill them. If the enemy can't get within optimal range of you, they won't do much damage and there will be less to tank. The alternative is an up-close and personal strategy involving torpedoes and autocannons, a strategy which relies on having a strong enough tank to survive while killing the enemy. One major benefit of Minmatar ships for mission-running is their versatility in damage types. Projectile ammunition used in artillery and autocannons comes in a wide variety of types with varying damage types. In addition to their use of drones and missiles, this gives Minmatar ships a lot of versatility.
Of course this isn't the be-all and end-all of mission-running ship design. Experimenting with what works and tweaking your setup is part of the fun of EVE. In next week's final instalment of this three-part guide on mission-running in EVE, I'll go over some tips and tricks you can use to improve your mission-running speed and examine the skills that will help you gain standings and improve your mission pay.
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at massively.com. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you want to message him, send him an e-mail at brendan.drain AT weblogsinc DOT com.