These missions are not different from regular missions. They are just done on a larger group scale with a lot of cooperation between everyone. It's a time to teach new members aspects of the game and a time to learn what your focus in the game is when it comes to combat.
Over the last few days, I have learned that I have a serious desire to fly down the throat of another ship and blast it in the face. Because of this, we have decided to focus my cruiser on the Gallente Thorax. I've not had much enjoyment out of my Vexor as anything but a mining ship.
Why this ship?
Welll... I tend to get other ones blown up. Ships are expensive and it's my mining that replaces them. Therefore, I need to (hopefully) make a proper choice. The Thorax is made to fly into the face of danger and unload at close range.
This suites me well.
Eve's training system means that I need to focus on something. I can, eventually, do whatever I want to do. To reach that I have to have some type of vague set goal.
I have a battle cruiser in mind for when we step up to level 4 missions. I'll write about that later.
What are Missions in Eve anyway?
Missioning is the part of Eve that most people are familiar with. It is the quintessential 'Quest' story line. However, we are in a science fiction world so we do missions and we do them for various reasons.
One reason is the standing in the world. If one wishes to spend time in the higher sectors, having a good standing with the various NPC (Non Player Characters) in the game is important. It affects things from your market fees to your jump clone locations.
Missions are also a valuable source of supplies to build things. The salvage of broken parts are used to create other items in the game. It's the full cycle that makes Eve such an interesting place to be.
Missions also make money. It is one of the locations in game that ISK spawns from. As your missions get higher your money gets better. You can make money off of just missions but it is the combination of mission money + bounty bonus + salvage that turns missions into a lucrative venture.
With Eve's lack of a leveling system, Missions = sharing with your fleet (group) members. The bounty (ISK aka Money) will split automatically across the fleet. The mission leader has the choice to split the mission pay out or keep it. The salvage, once gathered and sold, has to be shared out in a corporatism manner so that everyone can have a bit of it. There is a fleet log that tracks what everyone picks up.
There have been wars fought over salvage. Some of it is very valuable and money changes people. It happens in real life and it happens in the game.
On my own, I do level 1 and level 2. I'm still new and still small and still unknown. The agents don't offer me higher level missions. Eventually, they will. However, my smaller missions teach me how to fly and that is a valuable lesson on its own.