Yellow Parasol is a pretty cool guy

In a previous post, I detailed a side-activity of mine, which is to leave containers at gates in each system I have hunted in along with the simple message: “Pix Severus was here o/”. I received many mails and other such communications from capsuleers who had seen my containers, but one mail in particular created an opportunity for even more fun whilst hunting MTUs.

One night, while travelling to a market hub to offload some of the vast quantities of loot I had accumulated on my MTU hunts, I received a mail from a fellow named yellow parasol:

EVE Mail

Another example of a standard type of mail I tend to receive from pilots who have seen my containers, I reply to all of them of course, and this one was no exception. After a little back and forth via EVE mail, where we shared some greetings and mutual encouragement, I decided to do something for this obviously-enthusiastic newbie:

EVE Mail

This humble gesture from an MTU Hunter made yellow parasol very pleased indeed; he immediately set-off to find the can and see it for himself. After he had arrived at the can (I had moved on elsewhere to continue to hauling my loot) he sent me a follow-up mail:

EVE Mail

I sent the ISK back, of course, with a little extra on top. I was very happy that such a simple action (anchoring a container) had created such fun times for a new player. That wasn’t to be the end of his luck with the container, however, his wallet continued to grow for some time after. It was at this point that I asked him to give me his EVE story thus far, and he obliged:

EVE Mail

What an action-packed couple of days for this EVE newbie! He had lost ships, chatted with players, and in the end had gained a substantial amount of ISK for his efforts. New players take note: this is how you begin your EVE career.

The following day, I received yet another mail from yellow, he had taken up the sport of corpse collecting from the moment he began playing, and it seems he’d had some extra luck with this activity that day:

EVE Mail

Just three days into his EVE career and he’s already popping reds at gates, what a champ. It was shortly after this mail that I decided to help broaden his EVE experience further by inviting him on an MTU hunt. Due to conflicts in schedules, it took a few days until we were both online at the same time, but the hunt did indeed go ahead eventually.

Kill: Sylvous (Mobile Tractor Unit)

The above kill was a first for both of us, for him it was his first MTU kill, and for me it was my first non-solo MTU kill. We racked-up an impressive 8 MTU kills in total that evening, with a further 5 the following evening. By the 3rd day in his MTU Hunting career, yellow had killed his first MTU solo.

This story isn’t over, not by a long shot, but this post is becoming far too long, so stay tuned for the continuation.

MTU Mailbag

Ever since I began my career as an MTU Hunter, I have received quite a lot of mail from capsuleers across New Eden, and now I would like to share some of them with you. Unlike some other hunters out there, I don’t mail the owners of MTUs I have popped, I sit back and let them contact me. I may change this approach in the future.

EVE Mail

Kill: katrin zoloto (Mobile Tractor Unit)

After putting this mail through an online Russian to English translator, we get the following:

container
From: katrin zoloto
To: Pix Severus,
Victory: katrin zoloto (Mobile Tractor Unit *) what’s the point for you?

A good question, the point of hunting MTUs, for me, is to clean highsec of unwanted scan signatures, and have a lot of fun in the meantime. I kept my response brief in the hopes that it wouldn’t come out as incomprehensible garbage after putting it through a translator:

Я очистки пространство всех заброшенных сооружений и трутней
(I clean space of abandoned structures and drones.)

This was the second mail I had ever received about MTU Hunting, the first being from a fellow called Jarrod Jones which can be found towards the bottom of my guide to MTU Hunting here.


EVE Mail

Kill: Ryan del Maina (Mobile Tractor Unit)

This is the most common form of mail I tend to receive from mission runners whose long-abandoned MTUs I have popped. Many don’t remember leaving an MTU out in space, whilst some know that they had left one out there somewhere, but never bothered to scan it down and retrieve it.

This MTU kill was an interesting one, with the MTU containing ship modules typically found on ganking Catalysts. It is possible, of course, that he was simply using a ship with small hybrid guns, lost it in a mission, and had his shipwreck sucked back into his own MTU. However, as the system in question was Osmon, a popular level 4 Sisters of EVE hub, it is more likely that the modules in the container are the remains of a ganking ship.


EVE Mail

Kill: Maks Gotdar (Mobile Tractor Unit)

I received this rather descriptive mail from Maks Gotdar after destroying his MTU in the system of Sheroo, which is next-door to the popular Sisters of EVE hub, Apanake. This mail doesn’t tell us much, apart from perhaps that he was very confused about having his MTU blown up. My response to him clears things up a little, however:

EVE Mail

Going out of my way to complete other people’s missions for them is a nice side-activity I do for the benefit of my fellow capsuleers. I would encourage all MTU Hunters out there to do the same if you are given the chance. Knowledge of missions can be very beneficial in the pursuit of MTU annihilation, and I find that mission runners themselves tend to make very effective hunters for this reason.


EVE Mail

Kill: DerthGerps (Mobile Tractor Unit)

Some pilots tend to be quite happy after I have popped their MTU, showing gratitude for finally removing that niggling-feeling that they’ve left something behind. Although I detect a very slight hint of sarcasm in DerthGerp’s mail to me, I will take it at face value.

Since killing his MTU, DerthGerps has gone forward and racked-up quite a number of MTU kills himself, good for him!


EVE Mail

Kill: NgotoI (Mobile Tractor Unit)

This is one of my favourite mails, and makes a nice change from the rather short mails I tend to receive. I hadn’t heard that song before NgotoI brought it to my attention, you can listen to it here (may not be available in your country). I think this should become the unofficial theme song for MTU Hunting, what do you guys think? If you have a better idea, send me some MTU-related lyrics to your song of choice!


I did not expect the kind of mails I have received since I started hunting MTUs. I was expecting a lot more tears and general bitterness, but perhaps that expectation came from my past experience as a ganker. That isn’t to say I don’t receive any tears at all, mind you, because I do, and if you stick around for future installments of MTU Mailbag, you’ll see them for yourself.

Pix Severus was here o/

Some time ago I came up with the idea of leaving a calling card in the systems that I hunt in, for the purpose of letting people know that their friendly, local MTU Hunter is never too far away.

EVE Online Small Secure Container

I was there.

The original plan was to anchor a Small Secure Container at the location of MTUs I had popped, but I decided to leave them at Stargates instead so that more people would actually see them. These containers have to be anchored at least 100km away from other structures and entities, including MTUs and wrecks, and once they are anchored they will last a minimum of 30 days until they disappear from space. If you right-click on one of these containers, either in-space or in your overview, and select “Show Info” you can find information about the container’s owner.

As you can see, I didn’t put a huge amount of thought into the message these containers would.. contain, opting for the time-tested “[name] was here” format, and hoping it would give pilots something more fun to read than the Russian corp ads which surround seemingly every gate in highsec these days. I didn’t expect the kind of reaction I received for simply placing these containers across highsec, indeed it wasn’t long before mails from capsuleers across New Eden came trickling into my inbox, telling me where they saw my containers, and what they think of them.

EVE Mail

EVE Mail

EVE Mail

I also received many private messages, and had people join my MTU Hunting chat channel after they had found my Bio from the containers. The message had even been mentioned on the official EVE Forums. I also placed a few containers advertising notme7’s chat channel, which worked to bring more people into it. So to anyone looking to advertise or send a message using this method, I can tell you that it does work, pilots do notice them.

Upon returning to EVE late last year, I noticed that one of my containers had managed to last almost 6 months in space without disappearing. How could this be? Containers are supposed to decay after a month without the owner using them in some direct way (opening them, putting an item in them, etc), and my account was inactive the entire time. The container in question was one that I had placed 100km off the Uedama gate in the system of Sivala.

After a short period of confusion concerning this, I remembered something that had happened around 6 months prior that may provide an answer to the mystery of the undying container. Whilst out MTU Hunting one night, I received a message saying that, due to unlawful aggression against me, I now had a killright against New Order Agent, and CEO of The Conference Elite, Mildron Klinker. I found this quite perplexing, he wasn’t in system with me and hadn’t done anything to me; a quick conversation with the man himself cleared things up, however.

Kill Right

A kill right against a ganker is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Shooting a container in a rookie ship is common practice across highsec for resetting CONCORD and allowing further ganks to take place in that system. If you shoot someone’s container in highsec, CONCORD destroys your ship, and the container’s owner gets a kill right against you, and this is what Agent Klinker had done with my container. It seems quite likely, then, that the reason my container had managed to survive for so long is because it was shot. This must surely be some kind of bug, but one that I personally don’t mind, because it saves me from having to replace that particular container every month or so. I have received a number of other kill right notifications over the last few months, as gankers use my containers in their work, and I’m very happy that my containers have proven useful to content creation in highsec.

Placing containers in space has provided me with some fun communications, and new information about the mechanics of EVE, so I’d say it has definitely been worth it. This isn’t the end of this story though, these containers turned out to be the gift that just kept on giving, and would spark a series of events that would lead me to many new adventures. Stay tuned for the continuation.

Backwater Ambush

Today, it is my pleasure to bring you a story written by fellow MTU Hunter, Carnivorous Swarm. Pour yourself a hot drink, put your feet up, and join him on one of his many adventures.


1900 Hours: My Confessor jumped into Quier, a backwater system in Everyshore. Quier had only one exit stargate. These types of systems have infrequent visitors and, by extension, are under little scrutiny. They’re the perfect environment for decadent and irresponsible behavior. I launched my combat probes and confirmed the readings against my directional scanner.

EVE Online region Everyshore

The Region of Everyshore.

My assumptions were correct. Four mobile tractors in system and one was abandoned. I aligned and accelerated towards to the signature of the forgotten one, feeling a small amount of shame for the owner, when I noticed an anomaly.

One of the other MTUs was leaking radioactive gasses!

Sadly, leaks are not unprecedented. I got into the MTU removal business because these things are so damn dangerous. They’ve only been in wide circulation a few years, yet research shows they are already responsible for more than fifty-five million baseliner deaths due to collision, magnetic field exposure, and malfunction. Hell, those things will even vacuum up its owner without hesitation.

This ordinary patrol was now an emergency.

My warp drive hummed as I landed on an asteroid belt next to the MTU. A Hulk and two Ventures were drilling and compacting some asteroids nearby. Normally this would have been a serene view, but today we had a dangerous machine lurking mere kilometers away. I confirmed the MTU belonged to no one in the belt, locked on, switched to Conflagration crystals, and started firing with the hope of banishing it as quickly as possible.

The device’s shield stripped off cleanly. Another routine job, I thought for a moment, as the overview warning system began to blink furiously. The Hulk locked my ship! I hailed the pilot, hoping to get an explanation for his aggressive act, but received no response. A moment later both Ventures locked me followed by the Hulk’s drones. But drones do not bluff – an attack was imminent!

I soon realized that I fell right into a carefully laid ambush meant to harm this humble public servant.

The Hulk seemed to be the ringleader, so I scrambled his warp drive and tried to hail his ship again. I hoped I could reason with him to call off the unwarranted violence. The drones of all three ships evaporated my shields in seconds and began to hammer against my Confessor’s armor. Happy that I paid attention during my combat simulations, I switched to defensive mode and overloaded both of my ship’s repair modules. I retaliated against the attacking drones using faster-tracking crystals for my lasers.

During the ensuing firefight a Miasmos warped in and snatched the MTU, probably to use as bait again. Bastard!

I killed five of the nine drones and was finally able to stabilize the heat and capacitor usage by running one of the armor repair systems within its specifications. Still, no response from the leader. Enough was enough! I began to incinerate his ship with my pulse lasers and it soon exploded:

Kill: Siki Turanchox (Hulk)

EVE Online Killmail Siki Turanchox

Click on image for full size.

I did not want him to continue commanding his gang of outlaws, so I sent him back to the cloning bay:

Kill: Siki Turanchox (Capsule)

Leaderless, the Ventures began to panic and flee. I vaporized one with a graceful parting shot:

Kill: Lis Quas (Venture)

The Miasmos, other Venture, and freshly released pod escaped back to their station.

Let this be a cautionary tale to those who wish to take up the noble fight of MTU Hunting: there are those out there who seek to kill you when you least expect it. Every time you patrol, you put your life on the line to keep others safe. This is the burden we bear to ensure the universe is a better place for future generations.

I almost forgot the most important part of my story! I had one more job to do before I left the system to let the bandits nurse their wounds. I eliminated that abandoned MTU, noted earlier, and sent its former owner a citation for littering:

Kill: Tsjoenders du Tremblay (Mobile Tractor Unit)


There we have it, a great example of the kind of dedication to expect from an MTU Hunter who quite clearly loves his work. Stay tuned for more from Carnivorous Swarm in the near future!

MTU Autopsy

There is a lot you can tell from examining the contents of an MTU after it has been destroyed. Picking through these remains can provide you with a wealth of knowledge about the pilot who deployed it. In particular, their chosen activities in-game are laid bare, not to mention their penchant for leaving things lying around in space, but it can tell you much more than that besides.

One example would be finding ore in an MTU that was once sat in an asteroid belt, this tells you that the owner is a miner who uses the MTU to stash ore once his ore bay is full, and probably returns for it in a hauler after he has finished mining. Even a new player could tell you that though, so let us go deeper and examine some of the more interesting MTU corpses and see what story they have to tell.

EVE Online MTU Wreck

After careful examination of this MTU wreck, I can confirm it’s dead.

Kill: Misacun Fabler (Mobile Tractor Unit)

After I popped this MTU in an asteroid belt in the system of Vahunomi, I was surprised to find more than just rat droppings in it’s contents. As we can see from the Strip Miners and Mining Laser Upgrade contained within, the miner had lost her mining ship, and her ship’s wreck was sucked back into her own MTU. There’s more, the presence of Light Neutron Blaster IIs and a T2 magstab tells us how this miner died, she was ganked. The ganker had destroyed her mining ship using a blaster-focused ganking ship (most likely a Catalyst), and after CONCORD destroyed the ganker’s ship in retaliation, that wreck was also sucked into the MTU. If we look at her killboard, we can see that she died in that very same system multiple times, before and after I had popped the MTU, to New Order Agent Liek DarZ. This tells us that the MTU’s owner either had a habit for mining AFK, or was too inexperienced to protect herself from being ganked.

Kill: Yogurt Arkanum (Mobile Tractor Unit)

From this recent kill we can see numerous mission items contained within the MTU’s wreck, which tells us that this MTU was being used by a mission runner. The presence of one item in particular, The Damsel, can tell us exactly which mission was being run, The Damsel in Distress. We can also tell from this wreck that the mission runner had failed his mission, as The Damsel needs to be looted and handed-in to the mission agent in order to complete it. We can only speculate as to why he never finished the mission, but the lack of any ship deaths in Barkrik on this fellow’s killboard would indicate he wasn’t ganked.

Kill: Dread Aldent (Mobile Tractor Unit)

Sometimes the things you find inside MTUs can be quite baffling, such was the case with this MTU I found in the highsec system of Sigga, containing ore that can only be mined outside of highsec, in systems of 0.2 security and lower. Did a miner haul this ore to highsec and leave it in an MTU in a safe spot after mining it in lowsec? Did he buy it on the market and leave it there? Unlikely. The best explanation I can come up with is the possibility that this ore has a chance to spawn in highsec Mining Missions, but I don’t know for sure, so if any experienced mining mission runners are reading this, please let me know!

Kill: Zog Gor (Mobile Tractor Unit)

Here we have another gank victim, this time the MTU’s owner was flying a salvaging ship, which we can tell from the 3 Salvager IIs and 3 Small Tractor Beam IIs it once contained. The presence of T2 blasters and magstabs would indicate that yet again, the gankship used here was most likely a Catalyst. If we take a look at Zog Gor’s killboard, we can see that he lost his Noctis salvaging vessel to New Order Agent Alt 00 in Barkrik the previous day. This pilot had already completed his mission, left it, and returned in a salvaging ship to loot the field. Unfortunately for him, there was more than just loot waiting for him upon his return.

I have already covered the phenomenon of a mission runner losing his ship to mission rats and having his own wreck sucked back into his MTU in a previous post, so I won’t cover that particular example here. There are some more interesting MTU autopsies that I can go over, but I will cover those in a later post. If you have found anything interesting inside an MTU, please tell me about it, along with a killmail, and it may be featured in the next episode of MTU Autopsy.