In my previous post I detailed how I met yellow parasol, a player who was new to EVE and sought to experience some of the things he had read about the game prior to playing it himself. He was able to earn himself a nice sum of ISK whilst deftly avoiding the PVE trap that seems to capture most new players to the game. It would also turn out that his thirst for shenanigans was almost unquenchable, a thirst that I was more than happy to attempt to sate by inviting him on an MTU hunt.
We decided early-on to split any loot gained from our MTU hunts 50/50, I was to bring my Hecate “D-Scan Horror” whilst yellow brought his trusty Slasher. This ended-up being a fine combination, with the added DPS of the Slasher helping to bring the MTUs down a little quicker, and the extra cargo capacity was most useful for picking-up any loot that dropped. More than that, though, it was nice to have some company along for the ride, in an activity that I had always done solo in the past.
Scanning down and popping MTUs aren’t the only things I do on a hunt, I explore, try to strike up conversations with the locals, scoop abandoned drones, and anything else that takes my fancy. On our first MTU hunt together, yellow and I stopped to check out a citadel (a new type of player-owned structure, at the time) in the system of Tvink; before leaving the system we decided to check if any of the local mission runners needed assistance:
For some reason, most mission runners scoop their MTU and warp away the moment someone lands in their mission, this is quite an anti-social thing to do in a multiplayer game, just saying. Aside from the usual shenanigans, our first two hunts went by quite uneventfully, we racked-up 13 MTU kills in total, most of which were standard kills containing very little or no loot. Despite this, we had fun, and often spent more time chatting than doing anything else.
It wasn’t until a few days later, during our third hunt together, that things got a little more interesting. I took yellow on one of my long MTU roams, where I set a course for the outer reaches of highsec and see what kind of trouble I can get myself into. MTU kills are rarer on such roams, but finding and killing an MTU out there in the quieter systems can feel very satisfying indeed. Having found only one MTU that night, in the system of Baviasi, we were on our way back to civilisation when I spotted another MTU on D-Scan. This one was sitting in an asteroid belt in the system of Bahromab, and was surrounded by mining ships.
I didn’t bother probing this MTU down, with only 3 belts at planet IX in this system, we just flew to each one until we found it. Upon landing in the belt, yellow had reached the MTU first and immediately set upon shooting it, shortly afterwards I noticed one of the miners warp out; was he going to come back in a hauler and scoop the MTU, or was something more sinister afoot? At this point I began shooting the MTU too, in the hopes of killing it a little more quickly, just in case. A few seconds later, the miner returned in an Executioner.
The miner, KappaClaus KappaPride, landed in the belt and started burning towards us, targeting us both. He decided to start shooting yellow first, and due to highsec mechanics, I was powerless to help him. If I had shot the miner at this point, I would have faced the wrath of CONCORD and lost my ship, in which case it would be possible that this miner would score two kills and save the MTU (which didn’t even belong to him, it turned out) and that would be unacceptable. I had no choice but to continue shooting the MTU whilst watching the fight, a fight which yellow unfortunately lost.
Kill: yellow parasol (Slasher)
Although dejected at this outcome, I was determined to salvage something from this and get the MTU down at least; but then the unthinkable happened, the miner, who had been targeting me the whole time during his fight with yellow, began burning towards me and turned on his warp scrambler. With the base speed of my Hecate being quite slow (this was before the T3 Destroyer balance patch) and his scrambler turning off my MWD, I found that I couldn’t get close enough to him to land any damage on him with my short-range guns, but as it turned out, that didn’t matter, as something even stranger happened next: he turned off his warp scrambler. My microwarpdrive came to life, I closed the gap between us in just a couple of seconds, and a few seconds after that my guns tore his ship apart.
A strange fight indeed, why did he turn his scrambler off and throw away the fight like that? This question was answered shortly after the fight when the miner began pouring salt into local chat:
It turns out that he had “Auto Target Back” enabled in his settings, which caused his ship to automatically target anyone (me) targeting him. He then used his warp scrambler on me “by mistake”, realised his error, and turned it off again hoping I wouldn’t continue shooting him. I don’t know why he expected me not to shoot him though, he interrupted our MTU hunt, killed my friend’s ship, and then directly aggressed me; of course I was going to kill him.
There were still important matters to attend to, we had an MTU that needed popping, and since the interruption it had sucked-in the wreck of yellow’s ship.
Yellow was quite pleased at getting on the killmail, and he was even more pleased that one of the corpses he had in his ship’s cargo had survived the MTU’s explosion. By the time the MTU had popped, the asteroid belt had been completely emptied, abandoned by the local miners. Yellow declared ownership of the belt in local, and claimed the title “Heavyweight Belt Champion” for himself. All in all, a very interesting and successful hunt.
This isn’t the end of our shenanigans together, stay tuned for the continuation.