Vocal Local 5

One thing I have noticed during my travels throughout highsec space is just how quiet it is, there could be over 100 people in local, and not a single word is uttered between those players. This makes me sad, so I like to encourage discourse where possible.

So when I enter a system with a funny name, I just have to comment on it.

Local Chat

Local Chat

Some funny chats can be had through this method, and I highly recommend it if you can’t think of any better ways to break the ice with the locals.


Local Chat

Sometimes, simply taking care of your appearance can get the locals buzzing. Tip: Nanite paste can do wonders for your complexion, as well as your armor!


Local Chat

Keeping your bio loaded with fun killmails to read is a great way to entertain the locals.


Local Chat

Putting links to your EVE-related websites in your bio is another.


Local Chat

Simply naming your ship something interesting and/or funny can also help to keep pilots smiling. At this point in time my ship was named “I’m not probing you!”


Local Chat

Here’s that killmail. Following this, we had a good, long discussion about The New Order of Highsec in local chat, which cowboy taximan wasn’t a fan of, probably due to being ganked by New Order agents in the past.


Local Chat

Here’s the killmail – the MTU’s owner has an interesting killboard, 0 kills 26 losses, ALL MTUs.

I met Omaha Eto one night whilst on a standard MTU hunt through the The Forge, he seemed most intrigued about my chosen profession.

Local Chat

This was the second time I had ever been thanked for my work in local, and it is always appreciated.

Local Chat

After our brief exchange in local, I moved-on to the next system to continue hunting. Afterwards, Omaha opened a private conversation with me, where we continued our conversation.

Omaha Eto > what is your motivation?
Omaha Eto > why are u doin this?
Pix Severus > its strange really, one day i saw a guy shooting an mtu in an asteroid belt, and he was only suspect, not criminal, and i thought to myself, i could do that..
Omaha Eto > haha nice
Pix Severus > so i started scanning for them, and one thing led to another..
Pix Severus > now i fly a ship with a probe scanner, hunting mtus, and all sorts of weird things happen to me
Omaha Eto > is that fun to you? lol
Pix Severus > yes, its a lot of fun, but i agree that its weird, just scanning down mtus and shooting them
Pix Severus > but i meet a lot of people, some get angry, but some are interested, like yourself
Pix Severus > either way, it gives me things to write about
Omaha Eto > i’ve never seen such a strange profession. well i became suspicious when i saw your flashing yellow icon and came to you profile and so on
Pix Severus > thats great, you are wise to check suspect characters
Pix Severus > they could be up to anything

Sometimes I feel very happy that I began hunting MTUs, as I get to experience pleasant chats like these from time to time.

Pix Severus > you wont believe this, but i just found a gecko in Uoyonen
Pix Severus > just sitting in space, alone, 50m+ in my pocket lol
Omaha Eto > i should say its kinda crazy but cool. you are one of a kind i guess.
Omaha Eto > gecko…rly nice!
Pix Severus > you are too kind sir!
Omaha Eto > well i actually think this game can give a lot of opportunities to player but i didn’t expect someone can use them in such way
Pix Severus > EVE truly is one of a kind
Pix Severus > the only mmo that allows players to be creative
Omaha Eto > i’m actually newbie to this game. three weeks only. running missions right now but willing to scan and travel in expedition frigates in future.
Pix Severus > scanning and exploration is a lot of fun, and gives you so much freedom in this game, i highly recommend it
Omaha Eto > i’ll do it for sure. thx a lot for recomendations and your cool game story dude. that was rly awesome ;)

There you have it, if you ever need an excuse to start chatting with people in local, exchanges like these are a good one. Contrary to the stories you read about EVE elsewhere, not everyone who plays this game is a scary sociopath, so the next time you get the chance to enter a discussion in local, go for it!

Vocal Local 4

Adventures with Yellow Parasol

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.

Scrammed MTU

That MTU isn’t going anywhere.

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:

Local Chat

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.

Frigate Fight

Click on image for full size.

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 this was 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.

Kill: KappaClaus KappaPride (Executioner)

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:

Local Chat

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.

Kill: Ankr Vonzeer (Mobile Tractor Unit)

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.

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.

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.

The Damsel

Around the time of this post, I had another noteworthy encounter with an MTU that was sitting alone in an active mission, this time the mission was one that is well-known to many EVE players, even those who don’t run missions, The Damsel in Distress.

This is actually one of my favourite level 4 missions as it has a good payout for the amount of time it takes to complete. However, you need a battleship with a good tank to be able to do this mission effectively, meaning that my MTU Hunting ship was going to need some backup

EVE Online system Atoosh

The system of Atoosh, in the Tash-Murkon region.

After arriving in the system of Atoosh, on my way to the outer reaches of highsec, I did my usual system scan and quickly found a lone MTU. Once I had landed on grid with it, I was immediately aggressed by 9 Mercenary NPC battleships and a cluster of cruisers and had to warp off or risk losing my ship. Due to the strucutres in the mission, and the name of one of the NPCs (Kruul) it was clear to me what mission this was, and that the mission runner had prematurely spawned the 2nd wave of battleships by shooting Kruul too early. This mistake could be why he wasn’t there actually doing the mission, but was instead docked-up inside a nearby station.

I decided that it was my duty to help my fellow capsuleer by completing the mission for him, and taking only his MTU as payment, a fair trade I’d say. I logged my mission runner alt and spent the next 20 minutes warping her slow faction battleship, a Raven Navy Issue all the way out there. By the time she reached the system, the mission runner had logged off for the evening, but that didn’t matter, we had work to do. After trading bookmarks in the station, I warped my alt to the active mission and got to work, and within a few minutes she had destroyed all the mission rats along with the structure where The Damsel was being held captive.

EVE Online Cargo Container

*Thud thud* Muffled Voices.

There were now quite a number of wrecks littering the field along with various containers, one of which contained The Damsel. “Wait! Oh no!” I exclaimed, as the MTU began sucking in the container where The Damsel now resided, the only thing between her and the cold vacuum of space. “If she gets sucked into the MTU, there is a chance she won’t survive the explosion when I pop it!” Alas, it was too late, I couldn’t reach the container before the MTU had sucked it in, and The Damsel’s fate now hung in the balance. With a dry throat and a feeling of consternation, I warped in my MTU hunting ship and began the task of popping it regardless. Would she survive?

Kill: Base Sixteen (Mobile Tractor Unit)

She did indeed survive, thankfully, and I welcomed her onto my ship along with the rest of the loot. I then docked at the station (the same one where the mission runner lived) and contracted The Damsel to him so he could complete the mission. With my work now complete it was time for a rest, and so I logged off for the evening.

When I logged on again the following day I found that the contract had not been accepted, but instead the mission runner had decided to place a whopping 80m ISK bounty on my head! Well, that’s gratitude for you I guess, but I won’t let one sour capsuleer deter me from helping others in the future. At this point you may be thinking to yourself “So what happened to The Damsel?” After all, the mission runner didn’t want her, and I’m not heartless enough to hand her over to the slavers..

EVE Online - The Damsel

She rides with me now.