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.
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.