Vocal Local 11

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.

Sometimes, however, an MTU hunter can be rather pleased that the locals still remember him, even after returning from a very lengthy break.

Local Chat with Firlefranz

I had just returned to EVE after a year and a half away, and I was in the process of replenishing my network of named containers across New Eden when I received this nice message in local. Thanks Firlefranz!

Local Chat with Maddogmaddis Saint

Sometimes people see me travelling around the quiet backwater systems in a Hecate, and assume I’m doing exploration/site running. If only they knew!

Local Chat with Dace Cad

I missed this salute from Dace Cad as I was travelling through Iidoken. I remembered his name from somewhere, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I decided to send him a mail regardless, as I usually do when I miss someone greeting me in local.

EVEmail with Dace Cad

This response made me remember why I recognised his name.

EVEmail with Dace Cad

Here’s a link to the post I mentioned in the above mail. Thanks for being a good sport about it all, Dace!

Local Chat with Mylee Rose

Here we have a pleasant exchange with Mylee Rose, a member of CODE.

Local Chat with Mylee Rose

I do enjoy talking with CODE. agents as they tend to be a lot more vocal than most pilots in highsec, on average.

Local Chat with Omah Gans and Bhisma Ataaru

I popped into Umokka one evening to find local chat buzzing, and as is usual, the locals were talking about The Code. In this instance, they were discussing the merits of owning a mining permit.

Local Chat with Omah Gans and Bhisma Ataaru

It seems that Omah had bought a mining permit, and was defending his purchase to some other locals who had objected to it. Shortly after this, some of them started talking about putting tanks on Ventures to make them ungankable, I told them that this wasn’t a good idea, but was ultimately ignored.

Local Chat with Brin Eventine

Here we have a nice chat with Brin Eventine, who mentioned the containers I tend to leave strewn across highsec.

Local Chat with J Abysser

In the same system, J Abysser joined the chat after I commented on the system’s name (I just had to!) Unfortunately Nani is now a ghost town after it was invaded by the Triglavians, who took it into Final Liminality.

Local Chat with Aesir Valtari

It is a rather good name if I do say so myself. Thanks Aesir!

That’s all for this edition of Vocal Local, but there is plenty more to come. If you see me in local, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with me, even a simple wave can go a long way. Who knows, you might find yourself featured in a future edition of this series.

Vocal Local 10

The Geras Scuffle

I’ve spent a few posts lately telling you about the times I have lost ships whilst hunting MTUs, and ths will hopefully be the last such post of this kind for a while.

It would be over 3 years from my fight with Trigger, detailed in this post, that I would lose another MTU hunting ship through PvP, and unlike the previous encounter, I saw this one coming.

On this day, I was graced with the presence of my CEO from my ganking days, Solecist Project, a highsec superstar and someone I’m very proud to call a friend. We were chatting away in the MTU Hunting chat channel, when I spotted 3 MTUs in a mining site in Geras, and so I asked Sol and TonyTiger 57 (another friend we were chatting with at the time) if they wanted to join me in erasing them. They did, and so I formed a fleet, scanned down the MTUs, and waited for them to arrive.

MTUs in Geras

MTUs littered the field.

There were 2 ships near the MTUs, a Covetor and a Retriever, and while waiting for Sol and Tony to arrive, yet another MTU had been dropped at the site. When my friends reached me, I warped us to the site, and we immediately set to work on the MTUs, starting with the one closest to us. At this point I noticed combat probes on scan, made a quick check that they weren’t my own (I’ve spooked myself a couple of times, haha) and made the quick decision to warp out. I’d been a bit premature on that call, which Sol made sure to let me know. I should’ve waited to see what ships were coming first. I warped back to the site along with Tony (Sol had stayed there in his Probe) and we finished off the first MTU.

Kill: Adishi Hemah (Mobile Tractor Unit)

We then turned our attention to the next MTU, some 10km away from the first, and started shooting that too. Whilst shooting this one, there were now 2 ships on scan heading for us, a Catalyst and a Coercer, and they landed 10km from us at the site’s warp-in just as the second MTU popped.

Kill: Adishi Hemah (Mobile Tractor Unit)

It had been a long time since I had been in a real fight, so I made the decision to stay and fight these interlopers. I targetted both destroyers, and the Coercer reached me first so I started firing upon him first.

Kill: Meik Odunen (Coercer)

I then switched to the Catalyst, which had done a huge amount of damage to me by this point. I had him in deep armour, but then a Rupture landed and..

Kill: Pix Severus (Hecate)

Please excuse the bad fit, it was a result of my attempt to pop an MTU in under a minute without using polarized guns! Oh, and The Damsel survived, thankfully!

I got my pod out of the site, and at that point Sol lost his Probe and got his pod out too, thankfully Tony managed to escape in his Ares. While waiting for the weapon timer, I was bouncing around in my pod and chatting with Sol in local when something weird happened.

Local Chat with Solecist Project

Kill: Eva Mabuse (Catalyst)

I don’t know how he managed to CONCORD himself, did he try to gank something? Regardless, no gank victim shows on his killboard.

What happened next though was something special, and at the time I had no idea just how special it was.

Kill: Adishi Hemah (Mobile Tractor Unit)

What we are looking at here is an MTU I got on the killmail for, filled with the remains of the ship I used to hunt it. This is a rare scenario, and is the first and only time this has ever happened for me.

In the end, our little scuffle in Geras looked something like this:

The Geras Scuffle

Click on image for full size.

I’m relatively happy with the outcome, it was a lot of fun and I learned a few things. If I had to do the fight over again though, I’d shoot the Catalyst first, then go for the Coercer, then hopefully GTFO just before the Rupture lands.

I’ve lost ships in all sorts of ways over the years, I’ve been ganked, lost numerous ships to NPCs, and I’ve even been blapped by POS guns in lowsec. What matters though is that the MTU devastation continues on regardless.

MTU Mailbag 9

It’s that time, once again, for me to dig through my backlog of EVEmails and showcase the various comments and questions I receive from pilots across New Eden. 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 though.

First up, we have a couple of short mails about the many containers I leave lying across highsec.

EVE Mail Visch Venegance

EVE Mail Elizabetha Sangreal

Thanks to both of you for these mails, I find them fun and encouraging. I am indeed well-travelled, I’m not the sort of player who just sticks to one area all the time, I like to get out there and stretch my legs. For more information about why I receive mails like these, please see this post: Pix Severus was here o/

Sticking with the same theme, I received this mail from Peepinglee.

EVE Mail Peepinglee

Which prompted one of my typical replies.

EVE Mail Peepinglee

Which resulted in a pleasant exchange between us.

EVE Mail Peepinglee

Here’s that killmail for you:

Kill: Wulfgar WarHammer (Mobile Tractor Unit)

Thanks for the chat, Peepinglee, see you around. o/

EVE Mail Anson countach

The answer is yes, anyone can kill gankers in highsec, if that ganker’s security status is low enough, and if you can catch them. The second “if” is a big one, you’ll find that most gankers are extremely difficult to catch, but I’m sure most of them will welcome you to try.

EVE Mail Xdrog Eto

Unfortunately I was on one of my many breaks from New Eden when this mail came in. Regardless, I don’t tend to go MTU hunting with people I don’t know very often, I would rather encourage you to go out and try it for yourself, it isn’t difficult, and you’ll learn more that way.

EVE Mail somethingsomethingsometh

… indeed.

EVE Mail Blued Andedare

I believe this is how most people find my blog these days. Thank you for the kind words, Blued, and make sure to look after those MTUs, there’s all sorts of crazy people about!

EVE Mail Natalya Greed

Here are those killmails for you.

Kill: KingTheGlor (Mobile Tractor Unit)
Kill: Maksim Startsev (Ferox)

The “comet place” in Deltole that Natalya is talking about is a combat site that is often littered with MTUs and other Mobile Deployables, and was mentioned on my blog long ago in this post.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Natalya, and great work on those kills there!

That’s it for this edition of MTU Mailbag, if you have any comments or questions for me, don’t hesitate to send me (Pix Severus) a mail. I reply to almost all mails I receive and there’s a good chance your mail will appear on this blog at some point in the future.


In a previous post I told you about how I had lost a ship whilst hunting MTUs, after being hunted down by another player. In this post I would like to cover the instances in which I have lost ships to NPCs (rats) whilst out hunting.

Rogue Drones

These are nasty little blighters, dangerous too, something I learned the hard way. It would be my own impatience in the end though, that cost me a ship.

This loss comes from my early days of MTU hunting, back in those days I had just started using my alt in her battleship to take out the rats surrounding MTUs in active missions. The main problem with doing that though is having to jump a slow old battleboat, upwards of 30 jumps at times, across highsec.

I had found an MTU in the lesser-travelled system of Stou that was surrounded by rogue drones. That wasn’t all though, there was also a player wreck right next to it, a cruiser wreck, and I wanted it. Not wanting to jump my alt’s ship a very long way through highsec to meet me, I decided to fit a mission-capable ship in Dodixie, the nearest trade hub, and try to take these things out myself.

Rogue Drone

Bzzt… 01101100 01101111 01101100

Perhaps the fact that another player had already succumbed to these things should have been enough warning, but when it comes to MTUs I can often find myself becoming blinkered. I warped in at range to hopefully pull some of the drones away from the MTU, only to find only some would aggress at a time, purely based on proximity. I took a few out, and took a lot of damage, I actually had to warp out and back in again a couple of times to avoid dying, and on the third warp-in my luck ran out. I had pulled too many, lingered too long, and the damage was too great.

Kill: Pix Severus (Thorax)

After that, I did what I should have done from the start, and warped my alt in her battleship all the way out there to delete those drones. With that done, the MTU was free to pop.

Kill: Clarissia Nai’lo (Mobile Tractor Unit)

You can see the remains of Clarissia’s ship here in this MTU, but not my own wreck, as I died too far out from the MTU’s tractor range.

This was my second-ever ship loss in the pursuit of MTU destruction. Lesson learned?

The Burner

In this case, I lost the ship I had first started hunting MTUs in, a Raptor named “ur mum lol”, to an elite NPC. I had scanned an MTU down in Inder, and saw that there was a player wreck next to it, this meant that the MTU was most likely filled with the remains of that player wreck, and I wanted it, I wanted it bad.

After scanning it down in my Hecate, I warped to it and when I landed I saw an acceleration gate that told me I could only bring Frigates through. I then knew that this was an Anomic mission, which contains very powerful NPCs called Burners. Knowing how dangerous those things are, I had second thoughts about proceeding, but I didn’t want to just leave it there though. I thought to myself “What if those things don’t start shooting you until you get into range, or make an aggressive move against it?” I grabbed my Raptor and headed back to test this theory out, and I learned the hard way that Burners auto-aggro.

Kill: Pix Severus (Raptor)


Not-so-clever girl.

If I come across any more MTUs left in Burner missions in the future, I will just bookmark the MTU, and make a note to come back after downtime, when the mission should have despawned.

I’m not the first MTU hunter to lose a ship to a Burner, and I’m sure I won’t be the last. If you’re thinking of taking up this profession, consider this a forewarning.

That covers all my NPC deaths thus far whilst pursuing MTU devastation. From these deaths I’ve learned to be a little more patient whenever I find an MTU surrounded by rats. I’ll make sure to keep you updated on any further costly mistakes I make, as it is all just part of the journey.

Get Schniffyy

It is my honour today to bring you a story by Berger Luckmann, a very experienced MTU hunter and elite PvPer who has had his fair share of experiences over the years. If Berger’s name looks familiar to you, you might remember him from NS&CD 2.

A Tale of Two Magpies

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. A young capsuleer by the name of Schniffyy believed he deserved the best. To be fair to Schniffyy, he could also afford to have the best! The young capsuleer liked his MTUs flashy. Unfortunately, carebearing in High Sec rotted our dear friend’s brain. Mr Schniffyy kept forgetting to scoop his fancy MTUs. I found the first faint traces of his trail about 3 or four days ago:

Schniffyy killmail - Berger Luckmann

Kill: Schniffyy (‘Magpie’ Mobile Tractor Unit)

This took a lot of dedication, and I had to outfit a scanner-strength-tanked Imicus specifically for that. The scanner tanked Imicus, however, became of use once again!

Kill: Schniffyy (‘Magpie’ Mobile Tractor Unit)

I found his filthy garbage wrapped in 400 million isk of gold foil once again! I became curious to say the least.

Both times, I naturally sent him an invoice. However, suspecting there will surely be a third time, I offered that he send me 400 million isk next time he thinks of buying a Magpie MTU. To my complete and utter disappointment, I was not given the gift of 400 million isk. I was, however, given so much more!

On my usual patrol of my home system, I saw a beautiful sight. Lo! There! In the distance! On my d-scan! “Schniffy’s Rattlesnake!” “This is the time for a long overdue conversation” I thought to myself as I scanned down his mission site. I packed my salvage drones. I packed my trusty Nergal. I undocked in search of understanding.

Unfortunately, Schniffyy did not realize I was there to talk to him about his Magpie addiction. Unfortunately, Schniffyy did not take nicely to my presence. Unfortunately, Schniffyy shot a suspect Nergal in high sec.

Now, I like Rattlesnakes. I will never fly one seriously, because I dislike watching my ships align only to stare at them warp, but I like Rattlesnakes. I did not want to blow it up! I did not like being in that position. And then I saw it – a capsule here, a Rattlesnake there! Schniffyy’s Rattlesnake now sat alone in space, cold, unoccupied, a pod warping away, saving a set of likely very fancy implants!

What could I do but give the ship a new home? What could I do but park it in my hangar? Could I bring myself to leave it’s crew to rot? I couldn’t.

I would have been ecstatic, had I been able to report to you that the Rattlesnake contained another Magpie. Alas! Some stories have good endings that are not as poetic as one would like them to be. Alas! I was unable to talk to Schniffyy about his addiction.

I hope the tale continues, as I am sure, does Schniffyy, who threatened to war dec Hell Dawn over the loss of his precious Magpies and the Rattlesnake. I hope also that Hell Dawn will be able to come to some arrangement with Schniffyy’s corporation. I do not want my wreckless ways to start a war.

I offer you my good wishes,
Berger Luckmann

Thank you very much for this charming tale, Berger. Liberating two Magpies and a Battleship from the same pilot is not something you see every day, wonderful!

That’s all for this post, if you have any interesting stories you’d like to share, please send them to me (Pix Severus) via EVEmail, or drop a comment on this post.

Added as a Contact 2

Your friendly, local MTU Hunter gets contacted a lot by capsuleers from all over New Eden as he goes about his business. Sending mails, striking-up conversations in local, or joining my chat channel are not the only ways that pilots choose to get my attention, some of them use the more indirect method of adding me as a contact, and attaching a short message to it.

In an earlier post, I showed you some examples of this, and in this post I would now like to go through some more of them with you.

Contact Cameena Dummler

It looks like we’re off to a bad start here with Cameena Dummler. I don’t see how blowing up MTUs can be seen as vandalism, MTUs are trash, and I’m simply taking it out! This also makes being called a litterer all the more perplexing to me, I certainly don’t believe I’m deserving of either of those labels. If anything, I’m a humanitarian.

Contact Marlow Mencia

Thank you very much, Marlow! As we can see from his killboard, he has indeed popped a few MTUs, well done!

Contact Blood Axxis

Not a problem, sir. Here are some handy links to some MTU info, for those who are interested: MTU Hunting 101, MTU FAQ.

Contact Eolian Switch

Thank you Eoilian, and I hope you found the ISK you were looking for. The containers he is talking about are the ones I leave lying around highsec as I hunt for MTUs. More info about that here: Pix Severus was here o/

Contact Levedi

Thank you very much, Levedi! As we can see from his very impressive killboard, he has racked-up quite the respectable amount of MTU kills himself! Congratulations!

That’s all for now. If you ever want to add me as a contact, and attach a little message for me, go right ahead! You might just see it here on the blog in a future episode of this series.

Added as a Contact

Naming Surprises and Cheeky Disguises 5

Giving a name to your MTU is the hip new trend for capsuleers across highsec, what better way to enhance your impact upon D-Scan and improve your presence in local! In this post I’ll be taking a look at some more of these memorable mobile deployables.

Annubis XI

First up we have someone who tried to name their MTU after the Egyptian god of the afterlife, and as we can see, someone already tried to send this MTU to the afterlife, due to the sliver of armor damage it had already taken when I found it.

I put this thing to rest for good shortly afterwards, although I do wonder if we’ll see Annubis XII at some point in the future.

Labyrinth Gateway

This MTU was found in Aphi, a system well known for having a static COSMOS site with constantly-respawning NPCs that are farmed by AFKers and bots all the live-long day. There are often a lot of MTUs deployed here, but unfortunately you need a key to get past the acceleration gate to this site.

Mighty's MTU

Here we have an MTU owned by MiGhTyFoUrTwEnTy who decided to name it after himself. This MTU turned out to be mightier than I had anticipated, as it had swallowed it’s owners ship.

Kill: MiGhTyFoUrTwEnTy (Mobile Tractor Unit)


Unfortunately I almost exclusively use blasters, so I was unable to make a jibe about how I pewpewed this MTU to death with my lasers. Oh well, moving on.

mtu mersi

Here we have an MTU that was surrounded by Orcas. It’s time to crack-out that online translator again to see what this name means.

Romanian: mtu mersi
Translates to: mtu thanks

Well, thanks for that, I guess.

Sharvas MTU

Here we have another MTU surrounded by Orcas, a common sight in highsec these days. This one looks to be a name without proper use of an apostrophe, needless to say I didn’t spot anyone named Sharva or Sharvas in local.

Pers Mamma

This name is detected as being Swedish by an online translator, but the words remain the same in English as they are in Swedish. Therefore I can only assume that this MTU is named after the mother of someone named Pers. Strange.

Toplayici 1

This time we have an MTU with a Turkish name, a first for me! Let’s translate it, shall we?

Turkish: Toplayici 1
Translates to: Collector 1

That sounds about right, removing the “1” from the translation results in the word “Picker”, which also sounds about right for an MTU name.


At first glance, it looked like this MTU was named ROBOCOP and I had plans to pepper this post with all sorts of iconic quotes from the movie. Instead, we have some Cyrillic letters to decipher to find the true name of this MTU.

Bulgarian: ГОВНОСБОР
Translates to: S**T COLLECTION

I… wouldn’t buy that for a dollar.


Finally we have the first MTU I’ve ever found with an emoji for a name. MTUs are dangerous space equipment, and I believe more of them should carry warning symbols like these.

No cheeky disguises in this post, but I can guarantee you will get one in the next episode of this series! As always, if you spot any interesting or funny named MTUs out there, please take a screenshot and send it to me (Pix Severus) via EVEmail. Until next time!

Naming Surprises and Cheeky Disguises 4

MTU Hunting Tips & Tricks

Today I would like to share with you some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned whilst hunting MTUs over the years. For a complete guide on how to hunt down an MTU, see MTU Hunting 101, and for more general information on the mechanics involed, see MTU FAQ.

Dealing with NPCs

Ocassionally, when you scan down an MTU, you will find that it is surrounded by hostile NPCs. Sometimes they will auto-aggro on you, and sometimes they won’t, it is always worth waiting a little while to see if they do or not, but ensure that you are far enough away to not get pointed or killed by them.

MTU surrounded by mission rats

In the case that they do auto-aggro, you have a number of options available to you:

1) Kill them; Make sure you’re in a ship that is capable of doing so, having a battleship handy is useful for taking out rats in level 4 security missions. Having experience in mission running will help you a lot here, as you can avoid triggering new spawns of NPCs, and also be aware of delayed spawns that may suprise you when you think you’re safe.

2) Kite them; If the site has no acceleration gates or warp-in beacons, you can warp to the MTU at 100km, and pull those NPCs away from it, you can then warp out when they’ve been pulled far enough away. When you warp back in at 0 on the MTU, the NPCs will have to spend time burning back to you before they can get you in range, leaving you time to pop the MTU.

3) Wait until after downtime; At downtime (11:00 – 11:15 UTC every day) most missions and the rats within them despawn. The MTU, however, may not, meaning that the once-surrounded MTU will now be sat out there in the void, ripe for popping.

Also be aware of Burner NPCs, unless you have a specific type of ship that is capable of taking these NPCs out, you will die.

Avoiding Bait

You will never be able to avoid bait 100%, but there are things you can do to minimise the risks of falling into a trap laid by an MTU Hunter-Hunter.

1) Know local; If there are only a few people in local, you can type the pilot’s names into zkillboard to see if they’re the sort of person that may be lying-in-wait to shoot you. Is there a pilot in local whose killboard is filled with highsec kills and no CONCORD losses? They’re likely a suspect/criminal hunter, and you should watch out for them. If local has a lot of people in it, you can use a tool called PySpy which will make the intel process a lot faster and easier. Thanks to Purgo for the PySpy recommendation, I’ve started using it recently, and it is very handy.

2) Check the MTU’s owner; When you warp to an MTU, right-click on it and select “Show Info”, you will then see the MTU owner’s avatar near the top of the window, click on it to see his name and check if he is in local with you. If he is in local, check his killboard. Does he have a lot of highsec kills, particularly in the system (and surrounding systems) you’re in? If so, there is a good chance it is bait.

Baiter Killboard

3) Be suspicious; Did you dock up for a while to let your Suspect Timer wind down, and now that you’ve undocked there is a new MTU sat there on D-Scan that you didn’t notice before? That’s potential bait, and it is something that almost worked on me once, thankfully I followed the advice in step 2, saw that the MTU’s owner was a baiter, and was able to avoid falling for it (he also dropped combat probes on me instead of just bookmarking his own MTU, which kinda gave it away).

Always add known-baiters to your contacts (set them red) so you can see if they’re in the area when you’re out hunting.

Avoiding Chancers

Unlike baiters, these guys will only spring into action when they see that there is someone suspect in local (you). There are a few things you can do to make it harder for them to catch you.

1) Rename your ship; The easiest way to find someone who is suspect in any given system is to check D-Scan for ships and look for those that haven’t been renamed. For example, if I left my ship name as default “Pix Severus’ Hecate”, and I was clearly suspect (flashing yellow skull next to my name in local) anyone looking for me will easily be able to tell my ship is the one they’re looking for. Then it would be a simple case of finding where my ship is on D-Scan and probing it down.

2) Check D-Scan; Always pulse D-Scan while shooting an MTU, to see if anyone is warping to you or trying to scan you down with combat probes.

3) Stay aligned; If you’re in a relatively large ship, it might be worth aligning to something that you can warp to, so you can instantly enter warp if something you cant win against lands on you.

4) Use bookmarks; Create safe spots to warp to, and dock/undock bookmarks at NPC stations, which will allow you to move around the system freely, much to the chagrin of those hunting you. I like to bounce around between safe spots while waiting for the Weapon Timer to wind down, this makes it very hard to scan me down after the MTU has been popped. Oh, and if the system has player-made stations that you have docking rights with, you don’t need to make a docking bookmark to dock safely at those, just FYI.

It should probably go without saying that you should set any chancers you encounter to red in your contacts, as it is likely they will try again.

Making it Profitable

There are a number of ways you can turn a profit from hunting MTUs, this can help cover expenses such as ammo, and even ships if you tend to lose them often.

1) Sell MTUs in the systems you most frequently get MTU kills in. If a system tends to have a lot of MTUs in it, then it stands to reason that it might be a good place to sell them. After all, the people deploying them will need to replace any that you pop! You can buy MTUs cheap at larger hubs (websites such as EVEMarketer are useful for finding where the cheapest items are) and then list them at a higher price in the system you operate in. Many pilots are willing to pay a little extra for the convenience of not having to travel multiple jumps, just to make a saving of a couple of million ISK.

Mobile Tractor Unit Market

2) Know your mission items; MTUs often drop mission-specific items that have no value on the market, but are worth money on contracts. The Damsel is one such item, and she is usually sold for 40m ISK on contracts at the time of writing this. You can also try selling these items back to the owner of the MTU you got it from, as they may need it to complete the mission they were running. Some items cannot be found on the market or on contracts, so it’ll be up to you how much you list it for.

3) Sell locally; There is no point in hauling all your MTU loot to a trade hub to sell to buy orders, unless you need that ISK right then and there. Good things come to he who waits, so list your items as sell orders in the nearest NPC station. The benefits of this are that you can often list items at a higher price, for the reason talked about in step 1, and you also save time from lugging all that loot around. The only downside is that you will have to wait longer for your items to sell. If you wish to sell locally, make sure to train up your trade skills to increase the maximum amount of sell orders you can have.

Thats all for this post, I may update it in the future with more tips and tricks, otherwise I might just make a second post. As always, if you have any questions about hunting MTUs, feel free to contact me (Pix Severus) in game.

MTU Mailbag 8: The Fangirl

It’s that time, once again, for me to dig through my backlog of EVEmails and showcase the various comments and questions I receive from pilots across New Eden. 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 though.

Today we have an MTU Mailbag special in which I’ll tell you about how I met a pilot named Sira Cunningham, an encounter that resulted in the birth of a new MTU hunter, and a whole slew of killmails. It started off, as things usually do for me, with an EVEmail.

EVE Mail Sira Cunningham

Like many pilots who live in, or pass through highsec, she had seen my containers lying around that tell people where I’d been, you’ll find more information on this activity in this post. Oh, and as I keep having to tell people, I’m not creepy at all. It even says so in my profile!

Pix Severus Corp Title

After a little banter, as is customary when someone calls me creepy in EVE, Sira told me that she had tried MTU hunting for herself.

EVE Mail Sira Cunningham

Here’s that killmail for you:

Kill: Bristol West (Mobile Tractor Unit)

I explained to her that you don’t lose security status for popping MTUs, and that she must have lost the sec status in an earlier encounter. It turns out that I was correct on that matter and she had lost the security status earlier when popping a Venture out in lowsec.

We ended-up becoming friends, and sending mails to each other regularly about our respective shenanigans in-game. I was also happy to provide advice on any MTU hunting related questions she had.

EVE Mail Sira Cunningham

Kill: Sinvyus Sinzafine (Mobile Tractor Unit)

It wasn’t long before Sira would start sending her MTU killmails to me, something I particularly enjoyed.

EVE Mail Sira Cunningham

That is correct. When you begin shooting an MTU, a Suspect Timer starts, and this timer will last for 15 minutes after the shooting has ended. During those 15 minutes, you are free-to-shoot without CONCORD intervention in highsec.

We spent a lot of time chatting through EVEmail over the next few months, most of which I won’t show you out of respect for privacy, so I’ll keep it mostly about business, the business of MTU destruction.

EVE Mail Sira Cunningham

Kill: WolfW (Mobile Tractor Unit)
Kill: Rader Bastanold (Mobile Tractor Unit)
Kill: PaiMei Six Shi-Tu (Mobile Tractor Unit)

In case you were wondering, you do get bounty payments from killing MTUs, if the MTU’s owner has a bounty on his head. Due to the way the bounty system works though, you don’t tend to get a very large payout, it’s usually enough to cover ammo expenses though.

Here was my response to those killmails:

EVE Mail Pix Severus

Kill: Father Pimen (Mobile Tractor Unit)
Kill: Jason Skirr (Mobile Tractor Unit)
Kill: Leo Weiss (‘Packrat’ Mobile Tractor Unit)

The day before, I had encountered that very same MTU that Sira had popped, I’d scanned it down, and had just gotten it into structure when I spotted combat probes closing-in on me on D-Scan. With a Tengu on it’s way, something that my Hecate would have a lot of trouble with, it was time for me to bail. I was glad to hear that the MTU was taken care of regardless though.

EVE Mail Sira Cunningham

Kill: Mite Ordinary (Mobile Tractor Unit)
Kill: Dmitriy Septim (Mobile Tractor Unit)
Kill: Hardly Gospel (Mobile Tractor Unit)

This wasn’t the first time I had seen the name Mite Ordinary, but I’ll get around to that in a later post.

I’d noticed that Sira had been using a Nemesis to pop MTUs with, she’d told me that the cloak provides some fun options when hunting MTUs, but was displeased that she couldn’t use the bomb launcher in highsec. This inspired me to train up a few missile skills and try the ship out for myself.

Kill: Bassen (‘Packrat’ Mobile Tractor Unit)

I enjoyed using it, but nothing beats the Hecate for this line of work, if you can fly it. Still, it got me some extra points in Empty You’s “Pop an MTU using as many different ships as possible” competition, which has been running for a while now.

It was around the time I was talking with Sira (December 2017) that I was still at around 600 MTU kills, and I’d just found my third-ever ‘Magpie’ MTU, which I happily linked to her.

Kill: Sun Ying (‘Magpie’ Mobile Tractor Unit)

This shows you can expect to kill maybe one ‘Magpie’ MTU for every 200 standard MTUs you kill. After this we agreed to team up if we ever found another ‘Magpie’ out there, and if we were both online at the same time.

We chatted about so much more than I’ve shown here, from POS bashing (an activity I was doing with my corp at the time) to The New Order of Highsec (which Sira actually invested in), to wormholes and beyond. My apparent fame within New Eden was also a matter we discussed, and she had no qualms in letting me know she was a fan, despite how creepy I was!

EVE Mail Sira Cunningham

Sira Cunningham Profile

This cool kid is happy to have met her, and I’ll make sure to send her another mail when this blog post goes live.

That’s it for this edition of MTU Mailbag, if you have any comments or questions for me, don’t hesitate to send me (Pix Severus) a mail. I reply to almost all mails I receive and there’s a good chance your mail will appear on this blog at some point in the future.

MTU Mechanics for Outlaws

Contrary to popular belief, there is a healthy relationship between MTUs and outlaw activity in New Eden. In EVE, an outlaw is any pilot whose security status has dropped to -5 or lower, which is usually achieved through the art of ganking. Such pilots are subject to a number of liimitations in highsec that make MTU hunting a lot more difficult, but not impossible.

First, let us take a look at what life is like for your typical outlaw living in highsec.

Pilots with -5 or lower Security Status can be freely shot by any player in space, at any time, without CONCORD interference. This isn’t much of an issue when it comes to hunting MTUs though, as you gain Suspect Status for shooting them regardless of your Security level, in which case anyone can shoot you anyway.

Pix Severus Outlaw

A rare glimpse of me as -10 in highsec.

The main issue comes in the form of the Facpo, all outlaws are constantly chased by the Faction Police, and therefore cannot remain in any single spot in space for more than around 20 seconds in a 0.5 system, their response time is even less in systems with higher security. This means you cannot sit at the MTU and shoot it for more than 20 seconds in a 0.5 system before you have to warp off to avoid getting killed by them. The Faction Police are different to CONCORD, rather than punishing you for blowing up someone else’s ship, they exist to chase-out people who aren’t welcome in their space, and they can be avoided indefinitely by warping away from them.

This limitation can restrict you from being able to use larger ships, as the Facpo would stand a better chance at catching and destroying a large, lumbering battleship that takes a long time to align and warp off. It isn’t impossible though.

Pix Severus > Maga, have you ever popped an mtu while -10?
Pix Severus > i notice Aaaarrgg seems to do it quite often
Magalaus Shardani > i did once, it was quite tedious
Pix Severus > i can imagine
Magalaus Shardani > shoot until facpo spawns, warpoff and warp back once they move

So how do you destroy an MTU as a -10 who has the Facpo on his back? It’s quite simple really, you warp to the MTU and begin shooting it, and then when the Facpo lands on you, you warp out to a nearby bookmark or celestial, wait for the Facpo to land on you again, then warp back to the MTU and shoot it a little more. Rinse and repeat until the MTU dies.

This is as tedious as it sounds, and with the relatively large amount of HP a standard MTU has, it can take quite a long time too. It takes around a minute to pop an MTU with around 1000DPS at your disposal, and that’s without the added time of having to warp around, and the fact that the MTU will be constantly repairing it’s shields while you’re warping around.

It is indeed possible then, so if you’re a ganker who hasn’t had much luck finding targets one day, but there’s been an MTU staring at you on D-Scan the entire time, you now know what to do!

There are more mechanics involved between MTUs and Outlaws, and this next one was something I hadn’t considered until I spotted a comment in the Minerbumping chat channel one evening.

Qipchak - Minerbumping chat channel

Thank you for this information, Qipchak. It seems that an MTU could be a handy tool for gankers, for the purpose of retrieving the loot from their own gank ships after they’ve ganked someone. When you get CONCORDed for ganking someone, your wreck becomes blue to everyone, meaning that anyone can loot it freely without going Suspect, such wrecks can also be tractored-in by MTUs. The MTU will not tractor-in the gank victim’s wreck though, as those are always yellow and “belong” to the victim, and taking from those wrecks will give you Suspect Status (a status that an MTU cannot be in, unfortunately).

I guess it makes sense that you can shoot an MTU without going suspect if the MTU’s owner is an outlaw. It follows the same rules as ganker’s shipwrecks, which are blue and accessible to anyone without involving timers. As someone who has popped over 1000 MTUs, I can safely say that this must be a very rare occurrence, as I have never not gone Suspect for shooting an MTU in all this time. I think most gankers would probably use a non-outlaw alt to deploy an MTU for this purpose, and that’s if they even care about retrieving their own gank modules.

That’s it for this little informational piece, if you’re considering life as an outlaw in highsec and wish to pop some MTUs too, I hope this post comes in handy. If you’ve experienced interesting mechanics involving MTUs that you would like to share, feel free to contact me.

Bonus Edit!
Solstice Projekt kindly provided me with some feedback to correct a few errors in this post, which I have now done. He also had some further advice for those looking to pop MTUs as -10.

If you’re having issue popping an MTU quickly as -10, then just use a Tornado! The cycletime is spent warping around. They can even be fitted with a combat probe launcher when done right and you can spend your time probing in warp (or, like a more boring person, while tethered) so the faction police can’t kill you. This works great in bigger systems!

Thanks Sol!