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.

Hecatetastrophe

I mentioned in an earlier post that one of the ways I like to hunt MTUs is to roam along the outer edges of highsec, along the border with lowsec. MTUs are rarer out there, but when you do find one it feels a lot more special than popping your nth MTU in a busy Sisters of EVE mission hub.

On one such roam I made a series of mistakes which ultimately cost me my ship.

The first mistake was made before I had even set off on the hunt, when I was sat in station planning my route for that night. I was to head to the Khanid region, an area of New Eden that I seldom visit. I had set many waypoints so I could cover the majority of systems in that region, but it seems that at one point I had inadvertently set a course through lowsec. Normally I wouldn’t have an issue travelling through lowsec, but not knowing I was going to be there was the actual problem. When you spend so much time in highsec, you can become complacent, and often find yourself doing things you wouldn’t do in lowsec.

EVE Online Map - Khanid Region

The Khanid region.

I set off on the hunt, scanning every system as I went. It had been particularly uneventful, with only a couple of empty MTUs found on the way, but I pressed on regardless. Later on in the night, having found absolutely nothing, I entered a system which had no one else in local (not atypical for this area of space) and parked myself at a random moon, as central to the system as I could get. I launched my probes to begin the routine of scanning for MTUs, when suddenly, horror.

Kill: Pix Severus (Hecate)

What happened? One minute I’m happily scanning away, the next I see my shields turn red, quickly followed by my armour and structure. The surprise of it caused me to fumble the controls, and by the time I realised what was going on, my ship had exploded and I was ejected in my pod. After moving my pod safely away to a nearby planet, I took a deep breath and began to assess the situation. It wasn’t until I closed the solar system map (which I keep up almost 100% of the time while I’m hunting MTUs) that I realised I was in lowsec, because the map was always positioned in the top-left of my screen, obscuring the system’s security status. This was my second mistake. The third mistake was not having POS guns on my overview, and that, along with having sound disabled in-game, meant that when the player-owned structure next to the moon fired it’s guns at me, it came as a complete surprise.

Magnate

The Amarrians are solely responsible for the scarcity of gold in the universe.

After I had regained my composure, I checked the killmail and saw that 50m ISK worth of mods had survived my ship’s explosion, including my expensive probe launcher; I had to get those items back. I warped back to the scene of my demise, bookmarked the location of my ship’s wreck, then set off to find the nearest station with ships for sale. In the system of Badivefi, some 10 or so jumps away, I found a Magnate for sale, along with a surprisingly wide array of ship mods and other items, this system turned out to be a well-stocked market hub, one I’d never visited before. Once I had given the Magnate a decent fit, I headed back to my shipwreck, and thankfully no one had looted it in the meantime. I then headed back to the nearest trade hub, Amarr, with my tail firmly between my legs. It was time to buy myself a new MTU hunting ship.

An embarrassing loss for this MTU hunter, many mistakes were made, and a decent chunk of ISK was lost. Thankfully, EVE is a game that allows you to make such mistakes, which in turn lets you learn from them and become a better player as a result.

Progress of an MTU Hunter

In my previous post I detailed the first steps I took into the world of MTU Hunting, including my first MTU kill. In this post I will explain how I improved my ability to hunt down MTUs and increase my MTU/hr ratio. This is the final part of my 3-part introduction into the world of MTU Hunting.

With my first kill under my belt, it was time to step things up a notch, I had been training scanning skills during my early hunting days and now it was time to put them to use. Instead of solely using D-Scan, I would now be using a combination of D-Scan and the Probe Scanner. I hadn’t used the Probe Scanner in years, so instead of re-learning how to use the old one, I decided to use the new beta version of the Probe Scanner instead.

Probe Scanner

Purty.

To use the Probe Scanner I needed to fit a probe launcher to my ship, and unfortunately my little interceptor didn’t have a lot of CPU for fitting one. Instead of doing the smart thing and finding a new ship that could fit one, I decided to fit a Co-Processor II, which gave my interceptor just enough CPU to fit a Sister’s Expanded Probe Launcher. I would then carry my guns and other combat-related modules in my cargohold, and refit for combat at the nearest station after scanning an MTU down. Not the most efficient way of doing things, but I managed to rack up an impressive 90+ kills using this method.

Throughout that period I had been training the skills needed to use a type of ship that had been introduced to the game during my hiatus, the Tactical Destroyer. I decided to go for the Gallente variant of this ship, the Hecate, as most of my skills at that time were suited for it. I will go into more detail about this ship in a later post, but I will mention that with more than twice the DPS of my interceptor, over 4 times the cargo capacity, and a bonus that allows for easy fitting of a probe launcher, this ship would be the perfect MTU hunting ship.

Hecate

Anybody for some planking?

With this ship, my MTU/hr ratio went through the roof, and I could now hunt down and kill MTUs quickly and efficiently. Now that I had the skills and tools necessary for MTU hunting, I headed out to the most lucrative mission hubs, the busiest trade hubs, and the quietest systems in the farthest reaches of empire space. Would I find riches beyond my wildest dreams, or would I find oblivion? Would I find adventure and experiences worthy of sharing, or would I find disappointment?

Add this blog to your bookmarks, and keep reading, to find out.