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 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.

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.

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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.

Pix Severus was here o/

Some time ago I came up with the idea of leaving a calling card in the systems that I hunt in, for the purpose of letting people know that their friendly, local MTU Hunter is never too far away.

EVE Online Small Secure Container

I was there.

The original plan was to anchor a Small Secure Container at the location of MTUs I had popped, but I decided to leave them at Stargates instead so that more people would actually see them. These containers have to be anchored at least 100km away from other structures and entities, including MTUs and wrecks, and once they are anchored they will last a minimum of 30 days until they disappear from space. If you right-click on one of these containers, either in-space or in your overview, and select “Show Info” you can find information about the container’s owner.

As you can see, I didn’t put a huge amount of thought into the message these containers would.. contain, opting for the time-tested “[name] was here” format, and hoping it would give pilots something more fun to read than the Russian corp ads which surround seemingly every gate in highsec these days. I didn’t expect the kind of reaction I received for simply placing these containers across highsec, indeed it wasn’t long before mails from capsuleers across New Eden came trickling into my inbox, telling me where they saw my containers, and what they think of them.

EVE Mail

EVE Mail

EVE Mail

I also received many private messages, and had people join my MTU Hunting chat channel after they had found my Bio from the containers. The message had even been mentioned on the official EVE Forums. I also placed a few containers advertising notme7’s chat channel, which worked to bring more people into it. So to anyone looking to advertise or send a message using this method, I can tell you that it does work, pilots do notice them.

Upon returning to EVE late last year, I noticed that one of my containers had managed to last almost 6 months in space without disappearing. How could this be? Containers are supposed to decay after a month without the owner using them in some direct way (opening them, putting an item in them, etc), and my account was inactive the entire time. The container in question was one that I had placed 100km off the Uedama gate in the system of Sivala.

After a short period of confusion concerning this, I remembered something that had happened around 6 months prior that may provide an answer to the mystery of the undying container. Whilst out MTU Hunting one night, I received a message saying that, due to unlawful aggression against me, I now had a killright against New Order Agent, and CEO of The Conference Elite, Mildron Klinker. I found this quite perplexing, he wasn’t in system with me and hadn’t done anything to me; a quick conversation with the man himself cleared things up, however.

Kill Right

A kill right against a ganker is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Shooting a container in a rookie ship is common practice across highsec for resetting CONCORD and allowing further ganks to take place in that system. If you shoot someone’s container in highsec, CONCORD destroys your ship, and the container’s owner gets a kill right against you, and this is what Agent Klinker had done with my container. It seems quite likely, then, that the reason my container had managed to survive for so long is because it was shot. This must surely be some kind of bug, but one that I personally don’t mind, because it saves me from having to replace that particular container every month or so. I have received a number of other kill right notifications over the last few months, as gankers use my containers in their work, and I’m very happy that my containers have proven useful to content creation in highsec.

Placing containers in space has provided me with some fun communications, and new information about the mechanics of EVE, so I’d say it has definitely been worth it. This isn’t the end of this story though, these containers turned out to be the gift that just kept on giving, and would spark a series of events that would lead me to many new adventures. Stay tuned for the continuation.

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.

Vocal Local 3: Salt Edition

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, people aren’t too happy to see an MTU Hunter going about his business.

Local Chat

After popping DiaK Snow’s MTU in an asteroid belt in the system of Sirseshin, he started saying things to me in local.. Russian things. A quick trip to an online translator cleared things up somewhat.

DiaK Snow> Pix Severus here you b**ch , and
DiaK Snow> Pix Severus I’ll zaebis for the tractor, f**king c**ksucker
DiaK Snow> Pix Severus and you c**ksucker , I still find ) ) ) to you all dobrgo ) )

Oh my, it would appear that Mr. Snow was quite upset about the loss of his MTU, I had to try to calm him down.

Local Chat

Surely that would help?

Local Chat

Maybe not, but at least we were speaking the same language now.

Local Chat

It ended quite amicably, then, with Mr. Snow wishing me prosperity, although I do sense a hint of a threat in his parting words to me.

Finding material for this Salt Edition of Vocal Local has been quite difficult, as it seems that most people just do not get upset when I kill their MTUs. Most examples of anger towards me tend to be quite tongue-in-cheek.

Local Chat

Local Chat

I believe it will be many months before I gain enough material for another Salt Edition of Vocal Local. I barely had enough material for this post, perhaps this is a good thing?

One thing I know for certain is that a little salt can definitely add some spice to this game.

Local Chat

Vocal Local 2

Dedication of an MTU Hunter

One night, on a typical hunt through the Domain region, I stumbled upon a system that has since become very special to me. The short time I spent in this system would prove my dedication to the pursuit of total MTU annihilation, and would also give me an experience that I consider far more valuable than ISK and spaceships.

Ahmak

The journey to Ahmak.

Upon entering the system of Ahmak, I immediately found an MTU on D-Scan and set to work on scanning it down. I was on a high because in the previous system, Jarshitsan, I had just popped an MTU which contained the wreck of a mission runner’s battleship (a phenomenon covered in an earlier post). The kill was worth 150m, of which 125m dropped for me.

Kill: Febelstragen  (Mobile Tractor Unit)

I scanned down the MTU in Ahmak and warped to it, only to find that it was surrounded by mission rats, in the first room of the level 4 mission, Worlds Collide. I couldn’t get near the MTU without being aggroed by the rats, and my T3 Destroyer was certainly not fit appropriately to take them on. I had no choice, then, but to call for assistance.

Raven Navy Issue

The Raven Navy Issue. The heavyweight boxer of EVE ships, strong as hell, but a little on the slow side.

That assistance would come in the form of my mission runner alt who, at the time, used a Raven Navy Issue (RNI) for running level 4 missions in Lanngisi and the surrounding systems. The RNI is a powerful missile-based Caldari Faction Battleship, however, it is also extremely slow in regards to the time it takes to align to something (like a stargate), and it’s warp speed. So when I realised I would have to take this slow, expensive boat 26 jumps through empire space, to kill some rats on the other side of highsec just so I could pop an MTU, I initially balked at the prospect.

However, I couldn’t let a single MTU slip through my fingers if I was to prove my dedication to this pursuit. I had to follow it through, even if it meant spending half an hour of my limited free time doing something tedious. So I undocked the battleship, set course for Ahmak, and began the long journey there.

Worlds Collide Mission

Click on image for full size.

When my mission runner finally reached Ahmak, I docked her up at the only station in the system, made a copy of the MTU bookmark, and traded it to her. I then sent her to the MTU’s location to take care of the mission rats. Whilst the rats around the MTU were being disposed of, I sent Pix to take care of the MTU itself. I also entered the other rooms inside the mission to check for faction spawns, and unfortunately there were none this time. The MTU popped just like any other, and was filled with the standard mission loot that the majority of MTUs tend to contain. I had hoped this one would be filled with the wreck of the mission runner herself, but alas, not this time.

Kill: Akza Agittain  (Mobile Tractor Unit)

Still, a kill is a kill.. is a kill. Would I have spent all the effort on taking this MTU down had I known it’s contents beforehand? Certainly. However, I probably would have tried using my alt to pull the rats from the MTU in a fast frigate instead of taking a battleship to kill them!

The story doesn’t quite end there though. Shortly after popping the MTU, I hauled the loot back to the station and took a well-deserved break. In the meantime, some of the residents of Ahmak had piped-up in local chat, presumably after seeing me go suspect for attacking the MTU..

To be continued..

Vocal Local 2

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 saw someone trying, in vain, to talk to someone who had blocked them, I just had to intervene.

PI Tool1 > i haz a sad. tota laz blocked me. and i just wanted to make good on all the butthurt i inflicted and invite him to join me =(
PI Tool1 > i did switch chars and salv his miners and MTUs, after all. but that’s besides the point
PI Tool1 > talk to me man
PI Tool1 > cant block me from local =)
Planetary Genocide > if he blocked you he can’t see what you’re saying though
Planetary Genocide > retard

Some EVE players can be pretty mean, and will call you names for not understanding every mechanic in the game.

Local Chat

As you can see, I didn’t have the full conversation screenshotted.

Local Chat

PI Tool1 > pix: post this pls and i’ll give you 5m: tota, this is totaly not gay and not creepy, unblock me and contact me by yourself, i want to help you out. PI.
Pix Severus > [00:25:33] PI Tool1 > tota, this is totaly not gay and not creepy, unblock me and contact me by yourself, i want to help you out. PI.

After this, my wallet flashed with the addition of 5m ISK, not a bad payment for a little copy and paste work.

Pix Severus > thanks o7 good luck with your endeavors PI
PI Tool1 > pleasure doing business with Pix Severus

There you have it, proof that talking in local can quite literally pay-off.

Next up is a different conversation in local that was sparked due to me docking at a station at the same time as another player, whilst under suspect status.

Local Chat

Notice how I didn’t call him a retard for thinking that being under a suspect timer meant I was hunting him.

Local Chat

A player who isn’t afraid to ask questions will go far in EVE.

Local Chat

One simple question in local resulted in a pleasant chat with fellow players.

Local Chat

It’s nice to know I’m making a difference.

Vocal Local 1