MTU Hunter Becomes the Hunted

It isn’t often that your friendly, local MTU Hunter loses his MTU Hunting ship, but it does happen from time to time. In this post I would like to tell you about an encounter in which I was hunted-down whilst out hunting for MTUs.

MTU Hunting is a profession that comes with certain risks, you spend a vast portion of your time in space under Suspect Status, meaning that if you’re in highsec, anyone can shoot at you freely without the intervention of the space police. Also, when you have the yellow flashing skull next to your name in local, it lights you up like a Christmas tree, and it will draw other pilots to you, looking for prey.

There are players out there who specialise in hunting down Suspect-flagged players, and I ended-up encountering one such hunter who was very good at his job. I had scanned down an MTU in Ruvas, warped to it, and started firing upon it. I pulse D-Scan constantly while bashing the MTU, to check if anyone is dropping probes on me, and to see if the MTU’s owner is on his way back to collect his MTU. I saw nothing out of the ordinary this time, and the MTU popped, as they usually do:

Kill: Toha Hinken (Mobile Tractor Unit)

Weapon Timer

After I’ve popped an MTU, sometimes I linger around in the site to wait out the 1 minute Weapon Timer, before heading to the nearest NPC station to deposit any loot I’d gotten from the MTU. That is what I was doing here, and in fact, I’d set my ship on a course in a random direction away from the MTU wreckage with my MWD active, whilst waiting for the timer. Suddenly, an Orthrus piloted by Trigger Liu lands in the pocket with me, and he sets his long-point on me. With his drones now eating through my ship’s armor, I made a snap decision to burn towards him and unleash my ship’s 800 DPS upon him. It wasn’t enough though, I’d taken his shields down to maybe 50% before my ship exploded.

Kill: Pix Severus (Hecate)

After I died, I warped my pod out to a nearby planet, only to find Trigger’s alt sat there on the planet at 0 waiting for me, thankfully I was alert, bounced to another planet (at 100 this time) only to find yet another one of his alts sat there waiting too. This man meant business. I did eventually get my pod back to station, I have at least one docking bookmark in the vast majority of highsec systems, and it’s a good job I had, because he had yet another alt there waiting for me. Sheesh.

Local Chat with Trigger Liu

If you remember, I had set myself MWDing away from the MTU wreck, and was still burning away when Trigger landed, if I had continued burning away, it is possible that I would have pulled range on his point and escaped with my ship intact. Hindsight is a useful yet cruel mistress.

A few days later, my corpmate, Oylpann Kumamato also ran into Trigger, but thankfully managed to escape his clutches.

Trigger Liu
From: Oylpann Kumamato
Sent: 2017.05.30 07:17
To: Pix Severus,
The guy that got you with the Orthrus the other day landed on grid with me. I was in a safe in Kappas.
I was lucky I wasnt scanning or he would have got me. As soon as he landed, I turned and warped out.
I’m guessing he has a hard on for us.
I messaged him and told him he’s got a quick scanner alt and gave him props for killing my CEO (you lol).
No replies yet but I’ll let you know if he does.

Needless to say, this Trigger fellow is now set red to the corp, so that we can try to avoid him in the future!

There are a number of other suspect hunters out there that I have had near misses with, and it certainly adds a lot more excitement to the risky pursuit of MTU destruction. I learned a lot from this encounter, but I’m very sure I will lose a number of other ships as my journey continues!

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.