Rats

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)

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.

The Damsel

Around the time of this post, I had another noteworthy encounter with an MTU that was sitting alone in an active mission, this time the mission was one that is well-known to many EVE players, even those who don’t run missions, The Damsel in Distress.

This is actually one of my favourite level 4 missions as it has a good payout for the amount of time it takes to complete. However, you need a battleship with a good tank to be able to do this mission effectively, meaning that my MTU Hunting ship was going to need some backup

EVE Online system Atoosh

The system of Atoosh, in the Tash-Murkon region.

After arriving in the system of Atoosh, on my way to the outer reaches of highsec, I did my usual system scan and quickly found a lone MTU. Once I had landed on grid with it, I was immediately aggressed by 9 Mercenary NPC battleships and a cluster of cruisers and had to warp off or risk losing my ship. Due to the strucutres in the mission, and the name of one of the NPCs (Kruul) it was clear to me what mission this was, and that the mission runner had prematurely spawned the 2nd wave of battleships by shooting Kruul too early. This mistake could be why he wasn’t there actually doing the mission, but was instead docked-up inside a nearby station.

I decided that it was my duty to help my fellow capsuleer by completing the mission for him, and taking only his MTU as payment, a fair trade I’d say. I logged my mission runner alt and spent the next 20 minutes warping her slow faction battleship, a Raven Navy Issue all the way out there. By the time she reached the system, the mission runner had logged off for the evening, but that didn’t matter, we had work to do. After trading bookmarks in the station, I warped my alt to the active mission and got to work, and within a few minutes she had destroyed all the mission rats along with the structure where The Damsel was being held captive.

EVE Online Cargo Container

*Thud thud* Muffled Voices.

There were now quite a number of wrecks littering the field along with various containers, one of which contained The Damsel. “Wait! Oh no!” I exclaimed, as the MTU began sucking in the container where The Damsel now resided, the only thing between her and the cold vacuum of space. “If she gets sucked into the MTU, there is a chance she won’t survive the explosion when I pop it!” Alas, it was too late, I couldn’t reach the container before the MTU had sucked it in, and The Damsel’s fate now hung in the balance. With a dry throat and a feeling of consternation, I warped in my MTU hunting ship and began the task of popping it regardless. Would she survive?

Kill: Base Sixteen (Mobile Tractor Unit)

She did indeed survive, thankfully, and I welcomed her onto my ship along with the rest of the loot. I then docked at the station (the same one where the mission runner lived) and contracted The Damsel to him so he could complete the mission. With my work now complete it was time for a rest, and so I logged off for the evening.

When I logged on again the following day I found that the contract had not been accepted, but instead the mission runner had decided to place a whopping 80m ISK bounty on my head! Well, that’s gratitude for you I guess, but I won’t let one sour capsuleer deter me from helping others in the future. At this point you may be thinking to yourself “So what happened to The Damsel?” After all, the mission runner didn’t want her, and I’m not heartless enough to hand her over to the slavers..

EVE Online - The Damsel

She rides with me now.

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..