Empty You Empties 1000 MTUs

A while back I created a corporation called Empty You to act as the official face of my MTU hunting operation. When I originally created the corp I didn’t hold much hope of attracting members to it, nor was I particularly interested in doing so, all I really wanted was a cool corp name to go along with my activities. After a while, however, the corp did start attracting attention, and corp invites began coming-in at a steady pace. Today, I’m happy to say my corp is home to a fine little crew of MTU hunters, POS bashers and suspect baiters. I’ll go into more detail about the formation of the corp in a later post, but for now, we have some celebrating to do.

Empty You

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the corp was coming very close to achieving 1000 MTU kills, which is quite the milestone I’m sure you’ll agree. I decided that it would be fun to create a little competition in the lead-up to this target, and so I promised an ISK reward of 150m to the corp member who achieved the thousandth kill. That kill came shortly after bed time for me, and I awoke the next day to the good news.

Kill: Dakota Dadunur (Mobile Tractor Unit)

The 1000th MTU kill for Empty You was claimed by Alexis Thunderkunt, who in-turn received the ISK reward and all the glory that came along with it; Congratulations, Alexis! It turns out that the race for the 1000th MTU actually became quite heated towards the end, with Alexis and a couple of other corp members competing directly for it. Alexis sent me this mail afterwards which goes into more detail about the events surrounding the climax to the competition.


1000th Kill
From: Alexis Thunderkunt
Sent: 2018.04.14 06:47
To: Pix Severus,

I DID IT! (somewhat to Oyl’s chagrin… I hope he’s not mad)

And it comes with a bit of a story too.

I had been bookmarking attended MTUs for much of the night and was regretting my choice of space for this final run up to 1000. Then I found 2 lonely MTUs in one system at the same time and went for them thinking the others would be making kills any second as well. I finished my 2, and shortly after Oyl hit one. Very abruptly we were at 999! I had one bookmarked just 3 jumps out, but it was behind a mission gate and I was still blinking yellow. I decided to go for it.

After making a few safes, I warped to the gate and jumped in. I saw that someone had started the mission, and looked to have taken out all of the frigates and cruisers, but leaving the 6 Gisti battleships in the pocket. They were positioned between 80-100km, perfect range for their guns.

Expecting a killmail post in the corp chat any minute, I locked the MTU and opened fire. The little autocannons rattled-off rounds at a rapid pace, and the shields were soon dropping. Then the yellow boxes lit up from each of the Battleships. This was going to hurt. In my excitement I had aligned to the entrance gate bookmark instead of a safe. When I hit warp, Aura informed me that “Natural Phenomena are preventing…” *BLAM*! Oh shi-, first volley had just stripped my shields off. I immediately initiated a warp to a safe and jumped out just as the second volley took me deep into armor.

At a safe, I reflected on the timing of what had happened as I awaited the weapon timer so I could dock and repair. I got several good volleys off, and the shields were well on their way to breaking. I can DO this, but it’s going to be annoying.

After a quick dock and repair, I was warping back into the mission site. Once on grid with the MTU, I locked it and immediately opened fire to make every second count. As I unleashed ballistic hell on the dangerous deployable, I aligned to a safe and began drifting away from it. As soon as I was yellow boxed, warp was initiated, this time escaping without a scratch. By now the shields were half gone. Maybe 12 more trips ought to do it. But would I be fast enough? Surely the chat silence from the others was an indication of their imminent killmail.

I must have jumped in and back out again 15 times before destroying that MTU, and once more to collect the few objects that had spilled from its dank recesses. I’m sure the former owner is greatful this “harmful hoover” is no longer threatening the space of his mission and he may return at his leisure to finish what he started.

Some 10 minutes later, Oyl posted his next MTU kill. Had I sat idly by awaiting the suspect timer to jump systems, I would have watched Oyl make his kill to claim the prize. This was a fun challenge, and it seems only yesterday I was freshly aboard and we were ~850 MTUs. Looking forward to much more fun with you all.

-AT


After the goal had been achieved, I sent an extra 50m ISK to all corp members as a participation bonus, because I’m too nice. Fun times were had by all, and I’m looking forward to running more corp competitions of a similar nature in the future.

Here’s to the next thousand. Cheers.

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MTU Mailbag 2

Ever since I began my career as an MTU Hunter, I have received quite a lot of mail from capsuleers across New Eden, and 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, for now though, lets dig through my backlog of EVEmails.

EVE Mail

I get asked this question a lot (amongst others), so I recently added an MTU FAQ page to the blog where you can find the answer to this, and other burning questions you might have about the wonderful world of MTU Hunting. Here are a couple of fits I use regardless: Hecate and Svipul.

I hear that the loadout site, o.smium, will be going down soon (probably forever) due to changes with the EVE API, so those links may not work in the near future. I’ll try to find another way to show you these fits when that happens. I would like to thank those responsible for creating and hosting that site over the years, it filled the void left by Battleclinic back in the day, and remained very useful to many right up until the end; it will be missed.


EVE Mail

A while back, to celebrate the release of my guide to hunting MTUs, I ran a competition on the blog where the first 3 pilots to post an MTU kill in the comments would receive 50m ISK each. Sith was one of the lucky winners, and here’s that killmail for you (it’s a good one!)

Kill: Vorian Tagarian (Mobile Tractor Unit)


EVE Mail

This is not the usual sort of question I tend to receive about MTU Hunting. Occasionally, when I set out on a hunt, instead of hanging around the busy mission-running hubs I like to set a long course to the outer reaches of highsec (occasionally lowsec) and explore, popping any MTUs I find along the way. To do this, I’ll bring up the universe map, pick an area near the edge of highsec (sorting map colours by security status) and start adding waypoints to all the systems in that area; this can often result in very long routes with over 100 jumps.

To answer Alasdan’s question above, there is always going to be some backtracking, unfortunately, largely due to single-gate systems and other areas that just end-up being dead-ends.

EVE Mail

Despite the answer to his question perhaps not being what he wanted to hear, he went with it regardless, and ended-up having himself a fun and profitable time. Here’s those killmails for you:

Kill: knorkle (Mobile Tractor Unit)
Kill: ThareaHUN (Mobile Tractor Unit)
Kill: Kilree EagleShade (Mobile Tractor Unit)


EVE Mail

This is actually how the majority of MTUs in highsec are lost, the mission runner simply forgets to go back for it before completing the mission, and then doesn’t know how/can’t be bothered to scan it down to retrieve it afterwards. To answer beanbro’s question, MTUs are freely attackable by anyone at any time, you only gain a suspect timer for shooting MTUs. This is another frequently asked question, that you will find in the new MTU FAQ page.


EVE Mail

I’ve had this happen to myself before, you probe down a few MTUs and bookmark them before heading out to do some real life activities, and by the time you return, another hunter has found your targets and wiped them out. Oh well, there’s plenty more MTUs in the vast ocean of space. Shaela did indeed join my chat channel afterwards, which goes by the name “MTU Hunting” in case you were interested.


EVE Mail

I occasionally receive mails from other MTU Hunters out there, including ones with vastly more experience than myself; Ganolen is one such hunter. Back when I received this mail, Ganolen had just over 1000 MTU kills, and it was partly due to wanting to catch-up that drove me to work harder to keep on wiping MTUs from the face of the galaxy.

Catching-up is still something of a pipe-dream, however, as Ganolen is still hunting MTUs to this day, and at the time of writing this post, has an incredible 1700 MTU kills. This is personally the highest MTU kill count I’ve ever seen, if you’ve seen higher than this, please share it with me.


If you have any questions or comments you would like to send me via EVEmail, please do so. I try to respond to every mail as time permits, and there’s a good chance your mail will be featured in a future episode of MTU Mailbag.

MTU Mailbag

The Hunt

Today we have something special for you readers, two stories from fellow MTU Hunter, Oylpann Kumamato, focused on his tireless work in educating the mission runners of New Eden about the dangers of rogue MTUs. Pour yourself a hot drink, put your feet up, and join him on two of such adventures.


The Harb

The Hunt, what a name for the new expansion. I undock this afternoon in Simela and run a dscan and what do my sensors see? A ‘Packrat’ Mobile Tractor Unit, thats what.

I warp to a moon and begin my scan. At 100% I warp to the MTU. Theres a Harbinger Navy Issue sitting at 0 on the MTU and a bunch of empty wrecks. The guy doesn’t move or appear to be concerned about such a dangerous deployable sitting so close to him.

Harbinger Navy Issue

The Harbinger Navy Issue.

I start shooting the MTU. I get it down to about 50% hull and the Harb targets me and begins shooting! Being as he was at 0 on the MTU, I quickly change my 500m orbit to the Battlecruiser. His medium lasers aren’t tracking me at all so I remain in sharpshooter mode dealing 720dps to him. When he hits 50% shield he scoops the MTU… boo.

With him scrammed and webbed, he’s not going anywhere. He explodes:

Kill: Tavi Octavian (Harbinger Navy Issue)

Got his pod for good measure too:

Kill: Tavi Octavian (Capsule)

And the MTU dropped in loot! Bonus!


The Mega

The Empty You Corporation has been on red alert over the past several days.

Due to “The Hunt” Event that CCP has launched, more than ever, we have seen an increase in dangerous MTUs left out in space, clogging peoples dscans with unwanted information and just waiting to suck in unsuspecting capsuleer’s ships.

On 3/23, Tristis Puella was travelling through the system of Malma, looking for MTUs for me to destroy with extreme prejudice.  The one she found on short scan just so happened to be at a Guristas Beacon of the new event.  No probes needed for this one.

Taking a break from my trusty Hecate, I had dusted off my Ishkur of Fantastic™ that had been sitting in my hangar for far too long, and I was anxious to give it a go against some deployables, especially after the recent changes to assault frigates.

I warp to the beacon at 50km and see the MTU about 30 kilometers off.  There’s a Megathron about 60 kilometers away trying to pull range on the swarm of Guristas frigates and battleships on grid. From the looks of things, the Megathron is taking armor damage.  I have to move fast to avoid another MTU disaster.  I don’t want this guy getting sucked in to his tractor unit!  I align with the MTU and hit my afterburner bringing me up to around 1000km/s.  I quickly reach the MTU and begin to orbit closely and open up with my Small Ion Blasters, and launch a set of Warriors to help. The Mega pilot is hanging in there, slowly taking out the small frigates with drones of his own.

Megathron

The Megathron.

But what’s this?  He’s targetting me!  Can he not see I’m here to help?  After he takes out the final battleship, his drones begin to attack me!

At this point, I’m thinking there is no way to teach this pilot about the dangers of MTU Suckage other than letting him see for himself what can happen when an MTU gets ahold of him so I move away from the MTU and start a quick angular approach on the battleship to keep his large cannons  tracking me to a minimum. I scram the Mega once he is in range and I set an orbit of 500 meters on him so his cannons have no chance of hitting me, and start webbing and killing the Hornet drones he has loosed upon me. It was like a literal hornets nest inside that battleship.  I must have killed at least 10 before they stopped pouring out and attacking me.

With the drones gone, I concentrate my firepower on the battleship, setting my Warriors and Ion Blasters on him.  The Megathron gets to about 50% armor and starts to rep.  This isn’t good.  I fire up my small neut to try to remedy this problem.  Not knowing if he’s cap boosted or not, I hope for the best.  After a painstakingly long time he drops to about 75% hull, and then something unexpected happens.  He activates his Self Destruct! I now have 120 seconds to chew through about 5k hps of his hull. I overheat my guns and can’t help but smile as his hull disentegrates under my small guns and drone fire approximately a minute later.

Kill: sever3 (Megathron)

Of course, my worst fear happens and the capsuleer’s wreck is sucked into the MTU he carelessly placed in space:

Kill: sever3 (Mobile Tractor Unit)

Remember friends, only you can prevent MTU Suckage.


Indeed! A huge thank you to Oylpann for taking the time to write his experiences down for us, and I am very sure we’ll be reading more of his stories on this blog in the near future.

Vocal Local 6

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, you find a system where the locals chat freely, such was the case with Nakugard, one of my favourite MTU hunting systems. The following conversations took place on the same night within that system.

Local Chat

It was around this time that I had recently received a 80m ISK bounty from a mission runner whose MTU I popped. From this conversation, I got the feeling that Anara wasn’t too sure if I was “one of the good guys”.

Local Chat

However, “good guy” or not, this MTU Hunter likes to end his conversations amicably.


Local Chat

Keldor spoke up once he saw me go suspect in local whilst I was attacking an MTU. I decided to link him the MTU killmail after I popped it, since he was clearly interested in what I was up to. Here’s that killmail for you. I was both surprised and happy to see the MTU’s owner speak in local afterwards, it seems that MTU Hunting really does get players talking.

Local Chat

There is indeed.


At some point prior to this vocal night, I was hunting MTUs in Nakugard whilst legendary ganker, Alt 00, was having an argument with a miner in local. I won’t go into details about the argument that was taking place, you can see it for yourself here on the Minerbumping blog. See if you can spot your friendly, local MTU Hunter in the screencaps.

Nakugard is a system filled with a real mix of players, and is situated between the trade hub, Hek, and the Sisters of EVE mission hub, Lanngisi. Because of this, it is often a hive of activity and drama, and I highly encourage you to visit this interesting system sometime.

Vocal Local 5

The Angry Miner

When you have hunted MTUs long enough, you begin to notice certain patterns to the reactions of capsuleers whose MTUs you have successfully destroyed. For example, you can pop MTUs owned by mission runners all day long and not hear a peep from them, but the moment you so much as look in the direction of a miner’s MTU, all hell breaks loose.

Some examples of this have already been featured on my blog in the past, in this post a Russian miner launches a tirade of abuse at me through local chat, and in this post, a miner actually grabs his PvP ship and attacks me.

One night, on a typical hunt through the Essence region, I noticed an MTU on D-Scan in Villore and parked myself at a moon. I was about to start the process of probing it down when I realised that it was actually in an asteroid belt and I could just warp to it. I can remember feeling a little trepidation at this point, knowing that when you attack an MTU in an asteroid belt, there is a good chance you’re going to have to deal with an upset miner, one way or another. This time, however, the kill went by uneventfully, it was your typical asteroid belt MTU kill, filled with ore and cheap rat droppings.

kill: Sandra Boirelle (Mobile Tractor Unit)

I went to bed after this kill, but when I logged in the following day, I found this rather rude EVEmail waiting for me:

EVE Mail

*Sigh* Here we go.

I don’t get a lot of correspondence from angry folk, most players either find what I do amusing, or they are completely oblivious to it, but still, it happens from time to time. I decided that it was important to help this player calm down and look at things objectively, so I responded thusly:

EVE Mail

That should help…

EVE Mail

…maybe not.

A few minutes after that last mail, the miner sent a follow-up mail where she, for some reason, started talking about Microwarpdrives, wardecs, and MTU mechanics.

EVE Mail

Be a manly man.

In a response mail, I tried to get her to understand that I don’t do what I do out of malice, I do it to make highsec a cleaner place. However, I also questioned her knowledge of MTU mechanics, which in hindsight may not have been the best thing to do at that point.

EVE Mail

Yikes.

With the threat of execution looming over my head, I sent one desperate final mail to try to calm her down, but it was futile. I received no further communication from this capsuleer.

Let this post serve as a warning to any prospective MTU Hunters out there. One day you are going to find an MTU in an asteroid belt, ice field, or mining site/mission, and chances are you will have to deal with this kind of hostility.

The Dissatisfied Customer

Today we have a special treat, a short story from fellow MTU Hunter, Oylpann Kumamato. Pour yourself a hot drink, put your feet up, and join him on one of his many adventures.


I was heading back to Simela, my happy hunting grounds, after flying through multiple backwater systems with no luck. Tristis is already in Simela in her trusty CovOps and bazinga! One MTU. She locks it in after 2 scans and warps to it at 100km. Two Battlecruisers are running a mission there, a Ferox and a Drake Navy Issue.

Fast Foward 10 jumps and roughly 8 mins later the Battlecruisers have left grid, and left that dangerous deployable out there. I fleet up my dynamic duo and when Oyl gets in system, I warp to Tris who is now orbiting the MTU cloaked at 30km. Oyl makes quick work of the MTU and after the weapons timer, I dock up in a nearby player owned station.

Kill: Selendria Hinonami (Mobile Tractor Unit)

While I’m looking at the Killmail, I notice that Local Chat had an interesting recruitment link.. from the same person whose MTU I just purged, within seconds of her MTU exploding:

Selendria Hinonami Local Chat

Shortly after, I get an Eve Mail from said victim:

Selendria Hinonami Oylpann Kumamato Mail

Click on image for full size.

I reply back I’m just doing my job!

Selendria Hinonami Oylpann Kumamato Mail

Click on image for full size.

They respond that they want reimbursement so I offer what I feel is fair compensation:

Selendria Hinonami Oylpann Kumamato Contract

Click on image for full size.

I also offered some sound advice (for free!) on future purchases:

Selendria Hinonami Oylpann Kumamato Mail

Hope you get as good of a laugh as I did out of it.


I certainly did, thank you for the story Oylpann, and I have no doubt we’ll be seeing more of you in future posts. Stay tuned. Also, if anyone reading this has an MTU story of their own to share, please mail me (Pix Severus) in-game.

Furthermore, we now have a new page on the sidebar, MTU FAQ, which aims to answer those questions most commonly received about MTUs and hunting them, check it out.

The Magpie

In earlier posts I told the stories of my adventures with Yellow Parasol, a newcomer to EVE who hunted MTUs with me. Today, I would like to tell you the story of our final hunt together.

Whilst hunting MTUs solo one night, my hunting route took me to the system of Jaschercis. Once I had parked myself at a moon, I activated D-Scan, and what I saw next almost made my eyes pop out of my head.

Magpie MTU D-Scan

The lesser-spotted Magpie.

‘Magpie’ Mobile Tractor Units are the most elusive of all MTU variants in highsec. How elusive you might ask? At this point in time I had around 400 MTU kills, and had only seen a Magpie on D-Scan once before, which was scooped shortly after spotting it. These MTUs are very expensive, commanding a price of over 150m ISK at the time (they’re closer to 200m now) so finding one was like hitting the jackpot, the problem now was how to go about claiming my winnings.

Before I continue with the story, I would like to clarify the differences between the various types of MTUs, which may help you understand why the prices vary (all prices are based on Jita sell orders at the time of writing this):
Mobile Tractor Unit – Standard MTU, [7.5m ISK]
‘Packrat’ Mobile Tractor Unit – More hitpoints (+5k shield + 5k armor + 10k hull), slightly harder to scan down (+100 sensor strength) [20m ISK]
‘Magpie’ Mobile Tractor Unit – Same hitpoints as standard MTU, considerably harder to scan down (+250 sensor strength) [200m ISK]
For more general information, and stats of MTUs, click here.

I immediately set about probing this thing down, only to find that I couldn’t get anywhere near a 100% scan on it, the strongest scan I could get was around 70% before I gave up. My scanning knowledge was limited, but I knew that trying to scan this thing down in a Hecate just wasn’t going to work, I needed more scan strength, a lot more, so I headed to Dodixie to see what was available. I bought myself a Heron (a frigate with bonuses to scanning) and fit a Sister’s Expanded Probe Launcher to it. I also bought myself the 6% scanning implant (AR-806), and after giving the Heron a reasonable fit, I headed back to try scanning down that Magpie again.

Magpie MTU Probe Scan

Ouch.

Moon.. parked at, probes.. deployed, scanning.. 81%. Damn! No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get higher than 81% on the scan, even after fiddling with the position of individual probes. My scanning skills weren’t perfect, but this was like some kind of sick joke, I was so close yet so far. I tried searching online for anything that could help me probe down a Magpie, but all I found were references to a deleted video (on Google Videos, remember that?) with the information it once held long-lost to the void.

During my attempts at scanning, I had been casually chatting with Yellow in a private channel, I told him that I’d found a rare MTU which was difficult to scan, this piqued his interest and he wasted no time in flying across highsec to join me and take a look. While Yellow was making his way to me, I decided that probing this MTU down wasn’t going to work, not with my skills, it was time to use drastic measures instead. I would scan this Magpie down using a combination of D-Scan and bookmarks.

Scanning something down using D-Scan and bookmarks is the time-consuming process of attempting to warp your ship through an object’s grid (the zone/chunk of space it occupies) and placing a bookmark within it, allowing you to warp to, and occupy, the same space as the object. The size of a grid is 8000km from the centre of the object that occupies it, this might seem like a large area, but given the obscene scale of solar systems in EVE, landing a ship within this area of space is like threading a needle.

To get started with this process, you need an idea of where the object is on the solar system map, which I had, thanks to my probing work earlier. You then need to find several warp paths that allow you to place bookmarks around the approximate location of the object from several angles. Normally you can do this by flying between celestials, but the Magpie I was hunting was in the unfortunate position of being on the edge of all celestials in the system. I needed to get a bookmark from the opposite side of the Magpie from where the celestials were, but there was nothing there, no player-structures, ships, nothing.

When Yellow arrived, I briefed him on my predicament, I needed a way to warp to an area of the solar system where there was nothing to warp to. Yellow didn’t quite understand what I was trying to do at this point, but in his brilliance he suggested taking missions from agents in the system, to hopefully create a mission room in the void that I was trying to occupy. We both proceeded to annoy the hell out of the mission agents in the system, by accepting and abandoning missions over and over, until we finally found a mining mission that, once we warped to, put us in a position where I could start making bookmarks around the MTU.

Magpie MTU Solar System Map

Click on image for full size.

I’m sorry if I’ve lost you at this point, as it is rather difficult to explain, especially to those who may have little knowledge of scanning. In the above screenshot, the Magpie’s location is the orange dot within the cube. All celestials within the system are to the right of the orange line, meaning there were no warp paths that would allow me to pass near or through the Magpie’s grid. The mission pocket we created when we accepted the mining mission allowed us to get a path from the other side of the Magpie, and from this point onward, we could get to work making bookmarks.. lots of bookmarks.

Magpie MTU Solar System Map

Click on image for full size.

Now it was simply a case of spending the next few hours making bookmarks around the MTU, and keeping an eye on the MTU’s distance from us using D-Scan, as we inched our way closer and closer to it. The angle slider in the D-Scan window was crucial here as it allowed us to see if we were too far above or below the target, Yellow had a much better grasp of this mechanic than I did, and his work helped shave-off hours of frustrating work. He also shared this video of a Magpie with me, which helped break the monotony of staring at bookmarks: Magpie Hangs Upside Down.

Magpie MTU Bookmarks

I wasn’t kidding when I said a LOT of bookmarks.

After creating a vast web of bookmarks (over 120 of them!), finding ourselves within 30k of the Magpie, I warped between 2 new bookmarks and saw a magical sight, the MTU appeared on my overview for a split-second! Now all I had to do was spam CTRL+B along this path until I landed a bookmark within the Magpie’s grid. Which I did. When I landed on this bookmark, I found myself a few thousand kilometers from the MTU within it’s grid and started burning towards it, before realising that I could just warp to 0 on the MTU. I also forgot that I was still in the Heron and didn’t have any guns to shoot the thing with, so after having Yellow warp to me via the fleet window, I reshipped into a Svipul and headed back.

Magpie MTU getting blapped

Blappity Blap.

With our combined Minmatar firepower (Yellow was in a Stabber) we made short work of the Magpie.

Kill: Krushovitsa (‘Magpie’ Mobile Tractor Unit)

The MTU was empty, but we really didn’t care, we had just pulled-off quite the feat together. This was a first for both of us, and for me personally, I considered it my graduation from the ranks of being just your average MTU Hunter. An evening well spent indeed.

Victory pose

Victory pose.

Since this kill, I have had just 2 more Magpie kills, here they are for your perusal:

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

It wasn’t until I had found my second Magpie almost a year later, that I realised I could have saved all of that effort by simply buying an Astero, which gives just enough scanning strength combined with a Sister’s launcher and probes, to nail 100% on a Magpie scan (with some probe fiddling). If I could go back, I wouldn’t want to change the experience I had by doing it the hard way, and if you’re into scanning at all, I would encourage you to give this method a try sometime, for the challenge.

Chronologically, we have reached the end of my journey with Yellow Parasol, however, there are a few more stories to share about our (mostly his) various shenanigans, which I’ll get around to in a future post.