Yellow’s Infinite Shenanigans

In previous posts I have told the story of how I met, and hunted MTUs with, Yellow Parasol, a newcomer to EVE Online who wanted to try out all those cool things he had heard about the game over the years. This post will be my last post to feature Yellow, and will tell you about some of the other things he got up to during his time playing, besides hunting MTUs with me.

Yellow Parasol

Yellow Parasol.

Firstly, however, there is one more story pertaining to an MTU hunt we embarked on together, which I forgot to add to an earlier post, in which Yellow helped me take out an MTU that was surrounded by mission rats.

One evening, whlst hunting MTUs with Yellow, I spotted a lone MTU on D-Scan in Tash-Murkon Prime just as we were leaving the system. If you don’t drop probes in every system, then it pays to spam the Scan button in the D-Scan window whilst moving around the system, as you can spot MTUs between gates/celestials that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Upon landing at the MTU, we were immediately greeted by the sight of a mission-runner in a Rattlesnake fighting a collection of NPC frigates, cruisers and battlecruisers belonging to Sansha’s Nation. The mission-runner quickly recalled his Gecko and warped off, leaving the NPCs to agress us.

Yellow kites NPCs

Never not overheat your guns when engaging an MTU.

By warping in and out, we managed to force a situation where Yellow could kite the NPCs around the mission room, leaving me to freely assault the MTU. Yellow found the ordeal quite exciting, knowing that his little Slasher would be torn apart by the Sansha if he stopped his ship for just a few moments. It wasn’t long, however, until the MTU died, leaving Yellow to pull some extra range on the NPCs before warping to safety.

Kill: SwatDoc (Mobile Tractor Unit)

It will take more than a few Sansha to stop this hunting duo from getting their prey.


Now it’s time to tell you about some of the other things Yellow got up to during his time in EVE, and let me tell you, this guy knew how to get himself into all kinds of trouble.

One evening, Yellow was travelling around some of the starter systems, anchoring mobile depots and small secure containers at gates for the purpose of advertising EVE Radio. Placing containers at gates is how I first met Yellow, so I was pleased that he had taken up the activity himself. Whilst placing one such container, he saw a newbie warp to a nearby asteroid belt in a Reaper, the unusual thing about this particular newbie was that he was under suspect status and could be attacked freely by any pilot. Intrigued, Yellow followed him.

Upon landing in the belt, Yellow immediately caught him with scram and web, and opened a private convo. The newbie that Yellow had caught seemed to find the whole situation rather amusing, and so Yellow decided to offer him a job. He told him that if he was to post his experiences in EVE Online thus far on the official forums, he would be paid 5m ISK and be free to go. The newbie complied.

Official EVE Forums Thread

From the newbie’s story, it became apparent that he was a budding MTU Hunter, and later he even joined Yellow on a little hunt.

kill: SnipexX Tivianne (Mobile Tractor Unit)

If any newbies are reading this, take note, don’t be afraid to take risks, and always share your story with others, this will lead to more fun for you, I guarantee it.


During his time in EVE, Yellow experimented with many different aspects of gameplay. Fancying himself as a CEO, he created his own corporation, Paraganda – Information – Services – Solutions [BI66R] with dreams of creating a corp for newbies, to steer them on a path away from mindless grinding. He also became enthralled with the game’s mechanic for ship bumping, and spent a fair chunk of his time fitting different ships for the purpose of bumping into other player’s ships and sending them hurtling across space.

It was the combination of the above two experiments that resulted in him getting wardecced by the mercenary alliance, Archetype. after he spent a few hours doing nothing but bumping their gate camp in Dodixie. Yellow subsequently managed to get himself wardecced by a whole slew of other corporations using similar methods, something both he and I found quite amusing.

It was bumping alone that got Yellow into some more trouble, this time in the ice fields of Nakugard. After completing his latest creation, a bumping Tornado, Yellow decided to test it out on some miners in the system, causing a lot of drama in the process.

Nakugard Local Chat

Nakugard Local Chat

He managed to get the local miners so riled-up, that one of them even renamed their MTU.

Parasol's Weenus

After spending some time (read: 4 hours) bumping miners, one of them decided he couldn’t take it anymore, and ganked Yellow’s ship.

Kill: yellow parasol (Tornado)

Nakugard Local Chat

One thing was for sure, Yellow made highsec much more entertaining, no matter which system he was in.


During my days with Yellow, I was in the process of writing my MTU Hunting guide, something which took more than a few days to complete. After I had completed the guide, Yellow kindly created a thread on Reddit (a site I seldom used) to publicise it.

Reddit Thread

The thread generated some fun discussions about MTU Hunting, and also resulted in a huge increase of hits to my blog. The thread even had a response to it some time after, in which someone had used the guide to successfully hunt an MTU.

Reddit Thread Response

I’m very thankful to Yellow for creating that thread back then, my blog hits have stayed at a higher average ever since, and it’s nice to know that people are reading it.


There are many other little stories about things that Yellow got up to during his time in EVE, such as his duels live on stream with EVE Radio’s DJ Accy, and the time he was tormenting miners in an asteroid belt and got his Venture ganked by someone in a Caracal. Not to mention the countless times he dragged me into conversations with random strangers, resulting in some hilariously confusing chats. I am also sure he got up to more mischief that he never even shared with me.

One thing I would like to mention is that shortly after meeting Yellow, I became suspicious as to his real identity, due to the fact that he had a very similar writing style, and shared many similar views to an old friend of mine. I questioned him directly regarding this, asking if he was, in fact, the person I had in mind, but he denied it. I decided at that point to just take his word for it, and go with the flow, and you know what? I’m glad I did. True identity or not, the experiences we shared are priceless nonetheless.

That just about wraps-up this little saga, and it is one that I hope might provide some inspiration to highsec players. Who would have thought that the simple action of anchoring a container and giving it a silly name would have led to this much fun? From Yellow’s perspective, the simple act of sending a mail to someone who anchored a container led him to take part in an activity that the majority of highsec pilots have never experienced. In EVE, small actions can make a huge difference, and I encourage you do those small things, always and often.

The Yellow Parasol Saga:
1. Pix Severus was here o/
2. Yellow Parasol is a pretty cool guy
3. Adventures with Yellow Parasol
4. The Magpie
5. Yellow’s Infinite Shenanigans

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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.

Yellow Parasol is a pretty cool guy

In a previous post, I detailed a side-activity of mine, which is to leave containers at gates in each system I have hunted in along with the simple message: “Pix Severus was here o/”. I received many mails and other such communications from capsuleers who had seen my containers, but one mail in particular created an opportunity for even more fun whilst hunting MTUs.

One night, while travelling to a market hub to offload some of the vast quantities of loot I had accumulated on my MTU hunts, I received a mail from a fellow named yellow parasol:

EVE Mail

Another example of a standard type of mail I tend to receive from pilots who have seen my containers, I reply to all of them of course, and this one was no exception. After a little back and forth via EVE mail, where we shared some greetings and mutual encouragement, I decided to do something for this obviously-enthusiastic newbie:

EVE Mail

This humble gesture from an MTU Hunter pleased yellow parasol very much indeed; he immediately set-off to find the can and see it for himself. After he had arrived at the can (I had moved on elsewhere to continue to hauling my loot) he sent me a follow-up mail:

EVE Mail

I sent the ISK back, of course, with a little extra on top. I was very happy that such a simple action (anchoring a container) had created such fun times for a new player. That wasn’t to be the end of his luck with the container, however, his wallet continued to grow for some time after. It was at this point that I asked him to give me his EVE story thus far, and he obliged:

EVE Mail

What an action-packed couple of days for this EVE newbie! He had lost ships, chatted with players, and in the end had gained a substantial amount of ISK for his efforts. New players take note: this is how you begin your EVE career.

The following day, I received yet another mail from yellow, he had taken up the sport of corpse collecting from the moment he began playing, and it seems he’d had some extra luck with this activity that day:

EVE Mail

Just three days into his EVE career and he’s already popping reds at gates, what a champ. It was shortly after this mail that I decided to help broaden his EVE experience further by inviting him on an MTU hunt. Due to conflicts in schedules, it took a few days until we were both online at the same time, but the hunt did indeed go ahead eventually.

Kill: Sylvous (Mobile Tractor Unit)

The above kill was a first for both of us, for him it was his first MTU kill, and for me it was my first non-solo MTU kill. We racked-up an impressive 8 MTU kills in total that evening, with a further 5 the following evening. By the 3rd day in his MTU Hunting career, yellow had killed his first MTU solo.

This story isn’t over, not by a long shot, but this post is becoming far too long, so stay tuned for the continuation.