Current Plans

Between a recent wardec, losing several ships, and keeping up with other responsibilities, my rate of clearing out MTUs has dropped significantly. So, moving forward, I’m going to make a few changes.

1. My alt “MobiIe Tractor Unit” will train into a polarized hecate instead of being solely a combat scanner alt. Since he is in Empty You (The original MTU hunting corp), I should be able to revive their killboard greatly, while not having to worry about wardecs so much.

Unfortunately I do have to wait for the training to be done, so for the short-term I’ll just keep hunting on my main instead (No current wardecs, so should be fine).

It will be pretty funny when people see their MTUs have died to a mobile tractor unit…

2. My main will still hunt MTUs, just much less, and still only in the confessor. I doubt I’ll do the nergal baiting much anymore either.

3. I will send an annoying evemail to anyone who loses an MTU to me. You know those couriers who send you mails to let you know they have delivered your contract, when you can CLEARLY SEE by the contracts system they have done it? Yeah, I’ll be like that, while claiming I’m working for the public interest. Hopefully it will yield some entertaining results.

4. I’ve gone ahead and changed my main’s picture to be a clear ripoff of Pix Severus. Yes, this was very important. The coat cost me around 250 mill as well…

Pix still manages to look creepier.

5. I’m going to start catalyst ganking miners on alts as well. Although it doesn’t have anything to do with killing MTUs, its bound to get rage out of some people, which will be worth writing about.

6. I’m experimenting with hunting for MTUs in invasion areas. I immediately lost one confessor in trying this, but it looks like there are some juicy targets out there. Current plan is to run a scanning alt to pull rats, and my main in a catalyst. That way, the MTU dies fast, AND I don’t need to worry much about losing isk if either ship dies.

Angering the locals

As of a few months ago, there has been a group of Chinese players farming the emerging conduits around the area my alliance lives. Just recently I have begun targeting their MTUs, and their response was one I would have never imagined.

Phase 1: Instigation

Yosagi Yojimbo, former alliance CEO, tipped me off that there were multiple MTUs out in nearby systems. Upon turning up, it was clear the MTUs were at emerging conduits with active players at them. To keep this short (and focus more on their response), just know that I was being really annoying, forcing them to pull their MTUs, and then stealing their loot.

The players in question were from “Blade Waltz” and “Sentient beings Club”. I had heard of Sentient beings Club before, and knew them as Chinese players who farmed emerging conduits. Blade Waltz seems to be a much newer corporation, being essentially the noob corp of SBC.

It wasn’t long before they decided to drop a gila on me while in a conduit. I immediately warped off, and found it slightly amusing.

Then my intel channels started going off. They were appearing in our lowsec systems. The timing was not a coincidence.

Phase 2: Skirmish

They had appeared with a stratios, and knowing more were on the way, our members arrived on the highsec gate. Two enemy legions warped in, and led by Lord Czar, we blapped one of them. Due to time limitations, I had to rush over in my Nergal, and narrowly avoided being blown up. The other legion warped off, and then both the legion and stratios cloaked up. They decided to stay in system, and we noticed that even more were on the way.

Being bloodthirsty Australian players, we held our ground and decided to take whatever fight was coming our way. Forgetting to send a ping out, we took the next fight using whatever we still had.

The Chinese players brought in super-tanked battleships, with the intention of using gate guns to their advantage. We took down a bait dominix, then rushed off grid as their numbers began to swarm in.

After finally putting a ping out, we formed up properly. Upon seeing us warping in, they all jumped back into highsec, then back towards their home system.

Not perfect by any means, but we ended the brawl isk positive. I asked my alliance friends if continuing to troll these guys was something they would like me to do. It was a unanimous yes.

After taking a short break, I logged back in to find an evemail.

Phase 3: Google translate (Day 2)

After trolling some of their conduit runners earlier in the day, and doing a loop around Domain searching for lonely MTUs, I went for another round with the Chinese conduit runners.

It initially looked like the same story again. I would turn up, the MTU would be pulled, I’d steal some loot, they would leave. However, after following this player, he warped to an emerging conduit in their home system.

After he dropped his MTU in plain sight of me, I felt something fishy.

D-scan confirmed my suspicions: Two tornados were heading my way. After they landed, they locked me up immediately. One problem though. I was not suspect. They realized this, and never shot at me.

Sure enough, the rest of their fleet dropped on me shortly afterwards. From what I remember (I didn’t screenshot their whole formup, just believe me), the final numbers were:

1 Praxis
2 Tornados
2 Thorax
1 Prophecy
1 Impairor
1 Something else I cant remember

And an MTU in a pear tree.

It was obvious to me now: They seemed slightly over-protective of their MTUs, but moreso their isk/hour. Not willing to leave almost empty-handed (I did still get isk from the site), it was time to have a chat.

Skip to the bottom for the google translated version.

Rami Taredi > I feel like you guys dislike me
Pink torpedo tear > good boy
ninja cx > TM speaks Chinese
ninja cx > Google translate into Chinese
ninja cx > I can’t understand
Rami Taredi > Stand down fleet, mission accomplished
ninja cx > speak Mandarin
ninja cx > Don’t speak birds
Rami Taredi > I cant speak chinese πŸ™
ninja cx > Google
ninja cx > Translate
Pink torpedo tear > Rami Taredi, just be happy, brother translation
EVEthewolf > google
Rami Taredi > I use google translate, you guys can too πŸ™‚
EVEthewolf > translate
ninja cx > I ’m in China, I can’t use Google, you know
Pink torpedo tear > I know that this is even harder to translate
Rami Taredi > Ok true
chiyuecanx > …..
ninja cx > Day by day
Rami Taredi > It’s been two days?
ninja cx > You go elsewhere .. Don’t come here one day. I am a 2 month player. Very hard
ninja cx > The whole universe, how many MTUs are you licking like a dog?
EVEthewolf > Is it illegal to play mtu?
Rami Taredi > Sorry, the translation is not good, I can do it more?
ninja cx > Oh my god … can’t you learn Chinese?
ninja cx > Very simple
ninja cx > You go
ninja cx > Stop here. Give a novice a way to live .. OK?
Rami Taredi > no
ninja cx > why
EVEthewolf > -.-
Rami Taredi > MTUs are evil
ninja cx > why
Rami Taredi > MTU = πŸ™
Rami Taredi > No MTU = πŸ™‚
ninja cx > Then you should hit the United Department because it is the MTU they produce

Whatever karma I got for repaying that legion pilot for his ship has vanished by now…

Phase 4: Hour long brawl (Day 3)

After many hours of frustrating their players, one finally took the bait. I had warped in on a rattlesnake, shot their MTU, and they had fired back at me. Their drones had very low tracking, and did not apply damage to me very well. After reaching full spool, I realized I was not going to break his tank. Perhaps with full skills, I would have.

Then, a praxis warped in to help his friend. After putting his drones out, he also was not applying damage well. I was able to tank both of them, and made the decision to switch to the praxis.

The praxis did not have nearly as much tank. I had activated my pyrolancea booster, waited for full spool, then overheated my guns. I managed to get him down to structure, but had to unheat my guns. Additionally, they had killed four of my five hobgoblins, lowering my dps. This was getting complicated.

Another one of their members logged in, and warped to the site. At this point I was considering leaving. I had about five minutes left on my suspect timer, and was only just holding against their dps. Any extra damage, or any ewar would have me dead to rights.

He warped in with an osprey. This was useless, as remote reps could not be applied in this situation without starting a criminal timer.

Keeping the praxis held down, I sent a ping out on my alliance discord, begging someone to bring more hobgoblins and nanite repair paste. The voice channel got filled up quickly, and help was on the way. I just had to wait for them to arrive. In the meantime, I explained multiple times what had happened, as many members were confused as to what I was doing.

It seemed that they had also sent a ping out, as their pilots began to login to system. Their pilots landed on grid one after the other, then locked me up. However, my suspect timer had run out, and only the rattlesnake and praxis pilots were now allowed to engage me. They had missed their chance by one minute.

Their fleet began on-site theory crafting as to how they could save their friend’s praxis. Individuals sent their drones out, hoping I would shoot them and get concorded. The osprey sat on grid, still looking confused. Duel attempts were sent out between them, hoping they would be able to join the fight. None of their ideas yielded results.

In a desperate attempt to save their friend’s praxis, a bhaalgorn locked me up and went criminal. After activating my assault damage control, I tanked the extra DPS easily, and got the final blow, assisted by concordokken. Shortly afterwards, my fleet mate Alegni South killed the pod. Strangely, they had not put their neuts on me. If they had, they almost certainly would have capped me out, and allowed the praxis to warp off.

After receiving more hobgoblins and nanite repair paste, I repaired my guns and nos. I was finally ready for round two.

Their fleet warped off, giving up on the idea of saving their friend. I asked my alliance fleet to kill the last rat on grid, then warp off. The next wave of triglavians, my fully spooled overheated guns, and fresh set of hobgoblins were easily enough to break what was left of his ship. His pod didn’t warp off, and was next to fall.

In total, they lost just over one billion isk worth of ships and implants. The fight had lasted about an hour, and had many ups and downs. I’m sure they will tell their members how to avoid losses like this in the future. This won’t stop me from being an annoyance.

Additional shoutout to alliance member riskofshock for killing a 2.5 billion isk Kronos using the bait nergal fit later in the day.

Edit: They managed to bait me back with a praxis fitted with neut, scram and web. Fair play to them, I didn’t ship scan it beforehand.

Not so Wunderbar

In my last post, I mentioned the practice of ninja looting. This is taking items from containers that are owned by other players, in the process giving yourself a suspect timer (But also potentially valuable loot).

One level 4 mission, called “The Rogue Slaver Trader” is easily recognizable and exploitable. If you warp in on a mission runner above several frigates, a single battleship and a large rock called “Slave Pen”, then you are in that mission. Approach the slave pen, wait for the mission runner to clear out the rats and blow up the structure, and instantly pick up the prisoners that drop, then warp off.

Why is this a good idea? Well, the mission runner needs those prisoners to finish his mission. If you take them, you can create a contract and force them to pay for the items, so that they can finish their mission. Of course, you can also be mean and set the contract price for far more than is worth their time to pay. I try to hit a middle ground, where someone on the public contract system will buy it eventually, but the mission runner will not want to pay the price.

This way, we get an angry mission runner, AND the reward from the contract!

“Nein danke” Is all the german that I know

Of course, in this case our unhappy german mission runner did not accept the contract. However, it took about 10 minutes for another player (Who seems to resell items like this) to accept the contract.

For a few minutes of work, I was 10 million isk richer. Keep in mind that I was somewhat guessing on the price, and you can almost certainly get more isk than that (Just be willing to wait longer).

The Chronicles of Draco Mithgard

For newer players: Ninja salvaging is the act of turning up at another player’s location, and salvaging wrecks of rats that they have been attacking. Although the wrecks belong to them you will not get a suspect timer for salvaging the wrecks. You do get a suspect timer for taking items out of them.

To celebrate my 100th MTU kill, let me share some of my experiences with a local mission runner.

Draco was potentially the unluckiest player I came across. I happened to find him running level 4 missions when I was first getting into ninja salvaging, and then just kept on running into him. Eventually, I grew a bit tired of ninja salvaging, but decided to keep messing with Draco specifically. It wasn’t about the isk, or the salt (He hardly ever spoke to me). I considered it a tradition of mine to ninja salvage if he was in system.

Part 1: The Ransom

Unauthorized military presence is a level 4 mission where you have to shoot some rats and pick up militants to hand in. Any mission that requires an item to be handed in which drops in a container is exploitable. Simply wait for the container to drop, zoom over to it, pick up the goods.

How much is a life truly worth? About 1 million isk each

Knowing more than I did back then, he probably picked up militants from one of the other containers that have them in that mission, then cashed them in. It drops more than you need, I have over 300 spare currently. So yeah, he didn’t accept the contract. At the very least, it made my intentions clear.

Part 2: The Long Wait

Eventually he got a bit sick of me appearing, then either looting his containers or salvaging his wrecks. Upon seeing me turn up at the first acceleration gate beside him, he logged off in space. He was not going to tolerate me bullying him out of his isk.

I figured he would be back in about an hour, so I docked up at an alliance citadel in system, changed some market orders, and watched some memes. Now and then, I would check local to see if he had come back yet. The very moment he logged back on (About an hour later), I undocked and warped back to the location of his mission (Which I had saved).

By the time his battleship had finished warping back onto grid, I was already there waiting for him in my magnate.

Part 3: The Salvage Heist

There was a nullsec roam fleet leaving in a while, and I didn’t want to miss it. However, I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to say hi to my new friend. He decided to log off in space again, and then I got an idea: Why don’t I just clear out the mission with a friend, then salvage anything before he gets back?

By the time Draco warped into the last room of his mission, there were only a couple of wrecks left. Sure, he pretty much got free LP and mission rewards for something he didn’t do, but we salvaged almost every ship and got all the bounties.

Part 4: New Beginnings

Draco decided to take a break from the game, and I don’t really blame him. Mission running is all I have ever seen him do, and I was there to spoil it for him. I was absolutely being a bully, and that may have been a large reason he pulled away from the game for a while.

However, recently (Over a year since I last saw him) I have noticed him logging in again. I decided to say hello in the best way I know how, and salvage a few wrecks (While waving in local and welcoming him back). Much to my surprise, he completely ignored me and kept on doing the mission.

He had finally beaten me at my own game, there was absolutely no reason left to ninja salvage him. The part that I had found fun was watching how he would react, and now I was getting nothing at all. So, I decided to show him my new playstyle.