I got back into playing the game, and I’m gonna start running level 2 security missions. Would it be worth it to buy a Mobile Tractor Unit this early? I only ask because it costs nearly as much as a cruiser, and I’m not sure how much time it would save me.
For level 2 missions? No.
In general, you will make more money from blitzing through level 2 missions as fast as possible, skipping loot/salvage, to get up to level 4 missions as soon as you can. Then an MTU may be worth buying, but mission loot/salvage is actually the lowest source of income from missions - bounties for killing pirates and drones is where the real mission money comes into play. Developing an effective blitzing fit and playstyle is where the money is when it comes to missions - and it is good practice for higher-income PvE in high sec (ranging from combat anomalies to incursions). As your skills and income stream grow, branching out to low sec and null sec activity becomes easier - you build up a nice nest egg of funds so you can afford to burn a lot of ships learning the deeper aspects of the game.
Ok. If you are salvaging Level 2 missions it will save you time. But…
It’s an expensive thing, and the saving in time isn’t going to be worth it. Salvage from level 2 missions can best be described as “modest”.
The MTU is 100m3 - but that and any ammunition in the hold and you’ll quickly run out of space for salvage and wrecks.
If you are desperate to salvage - and I can sympathize with a “let’s leave it tidy” approach - then fitting a dedicated salvager is another approach. I use a Dragoon with salvage drones, tractor beams and salvagers on it. You gently toil around dragging wrecks and containers in while the drones steadily chump through them.
Not, from an ISK, efficient. But satisfying.
Now, at Level 4. Yeah, I salvage. And the Noctis is a nice thing. I’m sad like that…
I would skip the highsec salvaging, but i think it’s worth bringing an MTU along. You get loads of meta-modules!
To each their own though there are lots of different takes in this thread.
IMO no mission is worth salvaging, the stuff you get is a pittance compared to the bounties you get, and time spent salvaging is time not spent running the next mission and getting more ISK.
If you need to use salvage materials to build stuff, sure, go for it. If you just want the money, running more missions nets you far more money than salvaging and selling the stuff.
You will forget scooping your MTU several times, and you will forget to bookmark its location, too, so I suggest learning to handle an MTU in Lvl2 missions is no mistake if you like looting and salvaging.
You should have a ship with an expanded launcher and combat probes nearby at hand (each expedition frig can fit that), then you can start happy MTU ratting!
I only loot and salvage because OCD. It really isn’t efficient if you are just ‘grinding’ missions for ISK. Even at level 4 missions and beyond it is questionable, because of the low value of salvage and most drops, but do be on the look-out for the odd elite faction NPC, and ALWAYS loot those wrecks!
I also really don’t recommend ‘grinding’ anything for ISK. Make sure you always enjoy what you are doing in EVE, or else you are probably playing wrong EVE is a game, not a second job.
Note that you can drop an MTU and come back later to collect. Often easier when dealing with multiple gates, when you can just warp direct after everything has despawned.