Mobile Tractor Unit

Hi all

When I went to Eve-fest last year in London I suggested to the Devs that they add a button to the Mobile Tractor Unit that will give people the option to either tractor everything or lootable objects only.

I presented my argument for this however I did not get time to fully explain and the Dev’s said it may be OP but I do not think that is true and in fact I feel that adding that simple button or right click would make a massive difference to everybody. Please see below my argument for adding that button.

  1. Yes it would make salvaging easier than for someone who does not own a Tractor Unit, like new players for instance. However we were all new players once and we all had to save and earn the unit so its not unfair as everybody has to earn one the same way and a player who has saved to invest in an MTU should enjoy the advantage of owning one over someone who does not.

  2. There is a bug that when two MTU’s are deployed in the same arena they tend to start feeding from each other, so what you find is you just end up swapping empty wrecks, which is annoying. If you had a button that you could choose to take lootable objects only it would stop that issue for everybody.

  3. If you are deliberately out to salvage then you will likely have salvage drones or a salvage module on your ship in which case the MTU is doing exactly what you want it to, reeling in everything. However if you are in a warship with no salvage capable assets on board, you end up spending ages waiting for all the items you have no interest in which is annoying, and in some cases can take longer than the engagement you was just involved in, which is fine if you plan salvaging, but its not cool when you just want to grab the loot and leave. This should be a choice.

  4. Their is no strategic advantage or disadvantage that I can see for having a simple button that allows you to pull in lootable objects only or everything as usual. It would be personal choice. The only thing I can see is that everybody would benefit and we could enjoy our game time more rather than spending 15 minutes waiting for objects you do not require or want.

  5. you could just manually pick them up in your ship and leave the salvage items not required. True but then what’s the point of owning an MTU or it even being available unless used in conjunction with a salvage ship. But then if it can only be used with a salvage ship effectively then what’s the point of an MTU in the first place as a salvage ship will pretty much do everything without it in any case.

For people in warships who have no salvage assets, it is just as quick to collect the lootable items you require manually. Again whilst that’s ok for new players who have not bought an MTU yet and still have to earn it, for veteran players its just annoying. Its a galaxy of civilizations with advanced technology, so it stands to reason they would not be having to set a course to every wreck manually when a deployable item such as an MTU exists and the fact it does exist and given the technology level in New Eden it stands to reason the MTU would have that facility.

My point is – Please can we have a simple button/right click option on the Mobile Tractor Unit that allows us to select lootable or all Items (Default setting) only rather than having to suffer wasted game time waiting for everything and having to suffer the MTU swapping bug.

Thank you
Moff Churchill

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I only read the “my point is” part but yes that would be a nice feature

No because there is a strategic advantage especially in areas where there may be dozens of wrecks as players who equip a tractor beam and target those specific wrecks will be beaten by an automated deploy-able. Also this would make it so abyss runners can just MTU only the wrecks with loot instead of all which is not how it should be. MTUs should not be deployed in mass either, if you want to tractor in more then 1 thing at a time fit a tractor beam to your ship.

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Still not easy enough with such a button. I say loot should just automagically appear directly into your cargohold if you are on grid with a wreck.

EVE should severely limit the extent to which players can easily accomplish tasks that would greatly benefit from having fleetmates, particularly those tasks whose throughput would scale superlinearly with added manpower. MTUs should not serve as a replacement for having a fleetmate flying a Noctis - allowing MTUs to make that distinction facilitates solo play whereas CCP is emphasizing and should continue to emphasize changes that greatly incentives teamwork (joining non-treehouse corps, fleeting with others, etc). The wider the gap between the disadvantages of solo play and the advantages of cooperative play, the more likely players, even casual players, will opt for cooperative play. MTUs should continue to be dumb precisely to minimize the value of solo play so as to maximize the relative value of collaborative play and entice players to form fleets (in this case, having a fleetmate fly a Noctis). This basically addresses most of your grievances: the solution isn’t to enhance MTUs, it’s to enlist fleetmates, which is appropriate since EVE is an MMO.

I do agree, however, that the tug-of-war issue should be addressed, because this has nothing to do with giving solo play an edge and it also poses a detriment when multiple players are involved. Once a wreck has been tractored by an MTU (regardless of ownership), it should not be tractored by another unless some reasonable criteria is satisfied so as to make it eligible for tractoring again.

So yes - fix the tug-of-war issue, but adding an all/non-empty only toggle button is a big no-no.

Automation is bad. Low input efficiency is bad.

Have we still not learnt this? After all that’s happened and is happening?


No please.

The MTU is, like all items we can put in space, a ‘dumb’ object with one purpose. The MTU makes it much easier to loot a field without bringing tractor beams or without flying to each wreck manually, but we need to be careful about automating this looting process any further. Automation is a good thing. But not in EVE, because labor is a big part of the gameplay. Imagine if all the labor-intensive jobs were automated in EVE: salvaging, hauling, mining, etc. What would be left of the game?

If you don’t want to manually fly to your loot and want to drag specific wrecks while ignoring others, EVE already has tools for that very purpose: tractor beams and the Noctis. Or just wait a little longer until the MTU has done it’s work.


If anything they should remove MTU because it eliminated a player profession.

It was a design mistake.

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It’s gank candy, though. In some cases it can start PVP in hisec if the MTU owner tries to defend the MTU against an MTU ganker. MTU owners are also punished by waiting ■■■■■■■ forever for loot to collect, so they already pay a high price for not having a friend use a Noctis.

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Rare, extremely rare. Compared to the dozens, possibly hundreds of salvagers that were running in L4s at any given time in the past.

EVE’s economy now is very different from what it was many years ago. Right now, the loot and salvage value in L4s suck, and you can get more/better quality salvage in a shorter period of time hitting up relic sites, so even if MTUs weren’t a thing Noctises aren’t really worth fielding in L4s to begin with compared to other things you could be doing (even on a second account). CCP would have to rebalance loot or salvage (or relic sites) somehow to make wrecks juicier salvage-wise and make it worth flying Noctises in L4s.

I’m not talk about 10 years ago, we’re talking just about 2 years ago, and it was a thing, there is no need to speculate.

MTU ended it.

Anything that replaces a player profession in a sandbox is a design mistake and actually, because player content is so important, it is a pretty bad mistake that continues to reflect badly on the team and the management.

Of course this team added instanced content to a sandbox, so hey, expectations are rock bottom.


There was a thread pretty much the same as this a month or so ago…

The general consensus (and even the OP agreed after a short discussion) was that Automation is not good for the game and there should be penalties for using automation (much like the autopilot warping to 15km or whatever). Someone doing the same job manually should be able to do it better.

SO, if you don’t want your MTU to pull empty wrecks, i suggest blowing them up.

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Ok you all gave me a lot to think about and thank you for the replies.

One or Two of you very fine people have replied saying the MTU has already made its mark on the original game by killing off a profession. I just wonder given the impact that the MTU’s have already had on the game, what real difference it would make to anybody now other than positive.

It is exactly the same slow thing with the same parameters, but just a simple choice. I hear you with the argument on the Noctis and Tractor modules and I do agree with you in regard’s to automation but currently as the game stands, the MTU already exists, what difference would it make now except to make everybody’s game a little better.

I am not talking about automating or taking jobs or anything to ruin the game or make it lazy and boring, but the MTU its already their and its already made its impact.

All the button would do is make it work how I think it should in a space faring technologically advanced society. I agree with you all to a point I really do, but I am still not entirely convinced that a very simple Loot button that can switch to all, or just lootable objects is a bad call for the MTU.

And remember I think your all awesome whether you agree with me or not lol.
Thank you :grinning:

you’re missing the whole fun move of warping into someone’s site and dropping one with yellow safety to suck their wrecks lol, unless they patched that finally (haven’t tried in a while)

It continues to damage the economy. With each passing day, the more readily loot is collected at a far greater rate than it was previously, the more the economy is injured.

Can you not see how this type of attitude will hurt the game…?
“Its just an additional little change, how can it hurt???”

Well they changed Autopilot from 15 to 10, why not just autopilot to 0, it just makes things a bit easier, and therefore better for everyone…

Well autopilot is already in game, why not just add autodock when you reach your destination. This will help not having ships waiting outside the stations…

MTU already tractors wrecks, why not auto scoop to hold too… it will save on mouse button clicks…

Seriously, its death by a thousand cuts!
(and no Eve is not dying)

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I don’t think that was ever a thing.

The most fun to be had with MTU’s was shooting them to get drone aggro off afk players and start a limited engagement.

And that was patched quickly. Twas a shame.

The slippery slope is real.

Yeah also it would be graet to add feature to make MTU available for fleet members, and second idea is to scoop MTU just pulling it into ship cargo (without right mouse click command).

With all the module tiericide continuing, that is no longer the case. And who needs t1 rigs anyways, they “just appear” on the market by themselves.