Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blowing You Up, and Taking Your Stuff

A few weeks ago, there was some bantering going around about what constitutes a ‘real’ pirate. This was kind of bemusing to me because in many cases, people’s definition of piracy seemed to be whatever it needed to be for them to fit themselves within the category.

“I have decided that this is what a pirate is, and since I fit the criteria perfectly, a pirate I am!”
I suppose that there’s a certain sense, in EVE, that pirates are bad-ass pvpers of some sort, so it’s no wonder that people are eager to be able to label themselves as such.

Granted, there is no harm in re-defining or expanding upon the definition for the sake of a video game. But the truth of the matter is that piracy has been identified and defined for centuries. And while people may amuse themselves by trying to define piracy in terms of philosophizing about pirate’s honor, or the ‘rules’ of gameplay for pirates –the truth remains that piracy is all about profit.

Simply put, a pirate is anyone who attacks and robs you. Those who do not get their ideas of piracy from Disney, will know that piracy was not some sort of cute life style where people ran about in black wigs and too much makeup singing some song about rum.

Piracy was about profit, usually by attacking defenseless vessels for the purpose of stealing their cargo. In some cases, pirates were used politically –given ‘free reign’ in a territory for the purposes of some political agenda.

The concept of the honorable 1v1 ‘duel’, of fighting for the sake of a good fight, or ‘fair’ fights, or of the anti-carebear who is generally poor because he spends more time pvping then making ISK, is actually the exact opposite of the idea of piracy in the traditional sense.

And the things labeled as ‘dishonorable’ by many, such as high-sec ganking, gate camping for catching ‘undefended’ targets such as shuttles and industrials, or ‘blobbing’ high-end targets  is actually exactly the sort of thing that could be categorized as a truer kind of piracy….if you care about the historical and real-world context.

In the end, I don’t really care what people call themselves in EVE. It has been my experience that labels mean little and that those calling themselves pirates, or small gang pvpers, or solo pilots, or null-sec pilots, or carebears are not all created equally.

Regardless of honor or dishonor, pirate or not, I will continue doing what I enjoy doing –which usually amounts to attempting to blow you up and take your stuffs.


  1. Blowing you up and taking stuff is piracy. Blowing up folks that does not generate a profit is NOT piracy. Being an arsehole is not being a pirate. Ganking without the intent of earning more ISK than risked is piracy. Ransoming for ISK is piracy. Taking the ISK then podding the pilot is not good for business, therefore not piracy.

    Piracy was about the money. Period. Prisoners were treated very well, every courtesy was extended to their 'guests' Anything that would increase the amount of policing was discouraged - killing your prisoners that you intended to ransom (although ransoming was EXTREMELY rare) was frowned upon. Theft was fine (from victims). Pirates were uncommonly democratic in their dealings with each other, as well as very even handed with respect to share of loots including payment for lost limbs (or other bits).

    Blowing someone up on a shuttle give no ISK to the player, therefore a pirate wouldn't bother. A pirate might try to be polite to the shuttle pilot, perhaps to encourage that same pilot to fly an expensively fit ship or full-bellied cargo ship another time

    1. On the contrary, you'd be surprised what people attempt to transport in a shuttle. Smart bombing little stuff on a gate isn't just 'being rude to defenseless people' it also can be extremely lucrative. =)

  2. To be fair to Disney music and singing would have been some of the few forms of entertainment available to the pirates while they were out plying their trade, and with the prevalence of Rumbullion, and other spirits in the area most classically associated with them (the islands of the gulf of mexico and near that region) odds are that there would indeed be singing, and singing about rum if not some other spirit.