One of the things you quickly realize when flying in Faction War is that it is very difficult to be a militia pvper and not also become a pirate. Many old school militia consider it an inevitability, and when recruiting new players, often make sure they are willing to go -10.
The reason for this is that Faction War plexes have become a hugely popular hunting ground for non militia. (Most militia call all non-militia ‘neutrals’, even if they have been set red or otherwise.) This means that Faction War pilots will often find themselves fighting non militia pilots in their territory –and especially inside plexes. Unfortunately, even if you’re defending a plex in your own home system against these neutrals, CONCORD has deemed the action outlaw behavior and will punish you with a security status loss. (Unless, you wait for the neuts to shoot first which most people know is almost always impractical.)
As a result of this, and other mechanics in Faction War, there are several kinds of militia pirates:
The Reluctant Pirate
Many pirates in Faction War are what I would call ‘reluctant’ pirates. In normal circumstances they wouldn’t have negative security status. But, they want to be in militia, and they’re not going to sit around waiting for the neuts to shoot them first before supporting their friends in a fight.
A lot of these pilots will go through phases where they will grind their sec back up. (Or pay for it with tags.) And while most will not hesitate to support their friends in a fight, many will avoid piracy situations altogether.
The Pirate Who Happens to be in Militia
The second type of pirate in Faction War are people who seem to be pirates first and foremost, and then just happen to be in militia.
They don’t even think twice about becoming -10, and their reasons for also being in militia are varied:
Some are only in militia because their corporation decided to go that route. They like the people they fly with and would continue doing what they are doing no regardless of whether they remain in a militia or not.
They tend to not have real ‘militia’ loyalties, and will swap militias if it suites them or their corporation for any reason. They will often go to where they can find the most available targets.
Many of these sorts are only in militia so they and the rest of their corporation has readily available avenue for making ISK.
The Faction War Pirate
The Faction War Pirate tends to identify with both groups –pirates and militia. They are loyal to a single militia and engage in a lot of ‘regular’ Faction War activities, but they also are die hard -10 pirates who won’t hesitate to jump into some neutral action, or even venture into highsec to gank innocent miners.
These pilots are as equally comfortable flying with a die-hard militia fleet, as they are flying with a hardened group of evil pirates. Most of them don’t think too hard about their piracy or militia status. They just like blowing everything and everyone up, and if this comes with a security status price tag, so be it.
The Fake-Militia Pirate
These guys are a brand of pirate all on their own. They aren’t considered ‘real’ Faction War pilots in that they don’t engage in any sort of militia activities or have any sort of loyalty. Rather, they use the game mechanics of Faction War in order to further their evil pirate deeds.
They regularly hunt and kill their own militia, using alts and of militia-swapping as standings are needed. They especially prey upon younger militia, who assume that all ‘friendly’ militia are friendly—using this naivety to take pilots unaware inside plexes and other places.
They will employ every trick in the book to gain as many kills as possible. It is not their thought to get even or ‘fun’ fights. They will trick you, and use every possible advantage that they can come up with to get you dead at the least amount of risk to themselves.
And yelling at them in local for their use of links, for killing ‘friendly’ militia, or other deeds will only make them laugh at you.
Many militia pilots have made suggestions for modifying game mechanics so that you can pvp in Faction War with less worry to becoming an outlaw. This could possibly be achieved by triggering a suspect timer for anyone entering a plex, or simply removing the security status losses for any pvp that happens inside or around plexes.
However, until then, most militia pirates realize that dealing with outlaws or an outlaw security status is simply one of the many things that come with the territory of living and fighting in Low-Sec.