02 October 2009

Helicity's Quiz

I want to make clear that I do not think piracy should be driven from New Eden completely. I want to make clear that I do not hate all pirates. I also want to clear up the confusion that I am not a pirate. Yes, I do frequent the Hellcats Pub channel, but I am not a pirate.

My response to Helicity's quiz can be summed up as, "When piracy is hard, only pirates will do it."

My complaint with piracy is that it is too easy. And by that I mean, pirates don't have to rely on piracy as their income. I would wager that most pirates don't make money at it. Most pirates likely have a side business, possibly through an alt, or a steady supply of PLEX.

That isn't to say that all pirates fail to make money. I think The Bastards Alliance demonstrates that one can make quite a healthy living off of loot and ransoms. My run in with Teff nogero has taught me that one can make a healthy living off of suicide piracy.

I will admit that I don't have the ability to survey piracy in New Eden. I doubt anyone does. I can't say for certainty how widespread these situations are. That aside, I am still going to give these examples as the basis for my complaints because no one can get better data.

As to solutions, my first answer, and I'm sure the biggest game changer, is to remove all alts. Not just second accounts, but remove the two alts on any single account. I know this would never happen, but it would do a lot to cut out those pirates that are really just griefers. It would cut out those pirates that can't make money at it.

Consider for example the high-sec suicide pirate. He has an alt in a hauler, waiting to loot the wrecks, the victim's and the suicide ship. That venture becomes less profitable when there are really two mouths to feed and not just the two alts of the one mouth.

Consider for example the low-sec pirate. These pirates tend to be proud of their -10 security rating. This security rating is a badge of honor, not the hindrance that CONCORD intended. Without high-sec alts to make beer runs, these pirates would have to pay a premium to get their goods, either through low-sec traders, or though high-sec supply contracts.

On a side note, I would be more than happy to help fill the new market needs that emerge from this stripping of alts.

That isn't to say these ventures wouldn't still be profitable. And that isn't to say that I think these ideas are wretchedly horrible and should be banned. It just shouldn't be so easy and so prevalent. Pirates should have to work for their ISKies just like the rest of us.

Another solution that I want to propose is selling kill rights. There is a bounty system in place today, but several pirates just have themselves offed by a corp mate with the bounty gets high enough to cover the clone. They pocket the rest. The bounty system doesn't create the encouragement to have bounty hunters.

In high-sec, suicide pirates should be more susceptible to kill rights. Currently, members of the victims corp may respond for a period, but this means that the corp has to have PvPers. This may be the same corp that hires mercenaries during a war. Can they hire mercenaries for kill rights? Again, there is no market for bounty hunters.

I don't see this being as big a deal in low-sec. The only time the kill rights will really matter is on the gates and stations where there are guns to respond to illegal aggression. Still, it may give an incentive for more people to move to low-sec if they can be hired as bounty hunters.

A third solution that I would like to offer is to change the way security standings are calculated. Low-sec pirates are proud of their -10, and I do applaud them for that. If they were willing to be brave enough to do that in a world with no alts, I would have much respect for them.

High-sec pirates will yarr for a bit, then trundle off to grind back their security status so they can yarr again. The security status doesn't become an accurate indicator of the intentions of a pirate. CONCORD suddenly considers him not so bad because he busted up some lowly Angel's?

I would like to see positive security status either awarded painfully slowly, or awarded only for dispatching someone with a equally low or lower security status. In other words, pirate with a -6 has to defeat the pirate with -6 or lower to raise his own. I would hope this would promote some pirate-on-pirate violence.

I might only give them a reason to have rookie frigate evenings where they all reach around and raise their security status together.

My last solution is simply to open up a capsuleer's interaction with the environment. Why is System X only a .5? Why can't a corporation invest in or work with CONCORD to raise it (and why can't pirates work to lower it)? This idea starts down a rabbit hole of possibilities that tie into New Eden as a platform spanning beyond what capsuleers do in Eve. And I'll leave that and SimStation and other ideas for a future post.


  1. I like your writeup, but there is a niggling thing you seem to be missing.

    Making money from piracy is much harder than you think, this is mainly due to the low droprate on player modules.

    Your idea would be great... if they bumped the module droprate from player kills *considerably*

  2. Worthwhile post. But don't be misled--piracy is an extremely difficult profession. Its biggest reward is the fun it offers, and I suppose a certain "mystique".

    "No alts" would be a losing proposition for CCP. But were such a thing implemented, it wouldn't only affect pirates--it would affect solo players, 0.0 alliances, high sec mission runners, etc. Alts are as necessary as having multiple ships in your hanger for a good many players with widely varying play styles once they reach a certain level of experience in the game.

    I'd like to see the bounty system overhauled and made more interesting and into a true profession. There have been some good threads in the Assembly Hall forum with interesting proposals on this topic.

  3. As a 0.0 dweller, and not a pirate, I have to agree with Mynxee. I heavily rely upon my alts for moving goods in haulers through empire to the logistics point for our jump freighters. Soon I'll need them to move built goods through Empire so that I can keep my main industrialist at his work station. Think of it, as many call it in blogs, "associates" that work for you.