No other question has popped up as much here in these pages over the past seven years. Every so often someone will make the case that there are no pirates in Eve. And then I'll have to drag my arguments back out here to prove that people don't know what they are talking about. Usually the argument goes something like this, people who PvP are not Pirates. They are PvPers, so Piracy must be dead. If it ever existed in the first place. Does anyone ransom Pods anymore? I don't hear about that, so it must not happen. If I don't hear about it, and it isn't happening, then Piracy must be a Myth.
I became a full-time resident of Low Sec back in January 2011 when my new corp Lucifer's Hammer started recruiting in Syndicate. Shortly after that my sec-status reached -10 and has been there ever since, not once in those five years reaching above -10. Negative sec status is not required to be a Pirate, there are other ways, but in my opinion it is a result of being a Pirate. Criminal. Bad guy. Pirate. It all goes hand in hand. If Concord or the Empires like you then that is strange, isn't it?
So Sec Status has something to do with it. But again, I suppose you could be a Pirate and extort High-Sec Mission Runners for a living. Doesn't seem likely, but I'll leave that to other people. In my personal opinion Pirates primarily live in Low-Security space. If I go into High Sec people shoot me, I even get a warning saying Criminals are not welcome. So even the Empires know I'm a bad person. Which I am not by the way.
So what else make a person a Pirate? Sec-Status. Low Sec. What else? Ransoming pods? Stealing assets? Being annoying? Trolling local? What!?!
This part is what annoys those people that want to label and describe everything in the world. There are many different kinds, styles, attitudes and approaches for Pirates inside of New Eden. Even within Stay Frosty we have many different players doing things their own way. Some of our pilots are not Pirates. Some are on their way to becoming Pirates and some have decided to never become Pirates. Some people PvP for fun and never steal, ransom, or take something that is not theirs. And yet they belong to a Pirate Corporation. How do we reconcile these various approaches to Piracy in order to build a definition of what Piracy is?
We can't. For one thing Eve has changed under our feet. In the old days when ISK wasn't as easy to get, ransoms were a viable way to make a decent living. No one wanted to lose an expensive pod. But once CCP started allowing real money to purchase ISK inside of Eve, well those days are long gone. Yes, I still try to ransom pods now and then (especially when I think they have candy in their head) but it rarely matters anymore. I've seen pilots choose to die with implants in their head, instead of paying up. That would never have happened five years ago. There is just way too much ISK inside of Eve. The risk/reward balance is way off these days.
Even so I've managed to make a living inside of Eve doing nothing but Piracy for five years. I don't mine, mission, rat, or otherwise do anything but undock and play Eve on HARD mode every single day. This is what I enjoy and how I choose to play Eve. It doesn't make it better than other choices, it is simply my way of playing. I like playing on Difficult. I make my isk from loots, from extortion, from pay-back schemes (which I cannot detail here in these pages, sorry) and from the largesse of my Alliance and Corporation. And, of course, from the greater Eve Community.
I know without a doubt that if there is one solitary Pirate in New Eden then it is me. I am a Pirate. I want to keep Low-Sec free of Empires, free of laws, free of Factional Controls, a free and independent place of adventure, fun, pew and piracy.
Because when it comes down to it, Piracy is all about perspective. It isn't a definition. Or a set of rules. It is the opposite of those things. It is an attitude. And you either have it, or you don't.