Everyone wants to join Stay Frosty and Yarr!, I mean who wouldn't?!? Adventure, fame, infamy, fear, lootz, chicks, hot-tubs, free beer and all the pew pew you can handle! It is a great life and Stay Frosty is the place to get your Yarr on. But there are some things about being a Pirate you should know first. Honestly, there are 17 things you really should know. But 10 is much more Googlie than 17. So those other seven things will remain a secret.
So here are 10 of the 17 things you really should know about being a Pirate, in no particular order. In fact, they are in exactly the same order as I remembered what they are.
Number 10: Lootz. Looting the wrecks of your enemies and getting fellow Corp mates to loot your wrecks is not only sensible and pragmatic, it can also save your life. You can actually, really, help your income stream significantly by looting all the things. Even wrecks you didn't make. Stealing essentially. If it isn't bolted down, take it. You will be surprised at how much isk you can make doing this. Or how much isk you save if you re-use the loot on your next ship. Drones, modules, cap charges, everything. Take it all. And then, most importantly, dump it somewhere before you explode.
Number 9: Even Solo pilots need help. I know you want to become the greatest solo pilot Eve has ever seen! We all want that for you. But just know this, no solo pilot truly flies alone. New Eden is not built like that and if you think that way, you will soon have horrible and bitter lessons to learn. Rely on your Corp mates as intel gatherers, back-up, rescue, and bait. Everyone else is. That's why you keep losing.
Number 8: All those people from the same Corp in local? They really are together. They are always together. They share chat channels, they are on comms, and they will all rush to defend that one guy in the belt. Always. Either you need to be very fast, have way more dps than he has tank, or very, very lucky. Just know they will come eventually. Or, they will all run away together. One can never be sure.
Number 7: You stick out like a sore thumb. You are RED, Flashy, Negative Status, Skulled, and otherwise pretty damn obvious in local. You cannot hide. You shouldn't have to, use this knowledge to your benefit. But always be aware of the fact that other people are scared to death of your red square when it shows up in local. Never, ever underestimate what that means. Because...
Number 6: You are always a target. Carebears want you out of their local. But other PvPers see your red square the same way you see theirs, as a potential target that will actually fight back. Just remember that. You are an opportunity for someone else to do what it is they do. And you don't know exactly what they have planned. Which leads us to the next one...
Number 5: You are always potentially the end result of someone else's plan. The key is to avoid becoming the end result of someone else's plan. Everyone you see in space is up to something. And whatever that something happens to be, you want to position yourself to be on the side that favors you - not them. They may be baiting for a gang next door. They may be smart-bomb fitted and sitting on the gate. They may be neutrals who can shoot negatives at will. Whatever it is, you want to turn it to your advantage. Not theirs.
Number 4: A good pirate knows his or her tools like the back of their hand. You must practice your trade the same way you must practice your tools. Be the master of d-scan, bookmarks, perches, gate spots, sun warps, probes, mechanics, plex warps, the myriad of information that is at your fingertips at all times. Learn it. Love it. Live it. It is just as important as having a great fit. Even more so. There is no excuse for not knowing these things, of not having the perfect overview, of not understanding how d-scan works. These are essential.
Number 3: Post your fits in Corp. Debate them. Ask about them. Try them out on your fellow Corp mates. There is nothing wrong with practicing together. Take the time to know why, to see for yourself, to try it out. Being comfortable in your ship and knowing what it can and cannot do is critical in the fights to come. The more comfortable you are the better you will do. Trust me. This is hard won wisdom.
Number 2: Target Selection! This is really the biggest thing to learn about being a Pirate. Picking your targets. We all want the big score, the Rifter who solos a Megathron. And those opportunities come to those that wait. But they don't happen every day. Something that does happen every day is people attacking other people they shouldn't be attacking. Don't let boredom force you into making poor decisions. Wait for your chance, know your enemy, and know the odds before the fight even starts. This is the skill that great PvPers have developed. Listen to your Spider Sense.
Number 1: Have Fun! For goodness sake you are a Pirate. Laugh in the face of your enemies, Yarr yourself silly, ignore the rules, fight the impossible fight, whelp into over-whelming odds - have fun doing what you enjoy! That is the most important thing. Just remember that having fun isn't the antithesis of being smart. They go hand-in-hand.
Eve is awesome when you fly with friends. Even when you fly alone.