Pirate Apologist

What is it with people and their constant refusal to believe that Piracy in Eve Online is a valid play-style choice? Ever since I roamed into Low Sec and found my destiny almost a decade ago, there has been a constant barrage of questions, blame, finger-pointing, and crying (and so much salt) about it. I can't even begin to imagine just how many posts on this subject I've written over the past ten years of this magazine. Let me be totally clear:

In my opinion, Piracy is the purest expression of the spirit of Eve Online in the entire game. Period.

And no that doesn't mean I think it is better than you, or your choices about how you choose to play Eve. I have never said that. But if you wanted to distill the essence of HTFU/Dark/Unforgiving/PvP Oriented/Icelandic Eve into a play-style - that play-style would be Piracy. And while Null Sec will forever get the media coverage and the history books, the real blood and guts horror show of Eve happens in Low Sec every day. Pure and simple. And apparently a lot of people hate that or refuse to accept it.

I know because they tell me all the time. I track down a Mining Barge in a belt and point it, I immediately get a convo asking me to, "stop shooting my ship!" If I probe down a Dominix running a mission and kill it in my Cruiser, I immediately get an Eve mail saying that I prey unfairly on weaker targets. (Last I looked a Dominix is a Battleship.) And when one of my Corpmates posts something on Reddit about Piracy, here is what we get in return:

"Pirates in eve, and griefing in general, is just unconscionably rude behavior, and I've never been able to understand how you and so many others can be so unapologetic about it."

Rude!?! For goodness sake. Jump into Low Sec and what happens? You get a warning telling you that this might be a bad idea for you, that this is lawless space. The game warns you. Kill-boards warn you. Forums. Blogs. Memes. Videos. Everyone is warning you. I'm warning you. It is full of Pirates. Eve Online is a video game about spaceships. My job is to kill your spaceship and steal what you have worked so heard to create. Your job is to prevent me from doing that. My hard work is getting really good at stealing your stuff. So that I don't have to make my own stuff. Other people's job is to make stuff that I can buy with the stuff I stole from you. That is the circle of life. It is a beautiful thing. But it isn't rude.

So yes I am unapologetic about it. I make no apologies for playing the game the way it is intended to be played. I don't go around asking other people to apologize for how they choose to play and I'd appreciate if people would stop expecting me to apologize for mine.

Look, it hurts to lose a ship. I appreciate that. I know because I've lost over 2,000 of them. And often for dumb reasons. No one enjoys losing a ship. Not even us crusty pirates. But one of the most important lessons you can learn about Eve is this - once built it is doomed. That shiny new ship of yours will eventually explode. The more you try to keep it safe and protected the less valuable it is. The more you use it, the more valuable it becomes and the more likely it is to die. Sure you can keep it docked forever and perfectly safe, but then it is worthless. And this my friend, is the engine that fuels every single action in this game. The tension between safety and action. Between worthless and valuable.

Once you undock that ship you have agreed to use that engine to fuel your own game. Other people have other games they are fueling with that same engine. Often those games will align with yours and you'll have a splendid time doing whatever it is you like doing together. These are often called Corporations or Alliances. I have those as well. Except my group of friends is trying to take your ship and all the stuff in it away from you. That is the engine that fuels our chosen play-style. We're nice people, we'll buy you a beer at Fanfest, and we work our asses off to become really good at our chosen professions. Just as you should be working hard to keep us from doing it to you.

So no I won't stop shooting your ship. However, if you ask nicely and aren't a dick about it, I will probably let your pod go.  Unless, after I've agreed and warped away, you stay in the site for longer than you should. Because then I will come back and pod you.

Because you need to learn. I'm not being rude, I'm trying to teach you a valuable lesson.

So maybe next time, say thanks. Or Good Fight. And try better next time.


  1. Right about the phrase 'Circle of life' I heard in the background the theme from the Lion King.

  2. I'd have entitled this post... "The Unapologetic Pirate", or "The Unrepentant Pirate", or "The Unashamed Pirate"... or... "Quit Whining and HTFU it's EVE..."

    Personally I think we have a new generation in EVE who don't grok HTFU...

    1. We were commenting on comms the other day about how little you hear that phrase anymore.

    2. I've intentionally used HTFU recently in my posts and linked Permaband's HTFU vid more than once... but alas and alack-a-day, mine is but a wee small blog as these things go, and the meta aint what it used to be...

      I miss the days when you and I were writing in the full the tide of the best years of EVE... I miss the days of Kirith, the Blog Banters, Poe, Goblin, Mabrick, Sugar... and most of all Jester. I miss when we loved the game, and it still was OK to love the game... I miss how ALIVE the blogshere and metagame were before ought' 16.

      Something that makes me feel old... I had to wait 'n listen and keep mouf shut until I think I figured out what "krabs" are, and TBH still not sure I have the ken of it even now. I feel like an old old man in EVE I do... a true L5 Kurmudgeon as the gurlfren' says... and as I turn 60 IRL this year, not too far off the mark there too 'ah guess.

    3. Everything changes. Hang in there and keep trucking along.


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