The New Normal


Anytime I start to write or express an opinion about Low Sec PvP mechanics I shudder knowing that I'm going to get into trouble from one side or another. The thing about this issue is how complicated it can be, how many different perspectives there truly are, and how biased players can get about their own experiences with it. Which is understandable. We all do it. The trick is to understand your own biases and embrace them, so that you can better see and appreciate the perspectives of others. 

Having said that let's set some background here. My bias is simple - I run a Corporation of Pirates. I've been doing this for over ten years now, from before Stay Frosty. I've been a -10 Pirate for a very long time primarily in Low Sec space. Last month alone I flew 29 different ships into combat. Which is pretty typical for me. Yesterday, when the above image was taken, I undocked in four different ships. This is also pretty typical for me. I only do one thing in Eve - I hunt. That's it. I don't PvE, or mine, or rat, or run missions, or anything else other than undock to hunt targets. Period. 

So when I tell you that the age of independent Piracy is coming to an end - you should listen. I've often said that Stay Frosty is the last bastion of old-fashioned piracy inside of New Eden and, while we aren't the only ones left, we are certainly the largest group left standing. Canary in the coal mine. A bell-weather. A warning. And things are not good for us.

Before I get to the meat of it, let me say that Low Sec has never been more active than it is right now. Uprising has been great for Faction Warfare and our area of space is humming along. Very active. And I'm happy about that. I truly am. And in our group our roams are also going very well, just this last Saturday I took a group of 20 or so Frigates around the neighborhood and we all had a blast. We managed to get into a handful of really great fights. This is not unusual. We've been running 3-4 roams a week over the  Holidays and typically those go very well. But those are group activities.

It is the days in-between those that I am worried about. Normally those days are when our pilots swarm around solo or in very small gangs. This is where I've seen a lot of inactive players not logging in and this is where my concerns are. To try and help mitigate that damage I did something I've literally never done before - I made it mandatory for our pilots to be in a fleet together at all times. I did this to try and encourage our pilots to share intel, to be back-up for others, and to be able to quickly form up to take on larger targets. I knew what was coming and what was going to happen to Low Sec if Uprising was successful.

So why is piracy dying?

Yesterday I took an Astero out to do some hunting. Immediately on undock I saw a Catalyst on scan and went to engage him in some event site in local. Just to remind everyone that an Astero is a Frigate and a Catalyst is a Destroyer. Sadly he didn't fight back and turned out to be poorly fitted. Which is a bummer. I don't know these things until after the fight. But that was just the beginning. 47 systems later and I was back home without a single other engagement. Not a one. Some people ran. Some people docked up. But mostly they didn't have to run or dock up because there are 10 of them inside of a plex together. Or there are three of them, but they are in Cruisers. Or they have logi. Or a Griffin with logi with Cruisers. Increased activity has meant an increase in the number and scale of those who are running plexes. Often these systems have 30 or more people in them. Not exactly great for a pirate in a frigate.

And then I happened on a lone Destroyer inside a Medium Plex. Perfect. An up-ship fight, the kind I'm looking for. Except I can't get my frigate inside a medium plex. I can just sit outside while he sits comfortably inside, safe and sound.

Look, I get it. Let scouts and smalls have safety precautions, fine. But a medium? Or a large? This is going too far and it is killing us. None of us liked or enjoyed the bullshit that was happening before Uprising and we advocated for changes, just like everyone in FW. But we went too far. Locking a frigate, no matter what kind of frigate, out of plexes bigger than the ship type - while bigger ships are inside - is just wrong.

I wrote a post last week about pirate ships and how they are dead now. A entire class of ship has been rendered completely useless for all intents and purposes. The same kind of argument could be made regarding Assault Frigates as well.

Uprising was great for Factional Warfare and for Low Sec. Woot. I'm happy for you all. But it was rough on us pirates. And yes, of course, we'll adapt or die. We always do. But I do think we need to scale some of this back just a little. We went too far, too fast. 

Open the doors a crack. Just a little.