Saturday, May 18, 2013

Through Rose Tinted Monocles

There are many opinions on what it is to be a pirate in Eve. Many people, looking at it from the outside, seem to create a romanticized version wrapped around their knowledge of pirates in history. Even among those who align themselves as pirate in Eve their defines of who and what they are will vary from group to group and culture to culture. If one were to stick to a true definition of piracy most of us would not fit this mold.

I would not be a Pirate Queen in that mold.

But, Eve is about forging your own world and your own identity. It is about picking up someone's box and smashing them across the head with it as you walk from the room wearing white before Memorial Day. It is about owning the label like you own a pimp cane. With swagger and style.

It is true, however, that many of the pirate corps are not so much pirate. We will pirate but we are more creatures of low social morals when it comes to the destruction of other's property in game. The hunt and the kill are reward enough more often than not. There are times when the kill is just for the kill and no other reason is calculated.

It was with puzzled interest, that I noticed someone comment in 7-2's public channel about a freighter to gank. I checked the name, which was unfamiliar and found it to be one of the locals that we sometimes fight and who always seem to bait and blob. They are a high sec group, or at least they live on the island and venture into their local low sec similar to the way you find a good deal on Craig's List and find yourself venturing into that part of town you wouldn't live in but don't mind slipping in for a sale or two.

Freighter ganking is a pastimes  It requires some planning and some logistics to accomplish  It is a game of numbers. So many people. So much DPS. So and so selection of ships. This much time. This much ISK. I was not paying that much attention to the conversation but I decided to barge in when the topic of the freighter came up. It seemed that he had a war dec against the pilot and I wanted to know why he was attempting to entice the negative sec status populous to gank the freighter.

My smooth conversation skills soon netted the answer. It seemed that the freighter pilot was the alt of the person they were war deced with. They were exchanging smack talk and delaying him while they attempted to find someone to gank them. Since their corporation did not believe in untoward aggression they decided that the local pirate groups would fall over themselves to gank a freighter. He seemed puzzled when we were not interested. And, is it okay to (try to) convince someone else to do the thing you cannot do for moral reasons?

I asked how much loot the freighter had in it. He didn't know. It was suggested that he ship scan the freighter and try to entice people with the possibility of loot. Also, payment was acceptable as well. He didn't like those answers much.

We didn't gank the freighter. No one cared and we were doing other things. His confusion at our lack of care is what I found the most interesting. He assumed, because we are what is labeled as pirates, that we would come running when a target was dangled in front of us. He even posted one of the killmails from the last time 7-2 went freighter ganking. Our lack of interest and moderate trolling seemed to confuse him.

He also didn't like my ISK breakdown over how much it might cost us to gank the freighter.

Some bemoan the passing of pirates of old Eve. Those who spent their time stalking and ransoming vs hunting and killing. I wasn't around for those times. These days killing something and getting out before someone else comes along leads to fast, violent conflicts. Ransoms still happens but they are not often the norm anymore. The romanticized version of piracy is not the one that I experience each day. I wonder what they think we do. What they think we say. Do they wonder what our yarrs per minute are in the average conversation?

It is easy to forget that this is only one culture of many. That others log in to a game that is vastly different from my own. There are huge cultural gulfs of understanding between groups. Random assumptions based upon rumors and the briefest bit of exposure combined. But we all play the same game in our different ways. One world. Thousands of people. An untold number of yarrs per minute. Because, after all, I'm sure everyone yarrs at least a little bit. No?

4 comments:

  1. Oh, there's a little yarr in all of us from time to time.

    I’m not a pirate, but if I’m going to be a victim of piracy I want to be robbed with a bit of élan and a cheerful approach to thievery. I mean, if you’re going to steal from me, at least make it interesting.

    Piracy is an ancient and storied profession. They play, fight and steal in the shadows of giants like Jean Lafitte, Edward Teach, Henry Morgan, Francis Drake and Johnny Depp. The pirate’s primary motivation is financial. It’s about the loots – the big score – with some excitement and adventure thrown in.

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  2. I have (strangely?) fond memories of being pirated way back when, in those more romantic times. Fencing on a galactic scale with another pilot, only to find yourself with your hands in the air and seeing if something could be worked out if your life would be spared. Inter-stellar highway robbery at its best. Whether or not you lived depended on the pilot's mood and whether or not you could make an interesting offer. The state of the game has come a long way since then. Bemoan? Nah. Secretly wish for? ...well, maybe a little :)

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  3. I'm one of those deeply in love with romantic notions of piracy. Big hats, eye-patches and peg-legs all make me tingle. But the sad truth is you are correct, the idea of that kind of pirate is largely dead. Holding a knife to the throat and asking a man's worth in gold is nigh on faux pas when a KM and loot is easier.

    I've seen it become a common(ish) and applauded practice in the C&P forum to even ransom and kill after. Something that really hits my wallet when I tell someone I'll let their pretty Navy Caracal live if they pay me.

    Nevertheless it is only ONE fashion of piracy and though in my eyes it's the most pure, I understand that I'm one of a select few who think the same and possibly of a dying breed. But that kind of play is what draws me to this game and keeps me logging in each day to the chagrin of my wife. And I guess that's all that's important. As long as what your doing, be it taking all of a man's money and leaving him with just a ship or blowing up his ship so all he has is money, makes you want to log in. It shouldn't matter what your definition is.

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