Monday, December 23, 2013

The Pocket Pirate

I was once scared of outlaw players. what a delicious shiver the thought sent down the spine. player pirates. People who spent their game time hunting other people. Violence in its rawest form. Beautiful in its attack against the social norm. it is a rather romantic image but player pirates are what they are, vicious in their game play even if sweet in their true temperament.

Back when I was new, I remember my little industrial corporation's caution around THC2. Later, in Eve Uni chat, as my security status plummeted I'd be called out for what I was. Pirate. Outlaw. Killer for no reason. it was all true even if i never felt the pirate at my core.

The interesting thing about being a 'PvPer' or at least a low sec resident, is that inevitably, people approach you to see if you are interested in killing someone. The answer is both yes and no. Am I or mine interested in killing someone? Yes. That is always yes. But, are we interested in killing the person that someone else wants dead? Only if it is interesting or easy to get to.

I'm on the inside looking out when it comes to piracy. It is normal for me, so when people approach me with offers, I often find myself saying, softly, "We are not mercenaries."

I have no scorn for mercenaries. It seems as if it can be quite a fascinating, intense play style. However, not all PvPers are automatically mercenaries. While many people will happily kill for money there is a difference between the ones who do it for their profession and the ones who will happily take ISK because it tastes nice. If one were to randomly ask one of the boys how much ISK to kill something the number normally starts at 500 million on the low end. They tend to toss out a billion on average. If someone wants to be safe from them it tends to start shooting up. It is not that they are listing an actual price for their services. They are more listing a price that will overcome their desire to kill in a wanton fashion.

Every time someone approaches a member of the corporation to see if we want to kill someone I find myself thinking that they want a pocket pirate. Like the popular pocket pets toys they are something that you have access to when interested and put away when not. Because, really, you don't want a real pirate. They will kill things all over your back yard and eat your corporation while peeing on your asteroids. It is quite frustrating to have the real thing.

I may be to honest for the taste of others. I'm not into scams and lies. I do not mind scams and lies. I just do not care for implementation of them myself. I'll tell someone that we may happily third party. That means they to will be at risk on the field. While some may wish to cozy up and get us to agree to work with them there is to much of a feeling of an invisible leash. If they can just get us into their pocket thy can turn us on and off at need and be safe from us. Most understand although I've had a few sulk because we didn't respond to what they wanted when they wanted us to. Those are the ones I feel are looking for pocket pirates. We are not an asset that ones picks up off the market and places into a container when done.

That would be bad form for my boys. They do need to be fed regularly and played with or they waste away.


I cannot blame anyone that wishes to get onto our non-aggressive side. It is a sensible thing to do. Nor do I mind that they ask, I just tell them, "No." I have a lot of respect for people who come to us and see if we are willing to work an operation vs trying to get permanent status with us. We just do not, for the most part do short term operations that are wafted in front of us like a steak (or tofu for Altaen). PvP is not just undock and kill all the time. Our fleet commanders put a lot of time and energy into planning. Our logistics guys put a lot of time and energy into supply. Most operations that we plan in corporation have several days if not a week or two for people to plan and prepare.

With Planetary Conquest and Dust the Dust corporations have been trying to figure out how to leverage the local pirate corporations to their support. I find it a fascinating bit of a dance being played by the diplomatic section of the game.

5 comments:

  1. I think a fair number of the people who solicit lowsec pirate corps for mercenary work are looking for a low-cost amateur substitute for professionals. They get a quote from some actual mercenary outfit, get a little bit nauseous, and conclude that maybe they should shop around. These lowsec guys already like to pvp, after all. Surely they'd be willing to go after specific targets for a few bucks.

    I know the few times my lowsec corp has been approached for mercenary work, the offers have been pathetically low and when we referred them to actual mercenary groups, the clients insisted the professionals overcharged. They seemed genuinely baffled as to why we wouldn't take 500 million for something we'd do anyway.

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    1. About 2 years ago someone asked a quote from narwhals to remove our ~10 man alliance from a C2 wormhole. Narwhals (at the time?) being a WH merc corp. The price was either 1 or 2B can't even remember exactly, but I was surprised by how cheap it was.

      Granted the ships at risk would have been all sub-caps and most likely Tier 3's for structure grinds and perhaps some tech 3's for support. But the manhours it would have costed to actually grind stuff down and secure the route to that C2 would have been quite the bother. More bother then 1 or 2 billion, at least in my eyes.

      On one side I can see the advantage in merc work, content more or less being brought to your door with some ISK to boot. But the actual logistics and grind seems like a total bother. Also doing things for someone else and not because I or a corp mate wants to do it would probably make me go "meh".

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  2. Funny thing is, some of the mercenaries out there are the worst pvpers going.

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    1. It starts with an 'N' and ends with a '.' 5 characters and a synonym for risk averse? :P

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