Basics

The ABCs Of Piracy In EVE Online

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This alphabet explains some fun and essential aspects of piracy to new players.

A is for aggression. Pirates must learn how EVE Online's aggression mechanics function in order to fight on stations and near gates without letting their targets escape. It is also important to know when it is safe to enter high-security space or to log out while in space. A misunderstanding there could easily get you killed.

B is for bait. If you think it's a trap, it probably is. That lone drake on a gate is a sure sign that an enemy fleet is lying in wait nearby. Conversely, flying an underestimated ship is a clever way to get an enemy to stick around for a fight when they otherwise wouldn't.

C is for carebears. Carebear is a generally pejorative term for a player that really, really does not want to PvP. Many are laboring under the mistaken assumption that EVE Online is a PvE game. Take advantage of their false hopes for your benefit.

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You can learn more from your losses than your victories, so always pay attention.

D is for dramiels and drakes. The dramiel is the ultimate pirate ship because when properly flown it can escape anything that it can't kill. Every day, dozens of dramiels roam null-security space looking for hapless victims. On the other hand, the drake is the most popular ship in EVE Online. Nearly every carebear flies one, and more than a few PvPers use it because of its unassuming nature and sturdy defenses. Learn to fight drakes and you have learned to fight most of the people that play EVE Online.

E is for enemies. Collect them like merit badges. In EVE, the more people that hate you, the more successful you are assumed to be at this nefarious hobby. Tip: You know you're doing something right if any time you fly through a system, the natives start insulting you in local chat.

F is for friends. Bringing friends both ensures you'll have backup should something go awry and lets you cover more ground looking for potential victims. Often PvP is less about skill and more about numbers. Assembling a posse makes for less retreats and more delicious kills.

G is for ganking. Ganking is only nominally PvP because the goal of ganking is to find one-sided fights that the defender cannot hope to win. Killing battleships with vagabonds is ganking. So is killing industrial haulers with combat ships. The key in ganking is to hit and run before the target's friends can show up.

H is for hot drops. A hot drop is an unfortunate piece of slang picked up from Battlestar Galactica, and refers to using cynosural fields to teleport in additional ships as a surprise. Many pirates use a bait ship to attract incautious enemy attention, then hot drop them with a fleet of ships to dish out the pain.

I is for insurance. More than most EVE players, pirates should expect their ship to explode. Be sure to always insure your ship with platinum insurance, and don't swap out for another ship until your old one blows up.

J is for jerks. Pirates can be serious jerks when it comes to ganking people that have no clue about EVE Online's PvP mechanics. It's all right if they call you a jerk for killing them; consider it a compliment.

K is for killboards. Killboards are where a pirate records his or her prowess in a litany of kills and losses. Strong killboards make you a desirable new recruit for corporations, but even a bad killboard is better than none because it demonstrates your interest in PvP. If you have a lot of scalps to show off, so much the better.

L is for loot. Nothing says success in piracy more than flying off with a cargohold full of damaged modules and salvage, all that remains of your targets. Repair them, repackage them, and sell them.

M is for mining. Like a stranded highway motorist in the eyes of a serial killer, nothing says "kill me" to a pirate quite so clearly as a player mining in an asteroid belt. Perhaps the pirate declares war against a mining corporation, or perhaps he finds a miner slogging away in a wormhole site. Either way, mining is the ultimate victim activity.

N is for newbies. Everybody starts as one, but some people stay that way forever. Newbies make good targets for pirates, but they also make good recruits.

O is for overheating. Using the thermodynamics skill to overheat modules is a hallmark of elite PvP, especially during the tackling portion of combat. It also comes in handy for breaking enemy tanks or generally pushing your ship to the limits. In any case, it is an essential skill for the EVE character to train and the EVE player to practice.

P is for pirate hunters. They really think that they can catch you, bless their little hearts. Be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts in local chat.

Q is for quafe zero. Quafe zero is a consumable combat booster that was given out in batches of six as a one-time anniversary gift to each active EVE account. It gives a temporary bonus to sensor strength (and as a result, locking speed) and speed. Both of these are key to pirates, so this is a great resource for those who can afford it.

R is for ransom. An old-school pirate behavior that has not quite died out, the practice of offering to spare victims in exchange for a ransom price is one way to monetize PvP. While some pirates will actually honor their ransoms, others will gladly collect your ISK and then kill you anyway.

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If you are having fun then you are doing things right.

S is for spying. Having a spy in the corporation you are trying to attack is a good way to avoid defense fleets and gain info on where their targets are hiding. Many successful high-security pirate corporations infiltrate their target corporations before declaring war. In null-security space it is common for pirates to join an alliance then ambush that alliance's friends.

T is for tears. Sweet, delicious carebear tears that are shed in abundance as you savage their mining fleet, blow up their industrial ship on a gate, or ransom their pod. The tears must flow!

U is for undocking. When a player undocks he is implicitly consenting to PvP. Conversely, the only way to completely avoid PvP is to not undock.

V is for victims. The most important part of being a pirate is knowing where to find victims. All the elite PvP skills and and gear in the world won't do you any good if you never find anybody to use them on. Whether it's low-sec hunting grounds, null-sec alliance territory, or an unassuming corner of wormhole space, it is important to know where you can find victims.

W is for wrecks. Pirates are in the business of turning ships into wrecks. Hopefully they are your enemy's wrecks that you can loot, but sometimes you just can't avoid producing your own, too.

X is for X-instinct. This combat booster is a good way to get some extra oomph in PvP. X-instinct reduces your signature radius, helping a fast ship take less damage from incoming attacks. This helpful tool is often used by those flying logistics, some heavy assault cruisers, and some strategic cruisers.

Y is for yarr. Nothing is classier than ironically using pirate slang to rub salt into your victims' emotional wounds. Be sure to follow it up with a happy-looking emoticon to let your victims know just how happy you are.

Z is for Zor's Custom Navigation Hyper-Link. A faction implant that is incredibly popular among pirates, the hyper-link is an essential complement to many speed-tanking ship setups. Combine it with the MY-, AY-, and GY- implants for a pro bonus to your speed tank.

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