In most MMOs, stealing from other players or indiscriminately killing them for fun or profit can be considered griefing and may be against the rules or worse. In the cold, harsh universe of New Eden, however, piracy and theft are just another facet of the complex player-based gameplay. From the common gatecamping pirate to the criminal masterminds behind the Guiding Hand Social Club heist, players of all kinds are drawn into the criminal underworld of EVE Online.
If piracy, theft and corporate infiltration sounds like your cup of tea, continue reading as I delve into the dark side of EVE Online.
Everyone has their own definition piracy but loosely, it's the act of engaging other players in non-consensual combat. Whether it's attacking a hauler in 0.0, shooting a mission-runner in low security space or suicide-killing someone in high security space, the prevailing concept in piracy is catching people when they aren't prepared. It's said that 90% of the outcome of an EVE battle is decided before the fighting begins and with piracy this is no different. If a pilot doesn't take the proper precautions, he could wander into a gatecamp or find himself warp scrambled in an asteroid belt.
Piracy as a profession is extremely open and can fit into solo combat, small gang skirmishing or even fleet warfare. Some pirate corps restrict themselves to camping stargates while others prefer to take a more active role and hunt down targets within a system. Some only destroy their targets for loot while others may choose to ransom their victim for release. Some of the more famous pirate corporations like Veto (run by undisputed "king of the pirates" Verone) aim to cover all the bases by allowing pilots to roam solo and providing an infrastructure for gang and fleet operations.
For new players aiming to become pirates, it can be hard to know where to start and what skill level to attain before beginning. A common myth is that only pilots with tens of millions of skillpoints and expensive tech 2 ships are able to pirate effectively. In reality, the difficulty in piracy is mostly based on actual combat experience.
My advice on this front is to throw caution to the wind and get stuck right in as the experience you learn from actually fighting (whether you win or lose) is the most important factor in PvP. The key factors in solo piracy are learning to pick your fights carefully, knowing the limits of your ship and staying alert and aware of your situation at all times. Gang piracy with a few friends is much the same but on a larger scale, allowing you to pick fights on larger targets than you can handle on your own.