Perhaps more intoxicating is the notion that the presence of tangible villains affords players a rare opportunity to play the role of hero. For every pirate gang lurking at a stargate in low security space, there's an anti-pirate squad somewhere planning an attack. For every thief ready to empty their corporation's hangers, there's a security specialist weeding out spies. The true outlaws of EVE are people who have earned their infamy through acts of ruthlessness in their chosen field.
Over the years, we've interviewed and examined some of EVE's most notorious outlaws. In this article, I look back at four of EVE's most wanted, how they earned their infamy, and what they're doing today.
Verone -- King of the pirates
If anyone in EVE is deserving of the title "King of the pirates," it's Verone. After founding Veto Corp in November of 2005, Verone and his wingmen began a crusade of piracy that has lasted to this day. Over the years, they've been involved in everything from racketeering and system lock-downs to bounty hunting and full-scale wars. They've even been known to take on huge military contracts during nullsec wars, and are definitely a group you'd want on your side of a conflict.
Verone takes a very active approach to piracy, preferring to roam through an area and search for targets rather than camp a stargate to prey on traffic. During my time in the Gallente Milita, our fleets ran into Verone and his buddies on multiple occasions. Few encounters ended in our favour, as they pulled off complex fleet tactics with ease. Verone prides himself on being able to turn anyone into an effective part of his pirate team. Through the Veto Academy, new recruits are selected for a six-month Veto training programme. Recruitment only opens once or twice per year, and competition is fierce among pilots who to be part of the Veto crew. Most recently, Verone put his combat experience to good use as a guest commentator on EVE's eighth alliance tournament.
Miz Cenuij -- Confidence scammer
Of all the cutthroats and blaggards in the vast universe of New Eden, I have a particular fondness for Miz Cenuij. I recall long nights spent dodging past his smartbombing Nyx in Otou and the games we made of stealing loot from the litter of ship wrecks surrounding it. Before heavy interdictors were introduced, there was no way to actually warp scramble a mothership in low-security space. This left the mothership essentially invulnerable if the pilot knew what he was doing.
Not content to simply own a mothership, Miz used it to perpetrate an incredible series of confidence scams. As motherships were unable to dock at a station, players had to trade them by meeting in space and transferring the ship manually. Miz's Nyx was "sold" several times, but never actually changed hands. Each time it was sold, the excited buyer was convinced to hand over some or all of the money in advance. Before long, Miz had enough ISK to buy a titan and "sold" it several times too. If there's a way to convince someone to hand over piles of ISK, you can be sure Miz Cenuij has done it a dozen times. He was last seen selling titan blueprints on the forum and causing less of a stir than he used to.
Mynxee -- Pirate queen and ruthless diplomat
EVE has always been a very male-dominated game, with less than 5% of the playerbase being female. If Verone is EVE's pirate king, then Mynxee is definitely its ruthless queen. Recognising the need for a female-only pirate corp, Mynxee founded the Hellcats back in 2008. She made a name for herself as one of EVE's most feared female players and a vocal proponent of reforms to low-security space. In an interview with Massively earlier this year, she discussed the difficulties of maintaining a female-only pirate corp. Tired of the frustrations of running a corporation, Mynxee left the Hellcats four months ago and joined professional mercenary corp Noir.
Today, Mynxee is most well-known for her role as the chairwoman of this year's Council of Stellar Management. Putting her notoriety to good use, she campaigned to join the CSM on a platform of reforms to low-security space and criminality. The same brash qualities that made Mynxee a good pirate have served her well on the council. Not afraid to give CCP a piece of her mind, she spoke out about the council's treatment during the CSM summit and helped us interview several council members on the recent community backlash to CCP.
Istvaan Shogaatsu -- Corporate infiltrator
As the head of the Guiding Hand Social Club, Istvaan Shogaatsu has headed up some of EVE's most dastardly schemes. His speciality is corporate infiltration, although he calls himself a simple thief. Istvaan and the Guiding Hand Social Club earned their infamy in 2005, when they pulled off a record-breaking heist that has yet to be matched in sheer class. What started off as an assassination contract against Ubiqua Seraph CEO Miral turned into a multi-level infiltration in which billions worth of tech 2 blueprints and items were stolen.
The story of Istvaan's successful heist has made the rounds on popular gaming blogs over the years as one of the most uniquely criminal events in MMO history. The story even made it into a huge feature in PC Gamer magazine. Years after the event, Istvaan and his corp are still well known for their famous theft. Today, he can still be found waist-deep in EVE's criminal underworld. Although he's made a lot of enemies over the years, he appears to have mostly escaped vengeance. He's stolen enough ISK to pay for his EVE subscription with PLEX for years to come, but still spends his time plotting and scheming to steal more.
Few games afford players the opportunity to accrue true infamy without breaking the rules. In EVE's sandbox universe, players are free to do as they wish and create their own story. Whether you want to be an agent infiltrating an enemy corporation or a hero heading the fight against piracy in your region, it's all made possible by the self-determinism that goes hand-in-hand with EVE Online.
Special thanks go to Massively reader "crunchy grapes" for suggesting the idea for this week's column!
Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at massively.com. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you have an idea for a column post or guide or just want to message him, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org