Hisec Pirating: It's More familiar Than you Think!


When one think about hisec pirates, the images conjured up are usually of one or more ships perched on a busy gate or near a trade hub, waiting for any of a dozen-plus victims to meander into its waiting jaws. Some call this behavior unfair because the target is sometimes part of a weak, newbie corp. I call it stacking; the same thing you see in virtually every single competitive game in existence.

For consistency, we’ll define stacking as ‘to slant the balance of players or rules in such a manner as to give one team a very good chance of winning and the other team virtually no chance of winning’. Take for example a first-person shooter, where one team could be filled with a dozen highly-experienced players and the other team filled with fresh newbies who just installed the game. Another example of stacking is a 3v3 real-time strategy with one team running a tight group and the other team a group of hapless pubbies who have no hope of victory. No matter the scenario, the end-goal of this behavior is usually the same; it’s an ego-boost to the team who’s stacking the deck against their opponents.

Let’s place this into EVE perspectives with a simulated example. The experienced team (Pirate Inc.) decides to wardec a newbie corp (Noobs Inc.) The advantage and the overall winner of this conflict is obvious to all but the most delusional spectator.

Let’s look at the advantages Pirate Inc. have over Noobs Inc.

  1. The pirates have more combat experience than the newbies, who may or may not have any experience whatsoever. This places the pirates at a significant advantage as they inherently know what ships to fly, what modules to run, and where to position their ships for the best chance of winning.
  2. The pirates will have better combat-oriented skill points than the newbies (who may or may not have many skill points themselves thanks to skill injectors). This translate into the the next advantage.
  3. The pirates will have better equipment for pvp than the newbies. Newbies generally aren’t going to be running the equipment or have the skills needed to skillfully operate high-end ships and modules needed to win.
  4. The pirates will have more capital to expend. Even if the newbies engage in battles, the combination of a lack of combat experience and good equipment will result in losses that will become difficult or impossible to replace, even if the ships are cheap T1 fits. That’s because newbies (alphas in particular) will not have the capital, liquid or otherwise, to fund themselves.
    To say a newbie corp trying to build themselves up would stand any real chance against a pirate corp geared towards war is laughable at best, delusional at worst.

Can this scenario be considered stacking? Yes! By selecting an opponent who is unable to fight back, the offending corp is engaging in the age-old art of team stacking. This of course is an extreme example of team stacking. Other forms of team stacking occur every day. The cyno-field dropping a capital fleet on an unsuspecting mining fleet. The stratios catching a heron in a wormhole data site. Dozens of gank ships jumping a freighter in Niarja. The simple matter of the fact is that this is part of the game and it will not go away until the day the game enters the sunset for the last time.

You’re saying this is bad or what?

So what did you lose?


Fairness. What a load of soapy dog wank. Unfairness provides content.

Learn to laugh when that cyno lights up, or the game’s going to get real old real quick.

Getting shat on can be fun, y’know? Learning how not to get shat on is a part of the curve. Winning isn’t always about killing. Sometimes it’s just about surviving.


If you find yourself in a fair fight - you’ve ■■■■■■ up!


Methinks OP doesn’t understand the difference between gankers, war deccers and pirates.
The situations given can be applied to gankers… but not piracy.
For piracy in high sec there is a much more intimate level to the relationship. You’ve got to wine and dine your victim, convince them to engage you.
After that it’s a slow dance leading to the panties coming off.
Once they hit the floor, then and only then can you engage in proper piracy.
Just exploding someone’s ship is no more piracy than drinks with Bill Cosby constitutes a date.
You see, in order to get your pirate on you need CONCORD not be present with their sudden death ‘UNHAND THAT CITIZEN’ spiel.
A war deccer is just gonna blap you, because that’s what they do. Nobody pirates their WT’s… just killem and sex up the frozen corpse while counting the iskies they made from the loot.

A pirate will get you hot and sweaty and wondering if there’s any way out of this horrid turn of events.
Then you see the magic words… "XX ISK and I’ll let you go."
A ransom. Delightful.
But, will they honor it?
Truthfully, odds are good no.
It’s not a good gamble.
They’ll talk you up and down, but not for too long. Batphones are a thing, so just like a handy under the table when you’re meeting the SO’s parents, this has to be quick.

So, will you roll the dice?
If you do, you risk losing the payment in addition to your ship.
If you do not, then you WILL lose your ship.

It’s a hard choice. However, there are quite a few pirates out there who will absolutely let you go once they see that payment has been made.
These folks get it.
They get paid, the job is done.
You limp home.
Then there are those other guys… you know, the ones who are the reason the hue and cry of ‘never pay ransoms’ is raised. They are the ISK doublers of the skull and crossbones. The scammers, the predators upon the desperate.

Choose wisely.


Ganking can absolutely be considered piracy. I think I’m proof of that.


Well said!

Now, but what if Pirat Inc. is currently engaged in war declarations against 27 other major alliances in addition to a couple local bloated noob corps?

What if they are fielding a 30 man average fleet against a war-target count of 15,000 and winning with high level of efficiency?

Are they still stacking? One could argue that there is a chance of encountering defeat…

Also, I changed Pirate to Pirat because I agree that simple war declarations against an incompetent foe doesn’t constitute piracy. However, Pirat runs war decs just fine and is capable of processing your noob corp into nuggets as described above.

In my opinion, low sec status doesn’t constitute piracy either… but rather an unusual ability to follow CCP’s directions (which those who engage in high-sec piracy lack).

Omar defines piracy clearly and beautifully. I can only imagine that his lips are as pretty as his words.

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I am biased.
I freely admit that.

I enjoy the ransom phenomena, and occasionally offer them to see how it turns out.
They are not my meat and potatoes, however, as I generally prefer the joy of explosions.
For me they’re more like that special meal that you indulge in on occasion.
The social interaction involved generally makes it the high point of the day for me.

That said, I don’t scoff at gankers for plying their trade. It’s a completely legitimate method of acquiring plunder, it’s just not my thing. I actually find the hijinks they drum up to be rather entertaining.
Everyone plays by the rules they find most suitable for them.

Honestly, I think that highest forms of piracy in high sec are the hardest to pull off. Those in my mind would be hijacking and awoxing. You can’t really premeditate a ship theft in space usually, it’s an opportunity thing… but when it happens it’s the best thing since stir fried fedo.

War decs, on the other hand aren’t piracy in my eyes. You’re paying a legitimate fee for the right to shoot and seize; that’s just hunting.


I managed to steal a Mackinaw once… it was wonderful.

I still can’t fly one, but I was out inspecting POS’s in a buzzard and I came across a guy who was in a POS with the shield down… and 2 ships outside. I cloaked so he wouldn’t get suspicious.

He was in one of the two ships and the other was a Mackinaw. I begged in every chat room I had to find someone who could fly the thing.

Finally someone came out and I lined up the warp-in so they’d drop out of warp right into the passenger side window.

It really wasn’t that dramatic, but I’d like to think he appreciated Eve for its finer qualities when he watched a criminal scramble into his Mackinaw and speed away.

Grand theft spaceship is really a rare treat.


I have had exactly two opportunities for it, and the first one I didn’t recognize in time, so the vindi went boom.
The second time, which was the only time I’ve succeeded was a Navy Apoc, and I was on cloud nine for weeks after that.


I once ran into a corp in minmatar space that would eject from orca, dock, drop corp and fly back to the now safe unagressable ship and continue on their merry way. After 2 instances I requested a drop of the war. 1 week later I payed for it myself. I logged off one night on their orca route. To my surprise I had an obelisk come through. Logged in pointed abd sure enough a pod appeared but this time team neirfallas was ready. A heron decloaked and suddenly the obelisk had a new owner. To my dismay my lvl 1 freighter skill didnt cut it and I got stuck for several days training freighter to 4 but I did acquire my first freighter and first report to ccp for ‘exploiting’. Ah highsec… nobody does things like that in null


That kind of stuff is highsec only.

One more reason I love highsec.


This thread is getting off the rails to turn into another pirate story thread instead, I see.

Well, since you’re talking about acquisitions of opportunity, I have a funny one, happened last February.

There was that angry Russian miner in Sivala whom I ganked. Mining in Sivala, so close to the cradle of the Code, is dumb enough on its own, but this subject went further and decided to test CONCORD mechanics on my scout with his Caracal a day or two later, with predictable results. The day after, he’s back to mining, but this time in an Orca, surrounded by his alts and NPC corp friends. Highsec crime never goes unpunished, and double highsec crime gets double punishment, so I waste no time fitting a Jackdaw with my scout, warping in, activating the killright and snapping off the Hobgoblin Is that he had in stock.

Having found himself dead in the water, the miner threw a choice collection of Russian curses. Seeing that hadn’t worked, he then tried to throw his miner alts and friends at me instead. Needless to say, all those Covetors and Ventures popped like firecrackers on a Christmas Eve. When he finally ran out of options, he received a convo from a very upstanding person, who was mining peacefully twenty clicks away (with a mining permit, of course) and watching the whole battle unfold before him. The bystander was sympathetic about his predicament and offered him an escape plan. After the convo, the Orca pilot ejected and docked in his pod, waiting for the limited engagement to lapse. His remaining friends were supposed to keep the ship pinned down for him.

It then occured to him that this plan may not be as perfect as it sounds due to the killright still being intact, but by that time, the Orca was already airborne, bumped away from his friends by none other than the friendly Code-compliant miner (incidentally, he happened to be another one of my alts). My scout, the master of all trades he is, promptly boarded the unchained Orca, denying the illegal alien both the ship and insurance payouts.

Fast forward another couple of weeks, I decided to finish this killright, which was about to lapse. I tracked the miner down to Ylandoki, and, sure enough, there he was with a fresh Orca, this time with Hobgoblin IIs (so good to see how the Code makes miners improve themselves). I was planning to just blow up the Orca and fitted some extra tank, but it proved useless in the end: the miner ejected without putting up any fight and returned with a cheap Cormorant.

Only after I blew up the destroyer and podded the pilot did I realize that it was a dastardly plan to remove the killright. I rage logged my bumping alt and started burning towards Ylandoki. The timers were telling me I wasn’t going to make it, though. Shortly after the limited engagement lapsed, the miner came back from wherever he had his medical clone, ejected from another Corm he had brought with him and prepared to secure the Orca…

He still had his suspect timer on.

Long story short, I sent him back to the clone vat, which gave my alt ample time to arrive and clear the ship from the locks from his alts. The Code won double, and all was rainbows and sunshine that day.

P.S. Though retired at the moment, I still take pride in my lifetime membership in the elite Guild Of Repossession Experts (GORE). Hope to return and have some more fun someday.



Hahahaha :smile:

Good one, thanks for sharing!

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I find this discussion mildly entertaining.

I am no ganker, and I have been ganked. But I am never mad at the person who podded me, but mad at myself for making a mistake. 99% of the time a person can avoid these situations just by paying attention to their surroundings. You can watch Dscan or you can just sit off the beacon and watch people warp in. When you see someone warp in, check their security status. Low status I leave, high status I watch them like a hawk. If they approach me I leave.

Always align to a point to escape, never align to common escape routes like gates.

In high sec treat it as no different than low sec or null sec.


Nice scenario and I see no problem with it in theory.

Tho personally picking such fights against noobs becomes really old really fast and I’m sure that unless the pirate bigwigs bring some engaging content for their swashbuckling scurvey dog pirates there might be some mutiny on the horizon.

Thing is tho. In the scenario discribed the guys from noob inc. might actually have their eyes opened from the experience and change their approach on things. They develop and learn and like a year later return to get their revenge. And having pulled additional support from those sympathetic to the cause of destroying a noob warring bunch of pirates in highsec the counter turns into a great and satisfactory succes earning them friends to last for years.

What I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t underestimate the value of a clear common enemy.

Well, the last hisec loss I had was a heron valued under 1 mil to a T2 fit catalyst that just made me say “wut”.

Anyways, I agree with Omar’s response. This post of mine is more a way to explain to folks who think life’s about fairness and that Eve Online is the one evil exception should realize that wherever there’s competition, everyone’s always trying to stack the deck in their favor, so get used to it, or go back to some singleplayer game.

I think the unspoken elephant in the room is that EvEs “git gud or ■■■■ off” mentality /is/ working, exactly as intended. A small portion stay… And the rest ■■■■ off.

Back to their single player games, as you said, or to coin the lazy unoriginal posters favorite fallback, back to “Hello Kitty Online”.

So the system works.

Only problem is… Every so often we have to get threads that are asking where everyone went. Why we can’t get people to stay. Etc.