Piracy in Eve Online

Hello. I know what you think, opening this thread… “Anderson you are stupid, there is already piracy in Eve”.

Well. You are wrong. There is no piracy in Eve yet.

I propose to add piracy in Eve Online, with a module that forces ship to loot items, adding a self-warp feature to this module, and reducing the loot and increasing the time to take it on kills

Explanations ensue.

A Bit Of Definitions

A bit of, that is just not enough to not get you pissed.

The mechanism we have in Eve is

  • you find a target
  • you kill that target’s ship
  • the ship is destroyed, leaving a wreck that contains a part of the ship’s fit and cargo.
  • you pick up that wreck

That is not piracy. That is murder, and feeding on the corpse.
Well, that would be feeding if there was a need to do so (hunger) and a cost to assimilate your target (digestion), limiting both the minimum and maximum value of what you can do and making your prey be on average safe.
So what remains is murder. For profit.

This is a game, so it’s perfectly fine to have murder for profit. Stil, I propose to have something that we call “piracy”.

So what is piracy ? Piracy is the act of taking goods by force on a travelling ship. You’ll note that piracy is NOT murder, and while piracy looks alot like burglar, it requires trading routes to be constant in order to be rewarding, so in effect it requires to have small effect on trading routes.

Can we have piracy in Eve with current mechanics ? No. The need to destroy a ship to loot prevents piracy. Also, the lack of limitation on pirates’ frequency make them a threat to trade route. Finally, one can consider that jump freighters remove the possibility of trade routes ; this I my agree with but still think that some modifications could bring long-term possibility of piracy.

Item Drop When Shot

It’s when you lose something that you realize how much you liked it.

As good as it would look, it’s impossible ATM to make boarding in Eve, that is make a way to get the items on a ship. We need other ideas to obtain the loot of a victim.

A mechanism that makes people drop items must be subject to some restrictions, though.

  • can’t be abused by cheap ships : just shooting in civilian noobship should not make you drop items.
  • reduced riches : they must not be able to provide more than 50% drop (present drop rate).
  • reduced RoI over time : using it several times in a row reduces the drop you can have, to the point you can’t make it drop.
  • totally optional : if you want to kill someone and don’t care about the loot, this mechanism should not prevent you or annoy you.

My idea:
A new module to make the ship drop items when it reaches 0% hull.
Basically, if you activate the module, the ship

  1. cannot be destroyed by you.
  2. will be warped to safety, cloaked, with no timer, and able to logoff at once, when its hull reaches 0% (with 0 hull hp)
  3. will drop a % of its CARGO (let’s say 40%) and none of its FITTED MODULES in a can the moment it is warped to safety. will increase to 100% for ore, minerals, gas, PI items.

If someone get the last hit and was not using such a module … The ship is wrecked.
Talking about wrecks. This is worse than present kills, as 40% on cargo only is meh ? Well I have the second part of that suggestion.

Wrecked Hull is Dust

Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed. Where is that key ?

This approach aims at nerfing the present murder-loot mechanism. It consists in two parts : reducing the total loot of kills, and making killing someone require time to take the loot. Thus piracy would require less time and be more effective at taking items than killing someone.

  1. When you kill a ship, the drop rate is set to 10%. Note that fitted modules can be looted, while piracy prevents you from doing so. but if the cargo is what is interesting, 10%instead of 40% is not really an increase.
    Ammos and ore, minerals, gas, PI would be 25% instead of the 100% (40% for ammos) of piracy.

  2. What is looted from a wreck is mostly not accessible yet. You need to SALVAGE a wreck to have access to the 10% of its content. Items that are 25% drop on kill are exception, they remain accessible in the wreck. When you successfully salvage a wreck, the items that were dropped (the 10%) appear in the can that appears.

Basically, if you don’t have a salvager, you can’t take the loot off a victim wreck. And if you don’t have a piracy module, you can’t access most of the loot. Note that salvager is useless if you use piracy module.

Feature Needs Expectation

A life without a goal is like a trip without a home

What do I expect of this ?
First, I expect a shift in mentalities. Stop saying you are a pirate when you are a murderer.

Second, I expect people to be more inclined to go low/null sec. How fun is it to wait on a gatecamp ? It’s not. People do it for the social, for the km, for the loot. I think that making confrontations result in such a devastating killmail is what prevents people from going in LS/NS, in a non-nullified and/or cloaky ship.

Finally, I expect such a modification to make low and null sec more lively. People would not blob you on sight to take your loot, they would either kill you because you are in their space, or piracy you because they are pirates.

This is an utterly pointless feature. In any case where it is possible to use this you might as well kill your target and take their stuff. Why would you ever want to allow your target to survive when it doesn’t give you anything in return?

And nerfing loot drops to justify your bad idea is also a terrible idea. Why should fleet battles, anti-piracy efforts, etc, suddenly have their loot taken away?

TL;DR: piracy is just fine as it is. If you want more people in lowsec remove all profitable endgame content from highsec so that only newbies running level 1 missions have any reason to be there.


read the post before you ask questions.

I read your post. It’s a stupid idea. Don’t confuse contempt for your bad idea with not having read it.


There is no murder in this game. Player characters are immortal and can not be killed, only biomassed. It means that destruction of a ship is piracy by the definition, since people who destroy it get goods by using force.

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If you had you would not ask a stupid question which is answered in said post. You are a liar.

Yes they can. Just because they are reborn does not prevent them from being killed.

Of course I was talking about the ships, not the capsule. a KILLmail occurs even when you don’t destroy the capsule.

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I’m confused as to why the “taking by force” bit of your definition of piracy would preclude outright murder. And also why the culturally-accepted definition of piracy wouldn’t have changed in 20-something-thousand years.


So long story short, all this comes down to equipping a module that lets you shed some of your cargo in order to escape complete asset destruction, with the idea that this would make players less risk-averse.

Well, the problem is that capsuleer body is only a temporary storage for their mind. By the lore, before the destruction of a capsule your brain gets scanned and consciousness is transferred to the medical clone. So the capsuleers do not experience death, therefore they are not killed.
The only way to die for capsuleers is to avoid that transfer of consciousness and biomassing does that. If you biomass your character, everyone else in your (non-npc) corp gets an email describing the failure of your download, which means death.

Because historically, murdering someone does not help make trade route. And if there is no trade route, there is no piracy. This is what we have on Eve now.
Ransoming, extortion, taxes, It’s okay. Killing has never been. Trade has always been an historical key feature of societies, because something that is produced somewhere is needed somewhere else.

It’s not a problem. You are killed and reborn. Just like teleportation makes you die an be born somewhere else. Your consciousness is copied somewhere elsen this does not prevent you from being killed.

Still, this is off -topic.

And in EVE there is no murder. I don’t care what the fluff is, this is a game design section. And from a gameplay point of view your character never dies, you just lose assets. Destroying your ship and escape pod is exactly identical to hijacking your ship, taking everything of value, and sending you home empty-handed. You are still alive and free to make another attempt at trade.

So replace murder by this and it is still true. The issue was obviously not of people dying, with constant wars whith men that were cheap at the time.
The issue was of murdering the whole trade route. The sea was a way to avoid taxes, and thus to get richer at selling things. But if you just attack and kill the ships on the trade route, you simply kill the trade and won’t see another one soon - thus you kill the piracy. You don’t kill the merchant, you kill his assets, thus his profit, thus his business, thus the whole trade concept.
And OF COURSE some pirates were specifically used to kill ships ( privateer ) but in that case they did not have a goal of stealing.

IRL, The goal of KILLING someone (or something) requires less effort than the goal of stealing someone - but results in you being unable to benefit from the remains.
Bombing a country requires less effort than invading it. Pulling a trigger is less effort than taking someone’s wallet off his coat. But try to take the oil of a country you didn’t invade, or grab the wallet that has been pierced by a bullet.

You keep using the word murder to include destruction of property. These are not the same.

Also Merin is correct. Piracy mechanics are fine currently. If anything a ransom contract is the only thing that might be useful. But thats a much harder problem than it looks. Value to time spent would not be very high.

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See, this again confuses me. You’re arguing from an Earth-historical perspective when we’re talking about a hyper-advanced collection of civilizations that had to rediscover themselves after a “dark age”. A civilization that is learning to accommodate a new, elite class of immortals that can wield massive economic and martial power. We’re dealing with civilizations that strip celestial bodies of their valuable components and engage on trade on a colossal, interstellar scale.

I guess what I’m saying is that the massive interstellar economy has continued to thrive despite the arrival of the capsuleers and the increase in their criminal activities and disruptions of trade routes. The trade has not stopped, the trade routes have not dried up. In fact, the trade routes can’t dry up because there aren’t feasible alternatives (due to the conditions required to make stargates work). The spice must, and will, flow.

I’m not saying I find anything wrong with your mechanical concept. I’m just arguing from a purely ideological standpoint. You can’t really draw an equivalency of context between Earth history and New Eden history.

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For the spice to flow, trade routes must be open.
If a region has too much piracy, that is too many losses to pirates, then the trade routes are closed until it becomes safer.

The pirate that makes a trade route unsuitable kills his own activity. That has always been true.

Another thing, is that the destruction of something should be easier to do, but with less benefit, than the piracy. If you shoot a missile at a transport ship, it is destroyed, and such is its cargo.

OP, you basically summarized this entire thread in your first sentence. Word for word at that. Besides, you seem rather bullheaded about understanding why this is a pointless module.

You just described a self-regulating system.

So, like warp scrambling them and forcing them to eject all their cargo or face being destroyed?

The crew on your ship begs to differ.

Also, since this is a thread about pirating:

I read through your entire proposal because I have many times agreed with positions you’ve expressed on these forums.

But, this just sounds boring, to me.

Stupid idea, if I catch a ship I do want a killmail and the loot. Keep things simple. Also reducing destruction in a game with vast overproduction is a stupid idea, but I repeat myself.