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Interview With an EVE Pirate 222

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the life-in-the-shadows dept.
Within any game, especially massive games, there is usually a well established culture. This of course ultimately leads to some sort of counterculture (usually a la griefer). CCP's EVE has been able to give life to a counterculture that isn't completely destructive and makes for a very rich gameplay experience. Massively recently had a chance to sit down with one of EVE's leading criminals to discuss life as an outlaw. "One notable criminal organization devoted to piracy is Veto Corp, headed by their CEO Ethan Verone, who is without a doubt one of New Eden's more notorious pirates. Under his guidance, Veto Corp has been linked to numerous incidents of ransoming, hijacking, and illegal arms sales, among their many other crimes. Their modus operandi of shunning territorial control in favor of remaining fast and free ensures that Veto can conduct 'business' and hit targets anytime, and practically anywhere."
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Interview With an EVE Pirate

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  • so much for notorius (Score:5, Informative)

    by poetmatt (793785) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @01:53PM (#24483207) Journal

    I don't speak for all of Eve players, but I've certainly never heard of them.

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:15PM (#24483541)
      In his mind, he's a legend. In real life, a fry cook at Denny's.
    • I've heard of Ethan Verone. I used to read his posts on Eve-Pirate.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sta7ic (819090)
      I don't recognize the character's name, but VETO's been around the block long enough to curb stomp a lot of other corps (guilds). Mean customers that most of the old hats know well enough to take seriously.
      • by poetmatt (793785)

        how do they stand up to say, BoB?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sta7ic (819090)
          Never dealt with VETO. I'd imagine they'd have fewer numbers, but a LOT more T2 cruisers & T2 battlecruisers. It's an apples-to-oranges comparison, though, since BoB is territorial and "holds space", while VETO looks for soft targets to pirate.
          • by poetmatt (793785)

            so for people that are like veto, where do they stand up?

            Are we talking excess squads of slepnirs or something?

            Do they compare to AAA or is AAA considered wholly territorial?

            • by Sta7ic (819090)

              Respectively:

              * I've never dealt with VETO. Go find them, or check their KB.
              * See #1
              * I haven't dealt with AAA in the last 12 months. Go ask AAA.

        • by indy_Muad'Dib (869913) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @06:18PM (#24488029) Homepage
          you spelt it wrong, its BoD.

          Band of Developers.

          they run into problems they have their pet admins fix it for them.
          • by jythie (914043)

            Ah, if I had mod points right now....

            The corruption in BoB has become ledgendary ^_^

    • by aafiske (243836)

      The fact that you've been playing with your head in a hole notwithstanding, Veto _is_ one of the best known pirate corps out there. (They did mercenary work for a while too, don't know if they're still into it.)

    • How is what Veto Corp does different from what other corps do? Okay, so they don't claim large tracts of space for themselves (which might be the biggest form of piracy there is in EVE), but any corp will gladly kill you if you look at them the wrong way.

      And what's illegal about arms trade in Eve? Is there anything at all that's illegal there? Okay, attacking people in 1.0 space gets you in trouble with the cops, but other than that, anything goes, right?

      I guess the two distinguishing features of Veto Corps

  • Yar! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kingrames (858416) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @01:53PM (#24483215)

    Just doin his part to keep EVE Online free of Global Warming.

  • ugh god (Score:5, Interesting)

    by deathtopaulw (1032050) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @01:55PM (#24483245) Homepage
    this is why I love eve
    the developers don't try to shelter their users
    they openly designed it so there could be things like this.

    eve is a real mmo the way it should be done
    • So endless masses of spreadsheets and gameplay so slow that a sloth swimming through molasses makes it look "fast paced"?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      And this is why Eve will forever remain a niche MMO. Fine and dandy with me if it helps keeps the assholes off WoW and Guild Wars.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        WoW is populated by angsty teens with too much free time on their hands.

        Eve is populated by their parents.

      • Re:ugh god (Score:4, Insightful)

        by kv9 (697238) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @06:45PM (#24488293) Homepage

        And this is why Eve will forever remain a niche MMO.

        this is why I also like EVE. the developers dont compromise and try to cater to the needs of constant whiners. they offer you a lot of possibilities but the learning curve (and universe) is ruthless. this way the community is pretty mature and dedicated.

        Fine and dandy with me if it helps keeps the assholes off WoW and Guild Wars.

        have fun playing with your dolls. we will have fun playing with our fucking SPACESHIPS. in space!

    • by tukkayoot (528280)

      this is why I love eve
      the developers don't try to shelter their users
      they openly designed it so there could be things like this.

      Yes, it certainly makes for a nice change of pace.

      EVE appeals to me as a role-player and someone who likes to be immersed in games I play because there the your actions in the world (and the rewards you earn in the world) don't feel overly contrived as they do in most MMOs. In EVE, there are a lot of ways you can make your fortune: join a non-Empire Alliance and enjoy the fruits o

      • You can be a PvP or PvE tank, healer or DPS, but you don't FEEL as much like you're a knight in shining armor, or a warlock in control of wicked dark arts as much as you FEEL and like you're a pirate in a game like EVE.

        You're comparing apples to oranges. Pirate isn't really a player class in Eve. It's more of an occupation if anything. As a pirate in EVE you choose to ruin other people's evenings by destroying their hard earned ships and taking their equipment. You can achieve the same thing in a WoW PVP, by going around and ganking noobs of the other faction while they try to finish quests. It might not be quite at the same level of assholness, but it's the same idea. In WoW, you can also be a market profiteer, a c

        • by NightRain (144349)

          You can't really talk up EVE's immersion too much because when you run the exact same mission 18 times you should begin to think: "Didn't I already destroy this NPC pirate stronghold?"

          The reason that's not much of a problem though is because missions are such a tiny part of what eve is and what you can do. Yes, the repetitive missions do damage the immersion, but the fact that there is an ingame reason for why you respawn when you die that's not available to the entire universe, the fact that you can skill up where you want without the restrictions on a class, the fact that it's got one of the most developed and complex economies in any single MMORPG, the fact that it's a sandbox playst

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tukkayoot (528280)

          You're comparing apples to oranges. Pirate isn't really a player class in Eve.

          Well, yeah. Since EVE doesn't have any player classes, the role you play is your occputation which is your "class" of sorts. In WoW, sometimes class feels like little more than window dressing, and people think more in terms of "tank, healer or DPS," with class distinctions only becoming really important in certain tactical situations.

          As a pirate in EVE you choose to ruin other people's evenings by destroying their hard earned s

  • Unique... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Last_Available_Usern (756093) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:08PM (#24483411)
    Eve is very unique in that there is only one universe. In Warcraft, if you develop a bad name, you can change servers, even change your name. If Eve, you have to make the best (or worst) of whatever lifestyle you choose to follow. As a Lawful Good resident, Eve quickly became a little terrifying since the only way I could expand my experience of the game was to move into less-friendly territory, something I was slightly reluctant to do with a Navy Raven with the best equipment. I suppose I (and others like me) could hop into a clone and take a cheap ship anywhere we wanted and experience that universe, but it just seemed too much like starting over. As more and more people grow into the position I was, we'll probably see an ever growing ratio of pirates to lawful citizens. At that point it will be very interesting to see what direction the game takes. It will probably be a Mad Max world at that point.
    • Re:Unique... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:26PM (#24483723)

      Or you find yourself alone in a scary place and you team up. You start a militia and you maintain peace about yourself at the point of a well fueled missile barge.

      If it's dangerous to wander out into the dangerous bits... form your own gang to survive. Soon your gang becomes a colony and then a fleet and then a nation... and suddently the dangerous bits are just home.

  • Death system (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Drakin020 (980931) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:11PM (#24483483)

    I think a lot of this has to do with the price of death.

    When you die, you loose your ship and that can hurt a lot. This causes players to think more before they act. It offeres a bit of suspense when one gets into a battle. No other game has this, and if the death system was not the way it was then EVE would crumble.

    If you die and get your ship back for free, what's the point?

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)
      not just your ship, but if you lose enough money, and cant afford a decent clone, you risk losing quite a bit of time/effort in training as well.
    • by Greyfox (87712)
      Ultima Online used to be like that. In a lot of ways EvE reminds me of Ultima Online, back before EA fucked it up. For the first few years nowhere was completely safe and even in the guard zones you could very easily lose items to pickpockets. Later they added no-PvP zones, item insurance and a WoW-like item grind. Oh, and new "mini-expansions" every month which added a few new items to the WoW-like mini-grind and cost $20 or so to buy on top of the subscription fee.

      If EA ever tries to buy EvE we'd best h

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cornflake917 (515940)

      When you die, you loose your ship and that can hurt a lot. This causes players to think more before they act. It offeres a bit of suspense when one gets into a battle. No other game has this, and if the death system was not the way it was then EVE would crumble

      Since the price of death is so high in EVE, you never really get to see too much PVP. And when battles do occur, it's usually very lopsided. If your fleet leader is halfway intelligent, he doesn't engage in battles that would destroy half his Corp's ships, but doesn't hesitate to attack when he has the clear advantage. Sometimes there are large battles that are fun, but those are usually lag fests. It's disappointing when a PVP oriented game has such boring and flawed PVP.

      I personally don't see the app

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NightRain (144349)

        Since the price of death is so high in EVE, you never really get to see too much PVP.

        I don't know when you last played, but since the introduction of faction warfare, PvP is fairly easy to find, and you can get away with using small disposable ships if you want as well, because plenty of others are doing the same.

        • by jythie (914043)

          Yet factional warfare already seems to be quieting down. In the first few weeks after it I saw FW missions points in low sec all the time.
           
          I don't think I've seen a single FW mission beacon in over a week now though.
           
          Partly people are discovering how expensive FW is to do... others are finding out that with their learning implants going up in smoke they are skilling slower and thus keeping game features out of reach longer, which is annoying.

        • by tnk1 (899206)

          True enough. As I recall when I was playing, you could put yourself into a cheap Rifter and you would have a ship that stood a reasonable chance of killing single pirates or getting away from the ones in ships that would otherwise flatten you.

          The real danger is not so much losing your ship as being podded with expensive implants in. A Rifter cost about 250K ISK and maybe that much to fit out with Tech 1 and the cheaper T2 stuff - peanuts if you are even a half decent miner/trader. A single implant can co

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by kv9 (697238)

        Since the price of death is so high in EVE, you never really get to see too much PVP.

        have you seen the killboards? in the time I wrote this post, billions of ISK got destroyed in the game because of PVP. that might sound like much for a 2 day old noob (or a player that never played EVE, but knows everything about how "impossible" it is to get startup capital) but in the grand scheme of things, it's nothing.

      • by pilot1 (610480) *

        Not true. I engage in PVP regularly and often fight outnumbered or outpriced, both by myself and with my alliance (and no, we don't nano our ships). Tactics, both in how your ship as fit and what choices you make during the battle, play a huge role.

    • No other game has this

      That is quite incorrect.
  • by BertieBaggio (944287) <bob@manTOKYOics.eu minus city> on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:26PM (#24483715) Homepage

    He's infringing copyri... oh, I see.

    Very well, carry on.

  • by r2rknot (1102517) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:27PM (#24483755)

    Buy cheap ship, gather in groups.

    Wait/look for ship you can take down fast to wander by.

    Destroy ship, maybe pod the pilot.

    Repeat.

    Encounter force larger/better then your own.

    Return to Station, go afk and watch a movie while they spend hours 'camping' you. You have a good time, and make people spend tedious hours watching your avatar in station.

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by Caboosian (1096069) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:42PM (#24483933)
    • That graph would be funnier if the creator understood graphs (or at least labeled them correctly). Eve online is notorious for being harsh towards newbies. So if anything, the gaming skill would rise slowly over time. Unless, of course, the creator meant "gaming skill required" , then that line graph would make much more sense.

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:45PM (#24483995)

    Yah? Does he pay CCP each month? If so, he's a soddin' carebear. Real pirates steal their accounts as well as their l00t.

    • by kv9 (697238)

      Yah? Does he pay CCP each month? If so, he's a soddin' carebear. Real pirates steal their accounts as well as their l00t.

      the joke's on you funnyman. he probably pays his game time with ISK that he got off his victims loot. so, yeah, he's a real pirate.

      on a more serious note, I would have liked to see an interview with Stavros, Vegeta or Tank CEO. shit, even Remedial -- technically he's not a real pirate, but stories about his game antics would be far more entertaining than anything fucking Verone has to say.

  • piracy and eve (Score:3, Informative)

    by Digitus1337 (671442) <lk_digitusNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:48PM (#24484061) Homepage
    Most pirates in EVE, including VETO, are not generally regarded as very good players. They spend most of their time in systems with "low" security status rather than systems with "zero" security status. This amounts to the same as PVPing in the beginner zones of other MMOs, as the game prohibits fighting in "high" security systems. Low security systems still provides some automated defenses for a player that does not initiate combat, tends to have NPC stations (a place in which a player can dock up to hide or repair) and does not allow some of the more advanced ships to operate. These guys are roughly equal to mid-to-high-level horde players that hang out in Redridge.
    • by Sta7ic (819090)
      'course, much like Burn Eden (who took a spin through the chunk of 0.0 I call home), usually ignore the "good" part and favor "effective" part. If you treat Eve like a war game, it's less an issue of how much "skill" or "class" you exhibit, as who leaves the field with most of their ships and most of the loot. Nobody is opposed to a turkey shoot if it puts meat on the table ... except the turkeys.
      • by atrus (73476)
        I would call Burn Eden "good". They've managed to use the game mechanics at near 100% efficiency for killing people, and not getting killed in return.

        But good does not equal not annoying :)

    • by Etrias (1121031)
      Actually, low-sec has a fair amount of action. It's not 0.0, but there's a certain amount of risk. The real carebears are those who war-dec new corporation who operate in Empire and think they're hot stuff.
  • Criminal? Outlaw??

    While most citizens in New Eden follow the rules society dictates, there are some free spirits who shun the status quo -- and the law -- and live on their own terms.

    What law, exactly, are they shunning? It was my understanding that in EVE there really was no law. That the PvP was full-on and unrestricted.

    Now, if I'm incorrect, and EVE has an FBI, Interpol, or the like, then this may be more worthwhile.

    Otherwise, this may as well be a story about playing Horde in Alliance territory - just another player playing a game as it was intended.

    BFD

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      CONCORD is the npc police force of EVE, and each empire has their own Navy, but they only patrol in 0.5 or higher (Empire) space. All pilots have a security status ranging from 10.0 to -10.0, which increases for destroying pirate npcs, and decreases from destroying player ships, and decreases even more if you "pod" them. If your security status is below -5.0, you are kill on sight by all police forces in Empire space. And CONCORD has near limitless resources with a fast response time. Then there is the
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TopSpin (753) *

      It was my understanding that in EVE there really was no law

      Eve players have "Security Status". This number is used by the game to enforce certain rules; players with low Security Status cannot enter systems with high security rating, for instance. Players with very low Security Status are not avenged by NPC security forces when they are attacked. Low Security Status is also indicated visually to all players, and bounties may be placed on the head of a player below a certain Security Status. Security Status is altered by certain acts of aggression.

      Keep in mind t

    • by Charcharodon (611187) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @04:30PM (#24486277)
      PvP is full-on only in several situations.

      Your corporation is at war with another corporation. You may then blast each other to bits any time any place.

      You join a Faction (one of the 4 races). Then you may kill any member of an opposing faction any time any place. Not all factions hate each other.

      Space is divied up in 0.0 to 1.0.

      0.5-1.0 is patrolled by NPC's who will come and murder you if you attack another player. This takes time though. Suicide ganking is using throw away ships/pilots to kill a fat target before the authorities can kill you. Then you use a second alt comes in a picks up the loot from your targets wreckage.

      0.1-0.4 Gate and station guns will attack you if you attack another player, but NPC ships will not respond to aggression, so pretty much its full-on anywhere not near a gate or station, but some ships are tough enough that can tank those guns so those areas are not safe either.

      0.0 space. There is no law but what you make. Death comes swiftly here with big pointy teeth. This is the region where the big ships and big corps roam. Anyone may attack anyone else at anytime.

      Lastly when you attack enough players your personal sec status drops. It goes down some when you attack another player, it goes down more if you blow up his ship, and it goes down alot if you murder him (blow up his escape pod). Once it's below -.5 you can be attacked by anyone, anywhere, anytime and the hi-sec space NPC's will be gunning for you as well..

      There are other ways to be able to legally attack or kill other players. Stealing give you a 15 minute window to blow up the theif's ship. Murdering another player give that player 30 days to hunt your ass down and kill you.

      Essentially no place is 100% safe, though most places are not 100% lethal either. There are ways of mitigating the risk, but even so the risk is always there.

      This is what keeps Eve interesting.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:56PM (#24484233) Journal
    Every time Eve comes up in discussion I think about checking it out. I get the sense that it is really geared toward people who have lots of time to play it and it isn't very friendly toward casual players. What do you guys think? Is there any point in playing it if I only have 5-10 hours a week to devote to it?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Every time Eve comes up in discussion I think about checking it out. I get the sense that it is really geared toward people who have lots of time to play it and it isn't very friendly toward casual players. What do you guys think? Is there any point in playing it if I only have 5-10 hours a week to devote to it?

      If you only have 5-10 hours you are going to miss a good deal of what eve has to offer.

      Also, the game is insanely hard on newer players.

    • I would say it's not likely for you. I have a similar time profile to you and I gave Eve a try. Definitely was not my thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Paranatural (661514)

      The biggest problem with EVE is that you have to be really committed to it. You can't just sit down and play by yourself a few hours. There's no picking up a PUG and doing something.

      They have guilds they call 'Corps' that are generally very big, and they 'own' a certain section of space. If you join that Corp you are usually fairly safe in that area unless another corp comes in to attack. But the thing is, you can't go at anything alone. Or if you do, you'd better be able to run away fast.

      The best way to im

      • by dave562 (969951)
        Thanks for the description of how things are. That has been my sense of things. I guess that I'm stuck with WoW. Not that I don't enjoy playing it, but it would be nice to have some alternatives and the Eve environment does seem pretty attractive.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          It is not quite so vicious as others have stated, if you stay in empire space, but the real PvP occurs out in 0.0. To get the hang of the game, you can easily go it solo in empire space running missions for various factions, which can earn you a decent amount of ISK, as well as faction standings that give you discounts on manufacturing/research facilities, and loyalty points which can be spent in special faction stores to get faction specific and higher end items at a reduced monetary cost. My first year
        • If you find you don't have a lot of time to play during a typical week, why not consider a more casual friendly MMO? City of Heroes/City of Villains is very casual friendly in the sense that you can login, play for an hour or so and know you accomplished something towards leveling your character. You can easily find a PUG on most servers, although the quality of players varies considerably and finding a good guild - Supergroup in COH parlance - is a good idea if you find you like the game.

          The combat system

        • It's a very pretty game. At first I was really into it; I liked that skills kept training while you were logged off, and I liked the first few missions where you go mine stuff and fight off some NPCs and stuff. But then, I talked to a friend who'd been playing a year and watched him play some. You basically start off in a protected newbie area where you can just do your own thing and have some fun, but once you get out it's a no man's land of sharks, and the only way to survive is by joining a gang and stay

    • by Apache (14188)

      The NPC mission system is fairly casual and widely available, just not what some would consider "end game" (which is ok if you only play casually - it will take a year to outgrow the npc missions).

      I know a few ways to play eve in only a few hours a day that involve market manipulation or manufacturing. It's rather complicated and not available right off the bat to most players.

      Eve is a game that has fun in it, but the fun does not present its self as a bright yellow "!". It takes some discerning - but so

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NightRain (144349)
      I'm a casual player myself. I put in maybe and hour 3 or 4 nights a week, and then whatever time I can get on the weekends. I get by just fine. Unlike most games, Eve lets you train your skills when you're not logged in, so being a casual player is less of a problem than in many other games. That being said, being a casual player in an NPC corp can be very hard (read as boring). Pick up groups are hard to find in EVE, so you end up doing a large amount of stuff by yourself, and often without much assis
    • by Nicodemus (19510)

      Well, one nice thing about Eve that helps casual gamers is that you are constantly leveling, wether or not you're logged. In a lot of ways, imo, that actually ecourages people to not play and instead live their lives while they train up skills. So after a year, you will be at the same skill point level as someone who plays 40+ hours a week. You won't have nearly as much money or ships, etc as them, though. So yeah, you can play just 5-10 hours a week and still have fun, and still progress at the same rate a

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by fitten (521191)

      Can a handful of Level 5 players in WoW PvP gang up on a Level 60/70 (whatever the max is now) and kill him? Well, it's possible in EVE. If you can fly a frigate and power on a webifier or warp scrambler (if not possible as soon as you create your toon, within an hour of toon creation you can), you can be useful in a gang killing other players who have been playing for years. A huge corporation/alliance in EVE (Goons) once started out this way. The even had videos of large gangs of them teaming up in th

  • Competition (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZeroConcept (196261) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @03:52PM (#24485395)

    If anyone is interested about the psychological aspects of competion-based games, I suggest to grab a copy of No Contest By Alfie Kohn:

    Google Preview [google.com]

    Makes a interesting case about the underlying stimulus for competition-type personalities. I often found interesting that PvP servers and games attract a specific type of personality, that book makes me feel better about myself in comparison to them (for the humor-impaired that was a joke related to the book).

  • I'm an ex EVE player, and have to admit, I loved the universe, the trading and a little bit of risk of building things up.
    In year or so that I played (pretty casually), I came across the odd pirate or two. Interestingly, in the earlier days, the pirates were a challenge. When geared up, it was a tossup who would win (with odds in favour of the pirates usually, but some chance to escape). That's what got the adrenaline pumping, the chance to slug it out with an actual opponent, and have a battle of wits t

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