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Interview With an EVE Pirate 222

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.

  • piracy and eve (Score:3, Informative)

    by Digitus1337 ( 671442 ) <lk_digitus@ho[ ] ['tma' in gap]> 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 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @02:51PM (#24484121)
    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 Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @03:12PM (#24484529)

    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.

  • by Sta7ic ( 819090 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @03:14PM (#24484563)
    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 TheGeniusIsOut ( 1282110 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @03:22PM (#24484741)
    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 addition of bounties that can be placed on pilots which, for some of the more notorious pirates, reach into the tens, or even hundreds, of billions of ISK, adding incentive for player bounty hunters to track them down and kill them.
  • by TopSpin ( 753 ) * on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @03:26PM (#24484847) Journal

    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 that an Eve player may obtain as low a Security Status as he wishes and still play the game just fine. It's a choice, with consequences. The life of a dedicated "pirate" quite distinct from the common Eve player, yet there is a large, healthy population of them.

    That the PvP was full-on and unrestricted

    That is overly simplistic. The majority of space in Eve, called 0.0 ("zero zero"), is unrestricted PvP, except for political implications among players, which are not trivial in themselves. The rest is "empire" space where graduated levels of Security are enforced. Exceptions in "empire" also exist in the form of "kill rights", war declarations, faction warfare, criminal status, etc.

    Eve is half a decade old now. It is complex. Very few generalizations hold.

  • Re:Yar! (Score:4, Informative)

    by The Iso ( 1088207 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @04:29PM (#24486241)

    The pirate/temperature graph has been part of FSM scriptures [] since the beginning.

  • 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.

  • Re:ugh god (Score:3, Informative)

    by tukkayoot ( 528280 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @05:19PM (#24487229) Homepage

    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 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.

    Yes, you can grief in either game. The difference is, in WoW, the consequences of having your character killed are relatively minor. It's an annoyance. If the griefers are persistent, it can become a major frustration for that play session. Griefing in this event is something that doesn't really profit the griefers, it's just a person being an asshole.

    In EVE, however, there can be real consequences to failure and misfortune. You can lose a large percentage of your character's net worth in a single incident. Likewise, as a pirate, you can make a big score by destroying or ransoming the right ship. I personally think that's pretty cool, but I can see how it doesn't appeal to everyone. "Pointless" griefing still happens, but most people would prefer to turn a profit. This means that in EVE, you always have to calculate the risk of undocking. You balance the advantages of flying an expensive ship (or carrying expensive cargo/modules) against the advantages of doing so, and if you figure you're vulnerable, you can take other precautions (scout your route ahead of time, fly a tougher or more evasive ship, arrange an escort, etc.) The high [potentially] high stakes are all a part of the game, and is a part of the relatively unique allure of EVE.

    In WoW, you can also be a market profiteer, a crafter, a guild backstabber, and oooh even a fisherman (beat that EVE)!

    All of this is true, but in EVE, the market/industrial aspect of the game is a bigger part of the overall picture, and has a more robust implementation in game mechanics.

    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?"

    This is an issue for every MMO in existence. If it's not repetitive missions, it's repetitive raids and instances. As NightRain already pointed out, the "sandbox" and more player-driven, player vs. player style of play makes EVE's flaws in this regard somewhat easier to forgive.

  • Re:Death system (Score:3, Informative)

    by kv9 ( 697238 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:06PM (#24488541) Homepage

    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.

  • Re:ugh god (Score:3, Informative)

    by pilot1 ( 610480 ) * on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @07:06PM (#24488545)

    Big ships are not required for massive profits. I make billions of isk every month by simply studying the market and manipulating it. All that's required for that is a good Production Efficiency level (about a week to train to level 4), and optionally some trading skills. There are many, many ways to make isk in game, even for PVP players like me who have never bothered to try mining.

  • Re:ugh god (Score:2, Informative)

    by phlegmboy ( 1067452 ) on Tuesday August 05, 2008 @10:09PM (#24490627)
    How long did you play the game for? A week? A month? I spent my first two years in a player owned corp, building up my character. I did the boring stuff like running missions, mining for hours on end, all the while learing skills and learning the game. Now I am in a 0.0 based alliance, shooting other people in 0.0, having great fun. Unlike other MMO's which suit those short of attention span, Eve requires a long term commitment. Hell, just getting your toon to the point where it is learning skills at it's most effective rate takes a month. Being able to effectively able to fly a battleship (still the core PVP ship despite the proliferatio of capital and super-capital ships) takes months. Building up the assets for PVP can take even longer than that. Sure, you could shortcut the process and buy a toon with all the required ingame skills to fly, for example a carrier, from someone else but you would not have the experience that is naturally acquired through coming up through the ranks and file, so to speak. Experience in things such as fleet flying, the feel for how the ship reacts, ship fitouts, handling lag, and how to react when suddenly faced with a large fleet of evil red ships, all hellbent on turning your ship into dust and you into a frozen corpse. Unfortunately, one thing I have noticed is that WoW players who come over for a taste of real pvp will often just jump in their shiny new rookie ship and trundle off to losec, ignore the warnings about the dangers of losec space and that there is no protection from the law and then bitch and moan when they start solo mining in a belt only to get ganked by pirates. Lowsec space tends to be the domain of people who see themselves as pirates. In the time I have been playing I have been ganked or ransomed by pirates twice. Once as a 3 week old noob when I was with a mate mining in lowsec and not paying attention to my overview and the other because I was flying a ship while tired, didn't pay attention to who was around me or to intel and had the wrong fit. Rather than bitch and moan about griefing I learned from the experiences and have not lost a ship in a non-combat situation since. I have flown my ship unmolested through hostile space, outsmarted gate camps and pursuit in my hauler but I know that I still have a hell of a lot to learn. It is a long steep learning curve with many branches. But the good thing abut Eve is that, simply by buying the right skills you came do what you want, be that miner, builder, corporate or alliance leader, or ebil pirate. But it takes patience.

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"