Anyone who feels I have insulted their playstyle, play how you want. I am not insulting what you find fun in.
For those who get an idea to change their playstyle because of this post, remember who gave you the idea when I'm tackled by your fleet. :)
Many people seem to have a misconception on what a pirate is. So first, let me go over what does not necessarily make a pirate.
- Someone with negative reputation or a bounty. This is an outlaw.
- Someone that enjoys PvP, regardless of location. This is a PvP'er.
- Someone that kills ships using massive fleets usually overpowering targets or outnumbering them. These are gankers.
- Someone that kills easy targets solely to revel in the targets grief. This is a griefer.
- Someone that kills targets by guarding a gate. This is a camper... or a Nulsec Corp guard.
Although pirates may use these tactics, not everyone who uses these tactics are pirates.
So, what is a pirate?
Piracy is robbery committed without permission from a nation. As most PvP is based around killing, not robbery, most PvP'ers that are not attempting to commit theft are not pirates. Furthermore, PvP'ers that are killing targets to loot the remains may be pirate-like, but they are not committed pirates.
How can you tell a pirate vs. a PvP'er?
Piracy in the Caribbeans was very close to a democratic environment. The Captain remained as long as he is trusted (or feared) by the crew. If the crew felt the captain was no longer worthy or if the Captain died they would vote a new captain into place (Black Bart became a pirate by force and became captain by vote when the previous captain died)
Pirates had two flags they used. The most common flag was the black and white flag. This flag designated that the pirates would take prisoners (or allow those that surrender free). When the target is generally hostile (naval ships) or the vessel is part of a group the pirates don't like (British East India Trading Company) the pirates will use the black and red flag. This flag means "No quarter, none expected" (all will be killed and the pirates expect the same in return), this flag is flown normally because the target is either a group that has broken "pirate code" or to ward away targets with little value (naval vessels are normally not worth combating due to it's massive firepower and little cargo).
PvP'ers in contrast are closer to the concept of murderers. They would "in essence" only fly the black and red flag. Earnings are gained only through collecting undamaged items found in the wreckage of ships instead of attempting to give terms to the target that is more beneficial to both the pirates and the targets.
What does this have to do with piracy in Eve?
Proper piracy means thinking less like a murderer and more like a corporation. You are attempting to get as much profit as possible with as little cost as possible. So a good pirate is not looking for a kill, but an easy target. The idea is to get the most profit by having the target surrender and provide for the pirates demands vs. having their ship and potentially their cyberware destroyed. This gives the pirates their profit without the potential loss from a fire-fight. Also, this means the pirate can ask for something less tragic from the target to entice a non-combative outcome.
Therefore, piracy is more about blackmail than PvP. Remember this the next time you call that ganker a pirate.