Reading through the Eve Online forums concerning the CW2 and the new Bounty Hunting changes (and not a few blogs,) there are a lot of people exclaiming great concern, nigh on tears of rage, over the possibility of pirates – or just about anyone – being griefed out of the game.
So I ask myself, what would someone have to do to warrant such griefing? They would surely have to upset someone with a fair amount of ISK. It was stated in a comment to my GCC post that no one would dare blow up even one of Greedy Goblin’s freighters because it would be chump change for him to immediately put a billion ISK bounty on the pirate’s head. Or it could be some person with many, many disciples… um, I mean corporation members who will do anything asked. It’s occurred to me that rather than just declare war against a single person carebear corporation, they could just put an insanely high bounty on my head using a temporary alt (no connection established you see and thus no bad publicity *wink*) and grief me forever.
So why should this be so alarming? Eve Players have this mistaken idea that being a pirate or a renegade is some romantic stick-it-to-the-man occupation. They seem to think they should be able to do as they please without consequences they don’t like. That piracy is a good life full of women, strong rum and juicy tears.
The reality is, it was a hard life full of deprivation and hardship. The rum was watered down and most lives ended early and violently. Let’s have a look at some of history’s more famous pirates and see how they fared living such a life.
Edward Teach aka Blackbeard
Eventually cornered by HMS Jane and HMS Ranger. After devastating both Sloops with a broadside, he boarded a seemingly empty HMS Jane only to be surprised by the crew erupting from the hold. During the pitched battle that ensued, Blackbeard was surrounded and killed by no less than five bullets and twenty sword slashes. His headless body was discarded into the water while his bearded head hung as a trophy from HMS Jane’s bowsprit so the bounty could be collected.
John Rackham aka Calico Jack
Captured in 1721 by forces sent by the Governor of Jamaica. He was tried for piracy, convicted and hung. His dead body was displayed in public as a warning to all who would be pirates. Anne Bonny is reported to have told him while he was awaiting execution, “if he had fought like a Man, he need not have been hang’d like a Dog.”
Bartholomew Roberts aka Black Bart
He was the most successful pirate during the Golden Age of Piracy. Records state he had 470 vessels from his piracy. He is reported to have said of life, “No, a merry life and a short one shall be my motto.” He died at the age of 39, struck in the neck by grape shot fired from HMS Swallow. His crew hastily buried him at sea in accordance with his wishes.
But what about the lady pirates? Did they fare any better?
Captured along with Calico Jack. Tried, convicted and sentenced to hang. Along with Mary Read, she “pleaded her belly.” The execution was put off until proof of pregnancy could be seen. She seems to have escaped with the assistance of her wealthy father, but the evidence is disputed.
She meets the same end as Anne Bonny except she dies of a fever in prison rather than having a wealthy father who helps her escape.
So, other than Anne Bonny, who had an ace in the hole, both the men and the women died before the natural end of their lives. They had some success, but in the end, their actions brought life ending retribution.
There’s that word again. And it is the most appropriate word. The pirates of New Eden have for too long been allowed to do as they wish without any serious consequences to their actions. Real pirates couldn’t sail into Kingston harbor unless their cannons were primed and even then they had no chance of sailing out again. They lived on the periphery of civilization where they often had inadequate provisions and always inadequate retirement plans. The only adequate thing was the rum and more than one captain of pirates came to his end because the crew was too drunk to do anything about it.
So, to those who would derive their fun in Eve Online preying on others, watch out who you upset. Either live the life Black Bart subscribed to, or HTFU. No one in New Eden gets a mulligan. All sales are final. And pirates need to understand there are consequences for antisocial behavior. Undocking is permission to PvP. This is just another form of PvP. I for one will risk being griefed to make that abundantly clear to those who would rather hang like a dog.