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From Wikipedia on Piracy :
A pirate is one who robs or plunders at sea without a commission from a recognised sovereign nation. Pirates usually target other ships, but have also attacked targets on shore. These acts are known as piracy.
In Eve, one may swap the words 'at sea' for 'in space'. Pirates are, under this definition, pilots who attack other ships without political motive nor under the command of a non-pirate organisation, rather for financial gain or pleasure.
There are in fact several type types of piracy.
Belt pirates prey on miners and NPC'ers, and anyone else unfortunate enough to hang out in an asteroid belt. Utilizing a warp scrambler or warp jammer, the pirate will render your ship unable to enter warp and force you to defend yourself. The pirate then proceeds to either ransom your ship for his estimated value of the ship plus modules, or destroy it to collect the parts. This is considered to be the most 'true' and 'oldschool' form of piracy by the community.
Gate camping pirates will sit and a stargate and shoot other ships trying to get to or from the gate in their travels. Gate campers will tank the sentry guns for as long as possible while destroying his victim and collecting the loot before he warps to safety.
Gate sniping pirates sits at a distance from a stargate located in Empire space to avoid sentry gun fire and kill their targets with long range weaponry. The stargate sentry guns cannot engage people past 149 kilometers. Because of this gate snipers may sit there as long as they wish. Often uses an alt to collect loot.
People are getting more unique on how they pirate every day.
NPC Pirates Edit
There are five main pirate Factions in the EVE Universe:
- Angel Cartel - Minmatar-based
- Blood Raiders - Amarr-based
- Guristas - Caldari-based
- Serpentis Corporation - Gallente-based
- Sansha's Nation
Ships from these respective groups can be found all over Empire and 0.0 space, in varying numbers and severity, and are all marked with a CONCORD bounty, and flaged on the HUD with red crosses. Restrictions regarding Rules Of Engagement do not apply to them, and the may be shot at, and destroyed anywhere, on sight. The destruction of these ships, both in missions, and at static spawns can provide a healthy income and is the primary source of Named Modules.
Needless to say, these AI-controled pirates are signficantly easier to outwit than most player pirates, above. NPC pirates are often referred to simply as 'rats' ('belt rats', etc), to distinguish them from actual player pirates.