One of the great things about Eve Online is that being a pirate is not a class or mode, but a title you earn through absolute dickish behaviour. The Pirates are pirates because they are pirates. See that new player? Kill him. An AFK player? Kill him. Wanderd into our area in space? Looked at us funny? All dead.
Knowing that Pirates in Eve are not restrained in any way can be bloody terrifying and a lot of players understandably get pissed when after rolling out their new fancy ship 4 pirates come knocking and proceed to tear it to sheds. Funny for the rest of us, not so funny for the victim. Luckily Eve has a bounty system where players can put money on someones head. Over time a single bounty collection can be months worth of money due to possibly hundreds of players adding to the pot. Unfortuantly hunting these people alone is suicide, finding them harder, and getting back out alive once the beehive is poked harder still.
My new corp spent its weekends doing odd jobs. Everyone had lives outside Eve and so getting everyone online on a Saturday night was rare. This night by chance there happend to be a lot of us on, probably around 20 players, and after talking about what we should do we decided that we should go bounty hunting. We knew that a few systems over contained a very large contingent of pirates and a few of our corp members could confirm that a some of their members had extremely high bounties on their heads. It was a somewhat scary idea for some of us as about a good 7-8 of us had never actually seen PVP. Sure we might have had little scraps here and there with other players, but a full on brawl in 0.0 space (ie. no NPC protection where all the top players hang out) was a completely different scale.
Oh, did I mention in Eve that if you get killed, you lose your ship and everything in it? You can take out insurance on your ship, but the money usually isn't important, its the time you spent getting all those items to build it that matter. Losing your ship in Eve can be a soul crushing affair.
So with a successful vote we all started flying off towards 0.0 space, everyone stocked up and ready for a fight. The new 7-8 of us players hung towards the back letting the older players make the initial jumps into each system we visited. Securtity ratings on the areas slowly ticked down to 5.0, 4.0, 3.0, 2.0 and soon we were in 0.0 space. Some of us were getting nervous as the safetey at being at the back of the pack was gone, pirates could jump in from any of the system gates now from any direction and fuck our proverbial shit. Probably right up.
Once we reached our destination the older players started splitting us up into groups, distributing the new players evenly among the newly formed squads with older players in charge. Now that we were here we had to find someone, so everyone flew off with their groups to find a hapless pirate.
After a few jumps with nothing of interest, one of the groups happened across an AFK pirate with a small bounty on him. "Well, it's a start" they said over chat and proceeded to attack the shit out of them while the rest of us made our way over to meet them. The pirates ship was blowing up just as we were meeting up and everyone did a little 'woop woop' over chat. Something wasn't right though. Why of all people, especially pirates, just go AFK. They never go AFK. And why such a small ship? It's a shuttle for gods sake, why would they be out here in...
Then over chat it all dawned on us. The pirate corp had parked this ship as an alert system for an AFK pirate to know when people are in the system looking for pirates. By attacking the ship we had not only walked right into their security lasers, but basically spent 5 minutes trying to punch the lasers with our fists. Just as we came to the conclusion the local ship listing lit up like a Christmas tree. Pirates started jumping in from every gate in the system and all of us, all the groups, were now huddled around this one stupid shuttle. People were screaming over chat about how we could let this happen and walked right into it while the older players tried to yell some sort of a plan over top of them.
We were told to split into our groups and jump immediately to the closest moon on your map. With no hesitation groups started jumping out just as pirates started jumping in. While my jump drives were charging (The rest of my squad was more nimble than my armour bloated tank of a ship) I saw group B get webbed by a series of pirates. Just as my drives kicked in I saw all of them destroyed, which meant the only ship left right in front of them was me. Just as the pirates began to target me I jumped to the local moon.
I met up with my group who were trying to figure out what to do. We all talked quietly over mics even though they couldn't hear us anyway. The pirates had left at least two ships on every gate and with much better ships and equipment there was no way we were fighting past them. Now the systems we were in had a lot of moons, so for now we at least figured that we had a few moments to gather our thoughts while they searched for us. The leaders told everyone they were going to setup a warp bubble (basically a temporary player generated warp location) and half of us were going to jump to the moon close to one of the gates and try and lure the gate pirates away. Group2, mostly made up of new players, would then jump through to the gate. This should cause the other pirates to come rushing towards that gate, in which case Group1 could jump out of one of the other now free gates. The plan sounded utterly pathetic but its not like we had any other options. My group was now part of Group2, the ones who were going to jump out through the gate once Group1 had lured them away.
It was just as we were getting ready to jump towards the gate when they found us. A pirate jumped into our moon and we knew that others would be on their way shortly. We were so focused on the new plan that we had neglected to make a plan for right now, so all of us panicked. Nobody knew what to do. Some of my group jumped too early towards the gate that Group1 was going to lure away, some of my group jumped to other moons, one of our group members was destroyed by the pirate straight away. I followed suit and jumped to a random location on my map.
The leaders were losing their minds. Group2 was scattered all over the system now and the timing of the plan was all messed up. In a half assed attempt to regain the plan, Group1 jumped near the gate anyway and began to lure the pirates away. We knew that we only had moments before all the other pirates jumped in too, so with only a few seconds window we all jumped to the gate.
Cluster fuck doesn't begin to describe it. While the leaders and pirates were holding up pretty well against each other, it was clear that at least two more of Group1 had lost their ships. We hit the gates and started warping out immediately, but we knew we had been spotted. The rest of the pirates began to show up just has the last of us were jumping out, which was just as Group1 was getting ready to jump to the opposite side of the system.
It was at this point we realized a flaw in our plan. We knew we had to get out of the system, but couldn't they just follow us to the next system?
While most of Group2 had made it through the gate, pirates began to immediatly follow. With the leaders not able to help us, we did the only thing we had been trained up until this very moment to do.
PANIC LIKE A HERD OF DEER.
Chaos ensused as everyone ran for whatever the hell gate was first on their list. Some went blindly flying into other pirate areas, but with the seeming dissaray of our direction, the pirates couldn't follow all of us and jumped back into their system to attack Group1.
We all made plans and slowly jumped back to our HQ. I had stopped paying attention to the chat tab for Group 1, so trying to make sense of their current status was confusing at best. Luckily running into no trouble on the way home we all docked back into the station and soon the tattered remains of Group 1 returned too. I'm still not exactly clear on how they made it out of there, but only a few of them remained. At this point we knew we were all safe and collapsed back into our chairs.
And then we vowed to never ever go bounty hunting again.
Eve online can be a cruel mistress. A mistress made of thorns and nut punches that send you curling into a ball on the floor sobbing yourself to sleep. Christ knows why I decided to play this goddam game, but hell if it wasn't the most entertaining year of gaming I've ever known.
After a few months of bumping blindy into the proverbial Eve online learning walls, I finally learned that joining a corporation (more or less a guild with benefits) is the only way to progress. Luckily I was accepted into a cool little corp of people who were all from the same ass backwards country of Australia, allowing us to talk of the virtues of Vegemite and our crazy coloured money. After more or less dicking about for another month or two, I was finally ready to get my own badass ship. Oh no, I couldn't afford it, shit no. The prices in Eve for some mid level ships are staggering, but with a corp at my side a friendly player called "Bubby" donated one of his old hand me down ships, "War Pig". I clutched the ship with my quivering hands, screaming "I love you man" down my microphone. Possibly drunk. The details are not important.
I was king of the goddam universe. I was flying around systems in my awesome new ship just daring people to look at me. It was also around this point that we were in talks with another corp to merge into a new location in 0.0 space (ie. free of any NPC protection). The corp they were in talks with had run into massive problems with a local mafia racket. They had pretty much locked down all the good mining areas to the point of full control and it had been well documented that the few smaller corps that tried to take the mining grounds back had been systematicly and utterly destroyed. Just to be extra 'mafia' and 'dickish', they charged everyone stupidly high fees to be allowed to not get attacked on weekends. Talking to my corp the plan was to silently merge with this other new friendly corp we knew in 0.0 space, then use the combined resources of both our corps and 3 others in the area to declare war on these mafia knobs. The only way this could work though was that at the same time we were in talks with the another group of pirates to allow us move into 0.0 space by agreeing to give them a percentage of what we mined. It was kinda trading one evil for another, but the rates were much lower as a one time fee so everyone agreed that despite them being massive cock ends, after we paid them off they would leave us alone (unlike the continual fees everyone was paying to the mafia). The whole plan was based on the utterly fake relationship with this new dick corp, and we had to be super, super carefull not to piss them off. If they let us move our headquaters to 0.0 space (moving HQ in Eve Online being a story in itself because of it's such a stupidly large undertaking), we could combine our forces with all the other corps in the area and possibly wipe out the mafia.
...At this point of writing this article my cat farted. Just thought I should point that out.
Tensions were high at best and our corp board members were doing the best they could between real life responsibilities like kids and work to maintain the relationships in game and keep the deals going on all sides. Some of the possible allied corps didn't want to risk all their money to wage war, the mafia was still attacking corps in the area for going to close to the mining fields, and our half allied corp I'll name "floppy penises" were always on the lookout for the deal to go sour.
It was at this point I decided to go flying into an area floppy penises controlled with absolutly no understanding what the hell that meant.
I decided to go flying into the area and after not doing much important jumped to one of the local asteroid fields in hopes of mining. While flying about I noticed a tiny little shuttle valiently trying to mine an astroid. I decided to start mining, at which point the teeny tiny shuttle TARGETED ME. I said something along the lines of "LOLOLOLOLOL" over chat and targeted him back, jaming his warp drives and webbing his engines just to freak him out. I mean I'm in a big fuck ass ship, what could go wrong?
Oh, his friend in an even bigger fuck ass ship jumps in and targets me.
I jumped out of the system as quick as I goddam could while my warp drives were being scrambled and just as I was leaving the system had the following exchange:
[guys name I cant remember]: Stay the fuck out of our system
[me]: lol, err, no. Theres a bunch of fields here, are you going to monitor all of them? Eat shit.
[guys name I cant remember]: Seriously, I can fuck this deal up hard, dont come back.
I should point out most of this story I found out AFTER I went blundering in. So when this player said he can fuck this deal up hard, I had no idea what he was talking about. After getting out of the system I jumped into corp chat and told some people who were on what happend:
[bubby]: Dude, you said WHAT?
[me]: I told him to go gobble a dick or something
[bubby]: Ok, he's the leader of the corp we need to let us into 0.0 space. Kerigna has been in talks with him for WEEKS that we would not do anything to piss them off. You might have just blown this whole bloody thing. Do NOT let Kerigan know about this, with any luck they wont report it. Maybe he didn't see your corp tag. Dude fuck...
[me]....he knew about the deal
[bad boy bubby]: .... OH DUDE FUCK.
So at this point its safe to say I felt like shit. It possibly ruined months worth of planning and Kerigna, who accepted me into the corp and was our current CEO, would be super pissed if he found out. I tried to lay as low as I could for the next few days.
Then I fucked up again...
In my defence there was a skill I REALLY REALLY needed, and the only place that sold it within a BILLION FAJILLION MILES was owned by FUCKING FLACID PENIS CORP. I knew that I had barely escaped fucking everything up last time, but it was 2am and nobody was playing at this time. I figured it was safe and if I snuck in really really slowly I could check the local system and see who was in the area. If somebody was there I could jump out quick. And really, I'll only be there for like 1 minute, why would they mind? Maybe if I was mining sure, but this? What could go wrong. So with that irrational justification I snuck into the system.
NOBODY AROUND. Fucking SWEET.
I made my way to the closest station in the hopes of grabing the item I needed and then getting the shit out of there before FP noticed. As I got to the station, the local channel remained empty and with a gleefull smile on my face I docked with the station.
Only to see [guys name I cant remember] docked in the station too.
I then calmly proceded to flip the fuck out and smash the 'undock; button as fast as I could. Just as the screen closed I saw "THE FUCK DID I SAY" flash on screen. I screamed accidently in real life and raced towards the port out of the sector, only to see him suddenly appear in local and say "YOUR FUCKED" just as I was getting ready to leave. I was shitting my pants, I had fucked everything up, it was all on me that this deal was going to fail. I jumped back to out HQ and tried logging out by slapping all my keys at once.
After I just sat there staring at the now logged out Eve online and wondering what the hell I did. I was fucked. "THIS IS WHY I DON'T PLAY MMO'S" I thought to myself. "THIS IS WHY I DON'T VIDEO GAMES". Should I go back? What would happen once they found out? Should I just cancel my account? Oh god do they know my postal address? I felt terrible the next few days.
* TWO DAYS LATER *
After gaining enough courage to log back in, I expected to see a list of emails kicking me out of the corp. I expected people to force me to leave the game for good. This didn't actually happen. When I had been in the station [guys name I cant remember] had not got a good look at my ship name and apparently confused me with someone from the mafia crew that were trying to spy on them at the time.
[guys name I cant remember] got super pissed that the mafia people were trying to spy on them and as the last straw said they had enough of those stupid bastards and promised to give us safe passage to our new 0.0 area. They even promised to give us extra support once we got there and help us get setup and protect us from possible mafia attacks. They lent us supplies for our war efforts and in the end actually made a very worthwhile ally. The assistance would actually be the turning point in the all out moustache worthy shit fest that was the eventual war between all these corps and the mafia group, allowing the corps to push the mafia back enough to gain control over the area.