Pirate Attack

The causes of the Pirate Attack state are still mysterious, but there are some patterns in when and where it appears which suggest it might not be completely random.

This graph shows the number of pirate attack states recorded in each system in the Colonia region since the start of 2019, as well as average system traffic and distance from Colonia. The size of the circle corresponds to the number of pirate attacks. Very low traffic systems may be slightly undercounted due to missing data for those ticks.

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The graph shows some correlation between the two, with a closer correlation with the system traffic than the distance from Colonia. There is a definite trend for pirate attacks to be most common for controlling factions, as well.
(The small circle just over 10LY from Colonia is Deriso, where Outbreaks are very common, and are likely to be blocking pirate attacks)

Pirate Attacks are also much more common for controlling factions than non-controlling factions. For some factions, they appear like clockwork - in the Colonia system, Jaques and Colonia Council are affected by Pirate Attacks at exact 28-day intervals (though with an offset) and People of Colonia is affected on a similar cycle (but with a gap in March, and the most recent one a day "late")

Similar patterns appear for the controlling faction of almost all high-traffic systems. In lower traffic systems, this does not occur - Lux Caeli has had only two pirate attacks (3 days each as usual) for the controlling faction, separated by much more than 28 days

In Trakath, where pirate attacks are very common including for non-controlling factions [1], a gap of 28 days or slightly longer can be seen on many of the factions.
The controlling faction of Trakath changed to Mobius Colonial Republic Navy (MCRN) from Colonia Mining Enterprise on 31 May, but there have been no pirate attacks since then anyway. Interestingly, despite MCRN supporters working the system to get that election, there have been no pirate attacks on MCRN since its arrival in mid-April, even since it took over the system.


Conclusions:
- Pirate Attack has a 3 day active and 25 day recovery+pending period (this seems to have been regularised - the active length was more varied in January and earlier)
- Outbreaks prevent Pirate Attack (and vice versa)
- Pirate Attack's trigger is some unknown form of player activity. In higher-traffic systems this trigger is always reached for the controlling faction, and therefore they have Pirate Attacks as often as possible. In lower-traffic systems and for non-controlling factions this trigger is reached less often
- The earlier theories that Investment or Civil Liberty cause Pirate Attacks are false: they can appear in any state, especially on non-controlling factions. However, as high player activity will usually also tend to cause positive economic and security states, there is a correlation without causation. Good for miners :)
- The trigger does not require station ownership, but may be easier to achieve with it.

Wild guess at the actual mechanism:
- Any transaction of any type for a faction in a system either has a small random chance to trigger Pirate Attack or fills up a traditional-style state bucket for it.
- The hidden Pending period is quite long (maybe even most of the 25 days), to decouple cause from effect and make it appear more random in low-traffic systems
 

Jane Turner

Volunteer Moderator
We got the impression that it was almost an inevitable result of a concentrated BGS activity for any faction, but as you suggested not straight away
 
Colonia is good for certain sorts of BGS analysis
- lots of very similar systems
- almost all the stations are single-economy so easier analysis there
- small region, so getting a consistent sample of data doesn't take too long and fewer options for expansions
- lots of unusual ethos factions for splitting out ethos and government effects

On the other hand, there's basically no such thing as a no-traffic system, so trying to deduce the effects of BGS actions is very difficult.
 
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