Why anyone want to be a pirate in Elite universe?

One thing that has been bugging me since i started playing this game is how immersion breaking piracy is in this game. Why does anyone turn pirate (aside from us players that do it for fun)? Getting a bounty flag us for destruction, by anyone (we are lucky stations don't open fire on us). Stolen goods get us heavy fines if they are scanned in our holds, killing any profit. Pirating requires more powerful ship than the victims or else they may never give up their cargo, but that means a good pirate needs to have lots of credits to start pirating in the first place (kind of silly seeing pirates flying Anacondas and Type-10, whatever they steal never make up for the repair cost of their ships if they end up fighting).

So, lore wise, is there any reason people do piracy when there is no shortage of legit work to gain the same credits?
 
Piracy in Anarchy worlds pretty much solves the problems you describe, also only visiting high/med/low sec systems for piracy excursions, then returning to Anarchy to offload goods.

It is just a lifestyle choice, sure legal haulage and smuggling are amazing earners, personally I get a rush out of jumping into a Cobra MKIII or Krait and living like a criminal pirating diamonds and other stuff.

My only wish is that more commodities and scenarios existed for pirates. The megaship hacking didn't turn out so great IMO

PvP piracy was great when the game first launched, don't see it happening much now.
 
It is a conundrum...

"Give me or I'll blow you up"
"Blow me up then"

"Give me or I'll blow you up"
*proceeds to get blown up because he has cargo racks while the other player is full defense modules.
 
Totally legit question, really. I mean, we've got guys living in space mansions (seriously, look at the price tag on that Anaconda - heck, even that Fer de Lance over there) getting their kicks shooting grimy, blue-collar miners for their two bucks of space pebbles, risking total annihilation at the hands of an overwhelming, insta-teleporting militarized police force with standing shoot-to-kill orders for anyone who so much as breaks wind improperly. It doesn't make a great deal of sense. In fact, I'd go so far as to call the entire setup utterly nail-chewingly insane to be honest. I'd be nice if there were some vague reasoning or rationale behind it. But there ain't one, so *shrug.*

I'd be fine with "it's a political, anti-society thing." Maybe a galaxy-wide quasi-rebellion kind of deal. Because I can definitely imagine wanting to rebel against the goofy governments of the Elite universe.
 
When you have someone mass locked,"drop half your cargo or lose all of it" works well and keeps the bounties low unless the target behaves like a child and starts screaming about how you're ruining everything and they won't give you one single cargo can.

You can also go somewhere else if the bounties are high, and if you do the speed limit and run silent into the mailslot then you probably won't get scanned when you're not in an anarchy system.

And when I was living in an anarchy system I found quite a lot of lazy traders plot a course through it in Open without checking the route. I caught one person with a bunch of some sort of jelly in their hold that sold for a ton of credits, and made about 500k in an hour of piracy another day between hitting targets that had bounties in a KWS scan.

The worst that ever happened to me was having to replace a DBX once and, more recently, getting sent 5 jumps over to sepulcher prison after paying 80k.

Most pirates don't only pirate. They just don't eliminate the option as additional income and fun.
 
"Give me or I'll blow you up"
*proceeds to get blown up because he has cargo racks while the other player is full defense modules.
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Now, truth to be told, if you try to pirate a ship which is full of defense modules and has no cargo racks, you might have other problems... :D ;)
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That being said: yes, it's true that piracy currently is not really worth it. There's a number of issues here. But for the one being pirated just telling the pirate to blow him up, that's on the community. When the game was new, there were enough traders who dropped cargo. But pirates proceeded to still destroy those ships. But why drop cargo, if that just means that your still get destroyed and the attacker even getting rewarded for it?
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Also, by now requesting the target to drop cargo is very much outdated. Hit the target with hatch breakers, they by now bypass shields. Then just grab what you can get. All the oh-so-terrible human interaction is minimized. I find this amusing. It seems like NPC pirates, just by having a few random scripted sentences, are way ahead in terms of interaction and communication to many players.
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Despite that, it's true that more money can be earned the legal way than as a pirate. Historically speaking, that's even fine. Generally pirates were not rich people. There's very few examples where people willingly chose to be a pirate. Usually pirates were outcasts, who just had no other way to make their living any more.
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The problem is in terms of game design. It's a whole career path, which according to most feedback is not worth it. Although I don't know if that's still true. There are "high value targets" around by now. Structures and megaships can be hacked and stolen from. I never pursued one of those paths, so I can't tell how lucrative these activities are.
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But next to profit, I dare to ask: how much fun are they? After all, the best money makers in the game are not exactly interesting. If you enjoy this kind of gameplay, going for it despite lower profits sure is a reasonable choice.
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The problem with piracy is that it requires a team and the right ship to do it properly. That's why for example the Adder has two seats and 3 hardpoints vs the Sidewinder's single seat and dual hardpoints. Ideally though, the Adder should have a wing which includes a freighter ship like the Hauler. So one ship to interdict and disable the target and the second one to pickup stolen cargo. Having one ship to do both functions means you end up using a more expensive ship - and more expensive repair bills.

You also need the right ecosystem and supplementary income to support your dastardly profession. Earning the extra credits in anarchy systems means smuggling illegal goods which requires a fast stealthy ship the get past system security in more orderly systems.

TLDR: Piracy is complicated and requires a lot more skill and coordination than griefing.
 
Pirating requires more powerful ship than the victims or else they may never give up their cargo, but that means a good pirate needs to have lots of credits to start pirating in the first place
Piracy has never made a lot of sense in the Elite setting - and this goes back to the first game. You can always make more money in greater safety with the same ship hull through legal trading.

To balance piracy against trading you need to make pirates able to steal a substantial fraction of the trader's hold - enough that the trader makes a loss on the trip - even if the trader resists the attack. Then, once you include bounty hunters and police, the pirate needs to be able to steal even more from the trader to cover the extra costs of being attacked by the police. For all of this to work I think you need a combat model which makes it relatively easy to cause costly damage to a ship - destroying weapon pods, breaking off entire cargo holds, etc. - to resolve a battle, while making it exceedingly difficult to destroy a ship or prevent its escape indefinitely once the battle is resolved.

I've tried simulating it a few times and even in a highly simplified abstract simulation it can be extremely difficult to get a working balance between trader, pirate and bounty hunter (never mind introducing miners, explorers, assassins or couriers) ... and it doesn't look anything like Elite when you do.


As for Elite it makes more sense if you consider the objective of most pirates to be to disrupt trade for political reasons - the important thing is that the cargo is not delivered to its intended destination - and any money made by selling the loot afterwards is just a minor bonus: if the cargo goes down with the ship it's still mission complete.
 
Piracy has never made a lot of sense in the Elite setting - and this goes back to the first game. You can always make more money in greater safety with the same ship hull through legal trading.

To balance piracy against trading you need to make pirates able to steal a substantial fraction of the trader's hold - enough that the trader makes a loss on the trip - even if the trader resists the attack. Then, once you include bounty hunters and police, the pirate needs to be able to steal even more from the trader to cover the extra costs of being attacked by the police. For all of this to work I think you need a combat model which makes it relatively easy to cause costly damage to a ship - destroying weapon pods, breaking off entire cargo holds, etc. - to resolve a battle, while making it exceedingly difficult to destroy a ship or prevent its escape indefinitely once the battle is resolved.

I've tried simulating it a few times and even in a highly simplified abstract simulation it can be extremely difficult to get a working balance between trader, pirate and bounty hunter (never mind introducing miners, explorers, assassins or couriers) ... and it doesn't look anything like Elite when you do.


As for Elite it makes more sense if you consider the objective of most pirates to be to disrupt trade for political reasons - the important thing is that the cargo is not delivered to its intended destination - and any money made by selling the loot afterwards is just a minor bonus: if the cargo goes down with the ship it's still mission complete.
There is a much simpler solution. Add a [fixed value] to all cargo sell/buy costs. The net profit for a successful trade run is the same, but piracy is now buffed by [fixed value] per stolen ton. That way smaller-scale piracy is worthwhile, and a trader has a reason to protect against such losses. Whereas currently robbing some tons of cargo means nothing to a trader, and it is more a giddy roleplay thing than anything else.
 
I do it
-Because of the challenge.
-You never know what will happen
-Risk vs reward
-Pushes me to engineer more, i hate engineering
-Fun to watch what the other cmdr will do and how they react.
-Have some really good convos out of it, especially when i fail/flub the attack.
-gives other cmdrs something to attack in an other wise empty system. I die alot.

A good pirate never destroys their target. Ill try to disable them, but never outright go for the kill. Ive let quit a few cmdrs go if they have no cargo, whats the point after that.

Ate a bunch of rebuys too. So it makes me mindfull of the ol wallet and how i can make more money again and quick.
 
The fundamental issue here is one that plagues a lot of open world 4x games, and it's because they look at piracy realistically. By that I mean, piracy is a poor people trade in a technologically advanced society.

Do you remember when you pulled 65k off a mission and felt like moving up to a 2C shield was an accomplishment? That's what piracy is for. Traders who are poorly defended and have little combat experience can still be carrying a lot of goods. Goods that to most of us are just part of one haul, but to them are enough to cover a new engine. The problem is you're only that poor for a day and a half of play.

If you want to fix piracy, you make pirate factions do pirate things. Or really any faction since the piracy you want is more like privateering instead of the piracy we have, which is like Somali piracy. Create missions where you specifically have to deliver goods marked as illicit either by count or value, or even destroy x amount of money worth of such containers.
 
There is a much simpler solution. Add a [fixed value] to all cargo sell/buy costs. The net profit for a successful trade run is the same, but piracy is now buffed by [fixed value] per stolen ton. That way smaller-scale piracy is worthwhile, and a trader has a reason to protect against such losses. Whereas currently robbing some tons of cargo means nothing to a trader, and it is more a giddy roleplay thing than anything else.
That doesn't solve the problem. It makes one variable more immediately piracy-friendly (the pirate needs to steal a smaller proportion of the cargo to push the trader into a loss and therefore make a higher overall profit on the transaction) ... but it doesn't:
- address the balance between loss-making and profitable trips for the trader
- make it easier for the pirate to steal *any* cargo at all from the trader
- allow bounty hunters to earn money by hunting pirates

Additionally, it also makes mining [fixed value] more profitable per tonne, which again messes with balance (unless you make mining consumables considerably more expensive as well).

When I did simulation testing of this, a low profit/cost ratio (as you're suggesting) [1] was actually *worse* for balance than a high profit/cost ratio - because neither the pirate nor the trader makes much money with a low p/c, and therefore there's not enough spare money in the economy to support bounty hunters causing costs to the pirate. You end up with the scenario balanced between all three professions ... but balanced so that everyone is making the same sort of long-term losses.


[1] For the more profitable goods Elite already has a very low p/c ratio of about 10% profit. Shifting that lower would be very disruptive ... I was able to get more sensible balances at around 40-60% p/c.
 
No reason, at least not until commodity prices scale plausibly with money supply.

In the early game, piracy made a lot of sense, as it was actually profitable...now you'd be hard pressed to fill your hold with anything worth selling.
 
I've done LTD NPC piracy, and the mechanics are clunky to say the least.

There needs to be a practical negotiation mechanic involving negotiation that factors in pirate combat standing, target npc pilot standing, ship armaments, cargo value, even RNG etc.

PVP piracy simply cannot work with the timer logouts and Clogging.

PVP piracy would need a whole boarding or grappling mechanic to be even close to feasible imo.
 
As for Elite it makes more sense if you consider the objective of most pirates to be to disrupt trade for political reasons - the important thing is that the cargo is not delivered to its intended destination - and any money made by selling the loot afterwards is just a minor bonus: if the cargo goes down with the ship it's still mission complete.
Yeah, that's what would make the most sense. Someone pay you, support you and could even provide you a special ship for the job of pirating rival factions. That happened in real life, and if i remember right they called them corsair instead of pirates...
 
Why would anyone bother to pirate when you can just take a mission, abandon it, then sell the stolen cargo to a black market?
 
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