Las Vegas – Walking into any room where a significant number of capsuleers have gathered is always interesting. Typically, the room darkens slightly, no matter how brightly lit the area is as the color of attire is predominantly grey and black. The second noticeable fact is that they are often loud. Laughing, cheering and jeering drowns out most other sounds. I know it is a generalization, but it seems that they love to be heard, if not necessarily seen. On one particular occasion, upon entering a large room something different caught my eye. In the sea of darkness that sprawled out before me, a lone table was ringed with red. Much like a moth to a flame, I was drawn to find out who these pilots were.
Basgerin Pirate [BP]. Low-Security space pirates. Unlike pilots who travel between high-sec and null-sec, or the uncharted regions of wormhole space, these pilots have made a commitment to never live in high-security space again. While CONCORD does not police low security space, there are consequences to every action. As a pilots’ security status is lowered by criminal acts, their ability to spend any length of time in high security space is lost.
In speaking with Rezell, the CEO of Basgerin Pirate, this is a big deal to some pilots. In fact, it is one of the major reasons pilots leave the corporation, “Involuntary attrition encompasses those who cannot [will not] endure flying with a -5.0 or less security status, or those who develop sympathy for our victims.”
As opposed to declaring war where there are defined targets, pirate groups tend to prey on targets of opportunity. They are nomadic, and will camp various gates in many systems waiting for their prey. To put this in perspective: A victim who is outnumbered always screams “Blob”. A victim who loses a ship in a mission, or travelling with an industrial always cries foul, “Sure! You won’t fight me in my combat ship!” Survival says that you kill when and what you can, and know enough to steer clear when the terms of engagement are uncertain.
As Demeter Corinth, one of the BP leaders, explains, “Understanding that most pilots will run when faced with a fight or flight situation, we must be very ‘sure’ about a target before we engage.” He continues, “Certain that we can lock it down and that it is not bait for a much larger entity.”
BP is not a larger corporation by any means, with a member base of 25 or so pilots. What they lack in numbers, they make up for in quality of pilot, teamwork, and decision making. Patience, scouting, and knowing your targets all come into play to make a successful life.
Demeter Corinth also explains that the common myth is that fewer members means less income, when in actuality it allows for a better distribution of acquired wealth. “Low-sec income is a large turnoff during recruitment.” Adds Eto Tekai. Income for pirate groups tends to be feast or famine, and many who live in high-sec supplement their income by running missions for agents of the mega-corps, which can be very lucrative. This is not an option for those who choose a pirate’s life. ISK can sometimes be as elusive as trust in New Eden.
“I think we are the only [true] pirates in [New Eden].” Rezell claims. When I asked further about this, he explained, “All other crews we have met are all about blue [standings] with anyone who can take them.” BP takes the position that they will not make ‘alliances’ or ‘coalitions’ with any other groups, making them truly a solo pirate corporation. Corinth adds to this, “There are those who claim to be solo pirate corps, but they will blue as needed to prevent ship loss.” He further emphasizes, “Making friends with pirates is like making friends with a piranha. Sooner or later, it will turn around and bite you. It’s not pessimism, its pragmatism.”
Agree or not, BP has been successful. Halfway through March, they were sitting at over 150 kills against 6 losses. Most of these have been in Seyllin, Essence. This system is the site of the shattered Seyllin I planet, and draws a bit of traffic from its high security space entrance. “It’s all about taking our targets”, Rezell concludes, “we care nothing for ISK or [killboards] any more.”