I’ve been having an interesting discussion on ransoms on twitter today. It seems that in the mind of the general populace paying ransoms is considered “the wrong thing to do”. Mostly this perception is caused by a few wannabe pirates that do not honour them.
This makes me a sad panda.
While I gladly admit that oftentimes Pen Island doesnt even offer ransoms (when we’re in a risky position, we cannot afford to wait for the ransom conversation) we DO honour them when offered. In fact, most proper pirate corps do honour ransoms. After all, piracy is, above all else, a form of business.
Loot drops don’t generally pay well enough to live off of, so ransoming is the defining income for piracy (The Bastards are very good at it, Pen Island is generally too blood crazed to offer them in many cases). The goal of the transaction is to find a feee for the subject’s freedom that is more attractive than losing the implants (or sometimes the ship).
It’s by no means easy to guess what sort of implants a given capsule may be sporting, though sometimes there are signs that are a dead giveaway…
For example, a few days ago we tangled with an old associate, Kovorix, who was piloting a maelstrom that was tanking quite a lot of damage, this ship is most often flown by pilots sporting a set of “Crystals” worth well over a billion isk. we snagged the pod and offered a ransom of 500 million isk, far cheaper than a new set of implants. Kovorix, being an old hand at low sec, accepted and paid. As a result, he got to keep his expensive implants.
I generally lowball ransom requests, I’d rather get some isk than no isk afterall. But some people are so angry over the loss of their ship they will get extremely abusive when ransomed; This is not conducive for your continued survival when you’re being held down by people with guns that fire volvoes at extremely high velocities…
The thinking here is of course “Hah, they will get NO MORE out of me”. But there is an error there; splatting your pod gives us a nice killmail and we lost nothing… you however ALSO lost your implants in addition to your ship.
I think it may be too late to turn the ship around on ransoms, too many monkeys have dishonoured them, thus denying themselves future patronage from their victims, not honouring ransoms hurts the entire profession of piracy.
Lately we’ve been offering more ransoms, like python used to do in the olden days. Maybe we will get to finish our ransom-songs christmas album afterall. You can often get off if you don’t have isk by offering something that will entertain the pirates; Golden Helmet once ransomed a POS on the condition it would be renamed in his honor for example.
Perhaps with some more persistance we can teach people that yes, we are bad men. But we’re still businessmen in the end. This is our job, just like missioning or mining or manufacturing might be yours.