Ransom me, ransom you.

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.


24 thoughts on “Ransom me, ransom you.

  1. Da Masta Cheef

    Some years ago our CEO paid the demanded/offered half bil. isk ransom to save the corp’s loaded freighter (after losing it’s out gunned escorts), which the pirates gladly accepted and then popped the freighter anyways. Since then I’ve held to the just shut up and pod me attitude. Implants be damned, I don’t pay ransoms to thugs.

    Now if you want us ‘non-pirates’ (or ‘victims’ as you prefer) to think that pirating is the realm of honorable business (which it should be I think) then you guys need to dispose of the garbage within your ranks that create/continue all of the dishonorable stereotypes. However rather than do this in game, in my experience it seems the ‘honorable’ pirates tend to just bitch about their ‘dishonorable’ cohorts on forums/blogs rather than showing them there error of their ways ingame. For example:

    ‘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.’

    Pirates love to point & laugh carebears that whine about pirates. As a carebear myself, I see this post more or less as a pirate whining about other pirates.

    lol, oh the irony.

    • Pirates that don’t honor ransoms are not pirates at all in my opinion, generally speaking “we” (as in pirates) take a really DIM view of such practices, as it hurts our business.

      Unfortunately, information on who it is that does these things only rarely reaches our ears… maybe I should create a platform for such a thing.

      In the end, it’s never particularly fun to lose a ship, but it most definitely CAN be fun to be “pirated”. It just adds to the game if done right.

  2. FNG

    @Helicity Boson

    /me agrees 100%. I don’t really understand what anyone expects we can do against those that dishonor ransoms…revoke their Pirate Union Card? While I do wish more people paid, I imagine that plenty of people who pay a ransom and are let go don’t make much of a fuss about it, while those that pay and get blown up spread the word to “Never pay ransoms, they’re never honored anyway.”

    • Well, we could, you know kill them. But we can’t do that if we don’t know who they are…

  3. DeepBlue

    Pirates that dishonour ransoms should be named, shamed and hunted by those that uphold the Pirate Code… oh wait. Btw, does the Pirate Union Card entitle the holder to any awesome discounts anywhere?

  4. Remanent

    Unless your using 1400 artillery cannons, which comes out to like a really tiny Volvo perhaps, I think you meant salvos.

    Please don’t kill me.

    • That is what you took away from that whole post? Seriously?

  5. Remanent

    Lol, no, it wasn’t. Just thought that firing volvoes at each other sounded hilarious.

    • I don’t know what else to think of big fat arties 😛
      Maybe Volkswagen beetles then.

  6. Remanent

    Smart cars, mini coopers, Honda fits. Just to name a few.

  7. The one true merc/pirate corp I was in had right in the corp description that we honored ALL ransoms and we did. The CEOs reasoning behind it was that we built ourselves a reputation of being honorable pirates. Ppl who lived in the areas we hunted knew that if OTG ransomed them we’d keep to it and so we got a fair number of ransoms.

    I’ve always said “I do it for the lulz” so I agree, ransoms don’t always have to be ISK. We’ve ransomed CEOs of wardecced corps a lift of the dec if they sang for us on Vent, etc, etc etc. It’s all good and it’s all fun 🙂

  8. @DeepBlue
    As a member of good standing in the industrialist prey society, I’d be prepared to offer discounts to pirates of good character. In this case, ‘good character’ is defined as honoring a ransom, not giving a free pass. The idea is to make it more sporting, not pve.

    • You’re definitely right there. Cops and robbers, afterall, is not very fun without robbers.

  9. Tiberiian

    Surely a “blacklist” would devolve into someone adding a person to the list they want to see suffer. eg. Tib goes and pops Helicity’s ship and ransoms his pod. Helicity pays up and Tib honours the agreement and off Heli goes; only Helicity hates Tib and tells everyone that he doesn’t honour ransoms. All to easy for everyone to assume so and just think Tib is a mean little S.O.B without any checks into whether it is true or not.

    • Probably. I sometimes think it would be nice if CCP just added a “ransom button” for outlaws, so we could automatically offer a ransom, which, if accepted, would be paid when the target has leaves system (and which doesn’t pay if the pod gets squished)

  10. Tiberiian

    @Helicity Boson
    That would be awesome to be honest.

  11. DeepBlue

    @Tiberiian There are a couple of pirate corps that will boot a member for dishonouring a ransom. I’m pretty sure that whomever makes the decision to boot the accused, at the vey least, asks to see chat logs, screenshots of ransom payment proof and a KM link. False claims of Internet spaceship rape probably get dismissed pretty fast. The idea of a public list of ‘bad’ pirates is for lols only k 🙂 Individual pilot reputation generally serves well enough. Also, we don’t want to get caught up in any unseemly space libel cases…

  12. Tiberiian

    Hehe, wonder how badly CCP would implement libel cases!

  13. Reaver Glitterstim

    I think a list of pirates who have not honored ransoms and/or not even asked for one is a doable thing. You could have a website that collects the data, and even multiple people who make lists of names and submit them to the site. You’d blacklist people who show up multiple times from multiple submitters (all submissions must be given with in-game character and limited API of the submitter), that way you aren’t hunting random nobodies who didn’t really do anything. If it got popular enough, you might get a lot of submissions.

    I’ve been attacked by pirates lots of times, but never once have I been so much as contacted during the event. I have not once seen a pirate hesitate to blast my ship. Never. I wish sometimes I would have a chance to pay a ransom. Some assholes a while back attacked my industrial carrying only a courier mission cargo, and destroyed my pod. They had no idea I had 30+ mil in implants and would gladly have paid a significant ransom, which they never bothered to find out either. It’s refuse like these who I really wish would be dealt with. I have their names, too.

  14. Lurker

    “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…”

    Just confirming that 1400mm arties are smexy.

    And I’ve been ransomed a few times, many people do honor them, especially with Pods in my experience, they don’t gain much from squishing you anyways so it’s often more profitable for them to honor the ransom than to double cross you.

    After all, ransoming is just good business right? If you honor it and then catch the same guy 2 days later isn’t he that much more likely to pay again?

  15. jeicam mmis

    ransoming = eve equivalent of predators playing with their food 😀

  16. Tirno

    I’m against paying ransoms myself…but not because of the dishonor types. On the contrary, I’m against it specifically BECAUSE it’s not really possible to live off module drops as a general rule.

    What you’re doing, then, by paying the ransom has a second side to it that you just barely hint at here: By allowing the pirates to make money by doing it, you encourage them to do it MORE.

    It’s like the real pirates in Somalia, but to a lesser extent. Stop paying the bloody ransoms and all of a sudden it’s not nearly as attractive, because it’s much much harder to make money at it.

    In eve, they’d ofc just start killing you all the time if they didn’t think they’d get a ransom, but as you said, it’s hard to make money that way. Sooner or later they’re going to lose enough stuff and get few enough modules in exchange they’re going to have to resort to something besides piracy to pay for a new ship. While they’re doing that, they’re not pirating.

    It’s also really, really hard to DO most of those things as a -10, so they’ve either got to have an alt to make the money for them(or just haul stuff to market), or not let their sec status get that low, which again cuts down on their piraticalness.

    Which is one reason why I’ve never, ever, ever paid a ransom and don’t intend to start. That and sheer spitefulness. I’d self destruct before I paid out. In fact, I have done in the case of one particularly inept set of pirates. Completely non-cooperative, cursing at them, not obeying instructions in the least…eye rolling at their very dramatic moving into position of the stealthbomber…apparently the whole thing took two minutes.

    Don’t pay ransoms, and you kill most of the viability of the entire pirate profession. Honored or not, that’s good enough for me.

  17. Lurker

    Tirno :
    While they’re doing that, they’re not pirating.

    … But if all the pirates went home where would all the fun be? I for one welcome losing a ship to pirates every once in a while, adds some spice to eve.

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