Do what you want ’cause a pirate is free!

In my previous Post i wrote about the difference between griefers and player killers. Now at least in the E:D community the rage about what some perceive as griefers is still going on, quite often putting “griefers” and (ingame) Pirates into the same category. The feelings of some of the “Anti-Griefing” crowd are quite heated, with more and more of them switching from the word “griefers” to “psychopaths” when they talk about players who don’t play the game as they want it to be played.

I don’t get those people, they chose a game in which piracy plays a role, and then expect not to be attacked (when they don’t want to). Quite often you hear those people claim that people who attack them are only doing so because causing them grief is what makes fun for those attackers.
I already tackled that argument in the previous post, so i’m not going to deep into that again – there are tons of reasons to kill another player instead of asking nicely for his cargo.

Someone who calls himself Zephyr has started a discussion named “no self respecting pirate should tolerate senseless killing”, in which he first outs himself as what he perceives to be a pirate, and then goes on with trying to box in a description that reads as follows:

A pirate first asks politely for the traders good, if that should fail, then the pirate should attempt to destroy the cargohold, and only then should he blow up the ship for cargo.
Anyway, no self-respecting pirate should sit idly by as cargo-less traders (or cheap cargo for that matter), get attacked for no reason. It gives a bad name to pirates and it hurts our business because traders will be less likely to eject their cargo if they think they will be killed either way.

And that seems to be yet another repetition of what the anti-pvp, anti-grief anti-piracy or however you want to call ’em crowd keeps saying. Obviously quite fast some of the more notorious people of that crowd start cheering an agreeing with that post.
After a while Cosmos jumps in with one of the best posts of that thread, where he actually simply quotes the description that you can read on elite’s about page. This description basically focuses on of the absolute core things about elite: “Play your way” and “Real Freedom” (its actually in the titles from that very page). Still people keep trying to restrict or define the gameplay others have to do to fulfill a specific role In a game that on purpose does not have roles for characters).

Why would any SANE person feel the NEED to play a bad guy in the game? If it were just for fun with your buddies your intent would not to be to truly grief or harm anyones fun. Just like children playing cops and robber they don’t actually hurt the other person. It is for fun. You guys are hell bent on pissing others off which is a sign of pathology.
User “Lonecrowe” on QuakeNet channel #elite-dangerous

So what motivates someone to play a criminal subject within such game?

In reality we do have a lot of laws that are imposed on us by governments, usually having been decided long before most of us where even born. And that is mostly good, as it keeps society mostly stable, and by that offers us an environment that we can live and grow in. But it is taking away freedom as well. I am pretty sure i can call everyone who claims to never have broken a law a liar, and i wont be wrong very often – simply because all modern states have so many laws that it is impossible to know them all. But usually because of ones moral code, and because of the punishment for violating laws, a regular person will try to avoid breaking the law, if possible.

In games we don’t have such restrictions. I mean, I play games to do stuff i can not, or would not do in reality. I don’t run around and shoot people, but i enjoy playing shooters. I don’t command any armies around in real life, but i enjoy a good strategy title. In open world games i enjoy the freedom they are offering. And yes, i have no remorse destroying another players character, vehicle etc, as long as it is part of the game, it is the ultimate win/loss scenario, and usually (and quite right so) it comes with quite some risk for myself as well. So basically what motivates me is the ability to make my very own decisions, without having to follow up with consequences on my real life. It is basically the same as if i’d play a batman game. Self-justice and vigilantism in real life have pretty harsh consequences, not so much when i do it in a game.

And yes, i just mentioned “the ultimate win/loss” scenario, but to me that is not about someone else losing. It is about making it interesting. If you ever have played poker, you know that fun in poker starts the moment there is a bet on the table.

with Monopoly I’d have specifically chosen who I was playing with, so it’s an entirely different scenario from a game where you want to play with SOME other people, but then get griefers as part and parcel
User “Athan” on QuakeNet channel #elite-dangerous

As for why i feel no remorse, it simple, everyone playing the same game has the same options to do to me what i’m doing to him. Maybe not at the time, but he could have done before, and he might do in the future. As shooting / destroying the assets of others is part of the game every single player has agreed to that treatment once he entered the game. If i play chess i can’t complain about someone else taking out my pieces either.

Also one thing that all those people from the anti-crowd seem to forget, if they don’t want to play with/against other players, in the final game they will always have the option to play a round of solo-elite or even group-elite instead. I mean, if playing against/with npc is your thing, then why not just use that option, rather than being so loud about it?

Personally, the more and more they want to box in piracy, the more and more they motivate me to try to break out of that box, most likely with the effect of them spiraling even deeper into their weird ideas.

finally i’d like to share a link to a great post. i don’t agree with all details, but the author has put a huge effort into thinking about how piracy / criminal life in E:D could look. go here and read.

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