Honor in EVE

Ka Jolo over at Your money or your life! posted an interesting article on honor among pirates in EVE, (http://eve-pirate.blogspot.com/2008/10/honor-ooc.html).

The question is, do we act with honor.  Well, what is honor?  A definition I found on Wikipedia defines it as:

Honor or Honour (see spelling differences), (from the Latin word honos, honoris) is the evaluation of a person’s trustworthiness and social status based on that individual’s espousals and actions. Honour is deemed exactly what determines a person’s character: whether or not the person reflects honesty, respect, integrity, or fairness.

Honor is the evaluation of one’s trustworthiness, regardless of their virtue.  A thief may commit an act of stealing from someone, but if you can count on them to always steal, trust in that they will always steal, they can be considered to be honorable even though the act of theft is not considered to be upstanding.

It’s always an interesting discussion on the honor of pirates in EVE.  Many people claim that pirates do not act with honor and to be honest, before I came over to the dark side, my experinces with pirates gave me the impression that they are ruthless, but honorable.  Every time save one where I was ransomed, the terms were honored.  Every encounter I had was, to be honest, fun in a frustrating way.  I felt like it added a flavor to the game that was missing and it’s one of the reasons I became a pirate.  I saw people having fun and I wanted in.

There is a lot of public opinion concerning the honor of pirates, a lot on the topic of ransoms.  Most pirates honor ransoms.  It’s a fact that many care bears will not accept.  One of the issues that leads to that perception is, honestly, unclear communication of the terms.

I think you will find that the most successful pirates and pirate corps in EVE do follow their own “Code”.  They all have their own sets or rules, who they will shoot, who they will ransom, how standings affects those activities, etc…

Our corp has it’s code that it follows:

  • 1 vs 1 engagements.  You don’t honor these, word will get around.  Your reputation for your treachery will lend to you getting less and less people falling for that trap.  You honor them, you will always be able to find some pew pew.  We honor 1 vs. 1’s.  Not doing so will get you kicked from our corp.
  • Ransoms.  This one you see a thread on the Crime and Punishment forum at least once a week.  Ransoms are a source of income for a pirate.  Not honoring the terms of a ransom is, contrary to care bear opinion, severely frowned upon by the general pirating community.  I can tell you, I have been accused of not honoring a ransom.  If you do not honor a ransom in our corp, we will kick you.
  • Attacking new players.  In my corp, we will shoot you.  Plain and simple.  We will ransom you.  Depending on our mood, it may be for a small sum of isk or if things have been slow, we will ransom you for a joke.  Make us laugh and we will let you go.  Yes, we have heard some good ones too.

So, are we honorable?  As far as pirates go, yes, we are honorable.  Do most pirates act with honor?  I have to say yes, they do.

Are there pirates that do not act with honor.  Unfortunately yes.  What will happen to them?  From the ones I have encountered, they have failed miserably.  They usually end up not able to get any ransoms, and 1 vs 1 engagements and ultimately, they fail miserably.

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~ by J. Riley Castine on October 15, 2008.

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