One of the activities you can enjoy while playing Vendetta is pirating. Pirating is an accepted aspect of Vendetta. Pirating people in a nations space is not wise, as this will cause your standing to plummet. Pirating happens most often in sectors that have a wormhole but don't have a station. When you partake in pirating, you need to consider what ships to pirate, and what ship to pirate in.
Going on Account
First off, pirating is far from easy in Vendetta. However, it has to be one of the most fun occupations in VO. Here are some tips to getting started that should help out you young land lubbers wantin' to test yer mettle. So without any further ado... Arr!
First off, you need to decide what you want to do.
- Do you want to be a purist pirate, who only takes cargo and kills unarmed traders?
- Do you want to be more of a modern pirate, who takes bribes to let traders pass with their cargo intact?
- Or, will you be a hybrid of both?
Many of the pirates in VO are a mix of both. We make our money mostly from taking money from traders and offering them safe passage. For those that don't pay, we kill them and take their cargo. Keep in mind that it is very hard to make any money as a pirate, so it helps to have something of a plan. Mine is something like this.
- Never pirate a trader more than once in one log in. This keeps those greedy traders from feeling like you are taking all their money and helps make sure they pay you next time.
- Make a funny hail message. This just helps make you stand out from the n00b in a bus with an eye patch and a bird who has a funny dye job.
- Never charge more than the ship and/or cargo is worth. I used to have multiple hail messages for different ships. My policy was to make my price around 5k less than what the ship was worth. So, for a Centaur, I would charge around 25k, whereas a Warthog would be around 15k. Just get a feel for it. If more than 1 out of every 10 people you see are running rather than paying, you may want to think about lowering your price.
- Never go back on a deal. You're telling people who already think you are scum that if they give you money you will let them live. They have no guarantee you will, so you need to build up a rep. So if they ask all their little trader buddies (traders are cliquey, and due to them being so rich they have many "friends") if you are good for your word, they will get a yes back and then they'll pay instead of run.
- Find a way to make your name stand out. You have some pirates who do this by killing everything, kicking dogs, and biting flowers. These guys are often hated and almost never make any money. (Though there is something to be said for being able to log in and kill anything you want and then make the people you killed cry by peeing on their cats.) Then you have pirates that are kinda nice; these guys are often thought of with a warm fuzzy feeling, and people like to thank them for making the game fun. Then, you got guys like me who are known for doing anything for money. Which ends up leading me away from piracy and into other fields of work.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have fun with it and remember it's just a game. Don't you ever forget: without pirates, there will never be a need for human traders, as any robotics man can make a bot who will haul cargo from point A to point B. But only a human will dare try to take on a pirate. So remember: you're doing it to help humans keep their jobs. -Borb, Pirate, Merc, and BLAK council member.
Ships to Pirate
There are many ships in the world of Vendetta. Some are multi-purposed, some made for fighting, and some made to transport cargo. The ships you want to pirate are, of course, the transport classes. There are several transport ships out there and aspects of them that need to be kept in mind when pirating. But beware, when a transport vessel has at least one large port, there is the possibility of a gatling turret or mines. There are several types of mines out there that can, and most likely will come your way eventually.
- A proximity mine is your basic mine. It will sit in space happily until its short range sensors detect something, at which point it will detonate itself, causing your ship to be damaged and pushed off course. The range of its sensors is quite short, about 80 meters.
- A concussion mine is never used for damaging a player, as it causes 0 damage. Instead, the concussion mine will, when detonated, exert a very large amount of force on all ships within the blast radius, causing the ships to be thrown off course. The force exerted is the same on all ships, except ships with more mass will take longer to recover from it.
- A lightning mine is very dangerous and can kill ships who decide to hang around it. The lightning mine is equipped with a large battery and much more sophisticated sensors than the other mines. The sensors are able to determine whether or not ships within range are hostile. The lightning mine utilizes a weapon that causes pure energy to arc from itself to an enemy ship at a rate of 1000 damage per second and will keep firing until the ship is out of range, the mine is destroyed, or the mine's energy is depleted and self-destructs. The lightning mine is somewhat easier to spot than proximity and concussion mines due to the electrical arcs that surround it.
First, we have the Atlas, this is the first transport class ship that players get access to. The main variant can contain 32 cargo and other variants can hold up to 38. The Atlas is outfitted with one small weapon port and one large weapon port. There really is not much to say about the Atlas except that it is a low level trading vessel and fairly easy prey, there are much bigger space fish to fry. But the Atlas X is a hell of a pirate ship in the right hands .. You get the much needed speed, and have and good punch if ya operate with sunflare and Nau 2.. Fit with a fast or ultra charge.. Its a joy to pirate in with its hold size of cargo 38.
The next ship is the Centaur, this transport vessel can hold 48 units of cargo and the other variants can hold up to 50 units of cargo. The Centaur is constructed with one small port and two large ports, allowing it to launch two mines at once. A popular configuration with transport vessels that have two or more large weapon ports is to launch a concussion mine to get you disorientated and then to launch chaos or locust Swarms.
The third transport ship is the Marauder, one of the best transport ships that retain agility. The standard Marauder is no better than the Centaur, except for its superior agility. Of course, there are other variants of the Marauder that increase its cargo space up to 60. Most variants are outfitted with three small ports, but there is one variant, the Tunguska Mineral Marauder, that is outfitted with one small port and two large ports and is designed for mining. This variant is also the one with the largest cargo capacity of the Marauder class transports. The Marauder can hold its own in battle when piloted by the right people, so be sure you aren't attacking a person who is known for their superior skill in fighting with a heavy ship.
The last transport ship is the appropriately named Behemoth. This ship is indeed a huge transport with space for 120 cargo units - it can barely fit into a dock. This transport class is an easy-to-hit target, but it has a very thick hull which can take large amounts of damage. The Behemoth does not come with superior weapons capacity, as all of its space has been dedicated to its massive cargo holds, thick armor, and very powerful engines. In fact, its capacity for weaponry is lower than the Centaur, as it comes with only two large ports. Destroying this ship without a partner has proven quite difficult, as its huge amounts of armor allow it to take considerable amounts of damage while its very efficient engines can be powered indefinitely by a Fast Charge Battery as it reaches top speed and flees the sector.
It is possible to take out the Behemoth by yourself though; one tactic has proven fairly effective. This tactic uses a Warthog class attack ship, in the large port goes a jackhammer (or screamer) class rocket launcher and the small port has a Neutron MkII (preferably MkIII). You use the rocket launcher to knock the Behemoth off course. It will need to drop out of turbo in order to readjust, and this is when you use your Neutron blaster to attack it. When it is about ready to turbo again, fire another rocket, rinse and repeat until desired effect is obtained.
| Calder's pirating tips.
Ah, don't ye' be listenin to Shape mateys. Use teh prom equiped like I been tellin ye!
Ships to Pirate With
While we have covered what ships to beat up like a piñata, we have yet to cover which ships to beat them up with. You can pirate in any ship, as long as it has a weapon port. Instead of going over every ship, we will go over the highlights of the ships.
The Vulture is one of the most popular fighter class ships used. Due to its thin design, it makes for a very good dodger. There are many variants that are far superior to the basic one. Most notable of the variants is the Corvus Vulturius. This ship is one of the fastest fighters when in turbo, up to 220m/s, and 75m/s without turbo. The Vulturius makes a great ship for chasing down ships that are running. Of course this high speed comes at a cost. While in turbo, the Vulturius will deplete the battery very quickly. All variants of the Vulture come equipped with two small weapon ports, which are usually equipped with Neutron or Gauss cannons, depending on whether you want quantity over accuracy, or accuracy over quantity.
| Borb's pirating tips.
The Vulture is a great ship to use due to it's very slim profile and high armor. However, this comes at a cost of added mass. It helps greatly to pick weapons that reflect this fact. Some people like to stick with rather good results such as TPG Sparrows on Vults. Another idea is to have a mix of a powerful gun like a Neutron and a gun with low mass like the TPG Sparrows. Also due to the good auto aim of Gauss, many have found dual Gauss to be very effective on Vults. Experiment heavily with this ship as you can get it anywhere and will most likely be flying it a lot in your career as a Pirate.
| Shape's pirating tips.
For single sector chases, try the Vulture mk III with a Heavy Battery, it can run all day long, has a decent top speed (220 m/s) and with a pair of Neutron Blasters, is fully capable of making a dent in even the most armored of ships.
If you're looking to chase, there's really only one other variant whose speed/drain can make it a good chaser. The Serco Guardian Vulture is this baby. With some of the nicest thrust on a light fighter, this is a beauty to chase and fight with. Take it for a test drive and leave all those silly Centurion pilots in your jetwash.
The lower level variants of the Centurion are not very good for pirating. Fortunately, there are some special variants, most notably the Rev C from Orion Heavy Manufacturing and the IBG from the Itani. These ships are very light and very agile making them perfect fighters. I recommend using one in conjunction with a Hog or even another Cent for maximum effect. Good Cent pilots have been known to take on groups of up to 5 people at once and come out alive. Common configurations are dual neutron mkIII, or Axia positrons. Although some will swear by dual gauss, find out what works for you as this is a very useful ship in the right hands.
The Warthog is very good for destroying the heavier transport ships. Simply place a rocket launcher into either the small weapon port or the large weapon port and your energy weapon of choice in the other weapon port. You should, of course, never use the basic variant and explore the other options the universe has to offer. If you can fight quite well, then you should use the cargo transport or mining variants, as these will let you take back more of your goods from the remains of the ship. Also keep in mind, turbo speed and the turbo's energy consumption, you want to be able to catch your prey, but you also want to be able to attack it.
Surprise! The Behemoth is good for pirating. When hunting down a Behemoth, having a partner along in a Behemoth is quite useful. He can add support fire and, when the enemy Behemoth explodes, he can pick up all the cargo and split the profit.
With the newer addition of drain to many lighter ships, the Valkyrie (Valk) is fast becoming the mark of pro pirates. Known for a long time as more of a status symbol than anything else (due to the fact that it took such high levels to get it), it was long overlooked as a good fighter ship due to its shape which can make it easy to hit.
That was all changed when an unknown pirate started using it to chase down Behemoths (Moths). It was then discovered that its low drain coupled with its three small ports made it ideal for running down traders who just wanted to get to the next port alive.
Common configurations are:
Three sunflares - due to the flares not using any energy this ship is made for running down infi-boost ships and stopping them.
One Sunflare and two gauss (or two flare one gauss) - this ship is more of a fighter used to run down and then pummel fleeing ships. Its rockets are used to cause the fleeing ship to tumble around then it closes in and uses its gauss(es) to inflict heavy damage before the trader can recover.
Two ion or phase and one gauss (or one ion or phase and two neutrons 1-3) - this ship is often used in conjunction with the first tri-sun valk to great effect. The tri-sun will hit the target and this ship will then fly in close and inflict damage before the trader can regain his bearings. Or this ship will engage the trader and the tri-sun will fly around behind the trader filling him full of rockets.
| Borb's pirating tips.
It often helps if you are using any kind of rockets with a buddy to make sure you are of the same nation and both have good faction. Rockets tend to not care if you are friend or foe.
The Prometheus is a great ship for committing acts of piracy. The best version for this act is the MKII. It is slower then the SCP, but it's large cargo hold allows you to pick up any extra goodies you find laying in the wake of your destruction. The common outfitting of this ship is to have 2 Sunflares and one Gatling Turret. Used right, this ship can cause massive damage to trade lanes.
| Shape's pirating tips.
If you want to use this ship for piracy, then you need to be ready to do all your piracy in a 3 second window, AKA when they are entering or emerging from the wormhole. I recommend the layout of an old friend, Amarus. Amarus used the Prometheus back BEFORE it was cool. His particular favorite layout for piracy/bounty-hunting was the tri-rocket. This tended to involve a pair of Sunflare and Jackhammer/Screamer Rockets. If it gets the drop on you, its over. 1 million creds to the person that can reproduce his death spiral (5 light fighters dead in a manner of seconds).
Key to making this work is vigilance. So make sure to use verbose! What's that you say? Never heard of it? Well, try /verbose 2, when you want to turn it off, /verbose 0. It will let you know when players enter the sector without having to use the sector list. In fact, it will give you around 2 seconds prior knowledge. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR SECTORS WITH LARGE CONVOYS OR STATIONS.
| Calder's Prom tips.
I can't call 'em pirating tips since I know nothing what-so-ever about pirating in any other ship, but when it comes to the Prometheus, I'm proud to say I know my stuff. Using two sunflares, (preferably chain-linked,) for stunning and damage along with a Mega-Positron Blaster is a much better combination than the gatling turret. A gatling turret cannot even begin to hurt a moth before it begins running, but hammering 4800 damage a second into a ship while stunning it with rockets HURTS! AND, if need be, you can keep up for more than 11 seconds.
Often used as a poor man's Valk, the Marauder is a great Pirate ship. Its speed and large cargo hold allow for many great options. The fact that it can be bought almost anywhere makes it almost as available as the Vult, meaning you will most likely fly it at least once in your career. Common configurations are similar to the ones used with the Valk.
| Borb's pirating tips.
Keep in mind that the Maurauder loses almost all maneuverability once it gets any cargo in its hold so make sure you are reasonably safe before you load it up.
No, we're not crazy! The Atlas, when used right, makes a very good pirate ship - most notably the Atlas TPG X. Due to the large cargo space, this is a very good looting ship for use against traders or miners. The fact that it can hold a Large port weapon is a very nice plus. Common configurations are a Mega Positron Blaster and a Neutron 1-3. Or in the configuration known as the Atlas Of Doom, a Gatling Turret and a Sunflare.
| Borb's pirating tips.
This is a great and very flexible little ship that can be likened to a Hog. Use it as a support ship in conjunction with a fighter or even a heavy ship and you will be on your way to hoarding up massive amounts of cargo.
The Hornet, one of the oldest ships, can be a a very powerful pirate ship. Due to the high amount of weaponary this ship can carry, the trading enemy can be destroyed in no time. Especially the Orion Hornet Convoy Guardian (produced by Orion Heavy Manufacturing) is a great and fast platform for the act of pirating. Equipped with four Advanced Railguns and a Heavy Powercell, the trader can be destroyed by only two hits.
This is a growing list of terms used both historically and internally to Vendetta Online. Feel free to add your favorite Pirate terminology so that others may use, or at the least, understand what you are saying as you take there goods.
|Pirate||A robber. Any act of theft while in space is piracy in the most general sense.|
|Privateer||A privateer is a pilot with a "letter of marque" (see below) from a governement. This letter "allows" the sailor to plunder any ship of a given enemy nation. Technically, a privateer was a self employed soldier paid only by what he plundered from an enemy. In this, a privateer was supposed to be above being tried for piracy. Tell that to Cap'n Kidd. Most often, privateers were a higher class of criminal, though many turned plain pirate before all was said and done.|
|Corsair||A corsair is a pilot with a "letter of marque" (see below) from a VPR, TGFT or any other guild. This letter "allows" the pilot to destroy any unguilded or unaligned vessel and collect taxes from them without any persecutions from letter-issued guild. In exchange, corsair doesn't attack or grief members of guild he has agreement with.|
|To Go on Account||A pleasant term used by pirates to describe the act of turning pirate. The basic idea was that a pirate was more "freelance" and thus was, more or less, going into business for himself.|
|"Avast Ye!"||A hailing phrase to indicate that the hailed must "stop" and give attention.|
|Landlubber||A term given to one fond of planets as opposed to space. The term doesn't derive from "land lover" but rather from the root of "lubber" which means clumsy or uncoordinated. Thus, a landlubber is one who is awkward in space due to familiarity with the land. Of course, this terms was used to insult the abilities of any pilot in space.|
|Davy Jones's Locker||A fictional place at the bottom of the ocean. In short, a term meaning death. Davey Jones was said to sink every ship he ever over took, and thus, the watery grave that awaited all who were sunk by him was given his name. To die at sea is to go to "Davey Jones's Locker".|
|Walk the Plank||Perhaps more famous in story than historically practiced, walking the plank was the act of being forced off a ship by pirates (as punishment or torture) into the watery grave below. History suggests that this might have happened once that can be vaguely documented, but it is etched in the image of the pirates for its clearly dastardly content.|
|Swing the Lead||The Lead was a weight at the bottom of a line that gave pilots a way to measure depth when near land. To Swing the Lead was considered a simple job, and thus came to represent one who is avoiding work or taking the easy work over the hard. In today's terms, one who swings the lead is a slacker.|
|Keelhaul||Another term made famous by pirates. This is the act of throwing a man overboard, tied to a rope that goes beneath the ship, and then dragging him from one side to the other and hauling him out. Besides the torment of being dragged under water, this would drag the victim across the barnacle-studded ship's hull and cause great pain and injury. This was a serious punishment and not administered lightly.|
|Yellow Jack||Like any "jack" or flag, the yellow jack was used to indicate a particular disposition of a ship. In this case the yellow was to signify the yellow fever. A yellow flag flying meant that there was illness aboard. Often this was used to trick pirates away from potential targets.|
|Take a Caulk||On deck of a ship, between planks, was a thick caulk of black tar and rope to keep water from between decks. This term came to mean to "take a nap" either because pilots who slept on deck ended up with black lines across their backs or simply because pilots laying down on deck were as horizontal as the caulk of the deck itself.|
|Shiver me Timbers||This term was used to express shock or surprise. The idea of timbers shivering comes from the vibration set up in the mast (timbers) by either running aground or a solid hit from a larger gun. The suggestion is that something has shaken the speaker from a state of less awareness.|
|Black Spot||Tipping the black spot was a way pirates gave a death threat. As in the novel, Treasure Island, a paper was marked with a black smudge on one side and often a message on the other to make the threat specific.|
|Jolly Boat||A light boat carried at the stern of a larger sailing ship. This (probably) Danish Yawl (jol), proved better at high sea when a larger ship could harldy carry any sail.|
|Long Boat||The largest boat carried by another ship. This was used to move larger loads, often anchors, chains, or ropes. In the case of pirates, the longboats were used to transport the bulk of heavier treasures.|
|Quarter||Deriving from the idea of "shelter", quarter was given when mercy was offered by the pirates. To give no quarter was to indicate that none would be spared. Quarter was often the prize given to an honourable loser in a pirate fight. If enraged, however, a pirate would deprive the loser any such luxury.|
|Letter of Marque||A document given to a pilot (privateer) giving him amnesty from piracy laws as long as the ships plundered were of an enemy nation. A large portion of the pirates began as privateers, with this symbol of legitimacy. Still, the earnings of a privateer were significantly better than any given soldier at sea in any Navy.|
|Source of some of these terms | Other good sources.|
Avoiding and Escaping Pirates
The easiest way is paying the pirates. Pirates honor SHOULD always be, only one hunt for one prey. If you pay, you usually get safe passage for the rest of the day. If you don't you can be shot down. So calculate your ship and cargo value. Is it worth paying the fee with your cargo?
Then you have the griefers who only hunt for the kills. You can't do much about those guys, besides battle with them. Or call for support from the Viper, who you can call for any pirates.
For information on avoiding and escaping pirates, visit the [VPR]pedia, which can be found here.