So, I recently started playing EVE Online.
Despite the name of this post, I haven't resorted to piracy yet. I'm not sure that I will.
It strikes me as a terribly inefficient way to make money. I can make 10x as much money by being a 'carebear' than I can by taking it from other carebears. Missions are a decent source of income, but the real money is to be made in the market by capitalizing on the one thing that every MMO participant has plenty of - laziness.
MMOs are strange. They force a bunch of lazy fatassess to grind their way up a ladder for the purpose of bragging to other people climbing the same ladder about their position on the ladder and speed at which they reached it. In EVE, this is especially weird since one of the primary positions on this ladder is pure longevity. If you've been a subscriber for longer, you have more skills. Period. Full Stop. End of Statement.
There is seemingly no way to EVER match a character many months, let alone years older than you. Sure, choice of where to put your training time, intelligent choice of what to train (i.e. train the learning skills first people - but you should know that by now), and profession choice as you create your toon can make a big difference, but if I'm two months old and I'm in a battlecruiser, odds are pretty good that I'm dead at the fitting screen.
So, it would seem that unless I want to be a frigate pirate and max out the frigate skills, it'll be many, many months before I'm an effective PvP player. In fact, using the tools at my disposal, and knowing what I need to have to be an effective PvP player in, say, a Battlecruiser, I can say with no doubt at all that I'll need at least 71 days, 4 hours, 31 minutes and 25 seconds to complete this kind of training.
Granted, I started with a Trade build, and I can now conduct 57 simultaneous buy/sell orders from anywhere within a region, which would probably take a pure PvP toon 71 days, 4 hours, 29 minutes, and 43 seconds to train into, but I still contend that I make way more money doing what I do than he does.
So - why should I be a pirate?
Well, the rush, that's why.