As a pirate on my alt, I can say that:
A. If I go after someone in space, they can outrun me due to no grav well pulsing and such.
B. If I go after someone on a planet on foot, they can simply log. Even if I have already hit them once, they can still log.
C. If I go after someone on a planet in a ship, there are trade cities, and still chasing is difficult to impossible.
D. The only way combat occurs is if people think they can take you, and aggressively fight back. If someone chooses not to fight back and to merely move away if they are in a ship or log, I can’t chase them.
E. I can’t get more SLXP without doing trade runs, and fitting stickies on smaller combat ships is difficult.
Ways this issue could be potentially solved:
A. Combat NPC’s (reasoning is provided in the thread: Bring back combat npc ) This issue has gotten bad. I have literally hit people with a shot from an auto on my ship, and they just log out before another can hit them. This is why on foot pirating is no longer a viable option.
B. Grav well pulsing, or some way to stop trade ships from running and escaping easily. This is CRUCIAL as it is nearly impossible to chase someone (despite what Silver will say). Matching someone’s cruise speed is impossible, and the only way to get someone is to get close before they realize it and don’t give them time to cruise. When this happens, people are forced to move using DC, which provides opportunity for chasing. Now, you can’t actually get close enough to make ship combat ensue if the player has any experience at watching the map or simply looking at the contacts sidebar. This is why in ship pirating is no longer a viable option.
C. SLXP from ship kills, to encourage pirating and cause more combat. This alone won’t fix the issue, but combined with one or both of the options above this will encourage some combat.
Conclusion: I have been playing on SL for awhile now. When pirating died down, I had no more reason to play on my main, which I like to play as a privateer. When I felt like playing as a pirate, I began using my alt and played in Ad Finem as well as now in AltBandits. I feel like it’s not even worth the time most days now to play on my alt pirating. I can spend 15 minutes navigating across the system and into a planet, and another 15 strafing and dodging heavy turrets to finally get through an area shield on a bdp, and the person just logs. The ONLY way pirating can now occur is if the people being attacked get in a ship and fight back. If they actually aggressively think they can beat a pirate, they will often fight to the death. As thus, without any changes being made to the server, trade runs will become somewhat repetitive and player retention will only worsen, as pirating decreases too.