...I find I'm asking myself this more and more as I read the blogs of my fellow pilots in crime.
Many are getting in on the action in nullsec right now. A few have gone mercenary. So many of us are cleaning up our acts for various reasons. Is it a sea-change, the inevitable ebb and flow of ingame life? A year is a long time in Eve; hell, things can turn from black to white in less than a week in this game, alliances broken and remade quickly for the most unpredictable reasons.
I have to say, I think the ones who went where the fighting is are in better condition than the members of HellFleet; the urge to kill is being thwarted frustratingly by the need to keep security status up, and the moans and complaints are amusing.
Eve gameplay has changed a lot in the two and a half years since I paid for my account before my trial period ended. The average online population has doubled. More players means space is more crowded, less quiet. It becomes necessary to modify one's strategies and style in order to not be overwhelmed or left behind.
I don't think Eve piracy is dead, or even dying. It's changing, and that means the rest of us need to change. Some seem to be simply taking a break, getting new experience as a change of pace. Others continue as they have, forging friendships to deal with the more difficult situations.
To each and every one of my fellow pirates, or former pirates, I say this, with a wink and a knowing smile:
You'll be back.