For the future: Pirate Faction

Looking forward to the future when the Thargoids and Guardians are sorted out, I think it would be interesting to create an official Pirate faction.

From a lore standpoint, there was a subset of the population dissatisfied with the laws of the Federation, Empire, and even the Alliance. They set out to capture their own freedom in a way that even living in an anarchy system wouldn't allow, and they didn't want to be part of the Colonia migration with the masses. Working in secret, they constructed a series of asteroid bases in a series of systems roughly 400 light years from the bubble, away from the Thargoids, away from the Road to Colonia, but somewhere they could live freely. Call the first base "Nassau Hub", for instance.

These pirates don't necessarily operate under a combined flag - certainly they don't all think the same and there are several pirate sub-factions fighting to have their way be the One True Way. They do all, however, live in contempt of and feed off of the major governments.

Notable components:
1) Systems near that edge of space will occasionally come under pirate attack. This can take the form of blockades. (I would love to see a ship larger than an Anaconda but smaller than a Capital Ship be NPC-only and help enforce that blockade.) When a station is blockaded, normal security ships aren't present. Instead, it's pirate ships flying around the station, and ALL traffic is KOS.
  • Missions will be given at nearby systems and starports to 1) try to clear the blockade or 2) run the blockade to provide necessary supplies.
  • Blockade running is perfect for wing missions, as you can have fighter escorts draw off the opposition while you try to run a trading ship through. Can also be done single-player.
  • While blockaded, goods fetch more when sold and there are more outgoing passenger missions. However, as pointed out, it's very dangerous.
2) This could introduce a few new varieties of current ships:
  • The pirates have a few pirate ships that could be player purchased if faction reputation or some other component is met. These would just be slightly modified versions of existing ships: an Asp Buccaneer, for instance, which might be between the Asp Scout and the Asp Explorer. Add a third medium hardpoint to the Asp Scout, give it the Class 5 Powerplant, FSD, and Thrusters from the Explorer, but keep the internals of the scout. Give it a starting cost of 4.5 million credits - it could be an interesting alternative.
  • The pirates could also have Vulture Raider, with one fewer utility spots, an extra medium hardpoint, one fewer internal modules, and no change to power.
  • We could also get the Type-8 Blockade Runner. Like the Type-10 Defender to the Type-9, we start with a Type 7. Add a restricted internal. Change it to 1 medium hardpoint facing forward, but four small hardpoints, two on each side (relative to the pilot) with little convergence. (Think turrets!) Make it faster (though still as sluggish to turn.) Price this similarly at 25 million credits and it could be a fun alternative.
3) Possibly, Pirate faction reputation could be mutually exclusive with Alliance, Federation, and Imperial reputation. That is, if you're gaining faction reputation with them, your ranks/reputation with the other factions diminish (and vice versa). You can pick a side, you can change sides, but you can't have both at the same time.

Something like this could enhance the feel of the galaxy while giving players more options and more choices as to how to play.
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