I have so many words, but I feel this bears repeating. Just because a team has a castle or 12 doesn’t automatically mean you will ever get a chance to retaliate against them, for a variety of reasons. Tell people how many have to be on a team to keep Atlas access and you’ll just end up with stronger, consolidated pirate teams. As for what qualifies as a pirate team not worthy of keeping access, I’ll be highly interested in that decision.
I am especially interested in why would PG risk reducing anyone’s spending, since people removed who were otherwise buying Atlas elite will stop, because, you know, no Atlas (same thing will happen if you prevent people from sniping castles just because they don’t own any).
My alt is on a small “pirate” team. She has Atlas elite. It’s an active account. I have zero interest in playing with 49 other people on that account, or dealing with politics, or anything else. And you know what? Plenty of teams have no problem counter-sniping me if they’re awake and paying attention. That is how they “get back” at me, simply by making me fail.
People saying there is no risk have obviously never come up against good counter-snipers. People who say it’s easy have perhaps never done it; it’s still a lot of work if you want to max a season as a pirate (well, perhaps easier in the sense that it’s more fun, and things that are fun feel easier). Every hit I make from that account I risk my troops just as I do if I’m hitting someone from my main account. More-so, even: I’m little, there’s usually no one to defend me, no big to back me if I get trapped by a giant, no one to help me get past the giant taunters that I have to trap my way past and then suicide my trapper on. That’s part of the fun, but, I mean, if pirating is really so great with soooo many amazing benefits that are equal to those you get from castles…why isn’t everyone a pirate?
Anyway, whether the pirates are large players swapping into a lower-rank teams to find targets or players who are living their 100% best pirate lives, controlling them will not fix anything at all about Atlas. Nothing. Pirates are an outcome of the much larger problems with Atlas that PG has not (and perhaps can not) fix. Trying to control them won’t help with stagnation, mega alliances, access issues, incentives to hit down, lack of incentives to conquer, or any of the other major issues that are what have turned Atlas into what it is today. Pirates caused none of these problems. Just because lots of people have decided to play the game of castles and it’s ruining the game for them, doesn’t mean they should force everyone else to be miserable with them. If you don’t like pirates (or any sniper for that matter) hitting your castles, get better at counter-sniping or make yourself less of a target.