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I got 2 friends to play dfuw during the promo and i bought them 20 fishing trawlers to get them to 25-30k PP. Those trawlers lasted for less then 3 days, then every single one was gone, taken by pirates. They told me their boats got entered on the open sea with no other ships around and they never had a chance to fight back because they got killed before they even were able to stop the boat.
Since I found that hard to believe I took a fishing trawler myself, went out to the open sea and guess what, I experienced exactly the same thing. Open sea, heavy fog, no other ships around. Suddenly some guy right behind me, killing me, then ganking me before I could stop the ship. Oops, seems they were right. This kind of stuff didn't happen when I started playing so I have no idea what's going on.
Imho what's happening should not be possible on this scale. I've been busy with real life for a while so wonder if there's any change that allows you to detect ships far out on the open sea or what the heck is going on? They were not traveling along the cost line or map border so camping the usual routes was not the reason.
Eat more fish!