Let me start by saying that I am not suggesting choosing to play as a “pirate” or “ganker” is inherently evil.
I personally do not choose to play this role, I choose peaceful activities such as Fuel Rat’ing or exploring.
That being said, there is merit to the argument that piracy does not carry with it the appropriate risk (commensurate to reward).
As we know, “re-buy” in game is narratively justified as a sort of insurance deductible. You pay a very small portion of your total ship value to magically produce another exact copy at a new station upon destruction.
Perhaps this has been proposed before but what if there were a subtle change to your insurance “re-buy”— if you are the aggressor, if you fire the first shot as a pirate, you no longer can rebuy with insurance. You must pay the full value of your ship upon destruction.
I see this doing two things: 1) it naturally provides a moments pause when engaging in wanton destruction (is this worth the risk?) 2) it would motivate bands of pirates in smaller less expensive ships (more in line with real piracy) instead of hyper engineered murder machines.
Whether or not engineering bonuses reset is up for debate.