I admit I exaggerated now that I learned more how to deal with the pirates or diplomacy expansion in general. Like I said before, much of what I found strange was them beating all good ships considering 1vs1, giving the sensation of the cheat. But I'm often amazed by sins, its one of the most balanced games I ever saw and best AI for the npc and UI displays. Most of the many faction skills are so complex and still works flawlessly.
The subject is the pirates. There is much more challenge to it so now we need to find out the best paths of the faction we like, which is the point. And in lesser difficulties there can be the pirates still to be troublesome. Anyone new to the game, with giving time you learn to measure the time and hear the faction warning about the bounties. That would pass freely to me without giving attention before diplomacy, but I have been playing and now I'm always focused when the factions says its both warnings about the 'bounty have been increased on me' and also 'pirates will depart', both before they go out and the bounty ends.
The pirates are complicated in the beggining if they come after you but in late game they arent so much, tough they still can break maximum defenses (all capacity used), but I never got used to using mines (rarely starbases too) because of playing original sins to much (still have to remember myself to try those and even pacts now), so with more than the basic defense slots its of course possible tough still expensive in any way.
But also, there must be a open mind about the fact that the pirates can help. I played against hard AIs and didnt got the pirates on me in start and middle of the game, always being possible to counter the bounty. But that is much due to the fact that before hand I tryed to prioritize more the economy exacly because of the pirates now, which is basic to avoid them especialy in the beggining. And they can help the player but it may look subtle depending on the AI level. But against harder AI's what I think they still do, is lessen their planetary conquest (colonization phase) a bit which is very nice. Its not a big problem for those AIs to loose some ships (especialy from the pirates because their fleet looks small later game, doesnt seem to increase in number) but its like I said before, holds them some and what the player spents is very worthwhile since the bidding wont go to far against the AI. They can also delay some factions from attacking you, and mainly for the player time is progress.
Pirates can still be nice as they are but some different strategies from before diplomacy might be needed, not to mention some detachment from what we used to conceive the pirates. Which simply means that the game just came out a couple of days ago lol, so this topic is good because we can discuss, share some hints and yell at the pirates some. I still hate them by the way, I'm usually the only one giving them profits, but as said, they can surely do some dirty work for you which is nice when in a challanged match.