EVE Online is one of the longest running online games in recent history. Some players spend more effort in this game than at any paying job. However, for those that aren’t interested in paying a monthly subscription fee, CCP Games has been offering a free-to-play model for a while now. Alpha Clones, as free-to-play gamers are known as, get to enjoy a large portion of the game free of charge. There are, however, some limitations on this freedom. That’s about to change drastically this December.
At EVE Vegas, Steven Clark of CCP has announced that Alpha Clones will get access to many new technologies, ships, and weapons in December.
“We want to bring Alphas a little closer to their Omega [paying players] counterparts in terms of strength.”
Players will gain access to Tech 2 weapons and variants, which will allow them to have more choices on the battlefield than ever before. This includes small and medium weapons that are essential for many fleets.
Previously restricted to smaller vessels, Alpha Clones will be able to pilot Battleships and Battlecruisers. This will allow them to become more effective parts of the many groups that have formed in EVE Online.
Free-to-play gamers will also be able to train skills from any of the empires in the EVE universe, instead of being limited to a single empire’s skill tree. CCP Games is also raising the skill point limit from just under 5 million to a little over 20 million.
This new influx of skill points doesn’t come entirely free, but still doesn’t require a subscription. Gamers can purchase skill points or temporarily subscribe, raise their skill points to the new 20 million limit, and then cancel their subscription without fear of losing any progress.
Of course, Omega Clones are still advantaged in many areas of the game, especially the most complex ships. However, these changes should encourage Alpha Clones to stick around longer after hitting the free-to-play ceiling.
However you play EVE Online, as a subscriber or for free, be prepared to invest many hours into this game. We also suggest a free spreadsheets to help you manage the huge variety of skills and tech.