EVE Online Goes Free-To-Play In November 

After more than a decade spent slowly building a tight-knit community of paying customers, science fiction MMO EVE Online is ready to open the free-to-play floodgates. With the introduction of Clone States in November's big update, everybody can play EVE Online for free. Unlike other massively multiplayer online games that launch to an explosion of players and settle over time, CCP's EVE Online has been steadily building up their community since it went live back in 2003. It was one of the first MMO games to allow players to pay for their subscriptions with in-game currency, a feature that's helped its famous economy flourish, while adding weight and drama to player interaction.

Come November, there'll be a lot more players to get dramatic with. The Clone States feature splits players into two different groups. Omega Clones are paying customers, with access to every skill and ship the game has to offer. New and returning players without a subscription will be Alpha Clones, limited to certain ships and able to learn only a select subset of skills determined by the in-game faction they join.

Otherwise, Alpha Clones will be free to roam the universe, engage in trade, communicate with and fly into battle alongside paying customers.

CCP's posted the above explainer video about the Clone States feature, as well as a lengthy blog post detailing the limitations being imposed upon free-to-payers. As for the why, the official word is it's all about building out the community further.

Part of our vision for the future of EVE has included more open access for some time, but with the interconnected nature of the game comes vulnerability. We knew that if the flood gates were opened in the wrong way, we could see anything from server meltdowns to the collapse of the EVE economy. Over time, our hardware has improved, code has been untangled (mostly!) and we've found a design we believe in.

Developer CCP will be flying the entire Council of Stellar Management player organisation to its headquarters next month to discuss the upcoming players and address player concerns over Clone States, of which there are likely to be many.


Comments

    I might actually try playing again. The learning curve was too steep for me initially so I kinda lost interest in paying.

    This game has been my white whale for years, I would be eager to try now of course but not without probably seeking out like-minded souls first.

      Yup. I got stuck in one of the starting missions. My ship got destroyed by some "bandit fighters". I couldn't do anything.

    I can see the carnage now. Hordes of new players eagerly rushing to play the game, to be met by grizzled 10 year veterans picking them off one by one as they leave the safety of the newbie zones.

    Fish in a barrel. Or maybe they'll stay goldfish and stick to the safety of their fishtanks.

    This game was my white whale as well. Tried it a range of times, just never got enough momentum to keep at it thanks to the steep learning curve. I dont mind learning curves, but this one was steeper than most.

    I've paid for EVE and played it for a while on 3 separate occasions. Every time I've played I end up stopping because it comes down to the fact that the game is slow paced and that makes it too boring for me to play. There was one stage where I was reading a book while mining. This highlighted to me that if the game isn't entertaining enough to hold my attention then why am I playing it?

    That's my experience with it anyway. Believe my brother is still playing it, he took over my account at some point to play that in addition t his own.

    Interesting. The skill restrictions will significantly limit what you can do in the game. All the interesting stuff is tech 2 and no cross faction equipment is a big handicap.
    But i guess for basic flying around and shooting stuff you have enough.
    edit: ok so mining frigate and level 1 industrial. Gonna be hard on Alphas to make money trading or mining.

    Pretty much what you would do with a free toon is: low-mid level missions, minor trading/mining/ratting, faction warfare, Red vs Blue pvp.
    Anything else is beyond the avaliable skillset.
    But hey, free is free. Might give it a shot.

    Last edited 01/09/16 9:59 am

    For any who are curious about trying it out, please just know that this is the cut-throat game a Libertarian paradise twisted by the fact that being a complete and utter cunt is not only the best way to get ahead, but is also the denizens' primary leisure activity.

    The most important rule in EVE Online is: "If you can't afford to replace it, don't fly it."
    And be prepared for that rule to assert itself within minutes of trying out an upgrade.

    If you find yourself asking how that makes it at all possible to get ahead, or is in any way fair, then you are not well-suited to this game.

    Last edited 01/09/16 10:10 am

      Yeah, my thinking as well. As I said above, its going to be fish in a barrel for the grizzled veterans that have survived that trial by fire mentality.

      I couldnt survive it, and as much as I want to get into EVE I know its not the game for me for that reason, but I wonder how many people will be going in asking "how bad is it really?" only to be smashed.

        I guarantee this is an argument being used to mollify any few bittervets who don't want all the new kids on their lawn.
        "Relax! More fodder!"

      One thing to consider tho is that mostly applies to low/null sec.
      That rule is still one you should follow, if only because once a ship blows up it's blown up for good, but in High Security space it's pretty rare to get ganked unless you are afk in a top end mining ship or flying a massive juicy freighter. I've played on and off and never died to a player in Hi-Sec.
      But the skill limits on these Alpha accounts mean that you will almost never be doing any of that risky stuff. No Freighters, no mining barges, no Null-sec PvP worthy ships.
      And if you want to go into low/null, there are big fat warnings that tell you that you are probably gonna die if you go in there.
      Besides, a Tech 1 cruiser is pretty cheap. Get lucky with a named rat in a belt and you can get enough isk to outfit a dozen easy.

      The more I think about it the more I think this is a great way for people to get into the game. Not just cause free but the limiting of the skills reduces the overwhelmingness of all the options, no real pressure to join a big corp and go into null and if you are not trying to get high end stuff, there is less need to grind.
      Just simple cheap ships and clear choices.

      I'm really keen for this actually. I can't justify paying to play it but hell yes I'll pay nothing to log on a toon every now and then and do some faction warfare or something.

      (Another good rule is: trust no-one. People will try to scam you and that's allowed, don't be silly.)

      Last edited 01/09/16 11:54 am

        That rule is still one you should follow, if only because once a ship blows up it's blown up for good, but in High Security space it's pretty rare to get ganked unless you are afk in a top end mining ship or flying a massive juicy freighter. I've played on and off and never died to a player in Hi-Sec.

        Depends on how close you are to certain trade routes. I had to shift region bases a few times due to my favourite ice fields being too close too close to suicide gankers. Lost a couple hulks to that, survived a dozen times that in attempts.

        Also, anyone thinking they're relatively safe in high-sec STILL needs to make sure they're keeping tabs on various community forums to be aware of the more enthusiastic and widespread Hulkageddon-style exercises.

        For the uninitiated: these events are a supposedly annual (for the official Goon-sponsored, publicized events) but really more frequent activity where bored omgzillionaires will actively toss away billions on suicide-bombing and bankrupting lower-wealth/risk players. The point of the activity is to wipe out newer/more casual players' entire balance sheets for the lulz, OR to profit from it by eliminating competition for their stockpiled wares and creating imbalances in supply and demand.

        That's the type of game this is. Be warned.

        Last edited 01/09/16 12:13 pm

    To be sure. Although free players wont be flying anything as expensive as a hulk. I'd still call hi-sec safer than a WoW pvp server, tho with more to lose.
    At the end of the day what i think players should know is that at it's core Eve is a pvp game. Sure there is pve to do but it's mostly a way to earn money to burn on shooting people.

    I can see myself having a whole mining fleet now :D

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