CCP Games To Test Free-To-Play Option For 'EVE Online,' With Clone States

For years, EVE Online captivated gamers with its epic-sized battles and the vast amounts of in-game currency won and lost by a select few of the so-called “capsuleers," or players. As one of the most popular massive multiplayer online (MMO) games, it requires a paid subscription in order to get the full experience. However, that will change in November when CCP Games will try out a free-to-play version of the game.

When you die in EVE Online, you are “resurrected” as a clone that has the same skills and abilities as your previous body. These skills are used to fly specific ships, use special weapons and excel at a specific role in the EVE Online universe. With the new free-to-play approach, you will be in one of two “Clone States.” If you have a paid subscription plan, you are in an Omega Clone State where you retain all your obtained skills and have access to the entire skill tree. If you don’t want to pay for the subscription, you are in an Alpha Clone State. At this level, you have limited access to the game’s skill tree, so most of the game’s advanced techniques are unavailable to you. In addition, you have access only to your faction’s ships and weapons compared to Omega Clone players that can learn ship and weapons skills from every faction in the game.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in most of the game’s activities. At the Alpha Clone level, you can train to fly Frigates, Destroyers and Cruisers at the “tech one” level, so you can contribute in combat, run missions or mine resources like a paid subscriber. The time it takes to learn skill is also reduced in the Alpha Clone state so that you can quickly join in group fights or mining expeditions. For a full list of the skills available to Alpha Clone players, you can check out the studio’s latest developer blog.

The free-to-play approach is uncharted territory for CCP Games. Since its initial release in 2003, the game thrived due to its large subscriber base. However, the studio noted that the subscription prices were also a main reason why fans stopped playing the game after a while. The Clone States approach, then, is a way for those veterans to come back while also attracting a new group of players who want to try EVE Online for the first time.

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NameEVE Online
TypeSci-Fi, Massive Multiplayer Online
DeveloperCCP Games
PublisherCCP Games
PlatformsPC, Mac
Where To BuyEVE OnlineSteam
  • DeadlyDays
    I might resub to ensure new players are properly hazed. we all gotz to do our part.
  • PsyaNyde
    This will not bring veterans back @ all, what would be the point? all our existing chars are highly skilled with a plethora of existing ships. All this is good for is new 'highly limited' chars, and without the ability to use our existing chars that we put years of time and money into I don't think most vets will come back @ all.
  • JimmiG
    Why pay to play with real idiots when you can play with artificial intelligence in a single player game?
  • baseline
    EVE is finally dying and you know what it deserves to die. CCP Games has made so many massive mistakes and the game has been riddled with scandals involving the devs for years that they are now down to a free to play state that just signals the end is near.
  • -Fran-
    "(...) At this level, you have limited access to the game’s skill tree, so most of the game’s advanced techniques are unavailable to you (...)".

    That is not "Free to Play", but "Pay to Win" model. The "Free to Play" model in MMOs does not hinder the "free" player in any way against a "paying" player. If you put different skill trees for one or the other, that effectively changes the balance, making it a "pay to win" model.

    I don't know if CCP is trolling the world with this idea or just trying to make a (bad) joke, but if they're serious they'll fail so hard.

  • JakeWearingKhakis
    So what they MEANT to say was "Free Trial"?
  • Eximo
    Well the old free trial was 15 days with access to everything. But since skills in the game are time based it was very limited.

    They have made some massive blunders. Devs are people and they make errors in judgement.

    They lost me when they disrupted the entire system by introducing faction warfare bur prevented alliances from joining. Caused so many groups to splinter. Couple of patches later and they enabled it.
  • surphninja
    Does it come with an Excel license? Because you'll need that, too.