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Eve Online is finally offering a free-to-play option

By midian182 ยท 7 replies
Nov 16, 2016
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  1. Even if you’ve never played Eve Online, you’ll have probably heard stories about it. The MMORPG space sim has been around for 13 years, during which time hundreds of thousands of players have signed up to its $15 per month subscription. But with the latest expansion, Ascension, Eve Online is finally offering a free-to-play option.

    The update splits players into two categories: those who wish to pay the subscription fee are classed as Omega clones, while anyone who wants to experience Eve for free are Alpha clones. As is the case with other MMOs that offer F2P and paid-for tiers, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic, there are some limitations on free accounts.

    While Alpha clones can still explore the massive Eve universe and join any of the numerous groups that occupy it, they only have access to Tech 1 frigates, destroyers, and cruisers, along with basic industry ships. Additionally, Alphas have slower training speeds than the Omegas; their skill queues are limited to 24 hours instead of being infinite; and players can only have one active account at a time.

    “Access to trading, industry, and exploration skills will allow Alpha pilots to explore the vast, mysterious universe, harvest its raw materials, fulfil their shrewd economic dreams, and construct the war machines that make Eve battles famous,” CCP says.

    One of the main complaints with Eve was how inaccessible the game proved for new players; throwing newbies in at the deep following such a brief introduction often saw them quit and never return. But Ascension introduces a tutorial story that should help newcomers get accustomed to the complex game mechanics. It lasts between 2 and 5 hours, and it’s designed so players can take a break in the middle.

    Ascension brings other changes to Eve, including new ships, NPC mining fleets, and graphical improvements . You can see the full patch notes here.

    Introducing a F2P option to Eve could see the game’s player numbers swell. The subscription was a big barrier for those wishing to take part in the MMO’s epic space battles. And with the addition of a story tutorial making it more accessible, there’s never been a better time to take that first step into Eve’s amazing universe.

    Permalink to story.

  2. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,178   +648

    Oh, they are so going to have bot problems now. People are going to set up bot accounts at the free tier, to harvest resources and produce ships, just to sell to their factions at favorable rates.
  3. I think eve ban's are IP wide...but I think to some extent, you're right.
  4. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +322

    #1 How difficult is EVE to get into for someone who's never played before?

    #2 What would I be missing out on if I do free-play instead of subscribed play?

    #3 Is this game worth the time to learn and play it?

    I already know my computer can handle it since it's a beast, but I'm just not sure if I want or need to try it.
  5. Jay Sumnter

    Jay Sumnter TS Rookie

    Don't bother starting unless you intend to subscribe if you like the game. The 'Free To Play' is really only a 'Free Trial' and almost everything game play wise is locked behind subscribing.
    captainload and cliffordcooley like this.
  6. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,178   +648

    CCP has always taken a very hands-off approach when it comes to their games. Generally, if it is possible to do, it is not disallowed. If CCP wants to stop a tactic, they tweak the game mechanics to stop it.

    I doubt they will ban bots, but I can see them setting up transaction limitations (amount, time/frequency, and/or unit count) on free accounts if it becomes a problem.
    wastedkill likes this.
  7. captainload

    captainload TS Member Posts: 26   +23

    1# Incredibly difficult, as in "don't bother". You'll get nowhere without joining a corporation..and anyone can declare war on your corporation at any time and completely stop you from playing the game.

    #2 About 95% of all content.

    #3 No. The game is designed from the bottom up to empower griefers. You'll spend all your time being a pinata for bigger fish, unless you manage to join one of the griefing alliances.
  8. TVPMike

    TVPMike TS Rookie

    Eve isn't difficult, it just takes a lot of time to play. Even though some of the endgame stuff may look confusing - you'll have hundreds of hours to get used to it. F2P looks like it's going to be a little bit slower progression and have a ceiling where to access more powerful options, you'll have to pay. The game is a massive time sync. If you like the idea of a large space/universe and have the free time and want to devote it into a game, then Eve may be for you. If you've never played an MMO before, you probably aren't going to like it or spend enough time playing it to actually progress.

    It sounds like F2P will be a nice way to try the 2-5 hour introduction campaign, play the game a little bit afterwards and if you enjoy it and want to continue playing, pay the monthly subscription.

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