Eve Online started allowing free players into the game last year, but it wasn’t truly free-to-play, since there were tight restrictions on what non-paying players – ‘Alpha Clones’ in the game’s parlance – could actually do in-game. Today, CCP have loosened many of those restrictions, greatly expanding what free players are capable of.
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Alpha Clones now have access to far more ship types, expanding the roster of playable vessels from 21 to 145. Battleships and battlecruisers are among the newly available ships for alphas, letting them make a far greater impact on the battles they participate in. Players are also getting access to Tech II weapons to help close the gap even more. To help support the expanded skill set, Alpha Clones can now earn new skills on a daily rather than monthly basis with Daily Alpha Injectors, adding 50,000 skill points to your character’s pool.
These changes were first announced at Eve Vegas 2017 a few months ago, and go live today alongside the Arms Race update. “Being an Alpha is often described more like an infinite trial period than a true free experience, and our data seems to back that up,” CCP say in a developers’ blog. “New players decide if the game is right for them very quickly, then either leave or subscribe rather than playing as an Alpha long term. Of course, more Omegas is fantastic but we think many of the players who leave might be willing to stay around if subscription didn’t feel like a requirement.”
The update also includes a new monument to players who took place in Project Discovery, as well as new balance and visual changes, which you can check out the full details of at the official site. To celebrate the new Alpha Clone access to bigger ships, an Arms Race event will run December 5-12, providing challenges with rewards centered around battleships and battlecruisers.