CCP Games will apply the massive change in November's patch
CCP Games is adding a free gameplay option to the legendary MMORPG EVE Online in an upcoming update this November. Members of the development team made the announcement through a blog post on the official community site and a YouTube video introducing the new features on August 31.
The announcement comes over 13 years after the initial release of the game back in 2003. Despite basing the entire game system in monthly subscription fees, CCP Games has seen consistent growth in EVE’s player base over the span of a decade.
The Icelandic developers seek to keep growing with their next expansion as the massive in-game galaxy becomes freely available in November. EVE will soon expand even more with an upcoming side-title for the PS VR, as the space shooter EVE: Valkyrie launches this October.
EVE Online introduces the ‘Clone States’
CCP Games developers stated they had to have extreme care and deep understanding of the game’s nature to introduce such a massive change to the EVE universe. Thus, the method they figured out to make the game free for everyone was simply a natural evolution of the in-game technology.
“Technological advancements in New Eden have led to a new way of manufacturing and augmenting clones, unlocking the possibility for a variety of distinct Clone States,” wrote the developing team on EVE’s community site.
These new advancements and ‘Clone States’ only translate into character tiers for both old and new players. The base form for newcomers to the game will be the Alpha Clone State, while those with a paid subscription will have their characters take on the Omega Clone State.
The Alpha Clone State gives access to the core features of the game, but will be limited in some aspects. New Alpha characters will be able to acquire and develop a set of skills to operate the game’s main ships: Frigates, Destroyers, and Cruisers.
However, the scope of abilities is reduced in contrast to the spectrum available for Omega clones, with Alpha clones also training at a slower pace than their veteran counterparts. Nevertheless, the Alpha Clone State mode is more than enough for new players to fully experience all the main features of EVE’s massive universe.
What happens if a player stops paying the monthly fee?
If Alpha clones ever feel the drive to dive further into New Eden, they can always pay for a subscription and immediately move up to the Omega Clone State and gain access to all the existing skills and elements of the game.
If a player with a paid subscription account stops paying the monthly fees, their advances in the game as an Omega clone will not be erased. However, they will become inaccessible as their character regresses to its prime form in the Alpha Clone State.
Source: EVE Online Community