CCP Games announced today that a Clone States feature will be added to EVE Online in a big November 2016 expansion which will do away with trial accounts and allow any past, present, or future players join the EVE universe and fly amongst its thousands of solar systems and wormholes for free, forever.
In other words, EVE Online is going free to play, though there will be some limitations/restrictions.
In November, characters will be divided into two clone states. Omega clones will act similar to current active EVE characters, granted unlimited access to skill progression and rapid skill training. Alpha clones (F2P accounts) will become the new base state for all characters and available to any character at any time, able to train and use a specific set of skills to fly some of the most often-used ships into battle – Tech 1 frigates, destroyers, and cruisers.
As the press release reads, access to trading, industry, and exploration skills will allow Alpha pilots to explore the breadth of the universe as well, as they fly alongside hundreds of thousands of other players from around the globe to explore, dominate, and evolve the massive virtual universe unbound by starter zones or server instances.
EVE Online’s developers had this to say about this:
“As you know, EVE is a very special game. Our single shard server means that every player truly affects every other, whether through economics, resource gathering, direct combat or bad posting. This in turn means that our universe is more interesting, more exciting and more dangerous with each additional citizen.
Just like you, we’ve known this for a long time and, just like you, we’ve been doing everything we can to bring more people into our spectacular sandbox. 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.
EVE is ready for this.”