In a new Devblog released yesterday, CCP outlined changes in the works for the planned Alpha Clone State. These changes are a result of input by the CSM, and address many of the concerns already expressed by players in both official feedback forums, and internet discussions of all types.
First and foremost, players have been worried about the ability to log multiple Alpha Clones in at once, or login on an Alpha Clone while already connected on an Omega Clone. CCP’s response has been predictable: “we are planning to implement restrictions that keep any Alpha account from passing character select if another EVE client is already active”. Presumably, this will also either disconnect the Alpha Clone, or prevent Omega login if an Alpha Clone client is already connected when an Omega account attempts to connect. Much like the inescapable arm of CONCORD, the devblog makes it clear that if a player does find a way to get around these restrictions, their account will be subject to disciplinary action under the EULA/TOS.
The second area of concern discussed was high-sec ganking via Alpha Clone. While much has been made of the potential for disruption, in the end, hard data is not available yet. In discussing the potential problem, players on and off the CSM have offered a simple solution: Lock the Safety at green. CCP has acknowledged that this remains an option, and one they are ready to invoke if concerns do become reality, but for now, they intend to take a ‘wait and see’ approach, offering as little limitation as possible to the gameplay options of new players.
CCP also addressed Planetary Interaction skills, where the skill is needed in order to set up the PI farm, but not necessary to make use of it. While other, similar skills for jump clones, implants, and corporations will still be allowed to work normally (e.g.: if you install implants as an Omega and lapse, your +5s won’t turn off), PI colonies will be treated a little differently. The colony will continue to operate and amass finished product, but extraction from the colony will be impossible for an Alpha Clone. At the very least, this will guarantee that Alpha Clones running very long-term single-planet production lines will need to upgrade periodically to get at their products.
Additionally, the skills available for Alpha Clones will be tweaked slightly. Limited access to some skills will be added to facilitate greater gameplay options (such as Infomorph Psychology I and Gas Harvesting II), while maximum ratings on others will be adjusted. Caldari and Minmatar pilots will gain access to Drones V, and all factions will be limited to Electronic Warfare III, so as to prevent use of T2 Jammers. The skill requirement for the Tech I Entosis Link will also be changed to Infomorph Psychology II, keeping these modules on the list of things Alpha Clones cannot do.
Finally, CCP released list of additional minor tweaks and changes they have planned, but don’t have a clear focus on achieving just yet. On the list are allowing Skill Extraction for Omega Clones that lapse into Alpha State, a small tax on manufacturing to ensure Alpha Clones don’t flood the market with super-cheap goods and crash the economy, restrictions on POS fuelling, and making a character/account’s Clone State something that can be read through the API.
Overall, CCP’s feedback loop on Alpha Clones seems to be producing solid results, and Team Size Matters expressed a great deal of satisfaction with how the CSM Summit went, overall. Hopefully, CCP can continue to iterate on the success of the process with the new CSM, and keep up the good work in listening and responding to the players and their representatives.