EVE (free) Forever


CCP has announced plans to move EVE to a Free-to-Play model with the release of a new DevBlog entitled Introducing Clone States and the Future of Access to EVE Online. In it, CCP lays out a plan for a two-tiered system of ‘Clone States’ which will allow new and returning players access to the game for free, while retaining incentives for subscribing or PLEXing accounts. The changes will appear in the next named expansion, due out in November.

CCP Seagull introduces the new Clone States concept.

Clone States

The initial release of ‘Clone States’ will feature two states – Alpha, and Omega. Alpha Clones are a term many older players will remember from the “bad old days”. Back then, death clones had a limited amount of skill points retained. If you wanted to upgrade the clone to hold more skill points (SP) when you died, it cost ISK. This brought about the always-hilarious scenario where a Fleet Commander would be podded and lose FC 5, impairing his ability to lead fleets.

These new Alpha Clones aren’t that.

Instead, the Alpha Clone State is a free-to-play level of access to the game that will mean a reduced skill training rate, and a limited selection of skills and hulls. Alpha Clones will be able to train for the use of their racial T1 hulls and weapon systems up to Cruisers, as well as the use of mining frigates.

In addition, the rating to which many fitting skills can be trained will be capped to prevent the use of T2 modules. Other skills, such as Cynosural Field Theory and Cloaking, will not be available for Alpha Clones. When fully-trained, Alpha Clones are planned to top out at five million skill points – just short of the threshold needed for skill extraction. Alpha Clones are expected to be able to use injectors, however, though the feasibility of this will depend largely on just how slowly Alpha skill training progresses.

Omega clones, by comparison… are exactly what we have now. No changes, no limitations.

So What If…?

After providing the basic outline of the new Clone States, the DevBlog goes on to provide the entire list of skills and skill levels that will be available to the new Clone State, and follows up with a Q&A. One of the issues covered both in the body of the DevBlog and the Q&A is what happens to older accounts that are either not currently subscribed, or whose subscription runs out while logged in.

A character who is logged off when their subscription expires will immediately be shifted to an Alpha account. They lose access to all Omega skills immediately, and if Omega skills are present in the training queue, the queue pauses. Modules will go offline, and if docked, the character will not be able to undock in a hull that is not available to Alpha Clones. If undocked – as is likely in the case of Titan or Supercarrier pilots – the character will still be able to pilot the hull, but will not have access to any of the capabilities or modules requiring Omega state skills. So no jumping to safety – you’ll have to gate your way home in your expensive space-coffin that suddenly can’t fight back.

A character who is online when the account state changes will be unaffected, so long as they remain logged in. CCP has expressly stated that they “won’t ever turn skills off during the middle of a session.” If your titan gets disconnected during a fight, though… be sure you’re still subscribed before logging back in.

Bells, Whistles, and Stuff

In addition to the changes in behavior, the addition of Clone States will also mean the addition of new UI elements to reflect those states. Skills and certifications will have an update to the interface to clarify access, and modules will clearly indicate whether or not the character can use them or if an upgrade to Omega status is required.

A clear indicator will be provided for modules requiring Omega status.


While CCP has asked for feedback and comments in an EVE-O forum thread, many players have been taking to reddit and even Facebook to express their opinions. Reaction has been predictably mixed, but the overall trend seems to be guarded optimism with the inevitable sprinkling of ‘EVE IS DOOMED!’ naysayers saying, well, nay.

The full list of skills that can be trained by Alpha Clones is as follows. Please read the DevBlog itself for information on what level each race can train each of these skills to. This list differs notably from the current list of skills available to Trial Accounts.

  • Acceleration Control
  • Advanced Weapon Upgrades
  • Afterburner
  • Amarr Cruiser
  • Amarr Destroyer
  • Amarr Frigate
  • Amarr Industrial
  • Anchoring
  • Archaeology
  • Armor Layering
  • Armor Rigging
  • Astrometric Acquisition
  • Astrometric Rangefinding
  • Astrometrics
  • Astronautics Rigging
  • Biology
  • Broker Relations
  • Caldari Cruiser
  • Caldari Destroyer
  • Caldari Frigate
  • Caldari Industrial
  • Capacitor Emission Systems
  • Capacitor Management
  • Capacitor Systems Operation
  • Connections
  • Controlled Bursts
  • Corporation Management
  • CPU Management
  • Criminal Connections
  • Cybernetics
  • Diplomacy
  • Distribution Connections
  • Drone Avionics
  • Drone Durability
  • Drone Interfacing
  • Drone Navigation
  • Drone Sharpshooting
  • Drones
  • Drones Rigging
  • Electronic Superiority Rigging
  • Electronic Warfare
  • Electronics Upgrades
  • EM Armor Compensation
  • EM Shield Compensation
  • Energy Grid Upgrades
  • Energy Pulse Weapons
  • Energy Weapon Rigging
  • Evasive Maneuvering
  • Explosive Armor Compensation
  • Explosive Shield Compensation
  • Gallente Cruiser
  • Gallente Destroyer
  • Gallente Frigate
  • Gallente Industrial
  • Gunnery
  • Hacking
  • Heavy Assault Missiles
  • Heavy Missiles
  • High Speed Maneuvering
  • Hull Upgrades
  • Hybrid Weapon Rigging
  • Industry
  • Jury Rigging
  • Kinetic Armor Compensation
  • Kinetic Shield Compensation
  • Launcher Rigging
  • Leadership
  • Light Drone Operation
  • Light Missiles
  • Long Range Targeting
  • Marketing
  • Mass Production
  • Mechanics
  • Medium Drone Operation
  • Medium Energy Turret
  • Medium Hybrid Turret
  • Medium Projectile Turret
  • Mining
  • Mining Connections
  • Mining Frigate
  • Mining Upgrades
  • Minmatar Cruiser
  • Minmatar Destroyer
  • Minmatar Frigate
  • Minmatar Industrial
  • Missile Bombardment
  • Missile Launcher Operation
  • Missile Projection
  • Motion Prediction
  • Navigation
  • Negotiation
  • Power Grid Management
  • Projectile Weapon Rigging
  • Propulsion Jamming
  • Rapid Firing
  • Rapid Launch
  • Remote Armor Repair Systems
  • Remote Hull Repair Systems
  • Repair Drone Operation
  • Repair Systems
  • Reprocessing
  • Rockets
  • Salvaging
  • Science
  • Security Connections
  • Sensor Linking
  • Sharpshooter
  • Shield Compensation
  • Shield Emission Systems
  • Shield Management
  • Shield Operation
  • Shield Rigging
  • Shield Upgrades
  • Signature Analysis
  • Small Energy Turret
  • Small Hybrid Turret
  • Small Projectile Turret
  • Social
  • Spaceship Command
  • Surgical Strike
  • Survey
  • Tactical Shield Manipulation
  • Target Management
  • Target Navigation Prediction
  • Target Painting
  • Thermal Armor Compensation
  • Thermal Shield Compensation
  • Thermodynamics
  • Trade
  • Trajectory Analysis
  • Warhead Upgrades
  • Warp Drive Operation
  • Weapon Disruption
  • Weapon Upgrades

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