The open universe sandbox from CCP Games announced that they are essentially going free to play (via Windows Central). It is a change that many MMO video games have converted to many times over the last few years. Originally, the idea of a Free-To-Play (FTP) model was met with despair by the game's fanbase, but in cases such as Eve Online's transition, FTP has become the norm.
The MMO space giant's new feature is called "Clone States", a term to describe which account status you have access too. The feature's name plays off the idea that when a character dies, they are replaced by one of their clones at the bay. The FTP account without an active subscription or PLEX will automatically start as an Alpha Clone State and the paid model will be called an Omega Clone State.
The Alpha Clone State is the new base state for all clones and it will be available to any character in New Eden at any time. Clones in the Alpha state will be able to train and use a specific set of skills including tech one Frigates, Destroyers and Cruisers for your faction along with essential weapons and modules. Alphas will also train skills at a reduced rate compared to Omegas.
The Omega Clone State is obtained by augmenting basic clones using neural expanders and cerebral acceleration technology, granting unlimited skill access. Omega clone state will behave exactly as your subscribed characters do now.
CCP shared their thoughts on how the FTP model would help the game increase playerbase. After 12 years of being subscription-only, the company feels that the game's servers and economy will remain stable for a sudden influx of free players. Of course, the restrictions of the Alpha Clone State will also stand as a barrier for botting, farming alts, and player killing. Alpha skills are entirely dependent on the faction chosen at character creation, a move that CCP feels confident in. Yet they are still hoping for feedback from the CSM and players in preparation for a November release.
Even more curious? Find out more about the big update coming later this year from Team Size Matters.