Eve Online is one of those titles that you should try at least once if you’re a PC gamer. The full game requires players to pay a monthly subscription fee in order to gain access to all the content, similar to certain other MMOs like World of Warcraft. Additionally, Eve Online also offers a free-to-play program for those who want to try out the game and see what all the fuss is about. As one might imagine, though, the F2P variant is quite a bit more limited than the full version. The good news is that CCP just released a new update that evens the odds and adds a lot more benefits to their free-to-play program.
Up until now F2P players, otherwise known as Alpha Clones, were only able to access a limited selection of ships. Namely, 21 ships for each of the available empires. That’s actually not too shabby for a free-to-play game but that figure represents only a fraction of the total number of ships available in Eve Online. Thanks to a new update known as Arms Race, however, that number has been increased to a grand total of 145. CCP recently announced a number of other benefits for Alpha Clones and the increased number of ships is just the beginning.
Whereas before F2P players could only fly smaller ships, the Arms Race made it possible to access many of the larger vessels as well. This includes all Cruisers, Battlecruisers, Destroyers, and Frigates. Not only that but players can now also access ships that were previously only available to members of a certain faction. This is thanks to the fact that Alpha Clones can now train skills pertaining to any empire, not just one. The change will allow players to unlock powerful hybrid ships that require skills from more than one empire. In addition, the skill point cap has also been increased from 5 million to 20 million points for F2P players.
Since large ships aren’t very useful without suitably large weapons attached to them, Alpha Clones can now also unlock and use Tech 2 variants of certain weapons. Just as their name implies, these weapons are considerably more powerful than the Tech 1 versions and are a must-have on larger ships. Both ships and weapons go up to Tech 3, however, these will continue to be available only to subscribers. While premium members will continue to benefit from a number of advantages over Alpha Closes, these changes should ensure that F2P players can play a much bigger role in the events of Eve Online than ever before.
Eve Online is currently available for free on Steam and can be upgraded at any time to the subscription-based Omega version, which costs $15 a month or your regional equivalent. For more information on the Arms Race update check out the official website.