Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Of Alphas and Omegas

I've been pondering the November release (can we call it "EVE Online: Out of Beta At Last"?) and I've listened to some podcasts (seriously, is Asherothi everywhere?!) and I'm ready to weigh in with my opinion on how EVE will change with the new free to play / unlimited trial Alpha clones.

In total, not that much.

While on the surface it seems like a game changer, and I can see how visions of newbros in Tristans and Merlins swelling the population of New Eden can be exciting, but I think everyone forgets that EVE Online is at the end of the day a very niche game, more of a sci-fi simulation actually, and while I expect we'll get some new players riding the free train but overall the major hurdles to expanding EVE's playerbase are still in place: the game is a massively complex simulation and very boring without social interaction and groups.

Now I realize that the New Player Experience is being worked on as part of this parcel by CCP Ghost, but I have trouble envisioning any NPE that can move a player from new to the game to enjoying it in its fullest to the point that significant numbers of Alpha clone players stick around and have an impact in any part of the game outside of high sec. EVE's just not built that way; only the most determined fight through the early part of the learning cliff.

I also realize that some larger groups plan to have programs in place to guide Alpha clone newbros to their organizations to increase their numbers and add to their fleets, but again I think people are vastly overestimating both the usefulness of these pilots with their Tech 1 modules and ships, and how much fun in low sec/null sec/wormholes that these skill limited pilots are going to have. After all, they will have less defensive tank, offensive damage, less speed and maneuverability, all of that on top of less experience in the game. And as they gain experience and learn why the pilot in the novice plex in a Tech 1 Incursus comepletely murders them anyways in a fight (along with two of their buddies), they are going to get frustrated and quit more often than they pay for an Omega clone.

In other words, Alpha clone players will exist, mostly in high sec, but they will not impact the game in a meaningful manner in my humble opinion.

I could be wrong. In fact, I hope I'm wrong and EVE is transformed into a two caste system bustling with players working and fighting together. But I'm setting my expectations low.


  1. "In other words, Alpha clone players will exist, mostly in high sec, but they will not impact the game in a meaningful manner in my humble opinion."

    Bingo. The vast vast majority of people new to Eve start in high sec, by definition (given the starter systems). And what will they do in high sec? Mission, mine, maybe start a little industry.

    And you know what areas that the older players with their game mechanics knowledge are going to be forced to do to compete? Create new armies of alpha bots to mine, mission, and do a little industry. Oh, yeah, and of course the griefers are licking their chops at the clouds of Catalysts. (the lies being spun by griefers stating that this will have little impact is so sad for the game as a whole)..

    So bottom line, the established players, armed with the priceless overpowering assets of GAME KNOWLEDGE and ISK, will be also playing the bot game as they have to was they watch the massive depressive powers on minerals, LP, and T1 items.

    I for one am selling off every T1 ship and mineral stockpiles long before this idiocy goes live, makes major changes to this mess.

  2. Every post I've seen on the new Alpha clones seems to be ignoring of missing one crucial, important detail. It's not just about new players. There are old former players who are no longer playing for various reasons. For me personally, I stopped playing initially because I was busy with school work, and dropped by subscription because I couldn't afford it. I still can't afford a subscription, but by the time Alpha clones are released, I will be essentially finished studying for the year and will be starting to look for a job, so I'll have plenty of time on my hands to play, and I've been itching to play for a couple of months now, an itch that has been getting worse over the past couple of weeks with all the changes CCP have been announcing. And I'll be coming back with some former corp mates of mine from Legion of Darkwind.

    Prepare for an influx of returning players, we are coming home!

    1. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I'll be wanting to rejoin Aideron and shoot some Squids!