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.