EVE Online – What are beta clones?

So, the EVE Universe exploded this week with the announcement that EVE will become “free to play” with the introduction of “Alpha Clones” that offer new players the option to enjoy a single racial tree of ships up to a certain skill level.  Even the real world press picked up on it.

I won’t comment too much on this, better people than I have already done in depth analyses.  And universally, this change has been greeted with quite some enthusiasm:

Seleene: My alliance, like most I imagine, is basically going bonkers at this announcement. What’s interesting is the lack of salt involved. While some folks are all, “OMG F2P IS HERE EVE CONFIRMED DYING!!”, most are cautiously curious and accepting. Maybe because, like many older players, a lot of us felt something along these lines was bound to happen. There are too many successful examples in the MMO industry for CCP to not go this route.

But I do want to join the chorus of enthusiasm and welcome our new Alpha Brothers with open arms and launchers.  May you find the new player experience less painful than a root canal without novocain while sitting on a nailbed with naked arse and ants after having had massive vindaloo for dinner and cheap beer and the vindaloo had things in it that have been dead for so long, not even Melisandre can raise it spoiler alert – too late – sorry

Anyway. So us Omega Clones have everything, our newbro Alpha clones have entry level ships but there is a curious gap between us.


Yes, dear reader. Between us and the alphas are 22 other possible clone grade levels.  This wisdom is what a classical education buys you.  Go back to school, scrub.

Oh?  Tinfoil time.

So, lets assume we are the Omega, the end all, be all and our alphas are the minimum.  In that case, what is a Beta Clone?

That discussion opens a curious mix of possibilities.

Beta Clone = 2 races to Alpha clone SP level.  Not $15 / month but $7 or 1/2 PLEX.

Gamma Clone:  Industrial Expert. Can fly all ORE ships to max skill but no other ships beyond Alpha.

Delta Clone:  Scout.  Can fly his one racial Covops (including cloaking) and maybe his racial recons.

Epsilon Clone: Manufacturing and Market Expert.  You know, manufacturing skills. Whatever they are.






9 responses to “EVE Online – What are beta clones?

  1. While I’m intrigued by the idea of ‘later letter’ clones, CCP would have to be very careful about setting them up in such matter that it both tempts Alpha players into partially premiuming up while simultaneously not tempting too many Omega players to downgrade. Accordingly, your off the top of your head Beta example probably won’t be too tempting to Alpha players since they can achieve the same thing for free by starting up a second Alpha account. At the same time, your off the top of your head Gamma could tempt too many players to downgrade from Omega which CCP is probably hesitant about promoting.

    So, while I remain entranced with the idea of later letter clones and find it very interesting that CCP has created place for the option right from the get-go, I’m also aware how incredibly difficult it would be to get right. This could well be one of those ideas that percolates for a couple or three years while CCP works to get the initial offering properly tuned up. The longer I play Eve, the more I realize how careful CCP has grown about pulling big trigger changes. This isn’t to say CCP are growing cowardly, they pull plenty of big triggers including the currently being discussed Alpha free to play option, but rather, to observe that these days CCP creeps up on bold trigger pulls very deliberately.

    • Thank you for your comment – please note that in no means I was being analytical. The post came from a conversation with Oreamnos Amric while shooting the breeze and scanning.

      On a more serious note – differential access based on skill is both logical and difficult as you explain. Logical because EVE has hard gates already built in (skills) but also – unlike every other MMO – has a place for low-skill players in endgame content (and yes, there is no endgame in EVE, just bear with me). Thus, combining SP limits with access limits is logical. At the same time, difficult because people can have many alts and swap seamlessly between them. Your scenario – 2 free alts, one for each race may well trump 1 cheap alt that can fly bot races.

      But I do believe this approach allows to “draw” people in. Alpha clones as the gateway drug. Then a little, not much, 1/2 PLEX / month, easy to farm with L3s…. Maybe a quick month (just one month) of BC action, hey my friend is running Incursions, dank ISK, I can afford to keep the 1/2 PLEX deal for a while….

      Bottom line, a graduate scale can adapt to a graduated scale of player engagement – not by time played (thats the obvious) but by what a player can do.

      I agree – this needs a LOT more percolating. I dont agree that CCP is very good at really thinking through the consequences of their actions. But I am hopeful that the inherently chaotic system of EVE allows for disruptors by finding natural oscillators afterward.

    • I’d say, a Beta is still better than two Alphas if you’re not multiboxing them.
      Pros: don’t have to train the common skills, you can fly pirate ships.
      Cons: can’t multibox.

      Don’t forget, an Alpha/Beta doesn’t need to be a new player. It can easily be a throwaway/testing/fun alt account.

  2. Hi to all.
    I see no reason why they will use that ‘beta’ by CCP. Also I’m Omega now, but I’m planing to downgrade to Alfa and enjoy some frigate flying 🙂
    I see no point to have only something in middle, if I can have everything for some months and Alfa skills on same char for rest (and not to lose anything in skillpoints).

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