Eve Online latest update has gone live today.
You can see the update notes here.
One of the new features is that there is now an option to play for free, albeit with some limitations.
The main limitation for free to play accounts is that they can only have characters which are Alpha clones whereas subscribers have Omega clones. Omega clones can do everything they can now so nothing will change, however Alpha clones can only train into specific skills and only fly ships cruiser size or under for their own factions and are limited to the activities they can do, for example they can’t do planetary Interaction (PI) otherwise there would be people exploiting this to have multiple free accounts making passive isk from PI.
This is designed to give free players a glimpse of what is on offer to them to entice them to then subscribe to the game if they want to do more. That’s not to say they have to subscribe as a free to play player can still be heavily involved in Eve Online on an Alpha clone. An army of Alpha clones in tech 1 frigates could do some serious damage.
With the release of the Alpha clones I’m going to create myself a new free to play account, I am wanting to see what the new player experience is like and I will play the game as a newbie Alpha clone with no help from my main account and see where it takes me and I will blog all about it.
I was planning on using an old trial account I’ve had but the patch notes state that the new player experience is only for brand new accounts.
The only problem I’ll have is that CCP is not allowing both subscriber and free to play accounts to run at the same time on the same computer so I’ll only be able to play my Alpha clone when I’m not busy on my main toons.
Before creating my Alpha clone I’ve had a look into the races to decide which race would be the best to use as I will be limited to their ships only. While looking into this I’ve found a handy post on Reddit which has a Google document clearly listing which skills each race can use. I’ve then looked into the ships that Alpha clones will be able to fly.
I’ve found that all races have access to 6 Frigates, 2 Destroyers and 6 Cruisers plus they can all fly the Gnosis Battle Cruiser. The industrial ships vary, Amarr and Caldari have 2, Minmatar have 3 and Galante have 5. The main differences comes when you decide how you want to play the game as each races ships use different weapons, different EWAR (electronic warfare) modules, are tanked differently and have various different bonuses on their ships. All races have access to scanning/exploration ships, logistics ships, industrial ships, fast tackle ships and DPS ships so each races ships allow you to carry out similar functions.
I’ll give my overview of the races below. This is just my opinion, not everyone will agree but it might help people to decide what race they want to choose. I also don’t claim to know everything, I’m still fairly new to the game (played on and off) and below is based on what research I’ve done myself.
The Amarr ships generally fit laser turrets which use the ships capacitor and are limited to doing EM and Thermal damage, they also have ships which use drones for doing damage. Their ships tend to be slower than others and armour tanked. The logistics ships focus of armour repair and their EWAR ships focus on tracking disruption.
Looking at their frigates, none really stand out, they all have a purpose which they will do well but I think other races frigates have better. Most races frigates do similar jobs as each other so none of these are bad its just none stand out to me.
Their destroyers look good, the Coercer is popular for salvaging ship wrecks and the Dragoon can be used as a drone boat or for neuting (removing other ships capacitor) due to its bonuses.
Their cruisers look to be good armour brawlers and the Augoror is probably the best armour logi cruiser. They also have a drone boat in the Arbitrator.
Their 2 industrials don’t stand out much. The Sigil looks poor overall and while the Bestower could have good cargo capacity it won’t have much of a tank. It’ll be good for high sec hauling if the contents aren’t too expensive.
Overall the Amarr race will be good if you like shooting lasers and like armour tanked ships. I like some of their ships and use them on my main account but I wouldn’t want to be limited to them.
The Caldari ships use hybrid gun turrets or missiles. The hybrid guns are limited to doing kinetic and thermal damage but missiles can do all types of damage. Their ships tend to shield tank, they have shield logi ships and the EWAR ships focus on using electronic counter measures (ECM) to jam other ships.
Their frigates are mostly ok, the Heron is probably the best t1 scanning ship and the Griffin is my favourite EWAR frigate. The others don’t stand out much more than any other races.
The destroyers don’t look that impressive, the Cormorant is a hybrid gun DPS ship and the Corax is a missile ship. Neither stand out as exciting to me.
The cruisers include a couple of ships I like, the Blackbird is a dangerous EWAR ship and is useful in any fleet and the Caracal is a dangerous missile ship which is very good as killing frigates using rapid light missiles.
Their 2 industrials are the Badger which has a high base cargo capacity and the Tayra which has a good tank. Neither are bad but there are better options in other races.
Overall Caldari are the best race if you want to focus on missiles and I think they have the best EWAR ships. I would be happy being locked into their ships and there are good options available.
The Galante use hybrid guns and drones to do their damage. Their ships can be either shield or armour tanked although they use armour logi ships. Their EWAR focuses on sensor dampening.
Their frigates are ok, the stand out ones are the Tristan which is a good drone boat and the Atron is a good tackler. The rest are similar to other races and overall the frigates are good.
Their destroyers contain the best destroyer for high sec suicide ganking as the Catalyst is cheap and can do damage fast. A big enough group of those can and will destroy an auto piloted freighter before Concord (the space police) destroy them. Their other destroyer is the Algos which has bonuses to drones and hybrid turrets.
Their cruisers have a few good ships to choose from. The Vexor is a good drone boat and the Thorax a good DPS ship. They also have a good EWAR ship with the Celestial, this is a dampening ship with good range and can be useful in many fleets, it’s especially useful against enemy logi reducing the range they can repair ships from.
The Galante have the best industrial ships and are quite unique. The Kryos specialises in hauling minerals, the Epithal specialises in PI and the Maismos specialises in ore. They also have the Nereus which is ok and the Iteron Mark V which is the best t1 hauling ship.
Overall the Galante are the best race if you want to use drones or industrial ships. They are also a good all round race which has plenty of useful ships. And if you want to suicide gank, Galante have the best destroyer for that.
The Minmatar use projectile gun turrets and missiles mainly to do damage. Their ships can either be shield or armour tanked although they use shield logi. Their EWAR focuses on target painting which makes ships easier to hit and missiles do more damage.
Their frigates have a couple of ships I like, the Slasher is probably the fastest t1 frigate and is the best tackler and the Rifter is a good DPS ship, it was the best until it was needed a few years ago, I still like it. The rest are good but don’t stand out from other races.
Their destroyers are both good ships, the Thrasher can be fit as a good long range artillery ship doing high damage and the Talwar is a good fast missile ship good at kiting other ships.
Their cruisers have the best shield logi ship in the Scythe and 2 good DPS ships with the Stabber and Rupture. Their EWAR ship, the Belicose isn’t as useful as other races EWAR ships as target painting isn’t as effective in most fleets.
Their 3 industrial ships include 1 specialist ship, the Hoarder specialises in hauling ammunition. Their other industrials are ok and similar to other races except Minmatars are faster.
Overall Minmatar ships are good, they have the most versatile ships, their ships are faster and projectile turrets can do all types of damage. They have a good range of ships so I would have no problem being limited to them.
Apart from the differences in ships, there are some small differences in the skills each races Alpha clones can train in. These are based on the ships they can fly, so weapon skills focus on the type of weapons each races use etc.
If you want to use drones your options are Galante or Amarr, for missiles your options are Caldari or Minmatar. Apart from that it comes down to play style and ships.
The only other thing to think about would be if you want to try faction warfare as I think your tied into the race you choose. I don’t know much about this but who ever you choose you’ll be able to find corps, fleets and fights. I’d rather pick my race based on the ships and play style rather than who might be winning faction warfare more.
After looking into the above, I’ve decided I am going to have Alpha clone as Caldari. My main toon is Minmatar so I’ve flown a lot of their ships so I want something different. Amarr doesn’t appeal to me as I don’t like being cap dependant for my guns and not many ships stand out. I thought about Galante but I’m not a fan of using drones, more often than not I’ve left them behind when warping off the battle field. I’ve also not done a lot with missiles on my main so I’d like to focus on them. Caldari also have my favorite EWAR ships.
Hopefully this has given a good overview of the Alpha clones. If readers want to try Eve Online or want to return to Eve then now is the perfect time. If your new and want to try Eve you can use my referal code below and you’ll get 250,000 skill points to help start you off.
Fly Safe o7
– Sparko Marco