Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Beginning of the End, or the End of the Beginning?

I've been thinking for a while about how to attract new players to Eve Online.  Eventually it all boils down towards the high barrier of entry being an obstacle against new players obtaining a foot hold in the game.

For quite some time we have had the thirty day trial period but with many other MMO's going the way of free to play (F2P) then it was almost inevitable that Eve Online would follow that model.

Yesterday, a date that may live in infamy when we look back in the years to come, CCP announced Eve Online was going F2P.

Outrage!

Well...maybe, but probably not.

Eve Online has seen a decline in players numbers for a while.  This has been due to many factors and it would be difficult to pin the decline on the one thing, but the increased options for space based MMO type games would be a good place to start.

The potentially going to be completed one day Star Citizen, the promising but still under cooked Elite Dangerous, and to a lesser extent No Man's Sky amongst others have diluted the potential player pool that Eve Online draws from.

So what to do?

Eve Online goes F2P (sort of )

Yes we will now have two classes of pilots in Eve Online, the Omega's, who are exactly the same as the paid subscribers (Cash, Card, ISK, PLEX, etc) we have now.  In addition we will also have the Alpha's, who are F2P and have reasonably harsh restrictions on what they can and cannot do.

Read the above link for the details, however at least one thing bothers me.

Suicide ganking.

The barrier for entry to suicide gank someone is already quite low, and will be easily reached by an Alpha pilot.  So what stops clouds of Alpha pilots suicide ganking some expensive shiny ship of an Omega, that Omega becomes rather pissed off at the loss of their stuff to nobodies and leaves the game forever?

It also gives us the potential convoluted case of being Alpha'd by Alpha's using alpha damage to destroy an Alpha, or Omega.  That'll give some online commentator a headache while they try and wrap their head around that one.

November is the expected release date for this change, I expect many words and much hand wringing will happen between now and then.

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