EVE Online’s next free expansion, Ascension, will be hitting the servers on November 8, bringing with it Clone States — EVE’s answer to free-to-play. Clone states, as detailed in CCP’s original announcement, will allow people to play without having to pay. However, there are limits.
Unlike WoW and some other subscription games that limit players’ ability to level up and participate in the content related in those levels as well as their ability to communicate with others in the game, CCP has elected to limit the amount and variety of skills a player can have. This is akin to the level restriction system, however players are not limited to a specific area and can participate in most activities as long as those activities are not dependent upon skills they don’t have.
The clone state system also allows players to slip between being paid subscribers (Omega clones) and non-paid (Alpha clones) without actually losing anything. As soon as an Alpha player subscribes they will once again have access to everything in their Omega state.
Of course, the clone system is not the only thing arriving with the new expansion. Players can also look forward to a variety of updates and additions. More information on the expansion itself is available on the EVE Online blog.