Eve Online Goes Free-to-Play as New Expansion Launches

Eve Online: Ascension gives free access to all players, in addition to a bunch of new content.

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Eve Online's latest expansion, Ascension, is now live, providing free access to the space MMO for all. Developer CCP detailed the new expansion in a press release today.

In addition to the game going free-to-play, Ascension has now put all characters into two different categories. Characters in the Omega clone category behave similarly to those used by players who are currently active in Eve, granting unlimited access to skill progression and training. This is what players get if they pay a subscription fee, which is currently $15 a month.

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Alpha clone characters, on the other hand, are the new "base" experience that those who want to play for free get access to. These characters have the ability to train and use specific skills to fly ships, as well as accessing skills in the trading, industry, and exploration categories.

Additionally, Eve's gameplay introduction has been revamped with a new player experience called Inception. It features fully voiced mentors, newly designed UI help, and a storyline with new environments.

Other new features that come with Ascension include Command Bursts, which replace warfare links; the Fitting Simulator, which gives "deeper experimentation and optimization of ships;" and Effect Generators for Titans, which allow players the ability to warp across a large area. New ships, NPC mining fleets, balance changes, a new character sheet, and changes to the Roqual industrial capital ship are also listed additions in the update.

Eve Online: Ascension launched today on PC. You can play the game for free via Steam, but if you want to start with a little extra content, you can pay $20 for the Core Starter Pack and $50 for the Premium Edition. It's important to note that buying one of these editions will prevent you from buying the other.

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