I think it's been five, maybe six years since I've last played EVE Online. My weekly allowance back in middle school just couldn't cover the monthly subscription fee. But I've always kept an ear to the ground for good stories, like the Bloodbath of B-R5RB, which is considered to be the most destructive battle in video game history, costing some $300,000 in real world currency. It's a wonderful science fiction world, rife with ponzy schemes and Machiavellian intrigue, but also of brutal conquest and space combat.
Fortunately for those looking to get involved in the game (and maybe some of the spoils), there's now a new way to play the game, one that doesn't involve cracking open that wallet. As of November 15th, EVE Online will be introducing limited features that allow for people to play for free. The basic concept is centered around Alpha and Omega Clone States.
Players with the Omega State will be able to function like any other player: they'll have unlimited access to all the ships and technology that normal paying players will have. The thing is though, that once Omega State player has reached the end of his billing period and decides to not continue paying he'll be bumped down to the Alpha State.
Now Alpha State is a bit trickier, because you'll only have access to tier one ships and technology, specifically Frigates, Cruisers and Destroyers. They'll also have a more limited access to skills and abilities and rank up far slower. It's enough to let you play and have fun, but obviously supposed to entice you to go Omega.The skills you do have will be limited to your specific faction in game. You'll still be able to participate in the aforementioned ponzy schemes, but your stopping power will make you a very easy target, should you ever find yourself in a B-R5RB situation.
EVE Online can be a complex game, with a rather steep learning curve for new players (and to players like myself, who are returning after a long absence). So while you're all waiting for the 15th to roll around, why not take a look at the beginners guide and brush up on your history?