A question that comes up on the different Eve Online internet hot spots, such as /r/evenewbies, is “Do I need Omega?”
Eve Online is a free to play game, to a point. An alpha account caps out at a certain amount of skill points and training certain skills or flying certain ships is restricted. Does this mean that you can’t compete with players who do shell out for a paid account?
What Are the Actual Limitations of an Alpha Account?
Taking a look at Kaitlyn, one of my many Alpha accounts, lets look at the actual limitations of an Alpha account.
Locked Out of Certain Skills
When looking at the character skill list, anything that shows up as gold is locked to Omega. This means unless I decide to make Kaitlyn’s account an Omega account, she won’t be able to get Frigate V and get into T2 frigates (assault frigs, interceptors, etc) nor will she be able to fly anything beyond level 1 in industrial ships.
Who does this affect the most? Unfortunately this will affect those who want to stick to mining (can’t get anything better than a Venture), exploration (can’t access a covert cloak) or become good at market and industry.
Alpha clones are also locked out of accepting lvl 4 missions and will have a tough time being able to be included in incursions due to the ships and fits that are required. However, Alphas can get up to T4 Abyssals without much problem.
Slower Skill Training Time and a Cap on Amount of Skill Points
Alpha accounts train skills at a normal speed, while Omega accounts train at double the speed. And you can only train up to 5 million skill points for free as an Alpha.
Once you hit the 5m limit, you can continue training up to 21 million alpha skill points with daily alpha skill injectors.
“Oh but Gamergrrls, WHY would I want to pay a dime for this game?” is a question I hear sometimes. Well, beside obviously supporting the game company that brings a game a lot of us love, it falls into the philosophy of “buying what you need.” If you’re quite happy where you are with your alpha skills but just want to get to lvl 3 or 4 of whatever you might need, it makes sense to only spend a few bucks for the skills vs. paying a monthly subscription.
Currently a daily Alpha injector (50,000 skill points) are €4.19, or almost $5 (currently). The Eve Store also has deals where you can get some plex as well.
What About PVP as an Alpha Clone?
Unfortunately, for the year that I’ve been pvping in Eve, I’ve only flown with the NPSI (not purple shoot it) community. Most NPSI groups run public fleets and have Alpha friendly ship options. That means that I can’t really speak to the views of the big null corps on Alpha accounts or what the minimum requirement to fly pvp fleets are. I’ll have to interview someone!
So, speaking as a FC (fleet commander) within the NPSI community, I haven’t had any problem with Alpha clones in my fleets. I mostly fly destroyers and frigates (on assault frigate fleets, which are T2 frigs alphas don’t have access to the alphas can come in regular tackle frigs) with a few T1 cruiser fleets here and there.
I’ve done faction warfare and solo pvp with my own alpha accounts just fine. It just means you have to pick your targets.
I Heard CCP Is OK with Playing More Than 1 Account
Not everyone plays with multiple accounts, but for those of us that do, it is restricted to Omega accounts. So if I log in with one of my Alpha accounts, I can’t be logged into any other account.
You Can Omega an Account with In Game Currency?
Yes! You can buy PLEX for isk from the market and once you get 500 plex you can omega your account. I’m not 100% sure what the exact current rate is but it’s 1 billion isk and a bit for 500 plex.
What’s the Conclusion on Alpha Accounts?
While I’m all for supporting creators (game companies, artists, content creators, etc) with real life money, there’s no reason to spend real life money on something you’re not going to use or enjoy. My advice to you is to wait for Omega until you need it.
You can get quite far on the 1 Million Skill Points that you should have gotten through someone’s friend account and while you get through the Career Missions and maybe the level 1 security missions or you faff about with exploration, you probably don’t need omega. But if you find yourself really enjoying the game and you think you’re going to stick around, that’s the point you want to pull out your credit card or try to figure out how to PLEX your account.
Look at it this way. If you enjoy the game and it’s your hobby or passtime, why not pay for a subscription? You pay for Netflix or a concert ticket. There’s no shame in paying for Omega!