Ascension Day in EVE Online

It is the day, the day the Ascension expansion hits EVE Online.

Today is one of those dividing points, a time when everything changes, a point from which will be reckoned a brand new era in New Eden.  For many long time subscribers, everything before today is now history, and everything after will be the new shit that ruined the game the grand experiment that changed the universe.

Coming in November

It’s here, it is finally here!

Free to play has come.  CCP has opened the door and invited everybody in without a cover charge or a two drink minimum.  And seriously, this can be a game where two drinks often aren’t even enough… literally or metaphorically.  Clones states are here.

We can split hairs over what *really* constitutes “free” in “free to play,” whether the restrictions on Alpha clones make this more of an unlimited trial or a bonafide free experience.  All I know is that you can make a character, fly in space, shoot people, and never be asked to pay a dime.  That sounds pretty damn free to me.

Well, you will be asked to pay a dime.  Many dimes.  In fact, I am pretty sure you will be pestered to do so incessantly.

Can't touch that!

Upgrade to Omega

It would be remiss of CCP to not throw some of that Candy Crush Saga-esque “Oh, you want more? Well pay up!” persuasion in the game.  But you will not be obligated in any way to do so.  You can choose, as I do with Candy Crush Saga, to look at free to play as challenge mode where anything you accomplish is all the sweeter because you did it the hard way.

If all Ascension had for us was free to play and things related to that, it would be a huge deal.  That alone could be the biggest thing in a long time for EVE Online, a game that thrives on having more players.

But that is not all that Ascension brings with it.  What is left would still be a super feature packed expansion even if the whole free to play thing was not part of the deal.  That list includes:

That is most of the list from the Updates page, but there are also the Patch Notes for the expansion, which include many smaller items going into this release.  And little, of any of this, is non-controversial.  EVE Online is like any MMORPG where every feature is somebody’s favorite so changing any feature pisses somebody off… and Ascension is changing some fairly substantial features.

But there it is, deployed already.

I am excited… but also a bit anxious.  There will be bugs… there is already a patch set to drop at the next downtime.  And then there is the whole New Player Experience, the fourth since I started playing the game.  It is a directed story line that gets players involved with the empires and their lore, different for each of the four empires.  That is a fairly radical departure from the opportunities system that was in place until today.

So, if you have been waiting to try EVE Online… erm… maybe wait for the weekend to jump in, once there have been a few post expansion fixes deployed.  Or just jump right in.  Sometimes a good bug can be a formative experience in a game.  But CCP wants you to come give it a try.  There are many things you can do with an Alpha clone.  I expect all groups catering to new players will have Alpha clone compatible doctrines.  I even have my own Alpha clone trained up.  His skill plan wrapped up yesterday (though I had already brought him out for a trial run), at which point I started on a second one.

Others are talking about Ascension naturally enough, and while the focus is on Alpha clones, there is a lot of other things in play today as I noted above.

Finally, it wouldn’t be EVE Online if there wasn’t a new song for a new expansion.


5 thoughts on “Ascension Day in EVE Online

  1. bhagpuss

    What level are you on in Candy Crush Saga just out of interest? Mrs Bhagpuss started playing it a while back and got to the mid-200s before we had to re-install Windows and all her progress was lost. She’s back around 150 again now. I have no idea how many levels it has – infinite I’m guessing because why let anyone think they can stop?

    As for EVE, I’ve never really had any thoughts of playing until now because I don’t have any great interest in spaceships but free is a big motivator. I probably will take a look at some point although I doubt it’s going to be this year. Be interesting to see how the conversion plays out, though.


  2. Krumm

    The new mining ship below the Orca has the orca’s ore hold of 150k and they boosted the Orca. For 50 million, that they estimated the cost to be, for this new Porpoise…how could you not be excited. Plus the boosted drone mining so now it mines as well as a barge its really a nice solo and small group corp mining vessel. :) pay alphas to venture mine and have a swarm of ventures. Oh how we are about to see what changes will settle in.


  3. SynCaine

    Fun bug: Client asks for the auth code via email, putting in the auth code and the client tells me cookies are disabled, blocking login. Good times, didn’t want that Incursion ISK anyway…


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I have a post brewing about CCS, but I am currently at level 698 in the game. They add 15 levels every week or two, with the total closing in on 2,000 if I recall correctly. [Edit: The number is currently 2,090 levels.]

    @Krumm – There is a lot of stuff in the release. I don’t think anybody is miffed about mining changes, but the Engineering Complexes… and them replacing POS manufacturing… has some angry.

    @SynCaine – I went and validated all my account email addresses last night. By the time I got home today there didn’t seem to be a problem logging in with my main at least. But I expect there will be further problems still.


  5. Krumm

    Correction on the ore hold on the Porpoise its 50k not 150k. As to Engineering Complexes those only help null sec corps correct?


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