Eve Online: Everything You Need to Know About Alpha Clone Skills
For ages, EVE Online was a pay-to-play MMO. Players were not only paying a monthly subscription for the game, they were also paying for skill training for every additional in-game character.
However, with the introduction of Alpha Clones, this tradition was changed: Alpha Clones accounts are given free access to the game. Of course, this created debate within the community, with players asking questions like, "Are these Alpha Clone accounts going to receive special treatment or be protected from other players? Was it an idea similar to Elite: Dangerous, with solo and group servers? Is it fair that Alphas will have full access to the game without paying for it?
Quickly, all of the above doubts vanished: As it turns out, Alpha Clones are not protected from interactions with other players. Also, their accounts have certain limitations, which simplifies their overall game experience. In a nutshell, they're nerfed.
Alpha Clones Limitations
Every skill in EVE has five levels. So the biggest limitation for Alpha Clones is that the amount of skills they can learn at any one time is greatly reduced. Alpha Clones can access only certain skills and enhance them to a certain level -- and almost never the highest level.
In EVE Online, learning skills defines all sort of abilities for players, such as fighting, exploring, trading, social, and more. Skills also determine which ships players can use in games. The full spreadsheet of skills that Alpha Clones can learn can be found here.
Another limitation of the free Alpha account is the newly implemented skill queue limitations. In EVE, some skills require days of training to learn and complete. Being an Alpha account holder means that every time you queue a skill to learn, you'll have to wait 24 hours if you've already learned a skill that day.
On top of that, Alpha Clones' limited skills access will let them to fly only ships belonging to the nation represented by the created character. They're also limited by the types of the ships they can pilot: tier 1 frigates, destroyers, and cruisers.
But the best advice you can give anyone looking to jump in to EVE Online using Alpha Clones access is this: Make yourself four separate accounts with characters representing four races: Amarr, Minmatar, Gallente and Caldari.
If you decide to stay Alpha, the choice of race will be crucial. Race will determine your good and bad features, as well as define fighting doctrines, such as what kind of weapon in which you will specialize.
Skills Sets Are Determined By Your Future
Stepping into the world of EVE means that you can do anything you want within the convention of the game.
Looking at the skill available to Alpha Clones, it appears that they're able to participate in exactly all the same actions and events as Omega Clones, regardless of skill limitations. So, you're able to mine, trade, fight, step into faction wars, or become part of an in-game corporation, which is probably the most popular options for many players.
What you decide to do will determine your so-called doctrine -- or skill set you will use to expand your character. It will also help you avoid constant dying, as you will better understand abilities of your character.
Where to Find Skill Plans?
Google will be always the best option for finding skill plans for EVE Online. Actually, everything you are trying to do in EVE will require constant Google access and spreadsheets for planning.
In fact, you can get the spreadsheet I've been using for Alpha Clones ready-made for all four races on GitHub.
I think that the wisest thing to do is to consider joining one of the newbie friendly corporations. All of them are very keen on supporting new players with all sorts of ready-made skill plans, ship fittings and ships themselves.
Here are a few Corporations I know from the inside:
- Brave Collective -- A very friendly bunch of people. On their Wiki page (after joining the corporation) you will find ready-to-use skill sets for Alpha Clones.
- EVE University -- Probably a must join for every new player before choosing more niche corporations. Tons of knowledge, guides and ready-made solutions -- including working skill plans
- Signal Cartel -- best place for anybody considering a future as an explorer.
Whatever future you will choose for your character, you should also consider so-called core skills -- the skills that can be useful for any race and bring your character up to speed faster.
You can also try to start without any Corporation by implementing a very basic 30-day Skill Plan, such as the plan which can be found on EVE Simplified -- it is very straight forward, and will bring your character up to speed regardless of race you choose.
Executing the above skill plan will let you start your adventure in EVE even before you determine where you actually you would like to go.
Everything is your own patience and determination to become part of the most difficult, unforgiving but still probably the best designed space MMO on the market.
Good luck Commander!