EVE Online introduces 60-day friend trials

By Alice O'Connor, Nov 30, 2011 7:00am PST

A few days' trial period is usually plenty of time to get a fair feel for most MMOs, but not for the space oddity of EVE Online. As developer CCP continues to get back on its feet after long months of troubles, it's experimenting with a 60-day friend trial that will let people really get stuck into the complexities and intrigue of Internet spaceships.

"The 14 days we settled on is looking a little long in the tooth in the modern world, and honestly, EVE is just really big and players deserve more time to really get into the game."

EVE's current trial is 14 days, and buddy trials 21 days, which, given EVE's complexity, may simply not be long enough for players to feel comfortable breaking away from NPC missions. As the true beauty of EVE lies in its player-driven side--filled with piracy, corporate warfare, political intrigue, risky mining operations, and general tomfoolery--longer trials should pay dividends.

All active EVE players have been given a 60-day friend trial to send. This is the first of CCP's "experiments" with trials, "one of many we're going to play with," CCP explains.

CCP has worked to win players' hearts back after a string of upsets and outrages, which ended in company CEO Veigar P├ętursson personally apologising for the "estrangement" felt by many. After being distracted by inconsequential yet development resource-intensive player avatars, it's returned with a focus on the core Internet spaceships play.

This renewed devotion to the pew-pew has been praised by the notorious 'Mittani,' chair of EVE's elected player representative body--a man who's had no qualms about calling CCP out and stirring up trouble when needed.

Still, disgruntled players aren't CCP's only concern. In October, the Icelandic company laid off 20% off its staff. "We have come to the conclusion that we are attempting too many things for a company our size," CCP conceded. The cuts mostly hit its mysterious World of Darkness MMO.

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