Alpha vs Omega differences
Alpha is free to play. Omega are people gave money to CCP, directly or indirectly through `Plex`. You cannot easily earn omega as an alpha unless you spend 40-120 hours.
The game is perfectly playable as an alpha, but you eventually will hit a wall. It is hard out there for an alpha, but you're not paying money so the game isn't just for you. It's for the omega players who pay the for-profit company to run their game.
https://support.eveonline.com/hc/en-us/articles/213020969-Alpha-and-Omega-Clone has the precise things that they have defined. And that list might grow.
The places that are most common for people fall apart, if you allow people to spin up unlimited free accounts:
Mining barges (Break the ore economy)
Planetary Interaction (Breaks the PI economy - PI=Planetary Interaction)
Level 4 Missiosn (Break the LP economy. - LP=Loyalty Points)
Cloaking (Cannot have unlimited free cloaky eyes everywhere)
Skill points (Cannot build skill point farms for free, 5 mil per character, 20 mil total skill points.)
Tax rates (Cannot get extra sell slots for free)
Contracts (Cannot get extra contracts for free)
Two characters at once (Breaks everything, two characters is better than two separte players most times.)
Alpha isn't there to ruin your life, it's there to protect your early days as a new player. All these things I mentioned stop experienced players from exploiting the system even further than they are already doing.
Liking the game? Give them money if you want, but you don't need to. Buying Omega is the only worthwhile investment in dollars for this game. You get a special offer after about a week of playing.
You playing this game, even as an alpha, gives us more content and more fun. Plus, I want to shoot you, come find me and pvp with me!
How to make Omega as an Alpha player
This is a short one: Don't
Okay fine, I'll explain.
The price of plex is based on a formula in people's heads of 'how much is this worth, effort wise'. Except this effort is based on-
How easy it is for a max skilled player to
... to run CRAB sites in a super
... to afk ratting in an ishtar
... to afk mine in a rorqual
... to run high sec incursions
... to run Tier 4-6 abyssals
... to run tons of level 4 exploration sites.
All of which are based on being omega already. And might be 1-5 hours for them, but will be 40-120 hours for you. Versus getting a part time job and make dollars to pay for it in an hour.
The biggest problem of being a newbean is that you will do something silly. Because eve is a hard game.
There are ways to make isk as a newbro, for sure, but getting to the 2.3 bil it takes to get 500 plex 2023 Q2, plus buying the things along the way, it's uber expensive.
In high sec, you can do:
Trading -Takes a long time to setup, need experience to do (alphas get 11% tax rate)
Abyssals -move away from jita you mango (alphas cannot run t2 ships)
Missions -Crappy but good for standing (alphas cannot run level 4s)
Incursions -Warp to Me is a good group (Alphas cannot run most ships)
Exploration -see tip of the day (Alphas cannot use cloaks)
Wormhole -Horde doesn't have a wormhole group, sadly, but there are a lot of groups out there.
Our guide on null sec areas is here: https://www.pandemic-horde.org/forum/index.php?threads/horde-isk-making-rules-areas-and-industry-areas-v-2-0.3738/ with a map in the spoilers.
In null sec, you can do:
Mining -Join Mining standing fleet, moons are okay money.
PVP -Get NBI fit ships, loot when done
Salvage -Follow behind ratters and loot their stuff
Planetary Interaction -clicking mini-game that sucks to setup but long term isk
Don't worry about - Just go have fun.
So, to prove my point, I decided to do some math here.
I ratted in a t2 algos, which cost me 15 mil, with perfect skills for a full hour, doing belt ratting, and managed to make 11.7 mil, which wasn't even enough to cover my ship. Note, the 'free' one is significantly slower.
I have ratted in a vexor before, again perfect skills, and made around 35 mil in an hour, which again, barely paid for the ship.
A gila can make 13-18 mil ticks, so 90 mil per hour best case, and comes NOWHERE close to paying for the ship.
Omega costs 500 plex, which are currently 1.54 billion in Jita. (note date above, 2022-04-06)
So, assuming no accidents, can rat the entire time, everything 100% positive, with zero other expenses:
algos- 131.5 hours
vexor - 44 hours
gila - 22 hours
And if you have an accident, congrats, start over or you are deep in a hole.
Someone demonstrated here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Eve/comments/vsgtco/how_to_actually_plex_within_one_month_of_playing/
This kind of message is the reason I think people quit so quickly. 60 hours of game play, assuming they don't fuck up... :(
(Thanks to Bobby Tarantinooo)