In the Closed Beta, we've been selling supporter packs which included a variety of microtransaction points, kiwi pets, posted swag and special perks like designing custom unique items. In the Open Beta, we'll be selling microtransactions for points (rather than real money) so that you can spend your existing points without being forced to pay more. We'll also have packs of points available for sale, with varying numbers of points per dollar. As we've mentioned in the past, expensive packs of points will offer more points per dollar than the Closed Beta supporter packs did, but this is because those Closed Beta packs came with masses of physical and digital bonuses that the new pure-points packs do not have.
We'll be adding a separate category (that uses real money) for shipped physical swag and custom content such as designing a custom unique item or potentially a whole new monster to add to the game. Custom content will probably be relatively expensive because we've learned the hard way that it's really popular (there are over 200 diamond uniques in the queue right now). The best part about supporting the game through the purchase and creation of custom content is that it benefits all the other players.
As we've stated many times in the past, we have a strict policy against "pay-to-win". We're making sure all of the various options we offer for purchase don't convey actual game advantage.
We may occasionally sell packs (like the Closed Beta supporter packs) for real money, which contain points, a pet and potentially other bonuses. These will probably only occur occasionally, because we'd much rather people spend their existing microtransaction points rather than be forced to buy more.
Like the popular Kiwi pets from the Closed Beta, some microtransactions may be offered for certain time periods only, so that they're exclusive and special. Some may be seasonal, reappearing at certain times of the year.
Here is the section on microtransactions from the 0.10.0 patch notes, which explains how they are used:
- Added a wide range of entirely cosmetic microtransaction items such as dance animations, more pets, and weapon and skill effects. Check out the shop on pathofexile.com for a complete list!
- Typing /dance will use the appropriate purchased microtransaction from your microtransaction stash.
- We've added support for Premium stash tabs which can be purchased on the website. Once one is purchased, you can rename it and change its colour as often as you want by right clicking on it.
- You can upgrade a standard stash tab to premium, which upgrades the first available standard tab. Our initial pricing allows the upgrade at a discounted price just in case you already own a lot of standard tabs that you intended to upgrade.
- Cosmetic item and skill effects can be applied onto your items or skill gems by right clicking the item in your microtransaction stash then left clicking the item you'd like to apply it to.
- You can only have one cosmetic effect of a specific class on an item. For example, you may have a particle effect and a skin change applied to one item, but applying a second particle effect will destroy the previous one.
- An item with a cosmetic effect on it cannot be traded or dropped. To trade or drop the item, you need to remove the effect from it.
- You can reclaim effects for free (putting them back in your microtransaction stash) by clicking the "Reclaim" button in your microtransaction stash.
- For now there's a limit of only one microtransaction stash. We'll lift this limit as soon as possible so that you can buy all the things.
UPDATE: Due to extensive feedback in this thread, we have changed the implementation so that effects can be reclaimed at no cost. Microtransaction effects can be freely moved between items. This will affect their initial pricing somewhat, but we'll investigate adding cheaper one-use "demo" versions of them in the near future.
The most important issue is the one I've been leaving for last. Microtransactions will not be tradeable in any form. If they were tradeable then players would be able gain economic advantage by purchasing cosmetic effects, applying them to items, then trading those items to players who compensate them with in-game value. We cannot allow this trading to occur. Because of this decision, items with microtransaction effects applied to them cannot be traded or dropped. If you want to trade such an item, you have to remove the effect first as described in the patch notes above.
Here are some videos of the first batch of new cosmetic pets! We'll be posting more videos as they're ready.