0.10.0 patch notes, balance explanations and how microtransactions work

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.
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Last edited by Chris on Jan 23, 2013, 12:32:09 AM
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Akeche wrote:
My only concern is the vagueness of this: You can reclaim effects (putting them back in your microtransaction stash) using the purchasable "Recover Cosmetic Effect" item which is also stored in your microtransaction stash.

While I'm disappointed that you, seemingly, don't get a reusable skin/glowy item. I'm curious whether THIS item is reusable or if it is consumed.

If it's consumed... Eeehh....


It's not reusable because then the prices would have to be ten times higher. We decided to price everything cheaply so that they're accessible to more people. This means that you can either buy multiples for different items, or pay a small fee to reclaim it to put on another item.

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EvilParfait wrote:
Wait, what? Why would you ever have things that are only purchasable for money but not for points? That doesn't make a lot of sense, especially since all the people who have already invested in the game (some a lot) would have to then pay MORE if you decide to do a pack like that.


I might need to make the explanation more clear, but when I wrote "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." I was getting at what you're saying - you don't need to spend any more money to buy the microtransactions.

If you have a lot of points, like you do, there are only three things that you would need to use money to buy:
a) T-shirts and other physical merchandise that have an immediate up front cost for us.
b) Expensive custom uniques, custom monsters, etc.
c) Special limited edition packs like the Closed Beta ones, which we don't intend to sell often but are reserving the ability to sell occasionally as promotions.
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Xendran wrote:
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It's not reusable because then the prices would have to be ten times higher.


So then add a reuseable version in the shop for 10x the price of the normal one.


That's indeed a possibility. We'll definitely be massively increasing the range of stuff we sell and looking into options like the one you mention.

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Drakx wrote:
Chris, does this mean there won't be Open Beta packs available until a later date?


We were strongly considering "Open Beta Packs" that were just like the kiwi ones, but we came to two conclusions:
a) Not everyone wants physical swag, and it sure costs a lot of money and time to make and post that out.
b) It isn't fair to make existing customers who have a lot of points feel that they have to buy more packs when they should instead be able to spend their current points they've bought.

We will probably add some specific special packs at some point, but for now all the microtransaction items are purchasable with points.
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Drakx wrote:
I hope you consider adding alpha access as a feature to future packs.

I would not mind using money over points for this.


We've turned down very large amounts of money for alpha access!

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TheFalseKing wrote:
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c) Special limited edition packs like the Closed Beta ones, which we don't intend to sell often but are reserving the ability to sell occasionally as promotions.


I feel that the original packs should not be available later on, since because of these packs people wanted to feel they supported PoE in its infancy to help make it better. I think you should allow some similar packs with kiwi's to be sold, but do not make them exactly like the ones you can buy now.


The original ones certainly won't be available later on, don't worry. I meant "same structure" rather than "same stuff".

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Drakx wrote:

Not having Alpha access feels very disadvantageous if you are a very competitive player. Not being able to test or know about future game changes while some players do, puts you at an insurmountable disadvantage. It's an incredibly frustrating feeling of helplessness in an otherwise very ladder and competitive game.


I don't disagree, but if you ask any Alpha testers I'm sure they'll tell you we just changed massive systems a day before Open Beta and so they probably don't know what builds to play tomorrow.
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ReddGrave wrote:
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ualac wrote:
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The current wording of the patch notes guarantees I will not be spending a penny on cosmetic items.


the one unknown here is the cost, so it's premature to be too upset about pay-per-use for these types of microtransactions.

would your attitude be different if single-use effects were literally one penny?




Still it seems strange to have to come on the website or spend microtransaction point EVERY time i find an upgrade to transfer the effect to.


You can buy the reclamation item in advance and probably in bulk.

By the way, I'd be interested in feedback on this:

Let's imagine two hypothetical examples (the prices here are entirely made up btw). Assume this is for some relatively nice effect.

Option 1: The effect is $30 and can be moved freely between items and used on all your characters in all leagues forever with no drawback.

Option 2: The effect is $3, and can be removed from an item using something that costs $1 for a single use, or, if purchased in bulk, less.

The second option allows far more players to experience the effect and can move it the few times that they'll want to on average.

Note that these two options are not mutually exclusive. Also, remember those aren't actually final prices, just round numbers.
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Last edited by Chris on Jan 22, 2013, 10:37:38 PM
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destrock wrote:
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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.


Where did you mentioned that !? I spent 50$ in the game 6 months ago and my friend will have more pts than me with his 50$. Wow it's so unfair. I don't give a shit of a little pet useless lol. I paid for the closed beta key too but you guys made so many changes, I have to make new builds and to learn the game again so my closed beta playing time don't give me any advantage over others...

We paid for a closed beta key, but for helping you to make the best game possible and for having chest tabs too... I didn't spent 50$ to show off my pet like people who bought a diamond pack. Those people don't care having + or - pts, they have the cash to get everything they want. As a bronze supporter pack, I'm expecting to be rewarded with more than a pet. Instead of giving me less pts than people buying after the open beta, I would expect having MORE pts than them...


It's on the purchase page:

"In the future, we may sell Points in packs with different pricing tiers (for example, an expensive pack that offers more points per dollar, but doesn’t come with all the other perks listed on this page)"

Don't worry though, the rate isn't crazy. It's not like someone paying $50 tomorrow is getting masses more points.
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Wisdom wrote:
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Chameleon wrote:
Oooh that is very different from how I was expecting them to work. I expected all microtransaction items to be permanent and freely removable and tradeable across all my characters, just like the Kiwis.

I'm now slightly worried there will be nothing I want to spend my points on...
I believe you will be able to trade modified items to other characters on your own account, via shared stash. They prevent trading to other accounts to prevent people from possible pay2win scenarios.


That is correct.
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This feedback has prompted a lot of internal discussion. Please don't quit yet.
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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.
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AllGodsDie wrote:
It feels like there wasn't really much time/thought put into the microtransaction component of the game. Paying consumable per item, this could have been vastly upgraded even by limiting it to a purchase per character and denying stash sharing. Flat out item changing just seems like a idiotic waste of money. I can't see many of the incoming newbie free players being attracted to such a option. Only those of us who are hardcore to the game will bother and even then it will encourage us to wait till endgame.

I feel like armor skins should have been on launch. To be honest, I'm completely bored of seeing the same gear over and over just re-leveled. Its really just been my only big complaint about the game. I thought act 3 would bring in a flux of armor designs but from what I've seen this hardly seems the case. League of legends makes bank selling simple character skins. Players love to customize the champs they play and it makes them feel unique. I don't see why a concept wasn't a priority on release.

From what I've seen, its all been down to pets...and maybe that makes some people happy. However, I couldn't care less about the small critter that will provide nothing but "cutesy" value. Honestly, I'm surprised pets don't function as extra stashes like in Torchlight 2. Such a concept would have easily increased their value. However, as of now it seems PoE is path of ethology. I can't fathom why so much detail is being given to them. I can't see them holding the micro shop up and I'm 100% positive character customization would have made more money and impressions.

These are my thoughts. I'm sure plenty of people disagree. Don't flame me bro, just my thoughts. I just think the pet spot light is a bit lackluster and I hope the shop eventually waters my mouth with more appealing options. Right now, dance moves, lifeless pets, and vending machine weapon skins doesn't have me wanting to throw my wallet at the screen.

*Disclaimer. Chris posted the weapon skin update which does effect this post. So ignore that component. However, I do stand by my other thoughts*


We spent a very long time planning how these should work and setting them up. Full armour skins weren't ready today but are on their way. There's a lot of stuff planned and half implemented that will be added over time! There's a lot more than just pets in tomorrow's patch - many types of awesome glowing helmet effects, 12 weapon effects, 5 skill effects, etc.
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